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There are few places that offer a vacation for the sportsman and outdoor lover that deliver breathtaking scenery and untouched landscape, while still respecting the nearly 20,000 acres of pristine land that make up the luxurious Palmetto Bluff resort development. Created in a way that honors the land, the dedication to wildlife and land conservancy is much of the overarching mission at Palmetto Bluff.
This secluded location, near the coastal South Carolina island getaway of Hilton Head, Palmetto Bluff feels like a place where time moves at a slower pace and vacation days feel endless. This part of the lowcountry offers jaw dropping vistas, with its expanse of maritime forests, tidal estuaries, winding waterways, and arching oaks draped with Spanish moss. Home to an array of flora and fauna, there’s something to be discovered every step or bike pedal along the way.
Palmetto Bluff has two distinctly different town centers — Wilson Village, the charming town center that overlooks the May River to the north and Moreland Village four miles south. They’re connected by water, starting along the May River in Wilson Village and then via Cauley’s Creek as it flows into Moreland Village. There are boats that you can rent, that motor around the Inland Waterway, a meandering freshwater estuary that winds throughout the resort and many of its neighborhoods.
Whether you are staying in Wilson Village or in Moreland Village each have their own distinctive feel and each boasts restaurants and activities within walking distance. Wilson Village, the charming town square of Palmetto Bluff, is like a page from a small town storybook. Here you can find an ice cream parlor called Melt, plus many of the iconic landmarks that make Palmetto Bluff so memorable including the Chapel, the “old ruins,” the Post Office, the River House and the dock where the Grace is moored.
By Land or By Water
Mornings at Palmetto Bluff are best spent on a bike, enjoying the quiet along the miles of trails. The leisure Maritime Trail takes you through the Lowcountry forest while the Long Leaf Pine Trail winds through pine uplands. With 32 miles of coastline, this is a perfect place to rent a kayak or canoe…or use that bicycle!
Midday might find you lounging by the pool or booking a dolphin Cruise to nearby Dafauski Island, accessible only by boat. The powerboat-based Dolphin Discovery Tour covers a wide area and highlights the habitat of local bottlenose dolphins while the Full Tide Discovery Tour is a favorite among photographers because it explores some of the more remote islands.
Afternoons are decidedly meant to be spent on the porch. “Porching” is after all, an actual activity at Palmetto Bluff – and considered an authentic Southern tradition. As the resort explains, “In the South, we’re accustomed to taking a break in the afternoon to relax and pause the day.”
Nights spent under the Stars
As the day winds down, almost on cue, the pinks and violet hues of dusk bring out the twinkling of fireflies, and ease into evenings meant for cocktails around the fire pit and nights under the stars. There are a host of dining options in Palmetto Bluff from Buffalo’s in the heart of Wilson Village, Octagon, or the River House, and to Canteen, a quaint and casual sandwich shop located Moreland Village. Renting a private vacation home in Palmetto Bluff gives you the freedom to enjoy casual meals at home, or sumptuous dinners cooked by a private chef and plenty of porch time with a glass of wine.
Gather with family and friends for delectable takeout from Flame Food Truck. Take a sunset cruise on The Grace, Palmetto Bluff’s very own restored 1913 60-foot antique motor Hinckley yacht. Later in the night in Wilson Village, you’ll find s’more carts nearby to make your own s’mores over the fire.
When it comes to outdoor activities, you are spoiled by the variety of choices. Take a hike or get out onto the water. Play a game of pickleball, tennis, or golf. There are eight tennis courts, two bocce courts, a basketball court, a bowling alley, six pickleball courts and the May River Golf Course Palmetto Bluff’s 18-hole, Jack Nicklaus Signature design.
For the Kids
Fishing from any of Palmetto Bluff’s many docks is a fun-for-the-entire-family activity, and a chance for kids to try their hand at reeling in “the big one.”
Kids can take climbing a tree to a whole new level, and the Mount Pelia treehouse in Wilson Village is particularly fun: It has a zip line, a rope swing, and a boardwalk. Or, you can climb with your kids at sunset to the top of the five-story tree house along Cauley’s Creek.
Our team can help plan for your kids ages five to 12 to participate in a private art lesson with a member of Bluffton’s Art Conservancy.
