What do you call a hotel with 150 guestrooms, a full-service spa, an oceanfront restaurant and a boardwalk along the dunes?

Kiawah Island Golf Resort is crowd-sourcing possible names for its new waterfront hotel, which is one component of the seaside destination's ongoing multi-phase expansion. The resort put out a call online this week for ideas.

If a submitted name is selected, the resort will provide the entrant with a complimentary two-night stay during its grand opening, which is planned for the spring of 2021. 

Entrants are encouraged to do an online search before entering to ensure their ideas won't infringe on existing copyrights and trademarks. They're also reminded the new hotel will be a "five-star beach house to The Sanctuary's seaside mansion." 

Finding the right distinction between the 225-room AAA Five Diamond-rated Sanctuary and the smaller new lodging was one of the motivations for opening up the naming, said resort spokesman Bryan Hunter

The resort recently made a minor name change, too. Its new projects and renovations — which are slated to wrap up before the PGA Championship returns to the island's famous Ocean Course in May 2021 — had been called "Kiawah 2.0" when it was announced, but that name has been dropped in favor of just referring to the improvements as the "island-wide expansion."

Four components of the resort's multi-phase expansion are already underway and are set to open this year. The first is a new clubhouse overlooking the 18th hole of the resort's Cougar Point course. The feel of the space, which may open as soon as March, is an "elevated sports tavern," Hunter said. The clubhouse will have widescreen TVs but also a fireplace, plush armchairs and a full bar. 

The second addition, slated to open in the spring, is an expanded tennis center featuring 10 new courts with HydroCourt surfaces. Whereas traditional clay courts need to be watered manually, the courts are kept consistently hydrated throughout the day on their own. 

Also set to open this year is a new check-in area for guests staying in the complex's villas and the resort's first chapel. The Sanctuary Chapel, which will seat about 150, will likely be used often for wedding ceremonies, Hunter said, and will also be used to host nondenominational services on the weekends. It's expected to open this summer. 

One notable change has been made to the expansion's timeline, Hunter said. The opening of new cottages planned near the Ocean Course's clubhouse has been pushed back. The number of units being built has been increased to four from two, which required some adjustments in planning. 

Hostel takeover

Fans, owners and aspiring owners of low-cost, no-frills accommodations will gather downtown this week for the second-annual American Hostel Conference

We're starting a weekly newsletter about the business stories that are shaping Charleston and South Carolina. Get ahead with us - it's free.


The conference will be held in The Room on Meeting, an event space in downtown Charleston. The event is hosted by NotSo Hostel, a hostel-style lodging on Spring Street.

At NotSo Hostel's main location on Spring, guests stay in dorm-style accommodations for as little as $30 a night. The main house and an annex location on Cannon Street also offer private rooms for a higher fee.

The itinerary for the conference, which runs from Monday through Wednesday evening, includes an update on hostel industry trends, a presentation from the owner of Modal Hostel in Greenville and a live recording of the "Hostel Road Trip" podcast which highlights low-cost accommodations by region. 

Palmetto Carriage Works (copy)

Palmetto Carriage Works is offering free tours to local residents on Jan. 27. File photo

Free ride

Lowcountry denizens will have a chance to feel like a tourist next weekend: Palmetto Carriage Works will host its annual "Locals Ride Free Day" on Jan. 27. Residents of the Charleston area can ride free on one of the company's carriages if they provide a valid ID.

The tours will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and free parking will be available at the company's lot on Anson Street. Reservations aren't accepted. 

Reach Emily Williams at 843-937-5553. Follow her on Twitter @emilye_williams.

Emily Williams is a business reporter at The Post and Courier, covering tourism and employment. She is also the author of the weekly Business Headlines newsletter. Before moving to Charleston, her byline appeared in The Boston Globe.