Review of Home2 Suites in Hilton Head Island, SC: Our pros and cons of this wonderfully modern and well designed hotel!

 

Coligny Beach Park, Hilton Head Island, SC

The last time my wife and I visited Hilton Head Island was way back in 2003, on our way down to Florida, for a one night stay.  We had just spent 2 nights in Myrtle Beach (SC) prior to our trip to Hilton Head Island, and we wanted to at least see the place, so we made a reservation to stay the night.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get to do much or see the island that trip, as we were looking forward to going to Savannah (GA) early next morning.  Big cities, like Savannah for us back then, had a much bigger attraction for us as a potential travel destination.  

This was prior to us getting our Pomeranian Toby, who seriously got us into hiking and all things parks (national/state/local/community).  But back then, we were just interested in hanging out in a big city, spending couple of nights eating, drinking, and shopping, just like all people do at that consumption-centric age.  

Long story short, we arrived at Hilton Head Island on our first trip around 5 p.m. or so, checked into our hotel, then went outside looking for a place to eat.  This was before the whole GPS/Google Maps was around, so finding a place like a restaurant, was no easy task, unless it was located right near the hotel.

Our hotel had nothing close by, so we settled on a trustworthy Subway, a place we knew well thanks to our cross country trip just few months back.  We ate at so many Subway restaurants during that 3 week trip that it felt like a staple, our go-to-meal when traveling.  

We headed back to the hotel after eating then settled in for the night.  We honestly didn’t get to see much of the island that trip, except the hotel and that Subway…

Despite that quick jaunt to Hilton Head Island, we got the impression that the place was definitely more upscale, cleaner, and more laid back compared to Myrtle Beach.  We didn’t see the gaudy, neon lights flashing stores selling souvenirs which is ubiquitous in Myrtle Beach nor did we see the busy main streets full of high rise condos.  Place felt much more appealing and more inviting and we promised ourselves that we would be back to really spend some time there.

That opportunity came in December of 2023.  We were mapping out our trip to the Southeast, the Deep South, and the South Central that would end up taking 8 weeks to complete.  On top of the list was Hilton Head Island which made perfect sense as our first destination as it is located conveniently along the I-95 corridor, one of the most traveled highways in the United States.

We stayed near Myrtle Beach area to stay with our friends for 3 nights right around Christmas, having good conversations and good company.  We ate at couple of good restaurants (our treat for letting us stay with them) including the Flying Fish and Coppers Restaurant, enjoying some fresh seafood.

We got to tour the charming downtown of Conway (SC), filled with cute stores, unique restaurants, all decked out in Christmas decorations.  We even got to revisit one of our favorite places in Myrtle Beach area, Conway Riverwalk, a place we had previously visited with our Pomeranian Toby, to walk off our hearty lunch of fish sandwiches.


Downtown Conway, SC

Conway Riverwalk, again!

Flying Fish, Myrtle Beach 

View from inside Flying Fish

Nice walk along the beach, Myrtle Beach to walk off the meal!

After saying goodbye to our friends on the morning of December 21, we took off towards Hilton Head Island which would be our first stop, of what would be an 8 week long road trip.  At just over 200 miles, the drive would take little over 4 hours from Myrtle Beach area.

With all the time on our hands, unlike the previous winter when we traveled vast distances on any given day, we reveled at the thought of driving much less!  Frankly, as much fun as driving is, it can wear out even the hardiest road warriors and even someone like myself who is a naturally wandering person, when driving 10+ hours a day…For this road trip, driving would be much shorter as we would be making frequent stops along the way.  

We arrived at Hilton Head Island around 3 o’clock in the afternoon, and we were truly impressed by all the high-end car brands like Rolls Royces, Porsches, Ferraris we encountered along the main thoroughfare, Route 278 (William Hilton Parkway) going into town.  

The whole area seemed to be different but better compared to 20 years ago.  Besides the beautiful high-end vehicles, the road into town was absolutely meticulous and well maintained.  There were so many more buildings (residential and commercial) that we honestly thought the place looked nothing like what it looked like 20 years ago. 

One of the unique things about Hilton Head Island that we noticed is that many retail establishments and restaurants look a certain way, conforming to the norms of the island.  Many of the buildings have a stucco look about them with heavy usage of rich beige/earthy colors.  On top of that, stores themselves are well hidden by canopy of trees that surround the stores.  All in all, it’s a charming look.  

The look reminded us of any number of Southwestern cities with their beautiful Spanish stucco-style architecture and we really liked the look.  Even well known retail stores like Walmart, Harris Teeter, and Lowe’s have to hide their usual look to conform to this norm.  

