Montage Palmetto Bluff feels far-flung; like I’d traveled a ways to get to the private resort along the May River in Palmetto, S.C. I hadn’t. I arrived at the sprawling front porch of the Inn an easy four and a half hours after leaving my own doorstep.
Greeted from the turn off May River Road onto Old Palmetto Bluff Road by the sense that something extraordinary awaited ahead, every sight stirred a bit of renewal.
Montage Palmetto Bluff is set in the Lowcountry of South Carolina between Hilton Head Island and Savannah on an opulent 20,000 acre development – complete with a nature preserve, walking trails, vibrant village, marina, restaurants, and a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, the accessories to its spacious cottages, guest rooms, suites and village homes that all pay homage to the region’s rich heritage.
Formerly The Inn at Palmetto Bluff, the oasis resort, bordered by serene forests, features 50 Southern-style waterfront and forest cottages with well-appointed furnishings, screened-in verandas, deluxe bathrooms with steam showers and soaking tubs, vaulted ceilings, pine floors and fireplaces.
This fall, Montage Palmetto Bluff will debut an expansion, featuring a new Inn with 150 new guest accommodations, a lobby lounge and octagon bar with sweeping lagoon views; a 13,000-square foot Spa Montage with salon and fitness center; and an additional resort pool with bar and grill. The new developments will complement existing resort amenities, resulting in eight dining options, two wedding chapels, four distinctive retail boutiques and two state-of-the-art fitness centers with separate movement studio. Montage Hotels & Resort, which acquired the management in December 2013, understands that here more is more.
Though the resort bustles throughout the warmest of warm-weather months, passersby echoed each other in their sentiment of the waning summer as “perfect” in the Bluff. I acquiesced.
In the just beyond sultry, yet warm fall of South Carolina, an evening candle-lit dinner at River House restaurant on the enclosed porch of the Inn is the perfect way to complete the day. The May River, Carolina coast, and South the collective muse of the resort’s chef, cuisine is farm fresh and elegantly presented. Executive Chef Nathan Beriau creates unique dishes updated with a contemporary flair for an extraordinary dining experience, incorporating the freshest organic and seasonal ingredients, many sourced from local markets and farms. For dessert, the Caramelized Banana Cream Pie is something of a phenomenon.
While it would conceivably be enough to experience the resort needing little more than a relaxing breeze in your cottage or touring the property on a cottage bicycle, adventurous travelers have access to Longfield Stables’ programs and activities for guests of all equestrian disciplines within a rural landscape as well as the smooth and scenic waterways for fishing, kayaking or canoeing. Palmetto Bluff makes available watercrafts for rental and private charters, including the meticulously restored 1913 yacht Grace – a marvelous way to experience the Carolina waters. If being on the water is what moves you, the options are vast from boat tours to historic Daufuskie Island, and full and half days on the water tubing and skiing to scenic dolphin tours and paddleboarding.
Remember, here – more is more.
Photos provided by Montage Palmetto Bluff & My Vicarious Life