I was at Wild Dunes for a wedding in May 2012. As an initial disclaimer, let me say that I would never choose to stay at a place like Wild Dunes or vacation at a location like Isle of Palms. I prefer small lodgings, not big hotels or other corporate scenes. The world is a big place, and I try to vacation somewhat off the beaten path (or at least stay in unique hotels on the beaten path). So, for folks who like big resorts, you may want to take my review with a grain of salt. For others who would rather vacation in Bonaire than at Sandals in the Bahamas, this place isn't for you. To each his or her own.
First, the good. I thought everyone-- front desk staff, waiters, valets-- was committed to providing excellent customer service. As an example, to minimize outside time during a rain storm one night, one employee, holding an umbrella, escorted us from the Boardwalk Inn to a condo building where other family members were staying. Since it was included in the daily resort fee, we took full advantage of the "free" valet parking. The food and drinks weren't grossly overpriced, and there were some nice amenities/activities (like a bicycle rental-- and the bikes were in good shape). If you are looking for affordable luxury-- a place to hunker down with kids or an s.o. and not spend a bloody fortune for a place on the beach, Wild Dunes seems like a reasonable choice.
As for the not so good, we stayed in the Boardwalk Inn. The indoor and outside common areas are nice. We spent a fair amount of time sitting at the outdoor restaurant by the pool, which was lovely (except for an occasional sewer smell). But, the hotel room itself was nothing to write home about-- hard to describe other than to say it was typical. Cleanliness was not outstanding. There was toothpaste left behind by another guest on the hair dryer bag, and a wet towel that my (bad) husband left on the floor in our room remained in place after maid service. I'm not trying to be super picky here-- just trying to explain my 3-star rating. Most of my family stayed in condos at the resort. I was cheap and selected the Boardwalk Inn. For about $50 more per night, the condos would have been worth it. Though, again, if you're looking for unique options, this ain't it. The condos were very, very corporate. They felt a bit like what one would see on a Parade of Homes tour sponsored by a local newspaper, if you know what I mean.
I settled on three stars for this place because I was trying to compare it in my mind to what I would expect at a five-star resort. Wild Dunes was pleasant enough, and there were some nice parts, but nothing will linger in my mind as particularly outstanding, so I think 3 stars is far. Better than a sharp stick in the eye, but not worth a rave review or a return visit.
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- Also Known As:
- Wild Dunes Hotel Isle Of Palms