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“Wasn't Terrible, Just Wasn't Outstanding”
Review of Royal Dunes Resort

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Royal Dunes Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 September 2010

Let me preface this by saying that we are not “timeshare people” and do not own a unit at the Royal Dunes Resort in Hilton Head or anywhere else, though we have rented a few timeshares in ski areas. This visit to Royal Dunes did very little to change our opinion.
A few facts: we chose the Royal Dunes as a spot where we, Northerners, could meet up and vacation with another couple from the South who are RCI owners. There were five of us---two couples and one child---sharing a three bedroom, three bath unit. . None of us golf.
The accommodations: Royal Dunes Resort is located in Port Royal Plantation, a beautifully landscaped area of Hilton Head with a golf course; it is home to many other timeshares and resorts. Our unit was on the fourth floor of a four-storey building. It was accessible via an elevator from the parking garage. (N.B. Parking spaces are on the narrow side and it took some skill to maneuver our family S.U.V. in and out of the garage.) The unit had a reasonably sized living area with a sofa and two armchairs and a mid-sized flat panel television. This allowed us all to watch movies or TV shows together. The unit was tastefully, if inexpensively, decorated. Think Sears Home Collection. There was a dining area and a small kitchen. The kitchen was equipped with the basics and I mean basic. Although the unit was supposed to accommodate up to eight people, there was only one ancient 8 inch frying pan and about two saucepans. There were enough dishes and cutlery for eight. The knives provided for food prep should have been retired a while ago. They made vegetable chopping more athletic than it should be. I know that timeshares are built for people vacationing and dining out, not for Bobby Flay, but our family likes to eat healthy, so we prefer to cook our own stuff. Unfortunately, the kitchen wasn’t really up to the prep of a real dinner. The two bedrooms intended for adults were fairly spacious. Both had king beds, flat panel TVs and adjoining baths. One had a Jacuzzi tub. Our bed had a strange slant in the middle and the covers consisted of a sheet, a blanket with the consistency of a sponge, another sheet and a polyester bedspread. It was weird. The third bedroom had two twin beds and a bathroom across the hall with a shower, but no tub. All of the furniture seemed relatively new and all of the appliances were in good working order. There was a nice little balcony off the living/dining area. It lacked any sort of view, but it was pleasant to sit and read or talk. WiFi service was sketchy to non-existent. There was no housekeeping, so if your towels (and you weren’t provided with very many) got dirty, you had to do laundry.

The facilities: There were two small swimming pools for guests. Lounges were made of inexpensive outdoor fabric at one pool and plastic with no cushions at the other. About 10-15% of them were in serious need of repair. The pool water was not exceptionally clean. I noticed that mine was one of the few male faces at the pool during the day. The crowd is almost entirely women and children; you would think the men have gone to war, but actually they might all just be playing golf. On our first day at the pool, we were annoyed by a very loud radio that played oldies with many commercials. A guest had decided to share her music with the rest of the complex.The next day, at the lunchtime hamburger and hot dog barbecue hosted by a uniformed security guard, the staff blasted the same oldies station for poolside entertainment. They were trying to get us to dance to it! Every other resort I’ve stayed has either pre-recorded music or satellite radio. Even an iPod playlist would have been better.Using broadcast commercial radio as your music source is just cheap.

There are a couple of public grills next to the pool. Of course, this means you may have to wait to use them and that your food may be cool by the time you have taken it off the grill and walked back to your unit. We used the grill one night and it wasn’t terrible. There are also bikes for rent. There is no gym which was a major disappointment to me because I am an athlete and like to train even when on vacation. All the other timeshares we’ve stayed at have had some sort of gym facility where I could at least use an exercise bike or a treadmill.
Royal Dunes is not on the beach, but it is a short walk to the beach and there is a shuttle bus that makes about four trips a day for those who don’t want to walk. The beach is nice enough, but rental of a beach chair is $30 per person per day for the first day and $18 for each additional day. It would have cost $150 for the five of us to sit at the beach for a day! I recommend going to CVS and buying your own chair if you are staying for any amount of time. There were rip tides and jellyfish for most of the week, so the beach wasn’t too appealing, anyway.
The Royal Dunes office is small and has one aged computer and cheap printer you can use if you need to check your email or print boarding passes. We asked the staff to recommend a fishing excursion; they gave us a phone number that did not work. Unlike other timeshares, we encountered no hard sell, though there was a bit of a pitch at the brunch our friends attended.
Activities: There are no restaurants, game rooms, gym or spa facilities or bars on the property.On site, there was very little to do. There were a few scheduled events every day, including a brunch that we did not attend, but that our hosts liked. There was also a daily morning walk along the beach. With the exception of one woman who seemed to be an activities director and taught the aqua aerobics class, the very few other activities, such as the barbecue I described earlier, were led by security guards and maintenance staff, doubling as hosts and hostesses. There was an “ice cream social” that required a $2 entrance fee. They also offered poolside hair braiding for about an hour. My kid spent most of his time in his room, playing video games and reading. The activities we scheduled outside the resort, such as fishing, touring some local museums and going on a wildlife expedition were very good, but there is little, if anything, to do on the grounds.

