Beauty in Our Backdoors: The Land Of Palmettos

A Pier at Palmetto Bluff
A Pier at Palmetto Bluff

Mix 20,000 acres of protected land with a luxurious five-star resort and you have one of the best eco-friendly properties in the world: Palmetto Bluff.  Part of the prestigious Auberge Resorts collection, this Southern getaway in Bluffton, which is nestled between Charleston and Savannah, is the very essence of the South Carolina Lowcountry.  Palmetto Bluff is the main attraction in this charming city and its vast expanse of pristine, yet wild terrain is bound by the May, Cooper, and New Rivers — creating the perfect ecological haven.   

While going “green” is not necessarily a new concept in the travel industry, it is becoming more popular with each passing day. Palmetto Bluff is proudly at the forefront of the growing environmental movement, as they have demonstrated for decades that eco-awareness and sustainability can unequivocally coexist in a positive way with tourism.  The Palmetto Bluff Conservancy, a non-profit organization dedicated to natural resource protection, fiercely safeguards the resort’s massive grounds.  They are responsible for educating and collaborating with every developer, construction contractor, and homeowner on the property.  All of the homeowners are required to become a Conservancy member, and each home sale funds the conservation’s vision for a brighter and cleaner future.

Eco-friendly properties defy generalization, as they can range from thatch-roofed huts on a beach to a grand mountain estate. Although they differ by design, what they do have in common is that they are committed to preserving nature and improving the well being of locals.  As the result of Palmetto Bluff’s environmental integrity, visitors today are still able to enjoy the exquisite, untouched beauty of Bluffton with its winding tidal creeks, lush archipelago of salt marshes and fresh water lagoons, and ancient Maritime Forest.

Palmetto Bluff literally takes your breath away from the moment you arrive at its private entrance.  Once you have checked yourself in, you are given a CD that contains a wealth of audio information regarding the history of the estate, grounds, and community.  The four-mile scenic driveway is lined on both sides with welcoming moss-laden Spanish oak tress.

The Marsh
The Marsh

There are fifty cottages and cottage suites to choose from and the most difficult decision you will have to make during your stay is whether you prefer yours with a picturesque waterfront or forest view.  Accommodations are appointed with stunning details and designed with a classic Southern style.  You will be greeted with vaulted ceilings, a cozy fireplace, a decadent changing room, and a screened in veranda.  The four-poster King sized bed is layered with Italian linens and a down comforter and pillows.  The bedroom also comes with Wi-Fi, a plasma TV with a DVD player, and a handcrafted desk.  At this resort, activity plays center-stage, thus each cottage is provided with two bikes to use at your own leisure.  A golf cart may be rented to use around the property grounds as well.

The bathrooms at Palmetto Bluff truly are in a class by themselves.  They are so spacious and elegantly designed that it is nearly impossible to want to leave them.  Not only is there a freestanding soaking tub and a rainforest shower, but there is also an amazing steam room — a feature that sets this property apart from all others!  To make things even more special, there are custom-blended organic bath and body products for use.

Inside the cottages are iPads, which serve as virtual compendiums and dramatically reduce Palmetto Bluff’s carbon footprint.  The iPad features enable guests to request assistance from the bellmen, browse through restaurant menus, make dinner reservations, and explore the various Palmetto Bluff attractions and activities.  The wet bar with a sub-zero refrigerator and Keurig coffee brewer is stocked with snacks and beverages free of charge.

Let your desires guide you each day: perhaps you will want to do nothing more than enjoy a drink next to the heated, horizon lap pool or maybe instead you will play a round of golf on the Jack Nicklaus course.  One thing is for certain: You will always have things to do and see at Palmetto Bluff.  If adventure is more your style and you would rather explore via land and sea, there are hiking and biking trails all over the grounds.  You may also rent a kayak or take a guided boat ride along the rivers where if you are lucky you will spot a dolphin or two.  Upon your return, it is time for a visit to the Spa or an evening stroll through one of the gas-lit neighborhoods where you can make plans for the following day.  Make sure not to forget about the complimentary s’mores available for guests every evening at the main estate.

The property has several restaurants to choose from, although their acclaimed River House Restaurant is one of the Lowcountry’s top culinary destinations.  Highlighting modern South Carolinian cuisine with the freshest local ingredients and offering sweeping views of the May River, a meal here is nothing less than inspired.

Lowcountry Oaks at Palmetto Bluff
Lowcountry Oaks at Palmetto Bluff

Demand for more eco-friendly hotels in the luxury-travel sector will continue to increase, which provides a win-win situation for everyone.  Even the most environmentally conscious consumers still travel, however supporting hotels like Palmetto Bluff is the best way to be responsible for the future.  Unforgettable, serene, and exclusive, this property will stir your soul and awaken your senses.