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“Old rooms, smelly water”

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Shell Island Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 12 June 2014

We stayed at Shell Island Resort because it was the site of a wedding that we were going to. I can't comment on how it compares relative to other hotels that were at Wrightsville Beach, but comparing it to other hotels that I have stayed in, this property was pretty poor, especially if it purports to be a 3 1/2-star beach resort.

The rooms are spacious - they only offer suites with at least a living room and a bedroom. But that's where the good parts end. The decor of the room looks like it's a mashup of a few decades solely because any new decor was brought in just to replace older furniture that was getting worn. It could have just been better for the hotel to do a mass renovation of rooms to bring everything to the current century. That said, everything was fairly clean and the furniture was comfortable.

The water, however, was a whole different story. The tap water stank up the bathroom because of, presumably from the reviews that preceded this, the sulfur content and/or the way that the water is treated. I understand that it just isn't fixable by the property, but it really worsens the entire experience, especially if you are coming back from the beach and you need a shower. The fact that I'd rather smell like salty ocean water than the tap water that comes out of the faucets is saying a lot. It makes it worse that anything you do or get at the hotel that requires tap water - from brushing your teeth to getting iced tea at the restaurant - is tainted with that smell.

Service was a bit of a mess. We arrived around 1:30 in the afternoon and were fine with dropping things off and coming back later to the room. But one of the front desk staff told us that the room would be ready in 15 minutes. Over a half-hour later, it was finally ready, and we basically wasted time just sitting in the lobby waiting for this room to be open. Even worse was that no more than ten minutes after we settled in to the room, a housekeeper decided to walk right into the suite without knocking because she thought it was unoccupied. We ended up having a Do Not Disturb sign on our door for the entire stay.

Lastly, because we were there for a beach wedding, we casually asked the front desk staff what the weather would be like the next day. The reply was a stern, "Rain," when the forecast actually called for a 20% chance of rain. It's a minor point, but for a wedding venue, you would expect there to be a little bit more empathy than that. Luckily, the day of the wedding was absolutely rainless and everything went well.

The only redeeming quality was the fact that the room that the wedding reception was held in looked like it was renovated relatively recently and well-maintained. It was really the only thing in the hotel that looked like it belongs in the recent decade.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank jwcardinal11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andrew G, Public Relations Manager at Shell Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 13 June 2014

Dear jwcardinal11,

We are pleased to hear that you enjoyed the wedding that was here at Shell Island Resort and our beautiful wedding venue. We do apologize if you feel your suite accommodations were not what you expected. You may be interested to know that our units are individual owned. This affords our rooms to be unique in décor and design and sets us apart from standard hotel. Many of our owners elected to put their units on a refurbishment program where our in house designer and her team renovated these rooms with a new fresh look. Feel free to contact us directly at the resort with specifics about the suite you stayed in. The water you experienced is, as you mentioned, directly related to coastal island living and the treatment of the water by the town of Wrightsville Beach. Our staff takes preventative measures by flushing our own systems and inspecting each unit daily to remove as much of the residual odor as possible. The water does have a different taste than mainland treated water or well water and the locals have come to refer to it as “Beach Water.” We can assure you that the water is 100% safe and clean. It is unfortunate that you were not able to check into your room immediately upon your arrival. Our check- in time is at 3pm and when guests arrive early we make every accommodation to get them into their assigned unit as soon as possible. We are glad that you were able to get into your unit before the designated check-in time. The Guest Service staff is equipped every morning with accurate weather reporting. Due to our location on the coastal barrier islands we often experience different weather than that predicted for Wilmington. We strive to provide our guests with the most accurate weather information for our area. We are happy to hear that rainy conditions were not experienced during the wedding ceremony.

Warm Regards,

Andrew G.
Guest Service Manager

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664 - 670 of 1,074 reviews

Reviewed 12 June 2014

We have stayed here before and have had good experiences. This time, not up to par and I can say two things - it matters what room you get and who you deal with at the front desk.

We were given a room with a terrible smell. We asked to switch and were told there were issues with a few rooms with sulfer smell due to piping. If you know some rooms smell - FIX THEM and don't knowingly subject guests to it. That seems obvious to me, but not to some of the staff. The upgraded rooms are definitely much nicer, but even among similarly priced rooms there is a pretty big difference.

There are very good front desk employees and then some who clearly are just there to make the $ for the Summer and be close to the beach. They are under new property management and front desk staff needs to be retrained to be more helpful and customer focused.