Plan your Lowcountry Retreat
You’re sure to enjoy your stay in Palmetto Bluff when your trip includes all the comforts offered in our Luxury Simplified Retreats vacation homes. Our collection of rentals features incredible amenities and superb locations. There are so many things you can do on the property and the scenic, breathtaking backdrop of the Lowcountry surrounds you in Palmetto Bluff, with gorgeous oak trees, vast waterways and a laid-back, serene lifestyle. But why not experience a vintage voyage in a 1930’s Bentley, or travel by private water taxi to explore the Bluffton Farmers Market, With our Guide to Exclusive Experiences, these are just some of the ways you customize your stay for an unforgettable, one-of-a-kind vacation – and we have a team of people ready to help you plan it all.
If you see a beach vacation in your near future, consider packing your bags and and planning to take an unforgettable road trip to Folly Beach. If you live in the southeast, Folly Beach is already close to some of the coastal beaches you might already be familiar with or have traveled to on family vacations for years. While it may be a bit further if you reside in the northeast or the midwest, you can still easily make the drive in one day.
Folly Beach is one of the barrier islands that surround Charleston Harbor, so while you’re sure to enjoy all the sunshine and surf that comes with a beach vacation, you also get all of the charm, history, shopping and dining in historic, downtown Charleston, all wrapped into one amazing vacation. From world class Charleston restaurants like FIG, Husk or The Ordinary, to horse-drawn carriage tours, Revolutionary War sites, and breathtaking gardens, you’ll find that a day spent in the city is a nice addition to your beach vacation.
For more information about the some of the top destinations in the Charleston area, request a free copy of our Insider’s Guide for fresh, local insight!
Planning the Perfect Vacation starts with a Map
How to Get There
Getting to Folly Beach is a breeze. The major interstates that serve South Carolina, from the Upstate to the Midlands and the Pee Dee region, all make for easy, direct access to Folly Beach. Summertime means it’s peach season in SC, and you’ll want to allow extra time for your trip to explore the back roads and stop at some of the popular farm stands along the way to grab a bushel of ripe, juicy peaches, watermelons, tomatoes and even okra for true southern flavors. Whether your travels take you on I-40, I-77, or I-95 all will connect you to I-26 E to downtown Charleston.From there, it’s a quick jaunt over the Ashley River and you’ll be on Folly Road in no time.
Top things to do Once you Arrive
Get out on the Water
Whether you’re interested in trying a new watersport or hoping to just relax by the ocean, you’ll find no shortage of things to do on Folly! Some of our favorite ways to get out on the water include:
- Relaxing on the beach.
- Casting your line off the fishing pier.
- Cruising with a local boat or kayak charter.
- Taking surfing lessons.
- Sailing along the Folly River.
- Trying SUP for the first time.
Have Fun with the Family
Spend quality time with the people who matter most. Folly Beach sets the scene for an incredible family vacation. Here are some tips to ensure you make tons of memories:
- Don’t overpack. Our concierge team is happy to help with things like ensuring your rental is baby-proofed, and stocked with everything you need for your family’s arrival.
- Let us lend a hand in pre-booking all your activities (such as your visit to the aquarium, boat tours, and dinner reservations) to ensure you can squeeze in everything you want to do during your stay.
- Always have snacks on hand, as days spent on the beach and in the water just naturally seem to burn energy a little quicker and someone is sure to declare “I’m hungry”
- Sun protection is a must. Bring sunscreen, wear hats, and stay cool in the shade when you can. Charleston summers are hot. Nothing ruins a vacation faster than an excruciating sunburn!
Plan a day to Explore Historic Downtown Charleston
One of the best things about staying on Folly Beach is simply it’s close proximity to Downtown Charleston. We recommend setting aside a day or two to fully experience the Holy City:
- Stroll through the Charleston City Market.
- Peruse impressive exhibits at local museums and galleries.
- Enjoy breathtaking views from Riley Waterfront Park.
- Grab a tasty cup of coffee.
- Check out the best vegetarian restaurants on the peninsula.
