PDA

View Full Version : Just returned from Hilton Head and Charleston Place


Toby
03-08-2006, 08:56 PM
got the 2 bedroom unit as relatives were joining us as our guests. My initial observation of Hilton Head is nothing but golf courses, endless condo units and traffic. And this was in early March - I'd hate to see in during the summer! Weather was low 60's-70's and sunny.

I found the DVC resort, while very homey and well-themed, very deceiving from the photos of the entire complex in the DVC handbook. From the photos in the handbook, you think the resort is all alone on the marsh with water and land all around you.


Well, it's not - it's crowded in with other condo complexes, malls, restaurants. We were fortunate, as it was only 60% occupied, to have a room facing the marsh out back, so it was nice to be on the deck relaxing - although not too many times, as it was cold.

The beach, however, has to be 2-3 miles away across the highway. It would be a very long walk. The pool and snack bar there are closed for renovations, so we couldn't even get a snack. The beach area is gorgeous, however. Must be very nice in the summer.

We all had a good time, but as non-golfers, we don't think we could spend any more than 2-3 days there - the traffic alone would drive us nuts!!

Charleston Place is wonderful. Right in the heart of the historic district - you can walk everywhere. Loads of great restaurants, the waterfront, and historic sights within walking distance. Only complaint was no coffeemaker in the room, and no bathroom fan. Minor complaint, I know. We had a wonderful patio area that would be ideal for sipping your morning coffee. We'd go back there in a heartbeat, and skip Hilton Head. Wished we had saved those points for somewhere else. Oh well, at least we tried it.

LVSWL
03-08-2006, 09:16 PM
Just a question, did you get any indication as to how long the pool at the beach would be under renovation. We are leaving for Hilton Head on Sunday? Thanks!

Doctor P
03-08-2006, 09:26 PM
The beach, however, has to be 2-3 miles away across the highway. It would be a very long walk. The pool and snack bar there are closed for renovations, so we couldn't even get a snack. The beach area is gorgeous, however. Must be very nice in the summer.

We have clocked it. It is about 1 mile exactly to the Beach House. Not a hard walk at all as several people on this board have pointed out (other than the heat at certain times of the year).

Toby
03-08-2006, 10:23 PM
Wow, only a mile?? It seemed so much longer - oh well, then it would be a great walk - just not in the heat!! My perception of distances is always wrong :confused3

I don't know how long the renovations on the pool area are going to be. Everything was roped off. Hopefully, it will be a short project. You'll be happy to hear that the weather is going to be high 70's, low 80's this weekend coming. You'll love the beach - gorgeous!!

rsschneck
03-08-2006, 10:59 PM
To each is own! We will be making our third trip to HHI in a couple of weeks. This time we are doing a dolphin cruise and renting bikes. Usually we make a trip to Sea Pines, the outlet mall, mini golf and DD enjoys the resort activities. We like HHI so much because it is a RELAXING vacation. Glad you tried it though. This is what makes DVC so great! Pick your own destination and stay as long as you like.

KJMickey
03-09-2006, 10:38 AM
WOW...We just love HH. We joined DVC in 2001 and have been going there ever since. We are going through the annual ritual of deciding what to do this year. Of course we have our "usual" week booked at HH during the summer, but always book it at 11 months and then decide what to do.

As of this moment it looks as though I am losing the "discussion". I want to finally go back to WDW. We used to go every year, since buying into DVC...we have not taken a long trip back. We have spent a couple days here and there...but no long trip.

My DW, DD and DS all love HH. DD is 12 and DS is 5. This is the first and only year they can do the "kids night out" together in the same age group, so they want to go back there this summer. With all the activities they have at the resort and the things to do on the island 5 nights is never enough for us.

Some day I will get back to WDW...but not this year the way it looks. HH is a nice relaxing vacation....I do love it there...but don't tell the DW I said it. :love:

Jen D
03-09-2006, 11:19 AM
I found the DVC resort, while very homey and well-themed, very deceiving from the photos of the entire complex in the DVC handbook. From the photos in the handbook, you think the resort is all alone on the marsh with water and land all around you.


