We requested a late exchange for a week's stay through RCI for the Myrtle Beach area and everything was booked. We were placed on the waiting list for anything that came open and the Riptide was it. We looked at the Trip Advisor reviews and decided to take it because our daughter was graduating in South Carolina AND we needed a vacation. The point here is that we took what we could get, so the review is written from that perspective.
The Riptide is, without a doubt, a Timeshare. When we booked through RCI we were told that there were issues with a late check in. Because we missed our connection in Charleston I phoned ahead to let the staff know. I was told “No problem. Call the after hours number and they will give you a code to the lockbox out front and you can get your key for the night. Come and see us in the morning to check in”. That sounded reasonable. When I got there at midnight and called the number, the service had no record of my reservation. The property manager had to be called in. In short, Riptide did everything right, but the after hours answering service dropped the ball. Got a key about 30 minutes after arriving.
When you arrive at Riptide you notice two things. 1- Minimal on-site parking and a very Bavarian looking building. Although RCI's confirmation letter had us in the Bavarian looking building, upon check-in we were put in the green building next door (see another traveler's photos to see what I mean). 2- It is definitely dwarfed in size and amenities by the Hotel (Patricia Grand) right next door.
When we entered the green building where our unit was, it was clear that this place was dated. The paint was old, the hallway carpet was stained (see photos). We opened the door to our unit to be greeted by a Motel 6 looking room..it was going to be tight. The kitchen Formica was dated, the furniture was haphazardly thrown into the room with no regard for decor, and the bed mattresses were covered with a rubber sheet liner which we would later found out sounded like plastic paper sacks being crumpled together as you moved in your sleep. Our vacation seemed doomed.
* What you see in the morning is that this place is literally right on the beach. Major plus as you don't have to spend a lot of planning and packing time for the beach. Grab a towel and go!
* The staff is tremendous. Let me repeat that...these people were more friendly and accommodating than many resorts I've stayed in.
* Remember, it's a Timeshare so expect the sales calls. After seeing the unit we were placed in (D22), there was NO WAY I would consider buying there. After only one call, I told them this and never had another call the whole week we were there. Very respectful.
* Towel service and trash removal everyday. Very nice as with some Timeshares this is an every-other day service at best.
* Beach towel exchange at the front desk
* Location. Restuarants, attractions, beaches all within a mile or two.
* There is no in-room Internet access. You have to go downstairs to a common area where the router is to access the Net. Major pain.
* No DVD players in the room, but there are nice TVs. You have to go to the front office to check out a DVD player.
* Parking. If you are lucky enough to find a spot on-site you had better know how to 3-point park as it is tight. The parking garage across the street is actually not that bad, so I usually just went straight for that. If you need to load/unload they have spots for that, then you can park in the garage.
* This is not a resort. Do not come here thinking there is 24-hour front desk service and a bellman. After 10:00pm you are on your own until the next morning. They do have the after hours emergency number so you are not completely stranded.
* General upkeep. Our toilet tank flapper valve was leaking causing the tank to refill every 10 minutes, and if you're in the shower when that happens, watch out as the water gets hot! $15 repair. Light bulbs burned out. Unplugged drill holes in the shower walls where I guess a sliding glass door used to be...just tacky. The furniture was uncoordinated and definately budget conscious (see photos).
To sum it up, the Riptide is on the low end of vacation rentals, but the location and the staff cannot be beat. Would I stay here again if I had a choice - No. Would I stay here if I wanted to go to Myrtle Beach and had no other choice - Yes.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.