Luxury Travel Mom sent momtourage writer D.J. Duckworth and her adorable son Corbin to Hilton Head (in my favorite state, South Carolina) to preview the new family friendly offerings by the Westin Hotel. The hotel chain has brilliantly re-imagined the way families travel and play together and are offering new activities and kids clubs across the brand. Read more at Westin Family.
This city girl is always up for a relaxing beach getaway. So when I was recently invited to check out the Westin in Hilton Head, Island South Caroline, I said yes. I drove to Hilton Head the first time I went during my college years. Driving across the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee in a station wagon with my boyfriend made for some unpleasant memories. This time around I flew with Corbin directly into Savannah, Georgia and drove about an hour to Hilton Head. It was an easy flight from New York City.
The Westin in Hilton Head:
The Westin is a great place to vacation especially if you want to get away and not have to break the bank in the process. The rates and rooms are reasonable for what you get in return. Corbin and I slept like babies in our comfy beds. The team even set up this adorable tee-pee in our spacious room one night. Talk about a happy kid and one impressed Mom.
Water, Water, Everywhere:
There are three huge pools at the resort to enjoy that all overlook the Atlantic Ocean. You aren’t short on places to relax by the water. Although in the off season you do have to make the trek to the bar for cocktails as there is no pool side service. Corbin spent a considerable amount of time trying to catch the butterflies flitting around the landscaping. This moment is nearly impossible to recreate on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Mother Nature can entertain like no other! Take that Martha Stewart!
Corbin knows a great kids clubs when he sees one. He gives the Westin’s club two thumbs up. The company just relaunched the Westin Family program. From what he and I experienced during our weekend, the Westin geniuses are on to something really good here. The focus is to play, move, sleep and eat well.
For starters, the kids club space is neat, clean, really fun and works for kids of all ages. Even I had a blast playing with the Lego wall. Now I know what I’m going to do with the gazillion Lego pieces in my apartment. They are going on a wall.
Our Experience Specialist Kathryn was incredible. So much that I wished I could lure her back to the City to help me with Corbin. She kept the group of kids engaged and asking all kinds of questions, even as we hiked along the beach in the dark of night and competed in a scavenger hunt the next day.
The new program includes a healthy kids menu. I have a kid who usually skips the kids menu and asks to see the full menu. The Westin has teamed up with Super Chef’s to educate kids on the importance and fun of eating well. The choices start with a baby spinach omelette for breakfast, a deconstructed caesar salad for lunch and fruit kebabs for dessert. But never fear! If you have a chicken finger, hot dog and pasta eating only, picky kid, they won’t starve. You can still order those.
And hit morning yoga the next day to burn off the calories. Corbin and I rolled out our yoga mats and took a class overlooking the beach. I’ve practiced and taught yoga for many years, so our class was a real highlight of the trip for me. The instructor kept the group of adults and five kids moving through the poses as the sun peeked through the clouds.
I was hoping to have some time to explore Hilton Head’s local restaurants, bars and boutiques, but we had an action packed scheduled. With water everywhere you can see, we headed out for a fun day on Page Island. With dolphins following us and bald eagles flying over head, we finally arrived on the Island during low tide.
Corbin and the kids tackled the obstacle course, chased crabs, learned how to cast nets and fished off the pier. The team from Outside Hilton Head kept the kids busy, the hooks baited for fishing and answered more questions about fish, birds and crabs than you can imagine.
Since I couldn’t persuade Corbin to try to the spa, we opted for paddle boarding. I’m hooked! I managed to stay up and didn’t fall in the water even with Corbin and his buddies trying to make that happen. Little boys are funny that way!
The sunset view from the Harbour Town light house was spectacular. Corbin loved the view and dropped some coins in the view finder to look out over the water toward Savannah. The only restaurant I experienced off property was The Quarterdeck near the light house. The food was fresh and the wine was excellent. I have to give props to any restaurant that includes Oreo cookies on their menu. It’s the opposite of what the Westin is pushing, but no one in my family can resist an Oreo.
There are several restaurants and shops at the Harbour Town marina. If I return, I’ll check those out but I didn’t get to this time around. Even though my time in Hilton Head was limited, we really enjoyed our trip and the Westin. I’m extremely picky when it comes to hotels. The Westin, while not the Ritz Carlton, did deliver and left me wishing I’d had more time to explore and relax.
With rooms starting in the low $300’s, the Westin in Hilton Head is what we would consider a budget property at Luxury Travel Mom. So why cover it? Because time with your family is the ultimate luxury and the new Westin Family program is offering just that. Plus, we don’t always need to break the bank when we travel.
D.J. and Corbin were hosted for their review. She feels this property is a great fit for a family looking for an affordable getaway. The rooms are comfortable, the food is great, and Hilton Head is fabulous. Her only real complaint is that in the off season there is no poolside cocktail service. We agree that this could be considered a travesty.