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“springtime rest and recuperation”
Review of Wild Dunes Resort

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Wild Dunes Resort
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Isle of Palms
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed April 3, 2013

We've rented a house for 4 days in Pelican Bay. Overall we've been very lucky with the weather - despite it being windy, we've had good sunshine throughout. The resort has oodles of space, a great network of paths for cycling and walking/jogging/running. You can rent bicycles, play tennis and golf. The beach stretches for miles (well, it feels that way) and you can spend loads of time just walking on it, playing in the waves (our boys loved it), building sand castles, collecting shells. Each of the developments appear to have their own pool, so you can swim even when it's windy on the beach. There are flocks of pelicans and what appear to be plovers and cormorants. The watery inlets that you pass have terrapins in them, ducks and (apparently) alligators too. We haven't seen one at close quarters, but that doesn't mean the signs are there in vain.
Within Wild Dunes you'll find a few restaurants and take away joints (expensive), so you can eat 'locally' or drive out into Mount Pleasant in a jiffy. Charleston is about 35-40 minutes away, so within easy striking distance for a late afternoon jaunt. Wild Dunes feels really safe, secluded and cared for.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Flylittlebird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frank F, General Manager at Wild Dunes Resort, responded to this reviewResponded April 8, 2013

Dear Flylittlebird,

I am very happy to hear that you had nice weather and were able to take advantage and enjoy a lot of the amenities offered here at Wild Dunes Resort during your stay. I’m glad that your boys enjoyed the ocean and you explored our spacious two and a half mile beach. Our team takes pride in the upkeep of the resort so it is wonderful to hear when guests take notice and appreciate our staff’s hard work. We enjoy being a part of the world class city and love that beautiful downtown Charleston is just a short drive away! Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences and review of your stay at Wild Dunes Resort. We hope to welcome you back to the resort on your next trip to Charleston!

Regards,

Frank Fredericks

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3,213 - 3,219 of 4,181 reviews

Reviewed April 3, 2013

You can have a wildly different experience, depending on where you stay. Wild Dunes reservations acts as a rental office for a lot of private owners. If you know their "code" (which they've recently changed slightly) and can book accordingly, you'll have a 5 star experience. But I learned this the hard way. Units are rated as "standard," "moderate," or "deluxe." One might assume, as I did, and very incorrectly, that a standard unit simply lacked a lot of extras and was, perhaps, a little smaller than the others. Having stayed here so many times, I was stunned to learn that what "standard" meant is old, perhaps dirty--not because it hasn't been cleaned, but because the dirt is so ground in as to be impossible to remove--outdated, cheaply built, and cheaply appointed. I assumed renting anywhere in WD was assurance of fine accommodations. WRONG! What they call "standard" are, in my opinion, SUB-standard, at best. My feet literally stuck to the floor and made little clicking noises whenever I lifted them up. My first encounter with this was when I had an infant. Let me tell you, that was a long week, not being able to put my son down bc the floors were too nasty to let him crawl around. And I am not one of those boil-everything-mothers. I believe a good helping of nice clean dirt never hurt anyone--but that place was disgusting.

We are now here again. We come every year for the Cooper River Bridge Run (same reason we were here when I first got my "standard" education). As always, I waited pretty late to get our reservations, but I have never had a problem with availability. This year, however, there were a couple of other things going on at the same time, and the very last unit we could get was a standard one bedroom (or the Inn, which I am sure is lovely, but we need a kitchen). With the hopes of someone canceling so we could upgrade, I went with it. No luck on upgrading, so here we are. And, in all honesty, the unit is not THAT bad. Sure, it appears to have been built with the cheapest possible options back in 1985 (can you say oak and formica?), but it was at least clean. The carpet doesn't stick to your feet, anyway. My big beef here is it is clearly stated on the description in a couple of places that it has a king bed and a fold out couch. The fold out is here, but there were no sheets for it. We tried calling housekeeping, guest services, the front desk and anyone else we could think of, each time getting the metallic recording that the number had been disconnected. My husband drove to the Inn to get sheets from housekeeping and was told they would deliver them. My 4 year old, in the meantime, was actually begging to go to bed (for once). I rigged the blanket so that it was under and over him and went to sleep while my husband sat up waiting for the sheets. All this started at 8. I went to bed at 10. Not sure what time my husband came to bed, but he gave up waiting. Good thing, bc it is 4 the next afternoon, and STILL no sheets. At 3 am my son came and crawled in bed with me...which leads me to my other complaint. There is NO KING SIZED BED IN THIS UNIT. If this bed is a queen, it is the least roomy queen I've ever seen. There went my sleep. Not exactly a restful vacation, so far.

We have stayed here many, many times, and I would usually rate the accommodations as many stars as they'll give me. I knew not to expect much this time, when all I could book was a standard room. But the bed is a BUMMER. Hopefully the sheets will be remedied today.

