5 Reasons to Buy a DVC at Hilton Head and 2 Reasons to Look Elsewhere

Filed in Disney Vacation Club, Hilton Head

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In my opinion, all 15 Disney Vacation Club (DVC) resorts are worthy of a contract purchase. Unfortunately, budgetary constraints prevent most of us from buying a contract anywhere. For the rest, the 2000-point limit makes the idea impractical. So, all DVC members must pick and choose where to add a DVC contract.

Today, we’ll talk about one of the more unusual choices. Here are five reasons to own at Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort, along with two reasons why you may want something else instead.

The Negatives of Owning at Hilton Head Island

The Location

I’m conflicted about this one, as I adore Hilton Head, South Carolina. In fact, I view the city itself as a great reason to buy here. When I speak of location, I’m not specifically talking about Hilton Head, though.

What I really mean is that when you buy a Hilton Head contract, you lose something invaluable. You cede the advantage of the 11-month window at DVC’s theme park-based resorts. Sure, it’ll help you book a room at Hilton Head during the hotel’s peak season, but you’re locked out at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

Presuming that you want to visit the parks at some point – and I’m confident that you do – you must wait until the seven-month opens. Your Hilton Head points won’t allow you to book early anywhere else. That’s problematic at some of the most desirable properties, such as the monorail resorts. So, the opportunity cost of a Hilton Head contract is high.

Maintenance Fees

The problem I just mentioned is minor. This one is major. Only five resorts include DVC maintenance fees of at least $8 per point. Hilton Head Island’s annual dues are the second-highest of all participating resorts. In fact, they’re quite a bit more expensive than most

The third-highest maintenance fee charge is $8.33 per point. For Hilton Head Island, you’ll pay $9.10 per point. For perspective, the average DVC resort maintenance fee for 2020 is $7.56. For a 100-point contract, a person would pay $756 a year. At Hilton Head, that expense becomes $910. For a decade, we’re talking about a difference of $1,540, just for annual dues.

Now, I should add an important caveat here. Maintenance fee increases aren’t linear. Hilton Head Island could feasibly raise its annual dues at a slower rate than other hotels. However, since this resort faces hurricane repair charges, I don’t believe that’s likely. Paying more for maintenance fees is simply the cost of doing business at this DVC property.

The Positives of Owning at Hilton Head Island

The Price

This positive may counterbalance the resort’s primary negative. Hilton Head Island contracts are, on average, the second-lowest of all DVC resorts. In fact, all contracts currently listed on this site at the time of publication cost under $100 per point. Many of them sell in the $80 range.

So, the correct way to evaluate a Hilton Head Island contract is simple. You’ll pay less upfront while paying more later. And that’s not a bad idea for many people, especially younger families. Workers earn more as they grow older. You could work around your tight budget now by buying here. Then, you’ll spend more on maintenance fees in future years when you possess stronger earning power.

The Rooms

You’ll receive quite the pleasant surprise when you first enter your room at Hilton Head Island. All of the rooms at the hotel include spacious, efficient room designs. The basic studios start at 455 square feet, making them the largest in the DVC library.

You’ll realize something is up the moment you walk in, as a kitchenette sits just inside the door. A microwave, sink, utensil drawers, and mini-fridge are the first things you’ll see in the room. Also, the walkway into the room is nowhere near as tight as most DVC studios. And that’s just the basic room type!

The suites are cavernous! A one-bedroom includes 856 square feet of space, larger than many one-bedroom apartments. The two-bedrooms are even more expansive at 1,311 square feet, while the Grand Villas max out at 2,362 square feet.

Also, each room at the resort includes a view of woodlands or water, which is to say that you’ll even stare at gorgeous forestry or the surrounding lake. The exterior balcony for your room becomes a sitting area where you can drink your morning coffee and feel at one with nature. You’ll start your day with a lovely dose of serenity and relaxation.

Hilton Head Island stakes a strong claim to hosting the best rooms in the entire DVC lineup.

The Private Beach Access

Disney has named the hotel precisely to reflect the fact that the company couldn’t acquire the best possible land. Company officials tried to buy oceanfront property where Disney could construct a hotel. Alas, the residents of Hilton Head pitched a fit and forced relocation.

Hilton Head Island does have waterfront areas, but they’re marshland. You certainly don’t want to get in that water. Instead, Disney purchased a private beach that’s exclusive to hotel guests.

Since the hotel hosts barely 100 rooms, this private beach rarely feels crowded, even during peak season. During the offseason, you’ll have the run of the place, as only a handful of guests will join you on the sand. It’s quite addictive.

Disney also constructed a beach house in this area. It features a Quick Service restaurant, Signals, and an outdoor pool for those who don’t like to swim in the ocean. It even has some hobby activities

The one important note about the beach is that it’s not attached to the resort but instead 1.3 miles away. A shuttle runs to and from the beach house throughout the day. However, the walk is so pleasant that we only use it on potentially rainy days. You must cross car traffic at a couple of points, but drivers are great about ceding to pedestrians. Hilton Head’s a friendly town. In fact…

The City

Other than Walt Disney World and Disneyland, there’s no place that I’d rather visit than Hilton Head. This city by the sea possesses rare stature, particularly among southerners. People who grow up in this region of the country know that the beaches, shopping, and outdoor activities at Hilton Head rival anywhere else save for arguably Miami, Florida.

The city of Hilton Head is unusual for a tourist mecca in that its local government fiercely protects the place. Local ordinances prevent the use of unsightly neon signs or any other type of billboard above a certain height. This place prioritizes conservation and scenery over earning potential.

While you’re in Hilton Head, you’ll feel secluded from the rest of the world. You can golf or play tennis at some of the most beautiful facilities on the East Coast. And the shopping here will satisfy anyone from a penny-pincher to a one-percenter. The diverse nature of the stores here means that you can window-shop with glee until you find the place whose price tags match your budget.

As for the food, Hilton Head and its neighbor, Charleston, have anchored the foodie revolution in South Carolina. Michelin Star chefs come to the ocean to serve the most delicious seafood cuisine. Friends, everything about the city of Hilton Head is spectacular. You should visit this place.

Summer Vacations

Disney recently modernized the DVC Points Chart for 2021. The song remains the same at Hilton Head Island, though. Whether DVC calls it Premier Season or a Travel Period, summer matters the most at the beach. The Points Chart reflects the fact that June 11th through August 27th is peak season at Hilton Head.

Let me be clear. If you have any interest in a summer vacation at Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort, you’ll need to own here. Demand for these dates rivals anything else in the DVC program.

Presuming that you pick Hilton Head as an annual vacation destination, you’ll fall in love with the idea of spending time with the family here. The beach is temperate but not otherworldly hot like most Floridian beaches. Plus, the aquatic activities available at the resort and in the city of Hilton Head will provide ample entertainment for you and your loved ones. I’ve spent a lot of time in this town, and I’ve never felt bored even once.

A summer week at Hilton Head will soothe your soul. But to book a peak season room at Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort, you’ll want to own here.

Access all DVC resale listings and learn more about buying and selling with DVC Resale Market.

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