As promised, I’ve finally finished my guide to The Montage Palmetto Bluff, aka heaven on Earth. We had the most magical long weekend stay for July 4th and I cannot recommend this resort enough. Coincidentally, Alex (my Business Manager at Mrs. Southern Social) and her husband met friends there in June, so we put our heads together to come up with this list of recommendations based on both of our (fabulous) experiences. I really can’t overstate what a pleasure it was to be there; the service is absolutely exquisite and I appreciate that now more than ever as so many places are struggling in this department.
We stayed in the main Inn but there are so many different accommodations available, including suites, cottages, and beautiful rooms in some of the other guest houses. I really liked being in the center of all the action for our first stay, but now that we have our bearings, next time I think we’ll book a cottage or suite for more privacy and space. That said, you really can’t go wrong. The rooms are gorgeous, the grounds are gorgeous, the scenery and architecture are gorgeous…shall I go on? It’s certainly worth noting that this is a very special (aka expensive) trip. We are fortunate to have been able to go, but I’m certainly not blind to the fact that it’s an expenditure. To me it was 100% worth it, and if you’re considering going, I say you can’t make your reservations fast enough!
- Book everything – restaurants, activities, airport transportation – ASAP. Timeslots fill up very quickly.
- We really enjoyed being there over a holiday weekend because they offered a lot of extra activities and events, such as an oyster bake, luau, and July 4th carnival. I booked our spot at all of those when I made our hotel reservations.
- I suggest flying into Savannah as it’s a 45 min. drive (Charleston is closer to 2 hours).
- Unless you’re planning to do a ton of daytrips to surrounding areas like Hilton Head, there’s no need to rent a car. The cab/Uber situation at the Savannah airport is unreliable, so arrange transport through one of the hotel’s recommended car services (or have them do it for you).
- Be aware that this is not an all-inclusive resort. You pay for most of the activities and all meals.
- Cole’s. Casual restaurant with great food and games for the kids (and adults, too). Famous for their BBQ and fried chicken, everything is delicious and Georgia and John Albert had a blast bowling and playing in the game room (these activities are first come/first serve, but they do take reservations over holiday weekends). This restaurant is located in Moreland Village, still part of the property but a drive/bike ride away. The hotel offers shuttle service to and from.
- Canoe Club. This is the high end restaurant at the resort. We didn’t have the chance to eat there but Alex did and said the food was “good, not great.” It’s a lovely spot for a drink and appetizer (gorgeous views from the balcony) but very pricey for what it is.
- Buffalo’s. Great spot for breakfast, brunch, and lunch. They also do dinner and this is a nice choice for family dining. It’s right in the middle of all the action and if the weather is nice, the patio is perfect for people watching.
- Octagon. This is the restaurant inside the main Inn. It’s a lovely spot for cocktails and is open for all meals. The ambience is more upscale than Buffalo’s but still relatively casual.
- Melt. Darling little ice-cream shop that feels like a classic throwback. Perfect place for an afternoon pick-me-up.
- Farm. This restaurant is off-property in nearby Bluffton, and according to Alex is excellent. The hotel has a partnership with Cadillac through which you can use cars free of charge for several hours, plenty of time to enjoy dinner at this delicious spot. Open for dinner and Sunday brunch.
- The resort has a brilliant “Badge System” for kids that’s basically a checklist of fun things to do during their stay. You get pins for each task completed, and when they collect them all, they get a special prize at the end. My kids loved this and the program kept them super engaged our whole trip.
- Georgia and John Albert also loved Paintbox which is the kids’ club onsite. Paul and I got time to ourselves and the kids made friends we’d then see at the pool, dinner, etc. Everyone wins!
- The nightly S’mores bar is a must-do (and free of charge).
Note that there are a ton of different experiences and it’s impossible to try them all over a long weekend, especially if you want some downtime by the pool! We can’t wait to go back and explore more, but for now, here’s a list of everything that we (and Alex) enjoyed on our respective trips.
- Biking. You can reserve bikes for free and it’s the most efficient way to get around the resort, which is huge (20K acres!). There are a ton of gorgeous bike paths and it’s fun to grab a picnic from the little general store on-site and take it with you.
- Electric Bikes. My favorite activity was the private electric bike tour of the surrounding areas. The guide was so informative and the scenery is beautiful. We’d never used electric bikes before and now want to get some to scoot around our neighborhood; they’re so fun!
- Dolphin Tour. We did a 1-hour dolphin sighting cruise and it was the perfect way to explore the waterways. The guide was great and we asked them to stock up on our favorite beverages. This way, it was a relaxing little “booze-cruise” for us while the kids took turns “helping” drive the boat and spotting dolphins.
- Fishing. Alex and her friends did a fishing excursion which was fabulous. Again, everyone who works at the resort is so knowledgeable and kind; she said it was a pleasure to sit back and relax while the guide took them to all the best spots.
- Shooting. Our kids did bows/arrows and pellet guns which they loved. Alex and her crew did skeet shooting and like everything else, the experience was great. The facilities are beautiful and everyone who works there is an expert, so you’re learning from the best.
- Golf. Paul is an avid golfer and said the course is wonderful. A must-do if golf is your thing!