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“Beautiful resort - but bad wedding service”

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Montage Palmetto Bluff
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Bluffton
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed June 11, 2013

I went to visit the resort after finding it online as a destination wedding site. I requested information regarding wedding packages and was presented with the following option (dated 2014):
"Sunday weddings that are tailored for more intimate party sizes of 25 – 50 guests require 5 cottages for 2 nights at an average rate of $400-$600 depending on the season, per cottage per night and a food and beverage minimum of $10,000. "
I spoke with them to confirm the package and scheduled a visit. After spending $600 per night for a weekend cottage, meeting with the new wedding planner Dale, and even selecting dates and menu options, I received my email estimate. In that, the minimum was $15,000 with 8 cottages for 3 days. I asked for the original package as quoted but was told that was not available. A "Sunday wedding" actually meant a Sunday arrival with a Monday wedding. Otherwise, the original quote was not an option. If your guests are arriving on Saturday, you are subject to the Saturday wedding food and beverage minimum of $40,000.
I absolutely loved the resort. I even chose my dress to fit the chapel. It is truly beautiful. But I absolutely can not understand the deception in the email proposal. Essentially, I spent over $1200 to visit a wedding site that is not within reach. I am terribly disappointed and can not understand why the resort is not upfront in their pricing.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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8  Thank CNPhair
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PalmettoBluff, General Manager at Montage Palmetto Bluff, responded to this reviewResponded June 19, 2013

CNPhair,
Thank you for your recent visit to the Inn and for sharing your feedback with us. I was incredibly concerned to read your comments, please trust it was certainly not our intention be deceptive. I have asked our Director of Sales and Catering, Paulette Peek, to reach out to you to discuss the situation and possible options further.
Sincerely,
Marty Wall

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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466 - 472 of 699 reviews

Reviewed June 10, 2013

The Inn was absolutely beautiful - our luxurious cottage over looking the lake was incredible.......so peaceful and serene. The service was devine, and the meals were delicious. Our 2 year old Labrador had a great time too. Can't wait to come back here!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Bubbe13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2013

In 4 short days i was able to experience so many first's with my fiance of 7 years....This place is magical.......We never relaxed as much as we did on this vacation and the irony is we were involved in activities everyday all day....I you would never know it because it was that beautiful ...time just flew by..........

Room Tip: cottages are incredible
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank James L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 3, 2013

Absolutely a great destination. Customer service is second to none. Four Seasons/Ritz service with genuine southern hospitality added on. Great facilities, room, golf and other. Definitely a return visit planned.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jamie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2013

We just returned from a four-night stay at the beautiful Inn at Palmetto Bluff. It’s hard to know where to start raving about this gorgeous property, so I’ll start at the beginning! From the moment we entered the gate we were in absolute bliss. We were handed a six minute audio cd to listen to as we meandered our way down the beautiful four-mile private drive lined with giant oak trees dripping with Spanish moss. Pulling up to the Inn we were greeted promptly and warmly and completed our check-in process with ease.

As if we weren’t already impressed enough by the grounds, once we were escorted to the cottage we knew we had made the right choice for our vacation spot. The cottages are large, beautifully decorated and high-end. We spent a lot of time on the huge screened-in porch overlooking the May river, enjoying our complimentary bottle of wine from the Inn. We barely wanted to leave the inside of the cottage! But you must, as this property is not to be missed.

There is just so much to do! The complimentary bikes to cruise around the property was our favorite part; the pool is peaceful and relaxing; the grounds are beautiful to go for a stroll or to stop in the shops at Wilson Village; they provide fixings for s’mores every evening around the outdoor fire pits; there are lots of water and boating activities to choose from…I could go on and on. I highly recommend the dolphin discovery tour to see them very up close—Pete, our tour guide, was wonderful! And if you have children, there seemed to be lots of activities for them to choose from as well. All the kids seemed really happy and excited to be there. But despite the many children around, it still somehow was one of the most peaceful and romantic vacations we have ever had. The hotel is designed in such a way that makes it seem empty even when it's full--I have no idea how that was the case given that it was a very busy holiday weekend!

