You know how when you read a bunch of information on a resort website you are just often inundated with too much information? I am the exact same way and when I started reading all about The Crown Reef Resort in Myrtle Beach, I truly did not ‘get’ what all was available at this resort. As a mom with three kids who travels all the time, it is important that I know what is available to us within an arm’s length so I don’t have to troop all over the place to get the kids fed, entertained and comfortable. When I read that there was a Town Center at The Crown Reef Resort I really did not understand how there could be a ‘town’ within a resort, but let me assure you, if you stay at The Crown Reef Resort, once you park your car, you can literally stay there and never have the need to leave. Everything you need for a fun filled family vacation or couples retreat is at the resort from entertainment to dining, let’s take a peek at what I learned behind-the-scenes in my most recent stay at The Crown Reef Resort, Myrtle Beach.
TOWN CENTER – THE CROWN REEF RESORT
What is Town Center? Town Center is the best location to pick up your WiFi and send those Instagrams, FB status posts and Tweets, because there is a router right in there! You want to know this so you can send without using your data. While there is WiFi all over the resort, it is the strongest right in the Loco Gecko Restaurant. Town Center is also the hub of ALL activity for dining. Inside Town Center you will find: The Loco Gecko Beach Shak Restaurant(you have to eat here, it’s awesome!) and the bar is right in there, The Grab n’ Go Grill and Coffee Bar, Swirl Ice Cream and Sweet Shop, as well as the Arcade. Now, let’s break each one of these down so you know why you want to go to each.
First of all, I loved the fact that I did not have to haul money anywhere on the resort premises because my room key is my wallet(there were a few minor exceptions, but this really did not impact us). If you are hungry or need something you can charge it to your room, making it kind of like a cruise ship setting, and extremely convenient for those of us with kids and already hauling too much around(beach totes, beach stuff, etc). Your next question might be is there a place to stow your valuables? Right in your room there is a safe that you make your own combination for, so don’t worry about hauling anything more than your key card!
Second: You will be delighted to know that you arrange Gluten Free, Nut Free and Latex Free Dining, as we did, but you must communicate this to the chefs or the staff, making it possible to be at a resort that you can actually eat at rather than tracking around town looking for a place to eat at. No driving, just walk from your room to Town Center.
The Loco Gecko Beach Shak Restaurant is perfect for quick bites, late nights, lunches, when running from the beach to the room, and all bar needs(the drinks are awesome). Here is what it looks like inside so you know you have found the right place once you arrive!
You don’t need to be dressed up, but you can be and plan to listen and rock out to kickin’ music, we could hardly sit still while we were eating and drinking. We met all the bartenders and staff while we were there and they got to know us and we watched them interacting with others, they really love their jobs and their customers.
If you have kids, ask for a Virgin Strawberry Daiquiri — the word from my kids “Amazing”
The suggested drink “the Crown Reef Breeze”, just ask for it, if you love fruity-like drinks this will send you all tropical. The salads are perfect and we dined on the Shrimp Caesar and my daughter ate a few Chicken Caesars(Chef Bobby made them Gluten Free for her). The dressing is delicious, not too creamy and not too thin, just right. You will be filled if you eat these but of course we had to get the fries with it as well, just to add a little more to our bikini lines, LOL!. The fries are perfectly delicious.
Other foods that we dined on while we were there: Pizza(pepperoni, plain and veggie all available), Caesar Salad with Chicken and Caesar Salad with Shrimp, burgers and fries. The salads are delicious and Chef Bobby can make them GLUTEN FREE(if you tell him) and the pizza crust has no nuts(make sure to ask if you have nut allergies as we do). Here is another piece of information, the kids grilled cheese and fries in the middle is Under$5 and our salads were both Under $12 so the food is priced perfect but the convenience makes it a steal! The pizza has a nice thick crust, and the crunch on the crust is outstanding. The sauce is not gooey, rather it has a nice taste and you will find a few chunky pieces of tomato running through it. If you order pepperoni there is plenty as it is a generous topping.
