Condo units with kitchens and living rooms; some with ocean views
Two pools, one with a bar, near the beach
10 tennis courts with private and group lessons
Three restaurants and two bars
Fitness center with a variety of equipment
Playground and half-court basketball
Massive ballroom and conference center
Up to four children age 18 or younger stay free
Grills and picnic tables; grocery stores nearby
Dated furnishings and a few musty rooms
Key system is poor, and replacements are expensive
Palmetto bugs in some rooms
The Hilton Head Island Beach & Tennis Resort includes 850 condo units, 160 of them managed by the resort and the remainder privately owned. This upper-middle-range property offers good value for a waterfront resort on the island, with numerous features including two pools, 10 tennis courts, and a fitness center. Decor varies from unit to unit, but overall the resort's casual (and occasionally dated) look reflects its vibe as a flip-flops and T-shirt kind of place. Its restaurants and bars, some with bubble-letter signage, plastic furniture, and poor lighting, are a little tacky. For budget conscious families with children, there's swimming, racquets, bicycles for rent, and sand castles to build, without having to go out to dinner every night as the units have full kitchens.
Proximity to the beach and access to tennis courts and lessons are the highlights of the Hilton Head Island Beach & Tennis Resort. The lobby of the resort is close to a relatively quiet road, and guests enter under a wooden awning into a vast but ordinary space more like a waiting room than hotel, with a coffeemaker, ATM, and some seating areas that seem lost in the cavernous space. Guests are given a key card system that several describe as "tricky"; replacement key cards were $40 as of autumn 2015. The other common areas of the resorts include its 10 tennis courts with chain-link fencing and a decidedly un-country club feel. There's a big, beachfront pool next to Jamaica Joez, a restaurant whose name is painted on a pink surfboard, where guests will find umbrella tables and snow cones. There's also a pool next to a section of condos called Admiral's Row, surrounded by vinyl loungers with some shade from white awnings. The resort has a sports bar, Coco Nutz, with a view of the lagoon -- and a sign warning guests against feeding alligators. This restaurant has pool tables, numerous big screens, and a terrace. The resort's most formal restaurant is The Carolina Club, a serviceable but not fancy place with blue ceilings and walls and glossy wooden tables surrounded by chairs with blue and white cushions. At Gatorz & Wings, square-pie pizzas are served on red-and-white check tablecloths. The resort has an outdoor playground with a scruffy side yard of barbecue grills and picnic tables. There's a massive, very ordinary ballroom that can be broken into meeting rooms to accommodate as many as 600 people, but the emphasis at this resort is on sports and the outdoors, and families are the most common guests.
This Hilton Head resort is beachfront off a relatively quiet road. A car is necessary. Hilton Head's Main Street Village, offering shops and restaurants in a pretty setting, is a seven-minute drive from the resort. The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina is a seven-minute drive. Driessen's Beach, a relatively undeveloped park on the water, is a four-minute drive or 18-minute walk. There are many high-quality golf courses on the island. The Arnold Palmer-designed Crescent Pointe Golf Club is a 20-minute drive. In 23 minutes, guests can drive to Eagle's Pointe Golf Club, designed by Davis Love III. Fuzzy Zoeller and Clyde Johnston designed the Island West Golf Club, a 25-minute drive from the resort. Hilton Head Airport is just a six-minute drive from the hotel.
Individually decorated condos with full service kitchens and living rooms
The property is composed of one- and two-bedroom villas with 160 of them owned and managed by the resort and the remainder privately owned. These condos have views of either the ocean, resort grounds, or tennis courts, and they edge onto an asphalt lot where parking is free. Each unit has a full kitchen, dining area, and living room with flat screen TV; there are some tube-style TVs in the bedrooms as well. Decor swings from beach-house cliche (wooden ships or dolphin-flecked wallpaper) to more "contemporary" designs (chartreuse walls and zebra-print pillows); and bedding ranges from Black Watch plaid to pastel floral. The necessities are there, however. Each unit has ironing facilities, a hairdryer, bath towels, bed linens and pillows, and a full kitchen, including microwave and kitchen ware. Some units are equipped with beach chairs and sand pails, but guests should bring their own beach towels. The bathrooms are not high end, most with fiberglass shower/tub combos, and could be utterly spartan or surrounded with nautical elements. The resort provides some body soap and dish detergent as well as paper goods "to start off" its guests. There's a fee for cleaning the unit. Guests who need more than the provided towels and linens must do their own laundry; coin-operated washers and dryers are on the grounds. Each of the condos has its own balcony with some furniture. Units are air-conditioned and have ceiling fans, helpful in the humidity of the Carolinas. All units have Wi-Fi, provided free by the resort. Be aware that guests reported sightings of palmetto bugs in several units.
The Hilton Head Island's beach tops the list of reasons for staying at this resort. This broad stretch of sand is steps away from any of the units. Beach towels are not provided, but some units are equipped with beach chairs and sand pails. And the beach itself has a few folding chairs and a volleyball net. Aside from the beach, the resort has ample outdoor and fitness activities. There are two pools, one with its own restaurant near the beach. The resort has 10 tennis courts with a staff to provide private and group lessons from once a week to every day. There's a pro shop for tennis gear inside the fitness center, a space with a big array of machines and free weights, so some guests will stretch out on mats next to the cash register. And around the resort are hundreds of trails for bicycles, rentable from the resort.
The resort has three restaurants: a formal dining room, sports bar overlooking the lagoon, and a casual pizza diner. It also has a bar adjacent to a pool. There's a playground with picnic tables and grills nearby. An air-conditioned banquet/conference room can accommodate as many as 600 people. There are also an ocean-front pavilion for events and a wedding venue with two private bars and seating for 75 guests. Up to four children age 18 or younger stay free, but the resort does not provide additional beds or cribs. Pets are not allowed.
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