Well, it's not - it's crowded in with other condo complexes, malls, restaurants.

Wow, I have to say I would be surprised by that too after looking at the photos. Admittedly I know nothing about Hilton Head.

But once you're in the resort, do you feel relatively isolated from what is around you?

I'm really itching to try Hilton Head, but I don't know much about it besides what i've read here and some of these comments took me by surprise.''

Travel to the beach probably wouldn't bug me though.

KJMickey
03-09-2006, 11:32 AM
We have always felt isolated when we have stayed there. It is by Shelter Cove with the Marina between you and the shops. We have never felt like we were surrounded. I would not consider the Resort at all crowded by the things mentioned in the original post.

The Beach House is a mile away, which for us is nice. Our 5 year old DS is very adventerous and would think nothing to take off and head into the ocean if we were right on the ocean.

dis-happy
03-09-2006, 11:35 AM
I have loved HH for many years, sorry you found it wasn't your cup of tea. It's funny how perceptions are though--a good friend and her dd just spent their first weekend at a condo in Sea Pines and the thing she talked most about--how uncommercial everything was. They were driving along and oops! they just passed a McDonald's and barely realized it---that kind of thing. Summer is best though, the ocean is 84 degrees. :sunny:

Sammie
03-09-2006, 12:05 PM
I guess if one was totally unfamilar of the landscape of Hilton Head Island, the photos of the resort might lead one to believe that it is more isolated.

I guess I just can not imagine anyone not knowing that Hilton Head Island is one of the most popular resort destinations in the US and there are no areas of complete isolation.

That said I find the Disney resort to be an oasis in the desert of humanity. Once we cross the bridge to the resort we feel removed from all the other hussle and bussle of the Island.

I find the Marina side facing Shelter Cove, which does contain other condos, restaurants and shopping a very pleasant view. The Shelter Cove area is very Mediterranean to me, so I alway feel as I walk the paths of the resort that I am looking across the marina to a beautiful seaside area. It is not like the view is the local Wal-Mart or Burger King. It is a very unique area, very upscale. Plus it offers within walking distance some very nice shops and places to eat. I like our Shelter Cove neighbors. :thumbsup2

The boats in the marina, I mean yachts are some of my favorite viewing.

So I guess different strokes etc. Just know that many do love the resort, and all it offers.

PS. I did a Google for Shelter Cove and I was right on with my description of the area. Quote: Patterned after a Mediterranean seaside village, Shelter Cove Marina features an eclectic assortment of restaurants, sidewalk cafes, galleries, and boutiques.

Jen D
03-09-2006, 12:38 PM
I guess if one was totally unfamilar of the landscape of Hilton Head Island, the photos of the resort might lead one to believe that it is more isolated.

I guess I just can not imagine anyone not knowing that Hilton Head Island is one of the most popular resort destinations in the US and there are no areas of complete isolation.

That said I find the Disney resort to be an oasis in the desert of humanity. Once we cross the bridge to the resort we feel removed from all the other hussle and bussle of the Island.

I find the Marina side facing Shelter Cove, which does contain other condos, restaurants and shopping a very pleasant view. The Shelter Cove area is very Mediterranean to me, so I alway feel as I walk the paths of the resort that I am looking across the marina to a beautiful seaside area. It is not like the view is the local Wal-Mart or Burger King. It is a very unique area, very upscale. Plus it offers within walking distance some very nice shops and places to eat. I like our Shelter Cove neighbors. :thumbsup2

The boats in the marina, I mean yachts are some of my favorite viewing.

So I guess different strokes etc. Just know that many do love the resort, and all it offers.

PS. I did a Google for Shelter Cove and I was right on with my description of the area. Quote: Patterned after a Mediterranean seaside village, Shelter Cove Marina features an eclectic assortment of restaurants, sidewalk cafes, galleries, and boutiques.

okay, this description puts it in a better light. :)

I do realize HH is a very popular destination but plenty of popular destinations don't have everything on top of eachother as was implied in the OP.

But your post clarifies it a bit.

