Last week, I was strolling down a treelined pathway, marveling at the beauty of Georgia. Several resort employees passed me, bidding me a friendly good morning. My coffee was wonderful and all was right with the world. This is the life at Montage Palmetto Bluff.
Approaching Palmetto Bluff is like approaching an old southern plantation. Set on 20,000 acres in the low country of Georgia, the Resort is 4 miles from the check-in gate. Our car wound through pretty Georgia forest after we gave our name to the gate, revealing centuries old Oaks and Spanish Moss – I even saw an alligator. Pulling up at the inn, we were greeted politely and escorted into the lobby, which reminded me even more of an old southern mansion. Soaring ceilings, a staircase to an open balcony, and a large sitting area and screened-in porch overlooking the waterways in the back of the resort. Check-in is fast and efficient….and my front desk girl was from Denver
I certainly lucked out with my room! A lovely little lobby with some coat hooks and a beautiful, large marble bathroom opened up to a huge room. A large king bed with plush bedding and about a million pillows, a small couch and table, a beautiful wooden desk. The TV had “Welcome Mrs. Downham” on the main menu, a little amenity that always makes me feel special at a resort. Almost one whole wall of the room was a sliding glass door, behind which lay a beautiful balcony overlooking the front of the resort. I spent a few minutes sitting on that balcony with a seltzer water, watching people come and go.
Montage Palmetto Bluff is a very unique resort, designed so you never need to leave. The large inn is only the beginning. Around the huge property are also cottages and cottage suites. Several of the one bedroom suites in both the inn and the cottages connect to another room, making it a 2-bedroom suite, perfectly suited for families. All the cottages around the property are fairly private and have screened in porches. In addition, the property has a little village area with several stores, including a grocery store. There are even two chapels on the property.
What else makes Montage unique? The activities. There are endless activities for families and couples and we easily could have spent a week there and never been bored. Aside from the obvious of 3 pools and a spa, Montage has golf, bocce ball, tennis, bike riding and hiking, horseback riding, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and boating. They also have shooting club and a bowling alley, along with countless restaurants. Every day there are day trip outings to Hilton Head or Savannah. A sweet addition to the resort are the 4 resort dogs, a delight for kids. The dogs are in the lobby, available for petting during certain hours.
Our first day started with a delectable lunch in Buffalos (try the shrimp and grits appetizer. OMG), after which we headed over to the stables. The resort houses several horses, including one for younger children, and is available to house your own horse, should you decide to bring it along! I’ve never been a horse person, but these guys were super sweet and friendly and the barn itself was unbelievably clean. We didn’t go for a horseback ride but we were fortunate enough to see some of the trails and jumping areas for those who are experienced riders. Such beautiful country.
After the horses, we headed over to the shooting club. So. Fun. I’ve never shot a gun before, or even held a gun, but when in Rome. The shooting club has experienced hunters/shooters to help you. It all felt a bit awkward for me, but I was thrilled to hit the clay target flying through the air on the 4th try. They had 3 different guns for shooting and a person to help you with each one. It’s harder than it looks to hit a moving clay disk! The shooting club goes over gun safety, as well, and children age 8 and over are welcome with their family.
After shooting came bowling! When was the last time you went bowling? It’s always such a fun time with kids and Montage’s bowling alleys feel very luxurious and private, as there are only 4 lanes and a server to take drink orders. The alley is in a clubhouse with several amenities and mainly services the private home owners in the area. Hotel guests are allowed to take advantage of the amenities such as bowling, an art studio and a fantastic restaurant called Coles. Amazing food and a great, casual atmosphere. And right next to the bowling alley.
Our second day at Montage Palmetto Bluff was my favorite part – spa morning! The spa is absolutely beautiful with, again, a southern plantation feel. Treatment rooms, a hot tub and cold plunge tub, a sauna and a steam room. In addition, there is a full service salon attached. I got a facial and it was truly one of the best facials I’ve ever had! An amazing massage of hands and feet during the time with the aesthetician. So luxurious. Moms don’t get times for facials very often and I really felt pampered.
A bike ride through the forests of huge old Oak trees followed. One person in our group remarked that if these trees could talk, what stories could they tell? I loved the mixture of history and nature on this resort. Our guide told us that the naturalists employed by Montage are still finding old artifacts around the resort. For a history buff like me, it was fascinating stuff. I really love the south and it’s culture.
Our plan was to take a boat ride on the resort yacht, The Grace. We were super excited to boat the May River with the sommelier of the resort, sipping lovely wines, but the weather had other plans. We could not go out because the winds were high – it was unseasonably cool, as a matter of fact. Although disappointed, we didn’t let that stop us from enjoying ourselves and we learned all about the art of “Porching” in the South. Relaxing on a porch with tea or drinks and snacks. It may have been a little colder than normal, but our porching experience was right on target and we vowed to bring it back to Colorado. Bring on sitting around a little more and stop the rushing!
The remainder of our day consisted of walking around, checking out the pools and just chilling out, which is the whole idea of visiting Montage Palmetto Bluff. Relax and recharge, which is something we all need a little more often. There is nothing better than a resort on beautiful grounds to bond as a family. After another amazing meal at Canoe Club, we got a real treat. S’mores night, a tradition every evening at the resort. Pretty much the most family friendly activity out there!
Overall I felt that Montage Palmetto Bluff was one of the most family friendly resort I’ve ever experienced. We’re all for relaxing on the beach, but sometimes a family needs something more. Especially a multi-generational family. There really is something for everyone, from toddlers to grandparents. We have our family trip coming up and we’re already discussing coming back and experiencing it with the whole family.
For more information regarding the resort and everything it has to offer, contact me at [email protected]
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