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“50s Motel that shows its age; Room musty”

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Cavalier by the Sea
Ranked #10 of 18 Hotels in Kill Devil Hills
Certificate of Excellence
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
32 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“50s Motel that shows its age; Room musty”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 July 2012

While the location of the Cavalier is along a pretty busy strip, the state of the rooms is pretty old. We had 2 rooms. One had a very stale odor and the other smelled of spic and span. The frig-freezer in the room were old. The big plus was that the hotel was on the beach.

What was strange was that while the hotel had no vacancies over the weekend we were there, there was no staff present in the office on Saturday.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank raynan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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205 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (54)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
chicago usa
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 July 2012

It is located right on the beach which is the main draw. However, the rooms are way outdated with wooden panels and windows that do not open at all. If you are looking for so so room and being right on the beach it is the place for you. Also I find that area of Outer Banks not as appealing as the southern. I wish we stayed in Hateras island instead of Kill Devil Hills. Way too developed for my taste. I always imagined Outer Banks being this untouched, not as developed natural area. You would still get that if you go south.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank plavi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hertford, NC
Level Contributor
33 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 July 2012

Flash back to the 1950's and 60's with a visit to this Motel. The walls are knotty pine board with lovely patina, the porches crafted to enhance the family style atmosphere. We have enjoyed the hospitality of the Cavalier for more than sixteen years.
The Cavalier has been owned and managed by the same family since the 50's, when most of the roads were sand and vast expanses of open waterfront prevailed. Kill Devil Hills has evolved into a modern oceanfront city over the years, but the Cavalier remains much as it was and has been.
Recently the kitchens were updated with new cabinets, beds replaced, flat screens added to some rooms, tubs and shower walls replaced. The old speaker systems that once piped music and information to the rooms have been removed. Air conditioners have replaced the desk fans of long ago. 


Lounging on the waterfront porch in the provided Adirondack chairs is indistinguishable from sitting on the beach - sans sand in your toes. No dune, no shrub obstructs your view of sea meeting the sand. Getting on the sand is as simple as descending two or three steps to the beach.

 Family and pet friendly cottages are close to the outdoor swimming pools and play areas. Live music is often provided on the common green as well as complementary hot dog picnics most Wednesdays (in season.) 


As you read other reviews you will deduce that the Cavalier is not the Hilton but it is a charming, clean and family friendly Motel. A True Original Outer Banks Experience.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Nothome-OnaVacation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richmond, Virginia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 July 2012

We visit the Outer Banks several times a year and often stay at the Cavalier. We even have a favorite room that we always try to request. Keep in mind that it is a small motel and is not in the "luxury" category. That being said, it is still one of our favorite places.

It sits right on the beach and has a nice balcony/deck on the roof where you can enjoy the view.

The Cavalier has the most comfortable hotel bed I've ever slept in. The room has always been very clean and we've never had any problems with the "dog smell" that some of the other reviews mentioned.

Yes, it is dog-friendly (though, I think dogs are only allowed in the cottages) but we like that. It's fun to see the four-legged travelers, as well.

It is a "motel" so you drive right up and park outside or across from your room. There is a covered walkway and chairs right outside of the room. We felt perfectly safe leaving some of our beach stuff outside overnight.

I will mention that the "economy" room is very small. It has two twin beds. The regular rooms have two beds - either full or queen - not sure which.

The staff is always very friendly and there is free wi-fi. There is also a really nice seafood restaurant right across the street, Port-O-Call.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank SandyBrad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 June 2012

I love this motel. I have stayed several times. They have a great location beach front and in walking distance to a store, game room, the port O call, etc. I like how once a week they offer a free hotdog cook out for all the motel visitors out by the pool and playground. They play live music and kids play on the swings and slides, others are swimming, others maybe sitting back on their room porch chair having a beverage awaiting the food to get done. Rooms are a little old but they are nice and clean and the staff is very friendly. Very good price. They offer room and apartments. Only complaint I have is on weekend nights if you are trying to get some rest early in the night beware of staying at the front on the left hand side towards the port o call. You can hear the night club music late in the night from that side of the motel. I didn't hear it when I stayed toward the back of the motel. I love this place. It hard to get a room there late in the evening or afternoon unless u have made reservations ahead of time cause they book up fast each day. And don't be alarmed if you get a room there for 3 nights but you will have to change rooms cause the one you are in is already be reserved in advance for one of your nights. People book in advance to stay here. They have a lot of repeat tenants.

Room Tip: Rooms in the back are best cause the Port O Call is loud till 2 am on weekends. Plus nicer if you h...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank malak1029
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cavalier by the Sea

Property: Cavalier by the Sea
Address: 601 S Virginia Dare Trl, PO Box 385, Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948-7737
Region: United States > North Carolina > North Carolina Coast > Outer Banks > Kill Devil Hills
Amenities:
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Kill Devil Hills
#5 Family Hotel in Kill Devil Hills
Price range (per night): ₹ 2,198 - ₹ 12,023
Number of rooms: 53
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Your "home away from home" awaits you at The Cavalier By The Sea. Friendly service is our hallmark. We believe at the end of your stay you will be satisfied and refreshed and not quite ready to leave.... and you will find yourself returning year after year as do hundreds of our previous and now regular guests. Cavalier By The Sea offers a family atmosphere. For your enjoyment we have a large swimming pool for adults, a small one for the kiddies and a large play ground equipped with swings, slides, a giant ship for the kids, shuffleboard, volleyball and picnic tables. We have comfortable rooms with queen and double beds, cable TV, microwaves and refrigerators. We also have efficiencies and two & three-bedroom cottages including living room, kitchen, and bath completely furnished for light housekeeping. You will be right on the ocean and have only a few feet to walk to enjoy it to your heart's content whether it be swimming, wading, sun bathing or surfcasting. Or if you prefer not to walk at all, enjoy watching the ocean from your front porch in our very popular ocean front rooms which, unlike most "ocean front" rooms, sit right on the beach with no dunes to block your view. We are located on the "Ocean Side" of Virginia Dare Trail (Hwy. 12) at the 8.5 mile post, diagonally across from Wright Memorial Monument and opposite the Port O'Call Restaurant. Located in the center of the Outer Banks beaches, we provide a convenient place to make your headquarters while taking short trips to other points of interest in the area, such as Roanoke Island, Hatteras and Ocracoke. Golf courses, fishing piers, deep sea, sound and inlet fishing centers, souvenir shopping, and recreational areas are readily accessible. We are open all year. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Cavalier Motel Kill Devil Hills
Cavalier Hotel Kill Devil Hills
Cavalier By The Sea Kill Devil Hills, NC - Outer Banks

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