I cannot say enough good things about my visit to Hilton Head Health Institute. Since my family and friends have likely grown tired of hearing my accolades and thoughts, I figured I should take it to a larger audience.
Staff. The professional staff are the key to the success of the program and facility. I separate these two - program and facility - because one without the other makes success a challenge. The program staff are phenomenal. They are well-educated, attentive to individual needs, encouraging, challenging and generally invested in the very specific clientele who choose to visit and participate in the program. I cannot emphasize enough this concept of being specifically invested in guests. One particular memory that illustrates the investment: there was a kayaking outing and I was asked by a fitness instructor whether I would be participating. I told her that I didn't think that I could do it due to my size. Rather than simply accepting my statement, she encouraged me to do it. I did it. Something that I had written off as a possibility and she nurtured me in that process and it truly was a transforming moment for me. Another memory: I've heard much about yoga but never attempted to do it. The yoga instructor encouraged me to try it and walked me through it. I loved the experience and, again, the investment and nurture. The non-program staff are equally invested and committed to a high level of service.
Facility. The facility is in great condition. Significant remodeling has created a great atmosphere for learning and exercise. The new pool (it opened the day after I left!) is absolutely beautiful. The dining room has beautiful views of the golf course and lagoons. The exercise equipment is modern and clean. The rooms where classes are held are each great. I have no complaints about the facility.
Food. Absolutely the most surprising aspect of my trip was the quality of the foods. Frankly, the quantity as well. I was actually never left hungry. The attention to detail and use of local and organic ingredients was stellar. The chef and her team are well-suited for this program. I did find that a few meals in a row were lacking in flavor, but I was able to zip them up a little with the condiments provided at all meals (noncaloric or low calorie seasonings, etc.).
Lodging. I thought it was perfectly fine for me. Not luxury, but very much appropriate. I did not spend much time there. I left in the morning, spent my day at the facility participating in activities and then returned to the condo in the later evening. The laundry machine got much use and worked great. If someone is expecting a luxury hotel, they will be disappointed. Manage your expectations -- I knew coming in that I would be staying in a townhouse that was right along the lines of what I expected. I certainly enjoyed my own bed when I returned home, but I don't have any real complaints.
Location. Coming from California I had never been to Hilton Head Island. It was easy to get to from Savannah airport (I used a shuttle service and did not have a car during my visit -- I did not need one and would not get one during my next visit). The weather was cool, but fine. There was some rain during my stay, but it did not cause me to miss any programs. The facility is not very close to the beach, but that did not stop me from visiting the beach every day that I was there.
Highlights. The daily highlight for me was the sunrise beach walk. This activity meant a great deal to me and was a wonderful way for me to start the day. Specific highlights included the kayak activity mentioned earlier, my exercise session with the fitness director and good conversations around meal tables. Most of all, the highlight was returning home with a new attitude and a deliberate focus on taking care of my health.
Finally, I want to mention that before I decided to go to Hilton Head Health Institute I read the reviews on this website over and over again. I have tried in this review to be as thorough as possible. Many of the negative reviews I read describe a completely different place than where I spent two weeks of my life earlier this month. I hope that if my description fits what you're looking for you will consider attending! Maybe I will see you there!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Celebrating 40 years as one of America's premier weight loss and health resorts, Hilton Head Health (H3) prides itself on delivering an exceptional experience in fitness, nutrition and behavior modification through personal and interactive sessions designed for the individual who is ready to embrace a lifestyle change. The experience at H3 provides the structure, as well as the flexibility, needed to help the individual achieve all of their personal health goals. This description is based on information provided by the hotel. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hilton Head Health Hotel Hilton Head
- Hotel Hilton Head
- Spa Hilton Head