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Crowne Plaza through Hotwire ... Now what?

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Tidewater, VA
posts: 96
reviews: 6
Crowne Plaza through Hotwire ... Now what?

I booked through Hotwire last night and thought for sure I was getting the Hilton but ended up with the Crowne Plaza. I am not happy with it (led to a sleepless night) but I guess i can't complain too much for $73 a night for 8 nights the first week of April. (oh, I can't forget the $10 resort fee I will now be charged a night because it wasn't included int he Hotwire cost). I was just hoping for a small fridge, a little bigger room with 4 of us and access to Palmetto Dunes.

Anyway, now that I will be staying in Shipyard Plantation for our first visit to HHI with kids 6 & 7, can I still register my kids for the tennis program at Palmetto Dunes? And if so, how do I get access? Will they give me a gate pass? Also, if I bring a kayak along, is there anyway i can get acces to the connected lagoon system in Palmetto Dunes? If they give me a gate pass for tennis, can I stay longer than the hour a day it lasts? I mean, once I'm in a plantation, how do they polics if you are supposed to be there or not?

I know I can pay to get into Sea Pines but do they charge per day/ per week or per entry when you aren't a guest there? What if the family is on bikes?We are a cycling family and I am wondering how best to get into some of the other plantations to bike through them to at least see what they are like and we just love to explore nature.

Does anyone know if the Crowne Plaza has anywhere I can safely keep a kayak during my stay? We will keep our bikes in the van but the kayak won't fit inside. If they would store it, anyone know what they'll charge me? I know we can rent but I am hoping to do a lot of kayaking and would be most likely to rent for the week so this would go for the kayak too (unless I can pay the rental company and leave it with them over night. Anyone know if that is possible?).

Anyway, just looking for some pointers on how to make the best of this trip. Any input is appreciated. TIA!


Hilton Head, South...
Destination Expert
for Hilton Head
posts: 2,882
reviews: 42
1. Re: Crowne Plaza through Hotwire ... Now what?

You shouldn't be disapointed. While not directly on the Ocean, The Crowne Plaza is OceanSide and you have a very short walk to the Shipyard Beach.

I am puzzled however that you would prefer Palmetto Dunes Tennis to Dennis Van Der Meer. His main facility is right next to the Crowne Plaza. He is admittedly the best teacher on the island. Most of the pros use his teaching methods, including those at PD.

He has an international staff, and there are teaching pros from allover who come to learn from him.

I can't answer your question about Kayak storage, but many locals and visitors do kayak in the ocean itself. If you can take care of the storage problem, there are plenty of places you can kayak in the area. My recommendation is to kayak down the May River in the Bluffton area.

Stan (hhiguy)

Tidewater, VA
posts: 96
reviews: 6
2. Re: Crowne Plaza through Hotwire ... Now what?

The reason I was looking at Palmetto Dunes Tennis instead of Dennis Van Der Meer was that I didn't see that they had any programs for beginners aged 6 & 7. My kids have hit tennis balls around at home but have never actually played. The kids program I saw at Palmettos seemed like a good time and activities. I saw there was also something at Sea pines for their age but it was a little early for us late risers.

Thanks for the feedback!

Dundee, Michigan
posts: 685
reviews: 8
3. Re: Crowne Plaza through Hotwire ... Now what?

You sound so disappointed! Please don't worry about the Crowne Plaza. We stayed there a few years ago and it is absolutely wonderful in every way. It is so luxurious, and your rate of $73/night is terrific--we paid $94/night through Hotwire in late March. We stayed at the Hilton property years ago when it was called Mariners Inn and from what I remember, the Crowne Plaza is much, much better. You will probably get a side-facing room as we did because of the super low Hotwire rate, but the way that the Crowne Plaza is set up none of the rooms are directly on the ocean, because there is a wonderful and remarkably beautiful area of gardens, ponds, etc. on the grounds between the hotel and the ocean. To get to the beach you walk through this area, but it is only a very short walk. There is an open pavilion-type of building in this area as well as a small building where they store bicycles for rentals, so maybe there is also somewhere that they would be willing to store your kayak for you. The staff at the Crowne Plaza is so nice and helpful. Look especially for a doorman named D.J. if he still works there. He is so nice!

Van Der Meer tennis lessons start at age 10, which is a shame since it is a fantastic facility and right next door to the CP. However, I really doubt if Palmetto Dunes tennis would turn away paying customers. Check with them about how passes into the plantation work. I would guess that they will either give you a daily pass or one for the length of your stay. I don't think that it's really that big of a deal down there as long as they can see that you are vacationers who want to pay to use the amenities. I think that the plantation/pass system is used primarily to keep nosy locals out and to keep the overall resort atmosphere intact. I know that people play golf in different plantations a lot and it is no big deal.

