Club Wyndham King Cotton Villas is at 1 King Cotton Road Edisto Beach, SC 29438. Edisto Beach, South Carolina, is South of Charleston, South Carolina, and over 1.5 hours south of Myrtle Beach. It has a pace and a feel that is truly unique since it seems unimpacted by commercial real estate and concerns.
Day One Arrival
As I often do when going to South Carolina or Florida, I had driven down Interstate 95 today to the resort. It was a bit of a drive and the last hour seemed longer since they were off the Interstate itself.
All in the trip was about 7 hours door to door. I could have taken older route 17 if something was wrong with Interstate 95, but I was lucky there was light traffic for May since I was going down midweek.
When you first arrive here, the feeling is very residential. Almost like you are just going to be checking into a home. The lobby is small but still had 4 check-in computers staffed with helpful people with smiles and nice greetings. I got sorted with my room access quickly and checked in with no issues.
Video by Andrew Hutto
At this resort, I felt like I had to bring a friend or two because all the villas are large 3-bedroom units. It would be a waste to not share this trip with others. So, I invited my girlfriend and another couple along for the trip. We decided since it was a short trip that one car with luggage would be enough.
I got a great deal on a rental car from Enterprise and grabbed an SUV for the trip. They may take a ton of $3 a gallon gas but really to comfortably take the 4 of us together for a 7-hour trip each way it was worth it. It is amazing how large a GMC Denali is. It is like a small tank compared to my Mustang. On the interstate, the beast seemed to glide over potholes and bumps. Not like driving an SUV 20 years ago when you felt every single bump in the road.
It also helped that the GMC had almost 80 sq feet of cargo space. Man, women pack like they are going to the moon. Each had two bags that I was glad there was another guy along to help carry them. Is it the shoes that make things so heavy?
Checking into the villa, it has all the standard amenities and more.
- Cable TV
- Coffee Maker
- DVD Player
- Ice Maker
- Iron/Ironing Board
- Ceiling Fan
- Whirlpool Bath
Then the resort itself offers all of these options.
- Beach Access
- BBQ Grills
- Concierge Services
- Activities Desk
- Golf Course (18 holes)
- Gift Shop
- Fitness Room
- Game Room
- Hot Tub
- Indoor Pool
- Pool Bar
- Deli/Snack Bar
- Internet Access
- Kid’s Activities
- Outdoor Pool
- Laundry Facilities
- Children’s Pool (Outdoor/Seasonal)
- Movie Rentals
- On-Site Security
- Activities Center
- Sauna/Steam Room
- Beach Volleyball
You have heard me say it before, but I love having in-room or villa washers and dryers when there are pools or beaches involved. I have unfound memories of cold, still wet bathing suites of my youth and that first 20 minutes of wearing them back to the pool or ocean daily without a dryer. In the old days of my youth, you washed your bathing suit of the chlorine or the ocean in the sink, then let them hang dry until the morning of the next day on the shower rod. When you have a washer and dryer in a unit that is not a problem, and I love it.
Here the villas are huge! “Said like Trump for impact”. They are 1916 square feet of fun. This means a nice size living room, a full dining room with a large kitchen table that would seat 6 comfortably, and a full kitchen.
My first thought is that these would be great for a family gathering. Like getting everyone together for Thanksgiving, or Christmas sometime. Most places do not have the layout to support that, but this resort and these villas certainly do. Even if you had a large family reunion, you could rent several of these and support a very large group.
The rooms have 2 King Beds, 2 Double Beds, and even a Queen size sleeper sofa. So that means 10 people per unit is possible in comfort. There are even 4 full baths which are great for a larger group. For the 4 of us, it was overkill. But if we all needed to shower or dress at the same time, we could. Score one for the vacation team.
Each villa also has a screened-in porch that has a table and 4 chairs. I think I will offer to make breakfast one day if the ladies will clean up after me. I do a mean omelet and a decent pancake if I say so myself. Note to self, go to the grocery at some point when the others are on the beach.
I think the large living room here would be nice for watching some sports even on the wide-screen around a holiday or having a small party for guests from another villa. It has space and good seating.
The bathrooms were all nice, but there was one that was set up like a master bath with a nicer shower than the others. I let the other couple grab that one, and stuck with the bedroom with the more traditional bath. The other couple alone was still in that new love phase, so anything I could do to support that I wanted to do within reason.
It was cute that they held hands much of the trip down and arranged themselves to sit together in the back seats on the way. We were older, but it felt kind of enjoyed going on some college trips the way they were acting.
We were all kind of hungry after check-in, so we chose a local joint and headed over to Ella and Ollies for dinner. The feel of Edisto reminded me of Hilton Head Island. Sure, few places could have so much golf as Hilton Head, but it had that kind of feel to it. The restaurant even reminded me of some places near Hilton Head.
