Here we are, once again, at the Beach, Myrtle Beach, S.C., to be more specific. By “we” I mean my bride
, my mom
, and myself. Three-of-a-kind (senior-citizen travelers) beats two pair (young whipper-snappers) any time, at least in poker. That’s what I continue to tell myself, anyhow. What else can one say once the days of youth have passed?
We have come down here to patronize and try out an old favorite get-away spot and try something new at the same time. The old 4-story hotel-based Sea Island Inn at the Beach
was torn down and replaced with a much larger 13-story condominium-based complex on the same site. For years we have come to the old Inn (not to be confused with The Cloisters, the blue-blood resort island on the coast of Georgia) for long restful weekends. Located on the ocean front in the middle of an upscale residential neighborhood, it is a unique anomaly in a very busy Myrtle Beach. We were anxious to see how the new Inn compared to the comforts and amenities of the old. Would it still offer that “special” atmosphere so prevalent in days past?
By and large the answer is “yes”.
All rooms in the old Inn were ocean front with a balcony. Ditto the condos, which range from one to four bedrooms. Price for a two bedroom condo is a little more, but not that much more, than we previously paid for 2 rooms. When we look at the prices for the off season, when we really enjoy coming down, it is still a great deal.
Dining: Equally good menu, preparation, presentation, and service. The $40 per day American meal plan is a deal. One gets a five-course dinner, with many choices of appetizers, soups, salads, entrees, and desserts. Also included is a wonderful breakfast with choices including omelets, eggs Benedict, and waffles, as well as eggs done any way, bacon, ham, sausage, grits, hash-browns, fruits and juices. Not an Egg Mc Muffin in site.
I was a little disappointed in the loosening of the dress code for dinner. Previously jackets, usually a blue blazer for me, with a collarded shirt (golf shirts permitted) were the rule. Now "vacation casual" is the code. I felt so bad that I had forgoten to pack some leather shoes that I went out and bought a pair of Bass Weejuns to wear to dinner. While the wait staff remained in coat & tie, and most patrons wore nice casual dinner attire, there were present in the dining room men clad in T-shirts of various designs, shorts, and tennis shoes or sandles. Not what one expects to encounter in a first-class restaurant. I guess "vacation casual" is open to interpretation. Or perhaps, the men were looking for a Big Mac with fries, supersized. The women accompanying these men were all more appropriately dressed for the dinner. I guess I am really getting old when I notice such things.
Pools, splash pads, pool-side accommodations with bar service upgraded. Enough chairs and recliners to accommodate guests. Umbrellas, chairs, and Life Guard on duty down on the beach.
You can still check in and stay here with no need to leave the premises, unless you choose to do so, until time to go home. And, unlike the Hotel California, you can check out and leave.
It is not the same, but it is still special. We will be back.