Dine at the Best Restaurants
A stay on Folly means you won’t necessarily have to leave the island to find some of the best food in the Charleston area. We know exactly where to eat on Folly Beach. Here are some of our favorite restaurants:
Stay in Elegant Accommodations Right on the Beach
To complete the perfect getaway for your road trip vacation to Folly Beach after a long day on the road, you’ll appreciate arriving at a vacation rental to call home during your visit. Luxury Simplified Retreats goes above and beyond to offer guests an outstanding experience with beautiful beach rentals and unparalleled concierge services. Browse our Experience Packages to consider making your trip especially unique, then select your favorite vacation rental from our impressive portfolio. You’re going to love Folly Beach’s laid-back, small-town vibes. We can’t wait to host you!
I was once in Paris and engaged a street artist to sketch my then fiancée, now bride. In perhaps 10 strokes of charcoal he captured her essence. I was indeed more amazed with the process than the image, it struck me as quintessentially, yet, unconsciously competent artistry.
Our business is tasked with overseeing roughly $100M of vacation rentals in Charleston and Palmetto Bluff. Over the years our team have settled in to the easy ways of unconscious competence. We see what an owner may not, we suggest improvements where others may see problems or indeed, nothing at all. It’s our version of that Parisian encounter so many years ago. It’s this trait that helps us stand apart from the crowd.
Our role in this is to aid them in exploring every avenue that might exist for increasing their revenue, whether it be simple updates to the interior decor, a renovation that modernizes the kitchen or baths, adding a pool, or increasing the size of the property to add additional bedrooms. Understanding the market data and the expected returns that come with the different enhancement scenarios allows us to develop a cost/benefit analysis and help to determine what is a valuable use of their money to maximize ROI.
Now words are easily crafted and certainly not costly to do so but how about a real-world example of what we can do and how it worked out? This exact scenario played out recently when we worked with owners interested in adding a bedroom to what had been a single-bedroom carriage house rental.
A 1-Bedroom/1-Bath Becomes a 2-Bedroom/1-Bath:
We have a one bedroom carriage house in our Palmetto Bluff portfolio. It rents well but based on feedback that we had received over time from guests, there would be high value to adding a second bedroom to this property to act as additional office space and somewhere for children to stay over, as previously there were only pull-outs in the living room. This being a 1-bedroom, 1-bath carriage house configured over a 5-bay garage, with no ability to add an additional bathroom, the expectation was a modest increase in rental return for a modest outlay and minimal disruption along the way. We sent our construction team over to look at the building and make suggestions. Now we can all do the math on this, i.e. cost of construction, potential increased rental rates, potential increased occupancy … but in this case, that’s not the whole story, please read on.
The Carriage House Interiors “BEFORE”
Bedroom was added where interior glass window overlooked the vintage car collection that was on display in the garage below.
This was to be a quick project for the owners as the loft space already existed. It could be easily enclosed and the new garage ceiling made suitably fire-resistant. A total of $15,500 was spent on the work, saving a few dollars by using building materials leftover from another recent project, plus the added benefit of an owner in the building industry. Seeing the opportunity that exists here is easy, and in this case, a seemingly straightforward update to be made, but important nevertheless to note that in any scenario, a market analysis is vital to understanding whether the addition will garner the expected returns.
The Carriage House interior “AFTER” new bedroom addition:
How we calculated potential ROI with increased rental rates for a 2-Bedroom/1-bath Carriage House:
$ 2,800 Project design and prep work
$15,500 Materials and labor (some work was done by the owner and reused building materials from previous project)
$21,600 Additional rental income @ $120 per night/projected 180 night occupancy per year. The project should be cash flow positive year one. Note: The carriage house was previously renting well with a nearly full calendar and a steady stream of return guests.
Potential ROI gained in overall property value:
As with any home renovation that increases the overall square footage of the house additionally, outside of the extra rental revenue, the owners will realize:
$156,000 Additional value to the house at 260 sq. ft. added @ $600/ft
That is a 700% return the minute the paint is dry, and before the next guests check-in!
Our Luxury Simplified Retreats team is a top 3 company in South Carolina for Average Daily Rate and Occupancy (AirDNA November 2020). With some of the top Revenue Managers in the coastal areas in and around Charleston, we aim to maximize our owner return and our renter experience, and our team is skilled at achieving both. Why not ask how we could help your own property achieve the same results? Contact our team and find out what we can do for you.
