For my 30th birthday in August, Nathan surprised me with a trip to Hilton Head Island. Well, let me take that back. He tried to surprise me, but accidentally gave away the secret about 2 weeks prior to us leaving (he can NOT for the life of himself keep a surprise) but I still had no idea where we were staying. So when we finally arrived to our destination and pulled into the drive of Sonesta Resorts, I was blown away with the beauty of our home-away-from-home! From the Spanish filled oak trees lining your drive in, to the lush landscaping, Sonesta does an impeccable job at making you feel like you just arrived to an exclusive tropical getaway. So whether you have Hilton Head Island on your radar for your next family vacation or maybe a romantic getaway with your significant other, we thought it would be fun to share with you our favorite aspects of Sonesta Resorts Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Check out a video of our first impressions of Sonesta Resort HERE.
Ok, so this was a huge PLUS for me! We love traveling with Reggie, our 4 year old Cocker Spaniel. So it is super important to us that wherever we stay is not only pet-friendly but pet accommodating as well. All guests traveling with pets are given rooms on the first floor, which may not be great for views (our room overlooked the pool which I actually didn’t mind) but is awesome in terms of convenience. We have stayed in other hotels where the pet-friendly rooms are on the higher level floors which is a pain when it comes to letting your pet outside during the day. With us being on the first floor, we had easy access to the outdoor space to take Reggie for walks, and it was also super convenient to let him outside multiple times throughout the day when we were just hanging out at the pool! The grounds of the hotel are also very pet friendly! There are multiple pet baggie stations next to the walking paths around the hotel property itself, which was nice because of course I forgot mine! The hotel grounds have a path around the pool and pond area that we would take Reggie around each morning, and Shipyard Plantation itself is full of miles of walking trails! Another aspect I really appreciated was that daily cleaning service of our room was still provided. Other hotels we have booked with in the past absolutely do not service the room if you are boarding a pet. Not at Sonesta! All we had to do was put Reggie in his crate, and call when we were ready to have the room serviced and the cleaning staff showed up right away! This was a HUGE plus, especially when your going to and from the beach, because you guys know how sand gets EVERYWHERE, and even more so with a pet! Speaking of the beach, one more perk! The beach outside of Sonesta is pet friendly except from 10AM-5PM. We took Reggie to the beach every morning to watch the sunrise, and every evening to watch the sunset! He even made a few friends! Overall, Sonesta Resort was extremely pet-friendly and made us feel right at home with our furbaby.
Our rooms were really comfortable, spacious, modern, and clean! The king size bed was super comfy, we had a little seating area with a loveseat, a mini fridge where we kept some basic grocery items and of course we both appreciated the coffee station complete with a Keurig and assortment of K-cups. The seating area on the patio was spacious, enough room to hang towels and store beach chairs, coolers, etc although perhaps not that private since we were directly off the pool. The little luxuries made this room one of a kind. When the lights are off and you hop out of the bed, there is ground lighting that lightly dims the floor so you can see where you are going without turning on a light (Nathan personally loved these lights and kept saying we needed to include this feature if we ever build our own home)! The beds were extremely comfortable, and included extra pillows which I personally love. There was even a nice robe in the closet to use at your leisure, a nice little relaxing touch.
The pool was definitely our favorite hang out spot! There are two pools at the resort. The first, is a large, walk-in, outdoor pool. It was very spacious, had plenty of seating (you didn’t have to fight over lawn chairs or struggle finding a spot), and really had a nice luxurious feel to the area. We always picked a spot closest to the pool bar, because their Key Lime Coladas were out of this world! We had at least one every single day and they were absolutely delicious!! A few days we even got extra fancy and snagged one of the cabanas! Unlike most hotels, the cabanas at Sonesta are FREE and on a first come, first serve basis! These were great for when we spent the entire day at the pool, the perfect cozy shady spot to lounge, take a break from the sun, and enjoy a nice nap! The second pool, was a smaller, completely shaded pool with a small hot tub. We liked this spot in the evenings! We would grab a couple cocktails, relax in the hot-tub and then just hang out in the airy cabanas and watch the sky turn different shades of pink as the sun began to set! Very dreamy and relaxing!
Another perk of Sonesta Resort, is that all you have to do is take a short walk down a beautifully lined pathway and you have immediate beach access. This was super convenient because we could come and go to the beach as we pleased! Nathan and I brought our own beach chairs, but the resort has chairs and umbrellas that you can rent by the day if you need. Or you can reserve one through the beach patrol for the day, and they will set up the chair and umbrella for you! If you are staying for a couple days, though, we would definitely suggest bringing your own beach gear because it can get kinda pricey renting each day.
Upon arrival at Sonesta, I was immediately impressed by the grounds of the entire complex. They really do an excellent job in making the space feel extremely plush, and beautiful. From the well-maintained pathways around the facility, to the pristine ponds, the property itself is nothing less than luxurious! There are several seating areas around the grounds, whether you want to spend the day reading a book in one of the hammocks or enjoy a cocktail at one of the cozy fire pits, there really is a spot for everyone! I also appreciated the family-friendly aspects they included like corn hole stations, areas where you can watch turtles, and even the cutest little snack shops where they offered tasty little treats and snow cones!
Sonesta Resort offers several restaurants with both indoor and outdoor dining options.
HEYWARDS RESTUARANT : serves breakfast daily and also dinner, focusing on the traditional Lowcountry fare. Don’t forget about their amazing desserts!!
SEACREST TERRACE & PATIO: Located directly next door to Heyward’s Restaurant. This restaurant is open every day for lunch only, and offers a cool and casual indoor/outdoor dining option.
BAYLEYS BAR: located in the heart of the modern resort lobby, this is the place for a quick coffee in the morning and your favorite tropical cocktail at night!
SWEET CANE BAR & GRILLE: this is the poolside bar that offered Nathan and I’s favorite cocktail of the week: Key Lime Colada!! They have an array of different tropical drinks, daily happy hour promotions, and lunch items made to order.
SANDBAR AT MARKER 72: this is the newest Beach Bar for Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island and Shipyard Plantation. With a rustic wood covered beach deck setting and tables overlooking the ocean and lagoon this bar instantly gives you that beach vacation feel. They had live entertainment every day from about 12-3 pm, which you could enjoy at the bar or even while relaxing at the pool!
Arum Spa is one of the newest spas in Hilton Head! And although I didn’t enjoy a spa experience myself (I definitely wish I would have) it looked like a complete relaxation oasis! Whether you have an hour, or a full day, they can accommodate all of your needs! Arum Spa offers an array of different treatments such as massages, full body treatments, facials, or even full day customizable spa packages to give you the best experience possible, and its sure to calm your mind and lift your spirits!
Sonesta Resort offers an array of recreational activities, from bike rentals to paddle boarding, kayaking, tennis or helping you book a round of gold at one of the many courses around the island! They also have a 24 hour fitness center (which we used a couple times during our stay), complimentary shuttle service around Shipyard Plantation, concierge, and a kids activity program just to name a few! Honestly, the activity Nathan and I enjoyed the most was taking long walks on the beach with Reggie, enjoying the sounds of the ocean, and catching every sunrise and sunset that we could!
Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island is a true tropical oasis, and we felt like we were on a relaxing tropical getaway the moment we stepped into the lobby! The views, easy beach access, luxurious grounds and accommodating staff make this a truly relaxing stay! Whether you’ve been looking to plan your first trip to Hilton Head Island, or come here every year, we highly recommend you check out this resort for yourself! You’re sure to have nothing short of a relaxing and magical stay at Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island.
Thank you so much for reading, and if you have any questions about our stay, let us know!