Ahhh, I really want to go. Hoping for August 2007.

lsutiggeratwk
03-09-2006, 12:41 PM
We enjoyed our stay in HH in Oct so much that we are going back in Sept for a week. Even though our unit faced the "inside" (other units) it was so peaceful and relaxing. I loved sitting on the porch with a book and a beverage and those great rocking chairs.

Because the sign is down by the road, if I hadn't seen the pics in the DVC materials, I would not have known where to turn. :rotfl2:

As many say, one of the best things about DVC is all the options available to all members.

LisaS
03-09-2006, 01:28 PM
We are interested in trying HHI at some point. I don't know anything about the area. We don't own points there so is there a good time to go, weather-wise, where we would still have some chance of getting in at the 7-month window?

Mi3stooges
03-09-2006, 01:50 PM
To each is own! We will be making our third trip to HHI in a couple of weeks. This time we are doing a dolphin cruise and renting bikes. Usually we make a trip to Sea Pines, the outlet mall, mini golf and DD enjoys the resort activities. We like HHI so much because it is a RELAXING vacation. Glad you tried it though. This is what makes DVC so great! Pick your own destination and stay as long as you like.

How can I find out about the Dolphin thing?? I love those guys! We are going in July for 10 days. Looking forward to it but, not the traffic :rolleyes1

rsschneck
03-09-2006, 03:10 PM
How can I find out about the Dolphin thing?? I love those guys! We are going in July for 10 days. Looking forward to it but, not the traffic :rolleyes1


http://www.coastaldiscovery.org/

or the DVC resort has a dolphin tour too! Disney charges $35 per person. We paid $48 total for 2 adults and a 9 year old. That is a big savings. I will let everyone know if we liked the tour.

smsnorthup
03-09-2006, 04:23 PM
Just a question, did you get any indication as to how long the pool at the beach would be under renovation. We are leaving for Hilton Head on Sunday? Thanks!

We also just returned from HH and had a great time. We loved the property and thought it was beautiful and relaxing. The beach house closed on Mon 3/6....I think they were resurfacing the outside deck...and supposed to be done this week. I would call them to find out. You're going to have great weather...a good 10-15 degrees warmer than last weekend...Enjoy!! :thumbsup2 Oh, by the way...I would request a top floor room because you hear every footstep above you and we had running and jumping children early in the am...we had to move rooms...buildings 18 and 29 are marshfront with lovely views.

Mi3stooges
03-09-2006, 06:05 PM
http://www.coastaldiscovery.org/

or the DVC resort has a dolphin tour too! Disney charges $35 per person. We paid $48 total for 2 adults and a 9 year old. That is a big savings. I will let everyone know if we liked the tour.
Thank you for the info. I have the web site in my favorites to read all about later. :thumbsup2

Halle
03-09-2006, 06:24 PM
Traffic?? Myrtle Beach is the worst for traffic.

boatboatboat
03-09-2006, 06:27 PM
about 1/4 as bad as M.B.

Sammie
03-09-2006, 06:34 PM
okay, this description puts it in a better light. :)

I do realize HH is a very popular destination but plenty of popular destinations don't have everything on top of eachother as was implied in the OP.

But your post clarifies it a bit.

Ahhh, I really want to go. Hoping for August 2007.

Also Jen, the island while a very developed area, has very strict building codes. No high rises, no large billboards, no glarish neon lighting. Lots of landscaping. In fact it took some time to even find the Wal-Mart it was so well disguised. :)

Yes it can get crowded with traffic, the island is not that large and there is only one main thorough fare down the middle of the island with smaller roads leading to the resorts.

The DVC resort is set on its own small island. So once you cross the bridge to the resort you do not share that piece of land with anything else. I found that to be very peaceful and relaxing. On one side of the resort you have the beautiful marshland and waterways and the on the parking lot side you have Shelter Cove Marina, and the Shelter Cove resort area on the other side of the marina, which I described in the former post. There are really nice shops and eateries there within walking distance from the resort.

So yes when you turn off the Hilton Head Pkwy. you do drive through a very short segment of Shelter Cove then across the bridge to the DVC resort.