We stopped over at Harris Teeter supermarkets to pick up some groceries for our 5 night stay and some tasty treats like cheese & crackers, chips, fruits.  We also picked up delicious sandwiches made at their deli counter to be eaten at the hotel.  *Tip: we highly recommend picking up food at supermarkets as they are much cheaper than eating at restaurants in town.  Did I mention it is an upscale resort town?

After finishing our shopping for food stuffs and feeling great that we now have food to eat, we took off towards our hotel, the excellent Home2 Suites in Hilton Head Island.  We had never heard of this hotel chain, but as we arrived at the parking lot, we knew we made the right decision to pick this one after cancelling a Sleep Inn hotel near Savannah.  

The reviews for the cancelled Sleep Inn I had originally reserved was atrocious.  The more reviews I read, the worse it got!  I’m glad I cancelled it, but importantly, I’m glad I chose this particular Home2 Suites.

Home2 Suites brand by Hilton is relatively new as it opened its first hotel in 2009.  Thanks to its immense popularity, it is one of the fastest growing hotel chains in the country, with over 400 hotels (and growing) just in the USA alone, with few in Canada.  Researching for this hotel, we were impressed with its room layout, free hot breakfast, gym, and laundry.  

Maybe because it was so near Christmas (December 21), the parking lot for the hotel was about 2/3 packed, as many people were traveling.  We found a spot, then walked inside to our hotel.  Because I had downloaded the Hilton app prior to checking in, we chose our own room.

By checking in myself, I’m able to bypass the front desk to check in, thanks to the availability of a digital key that opens the room, any of the entrance doors (after 10 p.m.), gym/laundry room.  My newly acquired status as a Gold Member with Hilton also allows free water and snacks (or I can take rewards points instead), so I took full advantage of it!

I asked the front desk staff for these items and was promptly given two bottles of water and a small snack, which was a nice touch.  *I just had to verify my name to confirm I was a guest there.

We took the elevator upstairs (very important: hotel has 2 elevators, where most hotels at this price point have only 1!), then opened the door to our room.  We were pleasantly surprised, impressed, and delighted with the room!  

The room looked brand spanking new, with a usable kitchen (full sized refrigerator, microwave, coffeemaker, dishwasher) and it was huge!  For anyone interested in cooking their own meals, just ask the front desk for a portable electric stove, provided to guests at no charge.  

There was a queen bed, a sofa/sofabed, plenty of counter space, a movable dining table, and storage. It was one of the best hotel room setups we’ve seen anywhere.  For a moderately priced hotel, it was just about perfect (we paid $95 with taxes per night).  

Modern shower!

Queen bed, large window, and plenty of storage!

Very comfortable loveseat that is also a convertible sofabed

TV, plenty of storage space, and bright lighting 

Awesome kitchen!

We were so happy with the hotel!  We unpacked, changed into something more comfortable, then gulped down our sandwiches while watching some local television stations.  It was, in a word, heavenly!  I absolutely live for these moments.  The simple joys of eating something delicious, while relaxing in a nice hotel room with your loved one.  It doesn’t get better than that…

After our hearty and delicious dinner, we slowly settled in to our new “home” for the next 5 nights, wondering what memories we would make.  Here are our pros and cons of this great hotel:

Pros

  • Great location
The hotel is located right along the main thoroughfare (William Hilton Parkway or Business 278), surrounded by restaurants, attractions, and retailers.  Coligny Beach Park, one of our favorite places in Hilton Head Island, is just over 3 miles away from the hotel.

To go grocery shopping, there are so many supermarkets nearby, including the Harris Teeter we stopped at.  Granted the entire island of Hilton Head is only about 3 times the size of Manhattan at around 69 square miles, but the hotel’s location is certainly hard to beat.

The hotel’s location was also not bad for exploring the nearby city of Savannah (GA).  We drove about an hour to get there, which is not too bad for us.  We know we couldn’t get a decent hotel within the city limits that provide free parking and free breakfast for anything under $100 per night around the time we booked ours.  

In the end, staying at Hilton Head Island worked out perfectly for us.  Sometimes, knowing you’re at the same hotel for several days, tends to settle us down.  There was no need to constantly be on the move every night or every other night like we did the previous road trip to the West Coast.  This trip, we were going to take it easy and do a more leisurely trip.  Nice!
  • The hotel breakfast staff
We met Sherry, one of the absolute bright spots at the hotel.  She helps set up/manage breakfasts and she does a great job.  She is also very friendly and helpful.  We chatted up some nice conversations on various topics and she’s a keeper!

