We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“First time in Wrightsville Beach and Shell Island”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 8 more sites!
Shell Island Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“First time in Wrightsville Beach and Shell Island”
Reviewed July 11, 2014

I booked this vacation on 2 days notice, through the Shell Island website. Normally we vacation in Atlantic Beach, NC, if we're not going to Florida, but the hotel we stay at there was pretty expensive for short term notice (over $200/night, even on weekday), so we decided to try somewhere new. As we had stayed in Wilmington for a concert last year, and fell in love with a certain local restaurant chain (K-38!), we decided to give Wrightsville Beach a shot since Tower 7 (part of the same restaurant group) is also in Wrightsville Beach. That lead me to check TripAdvisor for hotels, where I came across Shell Island Resort. I read all the reviews, both good and bad. Then I checked rates- and for less than what we pay off-season for the hotel in Atlantic Beach (which is across the street from the beach), we could have an oceanfront room, complete with separate bedroom! As we have two kids, it's great to be able to have our own room. So I booked it and we traveled the 5 hours to Shell Island Resort.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by Mike, the parking attendant, and shown where to park during check-in. I stepped out of the car, to the sound of lovely steel drum music! Definitely set the tone for a tropical resort! The desk clerks greeted us with large smiles, checked us in, and gave me all information about the pool towel cards, room keys, an information sheet about the hotel, policies, happenings, etc.
We took the elevator (which can get a tad hot) to our room on the 6th floor, and walked the open-air corridor to our room (601). Upon entering the suite, we found it nice and chilled, and could immediately see the gorgeous views of the beach! The decor was just fine, and actually more upscale than I expected after reading some reviews here. There were only a few minor issues, that were bothersome rather than real problems; i.e., all the knobs on the closet doors are mounted on the wrong panel, so when you slide the door open, you can't close it easily. It closes, just not easily. The mini-fridge was not level, but not because something was wrong with it, but because of the way it lined up with the grout lines on the tile. Again, nothing major, just something I noticed. My only real complaint would be that the door handles/locks on the bathroom doors didn't always work and probably need to be replaced. I did, however, love the fact the toilet area could be separated from the shower/tub area. This came in handy since there is only one bathroom, and we had four people in our suite. Though we weren't in our room much to enjoy it to the full extent, we all loved the little balcony, and the chairs by the floor-to-ceiling windows.

We are beach people. We live in Virginia Beach, and we usually vacation at the beach. I have stayed in many "resorts" in Florida, North Carolina, and Hawaii, and Shell Island is leaps and bounds better than any place we've ever stayed in Florida or North Carolina, and right on par with the one we stayed at in Hawaii! We look forward to staying here again, hopefully in early Fall!

Room Tip: Definitely ask for a room ending in 01- great view of the beach AND the marsh!
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Deb_Paige1107
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrew G, Guest Relations Manager at Shell Island Resort, responded to this review, July 17, 2014
Dear Deb_Paige1107,

Wow, Thank you for such a riveting review! I am personally very excited and pleased that you found our Resort to be comparable in ranking with your stays in Hawaii! Now that you are part of the Shell Island Family we look forward to hosting you on many more occasions. I will speak to the head of the maintenance issue about the doors in that unit, and we will see if we can devise a solution with the owner of that unit. Again, we are very pleased that you had a wonderful experience with us at Shell Island and we look forward to sharing many more with you in the future.

Warm Regards,

Andrew G.
Guest Services Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

1,024 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    441
    294
    143
    89
    57
See reviews for
429
255
29
121
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (317)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
cary, nc
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed July 7, 2014

