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“The First Time Disney Has Steered Me Wrong!” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort

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Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   22 Harbourside Lane, Hilton Head Island, Hilton Head, SC 29928   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 26 Hotels in Hilton Head
Certificate of Excellence
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
148 helpful votes 148 helpful votes
“The First Time Disney Has Steered Me Wrong!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2005

I wish I had read all the reviews here before booking our $300-per-night stay at Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort. I could have saved myself a lot of money and a lot of disappointment. We love Disney World and have stayed at many of the resorts there. We had wonderful experiences at all -- from value resorts to luxury resorts.

We were prepared to love Hilton Head -- which made our disappointment more painful. In the first place, I had seen photos of families playing on a beach at Disney's Hilton Head Resort (as at the Beach Club or Grand Floridian at WDW). So we were surprised and dismayed to learn that there are *no* beaches at Disney's Hilton Head Resort itself. The resort buildings are surrounded by swamp and put up on landfill in Shelter Cove.

The resort does have a beach house on the ocean. But it is several miles away from the resort itself. There is a jitney, but it stops service quite early in the day. If you drive, you must get there before 11:00 a.m. because the parking lot for Disney's beach house is very small and completely fills up.

If the beach is an important part of your reason for vacationing at Hilton Head, you will be much happier at one of the resorts built right on the beach. No stress about rushing to find a parking place in the morning. And you'd be able to go back and forth to your room from the beach without any difficulty. If you wanted to go back to your room from Disney's beach house, you would give up your parking place -- so you wouldn't be able to come back.

Another big disappointment was the resort pool. It is very small and has a small water slide. The water slide closes at 5:00 p.m.! This seems absurd (especially when you remember you are paying $300 a night). I heard one family complaining about this at the front desk. They had arrived at dinner time and were staying just one night. Since they had to be at the beach house promptly the next morning to get a parking place, they were not going to be able to use the pool slide at all. The reason for the pool closing at 5:00 p.m. was that the "lifeguards go off duty then." So pay a lifeguard to stay on duty until 9:00 p.m.!

There is no restaurant on the property. There is counter service food, but again it closed at 5:00 p.m.

The elevator is outside and not air conditioned. It was like a bake oven the day we were there.

The mood of the resort is somehow dark and gloomy -- or maybe that was just a reflection of my disappointment at finding my $300 room surrounded only by swamp and landfill.

The room was clean but small and looked out at a row of condos just across Shelter Cove.

The staff had none of the "Disney magic" that you feel at Disney World resorts.

I so wanted to love this resort! Be sure you look before you leap -- if you were picturing yourself strolling from your room to the beach at Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort. It's not going to happen.

  • Stayed July 2005
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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608 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
181 reviews 181 reviews
46 hotel reviews
Reviews in 92 cities Reviews in 92 cities
1,001 helpful votes 1,001 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2005

My sister and I had been staying at the Hilton Head Crowne Plaza, but decided to treat ourselves to a couple days at the Disney Resort for the last part of our trip. The price was a little daunting. Only later did I discover that the room rates become incredibly affordable as long as you aren’t there during the month of July. So I kicked myself a bit for that, but I still enjoyed our stay tremendously.

When we first arrived I was taken back a bit by the small and intimate feel of the check-in lobby. Not like the huge rooms and long, long counters of the Disney resorts in Orlando. We were early, but our room was already ready for us. We got the basic suite, which was more than large enough to suit our needs. Immediately upon entering you are in the kitchen—perhaps not the ideal location for a kitchen, but we never used it anyway. The room also had a washer and dryer, a large bathroom, queen bed, sofa bed, table and chairs, and a balcony with a rocking chair. The grounds of the resort are beautiful and very pleasant. The rooms are situated in many small buildings, connected by windy little baths or wooden plank boardwalks. Scattered throughout the grounds are dozens of hammocks, sandboxes, little gardens, benches, and playgrounds. I don’t know how many people were staying at the hotel when we were there, but it always felt very quiet and very empty. What we found especially endearing was the abundant wildlife in the resort. Bunnies were hopping around every time we turned around, while birds of all sizes swooped through the trees.

The hotel’s amenities were a little different than I expected, but were still very nice. The resort is located on a marshy island (not by the beach). Most of the activities are located in the center of the island: a large pool with a slide, hot tub, children’s clubhouse, game room and free movies for lend, evening camp fires, bike and fishing pole rental, and a pier jutting out into the marsh. The pier is a great place to watch the birds and little crabs that live and feed there. If you want to go to the ocean, there is a shuttle bus that takes you to the Beach House. This posh clubhouse has private access to the ocean, a large swimming pool, several children’s play areas, a sitting room with games and movies, and a small counter-service restaurant. It’s not quite as convenient as having the beach right next to the hotel, but the set up worked well for us, and I enjoyed the different atmosphere at the resort.

The one thing they need to improve at the hotel is the dining. There are no table-service restaurants at the resort. There is one place to get food, a counter above the clubhouse called Tide Me Over. The fare is pretty basic—burgers, grilled cheese, fries. There are many restaurants within an easy walking distance. The ones we tried were good, but not phenomenal, which was disappointing, considering how expensive they were.

Overall, we were extremely pleased with the Disney Hilton Head Resort. The service was excellent, the room was very comfortable, and the atmosphere was just as clean, peaceful, and quiet as we’d hoped.