There are dining options aplenty, and each meal was peaceful, relaxing and delicious. Everyone seems to really embrace the tranquility of the place. Conversations are kept quiet, children were polite and respectful around the grounds and dining rooms, and the staff genuinely wants to make sure you are enjoying your stay. The best part for us was that the Inn is dog friendly. We were able to bring them almost everywhere, which is so rare and was a unique experience! They are not allowed in the pool area or inside restaurants, but they were able to dine with us on outside patios for every meal—and were even provided water bowls and their own dinner menu! Beds, supplies and pet sitting services are available—we used the latter and Pamela was great. They provide dog water/food bowls and biscuits upon arrival, and a myriad of other things to make them feel welcome.

If I were to say one negative thing about the Inn (which is hard to do), it’s that the activity process was a bit confusing prior to our arrival. The concierge is extremely helpful when you need assistance, but I felt like we had to call too many times to figure out how it worked. The activity sheet they email after booking doesn’t have very much information included (it’s really vague), and the info on the website doesn’t always coincide with the packet we were emailed. But once we arrived it was easy enough to figure out. It also took us about a day to figure out that each cottage had two designated bikes, which I wish had been explained to us upon arrival. We only figured it out when we noticed everyone kept bikes at their cottages full time. Along these same lines, we didn’t know we could rent a golf cart and keep it during our entire stay (we thought it was just as-needed), and by the time we discovered this option they were already spoken for and we didn’t get to use a cart at all. But it was easy enough to have one of the staff members take you anywhere you needed to go. So definitely grab your bikes and cart as soon as you check in!

Other than that minor issue, we simply had one of the best vacations in a really long time. It’s hard to describe the beauty of the property so you’ll just have to see it for yourself! We are so enamored with the area and the Inn that we’re trying to convince our families to do a group vacation sometime in the future. From the moment we stepped on the property to the moment we left, we were completely at peace. This place is complete utopia from start to finish! We are counting the months until we return.

Room Tip: We were forced to book a room with a river view, as all the other cottages were full. But we're...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank traveling-politico
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 24, 2013

These were the words my husband said as we checked into our cottage. I had followed this property for several years & we finally got the chance to stay. Suffice to say we booked for 2 nights & stayed for 4. It is fabulous, believe the hype. We had planned to keep driving South toward Florida, but I said to my guy, It's not going to get any better than this....

Unique, well thought out & extremely comfortable. Kudos to all on staff! Such a lovely spot on the May River & a 20,000 acre preserve in which to enjoy.

Get out on the water if you can, it will enhance your visit.

Room Tip: we stayed on the May River for 3 nights & one on the lagoon. Both very nice, sunrise on the rive...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Wilhelmenia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 24, 2013

We were fortunate to be guests at a wedding held at the Inn at Palmetto Bluff (the ceremony was in the Chapel and reception in the ballroom on the second floor of the main building). We had a wonderful experience, and my only regret is that we didn't stay longer (instead, we headed over to Hilton Head for a few days). The property is immaculate and the central village is quaint and lovely -- like stepping onto a movie set. The food was delicious -- oyster roast on our first night was a lot of fun, though if you plan to stay for a bit, I'd suggest bringing staples from another market off property (RTs is in the village, but selection is limited and, not suprisingly, there is a significant mark up). The kids in our group enjoyed the pool immensely (as did the adults). My husband got a massage at the spa and said the setting was tranquil and the service good. Other wedding guests took advantage of the biking, golfing and kyaking opportunities and everyone I spoke with had great things to say about those experiences. The house we stayed in was incredible (spacious with lots of custom features and well maintained), and I enjoyed having my morning coffee on the porch while savoring the quiet. Several of the staff were exceptionally friendly and helpful. For our purposes, this place was perfect, and we wish more friends would consider getting married there so that we have an excuse to return!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Nicole M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Montage Palmetto Bluff

Address: 477 Mount Pelia Rd, Bluffton, SC 29910-8344 (Formerly The Inn at Palmetto Bluff, A Montage Resort)
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 Green Hotel in Bluffton
#1 Business Hotel in Bluffton
#1 Romantic Hotel in Bluffton
Price Range: $364 - $595 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Montage Palmetto Bluff 5*
Number of rooms: 200
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Montage 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 resort has beautifully appointed cottages, cottage suites and resort rooms as well as luxury two, three and four bedroom home rentals. Spa Montage is one of the top-rated spas in the United States. 6 on-property restaurants and a gourmet food shop all provide for an array of dining options from casual to exquisite. Multiple pool facilities, fitness centers and a movement studio with complimentary classes are available. Extensive activities are offered including: equestrian, boating, kayaking, 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course and croquet and tennis facility. The resort also features 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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