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“Hardly 5 Star! Don't stay in the summer!”

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The Sanctuary Hotel at Kiawah Island Golf Resort
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Kiawah Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 23, 2008

I am sharing our experience from 2006 as I recently noticed that the Sanctuary has been upgraded to 5 Star (by Mobile.) Unless the air conditioning system has been replaced, I can only imagine that the evalution of the hotel was not done in the summer. We also detected arrogance in top management as the G.M. never responded to emails or phone calls!

My husband and I stayed at the Sanctuary on June 21, 2006 for 5 nights.

Although Trip Advisor reviews included comments that the Sanctuary was “over priced”, we chose the property, regardless. We were quite disappointed for several reasons:

First, when I booked the room, I was quoted a rate of $574 for a Club floor with a Garden View. I requested an Ocean View and shared I did not need to be on the Club level but was advised there was nothing available at that time. I requested to be included on a wait-list and was told “absolutely-if something comes available, we will contact you.” I received a confirmation that mentioned a $20 Resort Fee (this was not mentioned when I made the reservation.) I therefore called and inquired. I was told the fee would be waived.

Then, several weeks ago, a friend shared that they called for rates and were given a AAA rate for Ocean View of much less. I decided to call myself and again, spoke to the same person that booked our reservation. I was quoted $486 for an Ocean View, not on the Club level. (Again, the Resort Fee was not mentioned.) I asked what the difference was between the Garden View and Ocean View and was told that “Garden View is much cheaper.” Then, I asked the difference between Club level and non-Club level and was advised that it is $150 more per night. I then shared my disappointment that I had a reservation and was promised a call if something less expensive and not on the Club level came open. The associate profusely apologized and did confirm I was on the waiting list, she had not gotten a chance to contact me.

We were thoroughly impressed upon our arrival. The lobby, spa, grounds, pool, rooms are absolutely beautiful. The staff was pleasant and professional. We were really pleased as initially, we thought $506 was worth every penny. Unfortunately, that changed on within a few hours.

On our first night, our room was quite warm and an engineer was sent to check things out. He confirmed that the hotel was having a problem but it had been repaired and to wait an hour and it would cool down. After 2 hours, it had not cooled down and @ 11:30 p.m., I requested to speak to a manager, whom was very professional and offered to provide our first night free of charge and assured us that it had been repaired.

The next morning, we advised management again that it still was not cool enough and shared we were not interested in a free room, but simply a good night’s sleep. He sent engineers whom used a thermometer and confirmed that the unit was blowing cool air. However, they also confirmed that parts of the room (by the beds) were registering @ 72 degrees and that we should keep the fan turned on high (which we do not prefer when sleeping due to the draft.) We did keep the fan on high, as recommended and the next two nights had improved but still seemed to be around 71 degrees, which is warm for us. Both of us awakened @ around 3 a.m and had difficulty falling back to sleep due to the temperature.

Based on my experience in hotels with the Chilled Water system, the hotel can indeed reduce the temperature. The engineer had confirmed that fact and that your hotel set the temperature @ 65 degrees, which would be cool enough for us but clearly, the rooms are not at that temperature. Management contradicted this and claimed that the hotel does not set the controls, but rather they are controlled in the rooms. One would think if the latter were true, we should have been able to bring the temperature far below 70 degrees! (Especially in a brand new property charging $506 for a room!)

One other unacceptable issue was that on Thursday, we were advised that the pool was closing @ 3:00 but we could transfer to the beach. The attendants said it was for a banquet. I called a manager to inquire and was advised it was for a wedding and that indeed the pool was being closed. Apparently, the manager was incorrect as it was for a banquet but that it did not begin until 6 p.m. Also, although we transferred to the beach, as we walked by the pool @ 5:30, we discovered that several were still swimming and not everyone was asked to leave. (In my experience of booking meetings at Marriotts, I’ve inquired at several properties to hold private banquets poolside but was denied that option as they could not ask their guests to leave the pool area for a private function… and these are Marriotts!)

A few minor things…..only a buffet meal was available poolside for dinner (weak at best.) Jaspers does not serve fresh squeezed juices (would not happen at a 4 Seasons or Ritz, based on my experience.) Unable to access my company’s VPN the I.T. people “shut down the ports” due to a virus that entered the system. While they eventually opened the ports, it was another inconvenience..

It’s diffiult to imagine that the issues we had have changed in 18 months. What was most disappointing is that we never received a response (to our emails) from the G.M.

