From the outside you could mistake this hotel for a condo embedded as it is in a residential neighbourhood. But once inside the ” I”m on vacation ” feel was unmistakable. The front desk staff welcomed us with her strong southern accent and before long we were in a spacious three bedroom condo that faced the ocean.
In some ways a visit to this relaxing family friendly resort is like a throw-back to a time when vacations were slow paced and simple. Everything you need to enjoy yourself is available at this condominium style hotel which is located in a residential area away from the hustle bustle of the hotel strip. One of the most popular features of this resort is the large lazy river that allows families to enjoy water play both inside and outside of the hotel.
The property, which was completely rebuilt in 2008, has been owned and run by the same family for over 40 years and their dedication and hands on attention to detail is obvious. Families return year after year in order to meet up with their relatives and enjoy the southern hospitality.
The meal plan which is run out of their own dining room “The Cypress” is a wonderful option for those who don’t want to cook nor have to run out to different restaurants and fast food joints. I enjoyed both a breakfast and a dinner here and I must say that these were the best meals of my trip. The relaxed and casual atmosphere is deceptive and I certainly didn’t expect haute cuisine such as the melt in your mouth rack of lamb that I feasted on.
I was joined for breakfast by Steve Chapman who is co-owner and general manager of the resort and he recommended the sweet potato pancakes– a signature dish that was delicious. We also feasted on a side of corned beef hash and some great coffee to wash it down. The charming service by the wait staff made me feel oh so pampered.
Steve had some interesting stories to tell about the Grand Strand area which was developed out of nothing into a major tourism market. Happily he reassured me that the jelly fish in this area were not of the stinging variety.
My family spent four days in a three bedroom suite. Included was a fully stocked kitchen, a large balcony with a great view of the ocean and a comfortable living/dining area. There were three bathrooms, two were ensuite and the master bedroom had its own sliding door to the balcony. According to Steve, the numerous larger than average suites were built to accommodate families who like to spread out while on vacation. During the colder winter months, the prices go way down and snowbirds rent by the month.
The kids program was run by university students who were specifically brought in from other countries to gain work experience in the tourism field. This year, one young woman was from Lebanon and the other from Sweden. They looked like they were having great fun—leading the younger kids in sports activities and giving each other and older girls new manicures every hour or so.
People of all ages loved the lazy river which has an ancient ruins theme. This area is roof covered and sports a basketball net, lots of rubber tires for lazing and several hot tubs. Outside is another large pool area that curls around the back of the hotel. Behind the pool was the beach—virtually private since this was the only hotel in the neighbourhood.
Island Vista Resort truly gives you the best of both world–a an old fashioned family getaway with days at the beach and a chance to get to know the amazing staff that serves you daily– but all provided in a modern atmosphere with every amenity imaginable.
We can’t wait to go back.
If you go:
Call toll-free at ( 888) 733-7581