Story of the Sanctuary

Kiawah Sanctuary Lobby

The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, an oceanfront resort and spa, opened off the coast of Charleston, SC in August 2004.

A casual but elegant building, reminiscent of a grand seaside mansion, the four-story hotel was designed to feel like it has been on Kiawah for centuries, evolving and expanding from one imaginary homeowner to the next. The exterior combines the highest finishes of Charleston brick, stone, stucco, woods, slate, copper and ironwork.

The interior is characterized by grand spaces with high ceilings (lobby and ballroom), and traditional but light southern décor highlighted by antiques. The hotel has been designed to be elegant, but not too formal.

The hotel site was raised 20 feet to allow unobstructed views of the ocean from the first floor. The lobby features flooring that consists of hand-planted walnut, shaped into irregular length and width planks. They are placed on sleepers so the floor will “give” and creak.

Using the world’s largest mechanical spade, the resort has transplanted over 400 trees, including 160 50-feet-high Live Oak trees to create an entrance with a centuries-old feel.

The hotel has high-speed wireless Internet access that extends onto the beach.

The architect was Cooper Carry from Atlanta; the design consultant was Smith+McClane in Richmond, VA; Hirsch Bedner Associates from Atlanta was the interior designer; Skanska USA from Atlanta was the general contractor; and Design Works from Charleston was the landscape architect.