Kiawah Island is known across the United States for its 10 miles of pristine and sandy beaches, the famous Ocean Course designed by Pete Dye and home to the 2012 and future 2021 PGA championships, and the world class Sanctuary Hotel and Resort. Being an owner on Kiawah Island has lots of perks, but one thing I often get asked about is whether or not there is a mandatory club membership required for owners and what access to amenities owners on the island have. Below, we are breaking down the common fees and expenses, as well as diving in and looking at what club membership opportunities are available if you’re pursuing a country club atmosphere.
Unlike Seabrook Island, Kiawah does not require that you join a private club. All owners on Kiawah are responsible for a $2,566 annual Property Owners Association fee. This fee is just like a homeowners association fee in other neighborhoods, and funds things like the security gate, landscaping, electricity to common areas, and provides Kiawah owners access to the property owners amenity complex, The Sandcastle.
The Sandcastle is an oceanfront facility located in West Beach. The Sandcastle was renovated in 2018 and included a complete interior remodel, as well as the addition of an oceanfront pool. The new oceanfront pool is a 21 and up pool, complete with views of the sandy beaches and Atlantic Ocean. The family pool also has views of the beach and ocean, but is the largest pool at the Sandcastle and has 3 reserved lanes for lap swimming. There is also a small children’s pool in this area. These pools are only open to Kiawah residents and their guests during the season. The Sandcastle also has dining options available during the on-season that provide poolside service. In addition to the pools, the Sandcastle also has a fitness/gym facility and a schedule of group fitness classes. The clubhouse facility has meeting and event space that can be rented, as well as parking and access to the beach so you can easily drive, park and bring your chairs and coolers out for a day on the sand.
The Kiawah Island Club is the private club membership on Kiawah Island. Membership to the club is currently closed, and can only be gained through purchasing a property that has an exclusive Kiawah Island Club membership attached to it. If you decide when you purchase property with a club membership, that you do not want to join the club, then the membership will default back to the club. If you are looking at a property with the membership attached to it, then you’re in for a real treat if you decide to join!
The private club facilities on the island are world class and rival some of the best across the country. The Kiawah Island Club has 2 private golf courses for the golf enthusiasts: Cassique and the River Course. The Cassique course is a links style course and was designed by Tom Watson. The River Course, situated along the Kiawah River, was designed by Tom Fazio. Both courses take advantage of the serene and jaw dropping Kiawah landscape.
Cassique is also home to the sports pavilion, kayak launch on the river, and dining. The facility also has a pro shop and locker rooms. The River Course, like Cassique, has restaurant dining and bar services, pro shop, and a smaller fitness facility. Both the ladies and mens locker rooms at the River Course are absolutely stunning, and you’ll never want to leave. The River Course is also home to Sasanqua, the clubs spa, which has gorgeous views of the Kiawah River and provides a truly tranquil atmosphere.
The Beach Club, located further down the island, is the ocean front pool and beach access club on the island. The Beach Club has 2 pools, pool side service for food and drinks, ocean front dining in the dining room, and access to the beach through the members only facility. The newest amenity on the island is the Marsh House. The Marsh House is situated in Kiawah’s Ocean Park neighborhood and has stunning views from its infinity edge pool as well as dining options for members.
When you are a member of the private club, you’ll also have access to several events and programs throughout the year. Membership to the Kiawah Island Club is offered at a social, sports or golf level. Depending on which level you join, you’ll pay an initiation fee as well as monthly dues.
The Governor’s Club is a separate opportunity through the Kiawah Island Golf Resort for Kiawah residents to have access to the Resort’s amenities. I always tell clients that joining the Governor’s Club is a great value! In addition to discounts on golf, tennis, dining, retail, recreation and spa services, you also get access to 3 of the resort pools (Night Heron Family and Children, and West Beach).
The Resort has 5 golf courses on the island: The Ocean Course, Cougar Point, Turtle Point, Osprey Point and Oak Point. There are tennis options for tennis players and many recreational activities such as bike rentals and kayak rentals. Membership fees with the Governor’s Club vary based on what level you choose to join at.
Aside from the Kiawah Island Community Association property owners fees listed above, there is nothing else you have to join on the island if you decide not too! This is always one of the reasons that so many clients end up looking at Kiawah. If you purchase a single family attached unit (condo, townhome, villa) then you will be responsible for separate regime fees and possible insurance assessments outlined by the management company. It’s always best to talk with us, or your real estate agent, for more in depth fees and things to consider. Kiawah Island Community Association does charge a transfer fee to the buyer when purchasing on the island.