Inn Aerial

Aerial of the old Kiawah Island Inn

Forty years ago today (May 3, 1976), the Kiawah Island Resort opened for the first time.  The resort featured the Kiawah Island Inn with its two swimming pools, two restaurants and a bar.  The Charleston Gallery was the more formal dining option at the resort, while the Jasmine Porch was a more casual atmosphere.  After dinner, guests migrated up to the Topsider Lounge for cocktails.  For $45 a night, guests could stay in an oceanfront room.  The first golf course on the island was not finished until August 1976.  Gary Player was the design consultant for the Marsh Point Golf Course.  He would return in 1996 to totally renovate the course which would reopen as Cougar Point in 1997.  The resort’s tennis complex contained nine courts – seven clay and hard “GrassTex” course, and a clubhouse.  Pros Roscoe Tanner and our very own Roy Barth were there to give lessons.  The resort was also building a small shopping center on the island called the Straw Market.  The stores included a ladies’ boutique, a deli, a beauty shop and a liquor store.

My, how times have changed!

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The Sanctuary Kiawah Island Luxury Resort Review | Fabulously Chic Over 50
Have you ever dreamt of being an honored guest in a grand seaside mansion, with sweeping staircases, soaring ceilings and a decor so luxurious, it might make Scarlet O’Hara blush? Well, we’ve discovered such a place and if ever there was a luxury resort that lived up to it’s name, it is The Sanctuary, a … Read at link above.
Next up, is the review of their unforgettable meal and evening at The Ocean Room.

reasons to stay at Kiawah

Travel bloggers Mary Gallagher and Will Davis say Year round there are plenty of reasons to stay at Kiawah:

Through some of the early morning fog and sea smoke coming off the Atlantic Ocean on a late fall morning I wonder if Arnoldus Vanderhorst, one of the early owners of Kiawah Island in South Carolina, would envision as he developed his plantation with rice, indigo and other field crops spread out before him, that one day two hundred years in the future the view might be quite different. Would he have foreseen this wonderful Low Country paradise as a mecca for thousands of visitors including golfers attracted by championship courses, fabulous beach homes to own or rent and the Sanctuary a five star hotel and spa just a few of the reasons to stay at Kiawah. Hundreds of varying styles of vacation rentals for every size gathering, bike and nature trails, beautiful public beaches and more? Probably not.

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Travel Experta reviews visit to Kiawah Island and says Kiawah Is the #1 American Island Getaway:

Readers of Condé Nast Traveler know that the publication reaches out to its readers every year to find out what the world’s best places and experiences are. For 2014, more than one million readers let their voices be heard on a diversity of topics.

Once again, South Carolina’s Charleston topped one list as the #1 City in the United States. But it was an island just off SC’s coast which had the (perhaps) more prestigious title of #2 Island in the World. Little Kiawah Island has quite a reputation, and though it didn’t get the #1 spot for the world, it’s runner up status makes in a shoe-in for best island in America. Here’s why.

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TOC Breakfast


As the first to see the sunrise on Kiawah Island, Breakfast at the Ryder Cup Bar offers guests a unique experience. Chef Jonathan Banta said, “Sitting on the deck, guests overlook the ocean and golf course while enjoying an upscale breakfast, completely cooked-to-order. It’s a relaxed setting with a view and the food can’t be beat.”

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Billy Jean King & Roy

Tennis legend Billie Jean King poses with Kiawah Director of Tennis, Roy Barth,  at the Professional Tennis Registry’s (PTR) Awards & Hall of Fame Banquet ceremony which was held on Hilton Head February 17.  The PTR is an international tennis coaches association  founded by Dennis Van der Meer in 1976.  It currently has 15,600 members world-wide with its headquarters located on Hilton Head Island. The highlight of PTR’s Annual International Symposium last week was Billie-Jean King ‘s induction  into  the PTR’s International Hall of Fame. As the President of the PTR, Barth went down ‘memory lane’ and gave his memories of Billie-Jean King when he was a young teenage tournament player in Southern California.  When Barth was thirteen, King stayed at his house for a junior tournament in San Diego and he’s known her ever since.   As a professional, he played against her in mixed doubles at Wimbledon in the late 60’s.  Dennis Van der Meer was Billie-Jean’s coach during her legendary victory or Bobby Riggs billed as the ‘Battle of the Sexes.’  It was held in the Astrodome in Houston, TX in 1973 with the largest attendance for a tennis match ever with 100,000 people. Billie Jean is a Champion for women’s rights including starting a separate women’s tour with the Virginia Slims in the early 70’s pushing for equal prize money for women on the tennis tour, and Influencing the passage of Title IX for equal women scholarships in women collegiate sports.


Tiny Tot Tennis Body

Sunny skies, miles of coveted coastline, and a diverse selection of family-friendly activities make the Kiawah Island Golf Resort the perfect vacation destination for parents and kids of all ages.

