I've stayed at the Clam Digger many times over the years and every single time has been a 10 on a scale of 10. I wasn't going to write a review but didn't want people to think the staff were not friendly after reading a review about Dora and the person who could not have their room credited after the cutoff date/hour for cancel/rebooking of dates. I am very sorry it happened to her, especially because of her circumstances and hope her stay somewhere else turned out great. We all want/need a great time when we stay at the beach.
During the last 33 years I've been on all 15 beaches on the outer banks from Carova to Hatteras Village. Then the entire coast line from the 26 mile Crystal Coast of Bogue Banks down to Incredibly beautiful Topsail Beach, Wrightsville Beach, Pleasure Island and down to Sunset Beach at the southern end of NC. So far 63 separate beaches/islands on our coast. Just wanted to let you know my beach experience to let you know how much I like the Clamdigger Inn.
First, I have to completely agree with the reviewer about their strict cancellation policy and attention to their paperwork and staff. The hotel owners do not make any exceptions in order to guarantee that when you show up for your room on the day you booked it you "never" are told that there is a problem. The tradeoff is you get complete peace of mind that after a long drive, you walk right in and check in to your room. No hassel or delays. Actually, the strict cancellation policy is the only thing a person may not like about the Clamdigger Inn, however, you can certainly understand why they have it to guarantee other guests zero problems when they arrive and to open up last minute bookings for guests who the search last minute for a great room at the beach.
Without taking up anymore or your reading time, here is a short list of all the great things I like about the Clamdigger Inn without any exaggeration.
Restaurant- Without question the best service and food I've ever had at any Beach restaurant in NC. They open around 6am and close around 10pm. Its been managed by the same woman for more than 20 years. The food comes to your table in about 5 minutes, every waitress is friendly and times everything from the appetizer, salad, entrée perfectly instead of pushing it all on your table at once. Breakfast specials are about 4 dollars, lunch specials are about 7 and Dinner specials are about 11 dollars. They have a huge selection of food and drinks from the hotel bar are available. I've probably had over a hundred meals over the years from the restaurant and every single one was great. I am a difficult traveler to please but have to give the low price, yummy food, great service of their restaurant a 12 on a scale of 10. They also have room service.
Bar- Very low key. Not many people during the week, except high season, weekends have a nice crowd. Pool table, juke box/dance floor, live DJ's on the weekend, huge selection of drinks/wine/beer, friendly bartenders. Many groups bring about 20 employees for retreats every year so you will often see them there in the off season.
Pool and hot tub - Medium size pool, lots of loungers, hot tub. Fun to come from the beach loungers/ocean swim, take a dip in the cold pool, then the hot tub, then without having to climb back out of the hot tub just slide over the wall back into the cold pool. Outside the pool area they have a separate area for smoking and relaxing and at the other side have some tables along the dune for eating your takeout lunch. Small tiki hut for drinks next to pool operated in season but the bar is right next to the pool with a big continuous window of glass and door if you want to go inside.
Beach loungers and umbrellas- available in season from late May to mid October. 15 dollars your first day then 10 dollars a day all other day, you get 2 loungers per umbrella. They have a top notch staff that gets there at 7 in the morning and sets them up. First thing I do when I arrive for a week is tell them to have mine set up with my name tied to the umbrella first thing ever morning. I get up at 6:30, go for a long swim (great swimming beach) come in and get a takeout coffee, walk the beach for an hour, come back, have huge breakfast, take my things out to the lounger, go for another swim, then the pool and hot tub, then back to the lounger...repeat all day. When they are available, you have to rent the loungers and umbrellas which are huge thick blue canvas, with heavy wooden shafts drilled into the sand by turbo drillers. Tip- go to walmart and buy yourself a thick comfy full length lounger pad to put on top. Best 30 dollar investment I made years ago after seeing someone else do it.
Rooms- every room is ocean front, I think they have 115 rooms on 7 floors. All with completely private patios, very important item regular beach goers insist upon. Very clean. Small mini fridge/coffee pot/microwave, large dresser to put things on top with good size drawers, good TVs, small rack to hang clothes with storage on top across from good size open area sink/mirror, lots of good quality towels, shower/tub and toilet are separate in room next to sink area. Water pressure is average.
Always had safe parking, you can always see your car from the completely windowed hallway outside your room. Extremely safe area. No foot traffic so the beach is never crowded, huge floodlight at night on the beach until about midnight, thousands of seagulls give a great show feeding on the fish.
I'd write more but this is already way to long. Just wanted to help other friendly beach people. So many people have helped me out tremendously over the years with their candid honest reviews. The only thing I wish they would expand is the 9am-9pm pool hours but that's the normal hours of almost every place at the beach.
The Clamdigger Inn is not perfect and like any hotel you can have occasional problems with something but for the price, service, amenities I have yet to find a better hotel on any beach in NC. Hope my review helped you make up your mind. Stay at it just once and you see why I like it so much.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.