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“WOW!!!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Inn on Pamlico Sound

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The Inn on Pamlico Sound
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49684 Highway 12, Buxton, Hatteras Island, NC 27920   |  
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Hotel amenities
Special Offer
Spring in Paradise
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Buxton
Certificate of Excellence 2014
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“WOW!!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014

I don't usually write reviews, but my experience at The Inn was so refreshing that I felt it was review worthy. We had the tuna, which was perfectly cooked and the crab cakes which were great. The staff was very helpful and the beautiful sunset made it a perfect evening. We had a fabulous time will definitely return.

  • Stayed July 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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859 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (150)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Princeton, NJ
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2014

The people were nice. The view was nice. The room was okay. But the whole building is flimsy. They solicit tips for doing their jobs (they tell you the "industry standard" is 5-10% of the total stay. I've stayed in a lot of hotels and I never was asked to tip the general staff for doing their jobs). The pool was very small and in poor condition, plus the whole pool area smelled like sewage. Overall, I think this place is very overrated. I cannot imagine that people have destination weddings here, with the stink of sewage (they assured me it was just the smell of the sound - really?) wafting over everything.
I feel bad not jumping on the "what an amazing place" bandwagon, but I've traveled a lot and I was just not impressed. The breakfast was included but they wanted you to tip them for it, and the service in the restaurant in general, especially for breakfast, was unprofessional and disorganized. They forgot to bring food, spilled milk all over me and my phone (and did not wipe it up), etc. I don't think the chef is professional either. I think they got their training at vo-tech, not at a real cooking or restaurant/hotel management school.
But everyone who worked there was very, very nice. I just don't tip for nice, especially for things that are included. Call me mean or b--chy. I don't think I am, I just think that if you want to charge for something, charge for it, but don't ask me to give you extra of my hard-earned money for you doing what you are paid to do. I'm not talking about the waiters (although I disagree with the concept of having to tip because their employers don't have to pay them). I'm talking about regular paid jobs. It leaves a bad feeling for the customer/visitor to be told to cough up yet more money. It really colored my whole impression of the place.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OBX_Innkeeper, Owner at The Inn on Pamlico Sound, responded to this review, July 17, 2014
We understand we are not the destination for every traveler, and that each traveler is entitled to an opinion. Expressing those opinions publicly, however, requires that a basis in fact. When statements clearly not based in fact are made, we are obligated to respond.

Our pool is small, exactly as pictured on our website and facebook page, designed as a soundfront amenity for a small 12 room boutique hotel . It is in anything but poor condition; it was all newly concreted three years ago. She complains of a terrible smell of septic, and disputes the scientifically verifiable statement that there is the occasional faint odor of sulfur dioxide from any estuary, often detectable just after a storm, as was the case during her stay. Like any other location on any estuary or salt marsh, it is occasional and faint. We challenge the reader to locate a single other reference to it in the thousands of reviews of our hotel and restaurant. Any implication that it is from a septic or that we would mislead anyone about a post storm faint whiff of estuary is both patently false and offensive.

The reviewer states multiple times that our buildings are flimsy. There is good reason this has never been stated or observed by any prior party, as our buildings are in fact professionally engineered to both exceed commercial code and to withstand a Category 4 hurricane. There is no basis in reality for the reviewers statement.

She opines without basis that our chef likely was trained at a vo-tech, not a real cooking or restaurant/hotel management school. Chef Will in fact earned his basic and intermediate level patisserie and culinary certificates and his Le Grande Diplome (Superior) certificate from the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute in London. His talents have been honed as Chef de Partie, Sous Chef , and Chef de Cuisine in the finest hotels and restaurants of France, Switzerland, and the United States. We ask the reader to compare this reviewer’s observations to the overwhelming views to the contrary, and to draw their own conclusions.

The reviewer rails that she was incessantly asked to tip. We challenge the reader to find a single review in the thousands for our hotel and restaurant that vaguely makes a similar claim. Tipping in a restaurant is a generally accepted principal, and we, unlike most restaurant employers and contrary to the reviewers observation, do pay our servers a living wage. The only suggestion for gratuity outside of the restaurant is an envelope in each room which says:

The Inn does not have a service charge. Instead, we provide this envelope so that your gratuity
for Housekeeping can be made on a “voluntary basis.” Please drop the envelope off at the Front Desk. If you prefer, The Inn is glad to add a gratuity for Housekeeping to your room. Please see the Innkeeper.

Finally, no one spilled milk on her or her phone. There was an incident wholly unrelated to the actions of our staff. Her interpretation of the event may be considered comparable to her other statements which are empirically demonstrable as untrue.

Regular readers of our reviews know that on the rare occasion we fall short of the standards we set for ourselves, we accept accountability and meet our obligation under our published customer satisfaction policy; it is right, we will make it right, or it is with our compliments. We are fortunate to attract a wonderful and eclectic clientele who come for the remote beauty of our location and the high standards of service we provide. We do get the fortunately rare patron who arrives unhappy, remains so throughout their stay, and is compelled to share their unhappiness with those around them. While that is the prerogative of every traveler, it is not their prerogative to make statements which are empirically demonstrable as untrue. We ask the reader to test this reviewer's statements against both demonstrable fact and overwhelming opinion to the contrary, and from their to draw their own opinion on the reviewer's statements.

