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HIlton Head

suskey

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I just got back from a week at Surfwatch. I had not been to HIlton Head since 1988.

Overall, I was not that impressed. What bothered me most was I never really felt that I was at the beach. I like to see the water and feel like the beach is close by. In HHead I felt like I could have been in WIlliamsburg! So many trees and no really spectacular vistas of the ocean.

Surf Watch was fine. The units very nice. We were in the Ocean Marsh building. Unfortunately the place was over run with kids..average ages 4-6 ..whose parents let them run wild. I felt there should have been some security at the pools to stop the yelling and running. Most of the the parents were clueless. The parents seemed to be in their 30's and just were oblivious to their kids bad behavior.

I really have no desire to return to Hilton Head.

Susan
 

jme

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Marriotts:
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.
Waterside by Spin x 2
Sheraton Bdw Pln x2
ChurchSt/Charleston x2
You missed the real Hilton Head

Sorry you feel that way about Hilton Head in general, because it's still one of the most beautiful places anywhere, and one of the most desirable destinations on the east coast......and rated as such by every study imaginable. A week's time is sometimes not long enough to see ALL there is to offer, and that is true most definitely if you're stuck in the wrong place "for you". Also, you happened to pick a resort that was NOT OCEANFRONT. Hilton Head has everything----you just have to find it.

Why you were expecting to see the ocean when TUG posters (like me) have always said (or warned) that SurfWatch is NOT an oceanfront resort is beyond me.......Had you visited an actual oceanfront resort you may have had your expectations met, even exceeded. Grande Ocean and Barony Beach Club are two examples at Hilton Head.... and had you done your "TUG homework", you would not have been surprised. It's a nice layout there at Surfwatch, but definitely not oceanfront.

As for the decor "virtually being Williamsburg" (and which you appreciated) , it is true that Marriott has a certain "look" or "feel" which is common amongst their resorts, and thank goodness for that! The units are usually gorgeous, plush, and homey, and typically rated a 10 by everyone. That consistency is a good thing for me and for most Marriott owners. I do notice that you are not a Marriott owner, so you're not used to that.

As for the kids, this is summertime, the sun was out, and the pools were full of wet water. You probably heard a lot of laughter too. I know what you mean about all the noise, but I learned long ago myself that if you imagine a life which occurred a few short years ago, it was WE who were running and screaming and playing. I accepted it finally, and for quiet vacations, I pick a different spot now. For summer FUN, we love the southeastern beaches. And believe it or not, the kids don't bother me anymore. Mine are college-age, and frankly, I miss them being little.....

Perhaps the New Jersey beaches are more sedate.... don't know, as I've never been .....but I do still highly recommend the beaches of the southeast, and Hilton Head in general......PLEASE COME BACK, pick your spot, and enjoy....there are over 200 restaurants on HH Island (25+ awesome ones!) , and you can find "peace and quiet" very easily....

Actually there is both activity/non-stop yelling/laughter and also total silence, depending on where you stay. After all, Hilton Head is one of THE dreamiest retirement destinations on earth, and there are many Tuggers who would attest to that. And many frequent vacationers who would, too.....like me. kind regards, jme
 

suskey

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I did do my homework and dont really appreciate your insinuations that I did not and was well aware that Surfwatch would not be oceanfront. I did expect to see the ocean while driving around the island and that was not the case.

As far as the problems with kids..I totally attribute that to bad parenting. I saw a mother leave 2 children..probably ages 3 & 4..ALONE in the oceanfront pool..while she went back to the unit. The kids were loud and stealing other kids beach toys. Unbelieveable. There were more than one instance of this kind of 'parenting'...total disregard for anyone at the resort except themselves and their kiddies. It had nothing to do with HIlton Head..could happen anywhere.

I was a travel agent for many years and have traveled the world...NJ beaches are not my favorites. I did not at any time say that the Marriott decor was Williamsburg. I was speaking of the inability to see the ocean and the topography that reminded me of Williamsburg. I have stayed at Marriott properties in Arizona,Florida,Aruba,California..no complaints on any of them.

