by Traci L. Suppa
It’s just one of the 21 hotel and condo properties owned and operated by MyrtleBeachHotels.com, but Dunes Village Resort is arguably the best for families. With nearly 500 rooms in a wide variety of configurations — from studios to four-bedroom condos — Dunes Village can accommodate families of any size. You’ll stay in one of two equally appealing towers, the Palms or the Palmetto. Both have subdued tropical dÃ©cor with modern touches. In the guest rooms, you’ll find some upscale finishes, like granite counter tops, blending in with wicker furniture and tropical print wall art. While there are several onsite eateries, each room has kitchen amenities providing the comfort and convenience of in-room dining.
Dunes Village offers much more than a place to stay. First and foremost, there’s ocean views and direct access to the beach. Then there’s the water park, the only indoor one of its kind in Myrtle Beach, which means swimming fun even when the weather is uncooperative. Add to that a full day’s calendar of children’s activities and proximity to Myrtle Beach’s attractions and voilÃ — you’ve got the perfect formula for a family vacation.
The Myrtle Beach area, also known as the “Grand Strand,” is almost a year-round tourist destination, stretching for 60 miles along the Atlantic Ocean coastline. Dunes Village is located in a quieter neighborhood, north of the most crowded stretch of hotels and motels. But it’s only a five-minute drive to major attractions. To the north: Barefoot Landing, Tanger Outlets, Pirates Voyage and the Carolina Opry. To the south: Broadway on the Beach, the Boardwalk, Second Avenue Pier and the Sky Wheel. Everywhere in-between: golf and miniature golf courses, seafood buffets and pancake houses.
Our Editor Loves
- Location right on Myrtle Beach
- Free access to Myrtle Beach's indoor waterpark
- Kid's entertainment, including magic shows and games
- Water Parks
- Children Programs
- Connecting Rooms
- Free Wi-Fi
- Kids' Pool
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
There are nearly 500 rooms divided across the two towers, Palmetto and Palms. Configurations include oceanfront studios, one-bedroom suites, two-bedroom condos, three-bedroom condos and four-bedroom condos. Adjoining accommodations are available for larger families. All rooms either have full or partial "angle" ocean views. In addition to traditional beds, some units have the added flexibility of sofa beds or wall beds (aka Murphy beds).
The units are privately owned and inventoried before and after each guest stay. The daily housekeeping service includes making the beds, trash removal and vacuuming. Towels left on the floor will be replaced, and sheets will be changed every three days.
The one-bedroom oceanfront queen suite off the main hallway contained two queen beds, and there was also a wall bed. There were flat screen televisions in both the bedroom and the living room area. The bathroom contained a Jacuzzi tub, granite counters and complimentary LeNaturel toiletries in a white tea scent.
The kitchen was outfitted with a full-size refrigerator, oven, four-burner electric stove top, microwave and dishwasher, as well as a coffee maker and a toaster. The cabinets and drawers held dishes, pots and pans, utensils and cutlery. Dish soap, dish washing detergent and kitchen towels were also provided. The kitchen table made in-room dining easy and the stackable washer and dryer unit was convenient.
As far as in-room safety measures are concerned, the sliding glass door leading to the balcony have a lock in the handle, and an additional slide latch, which is too high for children to reach. There are no outlet covers though. The "Clean Remote" control for the flat panel TV is made with a material that is easy to disinfect, and stays tucked into its own stand.
This was our 2nd time staying at Dune Village. The first time was years ago before we had kids. We've always wanted to bring our kids back. The staff was very friendly. The room was clean. We stayed on the 7th floor of the Palms building in a double deluxe suite. The room was decent size and we love that there were 2 queen beds instead of the usual full size beds. There were also 3 total sinks in the room: 1 in the bathroom, 1 in the kitchen, and 1 in a separate vanity area.
My kids really enjoyed the pools but all the slides are kind of intense and they were scared to try them.
The Captain's Cafe has the best hotel restaurant food ever! We ate there twice during our 4 night stay. You can order from your hotel room and pick it up to go. Or you can eat inside with an oceanfront view. They also have outdoor seating (oceanfront). The bar gets really popular at night.
There is a Starbucks downstairs in the Palmetto building. The breakfast buffet is not worth the money. The food was not good or hot.
My kids never participated in the kids club activities. Most of them cost extra. Parents have to stay there with their kids. There was a fun dance party in the yard in front of the Palmetto building one Saturday night.
It was pretty quiet at night and we slept pretty good. My only complaint is that the hotel is supposed to be non-smoking but someone very close to our hotel room frequently smoked marijuana on their balcony. This often prevented us from sitting on and enjoying our balcony.
The parking deck is right across the street from the Palmetto tower so if you are in the Palms tower it is a little bit of a walk but not bad. The area is very safe. We never had a problem finding parking.
I would recommend Dunes Village for families with kids who enjoy water slides. We just did not get our money's worth because our children (age 7 & 6) were afraid of all the water slides. They did try the ones in the Palmetto tower, but they are very fast and make you go underwater when you land.
First off, my average rating is somewhat misleading. The resort was very nice, rooms clean,inviting, quite and staff I was in contact with were exceptional, especially Toni at the checkin desk in the Palemetto Tower. She is an asset to your company and went above and beyond to help me. My issue is this. I had reservations scheduled for 9-3,4 and 5 but due to hurricane Dorian,I needed to reschedule for this week, 9-10,11 and 12. my original reservation cost was $387.58 but since I had to reschedule, my rate jumped to $511.04. After expressing my displeasure, and with Toni's help, They did reimburse me a small portion but I still feel that I was mislead and penalized due to and act of God. I summary, my room went from $129.19 to $170.01 per night. I feel this was unjust and hope it doesnt happen to others. They also only provided beach loungers but no regular pool chairs.
