Timbers Kiawah Ocean Club & Residences

South Carolina is one of those places with gems one wouldn’t expect to find. Sandwiched between Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee, the Palmetto state’s neighbors have gained in popularity since the pandemic, as people in droves relocate south from northern and western cities. However, South Carolina has had its share of recent change as well.

Historically the state receives little recognition as a place to live. Retirement and golf may come to mind when mentioning Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach, but those aching to move for a better way of life, a lower cost of living or may not be quite ready to settle down and retire may want to check out Timbers Kiawah Ocean Club & Residences on Kiawah Island.

Timbers Kiawah is the only private residence club with fractional ownership on Kiawah and the newest oceanfront offering in over 30 years. It’s an intimate, gated community of 21 residences nestled along the coastline. The Club is positioned on the southwest end of the island only two minutes from the main gate. The island has a ten-mile stretch of beach, minutes from Pete Dye’s legendary Ocean Course and a short cruise away from downtown Charleston. Tall pines provide a quiet, sheltered setting, and a private boardwalk and Beach Club allows your day to flow from home to beach to ocean and back again.

The island community here is a place for couples and family who enjoy an active lifestyle outdoors on the water. Think The Ozarks, but as a prestigious and exclusive community. Here the beach is your front yard and South Carolina Lowcountry is your backyard. The timeless landscape is a unique blend of ocean, dune, creek, marsh, and native maritime forest. Visitors can enjoy the soundtrack of surf, breeze and birdsong playing back to us in the soft, slow cadence of the South Carolina Lowcountry.

The island offers one of the only places in the world where one can witness dolphins jump out the water to eat fish on the shore.

Popular island activities include the beach, fishing, golf, a bike ride and an excursion to Charleston. Freshfields Village is just an easy bike ride from your front door. A charming town center near the entrance to Kiawah Island, Freshfields Village is filled with colorful boutiques, tasty restaurants and a Village Market grocery store.

Timbers Kiawah consists of 21 fully furnished, turnkey oceanfront residences across three buildings: eighteen three-bedroom residences and three four-bedroom Penthouse residences. In addition, Timbers Kiawah has an owner clubhouse and private beach club.

Millennium Magazine experienced a three-bedroom suite with an ocean view. After being picked up at Charleston International Airport in a Mercedes SUV upon arrival at Timbers Kiawah, we were greeted by a staff member who had us bypass check in and escorted us to our suite to drop off luggage and encouraged us to make our way to the beach in under 10 minutes. Left on the kitchen counter is a picture chart of the wait staff assigned so you can easily identify and remember team members who are ready at your service. The large private deck faces the ocean with lounge chairs, table seating for six and an outdoor grill. Mornings on the deck after waking fresh from a well-rested night’s sleep to breath in air off the South Carolina coastline with the sun rising over the ocean is priceless.

Beachfront residents, 3-bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 2,149 – 2,311 square feet, start at $675,000 for 1/9 deeded fractional interest. Eighteen residences provide expansive windows and doors that lead to spacious decks. Bathed in subtle hues and textures, thoughtful in every detail, each home is filled with premium finishes and furnishings in the Timbers tradition. Units also include private parking and storage.

Penthouses with 4 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, at 3,773, square feet and a deck at 1,626 square feet start at $1.7 million with 1/6 deeded fractional interest. The top floor of the three residential buildings graces the top floors, with panoramic ocean views. An elegant master suite features a fireplace and a Chef’s kitchens features Wolf, Sub-Zero and Bosch appliances.

Within each residence, the rich architectural heritage of the Lowcountry is filtered through a contemporary design sensibility – with big windows, wide open spaces and a soft, neutral color palette.

Ownership at Timbers Kiawah eliminates all the usual maintenance and upkeep headaches of traditional vacation home ownership. Residences comes completely turnkey and fully furnished, and is maintained and operated by staff so visitors can begin their vacation the moment they arrive. Owners can visit many times per year for extended periods, utilizing multiple residences simultaneously for events including family reunions, corporate events and more. Ownership can be shared with family and friends or donated to a charity. Owners at Timbers Kiawah are also granted Membership in to the Timbers Collection. This includes the exclusive benefit to trade time and visit other high-end resort destinations in the  Timbers Reciprocity Program, which allows owners to trade time to visit other destinations in the portfolio, to exclusive benefits through their Travel & Lifestyle Partners.

Properties are not timeshares and can’t be rented. Ownership at Timbers Kiawah is purchased as a fractional deeded real estate interest. The real estate can be financed, willed, placed in a trust, or owned by a designated legal entity.

At Timbers Kiawah, guests are cordially invited to not lift one finger. The service here is comfortable, family-like and oftentimes, invisible. Staff will take care of the little details from dinner reservations at one of Charleston’s hottest restaurants to a chipping lesson with one of Kiawah’s top pros — a personal concierge can make it happen.  Arriving home one evening Millennium found a piping hot shrimp boil left on the stove top. Another evening, barbecue chicken dinner from Kinfolk, a popular nearby southern restaurant.

A private beach club and grill provides for outdoor dining with drinks and dishes served from an ever changing menu where guests have input. Next to it is the shimmering oceanfront pool. There is a nice collection of books for poolside reading. Both pool and jacuzzi are heated year-round.

A jog or biking on the beach is fairly easy on flat firm sand. Ocean waves are relatively low so youth can easily frolic in the waters just in the eyesight of parents.

Kids can blow off some steam in the Timbers Tykes Room where guest can also pamper their wines in a temperature-controlled storage room. And challenge yourself in the state-of-the-art fitness room. The club can provide a daily grab-and-go breakfast so families can hit the day running.

Timbers Kiawah draws mid-career couples with young kids who aren’t quite yet for retirement, but enjoy the spoils of a leisure lifestyle that they can access when most convenient for the family.

Jeff & Beth Kowalczik with their girls, ages 10 and 12 bought into Timbers in 2019 and spent weeks at a time here during the pandemic.

“Right now with our lifestyle and our kids being the age they are, we don’t need full ownership right now Kiawah offers such good flexibility we stay here for most of the summer – 8 weeks is perfect,” said Jeff.

As owners the family has access to other island properties, some with spas and restaurants.

“This island is pretty legit, it has a lot to offer,” said Jeff, who enjoys to golf. “We thought Kiawah was all snooty, bankers, high rollers, but we came here and it has been extremely the opposite. It is much more family oriented.”

Jeff, 44, who is an insurance broker and Beth, 43, a financial analyst has lived in Charlotte, NC since 2003. Both are from colder climates, with Jeff originally from Syracuse, NY and Beth from Chicago, who said Kiawah brings up childhood memories of family visits to Myrtle Beach.

“I like the fact you just kind of show up, You don’t have to bring all your chairs and towels. Everything is provided. It feels more like a relaxing vacation than having to bring all your stuff to beach every day and haul your stuff back,” said Beth.

Want to experience Timbers Kiawah for yourself? Well, take a personal tour of Timbers Kiawah by scheduling a visit with an Ownership Representative at 843.306.0035.