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“Not as luxe as we expected” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island

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Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   130 Shipyard Drive, Hilton Head, SC 29928   |  
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Ranked #2 of 26 hotels in Hilton Head
Charleston, South Carolina
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Not as luxe as we expected”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

PROS:
The rooms have modern beach decor with comfortable beds. The inside and outside bars have good beer prices (but the restaurant food is over-priced for breakfast). There's a motion-activated foot lamp by the bed, which was great for me since I'm in my third trimester of pregnancy. Of the Hilton Head resorts/hotels we compared, we enjoyed the proximity to the beach that Sonesta offers.

CONS:
For being a full service resort, there was always a long wait at the front desk, including when we arrived to check in (around 8:00 pm). Although we had marked our reservation with it being a special occasion (our second honeymoon/babymoon) and are in the loyalty program, they only offered us one room as an upgrade option, at a significant cost (more than twice our current room rate). We overheard them offer this suite to every other guest who checked in, so we clearly received no special treatment for being loyalty members or celebrating. Once we got into our room (a standard king), we were a bit disappointed at the size and lack of luxury of the bathroom. We were grossed out by the hair that was stuck onto the shower walls and all in the tub. We considered changing rooms, but then remembered that the only room left in the hotel was that suite they were pushing. Had we not been late for our dinner reservations, we would have requested an immediate cleaning. The next day, they never came to clean our room although we were out of the room by 9:00 am, and not back until after 2:00. I had to go get fresh towels and toilet paper from a cleaning cart in the hallway. They never actually cleaned our room the entire weekend we were there (despite no "do not disturb" sign). To make things worse, they don't have any disposable cups (only the glass ones); if they can't keep the tub visibly clean, just think of the germs on the glasses! The toiletries are not spa quality, which was disappointing for having a "reknown" spa on site. The toiletries are in a big dispenser inside the shower. There's a small fridge but no microwave (so you can't heat up leftovers). There is free parking fairly close, although it's strange that they placed the blocked valet lot much closer than the self-parking. At 10;00 pm, we were fortunate to get the last parking spot in the self-parking lot, but there were several cars circling in the lot and no nearby spaces. Lastly, even though we checked in late, they wouldn't allow a later checkout than noon (despite our putting the request on the original reservation). Even though the front desk said that we could stay to use the pool after checking out, when we went to clear the bill at 4:00 pm, they tried to charge us for an extra half-day!

OVERALL:
Not as luxurious as one would expect for "the only 4-star" resort on Hilton Head. About as luxe as your run-of-the mill Hampton Inn (though I've been to several Hamptons that are more luxurious). At this price point and the resort's emphasis on its 4 star rating, you'd expect more hospitality and luxury than you'll receive here. It was ok for a weekend, but I can't imagine staying here for more than 2 days. If you're celebrating a special occasion, go somewhere else.

Timing tip: we went in 2nd weekend in August (the weekend before SC and GA schools restart),
and it was completely packed with families; for a romantic trip consider going later in the year.

Room Tip: Our room was on the opposite side from the pool and far from the elevators, but there was still a lo...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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781 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (218)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Closter, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

We stayed at this resort for a week with 3 kids (10,6,1). We took the large corner room so the room was extremely comfortable and spacious even after adding a crib, a rollaway bed and opening the sofa bed. Staff was friendly for the most part. Pool and beach are beautiful but everything costs extra (a lot extra) like beach chairs and umbrella. The rooms were clean enough (not perfect) and every request we had was accommodated. The only thing that really kept me from giving it 5 stars is breakfast. We had the breakfast package, so we had a lot of experience..... The buffet is way too pricey for the poor selection it provides. And the worst part is the staff... Feels like the last thing they want is to help you. A better breakfast experience would have really made this a wonderful stay.

Room Tip: We had a corner room and although spacious the ice machine gave us a headache at night. Try to avoid...
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lexington, South Carolina
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Had an even better experience than when we stayed here last year. Grounds are beautiful & immaculately groomed. Ocean view King room included sofa, fridge, huge TV, spotless bathroom. Staff were friendly and polite without exception. Only disappointment was being charged a "resort fee" upon checking out after what was supposed to be a "free" rewards night.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with Sonesta

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

This was our 2nd stay here. They have remodeled since our first trip. Beautiful hotel. Nice rooms. Good service. My only complaint was the removal of the "adult" pool, now adults don't have a choice...

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with Sonesta

Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Sonesta Hilton Head is a great resort. Spent 3 days in Savannah, then to Sonesta for 3 days. Everything was super. Accomodations were comfortable, pool and beach perfect and weather beautiful. Sonesta staff was pleasant and helpful. Will be back again.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with Sonesta

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbia, South Carolina
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

This was my second visit to The Sonesta Resort as I loved it so much last year I HAD to go back! From the minute you pull up to the front door, you feel like you have just landed in Paradise!! The bellhops, Jermaine and Kevin are there to greet you and take your luggage with a great big smile. When the doors open the fresh smell of the aromatherapy will make all your stress just disappear. Mollie, at the front desk could not have been sweeter! She was so professional and very accommodating to all our needs. Our room was on the 4th floor overlooking the beautiful pool and the lush grounds. A nice king bed with crisp sheets and all the ammenites you can think of. My husband loved the night light that came on when you stepped out of bed in the middle of the night! At night we would sit on our balcony and just listen to the sounds of nature. There are SO many places to sit and read or just take a nap. The beach is a 2 minute walk away and just beautiful. There are many beautiful places on Hilton Head, but The Sonesta is the one for us!!

