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A Slice of Heaven and Southern Charm at The Montage Palmetto Bluff

Friday morning the glimmering light of the bright sun peaked through my curtains as we were waking up buzzing with excitement. We could barely contain it and had way too much natural energy for 8:00am. We jumped out of bed, literally, and started to throw all of the last-minute things into our bag; You know, the “cute nighttime purse” or “that extra bathingsuit” just in case. I zipped up my suitcase and sauntered over to the car for the upcoming long drive.

With the drive being about 7 hours, we wanted to split it up and have a nice lunch somewhere on the way. We had not traveled since March, and we were itching to see what we could. So, we stopped at Landshark Restaurant and Bar in Daytona Beach. We spotted the Daytona Speedway as we drove down the main road to the beach. We had a Landshark beer in honor of the restaurant and enjoyed a true seafood lunch on the ocean.

As we drove past Savannah, GA into South Carolina, we knew we were close to our destination; not only were we excited to stretch our legs out, but we couldn’t wait to see the hotel. We have been dreaming of visiting since the first time we saw a photo. As we were driving down the one lane road to Palmetto Bluff we were delighted by the delightful town on the drive. Every store looked like it had been copied and pasted out of Town & Country Magazine. Once we were given the go ahead we drove past the gate, down a long one lane road (about 10 minutes from the gate to the main building) we ooh’d and ahhh’d as we continued through Palmetto Bluff, May River, and the large draping trees covered in light green moss; something you do not get to see often in Miami.

When we arrived at the hotel, I first noticed the infamous church where Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin had gotten married; it was quaint and adorable. Then I turned my head to the left, and my jaw dropped. I was completely in awe of Montage Resort and Spa, Palmetto Bluff. The pristine white luxury inn before us was like something you would see on the Hallmark channel, trust me, I’m a Hallmark connoisseur; welcoming, cozy yet luxurious. I was in heaven and we hadn’t even walked through the front door yet.

As we were given a valet ticket, our bags were promptly taken out of the trunk right as a golf cart decked out in full Montage fashion pulled up next to us. We hopped on and rode along the banks of the inland waterways to our room; a Lagoon Guest House Double Queen, on the ground floor situated in classically Southern two-story Guest House. The cream walls with the hints of brown and a warm blue in the bedding were inviting, a nice contrast to the expansive marble bathroom. But the real winner here is the balcony, with views right on the lagoon, lined with alluring Antebellum-style homes and the sounds of nature.

That evening we had left our room at twilight hour and the setting could not have been better; blue and pink skies above us as we strolled through the property. We couldn’t help but to feel awe inspired as we stood (and took lots of pictures) on the small bridge overlooking the water and the crystal clear reflection of the Inn. We asked the concierge how to get to dinner, and he told us the walk would be about 20 minutes, suffice to say we opted for the golf cart, and got to The Canoe Club in less than 5 minutes for dinner.

Our eyes gazed at the menu as our mouths started to water in anticipation of the meal ahead. 3 wagyu steaks, 2 peach and burrattas, 2 tuna pokes, 1 snickers pudding bar, and an outstanding waitress; Hudson, we were stuffed and satisfied.

The next morning, we were up and ready for an exciting activity planned. It was time to go boating, a 2-hour scenic ride through the 32 miles of Coastal Carolina marshlands, and Dolphin sightings. We returned to the small village where we had dinner the night before, and wow, was it different in this light. Wilson is the first village at Palmetto Bluff; it represents the architectural and cultural characteristics of historic Southern waterfront towns. Wilson features a gourmet market, church, marina, signature shops, and restaurants that echo the spirit of Southern hospitality on which the Bluff was founded. We were in love with this place.

We got more than we could have asked for. The boat left the dock and we were immediately right in view of a pod of dolphins; the further we were, the more we saw, even Lucky, Montage’s mascot. They were so close you could literally reach out and touch them.

As our boat continued gliding down the water, we made a stop. Dock Jumping! All of us, the whole family got onto the dock and took silly pictures, joking together as we jumped into the deep warm water. After a few jumps. we moved along for our next surprise activity. Tubing! Couple by couple, we fell back in the tubes, holding on for dear life, as the boat driver threw us around like rag dolls. We screamed. We laughed. We made memories.

Post boat ride, we were starving and ready for some major R&R by the pool. We grabbed an ice cream at their signature shop in Wilson, Melt; we had to rebel a bit by having our dessert before lunch. Our golf cart drove us over to the main pool. We were happy to see open chairs when we arrived. We laid under the blazing sun and ordered some items off of their Southern-inspired lunch menu. Everything was delicious, but my recommendation was the chicken sandwich. Montage provided us with great service by the pool, the servers were very attentive and checked on us regularly.

Dinner that evening was right in the center of the Inn at Octagon, their main restaurant. The theme for the evening was soulful cuisine; oysters, shrimp & grits, fried green tomatoes, the full South Carolina experience. To say dinner was great, would be an understatement, it was melt-in-your mouth amazing. As we were celebrating a birthday, the restaurant was even kind enough to let us bring our own cake, and kept it stored fresh until they brought it out at the end of the meal with candles, and all.

Following dinner, we gathered on the screened balcony of my parent's Forest View King Cottage. Some laid on the long couch, and some on the plush lounge chairs centered under the fan, we were very thankful for the fan, considering that it was 95 degrees and almost 100% humidity. This porch provided the perfect setting for sipping on several bottles of wine, reminiscing on great memories, and creating new ones.

Sunday had arrived way too quickly, and we had to make the most of our last day there; we were beginning with a classic pastime; skeet shooting. We boarded Montage’s air-conditioned shuttle on the short ride to the Palmetto Bluff Shooting Club. Hunting and the shooting sports have been a long-standing tradition on Palmetto Bluff for years (if not centuries). We stepped out onto the dewy, leafy ground surrounded by forest, and met our instructor. The instructor quickly handed ear plugs, eye protection, and consent forms, which were signed eagerly. Not too long after we were up on the elevated, covered, 5 person shooting station being given a list of gun safety instructions, with the shotgun in hand. The premise was to be safe and hit the clay targets. The wooden stock rested against our cheeks, and shoulders as we braced ourselves for the subtle impact that comes with each shot. The excitement came over each one of us when we are able to smash the target as it is midair. Skeet shooting tip: watch the target, not the barrel of the gun.

After shooting we opted for another one of their 3 available pools, this time The Riverside pool. The main pool was doing its routine cleaning throughout the day. Great think to know; besides their morning and evening cleanings, they also sanitize the pool from 3:30-4:30PM, and still have options open.

Food service was unavailable at this pool on this day, but it was no biggie because within this massive 20,000-acre property they even have a gas station and convenient store. An adorable shop with not only bagged chips, sliced turkey, a variety of cheeses, and all of the staples but also includes fresh sandwiches, local artisan food products, and more. We were able to take these back and munch on them by the pool.

These are just some of the incredible things we were able to do in our short stay at Montage Palmetto Bluff. We didn’t even get to touch on the rest of the activities like their 5 story tree house. Yes you read that right. Their extensive nature preserve, two picturesque villages featuring eight Southern-inspired dining options, a round of golf at the May River Jack Nicklaus Golf Course which is a journey to nirvana for avid golfers. Palmetto Bluff has fishing, equestrian, yachting, biking, and so much more to experience within this charming home away from home.

Staying here is not just an experience of full authentic Southern hospitality but a great place to come for any occasion and are guaranteed to have the time of your life with your loved ones, just like we did. We had never been sadder to leave a resort, and the perfect homage to the rich heritage of the south that we were able to experience there.

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