The common areas are very nice and the staff outside - food and beverage and beach are EXCELLENT. Honestly trying to make guests' stay wonderful. They should train some of the front desk staff!

Room Tip: If you are a light sleeper, do not take a room next to the lower levels of the parking garage. Folks...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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Thank takenthekids
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andrew G, Guest Relations Manager at Shell Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 13 June 2014

Dear takenthekids,

We are pleased that you returned to the Shell Island Resort and we apologize if you feel this experience did not match that of those in the past. It is our goal to provide every guest with exceptional customer service and to provide the best experience possible. The sulfur smell you experienced during your stay is directly related to our proximity to the maritime estuary and the way the town processes the water, as it is with any coastal island community. We assure you that the water is 100% safe. We make it a priority to constantly flush our own systems to help alleviate residual odor as much as we can, and do not knowingly subject any guest to a room that does not pass initial inspection. We have recently welcomed new staff members to the Guest Service Department with variety of educational, customer service, and hospitality backgrounds. All of our new hires go through a rigorous interview and training process. I apologize if any member of my staff made you feel as if you were not the focus of their attention. As I head up this department I would encourage you to contact me directly at the resort to discuss any details pertaining to the guest service agents. Several of our owners have participated in a revitalization program to upgrade their suites. 75 of these rooms are currently complete and our management team is currently evaluating each room so that the best value for our guest can be achieved. We are happy that you were able to experience one of these beautifully renovated suites. Thank you again for your comments, although negativity is always painful to hear, it does help us grow so that we may better serve the members of our Shell Island Family.

Warm Regards,

Andrew G.
Guest Services Manager

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Reviewed 11 June 2014

Was at Shell Island first week in June. Ninth floor view south tower Fabulous ocean views and sound views newly renovated room nice and fresh, comfortable king size bed, one and a half baths a great convenience. Ocean front living/dining room with a veranda great for sipping wine and watching the ocean. Restaurant and bars great food and drinks, eat inside or outside at the patio bar all with ocean beach views . Nice specials every day and 2 or 3 fresh local fish dishes. Super Hamburger C.A.B. cooked to you temperature preference. Staff very helpful and courteous Good value wonderful location

Room Tip: The other hotels on Wrightsville beach are not all ocean front and don't have the extra half ba...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Frank M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andrew G, Public Relations Manager at Shell Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 13 June 2014

Dear Frank M,

I've always said that a rainy day at the beach is better than no day at the beach and it looks like you feel the same way! I am pleased that you enjoyed one of our 75 renovated suites that include new furnishings and bedding, not to mention your amazing ocean and sound views! I will pass on your compliments to the Chef regarding your wonderful experience at our Island's End Bar and Grill. We can't wait until your next visit.

Warm Regards,

Andrew G
Guest Services Manager

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Reviewed 11 June 2014

Our daughter and her fiance' were married on the beach in front of Shell Island and the reception followed in the main ballroom at the Resort. Merideth Swicegood in the Hotel Sales group was excellent to work with from the very beginning and continued to help us through the entire process. She never acted like we were a bother and always made us feel like there was no problem she couldn't handle. We stayed at the Resort for 4 nights and from the day we arrived, all of the staff were very helpful and friendly. A few of the staff who made a great impression on us were Mike, a bellman, Jamie at the front desk & bartender, Shannon and Madeline as hostesses in the restaurant and Garrett as a bartender. We know the staff had no control over the weather, but it was perfect the day of the ceremony! If you have an upcoming event, be sure to give strong consideration to Shell Island Resort!

Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
2  Thank AMY G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andrew G, Guest Relations Manager at Shell Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 13 June 2014

Dear Amy G.

Congratulations from the Shell Island Family on your daughters recent wedding. We feel so privileged to be a part of her special day, and yours as the mother-of-the-bride! It's so awesome that so many of our staff were able to contribute to your experience. I have passed your compliments on to their perspective managers. We hope to have you back with us soon!

Warm Regards,

Andrew G.
Guest Services Manager

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Reviewed 9 June 2014

We stayed for two nights at Shell Island and got some much needed relaxation. The Suites were nicely decorated, clean, spacious and comfortable. All the staff we encountered from the front desk to the housekeepers were extremely friendly and helpful. The suites are pricey, but what you would expect for how nice the resort is. It's great that they have plenty of "earth conscious" policies in their hotel room (the A.C. cuts off if you leave the balcony door open, etc). The one thing they could change would be to stop serving food in Styrofoam at the hotel restaurant. For the price of the food and the hotel, and if they genuinely care about earth conscious practices, It would be nice to see food served in biodegradable containers, which are not that expensive. We highly recommend the resort and plan to return.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Ana B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andrew G, Guest Relations Manager at Shell Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 11 June 2014

Dear ACLBridge,

We greatly appreciate your kind words and are thrilled that you were happy with the Shell Island Resort and our wonderfully updated suites! It is nice that you noticed our environmental efforts!! I have passed your comments about the Styrofoam containers to our Food and Beverage Department and they will research other options. We look forward to your return visit soon!

