Hilton Head Island South Carolina is a premier vacation spot with a beautiful coastline, world-class golf and tennis, and enough shops and restaurants to keep anyone busy. Hilton Head is blessed with Southern charm and a comfortable and relaxed Lowcountry feel.
One of the most important parts of any vacation is selecting the perfect accommodations. I know I am looking for a place with a great location and lots of amenities. So where should I stay in Hilton Head? I should stay in a resort that offers the complete Hilton Head experience.
I started comparing resorts on Hilton Head to get a feel for what each one offers. The resorts are scattered through different parts of the island. Most offer easy access to golfing and tennis, have spas and fitness facilities, and some dining on their properties. Even though Hilton Head has 12 miles of the sandy beach though, not all of the island’s resorts are located at the water.
Resorts at Hilton Head Island
The Sonesta Resort at Hilton Head Island is an oceanfront property in the Shipyard neighborhood. It features a sugar sand stretch of beach, a spa, and multiple restaurants. In addition to a zero-entry swimming pool, the Sonesta has a heated shade pool and hot tub. It also has pet-friendly rooms on the ground floor. The Sonesta is just steps away from golf, tennis, and bike-riding paths. There is a complimentary shuttle service around Shipyard and free trolley service to the shops and restaurants at Hilton Head’s Coligny Plaza. AAA has awarded the Sonesta with Four Diamonds.
The Omni Hilton Head Resort is an all-suites property that is on the ocean. There are three swimming pools on-site, including one adults-only pool and a splash pool. There are also two beachside hot tubs. There are three nearby golf courses and access to a tennis and pickleball center. There is a fitness center at the resort but the staff will also deliver an in-room workout fitness kit for guests who want more privacy. There is a spa on-site and daily activities for families. There are also pet-friendly rooms at the Omni. It is located in the Palmetto Dunes community on the island.
The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort and Spa is oceanfront in the Port Royal Plantation neighborhood on the island. This resort has a special focus on wellness through its spa and fitness facility. The Westin has 2000-square feet of workout space that includes three Peloton workout bikes in addition to treadmills, weight machines and free weights. There are three outdoor pools at this resort and multiple restaurants on-site. One restaurant offers unobstructed ocean views.
The Marriott Hilton Head Resort and Spa is directly on the beach and claims to have more oceanfront rooms than any other resort on the island. Every room has its own private balcony. There are indoor and outdoor pools here as well as three golf courses and tennis courts. There is a full-service spa that offers everything from facials to a couple’s massage. The fitness facility is stocked with treadmills, ellipticals, weight machines and free weights. Amenities also include a signature restaurant, several seasonal cafes and a coffee shop.
The Inn & Club at Harbour Town is located in the gated Sea Pines community of Hilton Head Island. The pool here overlooks the greens at Harbour Town Links and guests have access to the 26,000 square feet Harbour Town Clubhouse. This inn is not on the water but offers transportation for guests to Sea Pines Beach Club and use of its complementary beach chairs, towels and umbrellas.
Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort was designed with families in mind. The Big Dipper heated swimming pool has a water tower slide and the staff offers up family activities each day like sing-alongs and campfires. There is plenty of golfing and tennis here for grown-ups alongside table tennis and pool for the whole family. Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort is 1.3 miles away from the beach. Guests can get there by shuttle, bicycle or by driving and parking in the limited number of spaces. There is a separate building called The Beach Club at the water’s edge with showers, changing areas, restrooms and a lounge.
Are Hilton Head Resorts More Expensive than Hotels?
Room prices at resorts can be pricier than rooms at standard hotels. Often the rooms at a resort are larger and may be configured as suites. Resorts are more likely to offer features like in-room refrigerators. And the price of a resort includes the amenities on the property from pools to beach access to activities.
Cost-conscious travelers can save on the cost of a resort by exploring the packages offered by individual resorts. Sometimes the packages include buying a certain number of nights and getting more nights free. Some resorts offer discounts to members of different groups like AAA. The reservations calendar on a resort website will also show lesser expensive nights to book.
Sometimes online travel booking sites will have availabilities for room at resorts. They are often priced less than booking directly with the property, but they may include restrictions and strict cancellation policies.
Are There Any Budget-Friendly Places to Stay on Hilton Head?
If the cost of a Hilton Head resort is more than you want to spend on a vacation, there are some more budget-friendly options on the island. Hilton Head has a Red Roof Inn, a Best Western, a Days Inn, a Hampton Inn and a Holiday Inn Express. The Sea Pines community has assorted rental options at different prices and costs vary widely for an airbnb hilton head.
Is It Less Expensive to Stay Off of Hilton Head?
The town of Bluffton, South Carolina is about 7 miles away from Hilton Head on the other side of the bridge. There are chain hotels like Holiday Inn Express, Comfort Suites and Hampton Inn and Suites in Bluffton. Some of these chains also include a free breakfast and they all have outdoor pools. The nightly rate for hotels in Bluffton is usually less than for hotels on Hilton Head Island. The trade-off is driving back over the bridge to get to Hilton Head and accessing the beach from one of the public access points.