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“Pedro's treepadvisor reeview; once in a lifetime!!!”

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South of the Border
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Hamer
new york
Level Contributor
67 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
“Pedro's treepadvisor reeview; once in a lifetime!!!”
Reviewed January 4, 2009

I have always been fascinated with south of the border. Ever since passing through with summer camp en route to disney, driving down with family to visit the grandparents in florida. Most people usualy have an opinion after they experience, however each time i passed through the "great white way a la mexico theme" of dillon sc, when I ask if we can stop, the response is "no, it looks like junk". Reading through these reviews, they were right! However this past summer, while driving solo from sc to ny, i passed, and well, decided to give it a try.
After exploring all the shops (the porno shoppe "the dirty old mans room" is closed down for good, as well pedros strip club) dealing with my disapointment of the sumbrero tower elevator being out of order, skeeball in the el torro game room, and finding any gadget, doo dad, trinket and gismo SOB can put their logo on, a terrential downpour came, and I decided instead of driving more in the rain, what better way to end my SOB encounter with a stay at the hotel.
One can see how these reviews make sense, the front desk help did seem a bit out of it, looked like something out of the 1950's. They gave me their best rate, 50 a night, printed out a copy of a map of the motor in and drew an "X" to indicate where my room was, with an arrow from the hotel lobby, as if it were a scavenger game. She then handed me the keys [yes, keys, not card. this is the only hotel in the past 15 years I stayed in that still has keys, even worse, with a keychain thats immovable with the room number right on it, so much for security lol] The carport (as they advertise the only hotel on i-95 to have this feature... is that even true??) is a great idea, though I dont see how this is the greatest thing since sliced bread, do you really feel more safe with your car right outside your window? I found my room clean, though not so comfortable, rustic is a good word to describe. There were 2 doors, the front door to enter by the carport and another door on the other side by the bed, that lead to a inner courtyard. I personally could not find any mice, ants, roaches or ferral cats (yes, someone complained about that) in my room, or around the courtyard door, though I can easily see how that can be an issue and/or regular occurence in this place. There were however a nice family of cats in the courtyard, that slept under a pedro statue/monument like thing. The tv did not have rabbit ear antennas and had all channels, though most of them bible selling infomercials. The beds were not cozy but sufficient, like an army cot, and the bathroom was clean. There was a compartment area with a fridge as well. The ac system worked well but was old, the room was a hommage to the 1970s with its wood walls and stucco ceiling. It was relativly quiet and calm, the room lighting though was not great.
Off to the lobby again to have a swim in pedros pleasure dome, which was scary. I was warned by the front desk, "you can swim in there but there is a lightning storm going on, swim at your own risk". The room consisted of a swimming pool with a glass ceiling in the shape of a sumbrero, which rattled and shuttered each time a strong gust of wind came. Water dripped off the glass ceiling structure and landed in the cloudy pool water below. There were remnents of what was a tiki bar with neon lights, and a hot tub(kiddie pool?) that was cemented over. More striking was a sign that said "no diving" with a picture of pedro diving into a pool with a "non smoking" sign over it. The sauna was not working. After the swim (which ended because i was in serious fear a glass panel would blow off and land in the water below) I went back to the lobby to request a wake up call. A family checking in in front of me in line displayed a typical expected look, the son c. age 7 looked thrilled as if he was in disney world, the mother looked as if "i cant believe we are staying in this pile of rags" the father "ill have to make this up to my wife somehow". The front desk woman (who looked like she never left sc her entire life) told me there is no continental breakfast and i should go to "pedros diner" across the way for food; a building whos roof was a gigantic sumbrero. Off to bed. I awoke to sunny skies as the storm passed, and decided to explore just a bit. My goodness this place was huge, a motor inn to the extreeme, all one level/floor, carport outside each door. It looked about 400 plus rooms, some looking like they have not been occupied in 10 years. The effect was that of a trailor park, and well some guests, added to that effect. In the back, i noticed, "pedros health club", which was not running, but I did wonder what on earth they could have provided in there. There was also 2 pools, the pleasure dome (indoor) and an outdoor pool. I also noticed walking around SOB entirely, there were 2 other hotels. Obviously I stayed at the pleasure dome, but these other two did not have names, I think one was a motor inn (with a kiddie train running around it)... does anyone have any information about these 2 other venues? Didnt even look like they were in business.
Truely once in a lifetime, its not the kind of place you would take your mother, but everyone should experience the true South of the Border experience once, why not give this place a try, its not the Ritz, nor does it pretend to be. Its comfortable, not cozy, the lobby is nice, with a fountain and nice western paintings, and the rooms are just fine to crash. Like I said from my own experience this time, no bugs. In comparison to other 95 hotels, this is decently priced, so what more can you want? Plus you also wake up in the middle of pedroland! There was from my experience, due to popular rumors, no man that bycycles you to your room with your luggage that wears a sumbrero, and not every employee at the hotels name tag reads "Pedro".
Pedros pleasuredome.. go for it! Gotta try everything once, though kudos to those who actually have their honymoon in the honeymoon quite, that in my book bleeds "great american honkeytonk".
p.s. Im not one to believe hype, but it wouldnt surprise me if room 305 really is haunted. This much sought after venture of ghost hunting tourists seems to be even more an attraction then south of the border itself, as I tongue and cheek asked the front desk where the "haunted room" is, she nodded and said without a second thought, room 305 around that parking lot in the back. It was a dark and stormy night (no really, it was) and as I approached the 300 building, a huge bolt of lightning was cast, and struck very close by. My cell phone rang, a friend back from home in NY, I picked up and began talking, while looking at room numbers to find 305. The rain poured more then ever. Each room had a porch light outside with the room number properly displayed. Just as I saw the number (305) in clear vision and i realised this was the room I was looking for, another huge bolt of lightning struck, the porch light went off (the front desk told me the room wasnt occupied due to off season, and roped off odd enough) and my cell lost service that very second. C-R-E-E-P-Y.

  • Liked — what is there not to like, its the one and only SOB
  • Disliked — beds could have been more comfortable, room lighting, they need a hot tub, leaving!
  • Stayed July 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank speedotorpedo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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250 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (47)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Ontario
Level Contributor
23 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed December 11, 2008

We have been driving back and forth to Florida for a number of years, and this is a regular stop over for the night. it is a wee bit over half way down. We have always found the rooms to be clean and comfortable. The fridge is a bonus, as I keep milk etc in there overnight so I can have a relaxing tea before bed. We tow my car down on a trailer (I stay longer than my husband) and they have always accomodated us for parking, giving us an end room with a full length 'carport'. This was appreciated this past January when it was pouring rain in the morning when we were loading up to leave.

We have snacked in the diners, and eaten at the steak house. The diner food is diner food. good, not expensive and fills the hole. The steak house is another story. The ambiance and food are excellent, as are the wait staff. And we only have to walk across the street.

We have played the minigolf before, but usually by the time we have driven the 15 or so hours to get there, all we want to do is eat and sleep, so the tv is not an issue either; nor is the pool. I have not tried the top of the Pedro, but intend to one of these times.

They allow pets to stay free, which is an added bonus since we travel with 1 or 2 dogs.

Like someone else said, it is a cheesy tourist trap, agreed, but it is always busy, so they must be doing something right.

I have always found the staff to be polite, friendly, and accomodating. The security is great and helpful. We stop there every trip down, and most of my trips back. The sombrero is a most welcoming sight when we are tired.

  • Liked — Clean, close to interstate, great parking, friendly, helpful staff, good price
  • Stayed April 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank OntarioCarolyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 18, 2008

On a road trip to Hilton Head Island, I booked two one night rooms at SOB. After reading other reviews, and taking a look at their website, I didn't expect much. However, I had good memories from many years ago when I was there at a young age with my family.

First, let me say that the rooms were above decent... very low rate, big and clean enough. We booked two rooms so that my 2 kids had their own room and they were smart/kind enough to give us two adjoining rooms. Thank Goodness for the adjoining rooms because my wife would have probably slept with the kids (both over 17) due to worry about the conditions outside.

Other than the room... the pools, the stores, the mini-golf, rides, etc... were absolutely disgusting, disgraceful, and grotesque. What a crap-hole! Why they need multiple stores selling the same VERY OLD junk is beyond me. One store is called the "Pantry". We found all kinds of food and drink with expired dates on them. One bottle of Orange juice expired in November 2007, and had a strange brownish color to it. I could not eat ANYTHING from that dirty disgusting place.

