A September 2002 trip
to Hilton Head by ibeenthere
Quote: If you can, wait till after Labor day to see Hilton Head Island. Crowds are gone and no reservations are needed to get into even the best restaurants. Golf courses, beaches and boating could not be better at 80-85 degrees.
Some resorts offer free golf and tennis to guests. Palmetto Dunes and Sea Pines have some of the best golf in the world and it can be free if you stay in some complexes within those plantations.
The units themselves are lovely and are currently available as 1/4 shares only so it is not easy to get a trade in. Owners have the option to trade weeks with other 1/4 share owners of their unit to extend their time beyond the 2 weeks every other month that is assigned to them. When they choose to rent instead (which most do) they do not bank their weeks with RCI until they think they can't get a paying tenant. So if you want to get into this resort (which I recommend) enter an ongoing search and you may get one at the last minute like we did. It's definitely worth it!! Resort Experience:The 2 bedroom timeshare sleeps six very comfortably and is very spacious. King size bed in master bedroom (although the resort advises that 2 bedroom units come with varying bed configurations) and 2 twins in the second bedroom. Each has private bath with jacuzzi tub and complete privacy. Pull-out couch sleeps two additional people. Kitchen has every appliance you will need unless you plan on catering a banquet. Full size washer and dryer come in very handy with the beach towels (bring your own -- not provided). Furnishings and wallpaper look like they've been upgraded within the last year and are in great shape. The place was spotless which I would expect from a Gold Crown resort.
There were two things that we noticed that are not major in our opinion -- but I would be remiss if I did not mention. Our unit (#7312) was directly above a popular Mexican restaurant, San Miguel, which is very well known. No, it wasn't the smell that was disturbing. We didn't notice any. What was somewhat disturbing was their live entertainment -- an amped guitar/singer. His repertoire wasn't bad but it got MUCH louder as the evening went on. He plays from 5-10p.m. during nice weather outside. By 9:00 p.m. it is difficult to turn the TV up loud enough to hear it. We learned to go to dinner a little later than usual and, to their credit, the music stopped PROMPTLY at 10:00 p.m. so it turned out to not be a big problem.
The other thing I must mention for those that may be a bit squeemish -- you are in a harbor -- there are boats -- there are bugs. We don't mind them at all and we rarely found them alive. They agressively spray but we know they cannot be avoided. So if you have a problem coming upon a dead palmetto bug as big as your thumb when you walk around in the dark condo, wear shoes and keep a light on!!
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 10, 2002
9 Shelter Cove Lane
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Food is exceptionally well prepared and while they focus on seafood, they also offer meat, fowl and vegetarian entrees all with a Cuban flair. Nothing we tried was unusually spicy. Cuban cuisine flavors are complex and the overall effect is of unusual flavors that compliment each other without overpowering the dish.
On the Wed. night after Labor Day we walked in without a reservation and were seated immediately. The place filled up very quickly after that so if you plan to try it during the high season, we recommend a reservation.
We had appetizer of cajun cornmeal fried oysters -- delicious -- and about $7 per portion. The Grilled Sugar Cane Jumbo Shrimp comes as an appetizeror entre portion and was very good - large shrimp,not overcooked, but a little blander than we would have expected for
Cuban flavorings. The Swordfish Steak w/Avocado Mango Salsa was excellent. Both were about $18 for entre. There are daily specials that include at least one meat dish in addition to the expected fish offerings. They are famous for their Spicy Latina Ribs (about $22) which are covered in guava orange BBQ sauce and we could see other diners enjoying them with gusto! Other entrees that sounded good to us are Cuban Style Pork, Peppery Filet w/Roquefort Butter and Sea Scallops with Mango and Jalapenos.
Redfish is also open for lunch and they serve some interesting sandwiches in addition to some hot entrees.
Wines are sold by bottle or glass and the bottle of $25 chardonnay from Chile that we tried was an excellent recommendation. There are wines in every price range on their list and they will gladly make recommendations for food/wine pairing if you wish.
Definitly a place I would recommend to anyone who enjoys well prepared, beautifully presented and courteously served meals in a casual atmosphere.
Total bill for two appetizers, two entrees a bottle of wine and one dessert that we shared came to $75 without the tip. A bargain by NY prices -- a little pricey for the South. But remember -- you are in Hilton Head.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 11, 2002
8 Archer Road
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Restaurant | "Hudson's on the Docks"
Dress casual for this place -- in fact we went there twice in one week simply because we didn't want to change our clothes again on busy days after sightseeing.
There are specials every day, but the best bets are the seafood platters (broiled or fried) and the oysters. There are some typical seafood soups and chowders -- don't waste your stomach capacity on them, save it for the biggest, sweetest scallops you have ever laid eyes on. We ordered mixed platter of oysters and scallops and, I swear, 5 scallops weighed close to 1 lb. I have never seen bigger and were they tender and tasty!! Another night we had jumbo shrimp stuffed with crab meat. I have never had better and the stuffing was all crab meat, not much filler. Could not finish 4 of them they were so large. Non seafood choices are 8oz. filet mignon, 12oz. NY strip steak or roast chicken. They also offer a daily meat special. Desserts are your typical pies and ice cream choices -- nothing to write home about.
Service is quick and pleasant. Questions are welcome. In good weather they have an outdoor patio over the river that they open up for dining.
Hudson's is a little off the beaten path but well worth finding. If you love seafood, you'll love Hudson's.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 11, 2002
Hudson's Seafood House-Docks
1 Hudson Road
Hilton Head, South Carolina 29925
Restaurant | "Harbormaster's Restaurant and Bar"
Service is way above average, gracious and professional. Menu is quite varied -- lots of meat, fowl and seafood choices creatively prepared and beautifully plated and served, never rushed.
After a week of seafood, we opted for red meat for a change. After appetizers of a huge slice of pate and a Greek salad, we had charbroiled filet mignon with bernaise and a thick cut veal chop with merlot lingonberry sauce and garlic caramel. We were both thrilled with out choices. Other selections that sounded good to us included grilled sliced rare tuna over wild greens with lime cilantro vinaigrette, pickled ginger and wasabi; crispy scored whole flounder with apricot shallot glaze and toasted sugared almonds; and almond crusted snapper with amaretto brie creme and raspberry coulis. Entrees range between $22-30. Appetizers around $10. Fresh desserts looked scrumptios but we opted for the specialty which was seasonal fruit topped with a dark chocolate shell. When served, the waiter pours warm zabaglone into the shell which melts it ever so slightly onto the fruit. WOW!!
Total bill without the tip (including 1 drink each) came to $120. Well worth it for a special dining experience. And leave the kiddies at home unless they are patient and very quiet in restaurants. The patrons that frequent this restaurant own the yachts in the harbor (or so it appears) and appreciate enjoying their lovely meal in elegant surrounds in peace -- and so will you.
Harbourmaster's Restaurant and Bar
1 Shelter Cove Lane
Hilton Head, South Carolina 29928
Carmel, New York