Executive Group Travel Blog

Two luxury golf retreats: Montage Palmetto Bluff vs The Sanctuary at Kiawah island

[fa icon="clock-o"] May 20, 2020 10:00:00 AM [fa icon="user"] Marci McCormack

While we may not be traveling again just yet, it's never too early to start thinking about your company's next incentive trip. For those looking for a virtual escape, this could be the perfect time to start researching ideas for next year's trip!

Today, we're highlighting two of the leaders in the five star golf retreat space: Montage Palmetto Bluff and The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island. Both are great options for corporate retreats, board meetings, or smaller incentive trips, as long as the events are mainly centered around golf. If golf isn't your trip's main focus, I recommend looking elsewhere as there is very limited nightlife in the surrounding areas. For those focused purely on golf or meeting space with five star service, these options could be the perfect fit for your next event.

Montage Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina (200 rooms; opened in 2016).
The Montage is the main hotel located in Palmetto Bluff with 200 hotel rooms, a spa, two small pool areas, and 16,000 square feet of meeting space. The Montage also manages a handful of large resort homes/villas that can be rented through the hotel. May River Golf Club is a 5-minute golf cart ride away and guests staying at the Montage have access to tee times at the course (caddy required). 

Source: www.montagehotels.com/palmettobluff

Pros: good for a 2-night executive retreat, excellent service, impressive golf course. Horseback riding stables, bowling lanes, and shooting lessons are available within the larger Palmetto Bluff property. There are multiple dining options within the larger Palmetto Bluff property, which can be accessed through a shuttle service.

Cons: pool area is nothing special, spa is indoor/outdoor and lacks a wow factor, views of the inlet versus full ocean, no beach on property. In the evenings, the bar at the hotel can be crowded and there is limited seating due to a lack of additional nightlife options nearby. If you encounter bad weather, there is very little to do at this resort.

The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort (255 rooms; opened in 2004).
The Sanctuary is a classy, Southern, plantation-style property with elaborate staircases, living room style sitting areas with fireplaces, outdoor fire pits, and multiple food outlets. For those looking for a corporate retreat or board meeting centered around golf, this is the place for you. With 5 courses on Kiawah Island, guests of the Sanctuary have the opportunity to experience the best golf and clubhouses that South Carolina has to offer. For those not into golf, the property has a gorgeous beach right out front. The beach is large enough for an afternoon of games with bocce, spikeball, or can jam.

Sanctuary at Kiawah Island
Source: www.kiawahresort.com/accommodations/the-sanctuary-hotel

Pros: luxurious rooms with nice balconies, beautiful beach, nice pool areas, and most importantly a golfer's paradise with multiple course options. There's a small downtown just 10 minutes away, with shopping and 4-5 casual restaurant options. Complimentary Volvo car use within the Kiawah Island area. Indoor swimming pool option for bad weather days.

Cons: very quiet, more classic decor in the rooms, nightlife in Charleston but a 45-minute ride away, bikes have a rental fee. Tee times need to be booked well ahead of time and The Ocean Course is difficult to get on.

Overall, both are beautiful properties but for the incentive market for technology companies they miss the mark. There just isn't enough to do and nightlife is too far away. When I say it gets sleepy in the evenings, I am talking 8:30pm. On the other hand, those looking for a 2-night board meeting or executive team retreat, these would be a perfect fit. The service is phenomenal, the food is impressive, and the rooms are what you would expect from a five star hotel.


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Editorial Disclosure: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any entity mentioned herein. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.  

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