MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - The Caribbean Resort & Villas on the Atlantic Ocean in Myrtle Beach has raised the bar on the beach again.
Over its 40 years, the resort has grown like a mushroom along both sides of Ocean Boulevard, stretching from 28th to 31st Avenues. Myrtle Beach golfers can choose from an array of accommodations, from the villas at Chelsea House on the lee side of Ocean Boulevard to the smaller Jamaican House or the newly renovated Dominican Tower.
But the big boy on the Strand now is the spanking-new Cayman Tower, 21 stories of luxury that opened in June.
As soon as you pull up to register in the new Caribbean-style lobby for any of the 480 rooms at the resort, staff is there to greet you, help you with your bags and direct you to convenient parking across the street.
The new Cayman features 2-, 3- or 4-bedroom suites, all with ocean views and balconies. They are perfectly appointed, with ceramic tile in the hall, kitchen and bathrooms (providing a convenient path for sand-encrusted children to the bath and laundry), flat-screen, HD televisions in the living room and each bedroom, and stainless-steel kitchen appliances, down to toasters and coffee pots. Yes, you'll want to live there.
One of the many impressive aspects of the Cayman Tower is the quiet. Once inside your suite, you can't hear your neighbors, and if you shut the sliding door, even the ocean falls silent. It's your own little relaxation bubble amid the hustle and bustle of Myrtle Beach.
The list of amenities each guest receives extends a page: coin laundry, cribs, fax and copy services, game room, gift shop, fitness room, business center and wireless Internet.
And with the new tower came a water park next door, with a water slide and kiddie pools. In all, there are an even dozen pools, rivers and hot tubs for Cayman, Jamaican and Dominican guests. At the south end is a snack bar and tiki hut for refreshments, and during peak season, an ice-cream shack amid the pools is staffed. Rows of chaise lounges give sunbathers a choice of overlooking the pools or the ocean.
If you're looking for a great meal, right between the new water park and the Jamaican House is the Sea Captain's House, one of Myrtle Beach's premier restaurants. To accommodate its many neighbors, the restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. One can order from the menu for breakfast or opt for the buffet, which has 90 percent of the menu. Dinner and lunch remain their delicious selves with an array of steaks and seafood, complemented by a lengthy wine list.
And if you're a golfer, the Caribbean Resort & Villas will set you up. "We book thousands of golf rounds each year," said Adam Townsend, assistant general manager. "We always have the best, lowest golf rates, even at private courses."
In both fall and spring, the resort hosts a weekly reception for golfers, complete with drinks and hors d' oeuvres.
Caribbean Resort & Villas has perfected resort accommodations in Myrtle Beach over its 40 years, and it maintains its edge through service, maintenance and amenities. It's nice to see that some things don't change. For more information, see www.caribbeanresort.com.
October 8, 2009