by Julie Hostetter
The Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort completed a multi-million-dollar renovation in 2015, with newly updated guestrooms with kitchenettes; pools (including one with a splash pad); a fitness center, and a deluxe spa. The resort offers three onsite dining options.
Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort features a pristine private beach, easy access to championship golf and tennis, and a true gem for nature lovers: the leisurely 11-mile lagoon at Palmetto Dunes. This serene cove is the picture-perfect spot to whittle away the afternoon while kayaking, canoeing or even take a whirl at stand-up paddle boarding across the calm waters.
Our Editor Loves
- Spacious rooms with kitchenettes
- Toddler-friendly pool and convenient beach access
- Pet-friendly policy (under 50 pounds)
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
The property's 295 Studio Suites, eight Traditional Suites and 20 Luxury First Floor and Oceanfront Suites all include mini-kitchens with granite countertops, separate dining rooms and private balconies, which makes it the perfect home away from home for families. King bed studio suites include a sleeper sofa, and you may request a twin bed rollaway at an additional cost per night for any of the rooms; just be sure to book it with your reservation to ensure availability. The Omni does provide complimentary pack-n-play cribs, so you can have a bit more room in the car for all those beach toys and boogie boards.
If you are in the mood to splurge for more room, nab up one of the first floor oceanfront suites that offer more than 1,000 square feet of space, a separate living area, bedroom and dining area, with extra large balconies for your whole brood.
Even if luxury isn't in the budget, don't sweat it. Our whole family agreed that we loved the Omni's Hilton Head Resort's studio suites. For one, they're spacious at 530 square feet, offering multiple comfortable chairs and a small kitchenette with a dinette table, refrigerator, microwave, sink and cupboards stocked with dishes. It's easily comfortable with a family of four. Also, there are two vanities, one in the bathroom and another just outside the door, so multiple people can get ready with a reasonable amount of privacy. The only things that missed the mark were the shower and tub, which could use some modernizing, and the trashcans, which may be trendy, but are frustratingly small. But despite those minor flaws, the room was perfect for a bustling family on a budget.
Insider Tip: Request a room in the South Lodging Center, as it is closer to both the family pools and the spa.
The Omni Hilton Head Resort offered a beautifully lush and “tropical” experience. The resort is well kept, interior and grounds. The staff is amazing and very attentive. The HH Prime.... magnificent!!
Very good location excellent amenities right on the beach. Older Hotel but well maintained and very clean. Rooms are very large with small kitchen area and balcony. Staff can't do enough for you and are very friendly.
There is no better way to beat the heat at the beach than a quick dip in the newly renovated pools. There is one adults-only pool tucked away in the corner of the resort, while the two family-friendly pools stand front and center, each with a unique nod to the toddlers in your company. The new addition of a "Splash Pad" fountain is a big hit for babies and toddlers, who giggle with each burst of the fountain. And parents and kids love lounging in the zero-entry pool peppered with large umbrellas in the water, so you can splash away in the shade. And thanks to the adults-only pool option, you don't feel too guilty if the kids get a bit rowdy.
Teens can hit the hoops at the nearby basketball court or play a few sets at the volleyball court. The Omni does have a small playground adjacent to the pool area where kids can blow off some steam, while the sea breeze gently rocks parents in the nearby hammocks. And around the pool courtyard, kids of all ages will love the supersized chess game, ready for a battle of wits and brawn. Before you head to the "true playground," Omni's pristine private beach, be sure to stop and order a few refreshing snow cones at the pool.
You can rent chairs and umbrellas from the Omni at a reduced cost and carry them to the beach to set up, or give a little more green and rent from the beachside umbrella service and not mess with set up or take down. Other beach rentals available include boogie boards and bicycles. The sandy beach has just the right amount of soft sand for playing and hard, packed down sand for riding bikes, so it opens the gamut for things to entertain the whole family.
From Memorial Day to Labor Day, the Omni has a bounty of planned kids' activities, with its Seaside Kid's Club from day camps, sports games, arts and crafts, and even water balloon tosses. They have a designated hangout at the Recreation Hut, and kids can also keep an eye out for resort's mascot, Duney the Dolphin, who will bring waves of smiles to the young and young at heart.
Speaking of the most persnickety member of your party -- teenagers -- the Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort is one of a handful of resorts that offer the Teen Connection program. Upon arrival, teenagers should make a beeline to the Teen Concierge for a friendly chat about fun activities, restaurants and attractions on the island. Also, teens can even exchange texts with the concierge or chat via Twitter and Facebook, so there is never a dull moment.
And if you want to pamper the whole family, you're in luck. The newly renovated Ocean Tides Spa services everyone in the family from tots to teens, so your little princess can get a mani-pedi for the beach or an up-do for dinner.
