My Sanctuary in the Sand: Kiawah Island Golf Resort (Part III)

I woke up to my iPhone beeping weather alerts at me the Sunday I visited Kiawah. Flooding was in the forecast, which meant it was a perfect day to stay put — and visit the spa.

After a lovely breakfast of vanilla bourbon French toast with maple syrup and strawberries (look, even the belle has to splurge sometimes, and it was so tasty!), I relaxed in my room, reading the Sunday New York Times.

Around 1:30 p.m., I decided it was time to head down to the spa (which is located in The Sanctuary) to take advantage of the amenities before my 3 p.m. appointment.

Here’s how the spa describes itself on its website: “The Spa at The Sanctuary includes natural features such as trickling water, gracious light, native wood, and resident stone to impart the sense of a grand Southern porch and garden, which has historically been a comfortable retreat for relaxing and reviving.”

When I arrived, I was shown to the locker room and provided my spa “uniform” — a robe and sandals. From there, I decided to try out the steam room, followed by a visit to the sauna. There’s also a lovely whirlpool to try. I then grabbed my book and waited in the lounge for my technician to come and grab me.

About five minutes before my appointment time, the spa manager came to greet me — and to tell me that the person who was scheduled to give me my 60-minute signature massage had suddenly fallen ill. (Apparently, she had to be taken to the hospital.) But he assured me that another technician was almost there to step in and work on me.

The whole situation was a bit odd, but I really appreciated how the manager handled it. Within minutes of him speaking with me, Katie, the replacement, was there escorting me to the treatment room.

After chatting for a moment about my never-ending “problem areas” — my right hamstring, hip flexors, yata, yata, yata — she gave me a moment to disrobe and get onto the table. The next thing I new, I heard a soft chime, and Katie began to work on me. (In addition, she placed lavender oil near my nose to help with my relaxation.)

The signature massage involves heated grain- and herb-filled wraps that are placed on key tension areas to induce relaxation. (I give this treatment two relaxed thumbs up!) I probably felt the most relaxed I’ve ever felt while receiving a massage. Katie's hands were rhythmic, and I was impressed at how her last stroke ended on the last note of a song — almost as if it were planned. Following the massage, I snuggled up with a good book in the solarium (pictured above) where I enjoyed a cup of herbal tea and a housemade granola bar.

But here’s the thing, as lovely as this spa was, it wasn’t as amazing as I thought it would be. I guess after visiting the spa at Old Edwards Inn, my expectations are a little high.

For example, the blankets weren’t as soft, the lounge chairs weren’t as cozy, and the tea selection wasn’t as impressive. Oh, and no alcohol was available in this spa (and sometimes a gal wants a glass of champagne to go with her FWABulous treatment).

So what’s my verdict on the spa? This belle thinks that if you’re headed to Kiawah, you should save your money for golf or tennis lessons, shopping, or for the amazing food you’re bound to eat. It’s a lovely place, but I just don’t know if this spa experience is worth the price tag.

OK folks, I cannot seem to get my Facebook likes to break 250 (I have been at a perpetual 249 for weeks). Help a girl out and give me a “like” if you haven’t already — your help is much appreciated! Until next Tuesday — stay FWABulous!