Monday, June 15, 2009

Marriott Resort and Spa, Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Hilton Head Island is my all-time favorite beach vacation spot. I love the way it's low key and quiet. I love the twelve miles of beach, the restaurants, the people, the way it is all protected from looking commercial. Hilton Head is peaceful, but not boring.

This time we stayed at a couple of resorts. First we went to the Marriott Resort and Spa.

If I had to say it in one word: Amazing.

Lucky for me, I don't have to say things in one word! From the time I entered the lobby I felt like they were thrilled to have me visiting. This isn't always the case at Hilton Head resorts, but the Marriott treated us like we were movie stars. At the desk Brian, Roy, and Shiney all greeted me with enthusiasm and kindness. They were great about answering questions and being helpful in any way possible. They even extended platinum status to our 2nd room, which I had put under the name of my daughter.

A little aside: I booked this room through Priceline. (If you've read some other posts you know I like to book on Priceline.) I find the best hotels still treat you like a valued guest, even if you book on Priceline. Some of the others will not be as wonderful. Those are the places who are less likely to get my full price business. The Marriott Resort and Spa even removed the internet fees ($90 in total) and the parking fees (another $10 a day) for me because they wanted "to give me something for being platinum" They aren't allowed to upgrade rooms without a fee, even to platinum members, at that location. They also brought up our choice of welcome gifts to each room. In our room we took a half bottle of wine and some brie and berries. We sent ice cream and a Samuel Adams (which I confiscated for my husband to have later) to the room for the kids. There were two robes in each room, a mini fridge with a freezer, a mini safe, and ample pillows and towels for us. It also had a spacious balcony. We could see fireworks from our balcony in the evenings. It was a lovely view during the day as well.

It's simple to charge things to your room. The Marriott Resort and Spa does not try to force you to carry around a little paper card to do this. I feel the little paper card is a ridiculous expectation at a beachfront resort. We ate lunch poolside one day. The food was okay, but just okay. We really enjoy our food so the other days we left the resort for lunch. The bar has a nice little menu and drink menu printed on fans. What a clever idea! I liked getting an alcohol-free frozen raspberry drink to have around the pools.

Speaking of pools - Marriott wins for pools on Hilton Head Island. One indoor pool with warm water and an indoor spa. Nice. It's air conditioned in the room! They even have a big television you can watch from in the pool - usually playing Disney-type movies.Two outdoor pools and two outdoor spas. When the sun would start to go down the pools would be shaded, leaving hours worth of time with daylight and shaded pools. Even the beach ended up in shade for quite a while. There are plenty of chairs with umbrellas around the pools. PLENTY. Each chaise lounge also has a little flag you can raise for service. Every single employee at this resort was friendly and welcoming. Abdullah is another fine example of the quality people employed at this resort. He is a guest services manager and you find him all about the resort making sure people are happy and well taken care of.

Zachary did a little sand art:

I give the Marriott Resort and Spa on Hilton Head Island a perfect 10. This is how we felt when we had to leave.
Sand art done by Michael:
Hint for anyone traveling to Hilton Head Island soon:

Try "Name your own price" with Priceline for $75 a night. It worked for me twice - once for this stay at the Marriott, and once for Crowne Plaza when we decided we were not ready to leave the island just yet. You don't get to choose your resort with this method, but I have never stayed anywhere on Hilton Head Island and been disappointed. Be sure you bid for a resort. If they do not take your first bid for any reason (like say you start trying at $60 and they say no) just add the only option they give you for a nearby spot, which has no resorts to offer and raise your bid. You get a free 2nd bid this way. I was really hoping to get to stay at the Marriott for the 2nd Priceline bid, but Crowne Plaza grabbed us in just a few seconds. We have stayed at the Crowne Plaza in the past and loved it, so it wasn't terribly disappointing. We were getting to stay on the island, anyway!


  1. Wow, that looks wonderful! My husband has the kind of job that prevents him from taking off in the Summer or I would be all over this. I can live vicariously by looking at your sand pictures and crying a little. Just kidding. Kind of. :)

  2. It's great in September as well. How about September? I would go to Hilton Head any time. And with the indoor pool and jacuzzi, why not?