The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island, South Carolina

From the moment your car pulls into the oak-lined drive of The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island, bellmen snap to attention. While one gathers the luggage and another discreetly informs the front desk of your arrival, so by the time you approach, the front desk clerk greets you by name.

The hospitality feels genuine. An expansive view of the Atlantic Ocean is visible from the lobby where hardwood floors and comfortable, upholstered furniture add to the grandeur and a feeling that you’ve dropped into a friend’s country estate for the weekend.

A country estate at the beach? Sounds crazy, right?

The lobby bar is called the Gentlemen’s Room and is decorated with sturdy masculine furnishings while the Morning Room located at the opposite end is decorated in a softer fabric with a feminine touch. The 19th century design, antiques and art translate to a comfortable elegance. A guest who has sat down at the piano plays gently filling the room with soft music. Hollywood could not have scripted a better getaway weekend.

The award-wining Sanctuary is an expansive 255-room resort located along 10 miles of South Carolina’s Grand Strand ocean front, about 33 miles from Charleston. Million dollar homes on Kiawah Island sit unobtrusively behind sand dunes allowing vacationers the luxury of strolling along the beach without stepping onto private property.

Sunsets are dramatic and at low tide more than 100 yards of some of the most gorgeous beach stretches from the hotel to the water’s edge.

There are two oceanfront restaurants—The Ocean Room is the signature steakhouse restaurant and the Atlantic Room provides an extensive menu of locally sourced seafood, pleasing the senses of every level. Dining at either provides a comfortably quietness enabling diners the ability to enjoy the view and dinner conversations.

Dine on low country favorites such as shrimp and grits, crab, scallops and other seafood favorites at Jasmine’s Porch, an equally elegant and comfortable dining room during breakfast or dinner. The Loggerhead Grill offers causal dining for guests who prefer outdoor dining or who can’t pull themselves away from the view of the ocean, not even for a few minutes. The Beaches and Cream shop provides another option for a quick bite at breakfast, lunch or when you just want a refreshing dessert.

Other resort features include family and adult-only pools, supervised children’s programs, tennis, biking, and of course, the championship golf, for which Kiawah Island is famous. The Sanctuary Spa further adds to the resort’s allure. The rates are in line with what you would expect to spend at a comparable Caribbean resort.

If you bear to leave, day trips include visits to Charleston or Mt. Pleasant, an area known for its Gullah culture and sweetgrass basket weavers who line the road selling their wares.

For additional information www.thesantuary.com.

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