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“Dated large condo, sketchy wifi”
Review of Carolina Dunes

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Carolina Dunes
Dover, DE
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Dated large condo, sketchy wifi”
Reviewed June 24, 2009

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 The wallpaper was sorely outdated and patched poorly.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.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank MBSC4ME
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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48 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
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English first
Lake Mills, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 29, 2009

We have been staying at the Carolina Dunes every year since 2002. The condos at the Carolina Dunes are very spacious and have a wonderful view of the ocean. We are golfers, and utilize the golf office to arrange our packages. During this trip the main outside pool and hot tub were closed for construction. We were initially disappointed, but pleasantly surprised with how nice the indoor pool and hot tubs (one outside and one inside) were at the main facility.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank wisconsingolfers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilson, North Carolina
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 27, 2008

This was our first trip to the Carolina Dunes and we were somewhat skeptical, because there is no office "per se" downstairs at the site; however, a passcode IS necessary in order to enter the building. The condo itself was wonderful. The layout of the rooms was perfect for my daughter's family, as well as my mother, husband and me. It provided plenty of privacy, allowing us to still have the feeling of being together. The units are privately owned, and I discovered that ours was in need of a few minor repairs, none of which hindered us from enjoying the stay. We have always stayed in separate rooms at the hotel. This was a much nicer, more convenient, and more economical way to go. We highly recommend "The Dunes". The staff (maintenance, housekeeping , and administrative) were wonderful. Kudos, guys!! We'll be back!! Terri Denton-Johnson

  • Liked — The layout of the rooms / the great pool downstairs and access to pools at Caravelle Hotel
  • Disliked — Needs updating and individual room repairs
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mema51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, WI
Level Contributor
24 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed March 13, 2008

I stayed at the Carolina Dunes at the Caravelle Resort while on a golfing trip. Four men shared a 3 bedroom condo. The Resort, as a whole, is better than my review but I can only rate the unit we stayed in. Our condo was in great need of work and repair. The furniture was old, cheap and in awful condition. The sofa would sink almost to the floor if more than one person sat on it. The mattresses were worn and offered no support. The closets were filled with construction supplies such as paint cans, tools, shelves, broken furniture, etc. etc. It appeared that the unit was used as a dumping ground and work site. I suspect it was rented out only because all the other units were filled. Furnishings such as glassware and dishes were sparse.
A full breakfast is served each morning and it is more than adequate. The setting is pleasant but we could not enjoy our beachfront balcony because all the furniture was broken.
Other units we observed seemed to be in much better condition than the one rented to us. This is a nice location but management needs to be on top of situations like this and remove substandard units from the rental program.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Poor condition
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Paul R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed July 30, 2006

My family just returned from a week at the Caravelle Resort, 7/22 - 7/29. We stayed in the Carolina Dunes condos.
This was our second time visiting, last trip was in 2004 and we stayed in the hotel - which was a disaster !! The elevators alone made the trip miserable, not to mention how crappy the room was. I allowed my husband to talk me into Myrtle Beach again (which after a trip to Aruba last year was a tough sell, but we love the area so ....) We were not sure we wanted to try the Caravelle again, even with the upgrades to the hotel - the reviews on here have been awful and I feel bad for the travelers who were there during the renovations !!
I'll start with the good and move to the 'bad'.....
Ocean front is the way to go - it's very convenient to the beach, not to mention a nice view. You also can see the kids directly below in the pool. Parking is great, much better than jockeying for a spot at the hotel or ending up across the street. Kitchen was nice and big, and did have all the pots, pans, dishes and silverware you could need. Nice having a big 'fridge, and microwave... That's about where it ends....
Now the bad ~~~ We spent $2300 for a two bedroom, two bath condo at the Dunes - it was in 'ok' condition. The check-in process is horrendous to say the least. This property had better get it together - they have 6-7 total buildings and ONE OFFICE !! Everyone and their brother checks in at the same time (3 PM) and then (God willing) you might find a luggage buggy to help you take your things to your room.
We have seen other rooms in the Dunes, and were disappointed in the condition of ours. It was much more run-down, old decor, the carpet in the one bedroom was soaked, and they had a big fan in there trying to dry it..... it smelled terrible all week !

