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View Full Version : First Trip to HHI: Y'all were right!


GBBTomorrow
09-05-2011, 10:27 AM
We're on our way home from our first visit to HHI. I had trouble believing that it could live up to the countless positive reviews I've read, but it sure did. I think they gave us the best room on property in order to convince us. We were in Building 31, and I would request it every time. We had the most wonderful view of the marsh, especially the sunset, and we could also sit outside and watch the boats and kayak groups going in and out of the marina. Just watching the changes in the tides in the marsh was calming and so beautiful.

Our two-bedroom home was perfect for our family of five. I have to say, I don't think the photos on the DVC member website do it justice. I'm usually not a huge fan of the "rustic" look, preferring the clean lines of the Contemporary's decor or a more elegant look. I was so surprised by how much I liked the decor at HHI. All of the little touches, from the pawprints in the floor tiles to the "family" photos on the walls, made it feel so homey and comfortable. I loved the colors, and can't get over how much space we had. I also liked that all five of us could sit around the table (and the option of the picnic table on the porch), which we can't usually do at other DVC resorts.

The beach house was perfect, and I didn't mind the trip over there. Since we had chairs and an umbrella, we took our own car over, and there was always someplace to park. The snack shop staff were helpful with a cup of vinegar when my little girl got stung by a jellyfish, too.

This resort is fantastic for runners, with nice paths going anywhere you could want to go. We didn't get bikes, but when we go for a longer visit we definitely will.

Thanks to everybody for restaurant tips. We had wanted to go to the Sea Shack, but didn't think to check if they were open on Sundays. Sad to say, they weren't, and we missed that one. We did have a good meal at San Miguel's in Shelter Cove, and we all enjoyed the Skull Creek Boathouse. Cooking in our room and grilling were a breeze.

I only have two drawbacks to report. The first is that there were things missing/not working in the room: we didn't have all the glassware or cooking utensils on the list (these were brought to us when we called, but I don't think we should have to call) and the toaster didn't work (burned the bottom half of one side of the bread, and didn't do anything to the rest). Second, they roll up the sidewalks a little too early for our taste. It seemed a little crazy that they close up the water slide at 5:00 PM on a holiday weekend when the resort is fully booked. The snack bars close up extremely early as well, and there isn't much nightlife in the area. The restaurants in Shelter Cove really only offered sitting at a table or a bar and listening to a guy or two guys playing the guitar. It was OK, but nothing to write home about. We did enjoy walking around the grounds and the marina at night, but wish there were someplace to dance and have a little fun within walking distance.

Those are pretty small concerns though. Overall, I would go back to this resort again in a heartbeat. If HHI and Vero were the exact same distance from my house, I'd go to Vero, since I like a more tropical atmosphere and being on the beach, but for being less than five hours from my house, HHI won me over in a big way.

The kids adored the beach, the campfire, the water slide and meeting Shadow. Kids Night Out was a good time for the younger two: they went to play Putt Putt and arcade games after a pizza dinner in the Community Hall. It seemed like they really got their $25 worth out of that activity.

Thanks all for the tips and reviews! We had a blast.

CarolMN
09-05-2011, 11:23 AM
Thanks for the review and I'm glad your family enjoyed the resort. Makes me wish I lived within 5 hours driving distance!

Simba's Mom
09-05-2011, 12:05 PM
I'm glad you loved it so much. I also have heard that builing 31 has gorgeous views, but no 1 BR there, so we haven't gotten to try it. I'm glad you and your family got to meet Shadow-she is such a sweetie, isn't she? Sorry you missed the Sea Shack-as DH always says, now you just HAVE to go back!

DizDays
09-05-2011, 03:19 PM
Thanks for the review. HHI has pretty much been off my radar until a few weeks ago when my DH and I decided we will need someplace very relaxing to go in January after managing several huge events in November & December. I've just started doing my research. Trip reports like yours make us very excited to have chosen HHI. Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

I, too, have heard about the views from Building 31, but we're getting a 1BR so, alas, no building 31 for us.

Thanks!

WolfpackFan
09-05-2011, 04:59 PM
One of the things I did last week was to walk around the resort and made a list of 2BR buildings we'd like to stay in. That way when I make my ressie, I can just give the CM the list of buildings. I remember building 31 was the first one on the list.

MinnieGi
09-05-2011, 09:09 PM
I'm envious of your 5 hour trip to HHI!! We have a 12 hour trip but gladly do it as we love it!! Glad you had a good trip.

VG9493
09-05-2011, 09:45 PM
We have been going to HHI for 5 years now, We were there 3 weeks ago in bldg 31.....What a view is all I can say. Glad you had a great time.

auntsue
09-07-2011, 04:54 PM
Thanks for the trip report, we've never stayed there and you make it sound very nice.

If you only need a 1BR, which building would you recommend?

Simba's Mom
09-07-2011, 06:00 PM
Thanks for the trip report, we've never stayed there and you make it sound very nice.

If you only need a 1BR, which building would you recommend?

If you're getting a 1 BR, you're limited to buildings 16, 18, 28, 30, and 19(I think) as well as the Live Oak Lodge and attached building 12. Since the 1 BRs in the 5 other buidings are on the first floor (and thus can be kind of noisy depending on who's above you) and we haven't been impressed with views when we've been in buildong 12, I personnally like the Live Oak Lodge the best, on the top floor if possible. If you get 1138, this will be your view, my favorite-

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n309/Simbasmom32/6-25-2006-001.jpg