I have been coming to the Outer Banks since 1971 and from Corolla to Ocracoke this hotel is defiantly one of the gems. When I can't muster the energy or time to drive to Ocracoke, the Sanderling Inn makes a beautiful alternative choice. Nestled in between the sound and the ocean just north of Duck you literally are ensconced between sunrises and sunsets.
We took advantage of a recent Groupon deal and I hope, hope, hope, they will do it again.
ONE drawback and I didn't downgrade them for this but the (outsourced?) telephone reservation system belies the hospitality and true nature of this resort. They tried to sell me upgrades and options in a hustle that made me feel like the Groupon deal was going to be a mistake ("check-in before 4 pm is extra" -- well in the summer I could see that, but with >20% occupancy in February???). Naturally, my first date choice was only available with upgrades, etc. Expecting to have my wallet turned inside out when I got here, I was totally disarmed by the woman at the desk. Call their direct desk number during the day!
The on-the-ground reality was very opposite of what I expected. First, the very warm and helpful front desk woman. Second, this was a genuine good deal -- a "good" bottle of free wine was awaiting us. Two free bottles of water with a welcome note! The free breakfast for two each morning included a 15% gratuity (I still left an additional 20% to the wonderful server Wanda). Warning - the breakfast is not for the feint of heart. It was one of the most robust and tasty Southern breakfasts I have experienced. A little "Sanderling" flashlight at bedside was a nice touch.
As for our room, 101, in the Main Lodge, it is probably the most modest of the rooms but it does not disappoint. It was a decent size and the bathroom was huge. However, the bathroom needs more than one hook in its vast space. The one hook at the shower was taken by my towel for the shower/tub. I had to place my clothes on the granite counters. They must spend a fortune on water conditioning because the water was very good for an area notorious for its hard water.
I found the bed hard to sleep in, it felt short and a little lumpy/hard. My wife, loved it though and thought it to be perfect. The room was clean and cozy. They should consider adding a threshold sweep to the door bottom to stop the light and hall noise from entering the room. Lots of closet space and shelves, luggage racks and bench at the end of the bed. Our deck was full sized and would be a treat in warm weather. While we could only see the dunes from the first floor room we were so close to the ocean we could walk over to it in less than a minute and we could hear the waves breaking even with the windows closed (good noise!).
We had room service one night and the food came from the regular restaurant kitchen, not the upscale restaurant, Well, you could have fooled me. The dinner was great, again very rich and very Southern just like breakfast.
Everyone of the staff we came in contact with was very warm and helpful. Even the lady in the gift shop was gracious. I noticed that when we walked in she closed her magazine (may have been work-related) and tucked it away while we were present. That kind of politeness is what makes a difference. It showed that she was there to assist us should we need it and not an intrusion.
Finally, the beauty of the Outer Banks and lure of the ocean make this a very romantic Inn. It is well-appointed, clean, full of interesting art in the Grand Gallery and lodges and a very nice and warm second floor great room with a fireplace and four volumes of the National Audubon Society's Birds of America are presented under glass. There were lost of shells on the beach and finally we sat and we watched the tiny Sanderlings running back and forth with the surf. This was a special treat -- the winter is the best time to see Sanderlings since they head to breeding grounds in the Arctic over the summer. We were captivate by their show, as they ran along the edge of the surf picking and tumbling in the sand.
We never made it to the spa or indoor pool, maybe next time. I heartily recommend the Sanderling Resort and Spa for a romantic and stressless winter break.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- At the Sanderling Resort, casually elegant first-class amenities blend seamlessly with the spectacular landscape to foster connection and renewal. Offering magnificent views of both the Atlantic Ocean and the Currituck Sound, our guests have the same unique opportunity to admire both a sunrise and sunset - both over water. The Resort's guestrooms with their oversized bathrooms and generous decks, are a perfect complement to the quality of the natural setting, while our acclaimed spa and pools provide both unparalleled serenity at the tranquility pool, or a boisterous family environment at the Resort pool. The Resort's renowned restaurants offer the finest dining on the Outer Banks, with perfectly prepared and presented fresh coastal cuisine and a choice of venues to match the time of day, the season and your mood. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Sanderling Hotel Duck
- Sanderling Resort Duck
- The Sanderling