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“Absolutely fabulous in every way” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Inn at Palmetto Bluff, A Montage Resort

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The Inn at Palmetto Bluff, A Montage Resort
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   1 Village Park Square, Bluffton, SC 29910   |  
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Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Bluffton
GreenLeadersGold level
Virginia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Absolutely fabulous in every way”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2009

We recently stayed at the Inn at Palmetto Bluff and it was exquisite. We stayed in a Cottage Suite which was spacious, clean, and nicely stocked. The staff was excellent, the grounds of the resort are beautiful. Especially impressive: the Longfield Stables and the Canoe Club pool, which is family-friendly. The village in which the resort is located is charming, and the River House restaurant is pretty good, especially for breakfast, and again is family friendly (they brought my child a little PBJ appetizer when they brought my husband and I a complimentary smoked salmon hors d' oeuvre). The Spa looked gorgeous from the outside but we did not use it. If the dressing rooms at the Canoe Club are any indication, the Spa is probably very elegantly appointed.

The Inn provides free bikes which are excellent for touring the property. All in all, we plan to return and stay longer next time.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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398 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    353
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    5
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (127)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
United Kingdom
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2009

This resort was the first location visited during our recent trip to the U.S.A & the Carolinas with my family and, after reading previous reports of the resort I can only repeat what many have said about the service, cleanliness and attention to detail of all the activities and amenities on offer, We were here fo 4 nights & from the minute we arrived at the greeters cottage to the long drive through the forest (listening to the cd given to us to enjoy on the journey). We arrived in paradise. No wonder Palmetto Bluff is the number 1 resort in the U.S.A. Although we had a great 2 weeks trip in Carolina visiting Charleston & The Isle of Palms (both brilliant locations). This was the best yet.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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NC, USA
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2009

Despite the less than perfect rating that I have given for the justifiable reason listed below, I would unequivocally recommend Palmetto Bluff. It is quintessential Southern charm! GO!!

Those coming from the north will find the Spanish moss dappled trees, the egrets, and the springtime jasmine delightful. We had lived on nearby Hilton Head for nearly twenty years and had grown degage with the pristine beauty of the Low Country, but nonetheless found delight in the spectacular sunrises and the Southern ambiance.

I took my wife for a birthday surprise and for a nostalgic trip back to our past life. Our kids were born on Hilton Head and we have many pleasant memories of those early years before they grew up and became smarter than their parents. However, whenever I try to please someone, it has been my experience that something untoward always interjects itself into my plans. I had investigated many of the upperclass resorts and junkets from Bermuda to the Florida Keys to Mexico, and after reading the reviews there were too many negative comments that I was certain would also befall us and turn a well-intentioned gesture into a disaster. However, the reviews for Palmetto Bluff were almost always very positive. With my background in game theory, Palmetto Bluff had the least probability of having something go wrong.

Nonetheless, I still had some trepidation when I booked a midweek one-night stay for a lagoon cottage. We arrived early, and since our room was not ready we walked around the grounds. Our meandering was distinguished not only by the setting, but by the seeming absence of guests. I know that the resort was fairly full, but virtually no guests were to be seen! When we later used the pool several times, the most people that were there were six, and, including we two, only four were in the water. My wife commented that she felt like we were Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. We were so impressed that when we returned to the lobby, I asked that our reservation be changed to a river-view cottage for two nights. BTW, All accommodations save that for families (I think) are in cottages that sleep two - which is a wonderful way of preventing your stay to be disrupted by screaming children next door.

The cottages have all the trappings of an upscale resort – gas fireplace, SubZero frig stocked with soft drinks, steam shower, clawfoot tub, and really plush, comfy bed. However, our last minute switch might have accounted for the circumstance that the back roof of our cottage was covered with Spanish moss and pine needles. I have lived in the South for nearly thirty years and this was no one day – or one week – accumulation. The gutter in the eves was overflowing with pine needles and covered in cobwebs. (To their credit when I pointed this out, they sent someone over when my wife and I were on a nature cruise to remedy the situation. But, due to the short time they had to work on it, the unsightly mess was only partially improved). Also, the next day when I went to use the electronic key, I could not get into my cottage. Someone was sent over with a mechanical master key that also did not work. Had we not left the back screen door unlocked we would have been literally locked out of our cottage until they finally got the lock to work at 5PM. I can see this happening anywhere, but the pine needles and cobwebs – the only cottage to be thus graced – pointed to gross neglect and gave the cottage a seedy appearance. Hence, the four, and not five star, rating.
We had dinner at the River House, but mostly ordered from the menu and had food delivered to our room. My wife and I are restaurant snobs, having dated in Manhattan and once having taken the list of the top twenty restaurants in the country, attempting to dine in all of them. (We got about halfway through when the kids diverted our attention to PB&J sandwiches). So the food was OK. This should not be taken out of context. When we left Hilton Head, and even now from what I read, there are few truly great places to dine in the area. Also, last year we had eaten at the same owner’s vaunted Auberge de Soleil in Napa Valley and did not care for either the food or the view. I had never been one for shrimp and grits. However, overcome with affection for all things southern, I tried it for the first time. I do not recall being this enthusiastic for anything as much since I discovered sex - and I had shrimp and grits at for all the remaining meals. Also good: the lemon pancakes for breakfast. I asked for the recipe and the next morning, atop the newspaper that was at the front door, it was in an envelope.
One suggestion to management: The bike trails should be better marked.
Another point: Once you are done unwinding, there is little to do. You can reserve one of the hotel’s complementary Mercedes and tour Hilton Head. We did this but spent most of our time in an Adirondack chair, gin-and-tonic in hand watching the river and inhaling the primal scents of the saltwater marshes.
Summary: Everyone on staff wants you to have a good time and to enjoy yourself. With this attitude you cannot go wrong by staying there.
RECOMMENDATION:
1)Stay in riverfront cabin.
2)Get up before sunrise, order breakfast sent to your cottage, and watch sun come up over river.
3)???

When you leave you will feel glad to be alive.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta
Top Contributor
110 reviews 110 reviews
55 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2009

Palmetto Bluff seems like an isolated area of South Caroline but is only 30 minutes from Hilton Head or Savannah. The resort sits on a former hunting club and timber farm of 22,000 acres nestled along the May River, just inland from the coast. The surroundings are lowland marsh and forest. The resort area itself ("Wilson's Landing") is a compact village with a small "downtown" district surrounded by homes that you can rent. The sizes range from modest (where we stayed) to glorious (where the bride stayed). There also is a section of cottages which are smaller and a touch removed from the village. The Inn in in the heart of the village and overlooks the river.

There is boating, tennis, golf, two pools and fitness centers, fishing, hiking, bike riding, restaurants, stables, spa, and probably more I did not see. The landscaping is lush, the staff is unbelievable and seemed to outnumber the guests. The food is good, and the service perfect. I've lived in the area all my life and now find it silly that I've traveled all over and never realized this gem was just down the road.

I was there with a wedding party of 100 or so, which maxed out the seating in the small but charming chapel. The wedding arrangements were effortless and flawless, and the reception and rehearsal settings and refreshements were wonderful. Our friends and family had only good things to say, and many came from outside the US.

It is expensive, so the money is well spent only if you can be relaxed about it and plan on taking advantage of all Palmetto Bluff has to offer. Once on the property, there really is no shopping, nightlife, or other more urban activities. The houses all have kitchens and laundry facilities. Though there is a small store, it's not suited for feeding a family long term, but more for gourmet items. It's best to come with all the supplies you need, or plan on patronizing the restaurants. You'll need to rent a car, if you want to travel the area. The village is 4 miles from the entry gate, and the gate is a mile from the nearest highway.