Regards,

Andrew G.
Guest Services Manager

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Reviewed 3 June 2014

I had a conference in Wilmington in May, so fiancé and I wanted to take advantage of being so close to the beach, and make a mini-vacation out of our time there. I found Shell Island Resort online, checked out some photos, checked it out on Google Maps (bc I like to see what's around where I'm staying) and booked it! We stayed for 3 days and it was awesome! Let me just say that I have traveled many places, but Shell Island quickly became our new favorite spot! So much so, that we are getting married there on 6/21/2014! The hotel is very nice. The option for an outdoor pool or an indoor pool is great especially if you want to get in out of the sun during the day. There is also a hot tub for relaxing in, in the evening. The rooms are all suites with a bedroom, 2 bathrooms, a kitchen, and living room. One of the best parts about the rooms is that every room has a balcony for having a nice cup of coffee and watching the sunrise, or simply relaxing on. The staff at Shell Island are very friendly, and prompt to help make your stay, an excellent one. The hotel is located at the end of the island between the Inlet Waterway, and the Atlantic Ocean. This allows you to see the sunrise on the the ocean, and sunset on the inlet waterway...very beautiful. If you walk out to the point where the ocean and the inlet waterway meet, there are hundreds of shells, tide pools, and even a couple of mailboxes where people leave notes, keepsakes, and other items for others to see and read...definitely check that out! Over all, I would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone staying in the area!

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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4  Thank leeyount
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andrew G, Guest Relations Manager at Shell Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 6 June 2014

Dear leeyount,

Congratulations on your upcoming marriage! We are excited to play host for your special event! I am so glad that you and your fiance were pleased with your stay during your conference. We truly are in a unique location at the end of our island. You can’t beat the views and wide open spaces that afford out guest a wonderful and relaxing vacation. We are happy to have you as part of our Shell Island Family! See you soon!

Regards,

Andrew G.
Guest Services Manager

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Reviewed 28 May 2014

This was our second time to stay at Shell Island. We had a beautiful room on the 9th floor and loved it. We always enjoy the proximity to the beach and being able to sit on the balcony and listen to the surf. We ordered room service one night and we couldn't have been more surprised at the quality of the food. We had breakfast in the restaurant on the day of our departure and it was just your typical buffet. Although we had daily maid service the only thing I might complain about was that they did not vacuum the room at all during our stay. I'm sure they would have had I asked. I asked them to fix one of the burners on the stove and they fixed it immediately the next day. Overall a great place to stay. I'm sure we will be back.

Room Tip: I would recommend asking for a room on the 8th to 9th floor. That puts you up for a gorgeous view a...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank brendashaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andrew G, Guest Relations Manager at Shell Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 31 May 2014

Dear brendashaw,

We are so pleased that you returned to the Shell Island Resort for a second wonderful time with us. We agree that the view from those 9th floor rooms are amazing. We work very hard with the housekeeping and maintenance team to get issues resolved as soon as they arise, and I am glad that we were able to assist you with the stove in a way that was satisfactory. We look forward to your next visit with us.

Regards,

Andrew G.
Guest Services Manager

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Additional Information about Shell Island Resort

Address: 2700 Lumina Ave N, Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480-1699
Region: United States > North Carolina > Wrightsville Beach
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Wrightsville Beach
#5 Family Hotel in Wrightsville Beach
Price Range: £89 - £242 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Shell Island Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 153
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled on the northern tip of Wrightsville Beach, Shell Island Resort is surrounded by a sprawling expanse of sand and unparalleled views of the Atlantic Ocean, Mason’s Inlet, and Figure Eight Island. This family-friendly resort and hotel boasts a front row seat to the beckoning sea and a beach that seems to stretch endlessly, making it feel like it is yours alone. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Shell Island Oceanfront Hotel
Shell Island Oceanfront Resort
Shell Island Resort Nc
Wrightsville Beach Shell Island Resort
Shell Island North Carolina
Shell Island Hotel
Shell Island Nc
Shell Island Resort North Carolina
Shell Isl All Oceanfront Suites
Shell Is Resort Wrightsville Beach

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