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New 5-suite boutique hotel is a picture of luxury in Bluffton. Take a look inside

Bluffton’s May River Manor reopened this year as a luxury boutique hotel, and since then, it’s had a helicopter land on its front lawn.

The potential for guests to arrive in a personal rotorcraft is one aspect that differentiates the property as a boutique hotel.

It was opened in 2000 as a center for abused women then donated to the University of South Carolina Beaufort before the current owner bought the property in 2017. It closed in the spring of 2023 for a $3 million renovation and opened for the first time Jan. 1.

Originally constructed as a 9-bedroom 8-bathroom building, the hotel is intimate and provides more personalized services than larger hotels, according to manager Meg James.

James said they plan for guests celebrating bachelorette parties, birthdays, weddings or engagements to book all five of the suites, for up to 12 guests total, at once. But smaller parties can book a single room, most including claw-footed baths and porch access.

Meg James stands outside May River Manor on April 2, 2024. She has been the manager since it opened Jan. 1. Mary Dimitrov
Meg James stands outside May River Manor on April 2, 2024. She has been the manager since it opened Jan. 1. Mary Dimitrov

While rooms are limited, actual space on the property isn’t. The 6,000-square-foot estate boasts Southern porches overlooking a salt-water pool. The suites start around $500 and include a gourmet breakfast. Reservations also include personalized concierge service.

“Born and bred,” James said of Bluffton, which means she’s familiar with Bluffton, Hilton Head, Beaufort and Savannah. “If there’s somewhere that you’ve never explored before, I want to help you.”

That’s part of the charm, James said, that the property is within driving distance to many of the Lowcountry’s most popular destinations.

The 155 Old Miller Road hotel is less than 10 miles from additional luxury lodging at Montage Palmetto Bluff where Justin Bieber was married in 2019.

Reservations for rooms and contact information for private events are available on the May River Manor website.

Take a look at the property:

The front of Bluffton’s May River Manor May River Manor
The front of Bluffton’s May River Manor May River Manor
A photo of the first-floor common room of the May River Manor May River Manor
A photo of the first-floor common room of the May River Manor May River Manor
A first-floor guest room at May River Manor May River Manor
A first-floor guest room at May River Manor May River Manor
May River Manor’s second-floor porch, which some guests have access to from their rooms Mary Dimitrov
May River Manor’s second-floor porch, which some guests have access to from their rooms Mary Dimitrov
A view of May River Manor’s salt-water pool from the second-floor balcony Mary Dimitrov
A view of May River Manor’s salt-water pool from the second-floor balcony Mary Dimitrov