Room request for Disney Hilton Head

I know the Touring Plans Room Request doesn’t have Hilton Head as a option. Anyone have any idea how to submit a request on our own?

And it isn’t booked as a DVC, so that modality is out.

Thanks.

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I would try calling the hotel direct about a week before your check in date.

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Thanks, we are heading there too in about a month.
Is there anything one needs to arrange/reserve ahead of time at DHHR? Such as bikes? Anyone have restaurant or activity recommendations in the area? Or other tips? Is there a lot of traffic in/out? We will be arriving on a Saturday evening and still deciding to leave Friday or Saturday (flight prices making adding a guest difficult). Any advice would be awesome!

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ETA: Other folks who commented on HHI have included @heathernoel, @scrapper1617, @Dreamer, and @NurseMinnie131. I tagged JeffAZ at the bottom of my overly ambitious post.

I have never stayed at DHHIR, however, I have vacationed at Hilton Head Island for seven of the past ten summers; it’s one of my favorite places on earth. I DO recommend reserving bikes in advance. To do this at DHHIR, you will have to call 843-341-4100. There are other bike rental places in town and we have used a number of them. It’s best to reserve in advance if possible as some weeks they do sell out, and you often get a discount for reserving in advance. There are bike trails all over the island, and it is an awesome way to explore. We’ve probably biked most of Shipyard and Palmetto Dunes. Biking Sea Pines is on my list, but we have yet to stay there.

Getting on island is a slow process on Saturdays as most rentals are Saturday to Saturday, and the most common check-in time is 4 p.m. So from say 2 p.m. on, it’s pretty thick out there. The Cross-Island Parkway has treated us well and helped us to avoid some of the traffic, as has arriving on-island at lunch time and relaxing until check in time. We drive from Ohio, so usually we drive to Charlotte or just south on Friday, then get up early and drive the remainder of the way on Saturday. Check in for most condos is 4 p.m., so we stop for lunch at Skull Creek Dockside or Crazy Crab Jarvis Creek to enjoy a meal and the water view until condo is ready. Check out time for most condos seems to be 10 a.m. on Saturdays, so the traffic can be thick leaving the island, but not as bad as the traffic coming onto the island.

The grocery stores are nuts on Saturdays as well. My habit for years was to shop early on Sunday morning, first at BiLo, and then at Kroger, and we ate out Saturday lunch and dinner. Kroger was so picked over that I tried buying in advance for pick up Saturday, and that worked OK the first time I tried it, but the second time, my order was not ready when promised, which caused a problem with our dinner reservations. Next time if I did Kroger I would pick up in Bluffton on the way in because it is much less crowded. Or I would try Publix. There’s also Harris Teeter, Piggly Wiggly, Walmart, Fresh Market, Whole Foods, and probably others, but that’s all that comes to mind right now. BTW, there is a Walmart on island, but the nearest Target is in Bluffton.

There are so many great things to do on the island, and while the beach is my favorite, my family members seem to love a lot boating and everything we done has been really fun. Over the years we have rented a sailboat and jet skis (H2O Sports in Sea Pines), took a sunset cruise on the Pau Hana (catamaran, through Hilton Head Island Sailing), rented a pontoon (from numerous outfitters at both Shelter Cove Marina and elsewhere - I can ask my hubs if you are interested), but the two standouts for me were the Sunset Dolphin Cruise with Island Explorer, which is located behind the Old Oyster Factory restaurant (BONUS TIP: if you go on Tuesday night, you will be able to see the HarbourFest fireworks without actually going to HarbourFest and dealing with the crowds), did a Vanishing Island Tour (I don’t seem to have a record of which company that was through, but it was a 2 hour tour and the boat had a shade topper) and everyone loved this one so much because in addition to seeing dolphins, they got to see so many live starfish and sand dollars on the disappearing island. Oh, and I almost forgot, when my younger son, now 9, was 3 or 4, we did the Pirates of Hilton Head out of Sea Pines, on the Black Dagger, where the kids fought the dread pirate Stinky Pete, and my son got to steer the boat. He still talks about the pirate cruise. There’s also kayaking and stand up paddle boarding, as well as a shrimp trawling cruise, but we have not done those things. Anyway, if your family enjoys boating, there is lots of great boating to be had, and I strongly recommend making advance reservations. You can usually cancel up to 24 hours in advance, but of course, read all policies when booking.

We have taken our kids to Shelter Cove to hear Shannon Tanner sing and play guitar and to hear Gregg Russell in Sea Pines do the same. Both were lovely family experiences. When my younger son was really little he especially liked Shannon Tanner, but I think I preferred chill Gregg Russell. They are both HHI icons.

There is a nice playground at Sea Pines, as well as a relatively new one at Celebration Park, near Coligny. We’ve not been to the latter yet. But I know that Sea Turtle Patrol does a talk on Monday nights at Celebration, so that is a future activity for us. (Plus my secret retirement dream is to join Turtle Patrol when I retire!) Some of the condo complexes have playgrounds, too, but they are typically reserved for residents/guests of those complexes.