Every hotel should have someone like her, who not only cares about her job, but someone who is also nice to talk to.  How refreshing is that these days to run into a services industry employee like Sherry?  Wow, so refreshing…
  • The breakfast!
This was our first experience with Home2 Suites and we were impressed.  Breakfast has a rotating menu of main dishes from scrambled eggs, ciabatta breakfast sandwiches, bagel sandwiches, egg omelets.  We always looked forward to breakfast every morning.

Besides the main entrees, there are others like: make your own waffles, fruits, fruit juices, cereal, coffee.  We stuffed ourselves every morning, always wondering what to eat and how much to eat that morning.  Compared to many hotel breakfasts we had the previous winter at places like the Sleep Inn or the Quality Inn, the taste and the quality was a clear step above.  

The cavernous hotel lobby also made for an enjoyable eating experience thanks to it doubling as a dining area in the morning (or lounge area at other times of the day) providing plenty of seating options.  We usually liked to sit near the large floor-to-ceiling windows or by the television to catch up on news.  Nice setup!
  • Spacious hotel room
As mentioned before, the room is very spacious with plenty of space for everyone.  Usually at a typical hotel, there is little room left over for lounge space, but at Home2 Suites, this was not the case.

We had a very defined and separated areas for sleeping, cooking (although we didn’t cook there), and for lounging.  We never got in each other’s way, as there was always plenty of room inside the hotel room.  

Storage options were plentiful as well.  We were able to put away most of our groceries easily inside the refrigerator or the cabinets.  Who couldn’t use extra space to put away things?  We certainly used the space very well, able to hide all the groceries as well as our luggage.  We couldn’t say the same for most hotels…
  • Modern, up to date furnishings, appliances, bathroom, and bright light fixtures 
We really like modern furniture and we like it even more if there are plenty of storage options.  Everything looked brand new (furniture, kitchen appliances, utensils, cups, dishes, etc.) and we even liked how bright the room was with lights providing enough brightness for evenings.  

Don’t we all hate hotels that uses stingy and way too dark light fixtures that do not brighten up the room?  At Holiday Inn Express, Springdale (UT) for example, the room only had 3 light fixtures and it was dark at night even with all 3 being fully lit up.  

Home2 Suites was bright when we needed it to, and it made our stay that much more enjoyable.

Bathroom was very modern with those fancy and bright LED lights providing much needed lighting for the bathroom.  We also loved the modern shower that are more ubiquitous in newer or recently renovated hotels.  


  • Great value
Compared to what we would’ve paid for a Sleep Inn at $75 per night, we paid just $20 more per night for Home2 Suites.  We’re so glad we changed the hotel, as it was well worth the $20 difference in so many ways.

We got a modern, clean, brand new hotel room with space to roam around in.  Did I mention the excellent breakfast and its great location in the heart of the island?  There are just so many amazing qualities about this hotel that we consider the $20 difference a non-factor.

My wife really liked the hotel and that is an important factor when rating any hotel!  You know what they say, “Happy wife, happy life.”

Cons
  • Just one:  not so friendly front desk staff
This seems to be prevalent at most hotels we’ve visited during the past few years, noticeable since the pandemic.  I don’t know what it is, but we rarely get a welcome or a greeting at most hotels these days, especially the front desk staff.

Home2 Suites was no exception.  I know I checked in using the Hilton App, but when someone walks up to the front desk, shouldn’t the staff at least acknowledge or greet me?  Is that so hard?  

No one acknowledged me, nor greeted me for several seconds.  To get my free waters and snacks, I had to ask the front desk staff first.   I don’t expect much, but a simple greeting would go a long way to making customers feel welcomed.

That is the only complaint I have about this hotel.  I really hope this changes for the better…

In conclusion:

Not knowing what to expect when reserving this hotel, we were pretty much blown away by how good the hotel was.  From clean parking area, spacious hotel rooms, breakfast staff, to excellent breakfast, Home2 Suites at Hilton Head Island is an excellent choice for discerning customers who enjoy clean, modern rooms with plenty of amenities like gym, laundry room but also with eyes on excellent value.

It is a hotel we enjoyed very much during our 5 night stay, so much so that we intend to visit there again in our future travels.  Happy trails and keep up with us as we embark on another road trip, this time to the great American South, Central South, and Deep South.

Thank you for reading!


Jake

Wandering Money Pig 





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