May 2019

Loggerhead Landing: An Escape within an Escape

Author: Barry Kaufman

We all need an escape every now and again. Even those of us fortunate enough to already live on an island where most of the country goes to escape. We need just that one afternoon in the sun, with the roar of the ocean accompanying great live music, a drink in our hand and our toes in the sand. It’s as necessary to the soul as the air we breathe is to the body. It reminds us why we live here; it centers us and reinvigorates us.

It’s that moment of pure, blissful rapture that drove the folks at Marriott to completely reinvent the classic beach bar when they created Loggerhead Landing. If you haven’t been since it was relaunched as Loggerhead Landing, you’re missing out on the quintessential beach bar experience. Nearly $300,000 was spent to transform the sprawling outdoor space, including a new rooftop and entirely new bar, with amenities all around geared towards granting you your moment of bliss.

The new wraparound bar gives everyone a stunning view of the water, just above dunes that roll right up to the patio. Wide open spaces let you dip your toes in the sand while you sip a cold beverage. Standalone gas firepits to one side come on when the sun goes down, letting you enjoy the outdoor bliss well into evening. And live music fills the air five nights a week, from the steel drums of Dean St. Hilaire to the masterful acoustic tunes of Tommy Sims. It’s a lot to take in. You might need to come back a few times.

“I don’t think you can really point to any one thing we did during the renovations as something we’re most proud of, but we can say it’s the experience,” Raffael Ormeggio, Marriott Vacation Club’s director of operations, said. “We’ve raised the bar. You come, sit down, and everything from your drink to the service to the view, is fantastic. I think the overall construction and renovation provide the base, but creating this atmosphere is the thing we’re most proud of.”

And that atmosphere is one that lets you truly unwind in style. The updated décor informs an oceanside oasis that’s a little more polished than your average “beers-on-the-sand” style watering hole. Here, the emphasis is on the beach and the sheer joy of the experience.

For further proof, one need only take a look at the beverage list. The array of frozen drinks tantalizes with classics from daiquiris to margaritas to next-level versions of those standbys, like the Coronita, a classic margarita infused with Corona—or the Miami Vice, the perfect blend of a daiquiri and a piña colada. The cocktails are equally inspired with everything from rum runners to the signature “tipsy turtles” carefully prepared using fresh, tasty spirits, aromatics and bitters. And if you can’t decide, make your own. The “Create a Cocktail” option allows you to pick your base, your fruit and your floater for a truly individualized taste sensation.

And to prove it’s not your average “beers-on-the-sand-style” watering hole, an extensive list of beers is offered, running the gamut from sunny-day standbys to crafty suds that let even the pickiest of hopheads quench their thirst. Add to this a broad selection of red, white and bubbly wine, and you have a drink list that’s miles beyond the ordinary beach bar.

That same dedication to flavor and variety can be found on the food menu, which benefits heavily from the nearby kitchen at Dolphin Grille. Pair that beachside cocktail with something from their delectable selection of wraps, sandwiches, finger foods and salads, like the thick and juicy grande burger, sizzling chicken quesadilla or light and fresh mahi wrap.

All of these elements add up to what is, simply put, the classic beach bar—perfected. It’s here you can let your hair down, enjoy the sunshine, breathe in the salty air, enjoy live music and meet with friends.

“You come here on a summer day, when we have the steel drums playing, and you could be anywhere in the Caribbean,” Ormeggio said. “You could be in Jamaica, for all you know. It’s an escape from an escape.”
And ultimately, couldn’t we all use an escape every now and again?

Loggerhead Landing is located at Marriott’s Grande Ocean, 51 South Forest Beach Dr., Hilton Head Island.

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