There are only 2 knives in the kitchen, both of them what I call tomato knives--about a 4" serrated blade--both flimsy and dull. We encounter cheap, dull knives a lot renting, and that always baffles me. If the fear is that people will steal them, then their frugality is misplaced. The liability of someone hurting themselves with a dull knife surely outweigh any savings on the junk. And, in any case, you don't have to spend a fortune for a knife that will cut. Thank goodness I didn't get a watermelon, as I usually do. That would have been no fun to cut with these pathetic Dollar General knives.

The resort, itself, is wonderful. It is a safe, self-contained, beautiful place. There are well-maintained biking/running paths meandering all around, tennis, golf, fabulous pools, alligators and turtles. I went ahead and booked this standard room bc, as long as you book through WD, you have access to the fantastic pool at the Grand Pavilion, and the beach is amazing, and we are, at least, ocean-front in this unit (be careful with that, when booking, as well--you can be a bit of a haul to the ocean here, but everything IS walkable, depending on your willingness to walk). I thought that, as usual, we would spend very little time in the room, anyway. Of course, the weather has turned, it is blowing like stink and in the 50s, with rain fc for the next 2 days. I will just look across the dunes to the ocean, rather than at the old, chipped formica and painted-over oak cabinets. This is Mariners Walk 12B (units in the same building can vary greatly, depending on what the owners have done with it). I would say, if it is your last option to stay here, then go for it. Otherwise, go for a better unit. I don't know if I have rented any of the "Moderate" units, but every other place I've ever rented here (usually at least 1, sometimes 2 or 3 times a year for the last 13 years) has been fabulous. So, if you are confused by the contradictory reviews, now you know the problem.

Room Tip: Make sure to rent a DELUXE or at the very least a MODERATE unit. Standard units are far inferior to...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank joyflyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frank F, General Manager at Wild Dunes Resort, responded to this reviewResponded April 11, 2013

Dear Joyflyer,

Thank you for sharing your experience from your stay at Wild Dunes Resort. Our property management rating system ranks the criteria by quality level and rates accordingly, and I have shared your feedback with our Property Management team to ensure we’re being as forthcoming in the description of that particular accommodation and determine what improvement opportunities exist for the accommodation based on your helpful feedback. I apologize that the Standard unit you stayed in did not meet your expectations. The specifics you mentioned do not meet ours either and we have addressed those with our housekeeping team to ensure that this doesn’t happen in the future as our goal is to first and foremost deliver exceptional experiences for our guests. I am pleased to hear that you have been a loyal guest for 13 years and have a love for the resort. We want every guest to have the experience that they desire when they chose to stay at the resort, but we especially want our loyal return guests to have experiences that live up to their expectations. I invite you to contact me directly with any questions or concerns regarding your previous stay at Wild Dunes Resort at ffredericks@wilddunes.com. We do appreciate you patronage and look forward to welcoming you back to the resort in the future.

Regards,

Frank Fredericks

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Reviewed April 2, 2013

We are a couple who just needed a quick getaway to re-set. Wild Dunes was perfect for us. The accommodations in the 1 BR luxury suite in the VIllage was beautiful, spacious and the style of comfort we like. The bikes for rent on premises were one of our favorites. Also the pools, fitness center, restaurants make staying here so easy for a vacation. We really enjoyed every moment.

Room Tip: In the Village just know your room can face toward the plaza (open air to store fronts) or away from...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Kim I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frank F, General Manager at Wild Dunes Resort, responded to this reviewResponded April 8, 2013

Dear Kim I,

Thank you for sharing your review of Wild Dunes Resort. I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed your accommodations in The Village and it was the style of comfort you enjoy. I’m glad that you were able to rent bikes during your stay- this is always a guest favorite! Providing a variety of amenities so that guests can customize their own fun and relaxing vacation experience is something our staff here at the resort loves being able to offer! Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences from your stay at the resort, and I am very happy to hear that your getaway gave you an opportunity to “re-set”. We hope to welcome you back to the resort soon!

Regards,

Frank Fredericks

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2013

My son and I flew 1500 miles for a stress free weekend of golf our stay was anything but stress free. Check in went smoothly except that we were never told the exact location of our rooms because our tee time was 5 minutes away. After golf we used the hotel map to try to locate the room. The map did not list Village Gardens listed the name given building housing our room. Back to check in we were told our room was located in back of the Board Walk. So we made our way to the room, exhausted from the day's travel to find that the room was never cleaned. It's now 8:35p.m. Called the front desk we were moved to another room a 9:20p.m. we were so tired we decided to order room service. A 50 minute deliver time quoted. For all our aggravation we were given a 50 dollar credit; room service cost 62.50. I then decided to take a warm bath. The water wasn't warm enough and the tub didn't drain. Another call to the front desk, when we returned to the room the tub was empty but upon taking a show noticed it didn't drain as fast as it filled. Final day, went to the front desk to check out -- computers were down they would email me the final charges.

