Montage Palmetto Bluff
What We Love
- Jetsetter 2015 Best of the Best Winner: Best For Families
- Just 38 individual cottages set on 20,000 acres of rural South Carolina
- Free access to fitness facilities (court time at the Lawn and Racquet Club, use of bicycles and the pool and fitness centers)
- Jack Nicklaus–designed golf course, a spa and water activities for families
What To Know
- All cottages were refurbished with new rugs, reupholstering and TVs in 2012
- For the Lagoon, Forest View or River View Cottages, a $30 resort fee per cottage, per night, will be collected upon purchase on Jetsetter; for the three-Bedroom Village Home, the resort fee is $45 per night
- Savannah is about 45 minutes by car; Hilton Head is about 35 minutes
- Free WiFi
- Golf Course
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
Retro and timeless, the charming Inn at Palmetto Bluff takes inspiration from its namesake hometown, a sleepy South Carolina town surrounded by a watercolor canopy of draped oak trees. A brick-lined path connects the inn’s 38 cottages to the restaurants and spa, but the surrounding 20,000 acres lend a natural air of seclusion.
Bed and Bath
The cottages and suites have a classic Southern style, with pine-planked floors, vaulted ceilings and screened-in verandas. The comfy beds are dressed in down duvets and luxe Italian linens, and working fireplaces up the cozy factor. LED TVs, DVD players and WiFi supply the modern comforts, while the spacious bathrooms have deep soaking tubs and separate steam showers, plus organic amenities.
Golfers make a beeline for the Jack Nicklaus–designed course at May River Golf Club that sprawls across the property, while non-golfers can take advantage of the spa’s soothing treatments that use local lemon balm, jasmine, fresh cucumber and mint. Water babies should drop a fishing line in the various rivers, ponds, salt marshes and remote streams, or just take a turn in the readily available kayaks, skiffs, yachts and more. And all guests should enjoy the fresh South Carolina fare at the May River Grill at the Clubhouse.
How to Get There
Wonderful restore with plenty of activities. Recommend upgrading to a cottage, it comes with a large bathroom and dressing area, steam shower, surround sound and 2 bikes to cruise around the resort.
We came for business meetings but Montage would be a great family vacation spot or wedding venue too. There are at least 2 pretty chapels. We went fishing and had a blast, caught red drum, sharks, toad fish, blues, etc.
At night time they have a s’more party. I rode my cottage bike every where. A lot of the folks in our group wanted to return in future years.
May river golf course was expensive $300 all in for a round but a good course.
I have been wanting to stay at the Montage Palmetto Bluff since a friend of mine raved about it years ago. It not only met our expectations/hopes, but exceeded them! The property is stunning and has a multitude of activities to take advantage of, several restaurants to enjoy and an extremely friendly and hospitable staff.
Our family of 5 stayed in an incredibly charming cottage overlooking the May River. We sat on our screened in porch and could see dolphins playing in the water!
We rode bikes, played in the park with a tree house and zipline, swam in the pool, went tubing, walked, rented a golf cart for a day to explore the expansive property, roasted s'mores every night, ate delicious food...and more!
We had an absolutely amazing trip and hope to go back for another visit again soon! It is ideal for both families and couples.
We had two grandparents, two parents, a two-month old infant, and a dog in a lagoon guest house suite and adjoining room. It was plenty of space and beautifully appointed. The lagoon suites have private screened porches right on the water which the ceiling fans kept tolerable even in the July heat. The pool by the River House was the quietest, and we thought the food was excellent at Octagon and Buffalo's. Canoe Club was less memorable.
There have been some real changes since my last review. We really enjoy the ambience of the location with pretty scenery and its location half an hour from Savannah airport. Our house was beautifully decorated; we were wondering if we would enjoy our location right behind the village mini-market but it was good light which was better than the houses by the golf course and very convenient to get to. The activities were the highlight here -- kids enjoyed the shooting and archery, stand-up paddleboarding with Alexis, and we all enjoyed our river cruise with tubing with Duke. I enjoyed my massage with Ken at the spa; the price at this spa for services is unusually high but he is well trained and particularly interesting. Our real problem was in the food department; there are fewer fish items without shellfish available, especially at lunch, and we thought there should be at least one fine dining experience available without televisions or a bar scene going on around you. Octagon had salmon pretty plain at dinner and that was it. There is fish and chips at lunch but rather little fish in it. The other venues have nothing at lunch except meat items. The new venue Coles had one fish with ham and no real alternative. They offered to make us a piece of plain fish and that was it. On the plus side, Octagon at dinner had some very good vegetarian dishes and some good desserts, and the Canoe Club has upgraded its offerings with several fish items, an excellent vegetarian pasta dish and excellent desserts. Buffalo's has taken a turn for the worse at breakfast -- while the blueberry muffins are exceptional, the other items, such as the stickie buns and biscuits, were pretty awful two days in a row which was a pity since my daughter had been looking forward to the buns even before arrival which she had remembered from last time. They didn't have any smoked salmon that Sunday morning so I ate a breakfast full of carbs off the buffet which I was unhappy about. Dinner at Buffalos was excellent, our kids report, and we can all vouch for the banana pudding at Buffalo's. The kids loved the s'mores with 6 creative flavors on offer at the River House. They were gushing with joy when they came to tell us about it. Be sure and grab some good cookies at the River House porch in the afternoons and some pumpkin chocolate chip muffins at the chill out room in the spa. Three