Our condo was ready at 3:00, and not a minute before. Upon entering the condo, I was immediately impressed with the layout and size. The master bedroom had a door to the balcony, the kitchen area had ample cupboards and counter space. The condo was equipped with a full-size washer and dryer (a first for us -- we're used to the stacked apartment sized W/D). There were only four chairs at the table, but there were high stools at the counter that the kids loved, so that wasn't a problem.
I was very pleased with the balcony. It was large! Large enough for a plastic table, four chairs, and plenty of room to move around (unlike a bad experience last year, which is why I'm gushing about it!). There was an electrical outlet, which I needed for my laptop (see below). If only the smoke from the smokers around us didn't waft over to us ... but you can hardly blame that on the hotel.
You could tell that the condos were old. The door to the balcony from the master BR was quite rusty. The wallpaper was sorely outdated and patched poorly. Nothing was hazardously old, but you could just tell by the condition of the room that it was old. Not rundown by any stretch. Just dated, if you will. Not a complaint; just an observation.
The main door to the condo rarely, if ever, shut without having to manually slam it. We didn't notice this right away and thankfully didn't notice any possessions missing. Just don't assume the loud bang means it's shut; it might not be.
The 'lobby' area of the condos (which is where the elevators landed and the mailboxes were for the owners) had a keypad on the doors with a code given to us at the front desk. However, we found that the code only worked on one of the three doors, with the back door not opening at all for us and the side door not being locked. Weird, but never caused us a problem.
The pool for the Carolina Dunes guests was nice. It was a decent size and had a kiddie pool beside it. The larger pool, another kiddie pool, lazy river, and the Wild Water pool were beside the Carolina Dunes (had to cross a public access street) at the Caravelle.
We went over to the Caravelle to use the pools and had a hard time finding a lounge chair. It seems everyone reserves their chairs and then leaves for hours, which is a tad disheartening for those who want to actually stay by the pool. I don't know if any hotel monitors this, so I wouldn't fault the hotel for that necessarily. The pools were clean and refreshing. I have no complaints about that; just the lack of open lounge chairs. One nice thing they had were rockers by the lazy river. I couldn't enjoy them, but I would've if they had been unoccupied.
I wanted to utilize the poolside ice cream and sandwich shop, as well as the bar and grill but after grabbing a quick bite upon our arrival on Monday, we decided not to do that again. The cost of the food was high both places. We opted to grab some pizza, hot dogs, potato wedges, and drinks from Pirate's Cove. The cashier talked us out of getting a pretzel because they were hard, and then we refused the $3.50 slice of pizza because it was brown and looked like it had been out all day. The food quality there was lousy and we never gave any other restaurant on site a try.
We took our laptop to use while the kids napped and to look up golf courses, etc. We could not get a connection. I called the front desk to be told that the internet for us in the Carolina Dunes was the responsibility of the owners. That, of course, didn't help us as we didn't contract with the owners to rent their condo. I ended up using the connection from the neighboring Monterey Bay while on the balcony. I was not pleased that the hotel offered free wifi as an amenity but failed to state that it's hit or miss (mostly miss) in certain parts of the 'resort'.
I'd say the value was worth it, though the lack of space at the big pool deck and the not-so-reliable wifi connection will have me looking elsewhere for next year. I have already bookmarked resorts with rooms that have similar features in the hopes of finding a cheaper room next year that has everything we want. It was not a bad stay by any stretch of the imagination. We'd stay there again but would likely choose another place first because of the wifi issue and how busy the pool deck was.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Carolina Dunes is located oceanfront in Myrtle Beach, SC featuring one, two and three bedroom units and a large outdoor pool. Book direct to receive access to additional amenities, just steps away, including the giant outdoor block-long poolscape, Wild Water Pool, indoor pool, exercise room, top-rated breakfast restaurant, game room, sun deck and more! Plus you will receive the VMB discounts card at check-in. Come see why Carolina Dunes is a Myrtle Beach gem! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Carolina Dunes At The Caravelle Hotel Myrtle Beach