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“Spring Break at Grande Ocean on Hilton Head - late March”

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Marriott's Grande Ocean
Ranked #5 of 28 Hotels in Hilton Head
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 April 2009

CONTEXT: Our family and friends stayed at Marriott's Grande Ocean during Spring Break in late March, 2009. We were a family of four, including two 14 year old boys (our youngest son and his friend). We have stayed at over 20 timeshare resorts over the years and own weeks at 3 Marriott resorts.

UNIT SIZE AND CONDITION: We stayed in a two bedroom unit in an Ocean Front building. The two center ones are closest to the ocean. We like these building the best as they are a short walk to the beach & pool complex and to the family pools by the other buildings. The view of the ocean, beach, and pools was great. The ocean view from Grande Ocean is the best on the island. The unit was very clean and met EVERY specification listed in the resort features description on the Marriott website. The full size washer and large capacity dryer in every unit is a big plus.

RESORT AS A WHOLE: We did NOT have any problems during the week with check-in, villa location, item problems, room charges, etc. The service was very good all week and the staff was always friendly and helpful – from maintenance to front desk to management. Our boys enjoyed the swimming pools, the three large outdoor ones and large indoor heated pool. There are less kids playing outside during Spring Break than the summer. The adults liked the lower noise level, but the boys wished there were more kids (this now includes girls) like when we come in June or July.

Marriott had several planned kids and adult activities during the week. We attended the free family ones and had a good time. We visited Pool Bar Jim’s by the south pool several times. Jim and his staff are the BEST bartenders we have ever met at any resort anywhere at anytime. Jim was featured by Bacardi a few years ago as a top 10 bartender. We are amazed that Jim can remember so much about us and our family even though we only see him one or twice a year and he sees thousands of people a year. You can charge your drinks, sodas, T-shirts, and hats to your villa account so you do NOT need cash.

WEATHER: Hilton Head weather was good most of the week. Day temperatures were in the low 70’s and 50’s at night. We had one rainy day and one windy day and a rain shower one day that lasted a few hours. Some folks went swimming in the ocean, but most people just enjoyed walking the beach. Kids stayed in the pools and hot tubs for the most part, with several riding bikes, playing tennis and golf, and doing Marriott (MVCI) activities. The resort’s tennis complex is right across the street and offers lessons.

HILTON HEAD AS A WHOLE: Spring break on Hilton Head was very relaxing and almost all the summer island activities are available. We enjoyed the less crowded conditions and easier parking – like at the Salty Dog complex at the south end of Sea Pines. Older teenagers and college kids may be grumpy as there are not beach beer parties on island or big dance bars like in Florida. We enjoyed the week even more because this was true. We welcomed the numerous spring flowers, quiet morning coffee on the balcony watching the sunrise, and easy access to golf, tennis, bicycling, restaurants, and shopping.

We did the usual HHI activities – an afternoon at Harbour Town in Sea Pines, dinners at Salty Dog in Sea Pines and Hudson’s Seafood on the Docks up in the NW corner of the island, golfing, riding bikes, and a dolphin cruise. All of these are family friendly and enjoyed by all ages. Dining and shopping are easier than in the summer as it less crowded and more relaxed. The Sage Room, off Pope Avenue, is a great restaurant for adults and has fantastic food.

RATING: We gave Grande Ocean a 5 star rating. Grande Ocean is great and the “down to the concrete” renovation came out fantastic. Grande Ocean now meets all the new MVCI standards – granite counter tops, wireless computer access, and all new furniture, drapes & wall coverings. A big plus is that Pool Bar Jim and new pool side grill are here. Parking is some times a struggle at Grande Ocean, especially in the summer. We had to park outside the under-building parking area once due to the high occupancy rate.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled with family
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6  Thank john_olson_aqrj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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791 - 797 of 857 reviews

Reviewed 6 April 2009

Our family of four ( 2 adults, 2 children (11, 10), stayed in the Sand Dollar building from March 14 to 21st 2009. Our 2BR unit was on the second floor so we did not have "ocean view". However, all units are so close to the beach, you can be down there within a minutes walk.