Sorry I don't share your love of HH..give me the Outer Banks,Longboat Key, SCal coast any day. Different strokes for different folks.
 

shagnut

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I'm also not a huge fan of HH altho knowing what I know I would go back if I just wanted a laid back vacation, and sometimes I do. I also want to be on the beach and that is why I didn't care for Sheraton Broadway in MB altho it was just beautiful. It is almost too upscale for me, I'm not into fancy bistros and such, nor am I a wine drinker which usually goes along with a fancy dinner. I like more meat and threes. I'm just not fisticated. I yam what I yam:p Thank goodness we are not all the same, it's what makes the world go around. Hugs, Shaggy
 

jme

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Marriotts:
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Barony x 2
OceanWatch x 1
Manor Club x 1
.
Waterside by Spin x 2
Sheraton Bdw Pln x2
ChurchSt/Charleston x2
I totally know what you meant when you said "it might as well have been Williamsburg".....(I didn't mean it WAS Wms'bg-----the units just all look alike...we agree. I've often said , when we're in a Marriott unit, we have to stop and think where we actually are...)

My main point to you was that most people don't realize that Surfwatch is not oceanfront ....I've heard that for years, since SW was built. I didn't mean to insinuate anything actually. Most people go there expecting oceanfront, and find different, which is a comonplace complaint. I don't like that fact either....so, I don't own there, nor stay there!

I was simply extolling Hilton Head, and bemoaning the fact that you didn't like it !!!!

As a former travel agent you must know that many (not all) smaller islands do not have oceanfront highways! That is common to non-island destinations typically. It would take away from the oceanfront resorts themselves and their ambiance, which you wanted , I thought. An oceanfront highway or road would most likely plow thru the resorts.

your quote: "Different strokes for different folks"....

I agree. The resorts you own are rated by TUG as 7.84, 8.37, 8.28, &

6.83......and you traded into a resort rated 9.09. I'll give the edge to the TUG folks. They are always right-on. I still am sorry you didn't like Hilton Head.......It's not my opinion, but it appears you TRADED UP to get Surfwatch!

My wish: I didn't want folks to get the idea Hilton Head is not a more-than-worthy destination because of (1) lack of ocean-viewing highway, and (2) kids enjoying themselves. It is far more.

I was not jabbing at you, really, just defending Hilton Head and all that is TRULY is.

'course, we love other destinations, too......Hilton Head is certainly not the Caribbean, nor is it Paris or the Amalfi coast, but it's a great family spot, with subtropical beauty galore......jme
 

Deb from NC

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Actually it's kind of nice to find SOMEONE who doesn't like HH, maybe if fewer people liked it I could afford to live there full time :D
Deb
 

pgnewarkboy

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I was just at the Marriott Fairway Villas in Galloway N.J. An excellent resort. Loved the unit and the resort in general. We took a timeshare presentation and the salesman made a point of saying that marriott vacation resort units all fit the same mold. This consistency is a selling point for many. Not for me.

Although Marriotts are great, I prefer more variety in units. As far as TUG ratings go, they are a great guide - but only a guide. I have been in timeshares that suited my tastes and were a 9 or better for me but may have been rated lower by others. I think the reviews are more helpful than the numeric rating. The reviews give me the kind of detail I need to see if a resort fits my personality and needs.

Trading a resort with a one numeric rating for another numeric rating is not necessarily "trading up" or "trading down."

In my view, tug is a great place for help and information. A helpful community. It is understood that all opinions are subjective.
 

jme

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Marriotts:
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OceanWatch x 1
Manor Club x 1
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Waterside by Spin x 2
Sheraton Bdw Pln x2
ChurchSt/Charleston x2
Actually it's kind of nice to find SOMEONE who doesn't like HH, maybe if fewer people liked it I could afford to live there full time :D
Deb
you and me both, Deb........and think, those rowdy kids were probably from......well.......you guess.

They had probably never had so much fun.

And (whisper) I promise never to say anything good about HH ever again.......jme
 

borntotravel

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When Suskey said that she felt like she could have been in Williamsburg, she was not speaking about the decor of the units, but the overall appearance of the island. And I agree with her. When you are on the island, unless you are actually at the ocean, you do not get the feel that you are on an island/resort on the ocean. Williamsburg has also done a very nice job in keeping a lot of the natural habitat and beautiful trees and landscape. HHI has done a very nice job making sure there are no high rises and that businesses/resorts blend with the natural surroundings - and there are lots and lots of trees. This is why people like this place, because it is just the opposite of Myrtle Beach.

I am not a big fan of HHI either (although the area is beautiful and I get why it is one of the top retirement communities), but I love the OBX. To me, the OBX is the feel of a "beach town". You can see the ocean from most everywhere and you can drive along the beach road for most of it. There are no huge resorts on the ocean (one of the reason I love this place), which makes it a more "cozy,intimate" vacation experience. I think HHI is too crowded, because there are so many huge resorts, there are way too many people on the island - which also means there are way too many people on the beaches. If course, this is only my opinion, buy when I go to the beach, I want a "beach" experience. And of course, I'm a bit of a timeshare snob, when I go to other locations - I want my nice 5 star with all the amenities resort!
 

Deb from NC

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JME..
Yes, let keep HH our little secret...at least until I'm able to buy a week at Grande Ocean :D (I see you own 3, you lucky dog!)
 

bogeygolf

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JME..
Yes, let keep HH our little secret...at least until I'm able to buy a week at Grande Ocean :D (I see you own 3, you lucky dog!)
Not to mention the other 2 weeks at Barony Beach he owns.

JME, I feel your passion for HHI, I used to own at Barony, fell in love with it the first time I visited thus bought Barony Beach. But guess what, that love was short lived b/c I only went back once in 6 years that I owned BB, so sold my barony and bought Sheraton Broadway at myrtle beach, go figure!

Call me crazy but sometimes people's taste change or sometimes you just want variety, at least in my case. As much as I still love and remember HHI, I don't know if I love it as much as the different places I still have not visited. Who knows, maybe I will fall in love with the poconos(going this christmas)? Nah, probably not the poconos. :D
 

linandbri

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OBX?

What and where is OBX? Sounds Nice!


For the record have only been to HH once and did love it, going back and May and staying at Grand Ocean selected it because of the location. Kuaui is also very green, yet there are very beautiful ocean views.

Linda
 

pcgirl54

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linandbri,

Outer Banks North Carolina-towns Duck,Corolla,Nags Head,Kitty Hawk,Rodanthe, Cape Hatteras. Take the free car ferry to Ocracoke Island. See the wild ponies in Corolla. Hang Glide at Jockey Ridge State Park. See the lighthouses and Shipwreck Museum.

Different than HHI & Myrtle Beach. On the coastal roads you can see the ocean as you drive. I liked it a lot when we went in 2007.
 

tombo

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I am not a fan of HH either. I posted that fact a couple of months ago and got blasted by HH lovers. Different strokes for different folks, but I want to see the ocean constantly while I vacation at the beach as I drive to stores, restaurants, and just go sightseeing. When I go to the mountains I don't want to have to search for views of the moutains, when I go to the beach I don't want to have to search for a glimpse of the ocean. On HH you usually have to get through a gated guarded entrance to drive through miles of homes, condos, and golf courses, just to get to a view of the ocean which is usually blocked by a private parking lot owned by the resort who owns the oceanfront location. I left our resort complex and drove all over the island looking for views of the ocean with no success. Yes I stayed at the Westin which was oceanfront and a long drive through golf courses and homes before you even got near the ocean. If I hadn't stayed oceanfont I am not sure I would have seen the ocean at all except for my visit to the candy striped light house.

I personally love the Florida panhandle for the soft white sand and for being able to drive on the ocean front roads looking at the ocean for miles. I stayed at the Westin on HH which was oceanfront, but there was no waves, and the beaches are not nearly as pretty as the Gulf beaches IMO. I also love the gulf beaches in the south of Florida and the beaches near Tampa. I have never been to the outer banks but understand it is great and a place I hope to visit one day. I also love the Florida Keys with the miles and miles of ocean views to be had from the comfort of your car. When I visit Hawaii, California, Mexico, and most Islands (like the Caribbean) I am used to being able to see the ocean more often than not while I am driving around. If I want to drive around and see trees and golf course communities I can stay home and see that.

I am just saying this so that people who have never been to HH will realize that it might be Mecca for golfers, bicycle riders, and retirees, but for those who love to explore the area beaches by car this is not the place. I personally will not go back to HH, for me once was more than enough.
 
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Janette

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We love our tourists and are sorry that Hilton Head is not for you. We are presently in beautiful Sedona AZ and head to Marriott's Canyon Villas tomorrow.(GO DAWGS. We play AZ State on the 20th). A timeshare representative was trying to get us to go on a sales presentation and had never heard of HHI. So much for our attending her presentation!! Surfwatch is nice but it is not my resort of choice. These red rocks have won my heart but not my timeshare money!
 

pcgirl54

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I adore HHI for the ambiance and the beauty of the flowers and moss draped trees that line the paths and mostly the quiet serenity. I like to see the deer on the bike paths in the morning. I truely feel I am away from the hub bub of everyday commuter traffic and work stress so mcuh so that we plan to move there within 2 yrs. There is something about the Carolina lowlands. I thought I would want other areas for some time but we keep coming back to HHI.

Having said that and being brought up in New England I also love driving down US coastal roads and seeing/hearing the ocean and sandy beaches.

I have driven on Rt 30A past Panama Beach City toward Destin and seen the emerald green water and pastel homes. Enjoyed being right on the ocean in Anna Maria,Marco & Captiva Island. Exploring the roads from Ft Lauderdale to the Keys. RT 1A in Southern Coastal Maine is lovely with the ocean and the rock formations and little shops. Myrtle Beach has much to do but you do not see the ocean a lot. We have also visited different islands in the Carribean.

Of all of these I like the Gulf coast of Florida, the laid back Outer Banks/OBX and most recently we were able to explore the beautiful island of Maui which was a like living in a dream.

On vacation I don't care how hot it is I want the windows open so I can hear the waves whether I am driving down the road or sleeping at a TS condo and I also want a short walk to the beach if I can't be right on it.

I understand the varying opinions because we have explored many of these places with relocation in mind each time. I enjoyed them all but only want to live in one of them.
 

Big Matt

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I actually love every beach community I've ever visited. Some beaches are very different than others, but from Maine to Key West and San Diego to Seattle, there are really neat places to visit wth great personality. Beach = Vacation to me, so I'm already in a good mood.
 

Plucky

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I've traveled to most of the locations listed on this thread and have been to Hilton Head Island 15 times.
I hate admitting this, but my all time favorite beaches are on the Northern California coast. There is nothing like the smell of pines on one side and the sea on the other as you are driving down highway 1 from SanFrancisco to Oregon. The vistas are out of this world.
If we could afford it, that is where we'd retire.
Hilton Head will always hold a place in my and my husbands hearts, he's been going there since 1982, but it is a great big world out there.
I just can't wait until we see the rest of it. :) :clap:
 

aceinthehole

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Hi Suskey!...I can understand your frustration!...Kids are all over the place...Have you been down to that Disney World? Talking about a place that is full kids. That dag on Disney World beats em all. I have not seen so many in all my life. They just keep getting on and off that monorail and ferry boat, I don't know where the come from, they just keep coming and coming. They even allow them in the dag on Nursing homes...Well heck, I guess all the folks that live there are nothin but a bunch ole kids anyway. Dag I guess that makes me a big kid:banana:
 

jwq387

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When Suskey said that she felt like she could have been in Williamsburg, she was not speaking about the decor of the units, but the overall appearance of the island. And I agree with her. When you are on the island, unless you are actually at the ocean, you do not get the feel that you are on an island/resort on the ocean. Williamsburg has also done a very nice job in keeping a lot of the natural habitat and beautiful trees and landscape. HHI has done a very nice job making sure there are no high rises and that businesses/resorts blend with the natural surroundings - and there are lots and lots of trees. This is why people like this place, because it is just the opposite of Myrtle Beach.

I am not a big fan of HHI either (although the area is beautiful and I get why it is one of the top retirement communities), but I love the OBX. To me, the OBX is the feel of a "beach town". You can see the ocean from most everywhere and you can drive along the beach road for most of it. There are no huge resorts on the ocean (one of the reason I love this place), which makes it a more "cozy,intimate" vacation experience. I think HHI is too crowded, because there are so many huge resorts, there are way too many people on the island - which also means there are way too many people on the beaches. If course, this is only my opinion, buy when I go to the beach, I want a "beach" experience. And of course, I'm a bit of a timeshare snob, when I go to other locations - I want my nice 5 star with all the amenities resort!
My wife did not like HHI for the same reason- she wanted to see the ocean from the road. SInce then she has fallen in love with the place, and we bought a home just off the island. People have to realize HIlton Head island is a maritime forest with marshes interspersed in between. OBX has very few trees, and is inundated with high dunes, and therefore more sweeeping views of the ocean. Hilton Head has several public beaches where one can access the beach easily. As far as being too crowded, well name an outstanding beach destination that isn't crowded in the summer. Hilton Head is DESERTED compared to Myrtle Beach. The limited access to all the beaches is a bummer for some- I get that. But the aforementioned public beaches are the same outstanding beaches that the private communities have. Once you get to the beach, you can roam all you want. One of the charms of Hilton Head is that the "founder", Charles Fraser, created restrictive covenants that kept developers from chopping down trees haphazardly just because "they could."
These same covenants set aside a certain percentage of the island as nature preserves that will never be developed. So Hilton Head's preservationist past and present are an essential part of the "island experience." There are certainly more "spectacular" places to vacation, but give me HHI anytime.
 
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