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“All of the pieces for a great family vavcation”

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Villas at Kiawah Island Resorts
Certificate of Excellence
Arcata, California
Level Contributor
132 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
“All of the pieces for a great family vavcation”
Reviewed August 8, 2013

Kiawah Island is a place we had talked about visiting for a while. Living on the west coast however means Hawaii is always an easy choice. This year we finally decided to make the plunge and try the southeast for a change and Kiawah was at the top of our list especially with the PGA Championship having been played on the Ocean Course the year before.

We debated staying at the Sanctuary but decided on a villa as this was a stop on an extended trip and the extra space with washer and dryer was appealing. This was our first time renting a villa or condo instead of staying in a hotel so we learned a lot.

To start, the resort is massive offering almost every summer activity one can imagine. Our favorite, besides the golf (reviewed separately) was the Night Heron Pool in the East Village. The actual pool was not much to speak of, just an Olympic sized lap pool. Next door however, was a great kids pool replete with large water slides and plenty of water park fixtures to suit kids from 0 to tween. Older kids may not find it exciting but plenty of dads and granddads were enjoying the slides.

We rented bikes for our stay from the resort and they were well... worn. It is a good thing the resort is flat. We could have stopped at a thrift store along the way and done better for the money. We saw better rental bikes around so I would do some homework before renting from the resort.

Now for the villa. Keep in mind there is a wide variety to choose from, they are privately owned and vary greatly in terms of amenities, quality and location so do your homework, Our villa was in the Turtle Point section and was a "resort" quality property meaning it had not been renovated recently. It was dated but not run down. It was plenty large enough for a family of four and located close to the things we wanted to do. I wouldn't call it a value for what we spent, Kiawah is pricey but it fit our family fine however....

No review of Kiawah would be complete without mentioning the bugs. Kiawah island is a swamp and swamps are full of all kinds of creepy crawly creatures particularly what they call the Palmetto Bug, aka the American Cockroach. They are huge, they fly, they scurry and can get into your accommodations. We were fortunate in that my wife only had a run in with one in our villa but that was enough to freak her out for the remainder of the trip. She literally slept with one eye open in fear one would crawl over her as she slept. Having the condo sprayed and keeping all the drains covered seemed to keep them out (they crawl up from the sewers) but if someone in your family is squeamish about such things this is not be the place for you.

The other thing that was odd for us was the social stratification. The resort itself is gated and then within the resort there are more gated areas and more gates even within those. Keeping out the rabble is a theme here and no matter how much you are spending to be at Kiawah it seems someone else sees you as a threat and needs to know you are not worthy to enter.

If we lived farther east we may be tempted by Kiawah again (not my wife) but for us Hawaii just suits us better.

Room Tip: Do your homework. There are hundreds from which to choose and they vary greatly. The East Village...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank bmp68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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153 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (46)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Troutman, North Carolina
Level Contributor
37 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed July 28, 2013

Kiawah Island is an absolutely fabulous spot. Lush, semi-tropical landscapes, easy travel on the island, enjoyable bike trails and lots to do. Prepare ahead to save $$$ Stock up on drinks, treats and other things before you enter the gates. Bring bug spray, for skin and condo. Hey it's an island! The condo was well laid out, roomy enough for a short stay and in a great location. # 4505 of Parkside Villas is close to the Sanctuary, Ocean, Night Heron Park, golf courses, tennis courts and Town Market. Inside was clean not pristine. Spongy beds, dim interior lighting, dust clogged air filters and builder grade fittings & noisy ceiling fans in the bedrooms disappoint. Loose wall switches, blown out lights, skimpy dressers, shaky wireless signals, a rusty (but functional) clothes dryer are a let down. Even with the group rate for medical seminar, this unit was adequate not a great value for $$$$. It was more like a beach share for young singles than an expensive, exclusive condo in a gated community. We would definitely go back to the island, but not here.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Rene W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
US
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed July 5, 2013

5 nights in this place and each a nightmare. Hundreds of dolllars per night and would have much preferred a Motel 6. Aside from multiple cockroaches and ants, the dated "Villa" has 7' ceilings with a fan that hangs at about 4.5 ft, so ducking while in the living room is a must. I am 6' tall and had to bend down to shower - when the shower handle wasnt falling off. Sink backed up first day. Giant furniture in a tiny villa makes moving around the place challenging. They should be embarrassed for charging more than $60 night for this "villa". What a huge disappointment. Front desk says everyone has cockroaches, no big deal. No parking either due to the fourth of July influx of people. Just a nightmare from start to finish. 4669 Tennis Club -Villas.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
5 Thank Sandwedge47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Knoxville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed June 12, 2013

