Monday, February 27, 2012

Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort: Traveler Reviews

     As usual, I used Priceline to bid on a resort on Hilton Head Island. This time my bid got me The Omni Oceanfront resort. It's in the same plantation as the Marriott Resort & Spa. They are practically right next door. It is different than the other resorts we've stayed at on the island. Here's my view:

     The lobby is smaller than the other resorts. The lobby (among other places) is a free wi-fi area. The front desk staff is much more friendly than the Crowne Plaza but not as friendly as the Marriott. The Concierge, Will, is great. The bellmen are all great. You never have to go through this lobby to go to the pools or other outdoor areas, which is a plus to me.

     The room is pretty nice. It has a table with a couple of chairs, a larger than usual fridge for a hotel room, microwave, a few plates, mugs, bowls, and silverware. The bathroom is a bit awkward with door configurations rendering the outer area unusable since it's a tight pass-through to the actual bathroom, but it's nice to have two sinks and counters. In our King bed room there was also a desk with chair, two more chairs, plus a sofa bed. Adding up all the chairs in the room and you have 6 plus a three seat sofa. There was a good sized balcony with two chairs and a table inside, upping the possible seating to 11. No real complaints about the room at all. It has an iron & board, hair dryer, and safe. Two robes are provided as well. Coffee maker with decent coffee. The freezer section of the fridge doesn't keep things frozen. We learned this the hard way with our beloved Blue Bell ice cream turned to liquid.

     My biggest complaint of the whole stay would be the housekeeper we had. One day of our stay we had a different lady because it was the regular housekeeper's day off. The regular housekeeper returned and the service she provided was just junky. The replacement should replace her permanently. She did the whole thing with love. The regular lady didn't clean a lot of stuff - sinks, floors, counters - all dirty when she was done. Replacement housekeeper had made everything perfect, left the towels all fancy-folded and put toiletries on the tray in an organized way. Regular housekeeper literally tossed the stuff on the tray all willy-nilly, left the same dirt on the floor our whole stay, left the same thing in the sink, threw out toiletries which were still half full, and in general had a nasty attitude when we saw her. She even kept leaving only decaf, even though my husband only drinks regular. I would have to go out in the halls and find other maids and trade after she did our room every day but one.

     Room service is totally lackluster. We are usually big room service piggies, but this place left much to be desired, even for us. If my husband says a chicken sandwich was too greasy to eat, it had to be bad.

     The layout of this resort kind of wins me over. It's not as high-falutin' as Crowne Plaza or Marriott, but you go down the hall and go outside and you are at the pool. You are almost at the beach. If you want to go to the beach from your room in the Crowne Plaza you have to go through the lobby and walk through a maze of gorgeous to get out to it. I enjoyed the simplicity of being dressed for the beach and being practically there when we got outside. The balconies all allow for an ocean view. Ours was nearly the furthest from the ocean, so it wasn't a perfect view, but you could see it. It beats the views we've had at Crowne Plaza and Marriott. (I don't mention the Westin much because we only stayed there once for a couple of nights and I wasn't impressed. Sorry Westin lovers.)

     The fancy restaurant on site was also disappointing to me. Not much on the menu and I felt like it was trying to hard to be 'fancy' and not trying hard enough to be delicious. The desserts were sad looking, so we passed. It just seemed like there was no love.

     The pool setup was pretty nice. Two pools, one for adults only, which was far away from the family pool. The water was like a lukewarm bath, which was good for me. There are also two jacuzzi tubs, although they were a maze-walk away from the pools. The bartender at the pool area bar was unfriendly to the extreme, but reviews online all seem to agree about him, so I guess it's not very shocking. We kept our encounters with him to two.

     There is a little cafe/store downstairs which offers many types of drinks, a bunch of candy, some desserts, and things like microwave popcorn. The cafe serves you at little tables. Burgers and pizza, etc. We used the store part, but not the cafe. My husband loved the coffee at this little cafe - and the girl working the counter said they cleaned their machine daily, which, according to her, is what makes their coffee so much better than other places. My husband gave it two enthusiastic thumbs up!

     Internet is $9.99 a day per device unless you sit in the lobby or other free wi-fi areas. Parking was $9.00 or $10.00 a day with valet parking being an extra $3 per day. Valet parking doesn't seem as necessary in this resort as the others because it seems like parking is readily available, but don't take my word for it because we used the valet.

You can't go wrong with any oceanfront resort at Hilton Head Island as far as I can tell. They each have their strengths and weaknesses.

Go on and visit. Tell them I sent you!

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