There are three mini golf courses, and my husband and sons do this together every trip. They’ve done Pirate’s Island, which has two courses, and Adventure Cove has an arcade (hubs said he’s not a fan but it gets the job done). I don’t think they’ve done Legendary Golf, the third one. There is also lots of real golf, but I don’t golf and my eldest, age 20, has only taken interest more recently, so maybe he and his dad will try golf on a future trip.

One year we did the Coastal Discovery Museum, which is both and indoor and outdoor museum. We went on a day that it had stormed in the morning, so it was super humid, and I think that diminished our enjoyment of it. I’ve also heard good things about The Sandbox children’s museum, but we never made it there, and I think my youngest is probably now too old to really enjoy it the way it’s meant to be enjoyed.

We’ve also gone to Mitchelville Beach and Fish Haul Beach to look for shells. These beaches are much less crowded than Coligny the others, and it’s something fun and different to do. We usually get lunch somewhere after.

Shopping, so much shopping. I like to browse the shops at Coligny and in Sea Pines. I also like the Hilton Head Shirt Company near Fresh Market for a less crowded experience. Also, if you plan to go the Salty Dog shops, there is one outside of Sea Pines on Arrow Road that is typically less crowded, plus you don’t have to pay the Sea Pines gate fee, which is I think is $9, cash only.

Speaking of Sea Pines, we usually plan one Sea Pines day per trip. FYI, you cannot bikes into Sea Pines. If you want to ride bikes there, you need to have them in/on your car and drive in, park, then bike around. While technically you can bike down the beach right into Sea Pines, this is a prohibited practice. The gated communities, sometimes referred to as plantations, require you to be a resident or guest to get in. Sea Pines is the only one that charges; the others you cannot pay to get into, however, they will allow you in if you are eating at a restaurant inside the community.

As for food, ice cream is an important part of a beach vacation, and there are plenty of places around; we’ve only tried a couple, but we like Hilton Head Ice cream for their watermelon with chocolate chips as the seeds.

I have yet to find a good pizza place on island. We tried Dough Boys, Giuseppes, Frosty Frog and Mellow Mushroom and none were very good IMO. Lots of people get pizza on Saturday night when they come onto the island, so they are also hella busy and the waits are long, and I suspect the product suffers. We do plan to try Local Pie on a future trip, but not on arrival or Friday night.

For restaurants, we have eaten at a lot of places over the years. Our family’s favorite is A Low Country Backyard - get the shrimp and grits and the banana pudding and thank me later! Sometimes they have musicians out in the “backyard” and they just paved it, so that will cut down on the weird little bitey bugs. We also really liked the food at Nectar, Annie O’s (we got the fried chicken), and Sunday brunch at Jane Bistro at Shelter Cove Town Center. We’ve been to Skull Creek Boathouse, Skull Creek Dockside, Hudson’s on the Dock, Old Oyster Factory, Carolina Crab Company, the Crazy Crab, One Hot Mama’s, the Salty Dog, Ela’s on the Water, The (new) Quarterdeck, Chow Daddy’s, Hilton Head Diner, Bad Biscuit, and probably more. If you have questions I am happy to answer them, but I know opinions are like elbows and everyone has one. The only restaurant I refuse to miss is Backyard. On my to-do list are Coast in Sea Pines and Sea Shack. The restaurants are, as you might expect, busy at dinner time so I recommend going early, around 5, or late, say 8 p.m. Many have play areas for kids and cocktails for adults while you’re waiting. Most of the restaurants close by 9 or 10 p.m., so don’t wait too long, which we have done. On a hot sunny day, lunch is the better meal out because everyone else is at the beach. Also, lots of people seem to eat out on Friday night, before departure day.

That said, our other favorite meal is to go up to the Piggly Wiggly at Coligny Plaza and get a pound or two of fresh local shrimp. They will season and steam them for you. So I will serve peel and eat shrimp, tossed salad, baked potatoes, and Publix key lime pie, and we will eat on our deck or balcony. We now do this 2-3 times each trip, and there is nothing like it!

There are others in the forums who vacation at HHI and have lots of great insight and advice. @Jeff_AZ just got back from a WDW-HHI trip. I’m sure he may know better than I who to page to this thread, as well.

If you have other questions, please ask! I love HHI so much, I love to talk about it, think about it, plan for it, and just be there. Sadly for me, we aren’t going (again) this summer and I miss it already. I hope that you and others who ARE going have the very best time!

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Thank you SO much for all the info and tips!! Ok, this may be a little blasphemous as a liner. But, with us being booked as a cash room-only reservation and 8 of us going, it has occurred to me and VRBO shows that even now 5 weeks out we could book a private condo/villa that is actually on the beach and has more bedrooms for about the same $ as DHHR. I’m sure there are good reasons to stay with Disney however. What are they? Should we stay put or go for beachfront? We have 5 kids with us ages 7-15.
ETA: oops on more careful reading you haven’t stayed at Disney per se. But maybe another reader has?