Indoor Water Park
The main attraction at the Dunes Village Resort is Myrtle Beach's only indoor water park. In actuality, there are two water parks; one in each of the neighboring "Palmetto" and "Palms" towers. Upon arrival and check-in, everyone gets a plastic neon bracelet to gain admittance to the water parks. The wristbands are reusable, and will be replaced for free if lost.
Each tower's water park has its own unique features. In the Palmetto Tower, there is a 250-foot lazy river, two adult-sized water slides, two hot tubs, a lagoon pool with a basketball net, and a Kiddie Adventure pool with water spray features. In the Palms Tower, there is a lap pool, a "teen" pool with a basketball net, three hot tubs and a Kiddie Wetdeck with a Silly Submarine. There is also a speed slide and a Wild Winding Slide, which have height requirements.
You have to cross a narrow outdoor public parking lot to get from one to the other. Both water parks will get crowded when the weather prohibits outdoor swimming. Diapers, even swim diapers, are prohibited from all pools except the kiddie pools.
Both indoor water parks have other activities, such as Ping-Pong and shuffleboard. There is also a Wii station in the Palmetto Tower.
Outdoors, there are two narrow heated pools, a lazy river with inner tubes and a hot tub.
The pools are open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. There are no lifeguards on duty, but while we visited the water park, attendants were stationed at the top of the water slides to make sure enough time safely passed between each person descending. The deepest depth at any of the pools is 4 feet.
This property sits directly on a well-kept beach where you can collect seashells. Two short boardwalks cross over a rough patch of mangrove, connecting the beach to the grass lawn where the towers sit. The beach is public and managed by the City of Myrtle Beach. There are chairs and umbrellas available for rent through the lifeguards, who are only on duty between March and October.
When you check in, get a copy of the weekly calendar of kid's activities available at the front desk. There are year-round, daily activities, supervised by young, exuberant staff members. Some craft-related activities, such as T-shirt decorating, have nominal fees attached. Others, like face painting and hair braiding, are free. Some of the activities included magic shows, balloon animals, a water balloon toss, hula-hoop contests, scavenger hunts and a whipped cream eating contest.
While these aren't "drop-off" programs, and you are responsible for your own children, some programs actively involve the entire family. We competed against other families in a candy bingo contest one evening, and scored some boxes of Whoppers and Tootsie Pops. During the warm weather, families are invited to Movies on the Lawn, which are shown on a giant inflatable screen that can be seen from the pool deck or the beach. The grassy area between the guest room towers and the beach also contains a miniature nine-hole miniature golf course, volleyball net, picnic tables, beanbag toss games, and more than 50 lounge chairs.
The playground offers much more than a slide and a few swings. One side is a bi-level pirate ship with a slide and climbing wall. It's attached via elevated walkway to a castle with a spiral slide, and a swing set with an infant swing, as well as traditional sling swings. There is plenty of seating for parents nearby.
Perk's Up Coffee Shop
The coffee shop, open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and until 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, is located in the lobby of the Palmetto tower. It offers the typical range of barista-created hot and cold coffee drinks, as well as juices, chocolate and white milk. There's also a selection of baked goods, including bagels, muffins, pastries and cold cereal.
Nearby on the same floor is the Captain's CafÃ©, open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. It serves lunch and dinner, as well as cocktails from the bar. While you can expect to find burgers and sandwiches on the menu, you'll also find Angus steaks and a variety of seafood, including the restaurant's signature crab cakes and award-winning she-crab soup. There is seating both indoors and out, so you can have your lunch on the pool deck.
The Admiral's Room, in the lobby of the Palms tower, is where a full breakfast buffet is served every morning from 6:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and until noon on Saturday and Sunday. To avoid waiting for a table, arrive before 9 a.m. In addition to a DIY waffle station, other hot items include eggs, bacon, and southern specialties like grits, biscuits, and sausage gravy. Cold items include a good selection of fruit, breads, yogurt and cereal.
Cabana Tiki Bar
Located on the Palmetto Pool Deck, this seasonal, oceanfront spot is good for a quick bite to eat or a cocktail.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
When you make your reservations, you can add on items such as discounted buffet breakfasts, tickets to Myrtle Beach attractions or valet parking. You can also request special items in your room upon check-in, like a birthday cake, balloons, champagne, flowers or a fruit basket
Valet parking is available, although ample free parking is also available in a covered garage across the street.
Gift Shop and Business Center
The gift shop on the second floor of the Palmetto Tower offers souvenirs, snacks and sand toys, as well as swim diapers and sunscreen. On the ground floor level is a business center with several computers
The Art of Smart Timing
Check-in time is 4 p.m., but that doesn't mean you can't arrive earlier and spend time at the water park or the outdoor pools. Plan ahead to pack your swimsuits in a separate bag and leave the rest of your luggage in the car. There are restrooms available to change in, and towels are provided.
The crowds in Myrtle Beach swell between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Spring break is also a busy time, depending on the weather. Expect chilly weather in the winter months, and don't expect to swim in the ocean. Lifeguards are only on duty between March and October. With plenty of indoor activities and attractions, however, Myrtle Beach can be a bargain-hunter's holiday in late fall and early spring.
The Myrtle Beach International Airport is eight miles from the resort. Although taxis and independent shuttle services are available from the airport to the hotel, most visitors rent a car in order to get around the area during their stay.
There is limited public transportation service: Coast RTA buses serve 15 routes through the area.
For Mom and Dad
The resort does not offer babysitting services. However, the property works well for multi-generational travel, so you may be able to convince the grandparents to travel with you and take on babysitting duties. Most of the room configurations have a separate bedroom space, allowing you and your spouse to spend time together after the kids are in bed.
The onsite spa offers limited spa services, including hot stone therapy, massage therapy and facials.