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“Off Season Family Getaway!”

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Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort
Ranked #2 of 28 Hotels in Hilton Head
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 23, 2006

We wanted a relaxing weekend with our children and that is what we found at Disney's resort. We've got 2 young children under 8 years old and they simply loved it here. There is a waterslide at the pool, hot tub, and kiddie pool. Our children loved it all. We participated in the activities that the resort provides at no additional cost (some activities do cost money). They had an activity for our kids, as well as family activities. Although the resort is not along the beach, they do have a seperate beach house about 1.5 miles away that all guests are welcome to use. We visited it twice while we were there for good parking and easy acess to the ocean.

We were upgraded to a 2 bedroom condo which was more than enough room for us all. It had 2 full bathrooms and one jetted tub. Full kitchen and a great deck. We would stay here again. It was quiet in the off season and very relaxing!

  • Stayed: January 2006
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20  Thank 5travelfun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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A TripAdvisor Member
Columbus, OH
Reviewed October 29, 2005

First, a quick note about Hilton Head Island (HHI): We have only visited HHI in the off season (May or September). This past September was our third visit. After visiting Hilton Head for the first time and talking to the locals, we decided never to go there in the high season – they warned us of heavy traffic and long waits at restaurants, etc. Therefore, if you have the flexibility in your schedule, I recommend an off-season visit to Hilton Head Island. Now, to discuss the Disney resort…

The resort is situated on an island that is between a marina and a river called Broadcreek. The resort is themed in the Carolina Low Country style. Although the resort is essentially “in the heart of it all” as a guest you feel very secluded. The island has many paths that wind around the buildings, shaded by pines and other trees, especially the live oaks. There are hammocks, picnic tables, Adirondack chairs placed around the pathways; lots of wildlife, a place for a private cookout… you feel like you are in a very natural, private setting.

We were not traveling with children, (just my husband and I and my parents) but it seems that there would be plenty of activities – swimming, beach, bike rentals, game room, ping pong, organized activities, etc. The main lodge has a lovely common room with TV, checker board, billiard table…since it was off season, we felt like we had the place to ourselves.

True, the resort is not located directly on the beach. However, this was not a problem for us. It is only about 1 or 1 ½ miles drive. In off season, there is plenty of parking. Again, we practically had the beach house and the pool at the beach house to ourselves. There is also a nice common room that my father loved to go into to read, watch CNN, and the stock market reports! Also, it is very convenient if you want to change into your swimsuits at the beach house and lock you things in a locker if you want to take a long stroll along the beach.

We rented a 2-bedroom villa. The bedrooms were separated by a kitchen and sitting area. Each bedroom and the sitting area had its own TV – good selection of cable too. The villa was VERY spacious and had a large, private, balcony. Very quiet too. And clean as well – I am very particular about hotel cleanliness too! The room was ready when we arrived there, around 2 PM.

There are a couple of snack bars on the premises, both at the resort and the beach house. It would be nice if they were opened later, but this didn’t pose much of a problem for us. We didn’t mind that there were no full service restaurants at the Disney resort either – there were plenty of very good restaurants within walking distance, directly across the hotel, on the other side of the marina. The marina was an attraction in itself. We enjoyed some relaxing evenings just walking around the marina after dinner and listening to some of the musicians playing at the restaurants.

I have read some of the previous reviews and I can’t believe that some guest had a bad opinion of this place. We have traveled extensively both for pleasure and for work, and have seen a lot – the good and the bad. We just spent our third visit here and have had consistently good service. We knew from the onset, however, that there was not a full-service restaurant on premises and that the hotel was not located on the beach. So this was not a surprise to us. But again, I stress that this was not a problem. The beach house was very convenient (at least no parking problems in the off season) and there are many fine restaurants within easy walking distance. So if anyone is thinking about trying the Disney HHI Resort, I definitely recommend it, that you try it once and judge for yourselves. We are already planning another trip next spring.

  • Stayed: September 2005
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43  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 11, 2005

I wish I had read all the reviews here before booking our $300-per-night stay at Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort. I could have saved myself a lot of money and a lot of disappointment. We love Disney World and have stayed at many of the resorts there. We had wonderful experiences at all -- from value resorts to luxury resorts.

We were prepared to love Hilton Head -- which made our disappointment more painful. In the first place, I had seen photos of families playing on a beach at Disney's Hilton Head Resort (as at the Beach Club or Grand Floridian at WDW). So we were surprised and dismayed to learn that there are *no* beaches at Disney's Hilton Head Resort itself. The resort buildings are surrounded by swamp and put up on landfill in Shelter Cove.

The resort does have a beach house on the ocean. But it is several miles away from the resort itself. There is a jitney, but it stops service quite early in the day. If you drive, you must get there before 11:00 a.m. because the parking lot for Disney's beach house is very small and completely fills up.

If the beach is an important part of your reason for vacationing at Hilton Head, you will be much happier at one of the resorts built right on the beach. No stress about rushing to find a parking place in the morning. And you'd be able to go back and forth to your room from the beach without any difficulty. If you wanted to go back to your room from Disney's beach house, you would give up your parking place -- so you wouldn't be able to come back.

Another big disappointment was the resort pool. It is very small and has a small water slide. The water slide closes at 5:00 p.m.! This seems absurd (especially when you remember you are paying $300 a night). I heard one family complaining about this at the front desk. They had arrived at dinner time and were staying just one night. Since they had to be at the beach house promptly the next morning to get a parking place, they were not going to be able to use the pool slide at all. The reason for the pool closing at 5:00 p.m. was that the "lifeguards go off duty then." So pay a lifeguard to stay on duty until 9:00 p.m.!

There is no restaurant on the property. There is counter service food, but again it closed at 5:00 p.m.

The elevator is outside and not air conditioned. It was like a bake oven the day we were there.

The mood of the resort is somehow dark and gloomy -- or maybe that was just a reflection of my disappointment at finding my $300 room surrounded only by swamp and landfill.

The room was clean but small and looked out at a row of condos just across Shelter Cove.

The staff had none of the "Disney magic" that you feel at Disney World resorts.

I so wanted to love this resort! Be sure you look before you leap -- if you were picturing yourself strolling from your room to the beach at Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort. It's not going to happen.

  • Stayed: July 2005
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79  Thank DisneyWorlders
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2005

My sister and I had been staying at the Hilton Head Crowne Plaza, but decided to treat ourselves to a couple days at the Disney Resort for the last part of our trip. The price was a little daunting. Only later did I discover that the room rates become incredibly affordable as long as you aren’t there during the month of July. So I kicked myself a bit for that, but I still enjoyed our stay tremendously.

When we first arrived I was taken back a bit by the small and intimate feel of the check-in lobby. Not like the huge rooms and long, long counters of the Disney resorts in Orlando. We were early, but our room was already ready for us. We got the basic suite, which was more than large enough to suit our needs. Immediately upon entering you are in the kitchen—perhaps not the ideal location for a kitchen, but we never used it anyway. The room also had a washer and dryer, a large bathroom, queen bed, sofa bed, table and chairs, and a balcony with a rocking chair. The grounds of the resort are beautiful and very pleasant. The rooms are situated in many small buildings, connected by windy little baths or wooden plank boardwalks. Scattered throughout the grounds are dozens of hammocks, sandboxes, little gardens, benches, and playgrounds. I don’t know how many people were staying at the hotel when we were there, but it always felt very quiet and very empty. What we found especially endearing was the abundant wildlife in the resort. Bunnies were hopping around every time we turned around, while birds of all sizes swooped through the trees.

The hotel’s amenities were a little different than I expected, but were still very nice. The resort is located on a marshy island (not by the beach). Most of the activities are located in the center of the island: a large pool with a slide, hot tub, children’s clubhouse, game room and free movies for lend, evening camp fires, bike and fishing pole rental, and a pier jutting out into the marsh. The pier is a great place to watch the birds and little crabs that live and feed there. If you want to go to the ocean, there is a shuttle bus that takes you to the Beach House. This posh clubhouse has private access to the ocean, a large swimming pool, several children’s play areas, a sitting room with games and movies, and a small counter-service restaurant. It’s not quite as convenient as having the beach right next to the hotel, but the set up worked well for us, and I enjoyed the different atmosphere at the resort.

The one thing they need to improve at the hotel is the dining. There are no table-service restaurants at the resort. There is one place to get food, a counter above the clubhouse called Tide Me Over. The fare is pretty basic—burgers, grilled cheese, fries. There are many restaurants within an easy walking distance. The ones we tried were good, but not phenomenal, which was disappointing, considering how expensive they were.

Overall, we were extremely pleased with the Disney Hilton Head Resort. The service was excellent, the room was very comfortable, and the atmosphere was just as clean, peaceful, and quiet as we’d hoped.

  • Stayed: July 2003
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45  Thank Marywhotravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2005

We just arrived back from staying at the Disney, Hilton Head Island Resort. We were there from Sunday through Friday. We found the accomadations to be wonderful. The marsh was right in our backyard and we saw a dolphin feeding and playing on numerous occasions, as well as many large birds (herrons and ergrets) and fish jumping.
The rooms were very clean, spacious, and well-equiped.
We had our 9 yr. old son with us and he had a great time. There were many activities for him during the time we were there. Many activities had a fee with them. Painting t-shirts were $10.00, a night out (3 hours) to a local movie theater and pizza/soda was $20.00, and another 3 hour activity called Disney Detectives (staying on the resort grounds) including pizza/soda was also $20.00. Fishing poles and bait was available to us for a small fee and so were bicycles.
There is a fabulous dolphin tour (4 people per boat) for $30.00 per person. That was about 2.5 hours and we saw many dolphins that came right up to our boat and even out of the water a bit! Great fun! We had wanted to do shark fishing but ran out of time and it was booked. Next time definitely!
There are 2 pools. One at the resort and one at the beach. The one at the resort has a small but lots of fun water slied that the adults even enjoyed. The pool at the beach had a basketball hoop and volleyball net. There were also activities that the lifeguards had organized at the pools for the kids and families.
The beach is not at the resort. It is about 1 mile away. You can take a bike, your car, or the Disney Shuttle. All times, we took our car and had no problems. The beach was beautiful but was crowded. Still, not a problem for us. There are beach chairs and umbrellas to rent. We brought our beach stuff from home.
There is a snack bar at both the beach pool and the resort pool. They have everything from snacks to burgers, chicken sandwiches, mozz. sticks, french fries, salads, and more. We also enjoyed the frozen alcoholic drinks and the fruit smoothies (non-alcoholic). There is no restaurant for dinner at either the resort or the beach. Dinner is on your own. We spoke to many locals to get recommendations and ate out most nights. There were some nice shops and restaurants right across the creek at the marina that we enjoyed.
Overall, we found the staff to be very friendly and helpful. The accomadations to be quite satisfying and rustic looking, and look forward to returning next year. We did talk to many families with children that have come for several years in a row.

  • Stayed: August 2005
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31  Thank obxloverPa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2005

We stayed here thinking it was some great adventure. First I read the reviews and saw a couple of negative ones thinking these people are pessimists, well it turns out they were right. I wouldn't pay $400+ a night again here, it is not on the beach it is a couple of miles away and it isn't worth packing up all your stuff and going to the beach everyday, we met some people who were staying at a condo on the beach same amount of space who paid 1/2 of what we did at Disney. It doesn't have the Disney atmosphere. Also I had our privacy please sign on a few days in the mornings and the housekeeping staff kept trying to come in, one housekeeper seemed upset when I asked her to come back after Noon, she said she had a couple of checkouts to do, but I am sorry I am there to relax not be on her schedule. The pools are small and the staff was rude, they have young interns there for a few months and I think they get burned out babysitting the children around the resort. I would either stay at the Marriot Ocean or Villamare the condo's I mentioned there.

  • Stayed: August 2005
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21  Thank happymommyindiana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed July 27, 2005

If you want huge slides and a theme park then go to Disney World. If you want a relaxing family atmosphere that we experienced then this is a great stay. We had so much fun with the resort. The resort had games for kids, pupet shows, magic shows, bomb fires, and more. One thing is for sure Hilton Head is an upscale beach that provides the ultimate in relaxing. If you want theme park atmosphere then go to Disney or go to Myrtle Beach. This was a great stay.

  • Stayed: May 2002
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19  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort

Address: 22 Harbourside Lane, Hilton Head, SC 29928-3522
Location: United States > South Carolina > Coastal South Carolina > Hilton Head
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Hilton Head
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Hilton Head
Price Range: $132 - $440 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 123
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort is located on the picturesque coast of South Carolina, 5 hours from Walt Disney World Resort. This warm home-away-from-home-fashioned after a 1940's hunting and fishing lodge-combines local charm with simple pleasures and outdoor fun for the entire family. The resort features multi-roomed villas and many recreational activities, including 12 miles of heavenly beaches famous for clear blue waters. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Disney`s Hilton Head Island Hotel Hilton Head
Disney Hilton Head Resort
Disney Hilton Head Island Resort
Disneys Hilton Head Island Resort
Disneys Hilton Head Resort

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