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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina / Hilton Head Marriott Resort & Spa

November 2016, Weekend-weekday, 3-nights, 2-Queen beds oceanfront guestroom

Sunrise from guestroom 710

Gold perks and arrival/check-in

Our GPS was pretty accurate with the Marriott location; however, we were mildly confused about the resort location when we arrived, as I know there are several Marriott properties on Hilton Head, and the entrance sign did not exactly match the property name on the website. The website says, "Hilton Head Marriott Resort & Spa," and the entrance sign says, "Hilton Head Marriott Beach & Golf Resort."

Beautiful sand sculpture in lobby
I had checked in online the day before our arrival because I received an email that said, "check in now to access your Elite benefits! one of our most loyal guests, you'll jump to the top of the list for: Priority Room Assignment, Priority Upgrades - Get notified of a room upgrade before your visit, Priority Late Checkout - Find out how late you can sleep in … right when you arrive." I entered 2:30 p.m. for our arrival time, and 1:00 p.m. for a late checkout time. Check-in time is 4:00 p.m., and checkout time is 11:00 a.m. I did not receive any notification before we arrived around 2:45 p.m. The agent told me our room has just become available. He said we had been upgraded to an oceanfront room with 2 queen beds. He said there were no king oceanfront rooms available. This hotel has 10 floors, and we were assigned a room on the 7th floor. My profile is set for a king bed on a high floor, and I always request the top floor. I am not complaining about being three floors down; I am merely sharing this information for other elite members who may want to know what to expect. The agent did not mention my late checkout request, and I did not ask about this.

Guestroom 710

This was a typical Marriott guestroom. The property showed a bit of wear in some areas; however, the room was comfortable and clean. 

Just inside the entrance
Two closets were located outside the bathroom near the entrance. The closets contained two robes, hangers, and a folding luggage rack. The bathroom was spacious with a decent size vanity. The bottom of the mirror behind the vanity was slightly deteriorated from age. Thann bath amenities were provided, along with good quality towels, a hairdryer, and glass glasses. I do not recall for sure if there was a makeup mirror in the guestroom. Extra amenities, like mouthwash and cotton swabs, which are provided at most Marriott hotels, were not provided at this hotel. The tub/shower combination was located across from the vanity, with the toilet between the two.

The guestroom contained two queen beds, nightstands, flatscreen TV on an armoire, safe, small fridge, soft chair and footstool, desk and chair, and single-serve coffeemaker with supplies. The bed was super comfy with good quality sheets. We were very happy to have a fridge in the guestroom. This was a road trip for us, so we had a cooler with some items that needed refrigeration.

The spacious balcony contained two chairs and a small table.

After we got settled, I called to request turndown service. The agent said she would put us down for turndown all three nights. We did not receive turndown service the first two nights of our stay, and I did not call to re-request this. I was quite surprised when someone knocked on the guestroom door the last evening of our stay to ask if we wanted turndown service, as I assumed our request had been lost.

Another beautiful sunrise from our guestroom!
The Internet connection speed was good, and the guestroom was well soundproofed. The room was well lit with many electrical outlets. We were comfortable in the guestroom, and we enjoyed the balcony.

Food & Beverage

The room rate we had booked came with a $50 per day resort credit. During check-in, the front desk agent had told us that if we did not use it in the outlets, it would be subtracted from our folio at checkout. We did not use the entire $150, and the remainder was credited to our folio.

We had breakfast in The Cafe one morning, an appetizer and beverages in Conroy's bar one evening, and a beverage from Liquid (pool bar) one day. Ocean Blu was not open during our stay. All of the food was good quality. Service was merely okay at breakfast. We are early risers, and there was no one at the host stand when we arrived. An employee (who ended up being our server) called out to us, and told us to seat ourselves. We felt like our server expected us to eat from the buffet, and we had been in the restaurant over five minutes before he brought us menus. This was not because he was busy; he actually brought menus to guests who arrived after us before he brought us ours. The guests who arrived after us seated themselves, as well. Service was great in the lounge and at the pool bar. Prices were typical hotel prices. We dined at a couple of other places outside the hotel, and I will be sharing information about that in a separate post.

View of outside pool area and beach from our balcony - room 710

Pools, whirlpool tubs, beach, activities

The outside pool was unheated and the water was very cold! We observed less than five kids (and, no adults) use the pool our entire stay. The outside whirlpool tubs were heated, and we did not usually have a problem finding room in one. I was glad for the robe in the guestroom, because I needed it after getting out of the water!

Beach near the Marriott at low tide
The beach was great for walking or riding bikes on. We walked the beach to Coligny Plaza, and I will share that experience in the area restaurant post, as well.

Inside pool; ping pong tables along back
We visited the indoor pool area, although we did not use the whirlpool tub or pool. Ping pong tables were set up in the inside pool area. Paddles and balls were provided near the tables, and we tried our hand at this for a while. This was probably the first time I played ping pong since I was a kid!

Misc. and overall

We enjoyed our stay at this Marriott, and I was glad I was glad we received an oceanfront room, rather than a lower floor guestroom overlooking the entrance (resort view). I imagine a resort view guestroom on the west/entrance side on a high floor would also be nice, as there would be a sunset view from a high floor guestroom. If you book a resort view guestroom, I suggest requesting a high floor, as the lower floor rooms are right over the tar. This hotel was less than half full during our stay, and it looked like there were many premium guestrooms available. The labeled photos below show a bit more detail of our guestroom location and the property layout.

Diagram from back of guestroom door
We used the whirlpool tubs every day, and only one set of guests that we met were actually staying in the hotel. Most visitors were from condos who had purchased a membership from Marriott to use the facilities. And, there were the visitors from nearby who stole visits with no membership. It was cool during our stay, yet I was shocked to see them leave after dark wrapped in all the Marriott towels they had picked up from the towel stand! We had chatted with them while we were in the tub, and then we watched them leave from our balcony a bit later.

View looking south from guestroom 710
The cost for our stay was less than half the price of other Marriott hotels on Hilton Head Island. I assume because there are some areas of this property that could use a bit of refreshing. The property was still in good condition and clean, and we did not observe anything that would make us not choose this property.

View of main building from pool, showing guestroom location
If you are self-parking at this hotel, you can park in the garage or parking lot. When we checked in, we were given a parking pass for our vehicle. The agent did not ask if we were parking a vehicle, and he did not say anything about where to park. We had observed the self-parking lot, so we initially parked there. After we walked one day, we noticed a sign at the garage entrance, which said it was for Marriott guests, also. We had assumed the garage was for valet parking only before we saw the sign. We did not see an elevator or ramp from the garage; only steps. We moved our vehicle to the garage the second day, and then pulled up to the entrance after checkout to load our luggage. We did not end up requesting/using late checkout. We checked out in the morning, because we decided we wanted to spend more time at Pinckney Island Natural Wildlife Refuge on our way to Savannah.

I am working on another post with Hilton Head Island information outside of the resort, and I will share that link when it is finished. Let me know if you have any questions, and please share this post for others!