by Karon Warren
Tucked away in the small town of Surfside Beach just south of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Surfside Beach Resort welcomes families to its low-key, laid-back atmosphere far removed from the hustle and bustle found farther north. Built in 1986 and opened in 1987, this Three-Diamond property includes 160 rooms on seven floors. It remained standing after the devastation of Hurricane Hugo wreaked havoc along the coastline in 1989. Afterward, Surfside Beach put a limit on how tall new buildings could be, giving Surfside Beach Resort unobstructed views to the coastline and beyond.
In 2014 and 2015, Surfside Beach Resort renovated all guestrooms, which included replacing the entire bed, bedding and linens in each unit, as well as updating all casegoods and bathrooms. The property also has new carpeting and painting, and a heater has been added to the swimming pool.
A longtime favorite with families, Surfside Beach Resort sits at the epicenter of activity along the beach by the Surfside Pier, surrounded by four restaurants, two ice cream spots and two bars. After parking, guests never need to get in their cars again until it’s time to head home.
Our Editor Loves
- Quiet, family-friendly atmosphere
- Discounted dining options nearby
- Onsite swimming pool
- Theme Park
- Water Parks
- Water Sports
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Free Wi-Fi
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
All 160 nonsmoking guestrooms at Surfside Beach Resort are outfitted with a refrigerator, microwave, coffeemaker, 40-inch flatscreen TV, iHome docking station with USB ports, iron, ironing board, in-room digital safe, hairdryer and a table with chairs. All bedside lamps include power outlets. Ice machines are located on every floor, with vending machines on every other floor. There are no clotheslines in the bathrooms. Also, the vanity with sink is located outside of the bathroom, which includes a tub/shower combination.
For rooms that have balconies, these are Juliette balconies, meaning they are not very wide, just enough for two chairs and a small table. Due to the hotel's layout, there are no oceanfront rooms; however, all rooms have an ocean view, although it may be a small view.
The majority of guestrooms at Surfside Beach Resort contain two queen beds with a balcony. However, eight guestrooms with two queen beds do not have a balcony.
The majority of king guestrooms includes one king bed with a twin sleeper chair, plus a balcony. There is one king guestroom without a balcony.
All junior suites feature two queen beds and a sleeper sofa, but no balcony.
The hotel offers one king suite that includes a king bed in the bedroom with a queen sleeper sofa and a twin sleeper chair. This room does not have a balcony.
The hotel has six ADA-compliant rooms that contain two queen beds and a balcony.
We just left and I can’t wait to get back! The location is perfect. We were there 4 nights and only drove our car once. Restaurants, souvenirs, and ice cream are all within walking distance. The staff was very friendly and efficient. We got a box of taffy upon check-in. There is a complementary coffee/tea bar in the lobby 24/7. Also a very nice and spacious seating area in the lobby as well as a comfortable outdoor seating area. We saw several people eating take out in these areas. Good thinking. The hotel key was required to access rooms above the lobby and we appreciated the extra security. You” can rent a beach umbrella and chairs at the desk eliminating the need to take cash to the beach. The facility was organized and clean. The room was nice, and the beds were very comfortable.
This was the second time we stayed here (Me, my husband and teenager) It was another fantastic vacation. The rooms were clean, hotel was clean, it was located on the beach which made it so easy and fun. The pool is great, clean and beautiful. The staff was so friendly, attentive and had everything we needed including a paper plate so we could eat leftovers. It was fully booked but never felt crowded. There is complimentary lemon ice water, coffee and tea in the lobby which we used every day. One tip I will give. Some of the restaurants are really crowded, order take out and sit on the covered porch outside of the lobby. It overlooks the ocean and is never overcrowded.
Given its location and history, Surfside Beach Resort offers families a traditional beach vacation without a lot of fanfare. Therefore, activities are limited to the onsite swimming pool and the adjacent beach.
On the ground floor next to the parking garage, you'll find the outdoor swimming pool. Open from 8:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., the swimming pool ranges from a minimum depth of 3 feet to a maximum depth of 5 feet. It is surrounded by some lounge chairs, as well as a few umbrella tables with chairs. Towel service is provided; however, pool towels are not permitted on the beach. There is no lifeguard on duty. Although food and drinks are allowed in the pool area, no glass containers are permitted.
In the pool area, you'll find a hot tub with a maximum depth of 3 feet. It operates under the same operating hours as the swimming pool, as well as the same rules regarding food and drink.