They offered free mini-golf, which we left after 10 minutes due to the standing water and clouds of gnats that we had to pass through.

We ate at the steak-house, which actually turned out to be a pretty nice (and not cheap) place that didn't fit it with the rest of the area. In fact, we could see that actual locals came there to eat. There are a few other restaurants that I wouldn't allow a dog to eat in.

Again, the rooms were ok, but South of the Border is horrible. They should be ashamed of themselves, and I can't imagine that they can stay in business much longer.

Helpful?
5 Thank Zooooooooooob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Hamer hotels

Grovetown Georgia
Level Contributor
31 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2008

Stopped here because it was 9 p.m., I was tired, and had noticed their many funny billboards for years. It is lit up like Las Vegas, and it was not difficult to find the reservation lobby. Check in was easy with very nice desk clerk. Finding the correct road to my room was a little confusing in the dark, but unloading was a breeze... you park under a little carport right next to your door. No need to worry about rain; your car is literally 2 feet from your door. The room is rustic but functional. There were a few cable channels on the tv, and water pressure was good in the shower. The bath had small amount of mold in the corners but was otherwise clean. Towels were very thin and worn but functional. There was soap but no shampoo and no hair dryer. In the morning I had very quick check out and easy access back on to I-95. I did not try any of the shops or restaurants. It was very economical, easy, and I slept well. Fortunately I did not notice any bugs, dead or alive, although I did notice an odor of bug spray in the bathroom. Would stay again.

  • Liked — parking close to door of room
  • Disliked — no internet
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank cwpw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, NC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 7, 2008

We stayed at SOB overnight prior to the "Round Up at the Border" Mustang show. There was a special $39 rate for folks who had cars registered in the show. The room was one of the biggest I've stayed in. The lime green floor tile in the bathroom was hilariously cool! Everything was clean and orderly.

Check in was a breeze (even though we got there around 8 pm). We ate at the all-night diner, and it was exactly what you'd expect from a roadside all night diner... not four star dining, but about the same quality you'd get from the local McDonald's.

TV chanels were limited, and the sliding glass shower door was hard to get on the track to open, but overall it was comfortable and fun!

This is a neat little place. We are going back this year for the same car show. As long as you go in expecting an older hotel that is situated in a cheesy little tourist destination you won't be disappointed!

  • Liked — Funky cool lime green tile in bathroom! LOL!
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mustangmacnmaggie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hertford, NC
Level Contributor
33 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed March 27, 2008

We love this "joint" and stay there whenever passing through. The rooms are spacious, clean and budget priced. The facilities include Indoor heated pool, hot tub and sauna. We walk to the restaurants and diner. Window shop in the nick nack stores. The grounds are patrolled by a security team and car ports are provided in front of each room. All the rooms are very similar and pricing is currently based on location. The further back, the lower the price. We have tried all of them and have been pleased. AARP and active military discounts are also currently available.

One thing we would change is the blankets. They are the foam type and are washed and then machine dried. Makes them feel a little sticky. We just take them off and use the bed spread instead. The sheets are always crisp. Our tip to you.

Take the time to ride to the top of the giant Pedro at sunset for an amazing view of the facility and Rt. 95. We recommend this stopover and feel that it is an overlooked value.

  • Liked — Value and on site amenities
  • Disliked — Type of blankets
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Nothome-OnaVacation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lowermac, pa
Level Contributor
14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2008

I have always stopped at this attraction over the years...This time I decided to spend the night.....My room was very clean and check in was smooth. Yes the rooms are dated, but well preserved. I prefer to call them rustic...It was fun to browse the shops and have a burger and beer. It is true that you only get about 20 channels but who cares....Kids would love this place.

  • Liked — I enjoyed the rustic charm
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled on business
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank alpha03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about South of the Border

Property: South of the Border
Address: 3346 Highway 301 North, Hamer, SC 29547
Location: United States > South Carolina > Hamer
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Hamer
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 300
Also Known As:
South Of The Border Hotel Hamer
South Of The Border Hamer
South Of The Border Motor Hotel

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