From toddlers to teens, the key to planning a family vacation everyone will love is finding a destination that delivers the right accommodations, an escape from the everyday, and plenty of relaxation for Mom and Dad. Plus, lots to keep the kids entertained.

After all, no parent wants to hear “I’m bored!” while on vacation. And here on Kiawah Island, you certainly won’t.

Discover 10 things to do with your family on Kiawah Island:

1. Explore the Island on two wheels!

Our wonderful bike rentals are the perfect way to cruise around Kiawah Island, providing ample opportunity to explore. And best of all: our wide variety of bike sizes and accessories accommodate every family member. Take a tour with an experienced naturalist who will show you the wetlands, salt marshes, Loggerhead sea turtles, the American alligator, and various species of birds.

2. Hit the water (and a multitude of water sports).

From kayaking, to surfing, or stand-up paddleboarding, there is a multitude of ways to enjoy the water with your family on Kiawah Island. Get ready for hours of paddling fun through salt marshes and tidal creeks. Paddle tours give you a chance to get close to the Island’s native wildlife. For a more adventurous ride, our beach rentals like surfboards and stand up paddleboards are perfect for you. Don’t know how to ride the waves? Take a class or a lesson!

3. Check in to Kamp Kiawah.

For kids aged 3-11, Kamp Kiawah offers an incredible camp experience with exciting and adventurous activities, from treasure hunts to building enormous sand castles on the beach. The kids will also love the evening activities available – like the Kiawah Kampout and the Sanctuary Splash Bash!

4. Explore the many things to do in Charleston, SC.

No stay at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort is complete without a trip to beautiful and historic Charleston, South Carolina. Just 21 miles (45 minutes) away, Charleston offers something for everyone. From the nationally recognized Spoleto Festival to touring the streets by carriage ride, discover Charleston’s hidden treasures. The kids will love the Museum Mile, the South Carolina Aquarium, and so much more! Explore things to do in Charleston.

5. Pay a visit to the Heron Park Nature Center.

Open daily, the Heron Park Nature Center is the heart of our nature programs and is a wonderful place to start in your exploration of the Island. Here you’ll discover a schedule of activities and events, as well as gain information on recent nature sightings. The Center is located adjacent to the Night Heron Pavilion, which hosts fun activities for the whole family, including disc golf games, crafts, tye dye projects, the stuffed animal factory, and so much more.

6. Hit the course at the top family resort in the Southeast.

Boasting 5 championship golf courses, we’re the ultimate vacation destination for all golf lovers! Enjoy a few rounds with the family, surrounded by the most breathtaking and inspiring views imaginable. And if there are family members new to the game, enjoy a lesson or two at our Golf Learning Center.

7. Take a boat ride.

From fishing tours, to motorboat excursions, to paddle tours, there are many ways to hit the water on Kiawah Island. Discover the best fishing the Lowcountry has to offer, with a variety of expeditions from reef to shark fishing. Or, hop on a boat in search of adventure! Get ready for a day full of dolphins, breathtaking scenery, and so much more.

8. Hit the tennis court!

The top tennis resort in the world, treat the family to two complete tennis complexes offering the ultimate go-for-the-gold standard in service, instruction, and above all, enjoyment. Get the family ready with an instructional program, or simply head out to enjoy a great game.

9. Unwind & enjoy spacious accommodations.

Whether you’re looking for the perfect oceanfront resort hotel, a relaxing private vacation rental home, or an island family villa, we have an extraordinary property waiting for you, with ample room and amenities to satisfy all your family’s needs. The resort villas and the private homes are especially great for family vacations.

10. Let Mom & Dad have fun, too.

While the kids are away on an island adventure, it’s time for championship golf and luxurious spa treatments. Afterwards, get together for a casual poolside meal at the Loggerhead Grill or indulge in Kiawah’s signature steakhouse, The Ocean Room.

Family Vacations on Kiawah Island.

Don’t forget, a vacation at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort is intended for the whole family, and that means your furry friends too! Here are some tips if you’re thinking of bringing your pet to the Island.

PS – the Kiawah Island Golf Resort has also received multiple awards, recognizing our family-friendly atmosphere, services, and amenities, including:

  1. 3rd Best Family Beach Resort in the World – Travel + Leisure
  2. One of Harper’s Top 10 Family Friendly Properties
  3. One of Travel + Leisure’s Top 10 Family Vacations

Discover more family activities at Kiawah, and get started planning your next summer family vacation.


Kiawah Island Golf Resort gets a Rave Review by Luxe Recess, the family travel web site that describes itself as “For Parents who like really nice hotels.”

