Tee Time in Luxury

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The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island (www.thesanctuary.com) in South Carolina is home to five master golf courses and world-class accommodations. Agents can contact the head pro at each course for tee times, and to arrange golf lessons and to-go lunches on the course. Brian Gerard (843-266-4670) is head pro at the Ocean course, the only to offer caddie service. Ronnie Miller (843-266-4050) heads the recently renovated Jack Nicklaus Turtle Point course, and Jim Kelechi (843-266-4640) oversees the Tom Fazio-designed Osprey Point course. Understated simplicity defines the Gary Player-designed Cougar Point course, where Ric Ferguson is head pro (843-266-4020). The newest addition to Kiawah, the Scottish-American-style Oak Point course, opened a new clubhouse in 2003, where head pro is Stephen Youngner (843-266-4100).

Courses are open to the public, though resort guests enjoy advance tee times, lower greens fees, and golf packages. Make reservations well in advance, especially from March through May and from mid-September until Thanksgiving.

At The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island, Ocean View and Oceanfront Premier Rooms are highest in demand and afford the best views. Room 578, a one-bedroom suite, overlooks the three oceanfront hotels of the Turtle Point course and has a fabulous view down the eastern portion of the island; guests staying in this suite can witness some astounding sunrises. Ocean View and Oceanfront Suites and premier rental homes are the best options for families; the Presidential Suite, with its marble-tiled foyer, formal study and 189-square-foot furnished balcony, is the ultimate in luxury.

A private concierge level offers specialized service to 44 guest rooms, and Head Concierge Jennifer Voglar arranges special extras from helicopter landings to vegetarian menus. Natalie Payne, travel industry sales manager (843-768-2882), handles VIP needs for agents.

Advance reservations are recommended at the new 12-room spa (Robin Jones is spa director; 843-768-6340), where the most requested treatment is the Signature Massage. Agents can also e-mail spa@thesanctuary.com for reservations.
The Sanctuary’s restaurants draw a crowd from places as far away as Charleston (a 45-minute drive); advance reservations are recommended at the Ocean Room in particular.

Hotel Manager Vikram Sood (vikram_sood@kiawahresort.com; 843-768-2899) welcomes contact from guests. Reservations are available via GDS. The Inn at Palmetto Bluff, an Auberge Resort (www.palmettobluffresort.com), in Bluffton, SC, comprises 50 Cottages and Cottage Suites and five Village Homes, intermixed with the Village of Palmetto Bluff, a thriving residential community. Here, golf enthusiasts play the May River Golf Club, an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus signature course that weaves through the May River Forest. Contact Director of Golf Charlie Kent (843-706-6575) or Head Pro Chris Lewis (843-706-6580) for tee times, lessons and other arrangements. Note: Caddie service is required.

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Most guests here request one of the eight Cottage Suites, which, with screened porches and views of the May River, are also the resort’s finest offerings. Two-, three- and four-bedroom Village Homes are ideal for families. Special touch: Butler service can be arranged upon advance request.

Contact Head Concierge Pat Farman (843-706-6515) for VIP needs or to set up beach excursions or history tours of the area.

Guests can dine at Buffalo’s and enjoy priority reservations at the River House Dining Room; both are popular with locals, but May River Grill is guests-only. We strongly suggest making dining reservations at the time of booking.

The spa, which sits on its own private island and is directed by Debra Oakley (843-706-6615; spa@palmettobluffresort.com), offers après-golf treatments. The most-asked-for service is the Spa Boggin’ couple’s treatment, involving steam, sea-salt exfoliation and Palmetto Pluff Mud body masks. Appointments fill up fast; make spa reservations prior to arriving.

To experience great shopping in downtown Bluffton and nearby Savannah, GA (a 20-minute drive to River Street), and Beaufort, SC (go to the waterfront for great restaurants and shopping; it’s a 35-minute drive), as well as Charleston (a 90-minute trip), call Low Country Adventures for sedan and limo service (843-681-6761; www.lowcountryadventures.com).

For reservations, book by GDS or contact Reservations Manager Wendy Coulson Murray (843-706-6520; wmurray@palmettobluffresort.com), who also acts as a liaison for travel agents. Advice to agents: General Manager Jerry Broz (h; 843-706-6501) welcomes contact, but copy Wendy Coulson Murray on all e-mail inquiries.

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A legendary golf resort in South Florida, The Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort & Club in Aventura (www.fairmont.com/turnberryisle) offers two 18-hole Robert Trent Jones, Sr.-designed courses that entertain golfers at all skill levels. The par-70 North Course winds along Lake Boros, and the par-72 South Course culminates on the famous 18th hole Island Green. (Scenes from the 2003 film “Stuck on You” were filmed on the links at Turnberry Isle.)

There’s also a Golf Learning Center, specially designed to enhance the skills of golfers on all levels. For tee times and information about golf school, vacation packages and learning center packages, contact Naggie Ordaz in the golf department at 305-932-6200, ext. 3307, or Head Pro Hiro Suzuki at 305-932-6200, ext. 3517.
Most guests of Turnberry Isle choose the Junior and Standard Suites; because most rooms at the resort are oversized, combinations can be arranged to easily accommodate families or groups.

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The Apartment and Presidential Suites have fully equipped kitchens and dining areas, separate living and bedrooms and multiple bathrooms. The Grand Presidential Suite is the most luxurious and spacious, with rich wood floors, a private study and his and her closets. All rooms have views of either the garden, pool or golf courses, so specify your clients’ preference when booking.

Head Concierge Thanos Vafiadis (305-933-6938) answers his guests’ beck and call, whether making dinner reservations or arranging shuttle service to the Aventura Mall just across the road. Or, call Aventura Limousine Service (305-770-5466; www.aventuralimo.com), which will whisk them away in a luxury sedan or limousine to nearby shopping and entertainment venues. The world-famous Bal Harbour Shops (www.balharbourshops.com), with designers like Prada, Cartier and Chanel, are minutes away.

While relaxing at the resort, guests can visit the Willow Stream Spa for a selection of pampering treatments; most popular with guests is the Relaxation Massage. Masseuses are assigned on a need-specific basis. Agents can contact Spa Director Kenneth Ryan at kenneth.ryan@fairmont.com. Book spa treatments in advance to avoid disappointment and sold-out services.

Dining options on site are open only to resort members and guests; make reservations up to 72 hours in advance.

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Linda Scott, Gay Holden, Raquel Cainas, and Frances Ruiz serve as liaisons for agents with VIP needs, and can be reached at 305-932-6200, ext. 3800. For reservations, call the hotel direct at 305-933-6200, book via GDS or e-mail tir.reservations@fairmont.com. General manger is Ian Robinson.
There’s a buzz in the air about the Reunion Resort & Club of Orlando (www.reunionresort.com), a private Florida resort and club comprising a series of villas and private homes and two signature golf courses (a third will open in late 2005).

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Also slated to open at Reunion are additional accommodations and a 40,000-square-foot spa. Robert van Bergen is the general manager of the resort, which is less than six miles from the Walt Disney World Resort. Be sure to visit Reunion’s travel agent portal at www.reunionagents.com.