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“Magnificent property - wonderful island” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort

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The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1 Sanctuary Beach Drive, Kiawah Island, SC 29455   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 3 hotels in Kiawah Island
Basking Ridge, New Jersey
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Magnificent property - wonderful island”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

When we I pulled up to the main entrance - the valets opened the car doors after which we ran a gauntlet of 3 or 4 people on each side of the path to the front doors welcoming us to The Sanctuary - at the large main entrance doors each was pulled open by a staff member as we approached - and once in the lobby another 2 or 3 staff welcomed us again and directed us to the registration desk. My wife commented that it felt as though we were entering Downton Abbey. Our concerns that the place would be stuffy or pretentious were laid to rest in short order.

This is simply one of the best run properties I have ever had the pleasure of visiting (with prices that are not shy about reflecting that level of excellence). The room was spacious and gracious - with a breathtaking view of the ocean from the balcony.

Restaurants were all very good to excellent. Golf courses fabulous. Poolside service was excellent (and they have a separate 18 and older pool area and hot tub which is a nice touch).

The staff are all top-notch. A small example of their attention to detail ... one afternoon upon returning to the room after housekeeping had been in, we noticed that the scrap of paper my wife had been using as a bookmark in her novel had been replaced with a beautiful tasseled Sanctuary bookmark (her scrap of paper saved in the front of the book).

Room Tip: Corner and ocean front rooms may not be worth the higher prices - virtually every room has some degr...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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639 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (193)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

This place is amazingly beautiful! I can't think of one minus during our entire four day stay. The room was gorgeous, every part of the resort was absolutely perfect. The pool, the beach, the golf ... I honestly can't imagine a more wonderful destination. The Ocean Room Restaurant was incredible; we had an wonderful waiter (I'm so sorry I can't remember his name) and the food rivals any top restaurant. We rented bikes for the week and rode them everywhere. Riding on the beach was fantastic. Different and delicious cocktails were offered at all of the bars and restaurants. It seems as though everyone on staff was trained to make our stay as pleasant as possible. Go to the Ocean Course and sit on veranda ... it doesn't get any better!! We are going back as soon as possible!!!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Oxford, Maryland
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013

I've been to the Sanctuary off and on for over a decade. The facility is beautiful with grand staircases, expansive white beaches, and the well-known golf courses. My overall impression is the hotel depends on the beautiful property to draw the patrons and has failed to stay current with hospitality trends. It is particularly hard to eat healthy or workout inside at this property. The oatmeal on the breakfast buffet has sugar and heavy cream in it and the staff admitted "you will never see turkey bacon here." No whole grain bread available. At least 50% of the requests for egg white omelets were ignored by the staff preparing them and they just expected the guest to eat the omelet they were given. The seasonal vegetables with dinner came in so much butter you would think it was soup. The fitness facility is way too small (hint: its the only area not pictured on the web) with 4 treadmills and 2 weight benches for a 255 room hotel plus the rental villas that use it. They offer one fitness class a day in a room with little air conditioning and rely on three fans to cool it off. On rainy days, the place is packed.

Our $700 a night room had a loose toilet seat and loose shower seat -- AND included extra people coming into our room! The front desk staff issued a key to our room to another guest who walked into our room one afternoon. When I called this security breach to the attention of the Asst. Manager, he said "mistakes happen". We returned from dinner that evening to find our room keys had been deactivated as part of this mishap. The next day, we received mail addressed to another guest and wondered whether the front desk still had two different guests somehow assigned to our room. In a follow-up conversation with a different manager, he claimed they have "good guests" who would never take anything from another room and that I shouldn't worry about the security breach.

The spa treatments were very good and the steam and whirlpool features very nice.

The staff are very friendly on an individual level but they aren't empowered to solve any issues. There are some fundamental management practices that need to be updated to stay in sync with their prices.

Room Tip: Ocean front rooms have the best views.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013

By any standards this is a very expensive hotel. Around £400 per night (room only) but it is a proper 5* experience. The rooms are well appointed (but no tea or coffee making facilities) with a really comfortable bed. Good quality cotton sheets are changed daily, bathroom is a good size with twin sinks and a good sized separate walk in shower.