I found it all very lovely and extremely well landscaped.

threeprincesses
03-14-2006, 04:25 PM
Can anyone tell me how you get from the hotel to the beach house besides walking, or is that the only option. We are bringing our in-laws with us and not sure they'll be up for that in the July heat. Also, when you rent bikes, can you do that for your entire stay or for a shorter time? TIA for any responses, Julie

DVCLiz
03-14-2006, 05:20 PM
Can anyone tell me how you get from the hotel to the beach house besides walking, or is that the only option. We are bringing our in-laws with us and not sure they'll be up for that in the July heat. Also, when you rent bikes, can you do that for your entire stay or for a shorter time? TIA for any responses, Julie
Julie - you can drive your own car to the Beach House - parking is available both under the property and in a surface parking lot. Or, there's a great shuttle that runs from one to the other all day. If it's crowded, the shuttle is a great option. You definitely DON'T have to walk a mile!!!!

Not sure about the bikes - I think you can do a weekly, rental, though. I know you can rent the beach chairs and umbrellas for your entire stay, but those are done on the beach and not by Disney, so the bikes may be different.

Maistre Gracey
03-14-2006, 05:28 PM
I found the DVC resort, while very homey and well-themed, very deceiving from the photos of the entire complex in the DVC handbook. From the photos in the handbook, you think the resort is all alone on the marsh with water and land all around you.

Well, it's not - it's crowded in with other condo complexes, malls, restaurants.
We visited the HH Resort last year for the first time.
We thought exactly as you did. The pictures make the resort look as though it's secluded, by itself in it's own corner of the world.

I was a bit shocked when I saw it almost intertwined with other condo resorts.

I'm glad we visited, but we prefer Vero for our DVC beach resort. :smokin:

MG

ccw
03-14-2006, 05:48 PM
You can bike to the Beach House...very cool path that goes UNDER the highway! My teens went over a couple of times without us and I felt like it was safe.

LakeAriel
03-14-2006, 06:23 PM
Tell me more about Charleston! My Uncle drove me through there 29 years ago and I fell asleep! I didn't know I was pregnant at the time. :goodvibes
I am dying to go back, what I did see was beautiful. Do you have any pictures, links of the hotel?
Thanks!

buzz5985
03-15-2006, 12:37 AM
I have been there in August - and never really noticed any traffic. All the traffic lights hold you up - but you don't wait more than one light cycle. My perception may be off - driving into Boston every morning with slow moving traffic for 16 miles - that to me is traffic.

We were at HH for the MA April school vacation last year. Everyone there was from MA. What a great time. We brought my 75 yo father - and he knew 3 other Grandfathers there!!!! What a small world. LOL

reesecup
03-15-2006, 07:42 AM
We LOVE Hilton Head!!! But of course, everyone has different tastes.

Here is a list as to why we love HH so much!

1) We love the resort. Yes, there are other condos around but that just gives you more reason to get up at 6 a.m. (that would be me...who fights to get up at home every morning around 7:30). I loved riding my bike as the sun was coming up; in the peace and quiet, looking at everything; especially the yachts.

2) Our children had a blast on the pier catching crabs and fishing!!!! Most definately will be one of our cherised vacation memories. We hope to do the Dolphin Tour when we are there for Spring Break.
3) The cast members were awesome. Very nice. And my kids had a blast at the campfire.

4) Magic show is awesome as well.

5) The kids love trying to find shadow, who they thought was made up in the beginning. They got to see him/her on our last trip.

6) We love riding bikes around and feeling safe to let the kids ride some on their own around the resort. I love the bike ride to the beach and if my husband needs to drive to carry our items, I still want to ride. It's a beautiful ride.
On a side note: I think that too many people get caught up in thinking they have to go on a vacation and have something constantly to entertain them. People don't know how to entertain themselves anymore. My cherished times are my husband and I pointing out wildlife to the kids and taking pictures by the huge , gorgeous trees along the bike route. And looking for alligators in the ponds along the way to Salty Dog Cafe. I guess we are just animal people.
OK . Back to my list. This is getting long.
7) We love the beach house. There is so much to do. But we love playing volleyball. And if anyone is getting too much sun, they can go inside and play the games that are offered. I think there is a TV in there as well. (See...we didn't even notice that).
8) I know I am forgetting so much. But , when we bought into DVC, we went with BWV seeing that we had never been to Hilton Head. But now that we've gone and the kids love it as much as Disney, we hope to add on there at some point. I just hope we will love BWV in Oct. as much as we love Hilton Head!!!!!!

