TRAVEL + LEISURE 2017 WORLD’S BEST AWARDS
Congratulations to Hilton Head Island!
Marriott SurfWatch Resort on Hilton Head Island ~ A Premier Destination
Marriott’s SurfWatch Resort on beautiful Hilton Head Island, South Carolina is a premier destination for anyone expecting excellency in a vacation ownership property. As seasoned Marriott travelers for over three decades and Marriott Vacation Club Owners for the past 25 years, SurfWatch has quickly risen to the top of our “favorites” list. The following review and photo tour will show you why we believe SurfWatch is so sensational!
SurfWatch ~ A Marriott Vacation Club Property
It’s of utmost importance that vacation seekers and business travelers alike are aware that SurfWatch is a Marriott Vacation Club property (timeshare ownership), not a hotel. It does not operate as a hotel, nor does it have the same full service amenities as a traditional Marriott Hotel. You will not have access to a valet, no room service options, no full-service restaurant on premise, and no daily housekeeping (unless you’re staying there on a “rental” instead of a vacation week exchange, or choose to pay a daily housekeeping fee as part of your vacation preferences).
In exchange for those luxuries and conveniences, you will have a villa with a large amount of space compared to a traditional hotel room or suite. SurfWatch offers 2 or 3 bedroom villas that are extremely spacious, comfortable, and well-appointed; they can accommodate 8-12 people. It’s kind of like your “home away from home” because each villa at SurfWatch has a full kitchen with stainless steal appliances that is equipped with cookware, dishes, cups/glasses, utensils, and other kitchen necessities. Right off the kitchen is a full sized dining room and living room. The villa layout is open and airy with contemporary furnishings.
The master bedroom is spacious with a king-size bed and separate desk area. The master bath has a double sink vanity and an amazing walk-in shower bigger than my garage! Not quite, but it is very large with multiple shower heads and multiple jets. (Trust me… you will want to linger here a bit!) The 2nd bedroom (and 3rd, if you have a 3-bedroom unit) has 2 queen-size beds. The adjacent bathroom has a single sink and bathtub/shower combination. Included in every villa is a full size washer and dryer, and a balcony off the living room. (For Marriott SurfWatch nightly rates and availability check the Marriott website here.)
Marriott SurfWatch Villas ~ Photo Tour
We recently completed our 3rd visit to SurfWatch (February 2017) and were blessed to have a newly refurbished unit. Here are some photos showing the new interior design and color scheme.
SurfWatch Villas ~ Before and After Refurbishment
I really like the updated interior of the villas. Marriott chose shades of blue, gray, silver, and a splash of orange. Our unit was immaculate, but we would expect that with a newly refurbished villa. What was surprising was the great shape of our villa last year. Marriott Vacation Club adheres to a strict remodeling schedule. Most locations have a 7 year plan, whereby everything is replaced. During the years in-between, some things are substituted and updated in order to keep up with design trends. Typically, when the Marriott villas are due for refurbishing some things tend to look a little worn or in need of repair (much like our own homes right before a remodeling project). But here at SurfWatch that wasn’t the case! I didn’t even realize that last year’s villa was soon to be redone. Everything was spotless, and we had zero maintenance issues. Here’s a few pics of the previous villa interior…
Although I thought the previous decor and color scheme was as awesome as the new one, I do appreciate the addition of a few little things that have a big impact on me. For instance, Marriott added a reading light to each bed. This is great for me since I like to read in bed but feel guilty keeping the lights on when hubby is trying to sleep. Also, hubby would leave a bathroom light on all night so he can find his way when those middle-of-the-night sweet teas come calling! Apparently he wasn’t alone; Marriott has added a night-lite to the Master bathroom. SurfWatch has also recognized the need to have a plethora of plugs for charging all our digital devices. They have added charging stations to the tables, eliminating the need to unplug lamps and other things in order to find a free outlet. Plus, they’re conveniently located; no more bending over trying to locate one behind furniture.
As previously mentioned, they have added a writing/computer desk to the master bedroom, eliminating one of those pesky night stands that no one uses anyway. And since hubby and I spend a lot of time chillin’ and dining on the balcony, I really like the updated patio chairs. No more strappy vinyl that sticks to your sweaty skin… thanks Marriott!
Marriott SurfWatch ~ A Laid-back Lowcountry Gem!
I love SurfWatch’s location. It’s on the North end of Hilton Head Island, tucked away back in the woods. Technically, Marriott considers it a beach-front property, although only one building is actually beach-front (and that one is reserved for SurfWatch Owners). Two additional buildings have a view of the ocean in the distance, looking across the infamous marshlands of the lowcountry. That’s where I like to stay! The other two buildings have a view of the meticulous grounds, including the lagoon with several docks, walking path, swings, and hammocks. This is the perfect spot for viewing colorful birds, feeding the ducks, catching a glimpse of an occasional gator (no feeding them!), or a moon-lit evening stroll.
