Hilton Head Island, located just off the coast of South Carolina, US, is a great place to enjoy incredible Atlantic Ocean beaches and world-class golf courses.
Even though it is very popular locally, Hilton Head is not really known as a holiday destination, so you won’t find a lot of information online about where to stay in Hilton Head, but no worries: I am here to help you with that!
In this guide, you will find all the information you need about the best areas and hotels in Hilton Head Island for any budget and interest, so you don’t have to do any research!
The best area to stay in Hilton Head is Coligny as it acts as a central hub of the island. But if you are looking for something a little different, I am also going to give options for the family-friendly Sea Pines, the exclusive Harbour Town, the affordable Shelter Cove, and the laid-back Folly Field Beach!
I also included a bonus with the best oceanfront hotels in Hilton Head Island so make sure to stick around for that!
Just a tip: when you find the perfect hotel for your travel needs, make sure you book it some months in advance, so you won’t lose the spot and maybe you’ll also find some good deals!
Now, let’s jump right in!
- If you are in a hurry
- 1. Coligny – where to stay in Hilton Head for the first time
- 2. Sea Pines – the best area in Hilton Head Island for families
- 3. Harbour Town – the most exclusive area in Hilton Head
- 4. Shelter Cove – where to stay in Hilton Head Island on a budget
- 5. Folly Field Beach – where to stay in Hilton Head for couples
- BONUS: Best oceanfront places to stay in Hilton Head Island
- Frequently asked questions about where to stay in Hilton Head
If you are in a hurry
If you don’t have time to read the whole article, check out this quick list of the best hotels in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, offering great location and value:
Hilton Grand Vacations
Best luxury hotel
An Airbnb with amazing reviews
Courtyard by Marriott
Best value for money
Coral Reef Resort
Best affordable accommodation in the center
Here’s a map with all the best area where to stay in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, so you can visualize them:
on a budget
1. Coligny – where to stay in Hilton Head for the first time
If it’s your first time in Hilton Head Island, I suggest you stay in Coligny, the heart of the Island’s life where you’ll find a little bit of everything!
In fact, this area is home to many shops, local restaurants, and most of the golf courses (if you’re a golf enthusiast you probably already know that).
What’s more, Coligny is home to the largest beach on Hilton Head Island! I am talking about Coligny Beach Park, covering 5,000 acres, perfect for relaxing on the beach or walking and biking on the boardwalk while taking in breathtaking views of the Atlantic ocean!
This is one of the most loved beaches in the US, especially for staycationers coming from the nearby Savannah or Charleston. Why?
Because it offers countless amenities like restrooms, many lounging options, outdoor showers, kids areas, gazebos, a parking lot, and an in-ground water fountain… basically everything you need (just watch for the jellyfishes from June to August)!
The area also has great links to other towns in Hilton Head Island, and to some of them, you can actually just walk or cycle, like to Sea Pines and Harbour Town (which I will talk about next). Perfect, right?
With a prime location within walking distance from the beach, this luxurious resort in Hilton Head Island has everything you need for an amazing vacation! Here you’ll find a delicious restaurant on-site, an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness center, and a bar, plus a garden and barbecue facilities. You will love the rooms at Ocean Oak Resort Hilton Head: some of them even come with ocean views and a balcony!
Other accommodation options in Coligny
Enjoy the swimming pool, restaurant, and fitness center of this Hilton Head Island hotel, offering great value!
This budget hotel in Hilton Head Island is walking distance from the beach and boasts a great swimming pool
This amazing beach house in Hilton Head Island offers the best ocean views and lies close to many dining options
Things to do in Coligny
- Drive your own “creek cat” boat on this tour
- Enjoy the golf or tennis courts at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort
- Go shopping at Coligny Plaza
- Have a beer with live music at Brother Shuckers Bar and Grill
- Relax, walk or bike at the huge Coligny Beach Park
- Have the best fresh seafood at the Sea Shack restaurant
2. Sea Pines – the best area in Hilton Head Island for families
Sea Pines, located 10 minutes drive south of Coligny, is where to stay in Hilton Head Island for families!
