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.