My family has been visiting Myrtle Beach S.C. for more years than we can remember. It started with my Grandparents who went in October for the fishing. My parents enjoyed those fishing vacations also and preferred the Wendy Hill area, mostly for the Pier. We always rented a small beach house in walking distance to the pier. Fish is what we had for supper, every day!
I started taking my own family for the traditional beach vacation in the summer. We used to stay at The Sea Dip, closer to the center of Myrtle Beach but in recent years we tend to prefer North Myrtle Beach the most. It’s much closer to the places we enjoy shopping and eating.
Traffic And Reservations at The Beach
If you live in the Carolina’s and hear someone say they are planning a trip to the coast, it is understood they mean Myrtle Beach. Traffic coming into town on Hwy. 501 can be bumper to bumper during the peak season.
It is traditional to take a drive in the evening down Ocean Blvd. which takes you through the main drag passed The Gay Dolphin Gift Shop and along the strip where lots of the little over-priced beach shops and touristy restaurants are. Depending on the time of year you visit,you may encounter that bumper to bumper traffic again. In a way, that’s part of the charm.
Reservations are suggested or you may find yourself outside of your budget when it comes to accommodations or worse, being forced to stay somewhere with bad reviews.
Bay Watch Resort Ocean Front Room
Part of the excitement leading up to vacation has always been finding the room. We used to always stay at the same place but over time it went down hill and we had to move on. In recent years, we make the 9 hour drive to Myrtle Beach only about every 3 years. In between, we usually go to the mountains. Therefore we have yet to settle on a place we love and keep going back to.
We had high hopes for Bay Watch as it looks nice online and we had driven by and seen it many times. It’s majestic, with three big buildings! Plus they have the word ‘resort’ in their name, that tells us we can pretty much spend most of our time right there without having to drive around much.
Ocean Front View
We learned a long time ago to clarify that you want an ocean front room, not an ocean view room. We learned it the hard way. I don’t know about you but one of the things we look forward to the most is the balcony and especially in the mornings with coffee and the sound of the ocean waves rolling up.
There is something very special about watching the sun rise over the horizon at the ocean. Sipping coffee, listening to and watching the Sea Gulls early in the morning evokes a peaceful calm. Then slowly the treasure hunters appear on the beach with their metal detectors and shell seekers with their buckets and eventually one by one families begin to appear on the beach. Witnessing these events from the balcony each morning are a must and one of the reasons we go.
We were very pleased with our view from our room. It was exactly as we requested and did not disappoint!
Bay Watch Check In
Y’all know how excited you are not to mention tired from the drive and probably in need of the facilities when you arrive at your vacation destination. Well, the check in process was long and arduous.
The lobby was completely full of wearied travelers just like us. The instant we realized the situation, we immediately understood the discourtesy of the fellas directing cars trying to park for check in. They insisted we go to a parking lot across the street. Of course, we were not expecting to be there more than a few minutes which is generally traditional for hotel check in.
We decided it was just one of those happenstance situations where everyone simply showed up at the same time overwhelming the staff. Check in isn’t allowed before 4 pm. As it turns out, we witnessed the same madness throughout our week there.
Let’s Use A Luggage Cart
Let’s be clear, we are not tightwads. We tip. We get it and we expect it and we plan for it during the planning process.
We did not want the assistance of the porters to get all of our bags to our room upon check in. We wanted to take them ourselves so we just be-bopped over to one of those handy dandy luggage carts and grabbed one, just as we have done for many years upon check in at any hotel. Well, they repossessed it promptly and informed us only their porters were allowed to use them.
Keep in mind we had to park across the street. Hubby and I decided these guys are overwhelmed and outnumbered by guests arrival and that must be why their attitudes are less than welcoming.
However we caved and allowed the guy to take our luggage and then tipped him as expected.
Upon departure a week later, we found a wayward un-watched luggage cart and brazenly used it all by ourselves to cart all of our luggage back to the car.
Please Tell Me This Room Isn’t Dirty
What is your biggest fear when staying at a Hotel? It’s germs. Thank goodness this trip was prior to the Covid 19 Pandemic.
We did give the room a quick inspection for cleanliness and this is what we found. After seeing this, the first thing I did was pull the covers back on the beds and check the sheets. These dirty door frames appeared to be the worst of it. We decided to just stay put.
Housekeeping is virtually non-existent. The duty was ours to trudge from the 8th floor down then over to the next building for towels and toilet paper. Once we were told they would bring it but that never happened.
TWO BEDS ARE BETTER THAN ONE
We always request a King size bed. Vacationing during peak season means, some things may have to be compromised. Despite having made reservations months in advance, we did not get a King size bed. Instead we, got two Full size beds in a very small room. Our suite had 3 rooms, 4 counting the bathroom.
Neither of us had the courage to go back down to that lobby of madness to request a King size suite. We were just thankful to finally be IN the room.
Ocean Front Room at The Beach
We did get our ocean front room at the beach. The view was spectacular as you can see above in this panoramic photo taken from our balcony.
The sofa was old and worn so much so that when you sat down on it, you had to climb back out. We got a good laugh from it. The coffee table in front of the sofa had a special leg that kept folding under.
Restaurants At The Beach Resort
There are three restaurants at Bay Watch Resort. Sandtrap Sports Bar & Grill, Bay Watch Cafe and Fishtails Beach Bar. The only one we skipped was Fishtails because they are a bar which opens in the evenings and we don’t drink alcohol. It appeared as though when folks ordered food, it was delivered from the Sandtrap.
The food and service both were great at Sandtrap and Bay Watch Cafe. We had our dinner from Sandtrap twice and breakfast from the Cafe. Both overlook different swimming pools with a view of the ocean so there is ambiance to go along with the good food and good service.
Fishtail is located on the pool deck and is quite the busy place in the evenings.
Fabulous Swimming Pools
The pools are beautiful. There is an indoor lazy river, an outdoor lazy river, kiddie pool with waterfall, 3 outdoor pools and an indoor whirlpool which we enjoyed several times.
The pool deck is the perfect place to spend the evening listening to live music from the band stand and watching the sunset. The pool deck is a hot spot for entertainment in the evenings.
So what’s the skinny? Would we stay at Bay Watch again? It’s a resort full of condos. To some extent the condo owner has a responsibility which was not properly managed in the room we got stuck with. There has to be accountability on the part of Bay Watch to provide their guests with the best experience and that isn’t there so probably not.
Did we enjoy our vacation? Yes, we did. We love Myrtle Beach! The good out-weighed the bad for us but we would prefer a nicer room and we felt like we paid for a nicer room.