I started my dinner with the She Crab Soup and then chose a steak for the entrée. My gal had the house salad for an appetizer and then chose the Short Ribs for dinner. The other couple managed to order the same thing (isn’t that cute) and each ordered fried chicken. I swear if they stay this cute, I might have to leave them on the beach one day and drive away.
The food here is pricey but good, and the service was great too. They also have a full-page drink menu and what looks like a decent top-shelf bar. We had a few drinks. It was walking distance to the, so I had several as well. I had just eaten, and I figured if I felt anything at all we could just walk back. I felt fine and at my body weight the 2 drinks I had were not an issue with a 2-block drive, so I drove us back to the resort.
When I was younger, I drank like a fish at times. Especially in social situations. These days I do not have that sense of adventure, I guess. So, I just drink until I am relaxed and tend to stop. It is also like the Hank Williams Jr. song. “Hangovers hurt more than they used to, corn bread and ice tea have taken the place of pills and 90 proof.” Well, accept that I never was a pill person. I was not drinking to shut out the world, just trying to amplify it and have fun.
Day Two at Club Wyndham King Cotton Villas
I had woken up early just after sunrise and no one else was up yet. I tip-toed out the door and drove to a grocery store for some fast shopping for breakfast supplies. I would have done this on the way in, but I did not want the discussion of who should pay for what out of the two couples. Also, I truly wanted to cook and for me, that meant picking my own ingredients. I found a local food lion near the resort and that would be fine for just eggs and stuff.
I shopped fast, hoping to get back before the others were awake and start cooking. My wish was to wake them with the smells of breakfast. That is a heck of a neat way to wake up on vacation.
My shopping list was simple. Eggs, Waffles, butter, syrup, bread for toast, apple butter, two types of juice, milk, and some hot cocoa for nighttime. Then I also got some sausages, stuff for grits, and more ingredients than I needed for omelets, but I figured I could give them options instead of just cheese omelets.
Once back at the villa, I did not even put most of the groceries away, just the juice and milk and I started cooking. It felt like I made it back before anyone was up, but I was wrong. My gal had woken shortly after I left, and was wandering into the kitchen interested in what I was up to and looking for coffee. I remembered coffee but did not want to start it yet because if I did, I knew that would wake any coffee drinker within 10 miles and the secret of breakfast would be out.
So first things first I made the waffles and sides, then tucked them into the oven for warm keeping. Next the coffee (I did not want to continue to get the stare from my gal) and once that started, I knew I would likely not have long. Just as expected 8 minutes later the door opened from the two young lovers’ room with her friend asking about coffee too. I informed them that breakfast was on me, but clean up was on the girls. They smiled and said they liked that arrangement. I handed out coffee and set up a fixing area for them with sugar and milk as needed.
I then offered to bring everything out to the porch in 13 minutes for breakfast as soon as I took the omelet orders. It landed on ham and cheese omelets all around, except my gal who just wanted a cheese omelet. I was going to be making my perfect omelet today with the freezer bag method.
You see, if you put all of your omelet elements into a freezer back and seal it up you can mix them in the bag to get them incorporated together very well. Then put them standing up into boiling water in a large pot. 11 minutes later after turning off the heat to the pot you have perfect 3 egg omelets that come out amazing, in texture, and appearance. For these today I had even lined the bags with a little clarified butter dropped in for extra flavor. The cheese was freshly shaved sharp cheddar, and the ham for 3 of these was good old salty Smithfield ham that I had purchased packaged by the slice.
I pulled out the prepared plates with 2 waffles, sausage patties (not links), and grits, then added the perfect omelets and hot toast for the win. Then put them on the table and ran back with fresh butter and apple butter for the toast. My gal had already set the table with the drinks for everyone and silverware and napkins. She is a keeper.
We had a great breakfast and a pleasant conversation. The ladies bragged about how good the breakfast was, and the other guy seemed jealous, but I offered to share my perfect omelet method with him before we left. It really is just about mixing the ingredients in the bag, and the water bath for 11-13 minutes once the water is boiling. You just have to turn off the heat once you put the freezer bags in.
Sous vide, which means “under vacuum” in French, refers to the process of vacuum-sealing food in a bag, then cooking it to a very precise temperature in a water bath. This technique produces results that are impossible to achieve through any other cooking method. That is essentially what you are doing except with the omelets you are not using a pressurized bag or vacuum seal, but it is close to the zip lock on the freezer back and that rush of heat at the start of the cook. You see, the air in the freezer back quickly heats up and expands to fill the top of the bag. You are left with omelets that come up perfectly shaped as if formed by the egg Gods, and the ingredients are so well mixed in it is amazing. Another thing is you can get things like cheese in every bite that you can not do when folding omelets or cooking in a pan.
