Written by Lifestyle Editor Maddy Pasqualini
When all of this is over I’m planning a romantic getaway or maybe a summer escape. The Montage at Palmetto Bluff offers both. Nestled along the coast of South Carolina in the scenic Low Country lies the Montage Palmetto Bluff. This beautiful 20,000 acre property sits along 32 miles of shoreline and is most easily defined by its historic charm, luxury accommodations, pristine natural environment, and unbeatable scenery. But spend just one day there, and you’ll find it’s defined by so much more.
I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure what to expect from The Montage Palmetto Bluff.
I knew I would find what Montage is best known for – classic luxury and exceptional service, what I didn’t realize I would find was an authentic and charming community packed with incredible food, hospitality, environmental conservancy, and no shortage of activities. The resort is completely unique in its respect for the environment where it lies. From an Autobahn certified golf course to 360 acres of devoted feeding plots for the resident wild animals, Palmetto Bluff has accomplished something very special. The entirety of the resort was designed so the environment could thrive, the land dictates where every amenity goes. Natural landscape dominates this South Carolina gem. Driving into the resort is an experience unto itself. After passing through the gates you are greeted immediately by the landscape of the region – forests, lagoons with sunbathing alligators, and marshlands with tall grass. The road to your check-in is about two miles long, giving you ample time to take in your new surroundings. You’ll pass by quiet streets lined with classically beautiful southern residences, gas lamp lit walkways, oaks draped in Spanish moss, peeks of the May River, and all other natural beauty the area has to offer. At the end of the road sits the Inn, a spectacular columned building modeled after traditional southern mansions. Inside the Inn is filled with plush furnishings, local antiques and art, blue and white vases with fresh flowers, and natural wide plank floors. It’s hard not to feel at home the second you step inside, the entire Inn oozes hospitality and comfort. The canine ambassadors wait in the lobby wagging their tails welcoming you home.
The Palmetto Bluff’s accommodations define southern hospitality and comfort. Inspired by classic southern design along with the beauty and serenity of the surrounding environment, these rooms will make you feel right at home. Trust me, you won’t want to leave. Subtle toned fabrics, rugs, and accessories are offset by reclaimed wood flooring, antiques, and local art. From the tile to the furnishings to the smallest of architectural details, nothing is missed. The resort offers 200 spacious suites, guest houses, and cottages. The Guest Rooms and Suites offer forest or lagoon views, 450-800 square feet of interior living space, a luxurious soaking tub (which I utilized every night of my stay), and queen or king beds. Many include a comfortably furnished terrace or balcony. These rooms and suites are split between the main inn and the guesthouses along the lagoon. Cottages and Cottage Suites are designed in a classic colonial-style honoring the region’s architectural heritage. Spread along a winding path they feature river, forest, or lagoon views, 750-1,140 square feet of interior living space, screened relaxation porches, pine floors, fireplaces, vaulted ceilings, wet bars, and steam showers with separate soaking tubs. Each cottage also includes bicycles for guests to use at their leisure. The Residences are comprised of 35 single family homes that range in size from 2,200-4,200 square feet and 2-5 bedrooms. Residences are scattered throughout the resort and separated into unique neighborhoods. All were meticulously designed by an acclaimed local firm to maintain the aesthetic and integrity of the local landscape. The homes emphasize traditional Low Country architecture that embraces an indoor-outdoor lifestyle. They feature airy sitting rooms, spacious porches, full kitchens, and cozy fireplaces. Residences are also available for purchase with full access to the amenities and services of the resort.
Visiting the south is usually accompanied by some pretty delectable food, and a trip to the Montage Palmetto Bluff is no exception. With a staggering eight incredible individual restaurants, you will find it hard to be bored with the dining options. Chef Nathan Beriau curates and oversees the eight restaurants, making sure each has its own distinct personality and flavor. Beriau has formed a team of like-minded individuals who are equally passionate about trying new things. Together they have created a one of a kind dining experience for Montage guests to indulge in. Located in the Inn, Octagon serves up modern interpretations of classic Carolina inspired breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Octagon Porch Breakfast Sandwich and the 1855 Farms Beef Short Rib, are musts. Directly next-door is the Octagon Bar, a casual central gathering place featuring sharable bites, creative entrees, and classic cocktails. Buffalo’s is a resort favorite centered in Wilson Village that is dedicated to simplicity with a southern Italian influence. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all served here. Make sure to get the breakfast buffet at least one morning of your stay, you’ll thank me later. Canoe Club is a dinner only seafood based restaurant featuring coastal cuisine inspired by and drawn directly from the May River. Sit at a table overlooking the river and enjoy some fresh May River Oysters, Crab Beignets, and my personal favorite, the Miso Cobia. For a more quick and casual vibe Canteen offers a grab and go breakfast and lunch perfect for picnics. Cole’s is a personal favorite, specializing in regionally inspired comfort food. Open for dinner, the Smokehouse BBQ platter, Fried Chicken, and Duroc Pork BBQ nachos are not to be missed. After dinner walk across the hall to Cole’s lounge which features TVs, table games, and even a bowling alley. For something a little different, head to Fore & Aft. This casual Mexican inspired lunch spot has some of the best Mexican food you will ever put in your mouth. The Coconut Ceviche, Carne Asada Quesadilla, and Tuna Tostada get a very high recommendation from me. The River House Lounge is located directly on the May River in the stunningly beautiful River House. Come here for delicious sharable bites, a s’mores bar on the outside lawn, and some remixed classic cocktails. Along with all these options, in-room, private dining, and cooking classes are also available.
