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Crown Reef: Myrtle Beach Family Resort with water park!

Updated: May 22

This is a review of the Crown Reef Resort, a family friendly Myrtle Beach Hotel that is actually more like a resort. With an oceanfront location on the southern part of the Grand Strand, full of great amenities that will be fun for the entire family. Since I was here on my vacation with my mom, I thought, why not. I can tell you a little bit about this place, what I learned while staying here on this trip, changes to the hotel, prices, and amenities. I will also tell you the good and bad about the room and the resort. With tons of pictures, because as we all know pictures are what we love.

Crown Reef Resort
Crown Reef Resort, lights are not as purple as they used to be.
Crown Reef Resort from the beach
View of the Crown Reef resort from the beach

There are a few other Myrtle Beach Family Resorts with water parks, I would recommend in the area that are most likely just as fine as Crown Reef, but since I have not stayed at them recently, I will not mention them in this blog, but in the future as I stay at them, I will write new blogs.

This hotel complex was built in 1985. I was just a kid back then, But I remember riding around in the car with my parents and staring out the window at this beautiful hotel lit up purple at night. I kept saying to them I want to stay there. LOL. Well after my high school graduation I finally got to stay here and enjoy their oceanfront waterpark. The purple lights and how huge it was made me think I would never be able to afford to stay here. But honestly the price was quite reasonable back then, and still fine now. Picking an off-season time will help with that too.

Pool view of the Crown Reef
Pool view of the Crown Reef

There was a high-rise expansion in 1999 and at that time they added a conference center. When I started coming here in the early 2000's outdoor water amenities like Pools, lazy river and 1 restaurant were open. But since then, they have added more amenities.

The Crown Reef has easy access from Route 17 and the south side of the Strip. Personal opinion, stay in the Southern part of Myrtle Beach where Crown Reef is located or stay in North Myrtle Beach, those are the best options for a Myrtle Beach vacation. The Crown Reef is actually one of the closest resorts to the Myrtle Beach Airport.

You have the ability to stay in a variety of different room set ups. From oceanfront to ocean view rooms, plus upgraded penthouse rooms. Rooms come with a private balcony. Crown Reef is known for being one of the top Myrtle Beach Resorts.

Trip Review May 17th, 2024

Conference Center and Check-in area
Conference Center and check-in area.

After checking in, I was asked to go to a desk at a nearby counter. Of course, knowing what this is all about I was kind of leery. I know they are trying to sell timeshares, or attend an hour seminar to hear about it, that is what those desks are always about. But what I thought was weird was that I was asked to go over there to get my waterpark bracelets. The water park is included with your stay, and honestly water attractions is why most people book this hotel. While talking to the man over there, (who was trying to convince you to sign up for a 45 minute seminar.) I learned that they would be talking a lot about this hotel and the amenities and changes that have been made. As he put it, this is the new Crown Reef, with a re-grand opening after last year's hurricane. He said that there were lots of updates to rooms and the resort itself. I declined the offer, I am not here to listen to a timeshare this time, maybe some other time. But if you decide to go you will get vouchers to use in the hotel, which is a good choice for those wanting discounts to the breakfast buffet and more. Side note......... Check-in is across the street at the conference center, 2nd floor.

The Good on the room

Bathroom view with me in the picture
Bathroom view with me in the picture

The room has been updated quite a bit. Still the same layout as back in the day, but definitely updated. Modern gray paint job, cute sink bowl, and nice paintings on the wall. Also, nice gray tile floor and wood in the kitchen (probably laminate), but still nice. It's not a complete redo. It looks like the same old AC units, but they function perfectly. When the compressor kicks in it is a little noisy at night, but nothing too serious. Check out the pictures. You can be picky if you want. You can see defects in the paint job, or a hole closet that should have been filled in from the previous safe before the paint job. But still, I am not complaining.

Kitchen View
Kitchen view

The full kitchen has a functional large fridge with freezer, oven, microwave, toaster and coffee pot. They supply you with plates, cups, glasses, utensils, dish detergent, cutting board, and a drying rack. Also, a couple baking dishes. They even leave you a couple packs of coffee for your coffee pot.

The best thing is it is very clean. No bed bugs, or bugs of any kind. All Sheets, blankets and towels were in great, clean condition without any stains. Floors were swept and moped too when we arrived. I took a real close look in corners, used flashlights under the beds and even more just to make sure the place was thoroughly clean and bugs free. I was extremely happy about this.

Issues with the room

bathroom picture
bathroom picture

The only issues I have with the Guest rooms are. The bathroom is missing a door. This is how it is designed. You can tell by the pictures, the little part of the bathroom with the shower and toilet has a door, but the outer part of the bathroom is missing a door. I understand the concept that it will let someone in the area prepare for the day while someone is in the shower, but........ I hate it. The little bathroom is too small to get dressed in (especially for this chunky monkey. lol) so you step out in front of the sink, but then people walking by can see your naked butt. The kitchen is right behind you.