Oh, I forgot to mention the beach... but it is gorgeous as well!!

NOW, I CAN'T WAIT TO GO AT SPRING BREAK AND HOPE THE WEATHER IS GORGEOUS!!!!!

BWVDenise
03-15-2006, 02:18 PM
Ahhh, I love reading HH threads. Can't wait to get back in July! :sunny: My kids chose HH over WDW over and over again. :sunny:

Jen D
03-15-2006, 03:45 PM
You guys are killing me. We're hoping to go in August 2007 but I wish it were this year!

Disneyaholic
03-15-2006, 05:18 PM
http://www.coastaldiscovery.org/

or the DVC resort has a dolphin tour too! Disney charges $35 per person. We paid $48 total for 2 adults and a 9 year old. That is a big savings. I will let everyone know if we liked the tour.

How large is the boat that Coastal Discovery uses? One of the things I love about the Disney dolphin cruise is the small boat -- maximum 6 passengers. Most times it will be just your family. (The only time we were "mixed" with others was when it was just me and DH on the cruise.) The small boat is able to get right up to the dolphins -- they used to let the kids try to touch them, but I don't think they do that any more. :sad2: To me that's worth the extra money!

Toby
03-15-2006, 09:03 PM
Wow, so many lovers of HH! I know I could spend some great downtime there, relaxing on the porch in the rocking chair, or going to the beach, but "itchy", aka my husband would be driving me nuts wanting to "do" something. Some people just can't relax :rolleyes: I definately second the notion about asking for a top-floor room. People walking up and down those wooden stairs can be very noisy.

Now I'd like to try Vero Beach!!

doubletrouble_vb
03-15-2006, 09:53 PM
The Charleston area is a lovely vacation. Unfortunately the Mount Pleasant side is getting built up and overrun so that isn't so lovely anymore...although I'd imagine tourists might like some aspects. There is a great outdoor mall over in M.P. The next time I have a two night trip over that way I plan to give Charleston Place a try.

walter
03-16-2006, 06:20 AM
We have been visiting OKW/HHI for the past 4 yrs. We are OKW (10 yrs) & small VB "owners" & have stopped our visits to VB. We liked HHI so much (not for the golf, but for relaxation), that we purchased into Marriott's new Surf Watch Resort that is right at the beach.

Jynohn
03-16-2006, 07:53 AM
I too, was disappointed with HH. The resort itself was lovely, but I found myself going out of my mind with boredom. I do have to clarify that we went in November, so it wasn't really beach weather, but the resort was almost empty and there were hardly any activities going on. The few activities we did try to sign up for were canceled due to low attendance or poor weather.

I live close to Cape Cod, so I guess I was expecting more of a fun, beachy atmosphere, and found HHI to be too "stuffy" for my taste. I also expected to see more unique shops, etc. but didn't find anything different than the local stores I could go to at home. Many of the shops and restaurants were closed for the season too, and the whole area seemed deserted and desolate. Just a bad time of year to go I guess.

DH and I were there for 4 days, and by the beginning of day two I was BEGGING him to take me to Disney instead. It just seemed so close, yet so far...

I do have say that the staff there was wonderful and I was really impressed by their friendliness and helpfulness. That said though, I doubt we'll go back to HH, unless it's on our way to WDW! :teeth:

Toby
03-16-2006, 02:50 PM
Yes, now I'm thinking we just picked a wrong time of year to go. Maybe the "season" doesn't start cranking up until April or so - but then the points would be higher :rolleyes:

That was my major complaint - not too much activity going on at the resort, and things were closed. BUT that was my fault for visiting in the off season. Staff was prompt with requests and very friendly. Maybe that's what I missed the hubbub of a disney resort. Too quiet for me!!