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Jacobs Stephens awards Kiawah's Roy Barth Jacobs Bowl, USTA Southern’s highest honor

Jacobs Stephens awards Kiawah’s Roy Barth Jacobs Bowl, USTA Southern’s highest honor




ATLANTA – January 16, 2015 – Roy Barth, of Charleston, South Carolina, was presented the USTA Southern’s 2015 Jacobs Bowl at its annual meeting this month. The highest award presented by the USTA Southern, the Jacobs Bowl honors a volunteer who has exhibited outstanding service to USTA Southern.

Barth has been the Director of Tennis at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort since 1976, and teaches at the tennis facility that bears his name. He is presently the president of the Professional Tennis Registry (PTR). He has been certified as a Master PTR professional since 2007.

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Meetings 2

With the New Year underway, it’s the perfect time to revaluate work, strategies, and goals to get the most out of what you’re trying to achieve. With colleagues feeling refreshed and re-energized, now is the time to get managers on board with your plans for your next team meeting, whether it be a corporate retreat, team building opportunity, product launch, or so on.

Keep these resolutions in mind as you outline goals and objectives for your next team event, ensuring you get the most out of your meeting here on Kiawah Island!

1. Vow not to overwhelm attendees.

Whether you’re having an intimate strategy session, or a product launch for hundreds, the one constant to maximizing the ROI of any meeting is to set a humane rhythm to enhance productivity. Incorporating a few breaks is a must.

Though it seems like a common-sense approach, improving how we work by not working is still a relatively new idea. A study from the well-respected journal Cognition found that “even brief diversions from a task can dramatically improve one’s ability to focus on that task for prolonged periods.

To strike that perfect balance, the goal is to plan a stimulating, productive meeting; something memorable where participants are kept fully aware and immersed in the task at hand. To create that atmosphere, distraction plays a key part in immersing participants.

Here are our top tips and suggestions for quick breaks to incorporate into your organization’s meeting plans.

2. Challenge presenters to create engaging sessions.

Planning and organization are really only half the battle when it comes to meetings, because just as you wouldn’t consider an event without attendees a true ‘success,’ you likely wouldn’t consider an event with a disengaged audience a success either.

With a little forethought, there are some tips and tricks you can use to ensure your meeting in South Carolina is a true success – complete with engaged, attentive conference guests that are both content and productive.

Let the expert South Carolina meetings and events planners here at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort help guide you in the right direction with these tips for keeping your audience engaged.

3. Use the local environment to inspire attendees.

From world-class cuisine, to unique sights, attractions, and activities, Kiawah Island offers so much that will inspire, motivate, and recharge your colleagues. Our one-of-a-kind, sought-after destination is a selling feature for most of our guests, so please, take advantage!

Local Cuisine

When it comes to mealtime, proper nutrition is essential to fuelling a successful conference, meeting, or event.

Not only do conferences and the like tend to extend beyond the hours of a typical work day, but they also demand prolonged concentration for longer stretches of time. As such, conference organizers are routinely challenged with how to keep conference attendees engaged throughout the entire event.

The good news? There is one very basic thing you can do to prepare your guests for the day ahead: provide them with the best nutrition possible.

This doesn’t have to mean serving up a plain (read: boring) meal – in fact, at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort, it means quite the opposite! With Lowcountry bounty all around us, we have just what you need to fuel your guests while also engaging and exciting them in the all-important mealtime.

Discover how to use culinary experiences to create a memorable meeting on Kiawah Island.

Local Activities & Attractions

When it comes to planning meetings and events here on Kiawah Island, the island itself is an important piece of the puzzle, bringing guests from near and far looking to discover a little piece of paradise.

Though our meeting rooms and facilities on Kiawah Island are second to none, your delegates will be much more excited by the prospect of the things to see and do on the island, including tennis, golf, kayaking, spa visits, and much more.

Beyond the meeting room, discover 5 things your delegates can see and do after your meeting on Kiawah Island.

4. Commit to going green.

As ambassadors to Kiawah Island, nature, and our guests, we’re proud to contribute in every way possible to preserving our planet and promoting green conscientiousness. Part of what makes Kiawah Island so special is its natural beauty, and we want to be able to continue sharing that with you and your delegates for many years to come.

When planning your next meeting or conference on Kiawah Island, talk to us about how you can make a difference in helping the environment, and consider these simple tips for holding a green meeting.

5. Stay on budget.

We know what it takes for your event to go off without a hitch. From perfectly planned menus, to unforgettable entertainment, to the comfort and leisure your guests need in order to be productive.

We also know the costs associated with all of these things, and are here to help you navigate your budget and plan the best possible conference or meeting on Kiawah that sticks to your bottom line.

So don’t let budget concerns get in the way – experiencing the magic of KIGR on a budget has never been easier with these helpful tips on how to keep your meetings and conferences on budget in South Carolina.

Find out what else makes Kiawah Island the perfect meeting destination.

For inquiries and bookings, please submit your request for proposal through our site, or, give us a call to discuss any additional questions, requirements, and so on: (800) 576-1585. We look forward to hearing from you!