  • Stayed: June 2006, traveled with family
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10  Thank micmin5056
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,199 - 1,205 of 1,281 reviews

Reviewed February 18, 2008

My wife and I recently spent a lovely long weekend at The Sanctuary. We experienced all of the good things that others have identified about this place. The staff were uniformly friendly and proactively helpful, the accommodations were superb and very clean and well kept, and the location can not be beat.
But there were minor elements that detracted from perfection. On Sunday morning we were awakened by loud pounding on the door a little before 8:00AM– the maid service was anxious to get at it! We had assumed that once they saw that we had not collected the morning newspaper, they would leave us be, but not so. We had neglected to put the Privacy Please sign on the door, so make sure you do that if you want to be left alone in the early morning.
On two mornings, at breakfast in the Jasmine Porch restaurant, our waitperson neglected to provide information about menu choices – we only learned about them when we overheard other wait staff tell thetable next to us about them. One neglected to offer us juice, which was included, and the other neglected to tell us French toast was available, although it was not listed on the menu
In spite of the small hiccups, this was a marvelous place.

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Carrtohler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2008

Recently spent just one night at the Sanctuary for a wedding that took place on site. The drive up to the hotel is impressive with beautiful gardens and the hotel itself an impressive phyiscal structure. The lobby is large with wonderful views out to the ocean. There is a great bar and sitting room off either side of the lobby that each capture nicely the feeling of staying in a large southern manor. All members of the staff from the front desk to the bell hops and wait staff were extremely attentive and accomodating (it is the kind of hotel where everyone addresses, or tries to address, you by name). Our standard room had fantastic views of the ocean and I am told that most of the rooms have some sort of water view. The room had a spacious seating area as well as a four poster bed. The room was somewhat reminiscent of Princeville as the bathroom had a pass through out to the rest of the room that could be closed off with shutters. The couple meals we had at the hotel were fine examples of southern cusine. The hotel is not cheap and I shutter to think what our room would cost in the high season, but at the end of the day I think we got what we paid for and would certainly return for a more extented stay and a chance to use the spa and golf facilities.

Stayed: February 2008
3  Thank GogolG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 28, 2008

Stayed at The Sanctuary in late January and the only bad note was the below average cold temperatures. The hotel facility, as well as the grounds, are gorgeous. Although it is only a few years old it gives every appearance of being a well preserved grand mansion, superbly decorated and tasteful.
The rooms are large, richly appointed; the bathrooms are well designed and attractive.
The service we received was without exception friendly, courteous and efficient.
We dined at both the elegant Ocean View room and the more casual Jasmine Porch. Both were excellent , although I found the latter's menu somewhat broader and more likely to appeal to moe tastes. We also drove (20 Min) to the spectacular "The Ocean Course" and had a fine breakfast there in the Atlantic Room where the views are breathtaking. Not to be missed!
This is indeed a world class resort

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank greybees
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2008

Kiawah is a spectacular destination and the Santuary is wonderful.

When we arrived we were taken to a villa near the hotel. We did not mean to make a reservation in this type of room. The villa seemed old and a good little walk from the hotel. We called the front desk and immediately changed us to a room in the main hotel without an hassel. We were incredibly pleased with our new room. Gorgeous, clean, awesome view of pool and ocean.

We ate at the Jasmine Porch and our dinner was outstanding. We live in Charleston and are use to great restaurants and it met our expectations.

The Spa is out of this world and the staff is awesome.

We will go back again for a little getaway close to home.

  • Stayed: November 2006, traveled as a couple
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Thank charlestonpanic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2007

One of the few resorts/hotels I can recommend without hesitation. Flawless performance in all areas and the location, well, I take it over Maui or anything in Florida. (Just as long as it's in the summer, the entire location is a little too cool in April.) This one of the few resorts that is very pricey but worth it. I'm racking my brain to think of any criticism at all and I honestly can't think of anything.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled on business
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Thank Pramstroker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2007

My husband and I stayed at the Sanctuary in August for 4 days and LOVED it. It was our first time in S. Carolina and we absolutely fell in love in Kiawah.

The service at the hotel was outstanding and all the activities were so accessible. We had no problem reserving a tennis court at the last minute or picking up a couple of bikes and going for a bike ride.

The beach was surprisingly more beautiful than we thought and the pool area was clean and nice. We sat at the adult pool as the other pool had about a hundred kids running around. We felt very secluded and the pool we sat by was serene and relaxing.

The food was very good. We ate at all the hotel restaurants and enjoyed the lovely service and tasty food. No complaints.

Overall, we had a wonderful experience and can't wait to go back next time.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank TorontoTorontoGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Sanctuary Hotel at Kiawah Island Golf Resort

Address: 1 Sanctuary Beach Dr, Kiawah Island, SC 29455-5434
Phone Number:
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 #2 of 3 Hotels in Kiawah Island
Price Range: $263 - $767 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Sanctuary Hotel at Kiawah Island Golf Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 255
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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