Earlier this year we took a long weekend trip to Hilton Head Island. It was a chance for us to explore the area and a way for us to use some of our timeshare points with Disney Vacation Club (DVC).
The Hilton Head Island resort is one of three DVC properties not located near a Disney themepark. The other two are at Vero Beach and Aulani in Ko Olina, Hawaii.
We’d stayed at the other two resorts but until now our only stop in Hilton Head was for a single night on the way home from Tennessee.
February isn’t the ideal time to visit Hilton Head Island since most of the activities are outside and many places are closed for the winter. Since our trip was still during the worse part of the COVID pandemic, we planned to stick close to our villa and cook our meals at home. We adventured out a bit to the grocery store and the beach and got a better idea if we’d like to visit again when everything’s open and more back to normal.
Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort
22 Harbourside Lane
Hilton Head, SC
The Hilton Head Island Resort is located in the Shelter Cove development. It’s located on the inside of the island, with views of Shelter Cove Harbor.
We arrived at the resort in the mid-afternoon, just around the 4PM check-in time. Due to COVID precautions, only one person from each party was allowed in the lobby during check-in. The friendly cast member gave me a choice of three different buildings for our two-bedroom villa. I asked for a ground floor and we picked out a room in building 24, which had a nice view of the marsh and was close to the pool area, BBQ grill, and store.
Note that even the first floor rooms require you to walk up some stairs. The room was also quite a walk from the parking spaces. DVC does provide large rolling carts for you to bring items to your room(well, as far as the stairs to your room) from the car.
Hilton Head Resort was one of the earlier DVC properties and the rooms are bigger than what you’d get at one of the newer resorts.
Upon walking in, the living area was straight ahead, while the two bedrooms were located to the left and right.
The main room consisted of a sitting area and kitchen with an eat-in area. The two chairs are actually a sleeper sofa and chair, so the room can supposedly house up to 9 people.
Since that’s the only table in the villa, if you’re eating in your room you’ll have to do it in shifts or have part of the party sit on the couch or use the table outside on the deck.
If you did choose to eat outside, you have a nice view of the marsh and harbor.
The master bedroom had a king-size bed and its own entrance to the deck. The master bath had a large whirlpool tub, closet and sink, and a separate room with a toilet, sink and a somewhat small shower stall. The toilet room also had its own entrance from the living area and is the main bathroom for the unit.
The second bedroom has two queen size beds and its own private bathroom.
The unit also has its own full-sized washer and dryer.
We needed this to wash our bathing suits after spending some time relaxing in the large hot tub at the pool area, which was only a short walk from our front door.
The one possible downside of the unit was its proximity to the playground. Some children were using it one day of our stay but we never heard when we were inside.
At the resort, you can go swimming in the pool, rent bikes or fish. Disney also hosts some activities during the day. They had a trivia contest one day while we were at the pool. Somewhat surprising is that there’s no sit-down restaurant. The only food is from a walk-up window located near the pool and gift shop. However there’s no shortage of restaurants in the area within walking distance or a short drive away.
If you’re looking to get to the beach, Disney has that covered. Across the street from the resort on the Atlantic Ocean is Disney’s Beach House.
While the resort is nestled amongst large trees and the harbor, this is where you can get your beach fix. The beach is open for the public to visit, but the Beach House is open to DVC guests only.
There’s another decent-sized heated pool.
There’s also a dining spot called Signals that serves food and picnic lunches you can bring to the beach. It was closed for the season during our stay because not many people want to hang out by the ocean when it’s windy, overcast and a bit chilly.
Speaking of the beach, you have an entry right from the Beach House.
We seemingly had the entire coastline to ourselves.
After a stroll down the beach and back, we headed back to our car. Just make sure that you bring your room key with you as you’ll need it to get back into the Beach House.
We’ve been owners of Disney Vacation Club for close to 30 years and until now, we never visited Hilton Head Island. If it wasn’t “thanks” to COVID, we probably still would have never stayed there. Like staying in Airbnb cabins in the mountains, we all needed to adapt if we still wanted to travel.
Will we head back to Hilton Head again? Maybe. I’d be interested in seeing it when the weather’s a bit nicer and we can spend time sitting by the pool or the beach. It will also be nice to see it when the restaurants and bars are open and you can go and have a good time.
One thing I did enjoy was walking out on the pier and watching the sunset. That is almost worth a return trip by itself.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary