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Marriott's Monarch at Sea Pines questions

LisaRex

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Hello Marriott owners,

Now that we're fully vaccinated, we decided to travel to HHI the end of May. I booked a floating week at Monarch with a Redweek owner for 5/29 to 6/5. I'm very familiar with HHI, and have stayed in private villas and GO before, but this will be the first time staying at the Monarch. We're exploring some options for retirement, and HHI is one area where we're considering buying 3-4 weeks back-to-back instead of renting from an owner.

Anyway, I have a few questions re the Monarch:

1) I see that most ownerships are fixed unit, which complicates buying back to back weeks. However, some are float weeks. Does anyone own multiple float weeks which will allow you to book back-to-back weeks and not have to change villas each week?
2) I've read that they have bike rentals on site. Does anyone know the cost? I know that I can rent a bike for $35/week at one of the island bike rental companies, but we really don't need them every day. This is Memorial Day weekend and don't want them to be sold out, either.
3) Any idea if they rent the pull-behind Kiddie Karts as well? We don't have young kids, but we like to store our cooler and beach chairs in these carts when we bike to different beaches.
4) Should we bring beach chairs and umbrellas, or is it reasonable to rent these on-site as well?
6) Are there tennis courts, and do you have to pay for tennis court time?
7) Do they have on site restaurants/bar? I know that the Sea Pines Beach Club is next door but curious as to whether I can get frozen drinks at the pool.
8) Is the Sea Pines shuttle still operating during Covid?
9) Finally, do the units have stoves or just microwaves?

Thanks for the answers. I'm looking forward to checking out the Monarch.
 

Swice

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I can tell you in the past month we’ve stayed at Harbour Club and Grande Ocean and rented bikes at both. Grande Ocean was $10/day or $30/week. Harbour Club offered a discount if you booked your bikes before arrival. we stopped at Monarch’s bike shop for some oil on a squeaky tire and it seems like I did see a bike tag-a-long buggy for a child to ride in. I know I saw those and the add on half bike that kids can ride and pedal (has one wheel and pedals and front attaches to parents bike).

The Sea Pines Trolley was in operation last week. We never rode it because we had the bikes. We did NOT see it often.

We do not own at Monarch but friends do and they’ve said it has a full kitchen. I understand the units are a bit smaller than other Marriott properties.
 

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Our first stay on HHI several years ago was Monarch. As I recall it is the original MVCI timeshare on HHI, (so it is the oldest). However, we understand there has been a renovation since we stayed there. Even pre-refurb, we really like Monarch. It is very quiet. We arrived at night and struggled to find the property entrance (there's dark and there's HHI Sea Pines Plantation dark). Sea Pines was very enjoyable. While people can walk/ride bikes in from the beach, Sea Pines is vehicle restricted unless you buy a pass at one of the staffed gated entrances. I don't recall seeing any tennis courts on the property, but we rode our bikes past some nearby. The units did have full kitchens. We brought our own bikes, but they were available to rent as well. Speaking of bikes, the resort did a Sea Pines Plantation scavenger hunt (using bicycles to get to all the places you had to take photos of). It was a lot of fun. There's a lot to do and see inside Sea Pines. We would definitely return to Monarch.
 

tschwa2

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I think most of the summer weeks are fixed but most of the other seasons float.
 

dioxide45

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Based on our one night stay back in December, I will try to answer what I can;
Hello Marriott owners,

Now that we're fully vaccinated, we decided to travel to HHI the end of May. I booked a floating week at Monarch with a Redweek owner for 5/29 to 6/5. I'm very familiar with HHI, and have stayed in private villas and GO before, but this will be the first time staying at the Monarch. We're exploring some options for retirement, and HHI is one area where we're considering buying 3-4 weeks back-to-back instead of renting from an owner.

Anyway, I have a few questions re the Monarch:

4) Should we bring beach chairs and umbrellas, or is it reasonable to rent these on-site as well?
They have complimentary beach chairs that you could check out, or at least they did when we were there. Nothing flashy. Just the folding kind that you can buy at any beach shop. You can see them in this video (link goes directly to 9:38 mark of the video where the chairs are) from my walking tour of Monarch on my YouTube channel.

6) Are there tennis courts, and do you have to pay for tennis court time?
I don't recall seeing any.