If you manage to find some time between meals, the Montage offers a wide array of year round outdoor activities. From the shooting club to golf to leisurely boat tours, there are activities for everyone. With experienced instructors behind every activity, the Montage encourages its guests to try something new. If a leisurely boat tour is your speed Grace, the resort’s restored 1913 motor yacht, is the way to go. Hop on for a weekly scenic cruise, wine cruises, and a Sunday brunch cruise. If you’d like to explore the resort’s 32 miles of riverfront in a more hands on way kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, canoeing, and waterskiing are also available. The may river is a thriving eco-system, so look out for all sorts of incredible animals like dolphins. If you’re eager to take your adventures back to land The Palmetto Bluff Shooting Club is a sure way to have fun. Ideal for novices (me) and experts alike, the club features 13 sporting clay stations and an elevated five-stand station for optimal shooting fun. Your instructors are knowledgeable, friendly, and patient. You’ll walk away feeling like a pro-shot. In the mood for something a little quieter? The May River Golf Club is a must see. I know close to absolutely nothing about golf, and even I could appreciate this remarkable 18-hole, Jack Nicklaus designed course. Order drinks to the green and have a putting contest with your friends, or play the full 18-holes with a professional caddie. The expansive Wilson Lawn & Racquet Club feature eight Har-Tru tennis courts, two croquet lawns, two bocce courts, four coursed shelters, and a 2,715 square foot Pro Shop and pavilion. Clinics, drills, tournaments, and lessons are available for all.
Don’t worry readers, we would never go somewhere without horses involved, and the Montage is no exception. Longfield Stables’ is an 173 acre farm, boarding, training facility, and overall equestrian heaven that lies within the resort. The Montage in-house horses are the remarkable Marsh Tacky breed. These Spanish mustangs found South Carolina via a shipwreck and never left. They have adapted perfectly the marshy environment, and are as sure-footed as they come. Guests can explore the green forests and winding lagoon paths of the property with a friendly guide, all while atop a sturdy Marsh Tacky. Now say you want to explore the beauty of this property atop your own trusted steed, at the Montage you can. Longfield Stables offers a full vacation for your horse all while you are on yours. You and your horse will have full access to every amenity Longfield has to offer, and there are no shortage of amenities. Your horse will stay in a gorgeous reclaimed wood barn in an oversized 13 x 14 stall plush with shavings. They will be able to take advantage of the stables’ boutique feeding style specialized to your horses needs, and be under the watchful eye of 24/7 care. When you’re in the mood to ride, you and your horse can enjoy the covered arena, 5 acre turf event field, FEI regulation outdoor dressage arena, and the 15 mile trail system. If you’d like to make your stay more permanent, membership to the stables is available as well as homes and lots to build a dream farm of your own.
After all that activity, some relaxation is a must. Enter the Montage Palmetto Bluff Spa and you’ll be greeted by 13,000 square feet of southern luxury and hospitality. The spa has 13 treatment rooms including a couple’s suite, several outdoor relaxation patios, eucalyptus steam rooms, a whirlpool and cold-plunge pool, and redwood saunas. The spa also offers a full service salon so you can look your best after a ride through the balmy forest. Treat yourself to several wellness rituals featuring luxurious products from Tata Harper and Valmont. Indulge in a HydraFacial or massage and fall asleep on the heated treatment beds like I did. All staff at the spa are incredibly skilled in their craft, giving you the best possible experience. Spa Montage takes elements from the outside and brings them in, grounding you in the environment and allowing you to fully relax and let go.
After my stay at The Montage Palmetto Bluff, I found myself wishing that more developers would give the same careful attention to detail and conservancy that the Montage team so clearly does. It is so rare to find new structures that are defined by the environment surrounding them. Too often environments are pulverized to make room for the new, forgetting that the old ever existed. The Montage Palmetto Bluff respects the old, and works exceptionally hard to keep it alive. It is because of this respect for the surrounding environment that gives Palmetto Bluff a remarkable sense of peace and still. There is no fight or tension between the environment and the resort, the two happily melt into each other. Palmetto Bluff gives off a sense of serenity from the moment you enter its gates. From the May river to the BBQ nachos to the Marsh Tacky’s, the Montage Palmetto Bluff feels like home.
Rates, Booking, and General Information
The Montage Palmetto Bluff is located at:
476 Mount Pelia Road
Bluffton, SC 29910
For Rates and Reservations Call:
For all other information visit the website at: