This is a difficult review to write. I would have rated this property with the poorest rating possible, but the service and desire to make things right by the staff complicate things considerably. When I first began writing reviews, after glossing several other reviews on tripadvisor, I determined to write just the facts so as to be objective as possible. However, when you have met an outstanding staff of a certain business who was as friendly and desirous to please as was at this establishment, it is most difficult to just offer a chronological list of observations and occurrences. So, at the offset and because my evaluation of the property will not be flattering, I want to state that I have not found a higher level of service and attitude anywhere as I have found here. Thanks Chris and Brittany! Sadly, the property as experienced, stains their wonderful efforts.
Let me first state that Hilton Head Island is a conundrum. The island is highly privatized. The majority of the land is owned/leased to resorts and clubs who "hog" the beaches and charge exorbitant prices for what they offer. I would conjecture that the privatization percentage has to be somewhere between 80-90%. I had an opportunity to talk with several people who worked in various service avenues on the island and none with whom I talked could even consider living near the island. Most had to live at least an hour away to afford housing on their $8-$9 an hour wage. Yet, hotels averaged 165-350 per night and the average meal for food indigenous to the area ran $12-$30 per person. You will have to make your own conclusions as to what this means. We finally found a place where the four of us could eat an average type lunch for $60. The Island landscape itself it quite pleasing as the local government has take precautions to limit the clearing of coastal trees and vegetation. There are no neon lights allowed and no bright lights after 10PM. However, this makes it difficult to find your way around after dark. Most of the businesses are subdued by colors or vegetation (by local law). For example, if you are looking for a franchised store you will scarcely recognize the building design/colors that are so noticeable along most major highways. The beaches are another issue. There is very very very limited parking for the public access areas to the beaches. You will pay a meter fee or fine and are limited to two hours. The public beach areas are extremely crowded almost anytime of the day and early evening. Just finding somewhere to place a chair without encroaching someone's personal space was a problem. Unfortunately, the streets and by-ways of the city are just as crowded. We realized quickly that the best way to get around is on bicycle. This is a really busy place, the antithesis of what you would consider to be a vacation. Just a side note: I observed that the majority of out of state tags were from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. I shared this observation with someone from one of these states who was visiting the island. He stated that this area is the summer playground for Northerners and that they are willing to fork over the cash/credit card for the Southern coastal experience,which Southerners can't afford, then he laughed. I think he may be on to something.
This Red Roof is not unattractive, but very dated. It is lined with pleasing palms and scrub oaks and other flora such as azaleas and crepe myrtle trees as befits a deep south property. The building sits behind a convenience mart and a breakfast/lunch restaurant far enough that you don't really notice either. The pool is small and clean. The property manager, Chris, makes sure that the pool area stays family friendly. Red Roof generally has a great many contract labor people staying when the construction industry is booming. Apparently, their common ritual is to drink large amounts of alcoholic beverages outside of their rooms after work. Our second day there a few were camped out by the pool drinking beer. Chris quickly went to them and explained that there was no alcohol allowed in the pool area, especially when there are small children in the area.
We drove 14 hours to get to Hilton Head. Upon arrival (9:30 PM) the clerk immediately presented us with a problem. Our online reservation stated that we would like a non-pet room due to allergies. The clerk said that she did not think that we could have our reservation because they did not have any non-pet rooms. After 14 hours of driving I would have slept with a flea infested dog. She had to call her manager to "allow" us to check-in even though we had reservations. This did not sit well. Nevertheless, we filled out the paperwork and finally got to our room.
The really nice thing about this particular Red Roof is that they have hardwood floors. They realized that if you are going to be pet friendly, then you are going to have to remove the carpet. The room smelled clean and the bathroom had no visible mildew. However, when we got to the room all we wanted to do was rest. We sat our bags by the door took a quick shower and went to bed. The next morning we got up, started moving things around and to our surprise found a gaping hole approx. 20" long and 5-8" above the floor, between the A/C and the door. The floor trim was pulled away from the wall and was hanging out there. I suspect that the A/C has been leaking for some time and rotted the sheetrock. Yet, none of the cleaning staff requested repair. We also found a hole under the desk area, the refrigerator and freezer was completely frozen up (a 4-6" thick piece of ice covered the cooling coils), and even though they automatically charge you for safe use (you can request this taken off at check-out) there were two keys missing on the key pad. Upon finding these things I expressed them to the clerk (Brittany) that next morning. She was considerate, completely understanding, and baffled by the lack of maintenance. She suggested that they move us to another room and said that she would get back with us after she contacted the manager. The manager (Chris Anselmo) contacted us after we came back from the beach. She apologized and suggested also that we move to another room. Chris not only moved us to a very large suite, but comped our first room for our troubles. She was bound and determined not only arbitrate our concerns, but to over satisfy our disappointment. Chris really is concerned about her customers and wants their expectations met. She and Brittany are the shining stars of the economy motel business.
Chris really wanted to please us, unfortunately, the king bed in the room we now occupied was in need of repair. One of the bed frame legs near the headboard was missing a roller, which caused the bed to lean down at the head. I just stuck the phone book under it and went to sleep. The beds at this property did not sleep well and each that we experienced seemed to have unacceptable depressions in the middle (overuse or age?).
Considering the average cost of a room on the island, which does not include the high end resorts, this room would have been a great value. Our online price was 96.00 per night with taxes for a full size double bed with fridge and microwave. However, the problem lies with the maintenance of the property. As a general note, I have found a recurring observation concerning mid to economy priced hotels: the common practice is to shuck costly maintenance and precise cleaning and rent the room as is. If the customer complains, then they will do something about it. This places the satisfaction level upon the clientele. In other words, motels are only rising to the expectations of the least demanding customer. They only meet someone's discerning expectations if you complain. This is troubling.
We only stayed in Hilton Head for two days. We did not enjoy the ostentatious and hectic tone of the island. It was not conducive to a relaxing vacation. Given the problem with our room, it fit right in to what we experienced on the island. The highlight of our stay was Chris and Brittany, and the many locals we encountered working in the service industry.
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- Also Known As:
- Red Roof Inn Hilton Head Island Hotel Hilton Head
- Hilton Head Red Roof Inn