The Inn at Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina
Southern charm, worldly living
by Shela Halper
Tucked away on 20,000 acres along the banks of South Carolina’s May River, the Inn at Palmetto Bluff is home to a world-class spa, Jack Nicklaus signature golf course and nature preserve. As you head down the Inn’s private road, lined with mossy-oaks, palmetto trees and alligator-filled lagoons, the seductive smell of pine and bayberry will make you want to turn off your Blackberry and tune in to the pace of the Lowcountry.
The Inn at Palmetto Bluff’s 50 waterfront cottages and cottage suites were designed with relaxation and privacy in mind. Each 1,100 square foot bungalow features water views and amenities like oversized marble bathrooms, king beds with luxurious linens, fireplaces, wet bar and WiFi.
Recently ranked the 11th Top Golf Community in America by Travel + Leisure Golf and one of Golfweek’s 2006 Top 100 Modern Courses, the May River Golf Club features an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus signature course that lies within the May River Forest.
After hitting the links, relieve muscle tension at Palmetto Bluff’s 9,500-square-foot spa. Therapeutic offerings like the Palmetto Pluff Mud Wrap and High Cotton Body Dust Massage utilize local ingredients like cotton, wild rice and red river clay. To help awaken the senses, guests are invited to relax with scented, heated neck pillows and homemade pecan cookies before being led to private treatment rooms with outdoor verandas and claw-foot tubs.
After nourishing your mind and body at the spa, there’s no better way to feed your soul than with Chef Scott Pikey’s regional creations. Enjoy breathtaking views and pre-dinner cocktails on the River House terrace before feasting on fresh seafood and seasonal dishes. Locals rave about the fried green tomato salad and May River fried oysters with creamed collards, bacon and lobster butter.
If you want to work off all that southern food, you’re in luck, because “the Bluff” is a 20,000-acre paradise for nature enthusiasts and adventurers alike. Complimentary bikes and canoes are a perfect way to spot bald eagles and explore the trails and coastal salt marshes; for water lovers, the May River offers more than tasty oysters ? discover the surrounding islands and rich wildlife by kayak with a naturalist guide. If that sounds too strenuous, simply spend an afternoon sampling wines and watching bottle-nosed dolphins on the inn’s historic yacht, the GRACE.