Soak Up the Lowcountry at Palmetto Bluff

Melanie Simón


Tapped by Travel + Leisure as one of the World’s Best Hotels, this Lowcountry sanctuary is special in its approach. Development is minimal and luxury is responsible, with green design principles, including water conservation and energy efficiency throughout Palmetto Bluff's accommodations. Cottages and cottage suites offer indoor and outdoor space with fireplaces, steam showers and separate soaking tubs matched with organic bath products, pine floors, Italian linens, vaulted ceilings, down bedding and private screened-in porches with water and forest views. Village homes are best for families or small groups with two, three and four bedrooms. A full gourmet kitchen with state-of-the-art appliances is incorporated in each, as well as separate living and dining areas. In this low season, rates begin at $445 per night, and package rates that include one round on the private Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course per person, per night, plus cottage accommodations and breakfast start at $625. As part of the 2013 Wine Series, February 15-17 is Bubbles & Bliss Weekend. Pairing a cocktail party and Duval-Leroy champagne tasting Friday night and a dinner on Saturday, $85 and $195 per couple respectively, with room rates beginning at $645, make for a perfect Valentine’s Day getaway.


Buffalo’s is a casual gathering hole, and breakfast is captured with simple and pure elements of Lowcountry cuisine, many of which come from the property’s organic gardens. Farm fresh eggs, a Biscuit Bar with buttermilk cathead, jalapeño cheddar and whole grain English muffin varieties, homemade jams and spreads and Holy Molé gravies make for hearty meals. Also, the House Hashes—corned beef, veggie and slow-roasted chicken mesquite—are winners, as are the flapjacks, waffles and crusted French toast. Equator organic coffee, freshly squeezed juices with an option of splashes of ginseng or ginger round out the meal. Lunch is heirloom tomato gazpacho with poached shrimp, seared crab cakes, blackened grouper wraps, pork tacos and piled-high turkey clubs and Cubans on house-made breads. Follow up with handcrafted pies, pastries and ice cream. Dinner at the Canoe Club Restaurant overlooks the May River and Palmetto Bluff Water Trail. Here, take your pick of local seafood or an item off the butcher’s block, and choose two sides or farm vegetables.

The River House Restaurant sources organic and seasonal ingredients from artisan purveyors for its menu. May River iced oysters on the half shell with tomato, red onion, chili and cilantro as well as house-cured meats, coppa, country ham, chorizo and sopressata serve as appetizers. Main plates feature bacon-wrapped Berkshire pork tenderloin with apple-radish slaw and ranchero beans and wild-caught flounder with black eyed peas, sweet corn pudding and pickled shallots. For dessert, loosen your belts. Deep-fried pumpkin pie with candied-bacon caramel sauce and Maker’s Mark Bourbon ice cream, a beignet and doughnut sampler and dark chocolate pudding cake with Creamsicle ice cream and milk chocolate crunch bark are sparklers.