Marriott SurfWatch is not a huge resort. I like that! It’s a mid-size Vacation Club property with 5 total buildings plus the administrative building. The laid-back atmosphere will force your stressed-out soul to unwind and relax. But don’t let its somewhat smaller size fool you. They have an activities program that rivals any we have seen at the larger Vacation Club Resorts.
Awesome Activity Schedule at SurfWatch
Marriott’s SurfWatch on Hilton Head Island has an activities schedule that will knock your socks off! Here is a sample of what you can expect:
- Aqua Fitness
- Family Volleyball Tournament
- Zumba Class
- Adult Coloring
- Mason Jar Decoration*
- Around The World Basketball Game
- DIY Hand Scrub*
- Ping Pong Tournament
- Beach Flag Football
- Beach Power Walk
- Glass Etching*
- Football Trivia
- Fitness Roulette
- Make Postcards To Send Home
- Shuffleboard Tournament
- Magnet Decorating*
- Putting Tournament
- Paint A Bird House*
- Billiards Tournament
- Cornhole Tournament
- Black Jack Tournament
- Bocce Ball Tournament
- Shark Tooth Necklaces*
- Birds Of Prey Educational Presentation
- Family Feud
- Horse Basketball
- Horseshoe Tournament
- Stargazing With An Astronomy Expert
- Book Club
- Beach Discovery Program (Educational Lecture)
- SurfWatch Iron Chef Competition
Of course, activities vary according to each week and seasonally. Most activities are free, except those marked with an asterisk (*) have a nominal charge of $5 or less.
Additionally, SurfWatch has numerous food activities, some of which are free. I have never been to a Marriott Vacation Club property that offers so many free food items. Here’s a sample of the freebies:
- Hot Cider & Cookie Social
- S’mores Galore (at the fire pits)
- Complimentary Continental Breakfast (Midweek)
- Owners Forum with Complimentary Wine and Cheese
- SurfWatch Bratfest! (Free Bratwurst & Hotdogs with coleslaw & chips; $1 for water & soda) My Favorite!
- Free Coffee and Cereal (Fridays)
- Build-Your-Own Nachos Bar
On top of that, other food activities are offered at extremely reasonable rates:
- Craft Brew Tasting $7
- Carolina Cookout $5
- Lowcountry Boil $10
- Chili Chowdown $3
The SurfWatch cookouts make for a great mixer with other Marriott Owners and visitors. They also include live music! Even after the events are over we like to linger around the cozy fire pits!
For the past 2 years we’ve celebrated hubby’s birthday at SurfWatch. The SurfWatch staff really know how to make us feel special. To our surprise a birthday gift was delivered to our villa while we were out for the day. We were totally amazed at the unexpected gift and generosity at this resort. We’ve never received anything like this, even at our home resort in Orlando. Kudos to Case the General Manager and his superb customer-service-oriented team!
Marriott SurfWatch Amenities
At SurfWatch you can be as active as you like, or do nothing at all. In addition to the plethora of activities listed above, these are the amenities available:
- Concierge Service (Perfect for Restaurant or Golf Reservations)
- Fitness Center & Sauna
- Foosball & Pool Table
- Fire Pits (By Request in Summer Months)
- 2 Outdoor Heated Pools with Spa, Toddler Pool, & Interactive Water Feature (One Ocean Front)
- Indoor Heated Lap Pool and Large Spa
- Putting Green
- SurfWatch 28-Chair Cinema (Plus Free In-villa Movies)
- Tram Service (For Shuttle to Beach or Anywhere on Property)
- Bike Shop (Rentals for Bikes, Beach Buggies, & Fishing Rods at Affordable Pricing)
- 165 Cable TV Channels (46 are Music… yea!)
Marriott SurfWatch Photo Tour of Property
Marriott SurfWatch Resort ~ Your Fun, Your Way!
Marriott’s SurfWatch Resort truly has something for everyone; from nature exploration to culinary contests, and everything in between. In the rare occasion you experience boredom at this beachfront property, there are unlimited things to do on Hilton Head Island as well as short day trips to some of my favorite lowcountry spots — Savannah, Charleston, Beaufort, and Bluffton. In these sleepy little Southern towns you’ll find history, culture, the Arts, and some of the best restaurants in the Eastern United States.
After our 3rd visit to SurfWatch, here’s what I’ve noticed… nothing has changed! That’s a good thing, because as they say, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it!” I highly recommend this Marriott Vacation Club Resort!
For our readers traveling to Florida, you’ll want to read FloridaFunAndFork’s Review and Photo Tour of Marriott Grande Vista, a popular Marriott Vacation Club destination in Orlando, just minutes from the Disney Theme Parks!
Additionally, here’s a convenient link to view the complete list of Marriott Vacation Club destinations worldwide!
Questions about Marriott’s SurfWatch Resort? I’ll try my best to answer them. Or perhaps you’ve already been there and have helpful information for our readers. Please share in the comment box below!