Staff are friendly and keen to help.

The around-resort-transportation is both essential and exceptionally well run. No matter how far you are from the hotel (this is a HUGE resort) a shuttle never takes as much as the "ten minutes" they always quote for it to arrive.

Breakfast is good, not great, for around £20 per head. Dining experiences on the whole were good but experiences mixed. The best value was the Atlantic Room at the Ocean Course Clubhouse where we had fantastic service from Jack; great food, great atmosphere, great night. The tasting menu at the Ocean Room was most enjoyable too. Jasmine Porch is slightly better than "good" but the best thing that could be said for the Cherrywood BBQ at Osprey Point was that it was disappointing. It would be difficult to get me to go there again.

Whilst at Kiawah I took part in a 3 day golf school at the Golf Learning Centre with Pro Ryan Rushton who was both great fun and an excellent coach.

To finish with, two negatives - firstly we booked some dining and spa treatments a few weeks before we arrived but these had not been actioned as there has "been a fault with the email system since August 2012" (!!) - what sort of organisation allows a known fault with a system persist for so long! Secondly, you might think that £400 per night would allow you to get to the hotel freely - not if you are arriving by cab - a $12 "access fee" (each way) for your cab to be allowed on the property. I appreciate that security is not arranged by the hotel but there has to be a way that guests can be delivered without their first encounter being fleeced for $12. First impressions count - and this is the worst possible first impression.

But I will still go back.......

Room Tip: West facing room on the eastern wing would be my tip. Western facing rooms on the eastern wing are a...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2013

Everything about the Sanctuary, including the price, is absolutely first class, but sometimes you get what you pay for. This is one of those times. The rooms are gorgeous and well-maintained, the setting is lovely, and the service is fawning. There's really not much to say, other than that it is hands-down one of the best hotel experiences I've ever had. I'd return in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bloomington, Minnesota
Top Contributor
123 reviews 123 reviews
67 hotel reviews
Reviews in 72 cities Reviews in 72 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2013

My wife and I spent three days at this property during a recent business meeting. We found the hotel to be just average and definitely overpriced.

Our room had an ocean view which was nice. However, it was poorly lit and not well equipped. Perhaps I'm biased because any room that does not give me the ability to make my own coffee when I want it in the morning is under-equipped in my opinion.

The service was adequate but not spectacular. The appearance of the hotel suggests something like a Ritz Carlton but the experience with the staff is more Marriott. Not bad just not over the top.

The fitness center is surprisingly small for such a large property and does not open until 6:00 am. Some of the equipment was inoperable also.

We had massages at the spa. Again, they were fine but not great. However, the price - $300 per person - suggested that it should have been spectacular.

Overall, I would obviously stay here again if I had a reason to do so (such as a business meeting). However, compared to properties like the Ritz Carlton Sanibel Island, this one just doesn't stack up in my opinion.

Room Tip: Be sure to ask for ocean view.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oyster Bay, New York
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2013

Where to start with this exquisite property in South Carolina... The weather was not so great upon arrival which for the first time on a vacation it didn't even matter. The surroundings, staff and accommodations of The Sanctuary more than made up for the dismal weather. While the weather consistently improved over our stay the hospitality of the staff and locals could not be more friendly and accommodating. Our stay was phenomenal, I can't wait to go back. May I also say if able while in route from the airport I highly recommend visiting the Angel Oak, it is a beautiful and magnificent sight to see...

Room Tip: North east facing ocean was amazing.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort

Address: 1 Sanctuary Beach Drive, Kiawah Island, SC 29455
Location: United States > South Carolina > Coastal South Carolina > Kiawah Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 hotels in Kiawah Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Near Charleston, SC, The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort is an oceanfront Five Star/ Five Diamond hotel and spa offering casual Southern grace, comfort and charm on one of the top eco-friendly island in the U.S. It features five golf courses including The Ocean Course, site of the 2012 PGA Championship. Tennis magazine ranks it as America's No. 3 tennis resorts and it has one of the top-ranked beaches in the country. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Sanctuary At Kiawah Island Golf Hotel Kiawah Island
Sanctuary Hotel Kiawah Island
The Sanctuary Kiawah Island

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