The blissful year-round beach paradise of Hilton Head Island lies off the coast of South Carolina. It’s home to more than 12 miles of pristine sandy beaches, perfect for wildlife viewing, bike rides, and long romantic walks. Add to that the relaxing atmosphere, golf courses, amazing restaurants and bars, and freshly caught seafood, and you have a world-class beach destination. The cherry on top is the abundance of choices for a beachfront/oceanfront hotel in Hilton Head on the beach. Whether you’re a family or a couple visiting Hilton Head, looking for luxurious properties, boutique ones, or upscale or budget ones, Hilton Head has something for everyone. And there’s nothing like oceanfront living on this picturesque South Carolinian island. To that end, here are the 11 best beachfront and oceanfront hotels in Hilton Head on the beach for the ultimate in beachside bliss.
Table of contents
- Anchorage 1770
- The Beaufort Inn
- Rhett House Inn
- The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort and Spa
- Marriott Hilton Head Resort and Spa
- Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort
- Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island
- Montage Palmetto Bluff
- Inn and Club at Harbour Town
- Marriott’s Barony Beach Club
- Beach House Resort Hilton Head Island
- Recommended Beach Bars/Restaurants in Hilton Head
- Recommended Things To Do in Hilton Head
- Best Beach Areas in Hilton Head
Anchorage 1770 is the best beachfront and oceanfront hotel in Hilton Head, SC, where the yogi, outdoorsman, the romantic, and the foodie can all float in a sea of tranquility. This historic inn lies on the Beaufort River and offers specially curated experiences such as farm/coast-to-table dining. There’s a decadent spa to soothe the senses, but the waterfront views can be particularly invigorating too. You can also see these views from the rooms and suites, which feature four-poster rice beds and soaring ceilings. Some of the suites have large furnished balconies where you can enjoy coffee or a glass of wine with superb views. Downstairs, you’ll even find a contemporary restaurant, the Ribaut Social Club, which is a popular place for locals.
The Beaufort Inn
The Beaufort Inn, one of the most charming best beach hotels in Hilton Head, practically smothers you with southern charm – like gravy on biscuits. It sits just a block from the beach, making it one of the best historic beachfront hotels in Hilton Head. The cool, contemporary additions are deep soaking tubs, wet bars, and rainfall showers. Begin your day with a fabulous complimentary breakfast at a local restaurant and end it with preparing s’mores at one of the fire pits. If you want to unwind, your suite even has a private balcony or porch where you can hide away or catch up on your reading. The best bit? The hosts even hand out beach passes to the beach down the street.
Rhett House Inn
What do Barbra Streisand, Sandra Bullock, Tom Hanks, and Ben Affleck have in common besides being amazing actors? They all love a certain beachfront and oceanfront hotel in Hilton Head, SC, close to the beach, the Rhett House Inn. This 19th-century antebellum home-turned-inn is southern hospitality at its best and is a quintessentially Southern mention with a Spanish Moss-laden façade. You’ll love the suites and cottages here and the regular rooms, all of which have exposed brick alcoves, velvet footstools, darkwood furniture, luxe bathrooms, and charming windows. Breakfast is legit a hearty lowcountry spread with French Toast, steaming homemade biscuits, and more. The hosts whip up delicious complimentary hors d’oeuvres (wine and cheese) and homemade desserts every evening. And the waterfront is a five-minute walk. What could be better?
The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort and Spa
If you want an actual, no-nonsense resort right on the beach, then the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa is the only place where you should be. Make wellness a priority and head to this amazing resort which enjoys direct beach access via long wooden walkways right onto the sand. Spend your days basking in the South Carolinian sun and the cool waters of the Atlantic. Continue the indulgence at the three outdoor pools before disappearing into the heavenly spa for a heavenly massage or treatment. Wind up the day with delicious Lowcountry seafood at the onsite restaurants before retiring to your deluxe rooms. Of them all, the oceanfront rooms and suites are the best, as they come with furnished oceanfront balconies with mesmerizing views of the ocean. Did we mention that this resort is one of the top pet-friendly hotels in Hilton Head, SC? Yes!
Marriott Hilton Head Resort and Spa
The Marriott Hilton Head Resort and Spa is an excellent oceanfront hotel in Hilton Head. This resort is especially great for traveling with kids for more reasons than one. Children have not just their own hotel check-in area but also an arts and crafts activity center. But what makes them special for families is the miles of bike trails as well as water activities such as canoeing and kayaking. Families will also especially love the oceanfront rooms, with furnished balconies facing the sea. Downstairs, beach access is simple via a wooden walkway that goes through the lush and landscaped grounds. The hotel has an expansive pool deck with daybeds, umbrellas, cocktails, and a DJ spinning live music. Finally, wind the day up with seafood spreads in one of the many restaurants, which also have fabulous views of the ocean.
Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort
Paradise is a real place; it’s known as the Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort. This stunning beachside retreat in Palmetto Dunes boasts the largest rooms on the island. Choose from a host of modern and classic oceanfront suites, all of which come with private balconies. What’s more, they also come with kitchenettes, plush bedrooms, and expansive living room areas.
But, the real jewel at this oceanfront resort is the beachfront location – and the private beach. In fact, stepping off the hotel grounds puts you right on the beach – what more could you want? Back at the hotel, the amenities are never-ending – think three championship golf courses, a decadent spa, and five decadent restaurants. And, of course, there are numerous activities on the roster, such as games, kayaking, splash pools, pickleball, tennis, and more.
Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island
Set right on Coligny Beach, the Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island is a gorgeous oceanfront hotel in Hilton Head, SC. This resort sits on 11 acres of lush tropical gardens and even has entry-level ocean-view rooms and suites with private balconies and mesmerizing sea views. The ocean-inspired cream-and-white decor is accentuated by splashes and pops of bright colors and a slew of mod-cons, including cloud-like beds and luxe bathrooms. If you leave your comfy oceanside digs, there are six dining outlets to choose from where you can dig into delicious Lowcountry classics and seafood.
Mornings are best spent at the beach, which lies right out front. Or, you could choose to swim or lounge by the freeform pool at the resort, complete with daybeds, cabanas, and a pool bar. The plush Arum Spa, with its many massages and treatments, is perfect when it gets too hot in the afternoons.
Montage Palmetto Bluff
The good old-fashioned Southern gateway of Montage Palmetto Bluff is a wonderful place to stay by the beach, or rather, the May River in Hilton Head. No matter which room, suite, or cottage you choose, you’ll have marble bathrooms with freestanding tubs, screened porches, wet bars, and even fireplaces! But the best ones face the water, especially the furnished patio where you can have coffee and wine gazing out at river views. While the river isn’t swimmable (watch out for the gators), the pools are amazing, with one being kid-friendly and the other being adults-only. So, couples looking for quiet time will love the adults-only pool. Since the resort is curated to give you the best taste of local life, enjoy relaxing massages or treatments at Spa Montage and dig into coastal Lowcountry items at the onsite restaurant, cafe, and bar.
Inn and Club at Harbour Town
The quiet Inn and Club at Harbour Town is an oceanfront hotel in Hilton Head – and a fabulous gem at that. This boutique bolthole sits amidst landscaped greenery at the huge Sea Pines Resort facing Baynard Cove. What’s more, it’s all about impeccable service, freshly-cut flowers, lobby pianists, and just 60 rooms and suites. What’s more, their best digs all face the cove, complete with oceanfront balconies. Since the size of the hotel is so small, staying here is an intimate and exclusive experience. What’s more, beach access is easy, complete with umbrellas, chairs, and beachside service. When you’ve had enough of the beach, you can relax around the large pool with sweeping views of the golf courses. You’ll love the southern and seafood cuisine and food options here, with bakeries and food trucks serving as backup snack options.
Marriott’s Barony Beach Club
Marriott’s Barony Beach Club lies within the Port Royal Plantation and is another family-friendly favorite. Since this resort lies along the beach, lounging at the beach the entire day is a very appealing thing to do. The beach is a mere five-minute walk from your condo to the water, meandering through the lushly landscaped grounds and a wooden walkway. Since the beach is long and flat, there are many opportunities for long walks, lots of lounging on daybeds, and more. Back at the property, you’ll find many options for condos of all sizes, all of which come with dining areas, full kitchens, and private balconies with ocean views. If swimming in the ocean is not to your taste, there are two pool options, an indoor and an outdoor one, as well as a hot tub for year-round enjoyment.
Beach House Resort Hilton Head Island
The Beach House Resort Hilton Head Island is the best oceanfront hotel in Hilton Head. Tucked right at the southern end of the blissfully Hilton Head beach, this beachfront Holiday Inn hotel feels more like a hip boutique outpost. Since there are just 200 rooms, it doesn’t feel crowded but rather intimate and exclusive. The classy blue-and-white color scheme, art, and photography theme continue to the rooms and suites. Moreover, they have plush beds, mod-cons, and private balconies, especially those with complete and sweeping oceanfront views. If you do manage to leave these amazing digs, the onsite restaurant serves delicious Lowcountry Southern cuisine. What’s more, the Tiki Hut bar sits right on the pool deck, from where you can order cocktails after you’ve enjoyed a swim. The best bit? You step onto the sand right as you step off the property.
Recommended Beach Bars/Restaurants in Hilton Head
- Plum’s Restaurant: Are you dying to enjoy fresh Lowcountry cuisine? Then there’s no better place than Plum’s Restaurant in Beaufort. This restaurant has almost everything on its menu, ranging from stuffed flounder and fish tacos to locally harvested oysters.
- Skull Creek Boathouse: This is the most-awarded landmark restaurant in Hilton Head and serves everything one could ask for. They not only serve delicious Lowcountry-inspired cuisine, but they do so on their outdoor patio and beer garden that overlooks Skull Creek.
Recommended Things To Do in Hilton Head
- Hilton Head Island: Guided Dolphin Tour: There’s no better way to explore the waters of and around Hilton Head Island than on this guided dolphin tour. What’s more, this tour also allows you to see Atlantic bottlenose dolphins up close and learn about the local ecosystem with a local guide. It’s an experience that you can delightfully enjoy with the whole family.
Best Beach Areas in Hilton Head
Hilton Head Island off the South Carolina coast is full of gorgeous beach areas and neighborhoods that beach bums and water babies will love. We begin with Coligny Beach, which is the most popular beach area for more reasons than one. Firstly, it has a gorgeous wide sandy beach. Secondly, there are plenty of activities, ranging from a Tiki Hut with live music, beach volleyball, free Wi-Fi, and beach chairs to shops and an interactive fountain for kids. Secondly, there’s Folly Field, which sits on the northern end of the island. Not only does it have umbrellas and beach chairs, but also outdoor showers and a short boardwalk to the beach.
Did you know that Hilton Head has a local secret beach? It’s the drop-dead gorgeous Islanders Beach, complete with a typical local atmosphere, picnic pavilions, and even grills for cooking. Since the island’s southern end is more crowded during summers, Driessen Beach, with its long boardwalk as well as a sandy beach, makes it very popular. Finally, there’s Singleton Beach, which lies in the middle of the island and is a popular hangout spot with local flora, fauna, and colorful corals.