things that bothered us -- (1) it cost us over $300 to have 3 bicycles and a golf cart for a 48 hour visit. That stuff used to be free and that's a heavy cost. (2) The gym facilities are pretty small considering this place. I went to the members gym and I noticed there was no water, several of the machines were broken, and at the members pool almost all of the games were gone or unusable (corn toss gone, fussbol broken, ping pong no good balls). Those facilities are not open to hotel guests but I'd be curious to know how things are at this place for its members based on what we saw. (3) At Octagon breakfast, my wife wanted to order a $25 item from the menu and asked for a piece of toast with it. The server said yes, but $4 extra. My wife was disgusted and didn't order it at all. I ordered an $18 item and asked for a piece of pastry with it. I was told by my server that I had to order the entire pastry tray including croissant, muffin and Danish or nothing at all. I called over a manager and complained about this kind of nickel and diming and corporate-style inflexibility that really is the opposite of southern hospitality and a kind of pettiness which guests paying over $2,000 a night don't deserve. I'm on a diet and didn't want all that stuff put in front of me and wasn't asking for any freebies. The server was nice as could be but said it was the policies that she was instructed to follow. The manager apologized and gave us our whole breakfast on the house which was nice but the truth is that I get the breakfast for free anyway as an Amex platinum customer. What I really want is for the "Absolutely" attitude you get from the front desk at check-in (which doesn't mean much since nobody is asking for anything) to carry thru the rest of the resort into the food and beverage department where guests feel much better about the whole resort based on how nice you take care of them when they are dining. Instead you just get irritated and feel that the whole place is filled with corporate bean counters squeezing guests for revenue. I can just tell you that I've found Montage properties to be difficult in certain service areas in ways that I don't experience with other high-end chains and it doesn't make me feel warm and fuzzy about that company. To end that story, the server at Octagon brought us the pastry platter: The croissant was not fresh and tasted premade, the Danish tasted like it came from prefab dough and the biscuit was terrible -- cold and stale. The jam was packaged and ordinary. A place like this, be it Buffalos or Octagon, ought to have hot biscuits to die for and interesting proprietary spreads. It should let you know that you have arrived at Montage's Southern Flagship resort. Instead, the trimmings are just super-ordinary and utterly forgettable. And that's what missing from this place. The resort's food and beverage department has some real winners within its menus but it needs real spit and polish that make a statement as well as menu items, especially at lunch, that make vegetarians and pescatarians feel welcome and we want to be able to eat a quiet dinner without a bunch of noise around us. A bit of an attitude check would also help unless they just want guests who are so rich they don't care what anything costs or what they get for their money. I spoke to a manager who said the hotel is rethinking its F&B and will roll out new things within a year. I hope they take this advice because if we can't eat enjoyably here, we'd probably not come back. By the way, the concierge Pat who in my last review was the one thing you could count on, has retired.
This is a throughly beautiful property, from the lodgings, to the stunning surroundings, and almost everything else: definitely 5 star.
The staff are very friendly, and they have a great text system which you can use to make requests.
Overall we had a very nice stay and may well return.
That said, there were so many annoying service issues that just got in the way of our enjoyment. Given the overall reviews for this place we may have been unlucky, or just have different expectations, although I really don’t think we’re high maintenance.
Check in was fine, although I am Iprefer elite (their loyalty program) and there was no recognition of such or any of the perks that are meant to come with it. Should not be a big deal for most folks as it’s not a very common program.
First big diassapointment was that all the restaurants were largely booked out for the 2 nights we were there. While it’s great they’re popular, maybe you should do your hotel guests a favor and let them know that in advance. In fact there was no outreach in advance which seems unusual for a property of this caliber.
The following morning, breakfast was a bit of a debacle. First we went to the market to just get some pastries, but they were all sold out before 9am. So then we got breakfast at Octogon. Again very friendly service, but very slow. Food took a long time and one of the dishes arrived cold. Coffee was never refilled without asking.
Next issue was minor but annoying... asked to be dropped off at kayaks, confirmed that when we were getting dropped off that it was the kayaks. But no it was the bike rental, and we still had a decent walk to the kayak place.
That night I reconfirmed dinner and asked that they bring a birthday dessert with a Candle for my wife and son. Got sat in the bar (although not much differentiation to the porch... but still, effectively every meal ended up being in the bar). At the end of the dinner other than asking if we wanted the dessert menu no birthday recognition arrived. Most places well below this level can manage that. Did not want to make a fuss but a pretty big disappointment given our trip was to celebrate their birthdays.
Also of note for folks into wine... the website extols their wine program and lists a prodigious wine list. This seems to have changed, the list is OK, but one quarter of the size and missing most of the interesting bottles. I realize this is a probably not a big deal to lost people, but I suspect it is a sign of a good and beverage program that has slipped from its previous standards.
There were other annoyances here and there, and I will admit when you get off to a bad start you get sensitive to minor things.
Lots to love... the grounds, the buildings, activities and more, so hopefully it all goes a bit more smoothly for you.