Owning a vacation rental property can be an incredible investment, but managing it requires a lot of time, money, and effort. As an asset in your financial portfolio, it’s important to protect its value, and part of doing that means maintaining day-to-day upkeep, performing major repairs when needed, collecting and managing rental income, remitting state & local business taxes, fielding inquiries and managing reviews. While handling it all on your own is certainly possible, if your rental property is in a location away from your full-time residence, or you simply want to ensure that your property is consistently delivering on your revenue goals, then partnering with a rental management firm is in your best interest.
If your rental home is in a popular vacation destination and receives a sizable amount of bookings, it’s vital to understand that not every rental management company is the same, and to understand what sets a top rental management firm apart. Here at Luxury Simplified Retreats we’re a luxury property management company in Charleston that goes above and beyond to provide exceptional care for your home, maximize your revenue, and offer incredible high touch service to your guests. But what makes us different?
3 Reasons Luxury Simplified Retreats Is the Best Luxury Property Management Company in Charleston
1. Don’t just take our word for it.
Luxury Simplified Retreats is a Charleston based white-glove property management firm with over 25 years in revenue management, property management, property maintenance, and guest services management. We became a property management firm for the simplest of reasons – because we’re owners too and as such, we understand what matters to owners. And frankly, it’s everything.
When we set out to create a dedicated property management team we set our sights pretty high. From the top down, we have amassed a group of expert managers, marketers, designers, landscapers, cleaners, property inspectors and guest service staff, each with an impressive background from industries that include real estate, hoteliers, hospitality, tourism and interior design. With a team that manage a $75M portfolio of luxury properties throughout the Lowcountry in locations from the Charleston peninsula and the surrounding barrier islands to, most recently, an expansion into Palmetto Bluff, SC, it’s no surprise that we were named among “The Best Airbnb Property Management Companies in the US” by AirDNA, November 2020.
2. A qualitative approach reduces the guesswork of what’s really working.
Data is everywhere in the vacation rental industry and we’re here to harness it. As Certified Revenue Managers we know the value comes from measuring more than once. Our team of certified Revenue Managers are trained to analyze key data metrics that can greatly impact the success of your rental and ultimately impact your bottom line. Tracking data points that make a difference include available competing inventory in the market overall, Average Daily Rate (ADR), Occupancy, RevPAR (Revenue Per Available Rental), and the power of price flexing.
So what does that mean for you? Transparent monitoring, tracking, and reporting. You should expect a management firm to provide transparent revenue tracking and reporting so that you can be fully aware of what’s really working to deliver revenue, plus future revenue-driving strategies that best suit your needs. Your monthly owner statements should reflect a full accounting of the monthly bookings, revenue, accommodations taxes, fees collected, maintenance tickets opened and resolved and any additional expenses that were accrued on your behalf – all without compromising on the care & upkeep of your property.
3. Because the “telephone game” is still around. Now it’s called Google Reviews
In the vacation rental industry, 5-star ratings are king. It’s like the modern-day version of the “telephone game” but with real monetary value at stake. Rental properties that consistently receive 5-star reviews get shared more often on social media, receive preferential placement on the OTAs and deliver more repeat bookings from guests + their family and friends. Many of our guests are repeat customers and for a good reason. We have spent years developing a reputation as an elite vacation rental company that provides luxury vacation homes, unparalleled amenities, and best-in-class guest services. So you can rest assured that guests staying in your property will be well provided for when your home is in our care – and we know they’ll still be talking about it after their stay.
Our in-house maintenance team provides assurance that should anything go wrong, someone will be there to fix it immediately. This ensures that guests will not be bothered by minor inconveniences during their visit. We also offer natural disaster preparation and support should that ever be necessary.
Let Us Help You Manage Your Property
Where to begin? Head to our blog to read: “Seven Questions to Ask Yourself While Researching Property Management Firms.” Luxury Simplified Retreats is one of the top options for luxury property management companies in Charleston, SC and we don’t say that lightly. We even have numerous case studies that demonstrate the quality care you will receive when working with us. If you’re ready to take the next step, reach out to us for a free property income analysis.
Learn more about what makes us the best luxury property management company in the Holy City. And, when you’re ready to take the plunge, we’re here to help.