After our breakfast, we were off to the beach today. We headed for State Park Beach near the resort. Here you have 1.5 miles of beach that are full of sea shells. It made me think of the Outer Banks of North Carolina when I was young before millions of people seemed to find those beaches every year. Tons of seashells all along the beach. Here on this part of the beach, you will even find palm trees that seem native to the area, which was a little shocking to see this far North, but neat.
We stayed here playing on the beach for hours. Then we headed back to the villa to change and get ready to take the girls into Charleston for shopping and the night’s entertainment.
I had made arrangements for us to rent a sailboat and show the ladies some sailing fun. I rented the smallest boat I could find for 4 people and used a local sailing business as my resource in Charleston. It has been a decade since I sailed at all, but I felt confident I could handle things. Years ago, for a very brief time, I sailed and even sailed semi-competitively. I also attended sailing camps in North Carolina in my youth for a few summers, so other than the knots I had somehow blocked from my memory I felt like I could take us out without much issue.
Before sailing, I figured we could let the ladies start the afternoon shopping. Nothing works better to calm the ladies than shopping for fun stuff, not for school clothes or stressful things.
We decided to skip lunch and start sailing instead, then come back in for dinner afterward. The day was not too windy, but given how rusty I was that was a good thing. The other guy with us had never sailed nor had my gal, but her friend said she had sailed too when she was young. It was amazing I found out that she was a Seafarer Girl I had gone camping Sea Gull which was the larger brother camp to Camp Seafarer. Not far away in North Carolina. Unique for the length of the camp sessions, which were a month for kids from 7 to 16 years of age.
Well, it turned out my Seafarer partner in sailing crime was better than me. In part (making excuses for myself) because she was 15 years younger than me, and also had been sailing just last month versus a decade earlier. But she was great and together we handled the boat so well that we could have raced someone had they been around. Hours later when bringing the boat back into the dock, we came in so fast and in such an expert fashion that the boat owner offered her a job.
The waterway around Charleston was fun, and the location of the Charleston City Marina put us in a great spot to launch back into town and find something good for dinner.
We landed at Circa 1886 for dinner. Wow, what a neat place. Rustic cooking and Charleston’s Historic atmosphere combined here seamlessly. The menu was fine dining and they say rustic but it felt and tasted fine dining in its presentation and taste. This was not a cheap venue, but the food was excellent and I was amazed we were able to get a good table without a reservation. Here you enter through a small garden-like entrance and it feels like you are going back in time to a much earlier part of our Nation’s history. The doors to the kitchen are wooden and make you think of food being served at a large plantation home a long time ago. One door used to go into the kitchen and another for coming out of it. When either happened, the staff had their arms full of food or plates.
For my entrée, I chose the BROKEN ARROW VENISON and my girlfriend had the TANKORA SPICED GUINEA HEN the other couple ordered a surf and turf of sorts and shared their meals. The meal here reminded me of dinner at the Kitchen at the Powhattan Plantation in Williamsburg. This was a nicer location, but the menu was similar and it was the closest thing I could imagine to this experience at Circa 1886.
We all wanted to try some of their desserts and we did I had the APPLE RUM SOUFFLÉ which was amazing. I tried a bite of the BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE CRÉMUEX, which had a bourbon taste I loved.
Day Three Getting to Know Edisto Beach
Today we were back at the beach in the morning then we all wanted to just explore more of Edisto Beach. It was nice being so close to Charleston, but we wanted to get the full feeling for this little beach town.
For lunch, we went to Mcconkey’s Jungle Shack which even knows we had eaten at very nice upscale locations for the rest of the trip was by far my favorite restaurant on the trip. The prices were great, and the location was fun and warm. It felt like the kind of spot I would love to have opened as a restaurant myself one day. Everything here was simple, good, and affordable. The desserts were insanely good!
We ate a ton of food going with local favorites and fun sides too. They had a ½ pound burger that was slamming, and the snack-like sides were perfect here. I give this place a 9 out of 10 for vacation dining. Such a great value for a restaurant in a vacation town. Truly impressive. If you go to Edisto, you simply have to stop here. There is no reason not to.
The name for this place comes from Edisto Beaches’ original name McConkey’s Beach. It turns out that McConkey was the man who many years ago wanted to turn this area into a resort. But was killed before he could complete his plan. It was not until the 1920s that another developer had the nerve to come into the area and give it a go. Still, to this day the area is less developed than almost any other beach town on the East Coast. That is a good thing for sure.
After the full day at the beach and around town, and a killer meal, we had already checked out of the villa and it was time for the drive home. We felt it better to drive back at night and make the most of our last day in town. I was wiped out however and was happy to have the other couple drive the rental car back most of the way. Especially since the girl was a Seafarer, I knew I could not be in better hands.