In fact, with its laid-back vibe and very wide range of things to do, here you can choose something new every day. From relaxing on the nearby beaches to engaging in some cool outdoor activities, this area is perfect for all ages and tastes!
If you’re all about the outdoors, this will be your paradise: in the close surroundings, you can go kayaking, boating, parasailing, fishing, horse riding (very popular in this area), biking, or jogging on the dedicated paths and trails!
For the little ones, head to the Sea Pines Forest Preserve where you can spend your day observing the beautiful birds, exploring the numerous lakes and ponds, or seeing the wildlife at the Zoo.
If you’re already seeing yourself in vacation mode here, check out the following amazing hotels, but make sure you book them as soon as you can!
Marriott’s Monarch at Sea Pines
The Monarch at Sea Pines is the ultimate luxurious accommodation in Hilton Head! This Sea Pines resort features two swimming pools (plus a kids pool), 3 hot tubs, a fitness center, and table tennis to have fun with your friends. Here you’ll find two-bedroom villas with full kitchens, private balconies, and bathrooms with a walk-in shower… check them out, you will love it!
Other accommodation options in Sea Pines
Amazing beach house in Sea Pines with an outdoor pool on-site, walking distance from the Sea Pines Beach Club
Check out these great two-bedroom villas in Sea pines, offering budget prices and a swimming pool on-site!
This beautiful beach house in Sea pines offers direct beach access and free bikes to explore Hilton Head Island
Things to do in Sea Pines
- Go horse riding with the family at Lawton Stables!
- Bring your kids to the animals at the protected Sea Pines Forest Preserve
- Relax, swim, and enjoy some sun at Sea Pine beach
- Have a round of golf at Heron Pointe by Pete Dye
- Have a seafood dinner with a view at Sea Pines Beach Club
3. Harbour Town – the most exclusive area in Hilton Head
Located southwest of Coligny Beach, Harbour Town is the most exclusive area of the island, where you’ll find a stunning harbor with many private yachts.
If you’re a shopping addict you will love this area in Hilton Head Island, home to countless gift shops and boutique stores, perfect for some souvenir shopping, plus many art galleries and places selling locally-crafted products!
Foodies will also be happy here: Harbour Town offers the best restaurants and cafes on Hilton Head Island, where you can taste excellent seafood or even just a coffee with spectacular marina views.
But a real MUST here is going to the red and white Harbour Town lighthouse (at sunset is the best time), also hosting a fascinating history museum. Here you can watch dolphins jumping out of the Atlantic Ocean water… an amazing show to watch with your couple, family, or friends (or just alone)!
In Harbour Town there are many waterfront hotels to choose from, so if that is what you are looking, for make sure to check out my bonus section below, dedicated to the best waterfront hotels on Hilton Head.
But for now, let’s check out the best hotels in Harbour Town from luxurious ones to more affordable options:
Inn Club at Harbour Town is a sophisticated boutique hotel with a prime location in Hilton Head, within walking distance to both the beach and Harbour Town. Here you can enjoy luxury and fun activities conveniently located on-site like tennis, or play golf on one of the many courses in the close surroundings. At the hotel, you’ll have access to 2 swimming pools, a hot tub, and a full-service spa for ultimate relaxation!
Other accommodation options in Harbour Town
Check out this great hotel in Harbour Town with an outdoor pool and hot tub, close to many dining options
Amazing one-bedroom condo just a short walk from Harbour Town, Hilton Head’s premier beach resort!
This beautiful waterfront treehouse offers a great location in a tranquil area of Hilton Head, South Carolina!
Things to do in Harbour Town
- Watch the sunsets from the Harbour Town lighthouse
- Have a pleasant waterfront stroll in the morning
- Buy some cool souvenirs at the boutique stores
- Get the rackets out at Sea Pines Racquet Club
- Have the best water views on this scenic cruise
- Visit the Stoney Baynard Ruins…they say they’re haunted!
