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The Spa at The Sanctuary - Spa Review

Escape to Southern Comforts

by Joshua Lurie

The women's lounge with a whirlpool, sauna, and steam room at The Spa at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort

Off the coast of South Carolina, The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort is a modern inn designed to resemble a grand 1850’s seaside home. Meander to the hotel's third floor and you'll find a quiet corner of pure Southern indulgence: The Spa at The Sanctuary.

This pretty, hickory-floored retreat houses a dozen rooms for massages, facials, wet treatments and couples' rituals. Among these, massages are the most popular. This is perhaps because there are so many indulgent choices, like the Signature Massage, which incorporates velvet wraps filled with hot rice grains and herbs. Accompanying all treatments is New Age music and the delicate tinkling of chimes.

A bath treatment room at The Spa at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort

For the skin, Lowcountry Verbena Body Polish is great for softening and hydrating. Other favorite options are the enveloping Ocean Fossil Mineral Therapy, Avocado Coconut Wrap, and the Carolina Cloud Nine, using ingredients like mandarin oranges, walnuts, and papayas. Bucking brands that wanted to steer the facility in certain directions, spa director Missy Hughes sought to pair indigenous elements with holistic and natural skin care potions from Anakiri and Naturopathica. In addition, the onsite salon offers haircut and color treatments, as well as makeup consultancies utilizing Aveda products that are available for purchase.

Because the resort draws so many men (this is CEO central and golf heaven), there are specialties such as The Fairway, a botanical scrub and steam followed by a golf sport massage. Males also enjoy their own dedicated lounge, which, like the relaxation area for women, includes a vitality mineral whirlpool, sauna and steam room.

Warm woods and earth tones are emphasized in the decor at The Spa at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort

Although the spa is open to the public, it reserves the bulk of its appointments for hotel guests. After Labor Day, when the summer travel season comes to an end, the spa markets to locals, particularly residents of Charleston, 35 minutes away. Treated to an incredible ocean-side location and warm, professional staff, hotel guests and locals benefit from The Spa, and Kiawah Island is richer—and more relaxed—for having it.

A view of the entrance to The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort

The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort
One Sanctuary Beach Dr.
Kiawah Island, SC 29455
877-683-1234, 843-768-6000

(Updated: 07/29/09 AR)

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