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First Time to Surfwatch Questions

beckster914

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Hi all! I just snagged 4 nights at Surfwatch in an ocean vista unit for late June/early July 2016. I have a 5th night as well one day out from our last day, so am hoping the day in between opens up!

I have never been to Surfwatch so have a couple of questions. I've done a lot of research and reading on here so think I have a good idea of what the property is like.

Since I booked with destination points I know I will definitely have an ocean vista unit, so I believe the only building for that is the one closest to the beach, Ocean Dunes.

Thanks for any help you can offer! Questions below:

1. I've seen some pictures of the ocean views from Ocean Dunes, and was wondering if anyone could share some more pics, or tell me if you can see the water at all from the lower floors?

2. When was Ocean Dunes refurbished last? Is it updated and in good condition?

3. How long of a walk do you think it is from Ocean Dunes to the beach? It doesn't look far on the map, I know they offer golf cart rides, but I think it's probably walkable form this building? Also how close is it to the main pool?

4. Is it best to check in early in order to get a high floor? Still waiting on flight times, but we might not get in until late in the day. Might want to add a day or two in Savannah so wonder if should do that on the way in, that way we can drive over to Hilton Head early.

5. I read something about cabanas by the pool (can you see the beach from these?) do you know the cost? Also can you rent chairs and umbrella for on the beach?
 

amanda14

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Not an expert but been there 2X so I can lend some insight.

3) Absolutely walkable and they run the carts and happy to take you from that building should you want. The building is a short walk to the main pool

5) You can rent umbrellas and chairs on the beach. In terms of the cabanas I don't think you can see the water from them.
 

rvgbpacker

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Umbrellas and chairs are $$ at $32 dollars per day. Easy walk to the beach plus there is a bar right there and a small pool.
 

BocaBoy

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We stayed in Ocean Dunes in late January and it was in superb condition. It must have been recently refurbished.
 

NYFLTRAVELER

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Umbrellas and chairs are $$ at $32 dollars per day. Easy walk to the beach plus there is a bar right there and a small pool.

Better off going to Walmart or Target and buying inexpensive chairs and umbrellas for less than $25 total and leaving them behind when you check-out.
 

pedro47

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Suggestion only. Please add a day and a half and visit Historic Savannah. The trolley tours of the city are outstanding. Also the next day we did The Wilkes House for their famous breakfast. Just outstanding and please do not eat anything that morning. Go early in the morning and you can read about The Wilkes House on Trip Advisor.
 
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TheTimeTraveler

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Great breakfast

Don't forget to visit the Sunrise Cafe on Hilton Head Island for the BEST breakfast that you can find anywhere!

Enjoy your trip.



.
 

jme

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Don't forget to visit the Sunrise Cafe on Hilton Head Island for the BEST breakfast that you can find anywhere!

Enjoy your trip.



.

SW refurbished, but no worries, all units at SW, Barony, GO look nice at all times and keep up with strict regular refurbs.

Ditto on Palmetto Bay Sunrise Cafe-------best breakfast menu and service on island (nice lunch too). mostly locals but lately very popular with everyone, guess the word's out. Kenny B's also very good spot for breakfast (or lunch or dinner). Those are our two favorites on island. The Cottage in Old Town Bluffton is a great spot off island, turn just past outlet malls onto Hwy 46.
 

SueDonJ

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Umbrellas and chairs are $$ at $32 dollars per day. Easy walk to the beach plus there is a bar right there and a small pool.

I think the $32/day is for the lifeguard's set-up on the beach, the two wooden chairs and umbrella that you rent from the town. SurfWatch has another option at the Bike Barn:

[picture taken 6/15)
DSC01236_zpstxdetnfu.jpg


The beach chairs are similar to this; buggy is similar to this. I'm not sure about the umbrellas, might be pastel rainbow-colored? Anyway, it's an umbrella.

Another good thing about renting from SW instead of the town is that you don't have to give up your chairs long before you're wanting to leave the beach. The lifeguards break everything down at 5.
 

beckster914

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I think the $32/day is for the lifeguard's set-up on the beach, the two wooden chairs and umbrella that you rent from the town. SurfWatch has another option at the Bike Barn:

[picture taken 6/15)
DSC01236_zpstxdetnfu.jpg


The beach chairs are similar to this; buggy is similar to this. I'm not sure about the umbrellas, might be pastel rainbow-colored? Anyway, it's an umbrella.

