The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island

Kiawah Island's Crown Jewel

aerial view of The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island
Written by Margaret Loftus | Photos Courtesy of The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island

With more than a dozen dining options from a brunch buffet to a sushi lounge, the Kiawah Island resort has most of your cravings covered. But if you’ve got just a few days, make it a point to head to the east side of the island to the Ryder Cup Bar for a sundowner on the veranda overlooking the last hole of the Ocean Course. Stick around for dinner at the Atlantic Room, where chef John Ondo sources sustainable seafood from nearby docks for the restaurant’s signature crispy shrimp and a Jamaican-style seafood stew. If steak is more your speed, the Ocean Room will take good care of you with a blue cheese-crusted ribeye and sides of Mepkin Abbey mushrooms and truffled frites. Lunchtime calls for a bike ride (beach cruisers are available for rent right outside the hotel) to Cherrywood BBQ—order the four-cheese mac for the table and ribs or a brisket sandwich. Then take the long way back to the hotel—via the beach—for an afternoon margarita at Loggerhead Grill and a poolside doze. For an off-island jaunt, chef Jacques Larson’s pappardelle with guanciale and local mushrooms is well worth the 30-minute trek to the Wild Olive on neighboring Johns Island. 

The Neighborhood: Golf rules on Kiawah—a barrier island off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina. It’s home to seven courses, including the Ocean Course, site of the 2021 PGA Championship. But it’s not just about the links: There are two state-of-the-art tennis clubs, a five-star spa, thirty miles of paved bike trails, and a beach that’s been touted as one of the top ten in the US.

With a live oak-lined approach and elegant, sweeping lobby—walnut-planked floors, grand staircases, burnished antiques—the hotel was designed to look and feel centuries older than its fifteen years. Still, the gracious staff does not stand on ceremony:  swimsuit-clad guests and their sand-caked children are welcome to traipse through the lobby.

The Digs: While a sister hotel is in the works for 2021, the oceanfront Sanctuary remains the island’s crown jewel. Each of its 255 guestrooms and suites has a private balcony and luxurious touches like customizable minibars, deep soaking tubs, and Penhaligon’s Quercus bath products.

landscapes at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island

about this hotel

  • Address

    1 Sanctuary Beach Drive
    Kiawah Island, South Carolina

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