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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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Trip Report Trip to Inn at Palmetto Bluff, SC

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Just recently spent a few days in Savannah, followed by a trip to Palmetto Bluff. I always love to combine city sightseeing trips with relaxing countryside getaways - I feel like this combination results in a great well-rounded vacation. The Inn at Palmetto Bluff, just 40 minutes away across the border in Bluffton, SC, is a perfect compliment.

Upon arrival the gate to the community, the guard gave me a 6-minute CD, which was perfectly choreographed for the 6-minute ride I had to the Inn. The narrator, who has been the groundskeeper on the bluff for 25 years, spoke of the history and of the importance of conservation on the huge piece of property (which is bigger than Manhattan!). Once arriving, I realized that the groundskeeper was right - the Bluff is a special place. Spending time there is truly like stepping back in time, but with electricity, luxury, and great food!

The main River House is beautifully located right on the peaceful May River. It is where guests check-in, and has a wine cellar where special dinners and events can be arranged, as well as a formal restaurant, where guests can eat at dinnertime (there are also several other more casual restaurants throughout the property). There are no traditional hotel rooms in this main house - their lead-in "rooms" are actually deluxe one-bedroom cottages!


Events/Activities

Palmetto Bluff doesn't seem to have a shortage of events in the off-season. Even on the bitterly cold day I was there, they were preparing for a large 35 wedding that was going to fill the resort for the weekend. They also have the annual Music to Mouth Festival in November, which pairs great foods with live music.

The Inn is not shy about being family friendly. They have Kids Camp from Mid-March to Halloween, and have a shallow-water splash pool just for the littlest ones. They also can arrange babysitters, and have canoes, bikes, kayaks, fishing, boat trips, bocce, tennis, croquet (and a croquet pro!!)...the list goes on and on.

Cottages

We moved on to a golf cart, where we explored the quaint cottages. Most cottages are actually a part of a duplex, but you would never know it. Concrete walls divide everything, even the screened-in porches, so you can't even hear when the neighbors are sitting on their porch. Even the lowest level cottages are absolutely pristine, with ample room, California King beds, and have steam showers with rainforest showerheads in the large bathrooms. The Inn recently installed the iPad in-room feature, and will have an app to allow room service orders and concierge reservations shortly. The 50 Cottages are either forest view, lagoon view, or river view. There are also a few cottage suites, which have a separate living area.

In addition to the cottages, the Inn has 2-4BR Village homes to accommodate larger groups. All guests still have access to all Inn facilities, and will receive housekeeping and even a chef to cater, if desired. I saw three different homes, and each was very different in terms of decor and layout. To prevent staying at a home that does not match your tastes, there are virtual tours of all homes on the internet, and Bethany said she would be great to help match clients with the perfect home for them.

Transportation

As you may have figured out from above, generally all transportation is done with golf carts and bikes around the Inn. They do have a fleet of Mercedes that you can take to explore the area, and as a Virtuoso amenity they also offer departure airport transportation - meaning you'd only need to pay for a one-way transfer from the Savannah?airport to the Inn. Bikes come with the reservation of a cottage or home (one per person), and while golf carts aren't included, you can rent them.

Spa

A stay at the Inn would not be complete without a visit to the fantastic spa. Recently named one of the top spas in the US by Conde Nast, it was top notch. The aroma itself was breathtaking, and they have a very nice men's and women's locker rooms, which lead into separate steam rooms and hot tubs. It is the perfect way to spend an afternoon! They are very focused on using local herbs and plants and incorporating them into their treatments.

The Inn really does have it all, and is perfect for any vacation - a golfing weekend, a family summer vacation, an anniversary retreat, or a girlfriend getaway. Once again, this is another property that combines comfort, laid-back style, and luxury - my top three must-have's when I travel!

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