Another good thing about renting from SW instead of the town is that you don't have to give up your chairs long before you're wanting to leave the beach. The lifeguards break everything down at 5.

Bumping this thread! I am trying to figure out what we will do regarding the beach chair situation. Does anyone have an email address for Surfwatch? I'd like to inquire about what they offer and how it works. SueDonJ the photo you posted is super helpful, I am just trying to figure out if they set up the chairs for you, or do you have to carry and set up yourself? (Is that why they include the buggy?) Also, we will be needing 3 chairs so need to see if we can add 1 more. I checked the prices for renting right on the beach and they seem quite high. The other option is to go to Walmart and buy something cheap and leave it behind for someone else to use...
 

SueDonJ

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Bumping this thread! I am trying to figure out what we will do regarding the beach chair situation. Does anyone have an email address for Surfwatch? I'd like to inquire about what they offer and how it works. SueDonJ the photo you posted is super helpful, I am just trying to figure out if they set up the chairs for you, or do you have to carry and set up yourself? (Is that why they include the buggy?) Also, we will be needing 3 chairs so need to see if we can add 1 more. I checked the prices for renting right on the beach and they seem quite high. The other option is to go to Walmart and buy something cheap and leave it behind for someone else to use...

You can rent any number of chairs etc from the Bike Barn for however long you want them; you do your own lugging and set-up. There's room to store them either just inside or just outside the unit entrances. The buggy is great for loading up all your beach stuff and rolling it across the boardwalks and the hard-packed sand. If you have a problem with getting the umbrella anchored on the beach you can ask the lifeguard and they're happy to help.

Same thing with the bikes, rent from the Bike Barn and they're yours for the duration. They come with combination locks and there are bike racks outside each of the buildings as well as nearby the pools and beach access.

I've only ever seen SurfWatch employees help with a beach set-up once. It was two giant canopies with a whole mess of chairs, coolers, umbrellas etc, took 4 employees about 20 minutes. That was obviously a VIP with a large extended family - I wouldn't expect that kind of help otherwise.
 

Venter

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Our first time too

We had a 2 bedroom at Ocean Watch with ocean view on Marriott.com that we exchanged with the smaller part of our Lakeshore reserve deluxe 1 bedroom for Spring Break. Sat - Sat check in.

I was looking for HHI with the hope of getting one of the beach properties and a 3 bedroom garden view came up at Surfwatch. Fri - Fri check in. I couldn't resist and retraded.

We have not been to either property yet and was looking forward to a beach holiday. I hope the retrade will be worth it seeing as we will take kids out of school on the Friday and drive through from Cincy and also being in a garden view instead of ocean view villa that seems to be further away from the beach.

I am excited however and reading every thread I can about Surfwatch and HHI.
 

jme

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We had a 2 bedroom at Ocean Watch with ocean view on Marriott.com that we exchanged with the smaller part of our Lakeshore reserve deluxe 1 bedroom for Spring Break. Sat - Sat check in.

I was looking for HHI with the hope of getting one of the beach properties and a 3 bedroom garden view came up at Surfwatch. Fri - Fri check in. I couldn't resist and retraded.

We have not been to either property yet and was looking forward to a beach holiday. I hope the retrade will be worth it seeing as we will take kids out of school on the Friday and drive through from Cincy and also being in a garden view instead of ocean view villa that seems to be further away from the beach.

I am excited however and reading every thread I can about Surfwatch and HHI.

You will enjoy that Garden View at Surfwatch tremendously. It's not a step down in any sense. Matter of fact we like the Garden view villas best anyway. Much more quiet there.

We are not SW owners, but my wife always does a "girls' trip" in March, and we get the 3-BR SW very easily, and they have a blast. We always request the Garden view villas. The view over the pond is very pretty, and it's a stone's throw to the indoor pool complex/lobby.
 

pedro47

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You will enjoy that Garden View at Surfwatch tremendously. It's not a step down in any sense. Matter of fact we like the Garden view villas best anyway. Much more quiet there.

We are not SW owners, but my wife always does a "girls' trip" in March, and we get the 3-BR SW very easily, and they have a blast. We always request the Garden view villas. The view over the pond is very pretty, and it's a stone's throw to the indoor pool complex/lobby.

I agreed my spouse loved the garden view villas. The villas location are very quiet and the walk to the beach and along the beach gives us our exercise for the day.
 

mbeach89

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It's an easy walk to the beach.....but if you don't feel like walking, you can call the front desk and they will send someone with a golf cart to your villa to pick you up.

I like the pool and pool bar at the end of the walkway near the beach. I had my first Moscow Mule at that pool bar! A cabana would be very nice on a hot sunny day at the end of June/early July...there are only a few, so likely have to reserve early!
 

Saintsfanfl

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For cooler weather I would much rather be in the main buildings versus Ocean Dunes. It's much more convenient to be near all the main facilities and then walk to the beach when desired. The Bar&Grill is probably not even open most of the year. I see the ocean front pool shows as heated but it wasn't when I was there at the end of 2012. I have a feeling they turn off the heat during certain times but maybe not anymore.
 
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beckster914

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You can rent any number of chairs etc from the Bike Barn for however long you want them; you do your own lugging and set-up. There's room to store them either just inside or just outside the unit entrances. The buggy is great for loading up all your beach stuff and rolling it across the boardwalks and the hard-packed sand. If you have a problem with getting the umbrella anchored on the beach you can ask the lifeguard and they're happy to help.

Same thing with the bikes, rent from the Bike Barn and they're yours for the duration. They come with combination locks and there are bike racks outside each of the buildings as well as nearby the pools and beach access.

I've only ever seen SurfWatch employees help with a beach set-up once. It was two giant canopies with a whole mess of chairs, coolers, umbrellas etc, took 4 employees about 20 minutes. That was obviously a VIP with a large extended family - I wouldn't expect that kind of help otherwise.

Thank you Sue, this is so very helpful and exactly the type of information I was looking for!! I was concerned about anchoring the umbrella myself, but glad to hear the lifeguards will help if needed. Do you perhaps know if you can/need to call ahead to reserve the beach chairs? We will be there over July 4th and I'm concerned about how crowded it will be, so trying to plan everything ahead of time so there are no surprises!

Lastly, I saw mbeach89 mention the poolside cabanas at the pool closest to the beach. Can someone describe these in more detail? What is included? Do you know the cost per day, and again can they be reserved in advance?

Thanks everyone, you all are super helpful as always!!
 

dioxide45

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You will enjoy that Garden View at Surfwatch tremendously. It's not a step down in any sense. Matter of fact we like the Garden view villas best anyway. Much more quiet there.

We are not SW owners, but my wife always does a "girls' trip" in March, and we get the 3-BR SW very easily, and they have a blast. We always request the Garden view villas. The view over the pond is very pretty, and it's a stone's throw to the indoor pool complex/lobby.

We too enjoyed our garden view villa. It was a little tough getting down to the beach and beach side pool. The walk was far, but there was the shuttle even though one sometimes has to wait a bit. We ended up using the indoor pool that was close by a little more since we were there in April and it wasn't always swimming weather.

That said, we would probably look at a more beach front HHI property if we ever make it back.
 
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gmarine

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The first floor of the Ocean Vista building which is actually the second floor with the parking below has very little if any view of the ocean. Some second floor rooms have decent views partially blocked by trees etc. The top floors are really needed to get a good ocean view.

Its not far to the beach from that building. Its a great property all around.
 

GreenTea

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This youtube video shows a few of the HHI properties. First is Grande Ocean. The last is Surfwatch. If you skip through to the end you can see the positioning of the ocean front building in relation to the beach and the rest of the units. The boardwalk is shown. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rP57lflz_I4 The protected marsh is shown at 2:47 before it goes to someplace else. The back to SW at 3:23
 
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beckster914

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Thanks for comments regarding views. Here's hoping our request for a high floor will be received as we are not arriving until after 6 pm so afraid we will get whatever is left.

Can anyone comment on how busy the property and the island will be around July 4th? What is necessary to book ahead, do people make restaurant reservations before they even leave for the trip? I'd also like more info about booking beach chairs and possibly cabanas ahead of time if possible. If anyone has an email address for the concierge or really anyone at Surfwatch that would be super helpful!

Lastly, what type of firework displays will they have on July 4th? Anything that we can see right from Surfwatch?

Thank you :)
 

ilene13

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We have gone to Surfwatch annually on July 4th since they opened. It is busy. For fireworks we make 8:00 dinner reservations on the roof of the Santa Fe Cafe. Great dinner and wonderful place to watch the fireworks without the crowds.
 
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