  • Stayed July 2003
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2005

We just arrived back from staying at the Disney, Hilton Head Island Resort. We were there from Sunday through Friday. We found the accomadations to be wonderful. The marsh was right in our backyard and we saw a dolphin feeding and playing on numerous occasions, as well as many large birds (herrons and ergrets) and fish jumping.
The rooms were very clean, spacious, and well-equiped.
We had our 9 yr. old son with us and he had a great time. There were many activities for him during the time we were there. Many activities had a fee with them. Painting t-shirts were $10.00, a night out (3 hours) to a local movie theater and pizza/soda was $20.00, and another 3 hour activity called Disney Detectives (staying on the resort grounds) including pizza/soda was also $20.00. Fishing poles and bait was available to us for a small fee and so were bicycles.
There is a fabulous dolphin tour (4 people per boat) for $30.00 per person. That was about 2.5 hours and we saw many dolphins that came right up to our boat and even out of the water a bit! Great fun! We had wanted to do shark fishing but ran out of time and it was booked. Next time definitely!
There are 2 pools. One at the resort and one at the beach. The one at the resort has a small but lots of fun water slied that the adults even enjoyed. The pool at the beach had a basketball hoop and volleyball net. There were also activities that the lifeguards had organized at the pools for the kids and families.
The beach is not at the resort. It is about 1 mile away. You can take a bike, your car, or the Disney Shuttle. All times, we took our car and had no problems. The beach was beautiful but was crowded. Still, not a problem for us. There are beach chairs and umbrellas to rent. We brought our beach stuff from home.
There is a snack bar at both the beach pool and the resort pool. They have everything from snacks to burgers, chicken sandwiches, mozz. sticks, french fries, salads, and more. We also enjoyed the frozen alcoholic drinks and the fruit smoothies (non-alcoholic). There is no restaurant for dinner at either the resort or the beach. Dinner is on your own. We spoke to many locals to get recommendations and ate out most nights. There were some nice shops and restaurants right across the creek at the marina that we enjoyed.
Overall, we found the staff to be very friendly and helpful. The accomadations to be quite satisfying and rustic looking, and look forward to returning next year. We did talk to many families with children that have come for several years in a row.

  • Stayed August 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2005

We stayed here thinking it was some great adventure. First I read the reviews and saw a couple of negative ones thinking these people are pessimists, well it turns out they were right. I wouldn't pay $400+ a night again here, it is not on the beach it is a couple of miles away and it isn't worth packing up all your stuff and going to the beach everyday, we met some people who were staying at a condo on the beach same amount of space who paid 1/2 of what we did at Disney. It doesn't have the Disney atmosphere. Also I had our privacy please sign on a few days in the mornings and the housekeeping staff kept trying to come in, one housekeeper seemed upset when I asked her to come back after Noon, she said she had a couple of checkouts to do, but I am sorry I am there to relax not be on her schedule. The pools are small and the staff was rude, they have young interns there for a few months and I think they get burned out babysitting the children around the resort. I would either stay at the Marriot Ocean or Villamare the condo's I mentioned there.

  • Stayed August 2005
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2005

If you want huge slides and a theme park then go to Disney World. If you want a relaxing family atmosphere that we experienced then this is a great stay. We had so much fun with the resort. The resort had games for kids, pupet shows, magic shows, bomb fires, and more. One thing is for sure Hilton Head is an upscale beach that provides the ultimate in relaxing. If you want theme park atmosphere then go to Disney or go to Myrtle Beach. This was a great stay.

  • Stayed May 2002
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 19
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A TripAdvisor Member
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2005

The Disney resort on Hilton Head Island is terribly OVERRATED. The hotel was just okay, nothing special. The only ice maker on the property was not working and hadn't been for a couple of days, car alarms going off throughout the night, the pool was small and CROWDED, the pool slide not that great. We were told as guests of the hotel we could make local phone calls for a small fee (wow, what a plus) and that we could buy a newspaper near the pool (located on the other side of the resort). Must take the hotel van to the beach-don't try to drive or you'll be circling for a space for eternity. The beach house is nothing special- the water fountains that are supposed to shoot out of the ground weren't working and the gate from the beach to the beach house wasn't working. Lots of women and kids unhappy about that! The beach was EXTREMELY CROWDED- I cannot stress that enough!! $120 for chairs for a family of four and not much room. Unless you enjoy large crowds and highly inflated pricing look for another destination. We have stayed at other locations on Hilton Head and were very pleased. Good luck!! Our family checked out early and headed to the Pawleys Island area. A great ending to our vacation!

  • Stayed July 2005
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2005

My family absolutely loved the southern hospitality provided by Disney. The resort is clean and very well appointed. Beach house has it's own pool, plus the south shore beach has absolute best beach in South Carolina. There is as much to do as you wish, however an afternoon nap is also possible.

  • Stayed June 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort

Address: 22 Harbourside Lane, Hilton Head Island, Hilton Head, SC 29928
Location: United States > South Carolina > Coastal South Carolina > Hilton Head
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Hilton Head
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Hilton Head
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 123
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort is located on the picturesque coast of South Carolina, 5 hours from Walt Disney World Resort. This warm home-away-from-home-fashioned after a 1940's hunting and fishing lodge-combines local charm with simple pleasures and outdoor fun for the entire family. The resort features multi-roomed villas and many recreational activities, including 12 miles of heavenly beaches famous for clear blue waters. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Disney`s Hilton Head Island Hotel Hilton Head
Disney Hilton Head Resort
Disney Hilton Head Island Resort
Disneys Hilton Head Island Resort
Disneys Hilton Head Resort

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