- Have a romantic dinner with your beloved one at The Quarterdeck
- Taste the best ice cream in Hilton Head Island at Cinnamon Bear Country Store
4. Shelter Cove – where to stay in Hilton Head Island on a budget
Shelter Cove is a beautiful area located in the north of Hilton Head Island. This is the place for you if you are traveling on a budget as it offers accommodations at cheaper prices than the resorts in the south!
This is also a super cool neighborhood, offering excellent restaurants, live music venues, and vibrant bars to enjoy the Island’s nightlife.
But just because it’s a little cheaper, doesn’t mean you won’t have activities to try!
In fact, in Shelter Cove, you can engage in many water sports like sailing and kayaking, or join many tours including dolphin watching, all at very fair prices! But if you’re more of a quiet kind of person, simply enjoy a stroll along the marina and check out the many shops.
Another strength of this neighborhood is its central location, which will give you easy access to the other parts of the island and the airport, either by car or public transport.
Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort
Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort is one of the best luxury hotels in Hilton Head if you want to also have fun with your family! The resort features multi-roomed villas and many recreational activities, like games for kids and teens, bike rentals, campfires, dolphin cruises, and much more… plus access to 12 miles of heavenly beaches. This resort also offers a free shuttle service to Disney’s beach house!
Other accommodation options in Shelter Cove
This great hotel in Shelter Cove offers two swimming pools on-site, a firepit, and BBQ grill facilities!
Check out this amazing budget hotel in Hilton Head, with a fitness center and swimming pool on-site
This great private guest house in Shelter Cove offers free shuttle service from the airport and handy facilities
Things to do in Shelter Cove
- Discover the beauty of Hilton Head Island on a kayaking tour
- Listen to live music at the harbor every evening in the summer
- Spot dolphins and learn about the marine life on a boat cruise
- Explore the rich vegetation and wildlife of Pinckney Island natural reserve
- Join this guided history tour of the remote Daufuskie Island
- Have the best Mexican food with live music at San Miguel’s Mexican
- Go shopping at Shelter Cove Towne Centre
- Have a cocktail on the sand at Coco’s on the beach
- Spend a day at Disney’s Beach House
5. Folly Field Beach – where to stay in Hilton Head for couples
Nestled on the north-eastern side of Hilton Head Island, Folly Field Beach is the perfect place for couples (or families) who want to enjoy some privacy and tranquility!
In this area, there are just a few resorts and condos, and you’ll be far from the tourist crowds… in fact, it is called ‘the locals’ beach’ by Hilton Head’s residents… but it can still get busy during peak hours.
This beautiful public beach is a great place to engage in some beach games, swim in its shallow waters, or just relax and soak up some warm sun.
It also offers useful amenities like two parking lots, toilets and sand showers, a water fountain, and a boardwalk bridge… plus pets are allowed, so you can even come here with your four-legged friend!
And if one day you feel like changing the setting, in the close surroundings you will also find many other beach parks, like the Islanders Beach Park or Driessen Beach Park.
Marriott’s Barony Beach Club is located just a 10-minute walk from the beach. In this elegant hotel you’ll have access to an extensive spa, a state-of-the-art gym, and not one, but five swimming pools (one of them with a seasonal water slide)! Here you can enjoy massages, body scrubs, and facial treatments at the spa, keep yourself in shape at the fitness center, or engage in many water sports for an all-around great vacation.
Other accommodation options in Folly Field Beach
Feel at home in these country-style villas offering access to the facilities of the Westin Hilton Head Island
Located just adjacent to Hilton Head Airport, this budget hotel offers spacious rooms, great for families!