Will definitely look into Backyard and some of the other recommendations! Such great info!!

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I figured, but who do you call? Front desk? Who does the room assignments?

Thanks,

Chad

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Generally you can speak to the front desk. I don’t know if they have a seperate assigning depaetment but usually you can’t speak to them if it’s like WDW.

I stay at a Marriott vacation club resort on the beach and love it there.

If I were in your shoes I’d probably still do Disney because 1) they are in charge of cleaning up after you leave / provide at least some level of care during your stay and 2) Disney magic. But if it was between Disney and a comparable hotel on the beach (such as Marriott VC), I’d go with the hotel on the beach because I would rather not have to shuttle to the beach. If you are comfortable with Airbnb and prioritize being close to the beach over Disney magic, go with Airbnb!

But I can see pros and cons either way!

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We live about 3 hours from HHI & go to DHHIR quite a bit bc we love it so much. We always knew it was there but never tried it until about 10 years ago. We immediately loved it & have gone at least twice a year since then, but often 3 & 4 times. It feels like seeing old friends when we see CMs each time that have worked there during the years we’ve been going. And the CMs there are truly the best we’ve ever encountered at any resort! They’re one of the main reasons we choose to stay there over any other HHI location; they’re wonderful at making our stay amazing every time. (Other reasons include Dole Whips & Mickey waffles. Lol.) We’ve stayed there in every month of the year & each month has something good to enjoy. Our most recent visit was in January of this year in a grand villa & we got to enjoy having a fire place! It was our first time ever in a grand villa at any Disney resort; we usually stay in 2 BRs there but have stayed in a studio & a 1BR a couple of times. We’ve honestly enjoyed every single location we’ve stayed in there. It’s such a small resort that nothing is that far away & even the inner resort buildings have balconies with pleasant interior resort views. That being said, I personally always request a marsh view. That’s our absolute favorite & we get that request the majority of the time with 2BRs. However, if we don’t get it, it’s not that big of a deal. Some rooms back up to the marina, which is fun, & some are pool view. We’ve never been disappointed. Also, bc we’ve always only either booked direct or by renting points, I’ve always just politely made my request in person when I arrive at the front desk. They’re very accommodating!

About the bikes, we always rent them from DHHIR when we get there. Immediately when we get there if it’s in the summer (!) bc they do go quickly in summer months. But definitely get bikes! The ride to the Beach House is one of my favorites! So pleasant! There are great bike trails all over the island. They’re obviously more crowded in the summer, but still fun!

Some of our favorite places to eat are…
*Hilton Head Social Bakery—a short walk away just around the marina in Shelter Cove; amazing French pastries that look like art (!) & taste divine; great coffee; great Salmon croissant; owned by a French chef who was previously an executive chef at Windows on the World; gives 10% off to DHHIR guests when you show your room key; look it up—it’s great!
*Hudson’s—great, fresh seafood; we like to eat on the deck
*Crazy Crab Jarvis Creek—solid choice for seafood; eat in or take out; when we get take-outs it’s always ready when we get there; good she-crab soup here!
*Sea Shack—good seafood but we only do take-outs from here
*Wayback Burgers—good burgers & shakes right around the corner from DHHIR in the Kroger lot; gives the 10% discount mentioned above
*Giuseppe’s—our choice for take-out pizza on the island; you just can’t beat how close it is; we’ve tried others but like this best
*Tide Me Over—the quick service at DHHIR; I decided to add this in there bc we honestly do enjoy it; and they have Dole Whips, Mickey waffles & beignets!
**Charlie’s L’Etoile Verte—I saved my favorite for last. It’s a little “fancier” so we don’t always eat here, but the food is excellent. If you want a special meal with fantastic food, definitely try Charlie’s.
***In the summer, if you’re ordering take-outs, place your order a crazy amount of time ahead. If you don’t, & it’s prime supper time, they may tell you to come in 2 hours to get it.

The island is really busy in the summer, but once you’re at DHHIR, it honestly feels like you’re somewhere else. All the perks of being at HHI with all the stuff that goes with it are right around the corner, but the resort itself has a calmness about it. Hope you enjoy it!

I know I gave an awfully lot of information, but I wanted you to know we’re not just random DHHIR guests. :wink: If you have any specific questions, I can try to answer them!

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Love this level of detail! I’ve bookmarked your post. If nothing happens (come on, life, lighten up), we are headed down in September. Excellent info!!

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Thanks so much for all the recommendations! Just got back from WDW and shifting back to HHI plans. We will ask for a marsh view!

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YES to the marsh view!!!

I like crabbing at the dock and the small community feel of the resort. If you like having games and activities, and don’t always just want to post up at the beach it’s a great place.

Here is a trip report I did that gives a sense of the resort. We would go back frequently if it were two hours closer.

You can call and put on a room request too!

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