We stayed at the Monarch from May 25-June 7, 2013. This was our third year at the Marriott Monarch, so obviously, it is at the top of our list of places to stay on HHI. We have stayed in other Marriott properties on HHI, and visited all of them, and this is our favorite. It's not the newest or the fanciest, but it is the biggest bang for the buck (points) by far and we love the Monarch.
The first week, we were joined by our 22-year-old son and his fiance, and one of our 19-year-old sons and his friend. The second week, for several days, we were joined by some good friends from Atlanta. Just a note, if requested in advance, the twin beds in the guest bedroom can be made up by staff as a king-sized bed. We have requested this twice, and both times upon our arrival is has been done. And of course, no other hotel chain beats Marriotts for wonderful linens.
Many upgrades have been made since last year, including new window coverings, new queen sofa beds (mattresses are MUCH improved on these), new carpeting, and many upgrades to the property. This year, we were able to secure a first floor property, and we loved having the larger patio and we spent a great deal of time eating and relaxing on the patio. We always choose a garden view villa as the ocean view is just not worth the extra points to us when we can walk down and look at the ocean any time we want, plus we spend a great deal of time in the ocean.
Another improvement in this villa was a brand new walk-shower. I enjoyed the garden tubs but they were difficult for my husband to use in terms of getting in and out with his bad knees. The walk-in shower in the master bath was something we could both enjoy.
The children's pool area has been improved, as well, with the kiddie pool being replaced by fountains and a splash area. We no longer have young children, but I consider this a nice upgrade. Many areas on the property have been improved with new decking, they were in the process of adding remote-controlled boats to one of the ponds while we were there, and just in general, much seemed very much freshened up.
In general, we love staying in Sea Pines and feel like that makes a huge difference in terms of our enjoyment. We bring our own bikes (although rentals are readily available) and ride the many miles of bike paths through Sea Pines every day. The more private feel of Sea Pines is very appealing to us, and I probably wouldn't trade it for an ocean view at the more upscale Marriott Surfwatch as it is not in Sea Pines.
For those considering the Monarch, please see my other previous reviews for more nuts and bolts. Basically, everything needed in the villa is provided, including washer/dryer, and the villas are spotless. The staff is always well-informed and very friendly. When phoning the front desk, the phone is always answered very professionally. "Nicole", in particular, is very helpful. and the whole staff is extremely responsive. One night when we were a bit chilly, an extra blanket was delivered within minutes, for instance. When we set off our smoke alarm, the staff responded immediately to turn it off.
One other change worth mentioning is that this year, the Monarch staff is asking guests and owners to wear colored wrist bands while on the property and taking part in the activities and amenities. This prevents random people from the nearby public beach from coming onto the property unchallenged. This was not a problem for us, and the bracelets are just those rubber Livestrong-type bracelets, and the colors change weekly.
Please don't hesitate to contact me with any question about the Marriott Monarch. We can't wait to make our reservation for next year!
We prefer villas in the Camillia building. The first-floor units have larger patios, generally, tha...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.