Hello! In this post I’m sharing our Travel Guide for our recent stay at the Montage Palmetto Bluff. We stayed four nights (May 4-8) after spending some time in Hilton Head. See that post here. It’s a short 30 minute or so drive from Hilton Head and is located in the town of Bluffton, SC along the May River. You can easily get there from either the Savannah airport or the Hilton Head airport as well.
I’m sharing exactly where we stayed (lots of options here), where we ate and what to do. If you follow me on Instagram, you saw some pictures and video there. I have a room tour saved to the Palmetto Bluff Highlight.
This place is magical and even though it looks just like the photos online, it’s even prettier in person! I’m a sucker for moss covered oak trees and beautiful southern homes. You’re likely to see a beautiful wedding while there as well since the property has two chapels, one right on the May River. The photo above is looking across the lagoon over at the Inn and Fore & Aft, the casual restaurant at the main pool.
Where We Stayed:
There are several options when staying in Palmetto Bluff. We wanted a view, so I chose the Lagoon View King room with Balcony. I don’t recall the option for the Inn or Guest House when I made reservations several months ago but looking on the site now, those options are listed. There are rooms, suites, cottages and residences to choose from. We were located in what they call Guest Houses. They are all named and numbered. There are 8 total units in each. The cottages are either stand alone or duplex in style and are like a small home with a kitchen. All have beautiful full marble bathrooms with shower and separate tub and nice amenities like robes, slippers, mini bar and Nespresso maker. If you’re traveling with a large group or family, look into renting one of the residences. I recommend staying in Wilson Village if you go that route simply for the views and convenience of things nearby. Palmetto Bluff is 20, 000 acres so there is a lot to see. Moorland Village is another area of the property where homes are available but it’s about 3 miles away. I’ll share a map of the property later the post.
Our Guest House
Guest House view
Our Lagoon Guest House Balcony view
Cottages along the May River
Where We Ate:
There are several restaurants on property as well as 24 hour room service. You’ll want to make reservations for each in advance. (Think of it like being on Disney property.) We only had one reservation well in advance and thought we’d just make the others once there. Well we were lucky to get times at any of the others. Some do have first come first serve outside seating though.
We are not typical breakfast eaters but do like a little something late morning. Our first morning we rented a Golf Cart (more on that later) and explored the property and went to the little Market that we passed by on the way in. The Market is such a nice addition since it’s also a gas station for guests and residences and it has a fresh meat case, (think salmon, steaks, etc.) a great wine selection (I bought a nice French wine) and all the regular grocery/convenience store amenities. They also had fresh baked goods like muffins and chocolate croissants which we ended up getting every morning and I highly recommend! They were so good we both thought they tasted like something from a European bakery. We would sit outside the Market and have our croissant or take to the pool.
Our first night we ate at Octagon. This is the main restaurant located inside just off the lobby of The Inn. There is a large octagon shaped bar (where we sat) along with outdoor seating. You’ll need reservations inside but the bar and the lounge area outside are first serve basis. We had the charcuterie board to start and later I had the salmon and my Husband had the short ribs. Both were excellent! They also serve breakfast and lunch as well.
For lunch day one we had sandwiches which are made to order at Canteen in Moreland Village. Since we had rented a golf cart for our first full day, we drove it down there. It’s about 3 miles away and you can get there by golf cart and follow the trails, by bicycle or arrange transportation from the valet and a car will take you. We used this later that night when we ate dinner at Cole’s. Cole’s is one of their newer restaurants (open Friday – Tuesday only) and they also have pool tables and bowling there. We both had the brisket tacos and the fried pickles as a starter are not to be missed!
Lunch the next two days were by the pool where we ordered from the adjacent Fore & Aft. There you’ll find burritos, fish tacos, etc. We split the nachos and fish tacos both days they were that good!
To celebrate our anniversary we had dinner at Canoe Club. The atmosphere here is worth going alone. I think we both just had whatever fish special there was that evening, good but nothing special. However the staff member who picked us up in the golf cart that night told us all sorts of things to try there which was appreciated because we would have never ordered the Crab Beignets otherwise. They were so unique and good!
Our last night we had dinner at Buffalo’s. I actually wish we would have eaten lunch here or dinner another night because I liked their menu and atmosphere. We got the marinated olives to start and shared a pizza.
Riverhouse is currently closed for renovations until Fall 2021. This used to be the main Inn on the property years ago before the new Inn. Once reopened, it will have a bar, a tapas style restaurant and a few others. Just outside be sure to take part in the nightly S’mores from 7-9pm. There are three fire pits and a full S’mores bar set up.
If you’re not into S’mores, you can get ice cream, cookies or brownies at Melt Ice Cream Store located next door to Buffalo’s.
I’m not one to take a lot of pictures of food, but the Crab Beignets deserved one.
Getting around The Bluff is easy and you have several options to choose from. Bicycles are complimentary and you can reserve right out the back door of the Inn next to the Adult Pool. This is how most get around and we reserved on the first day. It’s a nice way to see the property as there are many trails to explore.
As I mentioned before, there are Golf Carts for rental as well. We paid $85 for the entire day. They are located next door to Riverhouse. You can even get picked up/dropped off at your location and taken over to rent one.
Montage is partnered with Cadillac and you can take part in the Cadillac Driving Experience. You can reserve this along with any other activities through the Concierge or Recreation Desk.
Shuttle and golf cart service throughout The Bluff is available on demand by contacting Guest Services. We used this a few times for dinner and when checking out.
Things To Do & See:
The Spa. I’m not a huge Spa going person but didn’t want to forget mentioning that there is a beautiful Spa on site located off the main lobby. Just off that is the Fitness Studio and Adult Pool.
Here is the full list of activities available and event calendar. There’s biking, kayaking, tennis, pickle ball, horse stables, shooting club, basketball and more. There’s also a beautiful Golf Course on site. We didn’t play but did check out the Pro Shop as we often do. There are several Tree Houses on property to explore. If you want to get out on the water, there are kayaks to rent on the Lagoon, charter boats on the May River or sunset cruises. There’s also little shops to check out like Paris Market and Palmetto Bluff Outfitters and inside the Inn as well. There is so much to do and see or simply do nothing but lay by the pool each day and catch the beautiful sunsets each evening.
Property Map (not showing Moreland Village)
Main Pool/Fore & Aft
A few noteworthy things I wanted to mention that we thought were nice touches. Sunscreen and water available at the pools. The Staff were very friendly there as they were all over the property. Service was as you’d expect here, exceptional! We also enjoyed the afternoon tea and cookies in the Carolina Room just off the main lobby. They also serve coffee here each morning. Once or twice per week there are food trucks and outdoor bar set up in Wilson Village.
We would have liked to see more nightly entertainment out back of The Inn either before dinner or after. This seems like an under used area. There’s a large fire pit and seating where they do have food occasionally from what I’ve read. (Maybe it was just the time of year we were there?) There could be an outdoor bar set up (like for the food trucks) and guitar playing. We did see this one evening only inside of Octagon. Just surprised not to see it more, especially outdoors.
In closing I’ll share some of the other pictures I took. We really enjoyed our stay at Palmetto Bluff and would definitely come back! Thanks for stopping by! If you’d like to see what I wore on this trip and a little more of the property, see that post here.
Afternoon Tea & Cookies
Sunset Guest Houses