The first thing you need to know about this place is that it is NOT a hotel (nor a resort). That means that a management presence is lacking, and what management IS around, is completely worthless in that position. There is NO general manager. There are only "directors of operations". We checked in on July 2 and like previous reviewers, had problems right away. We had booked 3 rooms; they put us in 2 rooms on the 7th floor and one on the 3rd. They had put us on the south side of the hotel although we'd requested the north. They had no record of any of our requests (do people booking 3 rooms together really need to ask to be put together?) We were eventually given what we wanted. But then the bigger problem arose - we were being charged more than the rate quoted at booking. If you want to stay here, you need to be aware that this is clearly an ongoing problem, as I see from reading recent reviews. I am now under the impression that this place is really struggling financially. It also explains why we never, after FOUR phone calls, received an email confirmation of our reservation - they didn't want us to have anything in writing. Cody [--], "Revenue Manager", could not have been ruder about the whole situation. When we pointed out that the rate as of that day was less than what we were being charged, he said "well, that's not the rate you booked at". Nice. Basically they told us we were lying about the rate we said we were supposed to get. Great way to make a first impression.
The everyday staff is nice enough, but beyond clueless. They gave me "pool towel cards" when I got my room keys - no explanation of what these were or how they worked until I asked. My sister never got any and they don't seem to keep any track of them anyway. There were signs in the lobby advertising a BBQ for the 4th of July - when we asked the front desk what was going on, how it worked, the response was "I have no idea". My sister's AC went out the night of July 3. This is the day that Hurricane Arthur was moving up the coast and although a tech was quickly dispatched to her room, it couldn't be fixed that night so he told her she'd have to move. She said "well, we will sleep in another room but we aren't moving all our stuff in the middle of a hurricane!" You might be wondering what the hotel did to assist as tropical storm force winds howled and rain blew sideways onto the outdoor hallways - the answer to that question would be NOTHING. As this comedy of errors continued, my sister called down the next morning to find the status of the repair and was told again "we have no idea what you're talking about". Shocking! The exclamation point on that part of the story is later in the day when she discovered ALL of her keys had been deactivated - to both her regular room and the room she slept in.
This hotel wants to be something special, but it has absolutely no idea how to go about doing it. The staff is sweet (with a few exceptions) but utterly lacking not only in any training, but in any type of customer service common sense. It is mind boggling that someone working at a front desk thinks it is OK to tell a customer "I don't know" but that is the default setting here.
The location here cannot be beat, but there is a Holiday Inn right down the road and there is something to be said for a chain, especially when things go wrong. At least you know the staff is trained to handle it, you know there is a management presence, and what's more you can be pretty sure that management wants to keep you happy and returning. The overall vibe at Shell Island is "we can't be bothered, and we really don't care". This was our second year here and I'm pretty sure it will be our last. We were assured last year that they were making improvements and it would be so much better this year. That was definitely not the case. I've already warned a couple of real-life friends off of this place. There is absolutely no way we will consider returning to a place that quite frankly seems more interested in ripping off its customers than anything else and I am happy that this problem is confirmed by other reviews I read today. At some point Shell Island needs to understand if this many people are having problems it is THEM - not US.

Room Tip: North side only unless you want to look at and hear a parking garage from your room.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank twingles2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrew G, Guest Relations Manager at Shell Island Resort, responded to this review, July 21, 2014
Dear twingles2000,
I regret that your stay with us this year was not up to par with your previous experience. It defiantly sounds like you had some challenges and for that we apologize. It is our goal to provide every guest at Shell Island Resort with outstanding customer service and pride ourselves with doing so. As you have mention, we are not a hotel, but a condo style resort. That means all of our rooms are individually owned by independent owners, and they have an elected board of directors that serves in the general manager role. The board has placed department managers and two highly qualified assistant general managers that are present on property. The management team that blocks the rooms on a daily basis does so based on the current available rooms. We do our best to honor each and every request; however, it is not always possible. I am glad to hear that our team was able to make some adjustments to the daily rental schedule to obtain units in the approximate location that you desired. When reservations are made a hold is placed on the room type you have selected at the rate that you selected. Rates are subject to change at the discretion of the revenue team and board of directors. Once a rate is booked it is locked in. This means that if a change in rate is warranted, previously booked rates are not affected. It is regrettable that the AC unit in your sister’s suite went out at the most inopportune time during the hurricane. It is also understandable that she and her family did not wish to move during the storm. We were happy to provide her with a second room, at no additional charge, while she waited for the contracted HVAC company to come service the unit. When I was contacted about the unit later the next day our response was that the company has been dispatched and they were not sure what time of day they would be able to service the unit because of the holiday weekend. Thankfully, the company was able to call a technician in and he arrived much sooner than anticipated. I assure you that both the maintenance team, as well as myself, were fully aware of the issue and were trying to expedite the process despite being slightly hindered by the July 4th holiday. Preparations for Hurricane Author’s arrival began early Monday morning. Several meetings were held and all staff was updated on the hurricane procedure. We stayed in contact during the week with the town of Wrightsville Beach and the NCDOT to stay abreast of procedures and bridge closings. The morning of we had a task force of employees bringing in all outside equipment and securing the building. Since the pools were closed the Guest Services department was offering free DVD rentals to any guests to help keep children occupied during the worst of the storm. Thankfully we surpassed the hurricane with minimal damage and were set up for beautiful weather for the remainder of the holiday weekend. We hope that you would consider a return to Shell Island as we do take pride in providing excellent customer service to every guest and making them a part of our Shell Island Family.
Warm Regards,
Andrew G.
Guest Services Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 7, 2014

George and Sasha and staff made the wedding absolutely wonderful. We didn't want for anything. They covered every detail and then some. From the staff at the pool to the bartenders to the front desk staff to the ones who cleaned the room....everyone had a smile on their face. It was a joy and we can't wait to go back for a visit. If you are on the fence of booking your event at this place do not hesitate. DO IT!