The master bedroom seemed nice, however, when we got into bed we realized that the mattress was actually two twin beds pushed together to make a 'king' ! They weren't even put together correctly, in a vertical position, rather were on the boxspring in a horizontal fashion so when you got in, your bottom end sunk down between the two mattresses - my husband and I had to re-do the entire bed. The curtains were ripped off the one side - and numerous mini-blinds were broken. It was ocean-front so with no other blinds on the window the sun poured in really early, which is ok if you are an early-riser.

The balcony was nice - we enjoyed sitting out in the morning and again on some evenings, but we were very cautious of our daughter and her friend leaning on the railings, they did not seem very sturdy.

My daughter and her friend had their own room, which was nice, and we had plenty of space - but for that amount of money ($2300) I just expected much more.... the sheets were hard, like sandpaper, we brought our own pillows (thank goodness).

Housekeeping consisted of them knocking at the door, handing me a plastic bag to collect the dirty wet towels, and asking for the garbage bag in the kitchen. Granted, on two occasions the kids were still sleeping so I didn't want the beds made but even on the days they did come into the rooms, the kitchen wasn't touched, (not that I expected them to do dishes, but wiping the counters would've been nice) none of the sinks or anything were wiped, they simply made the beds and put fresh towels out.

The pool at the Dunes is very small and not very clean, though the hotel's pool is worse. My daughter ended up with swimmers ear from bacteria in the pool water. It's cloudy most of the time, and there are way too many kids in there for the size pool it is... so you can imagine.... yuk !

All in all, we probably won't stay there again - two strikes so far, I'm not willing to go for three....

Now onto Myrtle Beach itself...... it's becoming very overcrowded no matter where you go. Every restaurant had a several hour, not just 'an hour' wait - but several hours! We had a FOUR HOUR wait at Margaritaville. The food was great, but i would recommend someone going over there early in the afternoon and putting your name in if you want to eat before 9 or 10 in the evening. We got there at 5:15 and they still couldn't seat us before 9:30, it was a terrible system.
Highly recommend & not to be missed - Cagneys (north end) and Cap't Georges Seafood near Broadway at the Beach, both take reservations and will cut down on your waiting time. The food is outstanding !!

Though we like the area, the 9-10 hour drive is a bit much and I have become rather spoiled by the nicer more luxurious accomodations of the caribbean, as well as the aesthetic quality of the ocean itself..... nothing beats the clear blue green waters of the caribbean seas.... or being pampered at a 'true' oceanfront resort. I think we'll be going back to Aruba or another island next year..... think twice before going to the Caravelle, try Litchfield (south end) Grand Dunes, Monterey Bay, or the Marriott properties in Myrtle Beach.....

Stayed July 2006
Helpful?
5 Thank AliVal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tennessee
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 18, 2006

We booked through the Caravelle Hotel. When we arrived, we expected an oceanfront executive suite but was pleasantly surprised to find out that we were upgraded to a three bedroom, two bath condo at the neighboring Carolina Dunes. We had an oceanfront view with balcony. The condo was very clean and tastefully decorated. We had access to all pools, hot tubs, and entertainment facilties. The staff was very friendly and helpful. We highly recommend the Caravelle properties. We will be staying there again.

Stayed June 2006
Helpful?
1 Thank tnval
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed September 5, 2005

We stayed at the Carolina Dunes over Labor Day weekend and had a wonderful time, The condo was roomy and in a great location. It was also clean and was as well stocked as anywhere I have stayed. We loved the location. Can't wait to do the Carolina Dunes next year.

  • Stayed September 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Carolina Dunes

Property: Carolina Dunes
Address: 6810 N Ocean Blvd, Myrtle Beach, SC 29572-3315
Phone Number:
Location: United States > South Carolina > Coastal South Carolina > Myrtle Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 34 Specialty Lodging in Myrtle Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Carolina Dunes 3.5*
Number of rooms: 36
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

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