As a meeting & events planner I was with my friend to help her make a final decision on what hotel she would use to host her annual Ladies Time Out Reteat. She had narrowed her long list down to two. Sonesta being one and the other was a large ocean front hotel.
This was my first visit so let me start by - WOW - the entire staff remembered and greeted her by name even though it had been several months since she had last visited - GREAT first impression!
What you need to know is this resort does not sit directly on the beach, unlike the other hotel she was considering. Nevertheless, you can walk from the pool to the beach in less then 5 minutes and several of the rooms offer a beautiful, slightly obstructive, palm tree lined view of the ocean horizon, which quite frankly adds to the overall beauty and ambience of the resort. So please believe me when I say, while ocean front can be nice, at times it can be a little over-rated when you come across treasures like the Sonesta. I sincerely felt like I had been transported to Jamaica and was staying at a boutique hotel.
The resort has been recently renovated and you can tell they spared no expense. It's open and light with a contemporary vibe. The beautiful lobby sitting area has a wonderful inviting livingroom feel that organically sparks conversation among guests. It boast a spectacular full service bar in the lobby made of drift wood unlike anything you have seen before. This bar screams "come have a drink and leave your worries behind". Which by the way if you do have a drink you MUST try their signature blood orange mojito! In a word - SCRUMPTIOUS!!! There are windows that line the back wall of the lobby giving you full view of the pools, the pool side bar named Sweet Canes, and an outside restaurant, the Seacrest all surrounded by its' immaculate grounds.
The grounds have a private club house and several covered pavilions for that perfect wedding, event, or party, all surrounded by small lakes which are home to a ton of adorable turtles. There are hammocks & cabanas for lazy days, as well as bicycles for the more active. If you like to walk, the grounds are perfect for that too, as paths are lined with tropical foilage. Adding to the overall charm are cute walk way bridges taking you over the small man made lakes, or leading you to the beach.
Check in was smooth. We stayed one full day & one night, and our room was just as we expected - perfect. It was extremely clean. The decor was fresh & contemporary. The bed was super comfortable. The bathroom was just as nice. Not too small and not real large. Two average size adults can fit nicely. The room came with a very nice size flat screen SMART TV! There was also the usual chair and desk. As for outlets they were everywhere, so no running out after plugging in one cell phone and a laptop!
The Sonesta is family friendly, but it has more of an adult only feel. Perhaps because the few children that were present, their parents kept them under control. There was none of that running around and screaming that you would normally experience at a family friendly hotel. This was very nice!
We ate lunch, dinner, and breakfast at both the Seacrest and the Hayward, which are two of the 3 resort restaurants. The food was delicious and the service was top notched, warm, friendly, attentive, but not too overbearing. The hostess Diane was just as warm and inviting. On our first day we tried to grab an early evening snack at the Sweet Canes, but were unable to because they were closing. However, they did offer to make us a drink which we passed on because we really needed to eat first.
My only complaint about the restaurants: Sweet Canes closes at 630 p.m. which is entirely too early to be pool side and room service doesn't exist after 1100 p.m.
As for meeting space, after meeting with the General Manager, Jay Windel and spending an afternoon with Meeting Sales Manager, Tracy Fritzgerald, it became quite clear that Sonesta had so much to offer. Each meeting space is perfectly appointed for your corporate board meeting to your platinum wedding, to a relaxing retreat event, the Sonesta can handle it all. Not to leave out their salon & spa which is the perfect spot for some perfect "me" time.
After my personal experience from our stay and the tour my mind was made up. The Sonesta was the perfect venue for The Ladied Time Out Retreat! With that being said, my girlfriend agreed and she sealed the deal!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island is the perfect getaway for families and couples, destination weddings, and is the place to meet for groups of all sizes. Located within Shipyard Plantation, the Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island is adjacent to Van Der Meer Tennis and Shipyard Golf. Our hotel is only 35 miles from Beaufort, S.C., 45 Miles from Savannah and 100 miles from historic Charleston. Hilton Head Island and the Lowcountry is also home to the RBC Heritage Golf Tournament Presented by Boeing. We are one of the closest, upscale Hilton Head Resorts to island shopping and restaurants. The Sonesta Resort features 331 guest rooms and 9 luxurious suites. All rooms feature private balconies or patios, many with spectacular views of our lush tropical gardens and the horizon of the Atlantic Ocean. Hotel amenities include Arum Spa, an extensive fitness center, outdoor and shaded pool, child's water feature, 24 hour business center, Pearls Market and Just Us Kids(seasonal). Enjoy our breakfast in Heyward's Restaurant, or have lunch at our poolside bar, Sweet Cane (seasonal). Friday evenings, Heyward's features a bountiful seafood buffet (seasonal) which is a local favorite. Seacrest offers lunch options and small plates. Bayley's Lounge offers daily happy hour specials. For the ultimate vacation experience or the premiere meeting spot, the Sonesta Resort is the place to be on Hilton Head Island. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Crowne Plaza Hilton Head Island Beach Hotel Hilton Head
- Hilton Head Crowne Plaza