I have had the opportunity to stay at a few nice places in the Charleston, SC realm including the Isle of Palms. This is, by far, my favorite location in this region. Access to the island is gated, which, with my family, provides a greater level of comfort and security. We stayed in a 2br, 2 bath deluxe villa in the Turtle Cove section. The villa was impeccable, housekeeping each day kept our kitchen clean, towels fresh and our place spotless, even though we were traveling with two teenagers and two 20 year old children. The particular unit was 5008. What was nice about this particular unit was: It is on the third floor providing privacy and better view, this unit has a sun room which was a good location to set up two blow up beds for the younger ones (the unit, although large, is set up to accommodate 4), It has a fully equipped kitchen which was nicely appointed with granite counter tops, Furnishings were attractive and clean. We were a short walk to the beach, even though the sand is brown, it is clean, the color is rendered by the areas underwater geology. The long, low slope of the beach is comforting for families with the children, one must walk into the water quite a long distance to be in up to your chest.

Room Tip: The higher the better
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank TheSequoiaGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
34 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed June 7, 2013

My wife, mother-in-law, and I vacationed on Kiawah Island May 25-June 1, 2013. We stayed in Windswept Villa # 5127. The condo was fantastic. Kitchen COMPLETELY furnished and the place was tastefully decorated. The unit is oceanfront - complete with balcony - where I drank coffee every morning waiting for the sun to come up. What a fantastic view - NO OBSTRUCTIONS. 2 bedrooms; 2 baths. I will definitely return to Kiawah - and when I do - I will be staying in Windswept # 5127.

Please feel free to contact me for a referral.

Room Tip: Pay the added expense of an OCEANFRONT condo. It is well worth the money.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jim R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed June 7, 2013 via mobile

I had giant cockroaches in the villa. I was in a "premier" villa. They came to spray. Still had live giant cockroaches plus dead ones lying around. Management calls them Palmetto bugs. Says they are not cockroaches. Pretty insulting since palmetto bugs are 'American cockroaches' just different Name. Told me moving into another villa would not change anything since this is a normal occurrence this time of year and they could have roaches there too. According to the general manager of the villa they are 'prevalent' now. These condos are very very dated getting very very worn and allow easy access for these bugs. Using older materials. Had to check out early due to the fact that we will not sleep with cockroaches crawling around the apartment for $600 a night. Although management is apologetic they can't seem to solve this problem. They should at least let people know that this is a serious problem and one can be expected to see cockroaches before booking a trip here. STAY AWAY!!!!

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank Keppe67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, NC
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed May 30, 2013

It is important to have a clear understanding of what you are paying for when booking a stay at the Villas at Kiawah. These are individually owned rental condos. The photo on you see on Trip Advisor is of the 5 star resort "The Sanctuary" next door. This is not a hotel or villa, there is no housekeeping service, and the kitchen and rooms are only furnished as much as the owner saw fit.

We stayed at unit #4747. As I mentioned, each unit is individually owned so your experience could vary depending on the owner's taste or unit location. Our unit was about 500 sq ft in size with dated furniture, no WIFI and sparse kitchen appliances (coffeemaker but no filters, blender base but no carafe). The community pool was conveniently close, but the beach was a good 5-10 minute walk.

The island itself was very quaint, with lush vegetation, clean beaches and abundant wildlife. Visitors are only allowed on the island with accommodation reservations, so the beaches are not clogged with tourists and day-trippers. The staff everywhere are incredibly friendly.

PROS: Quiet community pool, nice screened-in porch.

CONS: Small and dated, long walk to beach.

TIPS: Bring your own beach towels, chairs and umbrellas or be prepared to pay $25/day to rent them. Get a unit as close to the beach as possible.

Room Tip: Bring your own beach towels, chairs and umbrellas or be prepared to pay $25/day to rent them. Book...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Neall007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Villas at Kiawah Island Resorts

Property: Villas at Kiawah Island Resorts
Address: 12 Kiawah Beach Drive, Kiawah Island, SC
Location: United States > South Carolina > Coastal South Carolina > Kiawah Island
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Kiawah Island
Number of rooms: 5
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