7) Do they have on site restaurants/bar? I know that the Sea Pines Beach Club is next door but curious as to whether I can get frozen drinks at the pool.
Not that I saw. They do have a deck area around the pool and they may have a bar there during the busier months, but I didn't really see where they would have a kitchen. You may see something in that walking tour video that I didn't.

9) Finally, do the units have stoves or just microwaves?
Full kitchens with stove and oven. Kitchens are pretty small though. I don't have a villa tour video up yet.

Thanks for the answers. I'm looking forward to checking out the Monarch.
Monarch really is certainly an underrated resort in the Marriott system. Great location in Sea Pines and the beach looked great. They just completed a big hot tub renovation project where they rebuild the hot tubs and the new one is HUGE. I would certainly go back, though my wife probably wouldn't.
 
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Dean

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One thing to know about Monarch, among a few others, is that the second BR has twin begs. Another is the the timeshare calendar is a week off from the standard calendar.
 

TheTimeTraveler

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LisaRex; Marriott Monarch "used" to have an owners group (website) where they would post informative things as well as Villas that for sale or for rent directly thru the owner. I am not sure if the owners are still keeping that website going, but if they are then that is another source for sales or rentals.

As you likely know, there are a lot of fixed week, fixed Villas there, and that can be a plus if you want a certain date each year without going thru the headache of making reservations each year (a crap shoot).



.
 

LisaRex

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Thanks for the info. We’ve been going to HHI for 32 years (it was our honeymoon locale) and have good knowledge of the area. We've stayed at Grande ocean, and liked it, though the ocean front villa wasn’t exactly ocean front, and it was outside of Sea Pines. It’ll be interesting to compare the 2.

TheTimeTraveler, I have been to that site but none of my rental inquiries panned out. They have a really nice feature that allows you to see the actual view from most units
 

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We just returned from a very pleasant week at Monarch. Refurbishment in neutral colors looks very pleasing to us. With fresh paint on the exterior and other improvements, Monarch looks clean and fresh. We reserved bikes from Monarch for the week at a 20% discount if reserved prior to arrival. This is the first time the bike discount has been offered. There are no tennis courts at Monarch. Sea Pines Tennis Club clay courts are available to reserve for a fee. When reserving multiple weeks consecutively, a combination of fixed and floating weeks may not always work. I thought I could use the fixed week as one week of a three week consecutive reservation and was allowed to do so some times and at other times I was told I could not. The fixed week was not having a bearing on my ability to reserve consecutive weeks in the Sporr season so we sold it.
 

Big Matt

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No bar. The one next door is literally 50 yards away via the beach or from the parking lot. Monarch is not like Grande Ocean in terms of amenities, activities, etc. Very small footprint, but not crowded. Units are nice, but most views are of the grounds. Good restaurant across the street at the golf club. Make sure you check in at the location outside of Sea Pines to avoid paying to enter.
 

Fasttr

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No bar. The one next door is literally 50 yards away via the beach or from the parking lot.
They even run happy hour specials for Monarch guests at the beach club bar next door.... at least during the off seasons.
 

deniseh

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We are staying at monarch right now. First time here and enjoying it very much. It is a small resort but easy to get to lobby, grills, beach. All very accessible. Villas are clean and updated. Balconies nice and our garden view on second floor actually had a glimpse of the ocean. Personnel are friendly and responsive. Definitely would come back.
 

l0410z

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I own two summer fixed weeks at the Monarch. I think only 15 out of 125 units are floating weeks. The rest are fixed. The pool of fixed weeks are small so I am not sure how difficult it is to book consecutive weeks. I own one Oceanfront and one Garden unit that is 3 units away from my Oceanfront unit with a great view of the ocean. Many of the units at the Monarch you can see the ocean. The reason I like fixed week is II know what view to expect. I get the same view every time I use it. As mentioned in a post above, the second bedroom has two twins . I have tried over my 25 years if ownership to get them to expand the room with no luck. Sometimes I need to sleep 8 so when I do I traded the Monarch into the GO. I am actually in the process of selling my garden view so purchase a unit at the GO because of the sleep 8 sometime need.

