My wife and I stayed at the Inn at Palmetto Bluff June 12-15 and while it wasn't a perfect experience, the level of customer service sets the bar for all other resorts in the US.
The real test of excellent customer service comes when you have a problem that needs to be resolved, and we had a couple of issues. For one, the TV in our cottage (#41) quit working at 10:30 one evening. I called the front desk expecting them to put me off until the next day, but to my surprise, they sent a service technician to our cottage within five minutes and he had the problem resolved in about two minutes!
Also, all cottages are supposed to have two bikes (new and very comfortable Sun beach cruisers) but we had only one upon arrival. I called the front desk immediately, again expecting to wait hours for a second bike, but in less than 30 minutes they delivered a bike right to our front door. Impressive.
Now for the good stuff about this resort, and there's plenty of good stuff!
First, the grounds are absolutely stunning! The drive from the main road to the resort is about five miles, and the road is lined with mature trees covered in Spanish Moss. As you drive up to the main building, it's like stepping back in time to a small town sqare in the old south, with quaint southern style homes, brick sidewalks and beautiful gas street lights.
The ruins of the old plantation are just outside the main building and add an air of history to the place. You can just imagine the large, four-story plantation standing grandly in its day looking out over the beautiful May River with Hilton Head Island in the distance.
The main building serves as the lobby for the resort and has a classic southern feel to it with a large covered porch complete with rocking chairs. There are three massive fire pits out front that roar to life every night, the smell of burning hickory wood filling the air as you cook your smores - the resort provides all the necessary ingredients...marshmallows, Hershey's chocolate and crispty graham crackers.
The adult pool (16 and over) and workout area are immediately behind the main building and they are excellent. The pool is a 25-yard, three-lane lap pool that provides a beautful view of the nearby lagoon and the May River in the distance. Service at the pool was top notch. Grab a couple of the comfortable, well padded lounges and soon enough Andrew or one of the other servers at the pool will deliver a galvanized bucket filled with ice and five or six bottles of water. Drinks and a limited lunch menu are available at pool side as well. The fruit smoothies were great and were the Pina Coladas. For lunch we had the large and delicious House Hot Dog with catsup, mustard and carmelized onions on a soft bun...really good stuff.
The fitness center is top drawer all the way with plenty of treadmills, weights, ellipticals and more. The locker rooms are very nice with plenty of lockers and a nice shower area.
As you walk across the small bridge toward your cottage, be sure to take in all the wildlife! The air is full of beautiful birds including egrets and look closely in the May River and you're sure to sea Atlantic Bottle Nose Dolphins coming up for air! Turn around to face the lagoon and you'll see more gorgeous birds and if you're lucky, you'll even see the small alligators that lurk nearby! And if you're really lucky, you may spot one of the wild looking Fox Squirrels that reside on the property. They are large, gray and black squirrels with large, long, bushy tails. They're hard to miss as they are two to three times the size of an average squirrel.
Also notice how quiet it is as you walk to your cottage, the silence broken only by the surrounding wildlife and the occasional hum of an engine as a boat meanders down the May River. And the cottage area is nearly covered by a canonpy of large, mature trees draped in Spanish Moss...simply beautiful!
The cottages themselves are gorgeous, with hardwood floors in the main room, gas fireplace, high vaulted ceilings, large and comfortable king sized bed, screened-in porch leading to a nice yard, marble floors in the bathroom, two huge closets, mini fridge, sink, safe, ironing board and iron, ample storage for clothes...the list of amenities goes on and on.
The bathroom is huge with double sinks, a large tub and an even larger shower. And what a shower it is! There are two shower heads, one in the traditional location and a second, much large shower head directly overhead. There is also a third, hand-held shower that mounts to the wall. We had all three heads cranking at once and it made for a wonderful experience. Even nicer, the shower also has a steam feature which was out of this world. Turn on all three shower heads, set the steam for about 90 degrees - that's about all we could take - and simply enjoy! The only problem with the shower is trying to get out! Shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, and body lotion are all provided, as well as bar soap, Q-Tip swabs, cotton balls...everything you need. Room service was excellent as was housekeeping and turn down service.
Food and drinks at the resort were excellent for the most part. Be sure to have at least one Firefly Sweet Tea with Vodka with a splash of lemonade...very good! Kind of large and Arnold Palmer Iced Tea with a splash of John Daly thrown in! In face, Buffalo's Restaurant serves a drink called the John Daly which is basically the same drink.
The food at Buffalo's was very good but a little on the pricey side. The breakfast buffet is $25.00 per person. We had the buffet twice, the first day was just average but the second trip was very good, especially the omelet station. The bacon was incredible but the bisquit gravy was disappoining...bland, soupy and with very little taste. The pastries were excellent as were the rolls and breads. Service was again excellent...Karry Ann did a great job as did Zach. For lunch at Buffalo's I would recommend the Buffalo Chicken Wrap and the Jerk Chicken Club Sandwich...both were very good.
Our second day at the resort we took a tour with a group called Outside Hilton Head/Outside Palmetto Bluff. We opted for the "Outback Tour" which consisted of a boat tour of the May River and surrounding area, about an hour of kayaking and a very nice lunch on a secluded Island. Captain Mike was our guide and he did a fantastic job. Outside Palmetto Bluff is located right on the grounds near Wilson's Landing and they offer a variety of day trips. Our day on the Outback Tour was a day well spent!
Downers were few. The May River Golf Club was closed during the time we were there which was unfortunate as it looked to be a very nice course. And again, this is an upscale resort and the food and drink prices reflected as much. But that's about it for negatives. Overall we had a great time and we were blown away by the level of customer service.
If you're considering an upscale southern resort, I would highly recommend you put the Inn at Palmetto Bluff at the top of your list!
The odd numbered cottages are on the May River, but not all of them offer a good view of the River...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC