Kiawah Island Golf Resort
One part pool, two parts spa sanctuary, a splash of wine, and a dash of beach waves and salt air. Mix that together with a few best friends, allow to rest on a beautiful barrier island, and you have the perfect recipe for a girls’ weekend getaway.
It didn’t take much prodding to convince me to join my gang of gals for a much-needed early summer break from our daily grinds. All moms to babies and/or toddlers (besides our fabulous single friend who we could live vicariously through), we willingly sent ourselves to timeout for some laughs and luxury at a resort focused on something we rarely get at home—relaxation.
Departing from Virginia Beach, Charleston, S.C. and New Jersey, we converged on Kiawah Island, off the coast of South Carolina, at Kiawah Island Golf Resort. Nestled into the unspoiled landscape, this world-class property treats guests to 10 miles of beaches, a five-star hotel and five championship golf courses. This weekend, though, hitting the greens wasn’t on the agenda for my group—we needed to focus more on lounging, spa treatments and splurging on some fine dining and cocktails, and Kiawah proved to be perfect for all of that and more.
The Sanctuary Hotel, a swanky seaside mansion, serves as the accommodations showpiece of the resort and houses 255 guest rooms along with shops, dining options and The Sanctuary Spa. But guests looking for more laid-back or remote options should check into private home or villa rentals on the island.
The Resort Villas paired perfectly with our girls’ weekend because they allowed us plenty of privacy (each lady had her own bed and bath in two neighboring villas) and ample space for the four of us to gather, prep food or snacks in the kitchen and kick back on tasteful, coastal-inspired furnishings while chatting about what we’ve been missing in each other’s busy lives.
Our first stop after checking into our villas was one of five resort pools. No more than a half hour had passed after arriving on the island before we were soaking up some sun with fruity drinks in hand while indulging in beauty magazines.
While not doing much of anything was our first priority, Kiawah has a full lineup of nature- and adventure-oriented activities available—biking, tennis, boating, fishing and more.
We planned on poking fun at each other during a morning kayaking excursion but admit to not being all that disappointed when a thunderstorm left us with more time for perusing The Sanctuary’s high-end shops and doing some in-room afternoon bonding along with another bottle of wine.
Spotting more than a couple alligators on the property—yes, wild ones—and trying to get close enough for a good picture to show my kids was the closest I came to adventure, and I was quite content with that.
No girls’ weekends seems complete without some pampering, and The Sanctuary Spa did not disappoint. Full-body massages were the order of the day for all of us but not before trying out the mineral whirlpool and steam room. After my skilled therapist kneaded out the knots and aches in my shoulders and “mom hips,” I joined my friends in the garden-inspired solarium for some hot tea and simple silence.
Wine and Dine
A rainy forecast prior to our first afternoon at the resort equaled no more bathing suits and therefore no guilt when splurging on several-course meals and inventive cocktails at two of the resort’s dining options—Jasmine Porch and The Atlantic Room. Both restaurants impressed us with impeccable service and ocean views. Entrée standouts were Shrimp and Grits at Jasmine (lowcountry-style cuisine) and Pumpkin Seed Crusted Swordfish at Atlantic (a signature seafood restaurant). Lots of sharing occurred among my tablemates, and, desserts for everyone were a must on both evenings.
By the time I headed back to reality on Sunday afternoon, I was ready to be reunited with my family, complete with a fresh attitude, plenty of memories and even more inside jokes. A brief getaway provided just the right amount of time away, but we all loved Kiawah enough to promise to make girls’ weekend an annual affair. Until next time—see you later, alligators.
Kiawah Island Golf Resort offers a Girls Getaway Package that includes a two-night stay at The Sanctuary, daily breakfast, dinner at the Jasmine Porch or Tomasso, four 60-minute spa treatments and a welcome amenity. Offer features a discount on the room rate and complimentary access to The Spa facilities throughout your stay.