Types of Rental Accommodations on Hilton Head

Hilton Head offers a wide range of lodging properties in a wide range of prices.  There are three basic types of lodging available:Seacrest swimming pool 1


bulletHome and Villa (condo) rentals
bulletHotels and Motels


Home and Villa Rentals

Homes and villas are generally rented through one of the many rental agencies on the island.  They are economical for stays of more than a couple of days, especially for a family group, because they provide such amenities as a kitchen and living room and can include multiple bedrooms and bathrooms and often multiple television sets.

Pricing is a function of proximity to the beach, the number of bedrooms, the availability of a swimming pool, the quality of construction, and the season of the year.   On a per bedroom basis they are usually more economical than comparable hotel rooms.  There are four seasons for the purpose of pricing, but not all providers use the same dates. As always, you get what you pay for.  For examples of pricing, click on "Find Accommodations", below.

Such accommodations vary from small, compact beach villas with mini kitchens to what would be considered full size apartments suitable for year around living to palatial homes worth millions.  The terms "villa" and "condo" are often used interchangeably on Hilton Head.  Either could describe a unit in a high rise building or an apartment or townhouse within a complex. They could describe a flat or a two or more story unit.  Access for handicapped varies - some properties were built before laws mandating such access.

Amenities vary.  Most properties have a swimming pool or access to one.  Usually linens and towels are provided (often excluding beach towels).  Typically the property is cleaned before guest arrival but not during the stay.  Ask about access to clothes washers and dryers to ensure a supply of clean towels.  Cookware, glasses, plates and flatware are almost always provided. Dishwashers are almost universal. If a microwave, multiple TVs,  a DVD player, or Internet access are important to you ask about them.  Also ask what size beds are in each room.

When you communicate with a rental agent, be sure to understand their terminology regarding proximity to the beach.  Terms such as '' ocean front" ,''ocean view",' ''ocean side", '' short walk to the beach" are not used consistently from one agency to the next.  Be very specific about the distance to the beach  and the view of the beach to avoid disappointment later.  Also, for villas, ask about the size in square feet.  A full size two bedroom villa should be over 1000 square feet and should have its own clothes washer and dryer within the unit. If you have small children in the group, it might be worth paying to stay on the ocean side of the main drag.

The rental agent typically does not own the properties that are for rent; they are owned by individuals or companies and are furnished and decorated by their owners.  Consequently the decor and condition of the properties varies widely, as do individual tastes.  If you don't care much about those things, tell the agent and ask for a low rate for a tired property.  If you are traveling with a client you want to impress, say so and perhaps go for a pricey VIP property. Male golf groups should be sure to specify they want a separate bed for each person.

The minimum age for those renting is governed by law and by the policy of the rental agent.  Many agencies will not accept ''spring breakers" because of bad experiences.  If you are under 25 years old, make sure you say so to avoid being turned away when you arrive.

There are very few of these accommodations that permit pets.  Most condo associations have banned pets even for the owners. Do not try to sneak a pet in - you will surely be found out and your vacation may be ruined.  There are places on the island that board pets.  When I travel I take mine to the Evergreen Pet Lodge.  You can visit your pet there and if you are willing to pay extra they will walk dogs and provide other special treatment.

Hotels Motels and Inns

Rooms and suites are available all over Hilton Head island and range widely in price.  They are your best bet for a stay of two days or less, and should be considered for a couple traveling alone and not needing a kitchen or extra space (some have kitchenettes). Accommodations range from luxury ocean front hotels to economical motels far from the beach.  You can expect to have your room cleaned and fresh towels supplied daily.  Very few permit pets.


Timeshares are condominiums that are sold by the week. In other words, one can buy week 27 (early July) at a given property and is then entitled to stay there every year at that particular time.  If the owner of a particular week chooses not to use it, the management might rent it out.  As a practical matter, most timeshare owners belong to organizations that exchange timeshares. If an owner chooses not to use a week, they will probably turn it over to the exchange organization to use in exchange for another location or week.  As a result, timeshares are not widely available on the rental market.  Some timeshare companies will offer a teaser rental rate to those willing to listen to a sales pitch which can be an hour or  more in length and can be hard to resist. Other inducements to listen to a sales pitch include coupons for free golf or restaurant meals.

  This page Updated 08/07/2019


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