Back in July following Layne’s bachelorette, I took a couple nights to myself and headed out to peaceful Kiawah Island to relax.
(OK, we all know that last part was a lie: I was working the whole time—running a start-up among a dozen other things doesn’t allow a whole lot of time for true R&R—but at least it was in a gorgeous locale!)
I’m a major hotel nerd, and ever since I accidentally fell into the travel industry and started paying attention to lists and accolades, I’ve wanted to visit Kiawah Resort. I could have headed to Charlotte early before my mom and SVV arrived to meet me for our pal Dustin Lynch’s concert, but I figured a calming beach retreat is just what the stress gods ordered. Or maybe it was a massage, which I indulged in mere moments after arriving.
It took me a full hour to reach Kiawah Island from downtown Charleston, something I hadn’t believed possible when I saw that it was only 28 miles on the map. But the road is a slow and winding one, so if you’re on a schedule, be sure and allow yourself at least 60 minutes to make the drive.
My room for the first night was in the opulent Sanctuary Hotel, which is the grand dame of the sprawling resort complex as far as I can tell. The property is massive—the island, which more or less consists of the resort, is 10 miles wide, and the resort employs more than 1,000 staffers—and I barely scratched the surface of it during my quick two-night stand with the island.
I had wanted to check out the Athletic Recovery Massage in the Sanctuary Spa for a fitness story I was writing, but alas didn’t book my appointment in time. Given that Kiawah Resort is first and foremost a golf destination, it’s no surprise there were treatments targeting golfers. The full treatment includes a personal training session followed by a massage; I still got the latter, so I left happy and spa-drunk.
When I came back down to Earth, a surprise was waiting for me in the Sanctuary lobby: Sarah! Some of you may remember her from her previous blogging life as the wordsmith behind Jemima. To me, in San Francisco, she was my running buddy, my work pal, my fellow dog lover, my sometimes therapist. And somehow I hadn’t seen her in four years since she was pregnant with baby Benjamin, who is hardly a baby anymore but three years and three-quarters old!
We moseyed on down to the TKTKTK for an oyster BBQ (my first). OK, so I didn’t have the oysters—don’t get mad, Charlestonians! I’m weird when it comes to shellfish—but I ate pretty much everything else they had to offer. Sarah crashed at the Sanctuary with me, and we may have had a nightcap at the bar then downed a good portion of a bottle of Bulleit in our room. “I love that you’re the kind of girl who keeps a selection of bourbon in the trunk of her car,” Sarah praised me. (At least, I think it was praise…)
I would see Sarah again later that week, but the next morning, we went for a kayak and then I switched rooms and she headed back to town to tend to the Urchin. The downside of booking so last minute was that there was only one night open at the Sanctuary. Luckily, there were available rooms elsewhere just down the road.