The only heated outdoor pool was on the North side. We liked the south side because there were fewer trees (more palms than oak), so we got alot more sun. (makes a big difference this time of year when temps are in the 60's).

This is a beautiful resort and we got a getaway deal through II. It is very centrally located in the Forest Beach area, close to restaurants, shops and other necessities.
The resort has tennis courts across the road and provides bike rentals ($25/week).
We loved biking on the beach, watching for dolphins along the shore.

Dinners on HHI can be pretty expensive so we tried to watch for early bird specials. We also visited the BiLo grocery store several times to stock up our kitchen (get the BiLo guest membership card for discounts). The resort has brand new barbeque areas, and a well stocked kitchen.

The only thing that we had difficulties with was the hot tub outside our unit. The water temperature was not warm enough. (Ironically, the hot tub on the North side was scorching hot!) I also thought it would be nice to have a towel refresh part way through the week. The unit had a full size he washer and dryer, so was easy to wash towels and keep up on your other laundry.

The unit is large, and the layout allowed privacy to the 2 sleeping areas. It was very nicely furnished. There were renovations being done in the unit below us but we never experienced any issues with excessive noise.

There is so much to do on HHI. We went kayaking, biking, played tennis, went on a dolphin excursion, attended a St. Patrick's Day parade, and went outlet shopping. I would recommend the Marriott Grand Ocean as the ideal base for exploring HHI.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled with family
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5  Thank Kayjay93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2009

We stayed here at the end of March and early April. We are Marriott owners at another location and just needed to get away from the Northern weather. We booked a Sunday to Sunday week and got there about 2pm. The room was ready and the reception staff was eager to help. Once we checked in, we immediately went to our room. The villa was perfect! We had a very clean, well decorated, and ready for us. We had a room that overlooked the ocean which was perfect. About 30 minutes after we checked in and unpacked, housekeeping was there to ask if we needed anything else. We had some sunny, cool days, followed by cloudy days with rain at nights, and then torrential rain on our Thursday. I sat on our balcony watching the rain while reading a book and thought that this is still better than the snow up north. On Friday, there was not a cloud in the sky and we took our baby to the heated pool and played in the warmth and sun. Everything about this place was wonderful. The staff was helpful in every way, very well maintained, and very clean. I will book this again!

A recommendation to all, as many others have suggested in the past. Go tour Hilton Head in the day to find out where things are. If you go for the first time at night to find a place to eat, good luck. Everything that you could possibly want is there, but you will never find anything because they are tucked away behind all the natural settings without any signs. This is absolutely a perfect place to go and relax!

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled with family
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4  Thank banders9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 March 2009

Four of us recently spent a week at the Marriott Grande Ocean for the first time. The unit was decorated beautifully and very spacious. Plenty of room for four adults. The grounds appear to be very well kept, with a few ongoing maintenance projects. I felt bad for the grounds staff because the very large swimming pools are constantly being filled with leaves from the live oaks. Maybe that just happens this time of year. The beach is right there in front of the complex, and it is magnificent. Perfect, floury sand that is well-packed enough for bike riding. The beach is very wide, particularly at low tide. In the month of March it got pretty breezy, though. Still, you can lay outside near the pools because the buildings tend to break the breezes. Scope out HH early on if you're not familiar with the place. As others have said, there are plenty of amenities on the island, but it's zoned so strictly it can be hard to locate businesses in the landscape and trees. There's a Piggly Wiggly very nearby at Coligny - but- MUCH nicer supermarkets a little further out. There's a much nicer Piggly Wiggly and a Publix a bit further out on Business 278, which are good places to stock up for the week. HH was made for bicycling, and it is blissfully flat, so even if you're not the athletic type, go ahead and rent a bike for a day or two. The Old Oyster Factory has very good food and is located in a lovely setting. HH is a fine location for day trips to Savannah, which is an absolute must to visit. Charleston and the plantation gardens are also "musts" in the area, but be advised it is a long drive for day trips. Route 17 can be pretty slow-going, especially where active construction is four-laning it. We ended up leaving the Grande Ocean early on our day of departure and spent the day in Charleston, heading homet from there.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled with friends
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5  Thank Travelin_Bear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 March 2009

