Myrtle Beach is what it is. It’s crowded. It’s brash. It’s entertaining. If you’re looking for beachy deals in the middle of the summer busy season, it will be tough. For real savings in Myrtle Beach wait until the shoulder seasons when the largest rooms are half the price of small rooms during peak. Resorts wrap themselves up and down the ‘Grand Strand’ of the gorgeous South Carolina real estate. Many are pricey and less than family friendly. Expect to pay upwards of $300-$400 per night for a suite sleeping 4, maybe 5 in a pinch.

Choose to stay at the Crown Reef Resort for what it is NOT as much as what it is.

Crown Reef Resort newly renovated in Myrtle Beach, SC Lit up at night

Crown Reef Resort lit up at Night. All Photos Credited: Carissa Rogers

It is NOT a fancy hotel chain. It is NOT as expensive as several other large Myrtle Beach resorts. Is it NOT small. It is NOT for a romantic 2nd honeymoon getaway. It is NOT in the middle of the chaos and traffic of the middle of Myrtle Beach.

 

It is NOT going to be annoyed if your family is loud and enjoys splashing and playing hard in the pool and beach area.

DestinationReview

 

What it IS…

  1. It is a no frills bargain of a giant resort with enough room to sleep 8 in a double queen ‘shotgun’ suite.
  2. It is a resort with all rooms facing the ocean—and amazing sunrises.
  3. It is Family Friendly with 2 capitol Fs.
  4. It has 2 new waterslides, 2 pools and the longest lazy river in Myrtle Beach.
    Several of the water amenities stay open year round!
  5. All rooms come with either a small kitchen with full size fridge, oven and microwave. Or a smaller ‘kitchenette’ with just mini fridge and microwave. NOTE: no dishwasher in the suites.

    Several showers line the Crown Reef Resort access points to the Ocean.

    Several showers line the Crown Reef Resort access points to the Ocean.

  6. It has 5 walkways to beach front access with showers at each point.
  7. The whole resort has undergone a multi-million dollar renovation.
  8. It is located very close to the Myrtle Beach airport.
  9. It is located at the extreme southern end of Myrtle Beach, which means the traffic and noise is minimal (despite being 3 miles from the airport).
  10. It is not far from the Murrel’s Inlet area – our new favorite grown-up restaurant area with by far the freshest seafood. The resort is also very near a grocery store, not walkable, but close.
  11. If purchasing resort credit in advance, a 10% discount is given on all in-resort purchases.
  12. It has a restaurant/bar that stays open late. The Loco Gecko is one of two restaurants operated by the same team.
  13. It has an onsite breakfast buffet with an impressive choice of options including a fresh to order omelette bar.
  14. It has a huge game room for kids and several activities scheduled out for children both free and paid options. Plus a small ice cream shop, open late—when you’re all craving a late night treat.
  15. The feel of a small condo, yet includes daily maid service. You’re still washing your own dishes though, sorry.

The Hotel

I have to admit, if you pull up in the daylight, you might be a little disappointed. It cannot be categorized as a modern looking resort. It’s huge with 3 attached towers and over 500 rooms. But it kind of shouts out: “Look at me, I was born in the late 80s and your grandma’s decorations are still hanging in my lobby!”

I suggest planning to arrive after dark…

Because at night it sings another tune. The whole front façade is lit up with purple/black lights: LED or Neon (I don’t know for sure) but whatever the light source, it’s singing: “Saturday Night Fever” disco songs of the 70s and pulls off the retro, cool vibe all the way down to the colored and newly refurbished lighted fountains. See photo above for resort lit up at night!

I’m not sure why, but check-in is across the street in the massive conference center also run by Crown Reef. The conference center is used for everything from business conferences (At the beach?! How lucky are those business folks?) to weddings and receptions, with all the guests easily accommodated across the street in the resort for destination nuptials. No weddings are allowed on the beach… I asked. Bummer.

Once checked in, parking is on the resort side and while there’s plenty of free parking—one car allowed for a King Room 2 cars for a Double Queen Suite, the parking spots are tiny and we often gave up looking for covered spots and moved up a level or two choosing instead to park near the elevator deck of our tower.

View of Crown Reef Resort from Beach

View of Crown Reef Resort from Beach

The Rooms

Room Size of Deluxe Queen Suite

Overall I think the Double Queen Suite is perfect for a family of 4 people. There is a pull out couch as well as a murphy bed—which the kids loved! But with only one potty and one shower, any more than 4 people with sandy feet and… erm… sandy parts, would be crowded for sure. Plus there are only a handful of cups, plates and bowls, etc.

The room was clean and the furnishings are new, but definitely not luxurious. This is a bargain resort, so don’t expect high end. When they say ‘shotgun’ suite, this means you fall into the double bed ‘room’ directly from the hallway hotel entrance. The queen bedroom is linked to the ‘living room’ via a hallway with the galley kitchen and bathroom opposite the kitchen. The living space past the kitchen/hallway has a small veranda that looks over the Ocean with the pool area directly below. Pull out couch and Murphy bed are here. (See Video Highlight.)