To keep everyone entertained and active, hit Hilton Head Outfitters, located in the nearby Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort -- a one-stop-shop for renting bikes, canoes, kayaks, surfboards and paddleboards, as well as booking fishing charters. They also offer a variety of beach and outdoor gear for purchase.
Thanks to the hotel's complimentary shuttle service within the Palmetto Dunes and Shelter Cove area, shopaholics and sports fanatics will enjoy the area's three golf pro shops and tennis shop, with the hottest brands to hit the course or court. And no visit to the Omni is complete without a visit to Shelter Cove Harbour, which offers dramatic vistas of Broad Creek and year-round dining, shopping and entertainment around the waterfront. Kids will get a kick out of the world's largest figurative sundial -- a 12-foot tall statue of Neptune that creates a commanding presence at Shelter Cove and gives the precise time, to boot. Teens and tweens can rock out during the Music on the Harbour concert series, and dad can drop a line with the deep sea or in-shore fishing charters, or even take a stab at sport crabbing.
Drink in the fresh ocean breezes at this open-air cafÃ©, overlooking the pool and beach, and just minutes from all the action. Mom and dad will enjoy the deliciously fresh chilled salads, burgers or light bar fare while children can nosh on popular kids meal favorites. And since you can dine in your swimsuit without raising an eyebrow, it's a great place to get a quick bite before diving back into the pool.
Popular with teens and families on the move, this trendy hot spot offers a chic cafÃ© to enjoy a tasty breakfast, lunch or dinner, or even a quick snack of potato chips or candy bars. You may also enjoy the "Purchase & Go" meals to dine at the beach, in your room or on the run. But if you want to sit and linger, just pop into any one of the cafÃ©'s cozy nooks or outdoor patio.
If you are looking for a refined culinary experience, get gussied up after the beach and make a reservation for this steakhouse, renowned on the island for its high quality USDA Prime Grade beef selections and fantastically fresh seafood. The restaurant doesn't offer a typical kid's menu, but will happily work to create a special steak or seafood dinner for your adventurous, well-behaved eaters. The kids will especially enjoy the open show kitchen and mom and dad will savor the well-stocked wine cabinet with more than 100 selections.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Be sure to check out the Omni Sensational Kids program, which rolls out the red carpet for their tiniest guests. Upon check-in, children receive a backpack chocked full of fun goodies, and kids will also get excited when cookies and milk are delivered to their guest room the first night of their stay. And don't forget to request a rolling backpack filled to the gills with toys, books and games.
It's hard to stick to a healthy fitness and diet regimen when you travel, so thankfully, Omni's Ideal Living program helps you continue to meet your health and fitness goals while you're on vacation. From healthy meal options in all of the restaurants to a state-of-the-art fitness center, complete with a personal trainer, you have all the support you need to stay committed to your health goals.
The Art of Smart Timing
As with many Southeastern beaches, Memorial Day to Labor Day is the peak travel season. The pros to peak season are that kid's programs and regular live entertainment are in full swing, but it also means that temperatures will soar and beaches will be more crowded, making beach play a little uncomfortable for some. If you are traveling with preschoolers, you might consider traveling to Hilton Head in late September and October. In October, the rates dip, as do the temperatures (the high 70's to mid 80's), and with less crowds, you'll have a more peaceful, relaxing stay.
There are two airports that service Hilton Head Island -- Hilton Head Airport, located just five miles from all island resorts, and Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, which is approximately 45 miles south of Hilton Head.
For either airport, the Hilton Head Airport Shuttle Service offers transportation to and from the airport. If you are flying into the Savannah Airport, be sure to make a reservation for shuttle service by calling 877-243-2050. Taxi Service from the Savannah/Hilton Head Airport is approximately $85 for up to two passengers, and another $10 per additional passenger. Limo service is approximately $150.
For Mom and Dad
Make a reservation at the Omni's HH Prime to savor their rich steaks and succulent seafood, and top it all off with a decadent dessert. Then head to the newly expanded restaurant deck to unwind with a nightcap around the cozy fire tables, or enjoy some libations from around the globe at the Omni's XO Lounge, voted The Best Hotel Bar in Hilton Head by Hilton Head Monthly.
The Omni Hilton Head also offers 25 tennis courts and 54 holes of championship golf nearby, so there is never a lull in the action.
When you are ready for a date night, the hotel concierge can help you set up babysitting services, so be sure to schedule a date night at one of the most popular and romantic restaurants on Hilton Head Island -- The Jazz Corner. Here, you can toast the evening with a bit of bubbly and gourmet dishes while being serenaded by sweet, sultry jazz music.