Posts Tagged With: charleston

Sojourn at The Sanctuary

Being that I’m a Carolina girl, born and raised, I love ALL things Southern. Actually, the more Southern, the BETTER!  The Sanctuary Hotel at Kiawah Island is Southern charm, hospitality and beauty at it’s finest! This was my third visit to The Sanctuary and like the two prior visits, this 5-star hotel exceeded all expectations! This special weekend girls’ getaway was a “babymoon” of sorts, to celebrate one of my besties and the impending arrival of her first baby in a few months. Because of my past experiences, I thought The Sanctuary would be the perfect place to take her to relax, unwind and decompress before the busy months ahead. And as much as I love the intimacy and romance of travelling with my husband, there really is nothing like a GIRLS’ TRIP!!

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From the moment we pulled up to the front of the hotel, greeted by the friendly valets and bellmen, and escorted to the attentive front desk, the pampering began. Every staff member that we saw (or didn’t see) throughout our stay provided exceptional service and attention to detail! The lobby is grand and beautifully decorated, with two large staircases (very Gone with the Wind-ish) and is just a preview of the luxury and elegance of the entire resort.  The grounds are impeccably maintained and the natural beauty of the island is captivating!

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Almost nothing makes me happier than a jaw-dropping view overlooking the ocean and our (upgraded – woohoo!) room definitely did not disappoint! The ocean-view room the four of us shared was very spacious and comfortable, the linens were luxurious and the bathroom was exquisite!  Our beautiful balcony also overlooked the gorgeous green (I mean, insanely green!!) center courtyard that was set up for a large outdoor wedding.  We actually sat out on the balcony with mimosas in hand and observed the elegant ceremony (all in the name of research, of course).

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After an early (well not really, we are on vacation after all) workout in the very well-equipped and staffed fitness room, we were excited to get out and enjoy the nearly perfect April weather.  Since a couple of the ladies left young children at home, we were very excited to make our selves at home by the “adults-only” pool.  The concierge and pool staff were fantastic – quick with towels, drinks and food requests.  Several blissfully relaxing hours later, we showered up and headed to the Ryder Cup Bar at The Ocean Course Clubhouse (a MUST for any visit to Kiawah Island!). We got there just in time to catch a spectacular sunset and enjoyed a delicious dinner on the veranda, waves breaking in the background.

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Even though our old-age was starting to kick in and what we really wanted to do was crawl in the bed, we decided to rally and have a nightcap at the fantastic lobby bar.  Not only is the bar gorgeous and the service excellent, the great drinks, a stately fireplace and comfy furniture made it the perfect spot to cap off our evening!   Apparently there were quite a few people who had the same idea and the place was hopping until well after midnight!  (Yes, we stayed up until after midnight – hard core!)

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As sad as we were to leave on a gorgeous Sunday morning, we did enjoy a yummy breakfast at Jasmine Porch (I have never seen a shrimp and grits dish that I didn’t like!).  Unfortunately, we were a little early for Jasmine’s Signature Brunch (bottomless mimosas – hello!!) which I would definitely consider a don’t miss!  After one final walk around the gorgeous property and some pics of the beach it was time to bid adieu the wonderful Sanctuary hotel and beautiful Kiawah Island. My one and only complaint was there was so much more that I wanted to do – biking, kayaking and I definitely could have done some more sunbathing – but as the saying goes, “Time flies when you’re having fun!!”

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I would highly recommend The Sanctuary Hotel at Kiawah Island for a destination wedding (saw one firsthand, so gorgeous!), honeymoon, anniversary (crossing my fingers!), babymoon, girls’ spa getaway, guys golf weekend or any “just because” occasion.  The gracious southern charm, world-class amenities and spectacular beachfront location will definitely keep this Carolina girl coming back again and again!

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Veux-tu m’epouser?

One of the hottest new trends in the romance travel industry is a destination proposal, or otherwise known as, an “engagementcation”. The latest statistics show that about 1 in 3 marriage proposals take place while on vacation or a weekend getaway. I, of course, am a huge fan of the idea and love to see pictures and read stories about unique, romantic, creative and over-the-top schemes.

Pulling off a memorable destination proposal requires quite a bit of thought and planning but the most important detail is “location, location, location.” An exotic resort in the Caribbean, a winery in Napa Valley, a mountaintop lodge in Colorado or an iconic landmark in New York City are some popular choices. Even better would be the Eiffel tower in Paris, the Trevi fountain in Rome, a gondola ride in Venice or overlooking the Pitons in St. Lucia. As much as I am a beach girl, any and all of those destinations would elicit a big YES from me!

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The “engagementcation” genre is becoming so popular that many wedding planners, high-end resorts AND travel agents (wink wink) are expanding their businesses to reach the destination proposal market. They have staff and resources to assist with the where/when/how details of pulling off a fairytale proposal. Details like flowers, a champagne picnic, private table at a romantic restaurant, a secluded beach, hot air balloon ride, a horse-drawn carriage, sunset sail or helicopter charter, etc. The possibilities for a one-of-a-kind proposal are truly endless!

Sandcastle proposal Scuba proposal Beach proposal

The marriage proposal, after all, is really all about the story. The telling and re-telling of the feelings, emotions and memories that make up that magical moment. It may be a bit of a stretch to match Prince William’s super -romantic proposal to Kate on an African safari in Kenya, but a little thought, planning and effort can go a long way!

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Unbeknownst to his “hipness”, I’m sure, my husband also planned a destination proposal. It coincided with my birthday, which was how he was able to pull off the surprise and disguised it as a planned trip to Charleston, SC.  Perfectly timed, on a rooftop bar overlooking historic downtown as the sun was setting, he got down on one knee and said those magic four words (I think… I’m not really 100% what he said… It really was all a blur!!).  It was a night I will never forget and I am forever thankful for the “proposal story” we get to tell!

Rooftop proposal Ring proposal Peninsula proposal

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