NOTE: We were surprised at how quiet the nights were, but the wall unit air conditioners were much louder than I would have liked.

I thought several key items were lacking at the resort and was glad we live close enough to drive in and thought to bring most things with us. However if you fly in to Myrtle’s airport, I suggest you definitely plan to rent a vehicle even though the Crown Reef is only a few miles away.

What to Bring to make your stay at Crown Reef Resort a Success

Your own toiletries.

The ‘Blu’ brand shampoo and soap came in very small containers, certainly not enough for one day’s worth of showering for a family of 4 or 5. Also I was unimpressed with the quality of the Blu products.

Your own BEACH towels

To be clear, there are plenty of in-room shower towels and they were replaced each day as needed. And you CAN get resort towels—one per person from the guest services. But they are tiny and really meant for time at the pools not the beach.

Ziplocks, extra utensils, paper towels, paper plates and any utensil that isn’t well…a fork.

You should not expect the Kitchen/Kitchenette to be stocked with really anything but 4 bowls, 4 plates, several water glasses and 4 coffee cups. There was no can opener, oven mitt, cookie pan, or usable knife.

Beach Gear

Beachfront access to the Crown Reef Resort Myrtle Beach, SC

Beachfront access to the Crown Reef Resort Myrtle Beach, SC

If you can, bring your own beach chairs and umbrella. They are readily available to rent on the beach but pricey if you rent for several days in a row. Also plan to either purchase kid toys and boogie boards when you get to Myrtle Beach or bring your own.

As long as you are prepared to go shopping pretty much as soon as you get there the frustration of missing items will be much less frustrating. Walmart and Costco (plan at least one super cheap lunch!) are nearby as well as several smaller grocery stores and hundreds of giant 2 story souvenir shops—all the same with literally the same tchotchkes and the same giant shark mouth to walk through.

New furnishings, not luxurious but clean. Only one light source for a double queen room.

New furnishings, not luxurious but clean. Only one light source for a double queen room.

My husband asked me to point out that the lighting in the double queen bedroom area was extremely poor. There was a single table lamp to share between the two beds. And he was especially annoyed with the fact that there was only one outlet near the beds but it was behind the mattress. Plus one of the plug ins was taken up by the WIFI booster device. So if you want light in your room while also charging any digital device you’ll be out of luck. Apparently the alarm clock was only for show as there was zero places to plug it in if you were charging your cell phone at night?

Diet Pepsi Anyone?

On the other hand I was thrilled that the resort had Pepsi products on site!
In case that’s sexy for anyone else?
Not so good for my Diet Coke-loving husband I’m afraid.

Is the Resort & Water Park Family Friendly?

The Crown Reef Resort & Water Park… well yes, but.

2 Waterslides on site.

2 Waterslides on site.

It’s a bit highfalutin to call the Crown Reef an actual Water Park, because it’s really just a large pool area. But the whole water area is included in your reservation. The 2 water slides are small but a lot of splash gets packed into those slides! The kiddie splash pad is under a roof, shaded and a lot of fun for younger kids. The lazy river is perfect for middle aged kids (my teens, not so much), and I thought the water was surprisingly cold in the lazy river, I had to go warm up in the sunny portion of the regular pools. The lazy river is narrow with room for one tube to flow at a time, so you are kind of stuck in a pattern, which is fine… be lazy, right? BONUS: Much of the water park stays open year round.

The two pools are not huge, but there is plenty of room in the water even on a very crowded week. The law of the land is to get up early—like 6AM to go claim your family’s pool chairs with your own towels. By 7:30AM all chairs are taken, but then not used most of the day, just empty towel-covered till about 5PM? So while there’s room in the pool, there are no deck chairs most of the day.

{HINT: We found a secret area in the new ‘Sundeck’ area just south of the pool areas. Virtually empty, plenty of deck chairs, quiet and options for either sun or shade in the afternoon.}

Murrel's Inlet and Marsh Walk is tops for Restaurants just south of Myrtle Beach-- close to the Crown Reef Resort.

Murrel’s Inlet and Marsh Walk is tops for Restaurants just south of Myrtle Beach– close to the Crown Reef Resort. I suggest making call ahead reservations to Wicked Tuna in Murrel’s Inlet, our dinner & service there was wicked good!

Would we head back to the Crown Reef Resort Again?

Overall, for a family of 4 (or maybe 5-6 if you have smaller children), the Crown Reef is a terrific resort. Keep your expectations realistically set for a bargain resort and enjoy all the family friendly amenities it has to offer. I especially liked that it is situated away from the main parts of Myrtle Beach, I LOVED the immediate beach access and there is a water sports rental company literally next door. The restaurant on site was good and open late while the breakfast buffet was amazing for the price.

Crown Reef Resort Myrtle Beach, SC

Definitely I would stay at the Crown Reef again. I looked up room rates for October just for funzies and it’s under $150 for the largest double Queen Suite. That would be a perfect time for a getaway to a South Carolina beach!

Looking for family friendly options in Myrtle Beach SC? Choose to stay at