Room Tip: DON'T STAY AT THIS RESORT. Save yourself money and aggravation by staying at the many chain of...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank BethP813
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frank F, General Manager at Wild Dunes Resort, responded to this reviewResponded April 4, 2013

Dear BethP813,

Thank you for taking the time to share experiences from your stay at Wild Dunes Resort. I am sorry that you did not have the relaxing experience you expected. It is very frustrating after a long day of travel to have such difficulty finding your accommodations and then for it to not have been properly cleaned is unacceptable. I have spoken with both the front office team and the housekeeping team to make sure that they are aware of the difficulties you experienced during your stay so we can ensure this doesn’t happen again in the future. Moving forward, the front office team will pay closer attention to making sure that maps are explained and locations of accommodations are very clear upon arrival. The housekeeping management team is reevaluating the procedure in which they inspect guest rooms to make sure this embarrassing oversight does not occur again. I apologize again for your frustrations and am truly sorry that you had such a difficult experience. This is not the impression that the resort likes to leave and does not reflect our value nor standards in delivering great customer experiences and service. Thank you again for sharing your experiences as it gives us opportunity to improve in the future. I invite you to reach out to me directly at ffredericks@wilddunes.com if you would like to discuss this situation further.

Regards,

Frank Fredericks

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Reviewed March 29, 2013

We just completed our third year of extended stay at Wild Dunes and can't wait to get back again next winter. The beach is fabulous, the whole area is so well maintained and beautiful. The villas are comfortable, roomy and well stocked. Dining at the Sea Island grill is first class, interesting menu and well presented. Also enjoyed Sunday brunch at the Links Course Club House

Room Tip: We always rent a two bedroom villa
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank oshdad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frank F, General Manager at Wild Dunes Resort, responded to this reviewResponded April 2, 2013

Dear oshdad,

Thank you for taking the time to share your review of Wild Dunes Resort. I am pleased to hear that you enjoyed your third year here as an extended stay guest. The summers here are wonderful, but spending time here in the winter season is peaceful and just as enjoyable. It is great to hear that you took advantage and enjoyed some of the dining options offered here at the resort. The Sunday brunch at The Sand Bar is one of my favorites- the chicken and waffles are delicious! Thank you again for sharing your experiences from your stay and we look forward to welcoming you back to the resort again next winter.

Regards,

Frank Fredericks

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Reviewed March 28, 2013

We love Wild Dunes - we have been vacationing here for almost 20 years. We have stayed in the condos, and over the last few years, in the Boardwalk Inn. The beach and pavilion are outstanding, with lots of beach for playing/walking/relaxing. The Sea Island Grill is great for a cocktail or for a great dinner -- and a fabulous southern breakfast (get the cheese grits). It's a quick and easy drive into Charleston - a truly beautiful city. We have never been disappointed with Wild Dunes, and always look forward to coming back.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Mary S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frank F, General Manager at Wild Dunes Resort, responded to this reviewResponded April 1, 2013

Dear Mary S,

Thank you for sharing your love of Wild Dunes Resort. We always enjoy welcoming new guests to the resort but it is always such a pleasure to welcome back returning guests. It is the loyalty from guests like you (20 years of loyalty!) that really compliments the staff here at the resort and make all of us proud to work for Wild Dunes. Thank you so much for your kind words, your patronage and your tried and true love for Wild Dunes Resort. It is always our pleasure to welcome you back to the resort and look forward to seeing you next time.

Regards,

Frank Fredericks

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Reviewed March 28, 2013

We've stayed at this resort several times, and it seems to get better and better. My wife and I loved the cheese platter particularly and the food overall at the Sea Island Grill. We were delighted with the studio suite and the staff was very friendly.

Room Tip: We went with the studio suite this time and loved the extra room and kitchen.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Kevin4235
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frank F, General Manager at Wild Dunes Resort, responded to this reviewResponded March 29, 2013

Dear Kevin4235,

I appreciate that you took the time to share experiences from your stay at Wild Dunes Resort. I am glad to hear that you were pleased with the Sea Island Grill as well as your accommodations and our friendly staff! The staff here always strives to improve service, amenities and overall quality of the resort. Thank you again for taking the time to share your experiences and it would be our pleasure to welcome you back to the resort in the future.

Regards,

Frank Fredericks

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Wild Dunes Resort

Address: 5757 Palm Boulevard, Isle of Palms, SC 29451-2734
Phone Number:
Location: United States > South Carolina > Coastal South Carolina > Isle of Palms
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Isle of Palms
Price Range: $155 - $461 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Wild Dunes Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 458
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Wild Dunes Hotel Isle Of Palms

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