Kiawah Press Releases


Bryan Hunter, Director of Public Relations
Kiawah Island Golf Resort
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The Sanctuary Earns Top Ratings

The Sanctuary Hotel and Spa Logo

Kiawah Island, SC, February 25, 2019 – The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort has received the highest ratings from two of the world’s most respected authorities in the hospitality industry. In January, AAA announced that The Sanctuary ranks among its select group of Five Diamond Properties for the thirteenth consecutive year. Last week, Forbes Travel Guide announced that it has awarded Five Stars to The Sanctuary. This is the eleventh consecutive year the luxury property has earned the distinction of being the only Forbes Travel Guide Five Star Hotel and Spa in South Carolina.

“For AAA and Forbes Travel Guide to recognize The Sanctuary in this manner reflects the dedicated effort of every employee that makes up my team,” said The Sanctuary General Manager Bill Lacey. “Each of these committed, passionate professionals fulfills our mission to provide every guest with an unparalleled experience that is caring, gracious and genuine.”

The Forbes Travel Guide star ranking system is recognized as the international gold standard for rating the hospitality industry. Forbes inspectors anonymously visit hotels and spas that potentially offer the level of service and facilities to qualify for a minimum of two nights. During their stay, the inspectors evaluate each property’s service and facilities based on up to nine hundred objective standards. Inspected properties must score a ninety or higher to earn Forbes Five Stars. Of the more than fifty thousand total hotels in the U.S., The Sanctuary is one of only seventy-nine to earn Five Stars from Forbes Travel Guide. Only two hundred ten properties worldwide attained a Five Star rating in 2019.

AAA annually awards either Four or Five Diamonds to the most distinguished hotels and restaurants throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Inspectors visit hotels and restaurants to determine which are “AAA Inspected & Approved.” Of these, in 2019 AAA awarded Five Diamonds to only eight-five throughout the U.S., a distinction that recognizes those AAA Inspected & Approved properties that provide the ultimate luxury.

The Sanctuary is one of only forty-seven properties in the U.S. to attain both Forbes Travel Guide Five Stars and AAA Five Diamonds.

To learn more about The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf resort, visit To see the entire list of Forbes Travel Guide Star winners and to learn more about the process, visit . To see the entire list of AAA Five Diamond winners, visit .


Located along 10 miles of pristine beach less than 30 miles south of Charleston, S.C., Kiawah Island Golf Resort consistently ranks as one of the country’s top resorts. It includes The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, the resort’s ultra-luxury 255-room hotel and spa – and nearly 500 private villas and luxury homes, five championship golf courses, including The Ocean Course, host of the 1991 Ryder Cup, the 2012 PGA Championship and upcoming 2021 PGA Championship. For 10 of the past 12 years, the resort has ranked as the number one tennis resort in the world by, and features an award-winning recreation and nature program. Beginning spring 2018, Kiawah Island Golf Resort launched a three-year development that will greatly enhance the resort’s already world-class amenities. For more information, visit

2021 PGA Kiawah Press

The 103rd edition of the Championship 2021 returns to the renowned Pete Dye-designed oceanfront layout in South Carolina after its first visit in 2012, when Rory McIlroy captured the Wanamaker Trophy by a record-setting margin. The Ocean Course is one of four venues to host each of the PGA of America’s major championships – The Ryder Cup (1991), the Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid (2007) and the PGA Championship. The Ocean Course also hosted the 2005 PGA Professional National Championship.

The PGA Championship also is the only one of golf’s four majors to be hosted in South Carolina. The announcement was made with Kiawah Island Golf Resort Chairman Bill Goodwin

The PGA Championship, the only all-professional major, features one of the deepest international fields in golf. Since 1994, it has perennially featured the most top-100 players in the Official World Golf Rankings of all golf Championships.

The Ocean Course has more seaside holes than any other courses in North America — 10 along the Atlantic Ocean with the other eight running parallel to those.

Designed from a ribbon of pristine sand dunes stretching nearly three miles along the Atlantic Ocean at the eastern end of Kiawah Island, The Ocean Course is par-72 layout that can be extended to 7,676 yards and is reminiscent of the great seaside links of England and Scotland.


If you need a particular photo for reproduction, please contact our Director of Public Relations Bryan K. Hunter and you will be given a URL to a website where you can choose the photos. If you are a meeting planner designing a brochure, the resort requires to see a proof before publication.

Press Releases

PGA of America to Conduct 2021 PGA Championship on The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort (.pdf)

Press Kit

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