Lowcountry steeped in luxury

At the Helm

lori nov2015Luxury is a word that gets thrown around a lot. People use it to describe everything from expensive jewelry to free time spent with family. What does luxury mean to you? Does it conjure up images of the unattainable: private jets, hotel suites or something as brazen as a Bentley? Is it long walks on the beach or a glass of wine while watching the sunset?

Whatever your definition the Lowcountry is steeped in it.

If somebody handed you $5 million right now, there are 20 homes for sale on Hilton Head Island and in Bluffton you still couldn’t afford. Walk around any of the island’s marinas and count the number of extravagant yachts you stumble across. You will quickly run out of fingers

One of the many times President Bill Clinton vacationed here, The Associated Press described Hilton Head as “a playground for the rich and famous.” I think that’s a fair assessment. You can’t throw a rock around here without hitting a former CEO of a major corporation. When Sun City decided to built its first development on the East Coast, it was named “Sun City Hilton Head” instead of “Sun City South Carolina” because research showed the island’s brand recognition was more desirable than the state’s.

For me, luxury is most notable inside the area’s many high-end plantations. I’ll never forget my introduction to one of them.

At the time, Tommy Baysden was behind the marketing of many local plantations. He called me up and said he wanted to show me a concept for a new plantation, calling it “the ultimate in luxury.” So one cold February morning, I boarded a Hinckley boat at Harbour Town and headed to an uninhabited island on the other side of the lighthouse.

We jumped off the boat, jumped into a Jeep and drove through a centuries-old maritime forest to a small house. Inside, gentlemen there showed me an ambitious plan for this new plantation.

“Are you kidding me? Is this even possible?” I asked. Over the next few years, I watched it all come to life with the creation of Palmetto Bluff. Tommy was right.

This issue is dedicated to luxury in its many forms. To me, my home is the most luxurious place in the world. My back deck offers an incredible view with gorgeous sunsets. Great neighbors and friends are another great luxury.

I also have the luxury of waking up each day and making a short drive to work for this magazine. We try to capture the essence of this magnificent place and the wonderful people that call it home in each issue. Enjoy the good life!