Room Tip: We loved our room overlooking the pool.
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

We (two women) stayed here a while ago (last Sept), but think our experience is probably still relevant so here goes…! Overall, a lovely, clean and modern hotel with nice grounds and beachside proximity. It doesn’t have the level of service and ‘finish’ that a 5-star (or even some 4-stars) would have, but overall good value – recommended!

Resort & Amenities:
-Modern, fresh décor with a beautiful lobby and lots of comfy sitting areas throughout (indoors and out)
-Free computer stations with printers; fruit water in the lobby
-Nice walk-in pool; no problem finding a lounger (granted, it wasn’t high season); though not much in the way of poolside service and loungers weren’t cushioned
-Lovely to walk around and enjoy the grounds; fun to see the turtles being fed and bird watching (we spotted a large heron by the pond)
-Easy stroll to the beach; hammocks for lounging if you’re so inclined
-Gym is fairly small for a resort this size, though decent equipment; the room itself is nothing to write home about, fairly windowless
-Convenient self-park with lots of spots
-Service overall was as expected – friendly, responsive, but nothing ‘over and above’
-Awkward layout – think of the building as a U shape with the elevators at the base, and rooms branching out on either side; so if you don’t like taking stairs or trekking too far, ask for a room close to the elevators

Room – The Good:
-Beautiful, huge, clean, modern rooms with a good-sized balcony
-Comfortable beds; big armchair (fit both of us!) that converts into a single pull-out; desk with large mirror
-Loads of storage with 8 drawers, storage in the nightstands, decent closet (about 10 hangers)
-Laptop-sized safe, Keurig coffee machine, alarm clock with iPod docking, good-sized flat screen TV, mini fridge (not very cold)
-Spacious bathroom, lots of counter space
-Strong, free wi-fi
-Good value compared to other resorts on the island–US $245/night (all in) for a 2-queen room

Room -- Not So Good:
-‘Ocean View’ is definitely not worth the premium! We had booked such a room (#5107) but the view was a joke – if you squinted and used binoculars to peer way over the treetops…maybe you could see a small glimpse of water; we immediately switched to a room that overlooked the pool (#4054) – view was obstructed by the trees immediately in front of us, which we didn’t mind since they provided privacy and shade
-Some misses with housekeeping like the used liner in our ice bucket not getting changed
-Turndown not automatic, but provided when requested after the first night (chocolates, weather report)
-Nice, but basic toiletry selection (moisturizer, shampoo, conditioner, shower cap, no vanity kit or other extras)
-No screen door on balcony, so you can’t leave the door open without fear of bugs getting in
-Room is a bit dark (could have been because we were shaded by trees), but inside lighting helps
-Avoid adjoining rooms; neighbourly noise crept through the crack under the door

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Sonesta – a beautiful, clean and contemporary resort; and a great base for exploring the island!

Room Tip: Don't bother with oceanfront rooms -- there is no view to speak of! Better to ask for a room wit...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island

Address: 130 Shipyard Drive, Hilton Head, SC 29928
Phone Number:
Location: United States > South Carolina > Coastal South Carolina > Hilton Head
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Hilton Head
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Hilton Head
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Hilton Head
#2 Luxury Hotel in Hilton Head
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island is the perfect getaway for families and couples, destination weddings, and is the place to meet for groups of all sizes. Located within Shipyard Plantation, the Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island is adjacent to Van Der Meer Tennis and Shipyard Golf. Our hotel is only 35 miles from Beaufort, S.C., 45 miles from Savannah and 100 miles from historic Charleston. Hilton Head Island and the Lowcountry is also home to the Verizon Heritage Golf Tournament. We are one of the closest, upscale Hilton Head hotels to island shopping, restaurants. The Sonesta Resort features 331 guest rooms and 9 luxurious suites. All rooms feature private balconies or patios, many with spectacular views of our lush tropical gardens and the horizon of the Atlantic Ocean. Hotel amenities include Arum Spa, an extensive fitness center, outdoor and shaded pool, child's water feature, 24 hour business center, Pearls Market and Just Us Kids(seasonal). Enjoy our breakfast in Heyward's Restaurant, or have lunch at our poolside bar, Sweet Cane (seasonal). Fridays and Saturdays, Heyward's features a bountiful seafood buffet which is a local favorite. Seacrest offers lunch options and small plates. Bayley's Lounge offers daily happy hour specials. For the ultimate vacation experience or the premiere meeting spot, the Sonesta Beach Resort is the place to be on Hilton Head Island. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Crowne Plaza Hilton Head Island Beach Hotel Hilton Head
Hilton Head Crowne Plaza

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