Stayed in the Sand Dollar villas. At the back of the complex but there is no need to be right on the beach. It is easy access, the room was beautiful, clean, more than enough room for 2 couples. It is equipped very modern. I would bring less clothes, not have to check baggage, and just do laundry in the villa. Kitchen is modern and has everything you need. It was a delight to stay here. Parking was free and right next to elevator. Took the trolley tour first thing to get acquainted with the island. Everything is kind of hard to find, but once you get used to it, you know where things are. Things are priced pretty much the same throughout the island. Trip to Charleston was long and kind of boring. Savannah was an easy 50 minute drive. CrossIsland Parkway saves time getting to the hotel and is 1.25 one way. Worth it. They have a Sam's club if you have a family to stock frig for. Piggly Wiggly is at Covigny Plaza right by the hotel. Has pretty much all you need.
Only traveled with my partner so couldn't say what it is like for kids. For adults, it's great.

Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
6  Thank lr0che
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 February 2009

My wife and I traded our week in Branson, MO at the Marriott Horizon to stay at the Grand Ocean. I have yet to have a bad experience when staying at a Marriot Property. I was bit apprehensive when making my selection because Marriott has so many choices on HHI. I sometimes think the pictures online are not so great. Well, my wife and I were extremely pleased with our decision ( really mine, I'm the one that lines up our vacations ) We checked in the day after Thanksgiving 2008. From check- in to check-out we we're treated very well. The front desk staff did an excellent job expeditiously checking everyone in. We have nothing but good things to say about Frederick the concierge. He was first-rate and was on top of making sure our stay was a most pleasurable one. He took care of our golf reservations as well as giving us many choices to choose from on what to do. Our 2 room villa was located on the 3rd floor of the Starfish building. Everything about our accomadations exceeded our expectations. The thing that my wife and I totally loved was the ocean view from the room. The MGO had more amenities than we needed.
Our only complaint was the rudeness of some guests when it came to parking their vehicles. People were parking Tahoes in Compact parking spots and people were even parking cars in the walking area to the elevators making it difficult to get the luggage carts through. One or two nights we had to park in another building underbuilding parking lot because theStarfish's parking lot. This was the only real negative of a most relaxing and restful vacation choice.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank SEVMEISTER
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 December 2008

We exchanged thru II and stayed here for the week of Christmas. Love this place! We had a nice room which oversee the swimming pool, hot spa and ocean view. Nice and quiet at this time of the year. Even though the outdoor swimming pool was too cold to swim but my children managed to dip in for few second and ran to the hot spa for a warm up. Walking or biking on the beach was very relaxing when the temperature reaches 60s. Fitness center has good equipment and was not too crowded. We also did kayaking for couple hours during noon time which I would recommand to do if you have older children.

Overall we like this place and might comeback again in spring or fall. But do not expect too much of the welcome breakfast whcih they did not have enough food for everyone who showed up.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled with family
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4  Thank chicago888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Marriott's Grande Ocean

Address: 51 S Forest Beach Dr, Hilton Head, SC 29928-6220
Phone Number:
Region: United States > South Carolina > Coastal South Carolina > Hilton Head
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Hilton Head
Price Range: C$325 - C$941 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Marriott's Grande Ocean 3.5*
Number of rooms: 290
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Also Known As:
Marriott`s Grande Ocean Hotel Hilton Head
Marriotts Hilton Head
Marriotts Hotel Grande Ocean
Marriott Hilton Head

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