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“Amazing Family Vacation”

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Montage Palmetto Bluff
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Bluffton
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Philadelphia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Amazing Family Vacation”
Reviewed 25 November 2013

We had the most amazing weekend here as part of a trip to Savannah and Charleston in late September. We stayed two nights in a river front cottage with our 9 month old son. The staff was amazing and so thoughtful. Everything was taken care of ahead of time for us, including spa treatments for my husband and myself, dinner reservations, bicycles, golf cart, etc.... The room was incredible and had plenty of space for the three of us. It was nice and private and we really felt like we were the only ones around. I can not say enough things about this resort. It is exquisite in every way and the attention to detail and personal service is the best I have ever experienced. For example the waitress at the River Grill knew our baby's name and you picked your own time for turn down service. The amenities in the cottage were above and beyond, including a kitchen area with coffee and microwave and small fridge, plenty of waters, snacks and a complimentary bottle of wine, plentiful bath products, etc.... The restaurants were all great and various levels of formality but all were very welcoming of us and our baby. We can not wait to go back.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank phillytraveler13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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596 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (195)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Saint Davids, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
6 reviews
Reviewed 25 November 2013

Last weekend Palmetto Bluff hosted "Music to Your Mouth" and it couldn't have been better! Every meal, tasting and cooking class was delightful. Regional chefs and superb vineyards were represented through out the long weekend. The setting right on the river was delightful. We topped off the weekend with a workout and yoga class on Sunday.

Room Tip: Book way in advance...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Nancy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norwich, Vermont
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 November 2013

This is a wonderful place. Fly to Savannah. You don't need a car - bikes and golf carts are the ticket. The single biggest issue is that this is a real estate development. They keep selling houses but have not added new dining sites or a golf course. Land owners are favored over Inn guests for reservations just by familiarity and proximity. Be sure to plan well ahead for dinners or golf. During holiday weekends the facilities are overwhelmed by owners.

Room Tip: River view room are the best.
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Green Features: This is a nature preserve. They are very eco thoughtful.
  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Daniel W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bluffton
1 review
Reviewed 12 November 2013

Always a great experience , from accommodations
And food to activities and scenery. Palmetto Bluff is a
True Gem and a just off the beaten path location that
Has spectacular river views and cottages that make for
A great family get away or romantic retreat.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Chip E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charleston
Level Contributor
112 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 November 2013

Super resort with highly professional staff. Perfect for a calm quiet but sophisticated weekend with good food & wine. Beautifully appointed cottages with private porch. Bicycles and golf carts available for touring the area. Golf course is not inexpensive but a wonderful layout and condition. Plenty of other healthy amenities.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank NC11A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charleston, SC
Level Contributor
29 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 November 2013

This was our second trip to Palmetto Bluff and after searching the world over from Hawaii to Austria to the Caribbean and back, we still have not found a place better than Palmetto Bluff. This visit (Nov. 1-3) we stayed in a 3 bedroom Village Home, Home #23 (around $1,500 per night) with our older parents. This home is situated on the lagoon with beautiful wildlife and old growth live oak trees dripping with Spanish moss. We live in Charleston and our older parents own a home at Kiawah Island and I think Palmetto Bluff is even better. The people at Palmetto Bluff make all the difference. These folks really are the best in manners, professionalism, and Southern courtesy. EVERY staff member I interacted with remembered my name and attended to every single want and need I could think of. On a side note, my Manhattanite sister handles the PR for Sea Island & The Cloister and Palmetto Bluff is their main competitor. She is constantly complaining about how Sea Island refuses to mainstream into the present century and utilize websites such as JetSetter, etc. because they think that "cheapens" their brand. Palmetto Bluff regularly runs specials on JetSetter and other websites, and they are wise to do so! I cannot tell you how envious Sea Island is of what Palmetto Bluff has accomplished in such a short timeframe. If you are choosing between Palmetto Bluff, The Cloister/Sea Island, and Kiawah Island, I personally believe (having visited all 3), that Palmetto Bluff is the best option--unless you are a beach babe and have to get your feet in the sand. I prefer the pool to the sand but that is a matter of opinion. Kiawah and The Cloister are also more overrun by large groups of children and "resort types" who want to purchase t-shirts/visors, etc. emblazoned with the resort's logo and name, leave their beach towels slung over railings on the front of the house, and drive down in hoardes with 5 vehicles parked in the driveway of the house they are splitting 5 ways between family members. You will not find this at Palmetto Bluff. It is not their vision, and for that I am very thankful. You will be too. Palmetto Bluff is a simple, quiet life for those who enjoy reading a novel while sipping sweet tea and smelling the marsh breezes. It is not commercialized and does not try to be. If you are looking for night-life, shopping centers, and activity you picked the wrong place.

I booked this visit on my American Express Platinum card which provides a whole slew of upgrades that normal guests do not receive. I could spend the whole review writing on the benefits of an Am Ex Platinum card and how people who don't sign up because of the $450.00 annual fee are completely silly....but that is for another day and time. Because I booked the hotel on the Fine Hotels & Resorts website through American Express I was guaranteed a 4:00 PM check-out (amazing), a free amenity (a golf cart for the entire stay), breakfast each day (whatever and however much room service we wanted), an upgrade--if available, and early check-in--if available. We brought our 2 dogs with us since the Inn is pet-friendly so upgrade and early check-in for the homes was not possible because only certain homes are pet-friendly. (If you are staying in the Inn cottages, you probably would get a nice upgrade though to a better view) We were completely understandable and just glad we could bring the dogs. The Inn guaranteed my 4:00 check-out which almost gave us a completely extra day on Sunday and a free 4-seater golf-cart ($65.00 per day value). We also ordered $90.00 of room service breakfast each day, also complimentary with my Am Ex. All in all, the value of our free amenities with the Am Ex card was $375.00 plus the late check-out. I was thrilled.

A few things that others have not commented on...We loved the 1:30 Saturday afternoon Grace boat cruise. This was $50.00 per person and lasted from 1:30-3:00. The beautiful yacht "Grace" picked us up on the dock and cruised us over to Bluffton. The views were gorgeous! We saw a pair of bald eagles and dolphins and it was worth every penny. Everyone should take advantage of this excursion if you want to get on the water. I really think the $50.00 per person fee is a good value for the experience.

We also enjoyed dining at Buffalos on Sunday. Their food is so amazing and if you don't get the homemade ice cream (butter pecan), you are nuts- no pun intended. The other thing we love is the stables. I am a huge horse person and I just love driving over to the stable and walking around. I always love seeing the Saturday wedding parties and brides getting pictures made. It is very nostalgic. Of course, the evening marshmallow roasting is not to be missed, although I would note that there were some very poorly behaved teenage boys that were unsupervised and throwing marshmallows at each other and playing swords with the marshmallow roasting sticks that were highly annoying but thankfully they packed up on their gas-powered, i.e. loud (not sure why the development allows gas operated golf carts....should be electric only) and moved on their merry way (in a very reckless manner). Hey, put teenagers and a bunch of sugar together with fire in the dark....you can see where that might lead. The Inn was monitoring the situation closely so they did a great job---as usual. I do think that possibly having a staff person outside or on the porch monitoring, just on Friday and Saturday nights, might be a good idea, especially when the tweens are out of school and in full effect.

In a nutshell:

1) Don't come here if you are looking for a beach-type experience that feels like a resort or expect to buy a t-shirt with "Palmetto Bluff" on it.
2) Do come here if you want complete relaxation and to be pampered like royalty.
3) Don't come here if you are on a budget and going to gripe about the daily resort fee and cost of food or drinks. You are paying for the experience.
4) Do come here if you want to see the most beautiful scenery and nature the SouthEast has to offer.
5) Don't come here if you are bringing children who are poorly behaved or in need of constant activity.
6) Do come here if you can appreciate reading the newspaper in your bathrobe while overlooking the May River, coffee cup in hand.
7) Do book EVERYTHING several weeks ahead of time (dinner reservations, activities, golf carts, special requests such as pet-friendly, etc.)
8) Don't expect to get here and be able to eat in the restaurants without a pre-existing reservation. Won't happen unless it is January or February.
9) Do thank Marty (GM) and Pat (concierge) for their amazing courtesy and dedication to this place. Ask them anything at all and they will know the answer. You can only get the most of your trip if you use their services.
10) Don't come here if you need to be "doing something" constantly. The 4 star reviews seem to be mainly from folks who should have picked Kiawah or The Cloister because they needed more activity. They also generally note that their children were a little bored after a few days and that things closed up early in the evenings.... Make sure that Palmetto Bluff is the right fit for your agenda and lifestyle and you won't be disappointed.
11) Do notice that as of this writing, the last 3 star review is from 2011 (and someone who didn't even stay here), with the exception of one earlier this year in June from a reviewer who had their AC break. I call these "one off" reviews. I can understand their frustration, but discount them due to an uncontrollable experience. The last 2 star review is from 2012 (and someone who didn't even stay here) with the exception of a ticked off bride in June 2013 who was looking for a wedding on a budget...duh....not happening here. All 1 star reviews are from people who apparently have never seen our nature bugs (Palmetto Bugs, etc.) in the LowCountry. They are everywhere and no one is immune; not Kiawah, not The Cloister, and not Palmetto Bluff. Get over it. With my extensive traveling and hotel reviewing, I always evaluate the number of 4, 3, 2, and 1 star reviews at a hotel. You DON'T want hotels that have about the same amount of reviews in each category. You want hotels just like Palmetto Bluff with almost all 4 and 5 star reviews and only a few 3, 2, and 1 star reviews, generally from the "one offers" referred to above (the angry bride, spider phobe, and broken AC person). Palmetto Bluff has one of the most amazing review ratios I have ever seen.

Palmetto Bluff is the Number One Hotel in the U.S. 2013 for good reason. We will return, and soon.

Room Tip: Village Home 23 sits right on the lagoon in Wilson Village and is amazing!
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
9 Thank Legalgal25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dana Point, California
1 review
Reviewed 28 October 2013

We were in the area for a wedding so we decided to stay in Palmetto Bluff to relax, discover, and enjoy the property. We were more than impressed by the care taken to preserve the natural setting: tidal marshes, lagoons, egrets, herons, turtles, alligators, storks, and more were seen daily as we rode our bikes or golf cart around. We even kayaked with dolphins... Amazing, we will be back!

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank ARsTrips
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

Property: Montage Palmetto Bluff
Address: 477 Mount Pelia Rd, Bluffton, SC 29910-8343 (Formerly The Inn at Palmetto Bluff, A Montage Resort)
Phone Number:
Region: United States > South Carolina > Coastal South Carolina > Bluffton
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££££
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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