Getting to the safe/closet is hard, it's in a closet near the 2nd bed, and there isn't enough room to get to the bed without being in bed. Check out the picture below, you can also see the hole in the wall that was not fixed properly before the new paint job. (From the old safe that was in the room).

safe beside the bed
safe beside the bed

No Ice in the ice machine on the 8th floor while I was there.

Also 1 TV remote for the whole unit, (1 TV in Bedroom area and 1 TV in living room area) I am sure if I asked the front desk or maid this would have been taken care of. Really this was not a big deal to me. Having 2 TV’s though is perfect for a large family vacation.

The Rest of the Resort

The Good

  • 2 large outdoor pools, 1 outdoor with palm trees in the middle island, and 1 pool that is split between outdoor and indoor. (I use the word indoor loosely, because you are still outside just under the hotel.) You still feel the winds from the ocean, which will be cold at times out of peak season.

  • Largest Outdoor Lazy River at a hotel in Myrtle Beach South Carolina (575 foot long) which weaves in and out from under the hotel to back in the sun. As mentioned above, you will be cold when it goes under the hotel to give you cover from the sun, especially if the wind is blowing and you go when it is not peak season. On a good note, the lazy river is heated, it feels like bath water. The perfect place for a nice relaxing float.

  • 3 water slides (1 kid's water slide) You will have a great time on the water slides.

  • 2 kid's pools, with mushroom waterfalls for the kids to play under, and a ship to climb in that becomes a small waterslide. The Kiddie pool area is very cute for the young kids on vacation.

  • 11 hot tubs. Perfect for guests of all ages, and great for cooler months because the water is heated.

  • 1 more small pool, they claim to be indoor, but it still is just under the hotel, so it is definitely not indoor.

Loco Gecko Burger and Fries
Loco Gecko Burger and Fries
  • Lots of staff near pools on sunny active days. Watching kids, keeping kids from running or using the lazy river without a tube, also they were very helpful with guests. Also, you use new waterpark bracelets daily, so you ask the staff near the pool for new bracelets when you need them. 

  • Tiki Bar opened up around noon on the Saturday I was there. They serve alcoholic drinks. Cocktails, buckets of beer, and frozen drinks. The perfect choice for an alcoholic drink.

  • An Icee stand that serves a cup for $6, several flavors.

  • Loco Gecko Restaurant is great with a casual dress code, located above the lazy river/ pool area on level 2. You can sit up there inside/outside or take it to go and sit by the pool. The burgers are amazing and an order of the onion petals is a perfect choice.

  • Arcade on level 2 has about 20 games where you collect tickets and turn in for prizes, You will have a great time as an adult, but the kids will truly enjoy it the most.

  • Breakfast bar in Tower 1, walk through the arcade to get to it. $14.95 without discount vouchers (you get discount vouchers if you listen to the timeshare spiel). It was good, nothing crazy amazing, but good quick food with an omelet station. Personally I would not recommend eating there everyday for a whole family, it will get expensive.

  • Snack bar on level 3, tower 2 near Loco Gecko. Grab things you forgot for your trip, or drinks and snacks. It is self-checkout and uses a credit/debit card only. Cashless system.

  • Exercise room/ Fitness Center, located on level 3, tower 2. had several machines, and a room inside there is a self-laundry area.

It was easy to just list the amenities because they were all good.

The Bad.

  • Laundry room was very hot. Nobody was in there but there was laundry in the dryer waiting to be taken out. Not sure if it was because the dryer had been on or because the laundry room is located in a room adjacent to the exercise room that made it hot. The room itself did not look the cleanest, and it was not updated.

  • The exercise room, same as above, was not the cleanest up to date room, very hot and humid. The machines did look clean though. Still it would be a good place for some exercise.

  • The Pool situation, claiming that it is open year round. Unless they do some major plastic canopy/siding, this cannot be considered indoor if it is just under the hotel. You will freeze in the winter with the ocean breezes. But I am sure people from the far north would think the cold water was tolerable, but for me, in winter it would not be.

  • When the hotel is full it is very hard finding a parking spot in the parking building attached to the resort.

Check out my YouTube Videos I made on the Crown Reef. Click the lines below for whichever video you would like to see. and it will take you there.

In Conclusion

I think the Crown Reef Beach Resort is still a great place to stay for families with kids. Come right before peak season mid-May or come in September or early October to still catch some warm weather to enjoy the pools and ocean to try to save the budget. My 4-night, 5-day, including the $12 nighty parking fee for security, waterpark access, and credit card convenience fee totaled $1,048.00. With water park fun, ocean front views and great dining options you will have a wonderful time.

I hope you enjoyed this review, and you find it helpful if you are planning a vacation to Myrtle Beach and are considering Crown Reef Resort. Remember that a beach vacation is so much fun for the whole family. When you arrive, you will be so excited and when it is over at least you will have the memories of those hot summer days being cooled off by the Atlantic Ocean, and the water activities of the Crown Reef Resort.

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