Here is the link to the Monarch Owners Website. It is kept current. Right now they have units for sale week 28, 29, ,33,34.35 As mentioned above also, the Monarch weeks are off one week from normal timeshares. Week 29 this year is 7/24-/-31. Week 32 is 8/14 to 8/21. Week 33 is 8/21 to 8/28 and the last of the summer weeks which is equivalent to platinum or highest valued weeks. There is a week 33 on the owners site but the guy is asking 20,000 and is way way way out of whack. The nice thing about the Monarch is that there is no ROFR. There is a week 34 on redweek for 2700.. It is 8/28 through 9/4.


This is also a Monarch FB group.

Good luck. If you want to chat, PM me and I will give you my tel number.
 
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m61376

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Should I put in a room request- any buildings better than others? My II trade code is MONO, which I believe is OF for what that’s worth
we plan on driving down from NY. I saw something about a certain way of getting in to avoid a Sea Pines surcharge or something? Any recommended routes?
Due to Covid, only interested in outdoor dining- any suggestions?
Appreciate all recommendations- due to Covid we have been super careful so very excited to get away, but still want to be careful.
Any suggestions for day trips, activities, etc.?
I‘d appreciate any and all tips
thanks!!
 

pedro47

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The first two Marriott's timeshare on Hilton Head Island were
Spicebusch and Swallowtail. They were not built by Marriott's. They were dropped by Marriott's Vacation Club because they were not up to Marriott's timeshare standards.
 

Dean

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The first two Marriott's timeshare on Hilton Head Island were
Spicebusch and Swallowtail. They were not built by Marriott's. They were dropped by Marriott's Vacation Club because they were not up to Marriott's timeshare standards.
Didn't Spicebush, Swallowtail, The Saturday Villas and Harbour Pointe come on board at the same time with Monarch in construction?
 

dioxide45

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The first two Marriott's timeshare on Hilton Head Island were
Spicebusch and Swallowtail. They were not built by Marriott's. They were dropped by Marriott's Vacation Club because they were not up to Marriott's timeshare standards.
Are you sure?
A History of Innovation
In 1984, Marriott became the first branded hospitality company by nearly a decade to enter the timeshare industry with the acquisition of American Resorts and its 184-villa project which became Marriott's Monarch at Sea Pines. With just 7,000 Owners at the end of its first year, the division lost no time making its mark on the fledgling timeshare industry.


 

pedro47

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Please look at an old Interval International Timeshare Resort book from about 1984 to about 2005 and both Spicebush and Swallowtail are listed as Marriott’s timeshare resorts on HHI.
 

Fasttr

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The first two Marriott's timeshare on Hilton Head Island were
Spicebusch and Swallowtail. They were not built by Marriott's. They were dropped by Marriott's Vacation Club because they were not up to Marriott's timeshare standards.
Are you sure?
A History of Innovation
In 1984, Marriott became the first branded hospitality company by nearly a decade to enter the timeshare industry with the acquisition of American Resorts and its 184-villa project which became Marriott's Monarch at Sea Pines. With just 7,000 Owners at the end of its first year, the division lost no time making its mark on the fledgling timeshare industry.


Here is a snippet from this 1998 linked article….sounds like all 3 came with the initial purchase by MVC.


Together Miller and McMullen learned the business. They established American Resorts, Inc., in 1978; developed resorts on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina; sold their company to Marriott Corporation in 1984; and began to build the first successful portfolio of timeshare resorts bearing the name of a mainstream hospitality brand. (McMullen left the Marriott organization at the end of 1990.) In 1997, Miller became president of Marriott Leisure, a division of Marriott Lodging, which in turn is the largest operating division of the parent company now called Marriott International, Inc.…..

…… Miller and McMullen fell in love with Hilton Head, and set to work. First they built six units as individual pre-fab homes. Their second project was Spicebush, a 24-unit resort on a 2.4-acre site, followed by Swallowtail, with 37 units on four acres, and then Monarch, with 122 units on 5.7 acres.

"We wanted to build upscale timesharing," Miller says. "The land we used for Monarch was very expensive for its time - over $ 1 million per acre."

McMullen found award-winning landscape architect Robert Marvin, of Waterburgh, South Carolina. His Monarch design won a national nursery award for the best-landscaped condominium of more than 100 units - an award presented by Nancy Reagan in the White House Rose Garden.