Overall impression: There is nothing terribly wrong with Royal Dunes Resort, but the property excels at absolutely nothing. Personally, I want a vacation that is more than just adequate. I would not return and I would never pay $11,000 to buy a week there.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with friends
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6  Thank Trekrider7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 September 2010

The Royal Dunes Resort is a beautiful resort. Was a little concerned after exchanging timeshare and reading reviews. Our unit was 3 bdrm w 3baths. It had HD big screen TV, granite countertops, and plenty of room. Never saw any bugs. Beach towels were provided. Would recommend and definately stay here again , Short walk to beach 3 blocks. Excellent seafood restaurants. Hudson on the Docks and The Sea Shack are close.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank yarnel2001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 September 2010

Nice place. Mostly nicely rennovated. Bathrooms, not rennovated but decent. Living room furniture including pull out very uncomfortable. Not so great for relaxing after a long day and very, very, very uncomfortable for those who had to sleep on the couch. We ended up buying a blow up at Walmart. Very clean rooms, parking garage and elevators could use some cleaning up, lots of spiders and webs. Dryer takes about two hours to dry a very small load, so laundry was an issue for a place that holds 9 people. Very nice staff. Very cozy and great location for relaxation. Close to beach and we enjoyed bike riding to local stores. Beach was very nice, not too many people and very clean and close proximity to lodging. We all agree that we would stay there again.

  • Stayed: August 2010
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1  Thank mant444
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 April 2010

We just got back from our vacation at Royal Dunes. We were very pleasantly surprised by the location and the amenities.
First off..we are a pretty picky family. We usually stay at Marriott's or other "gold crown" resorts. This was neither, but compared nicely.
The unit itself was very roomy with 3 bedrooms and 3 baths. It had all new furniture, new carpet, and granite counter tops. The unit was stocked well with the necessities and even a full size washer and dryer. The bathrooms are large. They're not brand new, but they are in very good condition, and were very clean. I wish I had taken some pictures to share, but only thought of it afterward. I promise you, there was never any bugs anywhere in the unit.
The grounds are clean and well kept. There are 2 outdoor pools, one of which is heated. They were busy, but never overcrowded. We stayed in unit 133. It was on the back side facing the tennis courts. Not a bad location, but a bit noisy when they did the morning grounds keeping at the condo development next door. I would ask for a poolside unit or one facing the golf course.
The location was within Port Royal Resort/Plantation. The resort itself is set among other lovely well kept private condo developments. There are 4 buildings. Building's 1-3 are set up like a horseshoe around the pool and building 4 is set to the side on it's own where the unheated pool is located. I might actually prefer to stay in #4 next time.
Grills are located next to the pool and also in the back of building #4. There is also a nice little sauna just off the pool area as well.
Parking is below each building and very convenient. (Free wireless is available in the units, but the reception was shaky. We had to go to the lobby for better service).
The location of the condo is literately down the street from the beach. Yes, you can absolutely walk there. We rented bikes and sometimes rode just for the fun of it, but usually walked. The beach is so beautiful and right next door to the Marriott Barony and the Westin. We took a walk over to the Marriott tiki bar and had a Pina Colada a couple of times as a special treat.
The folks at The Royal Dunes are very nice. You almost feel like you're staying with relatives. Debbie, the activities director was very sweet and accommodating. They hosted a breakfast one morning that was full of information and tips that we found very helpful.
This was our second trip to Hilton Head Island and loved it as much if not even more, thanks to the Royal Dunes!

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled with family
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3  Thank lfrias
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 January 2010

This was the fourth time I've brought my famile here, and one again, it was great. The place was recently updated and it shows. Pools are not super resort style but they are perfect just the same. Every day was a different activity for the kids. I played golf in Port Royal and Ship Yard and enjoyed it. Our favorite day was the picnic. Only down side was having to leave. I'm sure we will be back.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank Caprtbagger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 December 2009

We've been owners for 17 years and could not be more pleased with our investment. With three bedrooms and three full baths there is plenty of space and privacy.
We always arrive early and spend a few days at the Westin which is nice. But when we check into Royal Dunes. it feels like home... Quiet, clean and comfortable. We've come during a variety of seasons with guests. We have never seen bugs!! I'd bet the person that said they did see them brought them from their home!
We have many other options. But we love our Royal Dunes stays the most!

  • Stayed: June 2009
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1  Thank KentuckyVirginia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 November 2009

Not sure what other reviews were talking about - our stay was super. The rooms are large and we didn't feel like we were on top of one another - enough private space.
The unit was recently remodeled and we heard they were remodeling the other units also. It's a smaller complex, which was cozy; would rather be able to get to the action, but get away also. The beach was so close and beautiful - so much flat sand. We even rode our rented bikes on the beach, which was a treat.
One day we walked to the Westin Hotel and paid the day rate to use their pool, private beach, and fitness facility (locker room), then changed our clothes and had dinner in one of their restaurants.
While we played golf and tennis, we didn't have to and I think that's why the price was less expensive, it wasn't included.
Overall, we had a great time and will be back next year.
TIP: The island is so flat, rent the bikes and tour around the island - go off-road if you're adventurous, get lost, it's easy to find your way back.
Have fun, we sure did.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled with family
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3  Thank sassysue19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Royal Dunes Resort

Address: 8 Wimbledon Ct, Hilton Head, SC 29928-5570
Region: United States > South Carolina > Coastal South Carolina > Hilton Head
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 52 Speciality Lodging in Hilton Head
Price Range: £93 - £232 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Royal Dunes Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 241
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Also Known As:
Royal Dunes Hotel Hilton Head

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