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Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort
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Reviews (1,021)
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Reviewed 15 July 2012

Our family (mom, dad, sons 12 and 4 yrs.) checked in for a 1 week stay and had a room on the 1st floor of the Live Oak Lodge (we were VERY close to where check-in is located). I know that some reviews have been mixed, but for our family, this resort was a PERFECT place to stay for a beach vacation. Here's why:
--As many have said, this hotel is themed to be a fishing lodge. My oldest son LOVES to fish, so that was one of the reasons we chose to go here - if you are not into a Disney Wilderness Lodge-type feel, you may not like it. I think the dim lighting even goes with the theme intentionally, and it helped our 4 yr. old take a nap and sleep at night, so it was a positive for us! It all depends on what you're looking for.
--Our 12 year old was given some much-needed autonomy in the resort, in that we could allow him to roam the resort freely (from our room in the Live Oak Lodge to the pool, the fishing pier, etc.) and we never worried about his safety. He loved the freedom, and would take his refillable mug, fishing pole, tackle box, and just go off on his bike to his heart's content. Wonderful! The resort is gated, has lit paths at night, and lends itself to exploring on foot and bike.
-- One thing that is not mentioned on this site enough about this resort is the VALUE a family gets thanks to the activities offered here. The cost per night may be expensive (according to some), but we felt overall we made out on the deal cost-wise because there are so many things for kids and adults to do for free or a minimal cost right on this property. If we had to seek out comparable activities and pay for them in and around Hilton Head, it would've been a fortune, and I can't imagine the kids would've had as much fun. My sons made tee shirts, had a scavenger hunt, took nature walks, played Goofy bingo, and MUCH more. The charge (when there even was one) was so minimal, it was obviously just to cover the cost of supplies. I was SHOCKED, in fact, that Disney did NOT jack up the price for activites. Even the food at the resort was reasonably priced! Maybe I'm jaded from WDW, but it took me all week to get over the fact that the breakfast and lunch options were priced at a level comparable to any take-out place you'd go anywhere on HHI. In fact, I was so certain the gift shop had overpriced souvenirs that I went to a General Store in Palmetto Dunes to compare. Disney's HHI tee shirts (on sale for 19.99) were LESS than the tacky ones you see at beach shops! I hightailed it back to the Disney Mercantile and bought gifts with no guilt.
--My husband and I really loved the Beach House, located 1 mile from the resort. Very classy and tasteful. You'd barely know it was Disney, as the Mickey touches are VERY subtle (this goes for the resort as a whole, actually). Also, if you take a moment to read about the hotel, you'll know beforehand that the beach is a mile away, so we were not surprised. Beach House parking spots filled quickly, so we had to either go in the AM, take the shuttle, or go a little later in the day. Many complain about the distance between the two, but having two locations means that guests are spread amongst two different places - which means this resort NEVER feels crowded, even when it's booked solid.
Cons: Our studio room, when all four of us were in it, felt small. The kitchenette space was less than I anticipated, and because I (over)packed food and drinks, these items clogged the entryway. Also, in our room (which was handicapped accessible, even though we didn't request it), there was almost NO closet or drawer space, which was annoying. There are free washers/dryers, though, and although I hate spending my vacation doing laundry, I should've packed fewer clothes and just washed them during the week. Internet was slow, too, but not as bad as other complained about. I accessed the internet only through my Kindle Fire, and honestly it was just fine. Maybe I would feel differently with a laptop, though. Because of these few cons, I can't give this resort 5 full stars, but I wish I could give it 4 1/2. I didn't mention the castmembers because so many other reviews have, but they were AMAZING. They all exemplify the Disney spirit that seems frequently to be lacking at the theme parks. Castmemembers learned my kids names by heart, and I had 2 different instances where they created magic for my 4 year old when he was about to have a crying fit. They truly want the kids and adults at the resort to have a magical stay, and we certainly did!! We will be back next year!!

