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The Sanctuary

The Sanctuary
By Tony Prado

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KIAWAH ISLAND, SC —If New York City is the lap of luxury, then the American South is
certainly the bosom of hospitality. The Sanctuary on Kiawah Island is a resort perfectly
named. Tucked away neatly in a coastal forest, the property welcomes guests with
southern charm that warms the heart like a favorite blanket! Kiawah Island, South
Carolina is an exclusive golf and tennis community, and The Sanctuary Resort rests
safely beyond a secure sentry gate where property owners and resort guests are
checked through after a picturesque forty-minute drive from Charleston. The gate is the
only access to the island, so security and privacy are absolutely guaranteed.

Visiting The Sanctuary for a long weekend proves to be a treat. The stately Southern
Plantation is true to its heritage down to every minute detail.

Exclusive Atmosphere…

After passing the gate, the car meanders through a forest primeval of trees on a
manicured country road. A tiny sign informs where to turn, and the forest opens to
reveal a plantation style resort with colonial columns waiting like a faithful friend. The
neatly trimmed grounds and floral walking gardens create a sense of welcome
tranquility. Smiling families wheel by on rented bicycles… no doubt heading nowhere,
laughing and chirping in conversation.

Go through the main doors to an immense southern style parlor and to where grand spiral staircases arc skyward at each end like rolling hills. Uniformed staff await at the foot of each ready to assist with anything that must be lifted or moved.

Pampered Service…

Atmosphere is only the beginning. From the front desk to the back nine, the service at
this resort puts travelers in the easy chair. Any type of vacation rental is available. The
main resort has luxury rooms and suites to suit the finest taste. Off campus property
owners cooperate with the resort to provide one or two bedroom villas in neighborhoods
all over the island. The villas are maintained by attentive staff with the same amenities
as any luxury hotel room plus screened sun rooms and gorgeous scenic views. Bike
rentals are available at the main resort and bike paths crisscross the island. Enjoy a
scenic ride through the forest with views of inland lakes and two manicured golf
courses. Take note of the signs warning to beware of alligators. Yikes!

For those who do wish for a ‘gator glance, the resort provides a supervised alligator
safari, fishing excursions and a host of other outdoor experiences. More relaxed
vacationers might opt for a round of golf or a golf lesson, and those who prefer on-court
action will delight as the Sanctuary is the number one tennis resort in the world. Two
complete tennis centers are outfitted with nine tennis pros and over twenty courts.
Work your backhand until your heart’s content!

Epicurean Delights…

While exclusive atmosphere and elite amenities are The Sanctuary’s claim to fame, “low
country” dining at the resort’s Jasmine Porch is an experience to satisfy a workman’s
appetite in gentleman, lady, and child alike. The brunch buffet is a parade of flavors and
styles that lives up to its name. It is difficult to describe such a smorgasbord with the
finesse it deserves. To the simple and gourmand alike, it is a Comfort Food Oasis
where oysters on the half shell and peeled shrimp somehow rub elbows with mashed
potatoes, country stuffing, and green bean casserole. Minnie Pearl and Julia Child
would both be jealous! There is even a side table with such small-diner favorites as
chicken fingers, mac n’ cheese, and — yes — even a row of PB&J ensuring parents of a
home run with more particular palates.

All this production comes without fanfare or pomp. Walk in to the Jasmine Porch and
receive a soft smile and pleasant greeting from an elegant and charming hostess. The
porch itself is decorated with soft curtains and oaken colors that give it a warm and
welcome feel. The soft cushions and delicate curtains must absorb sound for there is a
definite absence of the noise and bustle one expects from a buffet crowd. Instead one
hears only a soft murmur of people and families enjoying a weekend or holiday… a
Norman Rockwell painting come to life. A jazz guitarist plays softly in a corner … tunes
you recognize and love but forgot you knew. Every table, every decoration, every
person you meet appears magazine-cover ready.

At the main buffet line, a traditionally dressed chef stands ready to carve turkey or ham
to order. Home-made cranberry sauce and steaming gravy are beside to confound the
choice… Hint: Opt for both! Shrimp and grits, and grilled salmon with sautéed Brussels
sprouts are choices to satisfy seafood lovers. (The buttery flavor of the salmon will
bring you back!) And for the unlucky few that love everything, a dessert table awaits
with everything to tantalize… chocolate truffles, apple, pumpkin and pecan pie…
pralines… petit fours…. bread pudding with warm sugar glaze…. Willy Wonka has
imbued this place at the very soul level! Order coffee, but you won’t have room!

Opulent Surroundings

After a sumptuous buffet brunch, it’s time for a stroll. Tell yourself you’re going to work
off the extra calories… the standard Holiday fib. The afternoon stroll is a southern
legacy that is definitely not lost at The Sanctuary. The rear of the lobby is all windows
that open to the ocean. Step through the 12-foot door to a stone patio lined with white
picket lounge chairs. The patio gives way to a courtyard the size of a football field with
a putting green finish. Whether lounging in a chair or happily playing catch, families
clearly enjoy the open air feel as an almost-chilly breeze floats up from the ocean
beyond.

A boardwalk provides easy access over the sand dunes to the an expansive white sand
beach. The comfy beach chairs beckon. On warmer days, beach attendants are there
with happy smiles ready to take care of every need from folding towels to propping up
umbrellas to summoning the wait staff. Promise yourself to be back for a Margarita after
your stroll. Walkers and bikers alike enjoy the surfside breeze and the views of homes
old and new that dot the coastline as they walk. One can even see the occasional
surfer catching a wave. For a more poolside form of relaxation, an “adult only” pool
overlooks the beach with its own private servers to bring everything from cocktails to
dinner right to your cabana. And nearer to the resort, a spacious pool with center
waterfall provides plenty of fun for youngsters while parents enjoy an expansive
sundeck and service from the adjacent pool bar. Stroll back through the resort doors
and enjoy a rare find — Beaches And Cream… a confectioner. Think “treats-a-plenty.”
Over a dozen flavors of fresh ice cream, half a dozen different kinds of cookie, and bulk
mix-and-match candy are all available and can be charged to the room. Two scoops on
a waffle cone is a perfect sunny day treat. Just add a few more steps to the walk. After
all… it’s a vacation!


Luxe Lifestyle Magazine

PO Box 79322
Charlotte, NC 28271