We spent a week at the Sea Pines Resort at the end of a road trip down the Carolina coast from Washington DC. We thought that this was going to be a 5* resort but were very disappointed and could have rented a much nicer house with private pool for the same money we paid for a 2 bed condo at Sea Pines. The Welcome Centre was very smart and the staff polite and efficient so all looked promising. Pulling up outside our accommodation we had that sinking feeling that all was not well. We booked through an agent and were allocated our accommodation by the resort and not through personal choice. I did contact Sea Pines prior to our arrival; they replied promptly and were most helpful. I asked to be in walking distance of the beach with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. What we got was a condo in an area called The Plantation Club, an ugly and unappealing 4-story block.
To be fair the condo was well furnished and well appointed by the owners. The kitchen was particularly well set up for self catering but there was nothing in the cupboards, not even salt and pepper. The blue silk bedspread in the master bedroom looked lovely but had a nasty off putting stain and there was hair and sand in all the corners and thick dust on the air vents and edges and ledges. We moved one of the sofas to retrieve a pen and it was obvious it had not been moved or cleaned under in a long time. Making one of the beds we found a lost sock behind it along with hairballs. The master bath was like the black hole of Calcutta. When you closed the shower curtain it was so dark you couldn’t see a thing. The ceiling was cracked and the whole room was in need of updating.
On arrival the shower in the master bath did not work so we called for assistance. Maintenance staff arrived very promptly and quickly solved the problem which was impressive. We asked about other properties as I would have considered asking to be moved. However the message seemed to be that we were in one of the ‘better’ rental properties so we decided to stay where we were and went out to buy bleach and rubber gloves.
Our condo was well set up by the owners but the building was dated and badly cleaned and maintained by the property managers.
On the plus side the Sea Pines Resort has a good beach, golf courses, riding stables, activities for children, bikes for hire and miles of cycle track, tennis courts, a choice of swimming pools and a variety of restaurants all on the resort. In keeping with its environmental ethos, there is almost no lighting or signage so it would be almost impossible to find your way around if you arrived after dark.
We were there at the very end of August and over Labour Day and it was clear that the ‘season’ was over. On the up side it meant that we were always able to park at the beach, did not have to book in the restaurants and had the cycle paths almost to ourselves. The downside was that by lunchtime on Labour Day we were almost the only customers so atmosphere was lacking.
We travelled as a family with 2 older daughters, 18 and 21. There were no young people of their age, all other guests were either retired or had young children. Properties for sale on the resort were in the millions of dollars as were the yachts in the marina at Harbour Town. I can see the appeal for families with young children though prices for all activities were high except for the bike rental.
We found plenty to see and do in the area and enjoyed the resort but would probably not go back.