LakeAriel
03-16-2006, 03:36 PM
The Charleston area is a lovely vacation. Unfortunately the Mount Pleasant side is getting built up and overrun so that isn't so lovely anymore...although I'd imagine tourists might like some aspects. There is a great outdoor mall over in M.P. The next time I have a two night trip over that way I plan to give Charleston Place a try.

I live just outside of NYC the last thing I want to see is another mall! That's a shame! The architecture was so incredible when I was there. I do know there was damage from the hurricanes if not last year the year before. I hope it hasn't lost it's flavor. Anyone know?

canda
03-17-2006, 12:59 PM
I miss the days back when lots of people on this board and in DVC thought that the DVC HHI resort was EVIL and the quotes of "I would never waste my points there" were plenty to be found. Now I have to book summer at 11 months out. Before 2001 I could book in July for a trip that next week.

DVCDebb
04-20-2006, 10:47 PM
Agree the pictures are deceiving. The pool is so small. Visited there one afternoon as it is only about and hour from Charleston. Really was disappointed with the real thing compared to pictures. Rooms are nice and staff friendly as I ask if they could show me the rooms. They were more than happy to help. just spoiled with OKW and I guess living around Charleston Hilton Head is just golfers heaven. The beach house was nice and did take the shuttle over to it and back. Guess it is just to each his own.

Dreamfinder2
04-21-2006, 06:53 AM
Tell me more about Charleston! My Uncle drove me through there 29 years ago and I fell asleep! I didn't know I was pregnant at the time. :goodvibes
I am dying to go back, what I did see was beautiful. Do you have any pictures, links of the hotel?
Thanks!

Charleston is one of our favorite cities. We used our points (yeah, I know it was a "bad use," but that's what we have 'em for) to stay on the concierge level at Charleston Place.

Charleston is a town for walking - full of pastel, gingerbread and history. Several plantations are a short drive away. And the hotel itself was a real treat; we were appropriately pampered. Terrific restaurants, too.

It reminds me a lot of New Orleans, which we're close to ... but much cleaner, even pre-Katrina.

The hotel itself is part of the Orient Express hotel/trains/cruise chain, so that should give you an idea of what you're getting.

Here's a link to the hotel, and you can learn more about Charleston, too:
http://www.charlestonplace.com/web/ocha/ocha_a1a_splash.jsp

lenshanem
04-21-2006, 07:05 AM
We were thinking of going to HH for just a few nights next spring break instead of WDW since our spring break hits at Easter next year (first week of April).

Will my kids most likely be able to swim, or no? Is the pool with the slide and the one at the beach house heated?

What seems to be the best time to go down there?

mommym
04-22-2006, 02:09 PM
Is it difficult to book at 7 months out for Spring Break? All of these posts have me wanting to go really badly. Sounds great!

kimberh
04-30-2006, 04:29 PM
Tell me more about Charleston! My Uncle drove me through there 29 years ago and I fell asleep! I didn't know I was pregnant at the time. :goodvibes
I am dying to go back, what I did see was beautiful. Do you have any pictures, links of the hotel?
Thanks!
Charleston is one of the 13 original colonies and it is where the Civil War Started. The history here is protected and remember. The Hotels are beautiful and the restaurants are everywhere. Anything you want to eat in walking distance of the Charleston Place, if that is where you choose to stay. The Old Slave Mart is directly across the street, Slaves were never sold there, it was actually where the people came and bought their food for the week and wares from the ships. Today it is set up for merchants to sell their wares and a very popular location. The plantations are prerevolution and some didn't survive Sherman's March to the Sea, but one did by saying they had Smallpox. I could go on and on.You really need to come! Read books.

Dizma
05-02-2006, 05:39 PM
Does anyone know if there are 1 bedroom units on the top floors? Thanks!

Simba's Mom
05-06-2006, 01:21 PM
Does anyone know if there are 1 bedroom units on the top floors? Thanks!
The only place that I know of that there are 1 BR units on the top floor is at the main lodge building, #11. If I remember correctly, there are 4 1 BRs on the top floor, one of which is right next to the elevator and gets a little noise from it in the MBR. But the view is beautiful!