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Column: Folly Beach paradise times two
Tammy Davis.jpg
Tammy Davis
Hot Tub View
A hot tub with a view at the Water’s Edge Inn, Folly Beach. (Photo taken by the author.)

I stopped in my tracks when I saw the marble counter tops with fossil detail. “Paul loves it when people ask about those counters,” the front desk clerk said. “He picked those out himself.”

When I complimented the little white lights strung around the live oaks in the courtyard, the answer was the same -- Paul’s touch. I couldn’t wait to meet this Paul. I expected a designer-type, an artsy guy who loved to talk about fabric and fringe.

When Paul Lauer walked in, I was not thinking about fabric.

This volunteer firefighter/developer from Hawaii came to Folly and found a need. He filled that need with two spectacular inns, the Regatta Inn and the Water’s Edge Inn. While the Regatta is more of a design win, the Water’s Edge can’t be beat. Regatta Inn is the newer inn and looks like it should be featured in an HGTV episode. Water’s Edge Inn, Paul’s first property, is HGTV worthy, but with a touch of kitsch. A few papier mache parrots scattered here and there might be a little cheesy, but nobody cares because they are too busy taking in the views.

We stayed at the Water’s Edge Inn. At that price point, it was as close to perfect as I have found. Nine rooms, all with marsh views. Our room had a private screened-in porch.

I picked this inn because of the outdoor hot tub overlooking the marsh. Even in the heat of the summer, I highly recommend a sunset soak. The views are spectacular.

Breakfast is serve yourself, but it’s more than a continental spread. Fresh fruit, pastries, bacon and scrambled eggs. I’m picky about presentation, and this breakfast passed my test. I didn’t understand the platter of cold cuts and cheese at 7 a.m., but others seemed to enjoy. The dining area is a little tight so we moved to our porch for breakfast, a lovely way to start the day.

Happy hour is also a step above the pretzels, beer and wine served at many spots. We enjoyed chicken salad with grapes and apples and pimento cheese as good as mine.

I was looking forward to the Folly Punch, served upon arrival and at happy hour. I love the idea of a signature drink, but this missed the mark. A little sweet, a little watered down. But, let’s not get too picky about a free cocktail.

Both inns are on the marsh side of the island. That could be a deterrent, but both inns provide a golf cart shuttle service to and from the beach. I don’t know if that was Paul’s idea, but someone is a genius.

Downtown Folly was a bit rowdy for our mother/daughter get away, so we ordered in. Sandwiches for lunch, pizza from Woody’s for dinner. Lots of spots deliver which gives you more time to relax and enjoy the beautiful marsh views.

Normally, I spend hours reading reviews and comparison shopping before booking a stay, but I made this reservation at the last minute. Boy, did we get lucky. I’m glad we checked out both inns while we were there. Paul’s suggestion. Next time we’re heading to Folly. I know where we’ll be. Water’s Edge or Regatta Inn.

(Tammy Davis loves to travel and find gems like these. She loves sharing her finds with others. If you have an inn or VRBO you’d like her to visit, e-mail her at tammydavisstories@gmail.com.)