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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5  Thank PghMom315
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 July 2012

This is our home resort through disney vacation club. The check in was great, the grounds are pretty. The staff could not have been nicer.
You feel like you are in a cabin in the woods. The place is so dark, the kitchen is ill equipped the couch is so uncomfortable I think the place needs a complete overhaul and the parking is a problem at the beach house and at the resort. The wireless also never worked at least we did not have to pay for it.
We will not be back.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank mallocup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2012

Firstly: This was my first time at any resort (i.e., non-hotel) property. This review is primarily for those who have never stayed at "resort"-type property before. My family stayed here for three nights in mid-June 2012.

Pros:
-- Service was nearly impeccable, other than our initial registration, which took almost an hour due to technical problems with Disney's computer systems. (Strangely, other patrons were checking in left and right with no problems - only we were affected.) They were deeply apologetic. (See more on this in "Cons", below.) Staff everywhere on the grounds were friendly, polite, and articulate. Hannah, a front-desk staff worker from Great Britain, was particularly kind.
-- Our room (1219) was outstandingly clean, and for a studio, adequately large for our family of three.
-- There was a Pack-and-Play for our infant in our room, complete was clean sheets.

Cons:
-- Check-in took nearly a full hour. My baby son had blown out his diaper while we were waiting, and neither of their gents/ladies lobby bathrooms had changing tables. We had to change him on the picnic table in the sand/grass area across the street, where we and our baby were attacked by fire ants. For a family-friendly resort to not have changing tables in their welcoming area for guests is baffling, and is a major oversight.
-- Housekeeping occurs only once every four days, unless you want to pay an extra fee for daily cleaning. This was not disclosed anywhere on their website.
-- Wireless internet was a separate (exorbitant) charge, and DID NOT work well. After many complaints, our charges were reversed, and it was recommended that we bring PCs instead of Macs next time. Sorry...but I'm not going to go purchase a different computer just to come to Disney Hilton Head.
-- Other than the (fake) shrubbery trimmed to resemble Mickey and Thumper at the entrance, there's nothing Disney about this resort. There was nothing unique about it; in fact, it could have been any other resort/hotel chain, and I wouldn't have noticed. The marketing materials on their website leads you to believe otherwise.
-- The Big Dipper Pool was always overpopulated and out of control. There were kids standing on the edge peeing into the pool, and although lifeguard staff was aplenty, they did not do anything about it. Understandably, their duties do not include babysitting. However, I have to mention this because this was the pool atmosphere each of the seven times we went there. (The pool at the Beach House was a little calmer; there is no lifeguard at this pool, however.)
-- There is NO full-service restaurant on the grounds. You either need to walk across the bridge to the very touristy and overpriced restaurants along the cove, or take a car to explore the island. They have a snack bar by the pool (also by the Beach House pool), but expect to pay through the nose for basic food items such as hot dogs.
-- The mattress in our room was saggy and old. For the price we paid to stay here, it was simply ridiculous.

Overall, I got the impression that Disney Resort Hilton Head primarily functions as a satellite recruitment facility for Disney to persuade gullible families into signing up for Disney Vacation Club (DVC) -- a sort of time-share vacation club, or something. At any rate, being DVC members exempt you from all these fees, such as housecleaning, internet, etc. Everytime we turned on the TV in our room, no matter where we left it last, it would repeatedly chime obnoxious propaganda for DVC.

For the price we paid, there are far better values on Hilton Head. Also, please be wary of what you see on their website when considering making reservations here: what you see is a gross over-exaggeration of you will get.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with family
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9  Thank hawh123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 July 2012

We went for a few days right at Christmas, and had a blast. The weather was mild, and the staff was great. It was the third time we had been, and the staff remembered my kids. Also, they had Santa on site, and he asked what they wanted for Christmas. The next morning, Dec 25th, the staff knocked on our door, saying Santa had dropped by. They had the presents my kids had asked for. We had not coordinated with them beforehand, and the gifts were free. We will definitely be going back again.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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Thank Philip196672
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 July 2012

Everything from the pool to the rooms are amazing. Go if you like to relax during summer

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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Thank JJVNMVMJV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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