Room Tip: All rooms are oceanfront.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank David R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrew G, Guest Relations Manager at Shell Island Resort, responded to this review, July 10, 2014
Dear David R,

It's always a great day here at the Shell Island Resort, and we are ecstatic that YOUR wedding day was among these "Great Days!" I am so pleased that you found our staff to be both helpful and friendly. We hope you return to us soon.

Warm Regards,

Andrew G.
Guest Services Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roanoke, Virginia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed July 2, 2014

Prior to our trip, we read a number of reviews of the hotel. They seemed to be evenly divided between the "two thumbs up" and "both thumbs down" camps. The fact of the matter is there was nothing either amazing or terrible about the experience. The view was spectacular, they let us check in early, the staff was polite, and there's a lot of friendly energy with children and families enjoying themselves - that's about it for the high points. Others might consider our disappointments to be trivial: the bedroom was far too small for a king bed; the sulfuric smell of the water in the sinks and shower, which many other guests have pointed out, was definitely noticeable (you can smell it on your skin after bathing) although I know management has posted repeatedly about how the city is "working" on the problem; the restaurant is forgettable; the hotel "rents" beach chairs and umbrellas to its own guests instead of including them gratis in the not inconsiderable room charges; and the balcony is the size of a postage stamp. Are these "deal breakers"? Not necessarily. I guess much of it depends on how much time you spend in the room. I'll also admit that my overall view is jaundiced as this was our first trip to Wrightsville Beach after several years at Topsail, and the two are quite different experiences. In the end, it wasn't a nightmarish experience by any means, but we just considered it rather expensive for pretty bland accommodations.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank revjr1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrew G, Guest Relations Manager at Shell Island Resort, responded to this review, July 3, 2014
Dear revjr1,

I apologize that your stay at the Shell Island Resort did not meet your expectations. We strive to provide every guest with the most spectacular vacation experience that we can and it is disappointing that we were unable to achieve this with you. All of our suites are the same square footage, 660sqft. Even with the smaller square footage each bedroom does adequately accommodate a king bed, or two doubles. The taste and smell of the city waters is directly related to the proximity of the township to the salt marsh and the processing of the water on the islands. We have taken several steps on the property level to alleviate the residual sulfur odors that have been reported. The city has assured the population that it is 100% safe. At this time, the resort is not able to provide beach chairs and umbrella's free of charge to our guests. Use of the resort's equipment is provided at a nominal fee and set up/take down is provided for your convenience. We hope that you will give Shell Island a second chance so that we can show you what we are really about.

Warm Regards,

Andrew
Guest Services Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 1, 2014

Shell Island is our favorite vacation spot and we go there as much as possible. My husband and I just returned from another visit and were so impressed by the recent upgrades that had been made to our room. We always request one of the "01" end units because of the extraordinary view of the huge sandbar at the North end of the island, Shell Island is situated at the far North end of Wrightsville Beach and is surrounded by beautiful natural areas including a picturesque marsh on one side and what looks like a half-mile or more of extended beach and sand that is exclusive to the Shell Island Resort to the North.
The staff as always was very accomodating and super nice and we had two delicious meals in the restaurant. We love their breakfast buffet with all of the "required" Southern Breakfast Offerings and a great omelet bar with a chef on board who makes them as you wish.
With a great view on the private balcony, comfortable bed, two flat screen TVs for entertainment while in the room and such a great area for shopping, restaurants and day trips, we cannot say enough about Shell Island. We had a relaxing stay, we cannot wait until we return again!

Room Tip: Request one of the "01" end units. The view is awesome!
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Sarah R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrew G, Guest Relations Manager at Shell Island Resort, responded to this review, July 4, 2014
Dear Sarah R,

Wow, thank you for the kind words. We are so happy that you and your husband had such a wonderful experience at the Shell Island Resort. The view from the North end of the island cannot be replicated by anyone else and we are happy to have been able to share it with you. We can't wait to have you back again for another great Shell Island Vacation Experience!