"Ed and I liked to practice management by walking around," Miller says. "One Saturday we went to the Monarch penthouse and found a carpenter sitting on some cabinetry with his baseball cap on backwards, chewing tobacco. He did not know who we were. We asked him how things were going. He responded, "I have no idea who is building this place, but they have more money than brains." I looked at Ed, and said, "I hope this guy isn't clairvoyant, or we're in trouble."

"Diana and I still own units in each of our early projects. I call them my nostalgia collection. We use them occasionally, but often we give them away. The market would only support one penthouse, and we sold every week in it. I should have bought one."

Marriott International, Inc.

In 1983, Marriott sent (Tony) Isaac, its new-business development director, to the spring meeting of the American Land Development Association. "Tony interviewed us about timesharing," says Miller. "Marriott decided timesharing was worth further investigation. In April of 1984, Marriott bought American Resorts, and the rest is history."
 
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dioxide45

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Interestingly, McMullen, who developed Monarch originally ended up creating Grande Resort Company which later became Hilton Grand Vacations. So much of the hotel branded timeshare industry in the United States goes back to just a few pioneers. McMullen of American Resorts and Raymond Gellein, Jr of Vistana. Gellein created joint ventures with Embassy, Hampton and Homewood. Oddly those are all now Hilton hotel brands, but I think the timeshare resorts went several different ways and I think Embassy later went on to become what is now Diamond which was also recently bought by Hilton. Of course, Vistana also was bought by Starwood to later become a renamed Vistana Signature Experiences.



 

dioxide45

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Here is a snippet from this 1998 linked article….sounds like all 3 came with the initial purchase by MVC.


Together Miller and McMullen learned the business. They established American Resorts, Inc., in 1978; developed resorts on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina; sold their company to Marriott Corporation in 1984; and began to build the first successful portfolio of timeshare resorts bearing the name of a mainstream hospitality brand. (McMullen left the Marriott organization at the end of 1990.) In 1997, Miller became president of Marriott Leisure, a division of Marriott Lodging, which in turn is the largest operating division of the parent company now called Marriott International, Inc.…..

…… Miller and McMullen fell in love with Hilton Head, and set to work. First they built six units as individual pre-fab homes. Their second project was Spicebush, a 24-unit resort on a 2.4-acre site, followed by Swallowtail, with 37 units on four acres, and then Monarch, with 122 units on 5.7 acres.

"We wanted to build upscale timesharing," Miller says. "The land we used for Monarch was very expensive for its time - over $ 1 million per acre."

McMullen found award-winning landscape architect Robert Marvin, of Waterburgh, South Carolina. His Monarch design won a national nursery award for the best-landscaped condominium of more than 100 units - an award presented by Nancy Reagan in the White House Rose Garden.

"Ed and I liked to practice management by walking around," Miller says. "One Saturday we went to the Monarch penthouse and found a carpenter sitting on some cabinetry with his baseball cap on backwards, chewing tobacco. He did not know who we were. We asked him how things were going. He responded, "I have no idea who is building this place, but they have more money than brains." I looked at Ed, and said, "I hope this guy isn't clairvoyant, or we're in trouble."

"Diana and I still own units in each of our early projects. I call them my nostalgia collection. We use them occasionally, but often we give them away. The market would only support one penthouse, and we sold every week in it. I should have bought one."

Marriott International, Inc.

In 1983, Marriott sent (Tony) Isaac, its new-business development director, to the spring meeting of the American Land Development Association. "Tony interviewed us about timesharing," says Miller. "Marriott decided timesharing was worth further investigation. In April of 1984, Marriott bought American Resorts, and the rest is history."
Yes, I don't think you quoted this part specifically;

Miller and McMullen fell in love with Hilton Head, and set to work. First they built six units as individual pre-fab homes. Their second project was Spicebush, a 24-unit resort on a 2.4-acre site, followed by Swallowtail, with 37 units on four acres, and then Monarch, with 122 units on 5.7 acres.
 

Big Matt

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I have a close friend whose brother was one of the original sales team at Monarch. He stayed on HH for many years before moving to sell with the Marriott Palm Dessert resorts. He is comfortably retired by now.

Hilton Head as we know it now owes a lot to timeshares. There are thousands of units just from Grande Ocean across to Shipyard around Coligny over to Pope Avenue Circle.
 
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pedro47

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Guess what back in the beginning there were no resell timeshares on The Island. You had to purchase from the developer.
 
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