Access to the beach is directly behind the hotel via the parking garage. Chair and umbrella rentals are available through the front desk for a daily rate of $25, which can be charged to your room. A third-party vendor provides water sports rentals including kayaks, banana boat rides, standup paddle boarding and jet skis.
When swimming in the ocean behind the hotel, it is recommended that you stay behind the hotel, moving toward the right away from the pier. Visitors fishing from the pier do attract sharks, so never swim under or near the pier.
On the beach, Surfside Pier sits just to the left of the hotel, with an entrance right next to the hotel parking lot. Open seasonally from sunrise to 11 p.m., the pier is available to guests for fishing (purchase fishing license and bait, as well as rent gear at the pier store), walking and just taking in the views. Although there is a charge to access the pier, all guests of Surfside Beach Resort receive free daily passes. Simply ask for your passes at the front desk each day. The pier store closes after Thanksgiving and re-opens after Valentine's Day. During this period, everyone has free access to the pier.
Located in the lobby, this 24-hour "store" sells drinks, snacks and ready-made items like sandwiches and soups. Guests pay for items at an automated payment center. There is seating in the area, so guests can enjoy their food in the lobby if they do not want to return to their rooms.
In the lobby, you'll find complimentary coffee service from approximately 5 a.m. until approximately 12 p.m. Coffee also is available from 6 p.m. until 12 a.m. If you do not see the coffee out, do not hesitate to ask the front desk for it.
Scotty's Beach Bar
Located just next to the hotel parking lot on the right side of the building, this casual restaurant serves up hot dogs, nachos, chicken sandwiches and French fries, as well as beverages. Operating on a seasonal schedule, the restaurant is open from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m. in season, with food service available from 12 to 8 p.m. During off-season, the restaurant is open from 12 p.m. until 12 a.m., with food service available from 12 until 8 p.m. The restaurant offers a monthly schedule of events and drink specials, which can be found in your guestroom. Children are not permitted inside the restaurant after 8 p.m. Hotel guests can receive 20 percent off food purchases when they present their room keys. Also, for guests heading to the beach, call and order ahead, and Scotty's will prepare a brown bag special for you to take along.
Local Restaurant Discounts
Surfside Beach Resort partners with surrounding restaurants to offer discounts to its guests. At the nearby River City Cafe (to the left of the hotel), The Surf Diner (on the pier) and Bubba's Fish Shack (across the street from the hotel), guests receive a 10-percent discount on their meals when presenting their room keys. Discounts also are available at all Divine Restaurant Group members (20 percent off).
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Although the hotel does not have its own fitness center, it has partnered with local fitness centers to offer discounted passes to guests. Also, guests receive a "Vacation Discount Card" for Piggly Wiggly, a nearby grocery store. In addition, check your room key wallet for additional discounts on local attractions and tickets, or check with the front-desk staff. When shopping at Tanger Outlet stores, ask for special offers available by presenting your room key.
Check-in time is at 4p.m., with check-out by 11 a.m.
The Art of Smart Timing
Surfside Beach Resort is extremely busy during spring break and summer from Memorial Day through Labor Day. It also has high occupancy during the town's two bike weeks, which take place two weeks before Memorial Day and the first weekend in October. Low season for the hotel starts after Thanksgiving and runs through Easter, although occupancy starts to pick up after Valentine's Day.
If flying to Surfside Beach Resort, Myrtle Beach International Airport is the nearest major airport. Although the hotel does not provide shuttle service, you can travel by taxi, which costs approximately $26 one way. You also can rent a car at the airport. If driving in, Surfside Beach Resort is just off of U.S. Highway 17. Use the hotel address to map out your best driving route.
The hotel does not provide any complimentary shuttle service in and around Surfside Beach. Mass transportation by Coastal RGA Transit is available via a bus stop 6 blocks from the hotel; although the initial fare is $2, guests may have to change buses more than once to reach their final destination. Therefore, the best way to get around Surfside Beach and Myrtle Beach is by car.
For Mom and Dad
When mom and dad have an evening alone, they should head to River City Cafe for a casual dinner of hamburgers and fries accompanied by lively music overlooking the beach. Afterward, they can head across the street for some ice cream or make their way to Scotty's Beach Bar for an after-dinner cocktail. Wrap up the evening with a stroll along Surfside Pier gazing at the stars.