Shipyard Plantation is awesome! We rented bikes and rode for hours just inside of this plantation. If you want to leave without having to try to gain access to a different plantation, simply take Cordillo Pkwy. out to Pope Ave. and you will be in the S. Forest Beach area which I believe has public access. Keep in mind if you want to ride in other plantations to see what they're like that some of them aren't open to the public and that some of the main roads between the plantations, especially Hwy. 278, have very heavy traffic. I am fairly certain that there are bike paths along the main roads, but still, the traffic is pretty heavy at times so be very careful. There is also a very busy traffic circle, Coligny Circle I believe it is called, between Shipyard and Sea Pines, with several roads emptying into it, and I would bet that it would be difficult to navigate on bikes, even if there are bike paths. When you see Shipyard I think that you will be very impressed. It is in no way inferior to Palmetto Dunes, IMO.

I can't help you too much with the kayak access questions, because we aren't kayakers, but there may be access to Broad Creek by way of Shelter Cove Harbor, which was public access the last time we were there.

I hope this helps a little bit. Again, don't worry at all about Shipyard and the CP. You are getting a wonderful deal at a wonderful place!

Dundee, Michigan
posts: 685
reviews: 8
4. Re: Crowne Plaza through Hotwire ... Now what?

The traffic circle that I was referring to is actually called Sea Pines Circle, not Coligny Circle. Also, when I say that Shelter Cove Harbor was public access when we were last there, I mean that you can enter off of Hwy. 278 without having to go through a gate and there are public parking lots and shops and restaurants next to the marina. One of the locals on this forum can hopefully tell you if you can use your personal kayak out of this marina or not. I saw a lot of kayakers on Broad Creek near Shelter Cove when we took a sightseeing cruise out of there, but they could have been renters who rented their kayaks in that area. Sorry I couldn't be of more help on the kayaking questions.

Tidewater, VA
posts: 96
reviews: 6
5. Re: Crowne Plaza through Hotwire ... Now what?

Thanks for such great feedback! I was a little disappointed at the Crowne Plaza but I know I shouldn't be. I'm sure it will all be a wonderful place to stay. I just was hoping for a little more space to spread out and for a heated outdoor pool knowing the temps will probably be too cold for swimming outdoors without it in early April. At least there is an indoor pool for the kids.

I have downloaded all of the bike path maps around the island on the public pathways so I'm sure we will try most of them with caution. Our kids are seasoned cyclists but it is the drivers that concern us the most along the roadways. We hope to explore as much of the island as possible on the bikes. Like I said, we are just a very active family and my kids need to be kept very active so I am just trying to anticipate how to keep them busy for 8 days!

I am definitely not concerned about the view from our room and hopefully the sleep system stuff at the Crowne Plaza will satisfy my DH's light sleeping tendencies. I've stayed on a quiet floor at a Crowne Plaza recently but I hope they don't put me on one of them with my boistrous (?) kids, lol.

I guess I'll call the hotel about kayak storage or maybe try a long term rental at Shelter Cove and maybe they will let me rent long term but leave the kayak there. Thanks for the info on public access to Shelter Cove as well. It sounds like the best choice for getting out onto the water.

Now, does anyone have a recommendation on a good crabbing spot? We will have to do catch and release with no way to cook them but we can still enjoy it.

Cincinnati OH
posts: 38
reviews: 1
6. Re: Crowne Plaza through Hotwire ... Now what?


Hi! I see that you said you downloaded bike maps somewhere, can you kindly let me know where you found those? That would be great, I'm getting married on the Island and everyone is from out of town and this would be something I'd love to forward on to some of them.



Cincinnati OH
posts: 38
reviews: 1
7. Re: Crowne Plaza through Hotwire ... Now what?

PS-what a great deal you got. I'm having my wedding actually at the Crowne Plaza Beach Pavilion in June and rates sky rocket to about $300 a night then.

Tidewater, VA
posts: 96
reviews: 6
8. Re: Crowne Plaza through Hotwire ... Now what?

Here is one map I found the link to from right here on trip advisor. It is nice because it has teh plantations colored different shaeds. the bike paths are the public pathways. http://www.hhidirect.com/bikepage.html

This one look suseful since it has the beach acess and public restroom facilities marked on it which I would imagine would be nice to have on a bike tour of the island. www.hiltonheadislandsc.gov/Maps/pathmap.htm

Hope you have a wonderful wedding!

Hilton Head Island
posts: 5
9. Re: Crowne Plaza through Hotwire ... Now what?

The Crowne Plaza was managed by Marriott years ago. This is a great property. The Shipyard golf course and tennis facility are family orientated. You can have easy access to Palmetto Dunes. Keep in mind the Verizon Heritage Golf event will attract visitors beginning the first week of April and runs the week of April 9th thru the 15th. You are very lucky to get such a reasonable rate for this fine resort. Have a nice vacation.

10. Re: Crowne Plaza through Hotwire ... Now what?

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