Located in Shipyard Plantation on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Sonesta Resort Hilton Head has it all. During my recent stay,  the time and weather prevented me from enjoying all the Sonesta has to offer, but I was able to get a feel for what this place must be like in the summer season.

If planning describes me, then spontaneity describes my husband. Since becoming a Disney family, he's coming around to my way of thinking, but he still likes to come home from work, pack up the car, and head out without much plan from time to time. Several months ago, we booked a great deal in Hilton Head Island through TravelZoo for my birthday weekend. Our plans were to leave on Thursday morning, however, keeping with his desire to add spontaneity to our plans, my husband decided we would leave on Wednesday evening instead. Though we would arrive late that night, it would mean having four full days to enjoy at the beach. Who can argue with that logic? However, the hotel rates were not favorable for a last minute room during the start of spring break season.


Using Priceline.com, we were able to get an Express Deal at the Sonesta Resort Hilton Head. I was excited to get the opportunity to stay here as we generally stay in either Palmetto Dunes or the Port Royal area of Hilton Head.

 

We arrived late, or was it early?  Either way, we were tired after driving close to seven hours.

I was immediately impressed with the appearance, decor, and cleanliness of the lobby. There was a rather "happy" crowd outside by the bar so we waited a bit before being greeted. We asked if any upgrades were available because we live by the motto, “It never hurts to ask."

The front desk attendant said their computer system was down and she couldn't check. She was pleasant and friendly. I was pleased with the experience except for waiting about five minutes before being greeted, but since she was alone, I thought nothing of it. She gave us our keys and we headed to the room.

ROOM:

I initially thought the room was well kept and clean. However, shortly after arriving and inspecting the bedding we found that there were several large hairs on both the pillows as well as the bed sheets. This was not acceptable so we called to ask if we could be moved.  She offered to send up clean sheets, but as it was late and we were tired, we preferred another room.

She was pleasant and obliged us. We were moved to an Ocean view King room. However, the resort sits back quite a distance from the ocean so an ocean front room has a limited view of the beach.

This room was clean and spacious and the beds were comfortable. Our first room was a double queen room, but I was pleased that the new room was a king with a sofa bed which gave us somewhere to sit besides the bed. This is always an added benefit.

The next morning I awoke before my husband and slipped out to take some sunrise photos and get the most necessary beverage of the day: MY COFFEE!

Everyone I spoke with was friendly and courteous. The coffee bar attendants were very friendly, and the breakfast hostess was more than happy to let me take some pictures of the breakfast buffet. I was able to speak to Donna in management and secure some breakfast vouchers to review the restaurant. Remember our "Never hurts to ask, motto?" She was very helpful and gave me several excellent recommendations for other restaurants on the island.

EATS:

We enjoyed our made to order omelets at Heywards. The buffet also offers a waffle station and a hot bar.  The cold bar offers cereals, yogurt, and fruit. There was also a pastry station with those so very tempting cheese danishes that I love love love!

Everything tasted great. We had a wonderful breakfast at Heywards. Thanks again, Donna! If you prefer, they also serves a la carte for breakfast.

 

Bailey’s Bar and Terrace serves a coffee bar and grab and go continental breakfast in the morning.  In the evening Bailey's is a lounge and bar serving a Happy Hour between 5:00-7:00 pm Monday through Friday.

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Outside the lobby overlooking the pool is the Seacrest Terrace and Patio offering cocktails, and Lowcountry food.

“Sweet Cane is the poolside place to be featuring refreshing beverages and casual dining. It provides a relaxed atmosphere with efficient, professional service. Guests can enjoy an a la carte lunch, daily happy hour promotions, and weekly entertainment.”

FACILITIES:

After taking some pictures of the breakfast buffet despite being a very breezy and cool morning, I decided to tour the outdoor grounds.

I thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful landscaping.
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And the wildlife...

Making your way around the pool area and out to the beach, you will see the activity center offering bike rentals and the Just Us Kids program.

Just Us Kids is a supervised kids club designed to be fun, entertaining and a learning experience. Our various programs often include game time, beach adventures, swimming and arts and crafts. Ages 3-5 years are welcome in one of our half day sessions (either AM or PM). Children 6-12 years may join us for a full day or choose a half-day program. Lunch and/or snack are provided accordingly.”

Winding past the path that heads to the beach, the resort is flanked by two large buildings.

On the left is Shipyard Plantation Beach Club, a community center used by the owners in Shipyard Plantation, for events and other social gatherings and on the right is the wedding and event building belonging to the Sonesta.

snowshack

Sonesta also offers a little snow cone and snack shed opened seasonally.

Finally, you come to the main attraction, THE BEACH, and if you have gotten up early enough you are rewarded with this view.

I found the Sonesta to be a great resort. Unfortunately, having a dirty room to begin with resulted in a lower score on my scoring system,  but they accommodated us accordingly. The staff friendliness and grounds were wonderful, and I imagine if I had been staying here on a nice hot summer day, my opportunity for relaxation and a truly fabulous beach day would be limitless. Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island has everything you need from food and beverage, to beach activities for your kids, to swimming and sunbathing, all on well manicured and beautiful grounds. I would definitely stay here again.  
Amanda@VeraVise.com
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