By NITISH S. RELE
When Mazda invited us for their Active Lifestyle Drive Program in Bluffton, S.C. recently, we were more than happy to join. After all, no other carmaker’s vehicles convey the fun and energetic lifestyle as much as those of Mazda, starting with the Mazda3, Mazda5, Mazda6, CX-3, CX-5 and CX-9. And, of course, MX-5 Miata, the world’s best-selling roadster.
We were put up in the newly-expanded Montage Palmetto Bluff (palmettobluff.com) set within the 20,000-acre Palmetto Bluff community, a centuries-old maritime forest surrounded by 32 miles of riverfront. Just 35 minutes from Savannah International Airport, the classic Colonial-style resort features 200 guest accommodations, six dining options, three pools, Spa Montage, Paintbox children’s program, 35 private Montage Residences, 18-hole golf course and more than 16,000 square feet of meeting and event space.
During the media presentation held in Somerset Chapel (a venue for large weddings) on the resort property, Mazda Public Relations Senior Manager Eric Booth pointed out that the Japanese carmaker sells its vehicles in 120 countries, has 5,200 dealers worldwide and 1.53 million annual unit sales. “Mazda is evolving into its own premium brand,” he said. With unique styling, detailed craftsmanship and impressive infotainment/tech features, Mazda is well on its way to become an exceptional marque.
For activities, our host set up kayaking or cycling at the 5,200-acre Sea Pines, a private residential and resort plantation on Hilton Head Island.
It is known for a world-recognized Harbour Town Marina, which has some breathtaking yachts as large as 115 feet. The landmark red-and-white-striped lighthouse was built in 1969 by Charles Fraser to help boats traveling on the Calibogue Sound. Basically, it is a hexagonal column with a red observation deck below the lantern. You reach the top of the lighthouse after climbing 114 steps. Sea Pines boasts a lush, 605-acre forest preserve, access to five miles of Atlantic Ocean beaches, over 100 tennis courts and four championship golf courses, two security gates and several swimming pools. Lunch was served at The Salty Dog, an island tradition since 1987.
We concluded our Southern Escape by heading back to the stunning Montage Palmetto Bluff to further explore the resort. Indeed, Mazda knows how one can enjoy and cherish an active lifestyle, behind the steering wheel of one of its outstanding vehicles, of course.
For more information on Mazda vehicles, visit mazdausa.com.