A bonus: if your kids order drinks, there are Loco Gecko plastic tumblers that come with the beverages, so you can keep these as a take home. You can also purchase hats and shirts for the restaurant right on premises, but you have to get them at the bar, as this is where they are available. The shirts are all bright and fun and the kids LOVE them!
Other beach perfect drinks I enjoyed: Margarita on the rocks made to perfection(my bar tender even threw the first one out because he looked at it and it did not mix right, before EVER handing it to me— outstanding care for what they do at the Crown Reef Resort. Wine and beer go well with anything so make sure to test those out, I sure did:)
Swirl Ice Cream and Sweet Shop
What else is in Town Center? Once you are at the Loco Gecko, keep walking through, look at the tee shirts and you will see to your right a set of stairs to go down to the pool, don’t go, just keep walking straight ahead and you will find: Swirl Ice Cream and Sweet Shop. That’s right there is Ice cream right at the resort, just walk up and order and if you and your kids have a pang for sweets look at this wall of bulk candy. Mike(restaurant manager was showing us all the great choices!)
These are perfect choices for those hat are sweet tooth fanatics and Under $1 an oz. Let the kids fill those bags and of course any mom knows you can ‘bribe’ the kids into being good all vacation for a trip to the sweet shop!
Again, this shop is kid and adult perfect because it is right on the resort premises so you are not seeking it out a place to purchase great items like this, it is all right at your fingertips and in the resort.
TOWN CENTER – ARCADE
If you are in the Sweet Shop, you are also in the Arcade and you might find yourself having the time of your life or the kids might. Once you play you can cash in for the goods that you won. Hours of fun are waiting for you and if you have not played arcade games in a while you really will enjoy the opportunity. My kids were arcade crazy while we were there and it was a way for them to feel like they were ‘away’ from me being independent(you know how teens are) while not really being away from me( you know how hard it is as a parent to lengthen the responsibility). My kids won candy and small toys, all the stuff a fun trip to the arcade is made of!
GRAB N’ GO GRILL & COFFEE BAR
Don’t leave the resort looking for a Starbucks, stay in your pj’s and saunter from your room, down to the Grab n’ Go Grill & Coffee Bar and you will feel like you are in paradise. The waves meet the shoreline, while your lips meet a cup that touts a delicious cup of brew. IF you are an iced coffee person, the Iced Mocha is a coffee delight, but if you prefer a stronger brew, the Cappuccino will be your new addiction. Since it is morning and hunger has probably set in, you can pick up a few light bites for breakfast, or you could walk up to the Crown Cafe and visit Mary for a great breakfast to go or dine in option.
Underneath Town Center is the pool, which often has a bar cart set up and the Big Red Umbrella has the prize of the century: Italian Shaved Ice in so many flavors you won’t know which to pick. The best part of these are the middles, because all the juice goes into the center. The ice is so shaved that it is light and flaky and there is no one that can resist, everyone at the pool(no exaggeration) was purchasing and enjoying these. (we talked to one lady that was staying there and she had tried every flavor in the week that she had been there, which means she was eating at least 2 a day, lol!)
Honestly, if you have 2 kids under 5 they should share one because it is so big. The cost per iced is $4 and worth every darn penny. (this is a cash only item, so do carry $ for this to the pool) We ate Lime, Peach, Strawberry, Blue Raspberry and Lemon, because everyone wanted to match their ice to their bathing suit and that was the trending thing to do along the pool.
That’s it, that is Town Center in a nut shell. It is not too big or overwhelming, but you have to know it is there so you don’t go elsewhere. The food is delicious, the staff will help you with menu choices and the location makes it so easy to keep your vacation relaxed. We loved the music and eating Oceanside without ever competing with those dinner time crowds that are in some of the other ‘trendy’ Myrtle Beach locations. You have a great view and easy access without moving the car. Paradise does exist in Myrtle Beach and Town Center is geared to lend you a hand in keeping things easy and fun.