The only potential sour note is that this area has been hit hard by the recession, and there are rumors the the developer may declare bankruptcy (info from a caddy on the golf course). It's hard to say how that would affect the resort itself. Most of the property seems designed around real estate development (private homes), and from looking around, there is a lot of empty land.

Go. Enjoy.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bluffton, South Carolina
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2009

We just checked out and I was curious to see what everyone wrote about the Inn at Palmetto Bluff. Although we came in late, we stayed a little longer today to use the amenities. Bob played golf while I exercised at the fitness facility. Lovely decor. A couple of things to mention. If you are allergic to down bedding, call ahead and have it removed (like we did). The "noseeums" are nasty this time of year so bring some Skin So Soft by Avon. How could anyone put chemicals on their skin??? Finally, the fireplace is wonderful but the soft sound of gas escapes during the night and has a kind of white noise in the room. I don't know if this is in every room but I wanted to point it out to future guests. An absolutely stunning escape!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Key West, Florida
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2009

Our motive to come to this Inn was to look at real estate in the area. We stayed 4 nights and loved every minute of it. The cottages are very spacious, ours was overlooking the May River. Large bedroom with gas fireplace, huge bathroom, big screened in porch and all the best amenities. We even had 2 bicycles at our disposal.
The area is a WOW at first sight. The entry through the forest and the beautiful view of the little town absolutely take your breath away.
The main hotel building houses a wonderful, albeit costly, restaurant. We had not brought dressy clothes and felt a bit under-dressed. We also had lunch at the Golf Club, dinner at the Canoe Club and the Village Restaurant, and breakfast at the little grocery store. Our only complaint is there was really no casual breakfast restaurant. The tennis facility is great with 8 har-tru courts, bocce ball, croquet and basket ball as well. We did not use the golf course, but did drive around it and it was quite impressive. We also took a boat ride into Hilton Head and saw many dolphin along the way. Very pretty area by boat as well.
I thought the SPA was great and had a massage and facial.
All in all, a wonderful place to go.

  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Fort Mill, SC
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2009

Fantastic place, fantastic location. Quiet, secluded, refreshing and First Class all the way. You give your name at the gatehouse, drive 6 minutes thru the beautiful forests and arrive at the breathtaking waterfront checkin. They already know your name, take your car, your luggage, escort you in AND THENNNNN, welcome you and your dog BY NAME! Yes, amazing! The cottage on the lagoon is well thought out, stocked with water, juices, cofffee, tea and the steam shower and separate tub .... I could go on all day but its hard to impress me - I'm impressed. Sadly, this raises the bar for the other hotels out there. It tops even the finest suite at Disney - they better watch out! I'm going again every year!

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Inn at Palmetto Bluff, A Montage Resort

Address: 1 Village Park Square, Bluffton, SC 29910
Phone Number:
Location: United States > South Carolina > Coastal South Carolina > Bluffton
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Bluffton
#1 Green Hotel in Bluffton
#1 Family Hotel in Bluffton
#1 Romantic Hotel in Bluffton
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Inn at Palmetto Bluff, A Montage Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 80
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Inn at Palmetto Bluff, a prestigious luxury inn with gracious South Carolina cottages and village homes, is located along the May River. Just 30 minutes from nearby Savannah, GA and Hilton Head, SC, the Inn has 50 beautifully appointed cottages and cottage suites as well as luxury two, three and four bedroom home rentals. The Spa at Palmetto Bluff is one of the top-rated spas in the United States. 4 on-property restaurants and a gourmet food shop all provide for an array of dining options from casual to exquisite. A large pool area with multiple pools, fitness center and movement studio with complimentary classes are available. Extensive activities offered including: equestrian, boat rides, kayaking, 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course and lawn and tennis facility. A wealth of stunning and intimate locations for weddings and events. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Inn At Palmetto Bluff, An Auberge Hotel Bluffton
Hotel At Palmetto Bluff
Resort At Palmetto Bluff

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