Friday, November 16, 2018
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Finding Sanctuary at Kiawah Island, SC

As I have aged, I have learned the importance of physical health, emotional well-being, spirituality, the warmth of family and reconnecting with old friends. Here is where this story begins…

Friendship can take many twists and turns, as did this particular friendship, but time has a way of circling things around. We wanted a place where we could have activities, a beach, spa and quiet places to talk and catch up. There was only one place I could think of and that was The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island, SC.

Driving in under the moss-draped oaks set the tone for an experience that was, let’s say, decadent! I have never felt so pampered and attended to as I did here. From the time I pulled up and was handed water, a cold towel and called by name (which I still haven’t figured out how they pulled that one off) to the last minute I checked out, the staff and service was superb.

My initial thought as I walked through the main doors looking over the lawn and out to the water was that it was reminiscent of an old seaside estate. I was greeted at check in by a warm and smiling face, no lines, no one jostling luggage around or the hectic energy of checking in brings, yet other people were checking in. My luggage was quietly whisked away and I made my way to the Lobby Bar; an elegant bar with a grand stone fireplace that I could only imagine how magical it must be during the winter months.

My friend arrived and we meandered past the butterfly gardens to the Loggerhead Grill by the family pool, ate lunch and then headed to the beach where complimentary beach chairs, umbrella and towels awaited us. As the waves lapped at the shoreline and the serenity of Kiawah overtook us, we decided this was the perfect place to reconnect.

So, let me digress from my personal story and talk about this magnificent resort. Kiawah Resort sits on a barrier island of South Carolina and is a 21-mile drive to Charleston. It is a Forbes 5-star resort that has five championship courses and two world-class tennis clubs. The dining options are many and I was lucky enough to eat at several. Everything was top notch not only in taste but also in presentation including the poolside dining. The food is locally sourced and the selections are varied and there is something for everyone’s palate.

The Sanctuary’s 225 guest rooms are extremely spacious and elegantly appointed. Just like the resort, no expense was spared and the attention to detail is something I have yet to see anywhere else.

And let’s not forget the spa. If you want to feel totally and utterly pampered, this is the spa for you. Due to the fact I am limited for space and I certainly don’t want to not give the spa the literary attention it deserves, I will write about it in next month’s column, so check back in.

As I mentioned earlier, Charleston is a beautiful 21-mile ride away but unless you really feel the need to get off “campus” there is so much to do here that I assure you, you will leave wishing you had two more days. There are jogging and biking trails, sunset walks on the beach, kayaking adventures, nature programs and family activities, not to leave out the obvious which is the ability to completely unplug.

The Sanctuary is the perfect place to reconnect with old friends, have an intimate or lavish wedding, family reunions, girl getaways or personal recharging time but above all, it’s a place to make new memories.


Debbie Martinez is a Miami Dade resident and Travel Editor for The Florida Villager. She can be reached at debbiemartinez1@mac.com.

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