Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Crowne Plaza Resort - Hilton Head Island, S.C.

During our time at Hilton Head last week we decided to extend our stay. I hopped on Priceline again and landed a different resort - The Crowne Plaza.We had stayed at this Crowne Plaza on other occasions, so we knew what to expect, sort of. I say sort of because this time, and maybe it was because we booked on Priceline(?) we didn't get the same quality of room as in the past. We always get a view of a rooftop full of air conditioners. This time we got a a better view... of the parking lot. Hey, it's better than air conditioners. Plus there was a big palm tree sort of in our face so it blocked a lot of the parking lot view.

The rooms we had (3065 - and the kids had 3061) started out with a television remote which did not work, a missing ethernet cord, a toilet which took a carnival strong man two pushes to flush, (and it was loud!) and hardly any water pressure. There was a red drink of some kind spilled all over the wall and carpet near one of the beds, which the maids never cleaned while we were there, either. I bet if you go check 3065 today, it is still there. Some odd stuff was falling onto the balcony which was barely wide enough to fit a chair, and and a television signal was very bad, even on our pay per view movie. You know what though? These things really didn't amount to a hill of beans.

As far as the room goes, it's attractive. It had two double beds, which I always find sort of insulting. Come on, you can't give us two queens? To be fair, this double bed thing also happened at the Marriott Resort and Spa. The air conditioning worked well, and the hallways were not hot like on previous visits, but also comfortably air conditioned. The sounds were terrible. You could hear the other rooms taking a shower, flushing, or pretty much anything they did. And it felt like Florida during Spring Break as far as the noise levels in the hallways. I just don't remember any of these issues in previous stays at this location. Then again, we were never on this end of the resort in the past.

Beautiful grounds:

They have gorgeous grounds with lots of lush greenery. There are ponds of water with wildlife. The turtles, especially, love to swim their mossy-backed selves over to the little bridge when you stand on it. The hammocks are the perfect resort hammock, and shaded for the lucky loungers. There is an outdoor pool with chairs. The umbrellas for the chairs are few and far between, leaving most guests in the blaring sun while they lounge. There is also an indoor pool. The lone jacuzzi is indoors with this pool. You have to have a room card with you to access this pool room. There are a handful of chaise lounges in with this pool. The hamburgers from the pool bar are out of this world. The fries hold their own, as well. I had a virgin orange creamsicle icy drink and it was really good too.

Mossy Turtles:

The beach access is fantastic. At low tide you end up with warm and interesting tide pools. There are ample showers and there is a nice big bathroom right there by the showers. Very handy for when you are staying at the beach for a while.

The kids made new friends on the beach:

David from the restaurant was really great with us. He's my choice for #1 employee at this location. We loved the Key Lime pie!

They have a decent gift shop, although the staff, usually consisting of one person, follows you at every turn. They do not greet you or try to help, they just watch you as if you're apt to rob them blind. Do resorts of this calibur have a big old bunch of shoplifters or do I just look like a gypsy?

Did I mention the kids made a few friends on the beach?

The check in desk, save a nice girl from England, could always use a course in 'friendly' as far as I am concerned. Ditto the bartender out by the pool, and pretty much any employee of this resort except the girls in the towel hut, who were sweet. The Crowne Plaza could take a lesson from the Marriott in how to treat the guests to make them feel welcomed. Nobody was terribly rude or anything, they just don't know how to make you feel like they enjoy you being with them.

Checkout is noon, and before 11:30 the same girl from housekeeping had bothered us THREE times to see when they could make up the room. Each time I told her we would be checking out that day. When I told her the third time, at 11:30, we would be gone by 12:00 she gave me an unhappy look. What was this about? I have no idea. I didn't care, either.

This isn't a place to avoid, but it isn't a place to expect a quiet getaway. It more than met our needs for us and our four children aged 16-23. I wouldn't be upset if I named my own price on Priceline and got the Crowne Plaza again, even with their less than friendly staff.

I would give them a B- overall, but on all my other visits I would have given them an A.


  1. Sounds like you had a good time even if it wasn't the greatest hotel. When my family goes on vacation they spend hardly any time in the rooms anyways. :)

  2. We did have a great time. And it was still a good hotel, just nowhere near as nice as it had been on previous visits. Plus, the Marriott spoiled us with real hospitality. Still a fantastic time.