Warm Regards,

Andrew G.
Guest Services Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ashburn, Virginia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 28, 2014

We stayed on the 9th floor. The room was a bit dated but clean and very spacious with King bed and one and 1/2 bathrooms and deck facing the ocean above the pool. We were very impressed with the Marsh in the back for kayaking and the stretch of beach. Being on the end of the beach, there is wonderful open land and early in the morning you can walk out on the sand bar to look for shells, it reminded me of Sanibel Island in FL. We would definitely come back and stay.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kara T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrew G, Guest Relations Manager at Shell Island Resort, responded to this review, June 30, 2014
Dear Kara T,

Thank you for your kind words. We are very pleased that you had a wonderful time at the Shell Island Resort. I am glad you took advantage of the salt marsh behind us for kayaking. We are one one of the few places that has direct access to both the ocean and the marsh. We look forward to your return visit soon!

Andrew G.
Guest Services Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed June 19, 2014

We just spent the night at a friend's condo at this resort. Since the units are individually owned their decor and amenities will vary, but ours was fantastic. All of the units have balconies overlooking the beach and the ocean. We were on the 8th floor (Room 803), of 9, so the view was fantastic,
especially as we hit full moon. The beach was a bit heavy when we first arrived, with the surf too pounding for me. But the next morning it was glorious. They have both an indoor and an outdoor pool, so you don't need the beach to swim. The hot tub is nice, too. The restaurant is a little pricey, but has good hours. We had dinner at 9:30, after a long soak and shower, and the servers were very friendly and not rushing us out of there. We shared an entree of fish and grits, which was delicious, and an appetiser of scallops, mushrooms and capers, which was a bit salty. With a shared chocolate cake we were very satisfied, and the bill was around $50. Breakfast buffet the next morning was also terrific, with very friendly servers, including the guy at the waffle/omelet station.

We had a great time and only wished we could stay another day. I don't know if I'd want to stay here for a week, as there's nothing to do but relax, swim, and eat, but it was a great start to a busy family celebration weekend.

Room Tip: Upper floor best. Try to get a photo and detailed room description, as rooms vary a lot.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Anne H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrew G, Guest Relations Manager at Shell Island Resort, responded to this review, June 21, 2014
Dear AMH51,

It sounds like you hit all the high spots with a moonlight views of the beach down to the delicious waffle and omelet bar at the Island End Bar and Grill. We are very pleased that we were able to make your stay with us a memorable experience. There are plenty of things do to on the island as well as Wilmington. Paddle boarding, kayaking, charter excursions to Masonboro Island, historical downtown Wilmington and river front. Check with the front desk for ideas on your next visit. See you soon!

Warm Regards,

Andrew G.
Guest Services Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Wrightsville Beach
2.7 mi away
Hampton Inn & Suites Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach
3.4 mi away
Sandpeddler Inn & Suites
Sandpeddler Inn & Suites
#5 of 9 in Wrightsville Beach
137 reviews
15.6 mi away
Courtyard by Marriott Carolina Beach
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
2.9 mi away
SpringHill Suites Wilmington Mayfaire
15.4 mi away
Hampton Inn & Suites Carolina Beach Oceanfront
3.3 mi away
Homewood Suites by Hilton Wilmington/Mayfaire
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Shell Island Resort? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Shell Island Resort

Property: Shell Island Resort
Address: 2700 Lumina Ave N, Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480-1699
Location: United States > North Carolina > Wrightsville Beach
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Wrightsville Beach
#5 Family Hotel in Wrightsville Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Shell Island Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 153
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled on the northern tip of Wrightsville Beach, Shell Island Resort is surrounded by a sprawling expanse of sand and unparalleled views of the Atlantic Ocean, Mason’s Inlet, and Figure Eight Island. This family-friendly resort and hotel boasts a front row seat to the beckoning sea and a beach that seems to stretch endlessly, making it feel like it is yours alone. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Expedia, Booking.com, Travelocity, Orbitz, Hotwire, TripOnline SA, Priceline, Cancelon and getaroom.com so you can book your Shell Island Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Shell Island Oceanfront Hotel
Shell Island Oceanfront Resort
Wrightsville Beach Shell Island Resort
Shell Island Resort Nc
Shell Island North Carolina
Shell Island Hotel
Shell Island Nc
Shell Island Resort North Carolina
Shell Isl All Oceanfront Suites
Shell Is Resort Wrightsville Beach

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing