Review of The Sea Watch – North Myrtle Beach

by GO GlobeHopper

Myrtle Beach is known as one of the best family vacation destinations in the US, due to 60 miles of Grand Strand beachfront and a multitude of attractions, golf, and shopping and dining facilities in the region. The area also boasts a wide variety of hotels, resorts, campgrounds, and rental condos and homes. Falling into an overlapping category of hotel/resort/condo is the Sea Watch, located at the north end of the beach. 

It’s important to understand that booking accommodations in Myrtle Beach is somewhat unique given that so very many hotel/resort properties are actually a mixture of hotel or resort, timeshares, and private owners that rent via booking sites like VRBO or rental companies.  This can cause serious confusion when it comes to the amenities that guests can or cannot access upon their arrival, and whether or not daily housekeeping is included. And when it comes to the Sea Watch, it is further confused by an additional vacation rental entity — Club Wyndham.  This type of overlap leads to vastly different rates as well as the possibility of extra fees, for room types that are often very similar or the same.  So, be sure to do your homework.  Read, research, and ask questions to avoid any surprises.

Potential confusion aside, a condo layout has plenty of upsides, the most obvious being that families, big and small, can stay together with all the comforts of home.  There is room to spread out with separate bedrooms for privacy, and oftentimes an additional bathroom as well as extra TVs. For these reasons, this type of accommodation is now far more popular than standard hotels in the Grand Strand region, and one property that does it well is the Sea Watch.

Centrally located in Myrtle Beach and just a mile from Restaurant Row, this property has undergone a few name changes over the years, including Wyndham’s Sea Watch and Sea Watch Plantation. This is a beautiful beachfront resort featuring two towers of accommodations, landscaped grounds, and unencumbered views of the Atlantic Ocean.  There are plenty of amenities to please both adults and children, and there are several spacious suite configurations to choose from, including everything from studios to 3-bedroom units that feature separate living rooms with sofa beds, fully equipped kitchens, and small but convenient laundry facilities.

The individual ownership of some units accounts for why the décor often does not match the photos found on the hotel website.  However, owners typically opt for summery pastel shades and beachy décor that meshes with the ocean setting.  This includes shades of blue and green, rattan furniture and washed-out wood, tropical prints, and artful touches that reflect the beach and marine life.

As a result of individual ownership throughout the Sea Watch, it’s difficult to accurately say whether the units are modern or dated.  For the purpose of this review, we’ll have to leave it as — some are, some aren’t.  Nevertheless, the majority of visitors are very pleased by the clean and well-maintained surroundings, with everything you could possibly need, including well-equipped kitchens, hairdryers, extra bedding, irons and ironing boards, extra televisions, and occasionally video players, black-out drapes, and in-room safes.  Should you require anything further, housekeeping is friendly and anxious to please.

Nightly rates vary from unit to unit and season to season and vary further depending on whether you’re booking through the hotel or via a private owner. A resort fee is added to the rate and encompasses parking, all onsite amenities (for which guests are issued a wristband for identification purposes), and free wi-fi throughout the property.

Booking via a rental service such as CondoLux or VBRO (Vacation Rentals by Owner) can yield cheaper pricing, but usually comes with terms of renting for a full week. Either way, rates drop drastically during the off-season.

Operating as a full resort, with 275 units within two ocean-facing towers, the Sea Watch boasts an impressive landscaped sun deck including six oceanfront pools, two 225’ lazy rivers (Lazy River Rides are a Myrtle Beach essential), two covered pools, a kiddie pool, and ten hot tubs.  Guests have access to year-round activities including a weekly poolside DJ.  An arcade room is also featured in the resort. Year-round kids’ activities include movie nights, as well as pool and beach competitions.

Peak season can cause crowding in the pools and on the sun deck and can lead to longer wait times for elevators and at the front desk.  However, this is true of virtually every popular hotel and condo property in Myrtle Beach during the summer months.

Onsite dining can be found at Captain’s Cove Café, which offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner of typically American fare.  There is also Captain’s Nook which serves Starbucks, and an oceanfront Tiki Bar. That said, given the sheer number of restaurants in the area, chances are that you won’t eat at Sea Watch very often.

Also on site is a playground, an arcade, gift shop, and a small but clean fitness center.  And when it gets right down to it, the size is irrelevant because chances are that you will skip your regular workout while on vacation since daily exercise will come in the form of swimming, watersports, and longs walks on the beach.

An interesting amenity comes in the form of a Fire Pit, featuring benches and Muskoka-style beach chairs around a contained fire. Seemingly, fire pits are growing in popularity so many southern resorts are adding them. At the Sea Watch, this feature is located adjacent to the South Tower, open from dusk until 11 p.m. daily, and is available first come first serve for Sea Watch Resort guests. This is perfect for gathering family and friends on a cool night, with the feeling of a camp bonfire.

PROS: Excellent location.  Great views.  Convenient Amenities.  Well maintained.  Great poolscape and beachfront. 

CONS: Variations in condo ownership cause rate differences.  Onsite dining is more than you would pay at a local restaurant. 

On the whole, the Sea Watch scores high with visitors and frequently creates repeat guests. The location is perfect for accessing restaurants, shopping, and plenty of golf courses and adventure sports.  And the towers are attractive and well maintained. The property itself contains enough amenities to keep the kids occupied while providing much-needed rest and relaxation for the adults, all while situated on a gorgeous stretch of beach.

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