Check out this amazing house with a recently renovated kitchen and bath, and the best ocean views
Things to do in Folly Field Beach
- Lay down and relax at Folly Field Beach
- Have a picnic with your couple at Islanders Beach Park
- Walk along the beautiful beach of Driessen Beach Park
- Have a relaxing massage at the spa of The Westin Hilton Head
|👑 Luxury price:||$450|
|💵 Mid Range:||$250|
|💰 Accommodation prices:||High|
|📍 Best area:||Coligny|
|👪 Best area for families:||Sea Pines|
|🛎️ Best luxury hotel:||Hilton Grand Vacations|
|💵 Best mid-range hotel:||Courtyard by Marriott Hilton|
|👛 Best budget hotel:||Coral Reef Resort|
BONUS: Best oceanfront places to stay in Hilton Head Island
I guess one of the main reasons you want to have a holiday in Hilton Head Island is to enjoy the beautiful Atlantic Ocean and its great beaches. So why not stay at an oceanfront resort or hotel, where you can even wake up gazing at unforgettable ocean views?
Good news for you, Hilton Head Island offers many accommodations right on the ocean, where you can enjoy water views, breathe in the fresh breeze and have a very relaxing (and deserved) time!
I gathered here the best ones in the island for different price ranges, listed in order from the most expensive ones to the least… check them out:
Luxury ($500 and up):
- Marriott’s Grande Ocean – This beachfront South Carolina resort features 2 outdoor pools with a seasonal pool bar, a spa, a fitness center plus tennis and golf facilities to have fun with! The rooms are also great, coming with a fully equipped kitchen, separate dining areas, and private balconies!
Mid Range ($250-$350):
- Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort – Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort offers direct beach access and many dining and cocktail options on-site… all the comforts you need for a relaxing holiday! This Hilton head oceanfront resort is perfect for families, couples, or friends, featuring a wide range of accommodation options, from entry-level rooms to ocean-view studios and luxury suites.
- Sonesta Resort – Hilton Head Island – Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island is one of the best hotels you can find located directly on the beach. Here you’ll love the two swimming pools, the spa facilities, and 3 restaurants on-site… but especially the pet-friendly accommodations! In fact, all the spacious rooms come with private balconies or patios and views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Budget (up to $250):
- The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa – Get ready to enjoy full relaxation in this Hilton head oceanfront resort, offering a full-service spa and three swimming pools, including a small round pool for families and a covered one. The guest rooms at The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa are spacious and bright and feature a contemporary design and a private balcony… check them out, you will love them!
Frequently asked questions about where to stay in Hilton Head
📍 Which is the best area in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina?
The best area to stay in Hilton Head Island, for first-timers is Coligny, at the luxurious Hilton Grand Vacations or the midrange option Courtyard by Marriott Hilton.
🌊Which are the best oceanfront hotels in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina?
The best oceanfront places to stay in Hilton Head Island are the luxurious Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort or The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa.
💑 Which are the best places for couples in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina?
The best places to stay in Hilton Head Island for couples are the luxurious Marriott’s Barony Beach Club or the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa.
👪 Which are the best places for families in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina?
The best places to stay in Hilton Head Island for families are the Marriott’s Monarch at Sea Pines resort for luxury or the more affordable Charming Villa in Sea Pines, both located in the Sea Pines area.
We finally came to the end of this great journey through the best Hilton Head Island hotels and areas in South Carolina!
From budget accommodation options to luxurious oceanfront resorts and neighborhoods, in this blog, there is a perfect place where to stay in Hilton Head for any vacation!
But if the hotel options were too many and you’re still undecided on which one to choose, here are my absolute top choices, with great value and location:
- Hilton Grand Vacations – This luxurious property has a prime location in Hilton Head within walking distance from the beach
- Courtyard by Marriott Hilton – Enjoy the swimming pool, restaurant, and fitness center of this hotel, offering great value for the price!
Are you as excited as me about any of the hotels in the post? Then make sure you book them immediately, or at least some months in advance, places here sell out incredibly fast!
And if you want to ask me anything or share your experience in Hilton Head, please do so in the comments… I am looking forward to reading them all and answering you!
Have the best holiday!