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Sanctuary at Kiawah Island, Kiawah Island, South Carolina 

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1 Sanctuary Beach Drive
Kiawah Island , South Carolina
Tel: 877 683 1234 (toll-free)
Tel: 843 768 6000
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From the readers of Condé Nast Traveler:
"You get a homey feeling in the lobby. You want to sit down and linger, isn't that the essence of Southern hospitality?" From this four-story brick, stone, stucco, and slate resort sits in "a central spot" on the island, "you can easily bike to any spot." Rooms with oceanview balconies "embody elegant comfort, lots of antiques are mixed with overstuffed sofas and chairs, and luxurious fabrics and textures." Ocean Room steakhouse uses local, grass-fed beef. Family activities include sand sculpture contests, ice cream socials, and aqua aerobics.

(255 rooms)
—2011 Gold List
Overall Score: 95.6
  • Activities: 95.6
  • Design: 96.2
  • Food: 92.3
  • Location: 96.2
  • Rooms: 98.0
  • Service: 95.7

Also appeared in the Gold List in 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006

Amenities: Beach, Golf, Pool, Spa, Tennis, Water sports

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From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
Ten years and $125 million in the making, the Sanctuary is designed to look like an obscenely large centuries-old seaside mansion, from the oak-lined drive and columned portico to the soaring ceilings, creaky walnut floors, and sweeping staircases. All 255 rooms are elegantly furnished with great big beds and bathtubs, and most have balconies and ocean views. The pool deck abuts stands of knee-high sweetgrass, beyond which is a wide stretch of sandy beach. Two restaurants serve linebacker-appropriate portions of suitably fancy—albeit sometimes overly rich—food. One quibble: The mandatory resort fee includes tips and shuttle rides to the island's five golf courses, but you'll have to pay for almost everything else, from yoga classes and bike rentals (there are 30 miles of trails) to the nature center's guided canoe tours.—2005 Hot List

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