As we have watched our portfolio of luxury homes grow in 2018 to include substantially more inventory on Folly Beach in turn so has our team at Luxury Simplified Retreats grown! That’s why, just as the busy summer vacation season was set to begin, we welcomed Isabel MacLeod to our team. She is the smiling face that greets many of our guests staying at any one of our vacation rentals on Folly Beach. Before you check in, she’s hard at work ensuring that reservations are finalized, homes are spotless, fridges are stocked and pillows are fluffed. Once guests arrive she’s never more than a phone call away for help, or recommendations – and you can count on her for some of the best off-the-beaten-path recommendations in Charleston! Here’s a glimpse at why Isabel is crucial to our team and her favorite well-kept Charleston secrets …

Q: What’s your background, and where are you from?

A: I’m originally from Connecticut, which is where I spent most of my childhood. For high school, I went to boarding school in Massachusetts, which was a really wonderful experience teaching me to be resourceful, independent, and outgoing. While there I was able to reconnect with family in the area and I made a lot of life-long friendships. I moved to Charleston for college, but after I graduated I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do. But I did spend one year working on a farm after school, inspired by one of my college classes in sustainable agriculture.


Q: What brought you to Charleston?

A: I originally moved to attend the College of Charleston. I chose CofC because I was looking for a new adventure, something different from my boarding school days in New England. Warm and sunny Charleston just felt like the right choice and naturally I fell in love with this amazing city around me. After I graduated in 2016 my parents actually bought a house near the beach and now they spend a lot of time here, which is great having family close by.


Q: What’s your role at Luxury Simplified Retreats?

A: As Guest Relations Associate & Concierge I spend most of my days corresponding with guests before their arrival, managing reservations, and checking on homes to make sure everything is in place and ready for check-in.  It keeps me pretty busy, but I love knowing that everything I do means that once they’ve arrived, guests are going to have a fun-filled and memorable vacation.  I enjoy giving recommendations for local shopping, dining, and activities and hope that they become guest favorites too.


Q: What’s your favorite Luxury Simplified retreat and why?

A: That’s such a tough choice… I really like Sea La Vie  because it’s right on the beach. Literally, you can step right out onto the sand from the back porch and it’s got all those floor to ceiling windows and amazing ocean views.


Q: What’s your favorite Charleston restaurant and why?

A: I really like Chez Nous because their menu is constantly changing. I never get the same thing twice and often order something new that I probably wouldn’t have tried at another restaurant. I also love the intimate atmosphere – it just has a really good energy.


Q: What are your best tips and recommendations for guests visiting Charleston?

A: Charleston is the perfect city to explore on foot so take advantage of it by taking a walk and getting lost in Charleston’s South of Broad neighborhood. This is my favorite thing to do on a nice day and never fails to remind me why I love living here. This neighborhood is full of hidden gems – take a peek through the iron gates to see some pretty amazing gardens! In my opinion, the off-the-beaten-path spots are so much better than the highly trafficked tourist landmarks so don’t hesitate to take a stroll down one of the many secret alleyways (Stoll’s Alley, Longitude Lane, and Philadelphia Alley). After wandering the cobblestone streets and admiring the architectural details of these old historic homes, I love to end my walk in White Point Gardens. The massive oak trees are not only beautiful, but provide the perfect amount of shade for an impromptu picnic (stop by Goat. Sheep. Cow. on your walk and grab a baguette sandwich!)

If you have an upcoming reservation with us, you’ll likely get to meet Isabel or at least chat with her on the phone. She’ll be your best resource while you’re in town and is always happy to recommend an unforgettable place for you to explore. Now all you have to decide is where you’ll stay … Downtown Charleston or on Folly Beach?