Steve Nelson
CEO and General Manager
The Inn on Pamlico Sound
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cary
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2014

We pulled into the parking lot and the moment we stepped out of the car we were swept away. Our stay here was absolutely perfect. We had a fantastic view, the amenities are endless and the staff is just top notch. If your looking for relaxation or romance this is the place for you. We had dinner outside at the restaurant which included views of the sunset and a fabulous musician named Sean. The food was out of this world. It was so nice having dinner just a few steps away from our room. Breakfast the next morning was just as good as dinner the night before. Our only regret is that we didn't stay longer.

Room Tip: I can't imagine you would be disappointed with any room here....
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brasher Falls, New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2014

Simply perfect!!! From the room (Primrose) to the view to the gourmet breakfast, I felt like I was on a second honeymoon when in fact it was just a get-away with my husband. We loved the kayaks that were provided as well as the deck chairs out on the pier. The pool was perfect for an afternoon dip of refreshment. We will definitely be back!

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Canaan, Connecticut
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2014

A pleasant place. Great location. Came just after Arthur, a category 2 hurricane. Really tough logistics to get there; hotel not anticipating people coming. Melissa in guest services nice; very helpful.
Better atmosphere, accommodations than most places on outer banks
Worth visiting

Stayed July 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lindenhurst
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2014

My husband and I stayed here and also renewed our vows onsite. I have nothing bad to say about this place. It's exactly what we were looking. Actually, it exceeded our expectations. The location, food, rooms were perfect to us and the views are breathtaking!!!! Our ceremony had to be pushed forward a day due to weather but the staff, including the owner, were amazing and made sure things ran smooth for us. We will definitely be back :)

  • Stayed July 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2014

The Inn on Pamlico Sound is very good, and its location is lovely, right on the bay and near some great beaches, not at all like the ugly commercial mess at the northern end of the Outer Banks. But given the not insubstantial cost of the lodgings, I have to say we were a bit disappointed.

First of all, the physical plant could use a bit of freshening -- nothing terribly wrong with it, but it seems somewhat worn, with room furnishings and artwork that are a bit, well, tacky. There are nice little touches, such as coffee available every day at 7 am and chocolates and sweets left out in the public spaces, but the execution is inconsistent; for example, despite the promise on the inn's website of "stocked guest beverage refrigerators," these were never restocked at any time during our multi-day stay, and had dwindled to only a few bottles of water by the time we left. The staff members were friendly and accommodating, although, when asked, they seemed somewhat clueless about what there was to do in the vicinity. Since there are not all that many restaurants or even casual joints in the nearby towns, we had dinner more than once at the Inn and the restaurant was quite good but just a tad pricey for what it was (the included breakfasts are also good, but not as spectacular as some of the other reviewers would have you believe).

In summary: we enjoyed ourselves and got a lot of r&r but -- hard to put a finger on exactly why -- there was just something a little bit off. The result: a very pleasant but not transcendent experience.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OBX_Innkeeper, Owner at The Inn on Pamlico Sound, responded to this review, June 26, 2014
We are thankful that this guest found our soundfront location lovely and enjoyed our amenities like chocolates and early morning coffee. We must, however, respond to a couple of their comments.

Our decorating is done under the auspices of a well respected and reviewed professional. Nothing in the hotel is is need of refreshing; decorating, paint, linens, are all updated each season. All artwork is from local artists, and represents the art of our community. While there is room for variance in taste, no one in our decade plus history has before referred to our decorating or artwork as tacky.

The guest comments that our beverage refrigerators were not restocked during the course of their stay. Beverage refrigerators are in fact stocked at least twice daily, and spot checked regularly. They are often all but emptied after breakfast as guests leave for a day at the beach, then quickly restocked. Any representation that beverage refrigerators were not restocked during a multi day stay is literally not possible.

Similarly, the statement that there are few restaurants, even casual ones, in our and nearby villages can be empirically dismissed by a quick search of Buxton restaurants on this review site. Within three miles of the Inn are Pop's Raw Bar, The Sandbar, The Fish House, The Captain's Table, Rusty's Surf and Turf, Lighthouse Sport's Bar, Orange Blossom Bakery, Buxton Munch Company, Fattys, Diamond Shoals Restaurant and Sushi Bar, Shipwreck Grill, and the list just in Buxton Village goes on. There are six additional villages on the island. Our front desk maintains a list of restaurants to which they are trained to refer guests seeking a dining experience more casual than our top ranked restaurant, a list featured on our website. Both the plethora of restaurants and our established practice to refer guests to a published list of establishments make validating this reviewer's comments a challenge.

We are glad the guest found our Cafe Pamlico restaurant quite enjoyable. We must, however, question their observation that they thought our pricing somewhat expensive. Our menu pricing is comparable to the handful of restaurants on the Outer Banks and on Hatteras Island in our peer group in terms of rankings and quality.

A prime waterfront location, first class facilities, the best ingredients, and exceptional service, come at a higher real estate and staffing cost than lesser locations, facilities, and service. Our menu pricing is a function of the costs of our prime waterfront location, first class facility, and trained, experienced, expensive staff combined with a short season.

We are glad for their closing comment that they enjoyed their experience and got a lot of good rest and relaxation. In light of the empirically demonstrable errors in some of their statements, perhaps the observation that they could not quite put their finger on why they felt something a bit off had more to do with the experience they were seeking than the experience they had.
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Additional Information about The Inn on Pamlico Sound

Address: 49684 Highway 12, Buxton, Hatteras Island, NC 27920
Phone Number:
Location: United States > North Carolina > North Carolina Coast > Outer Banks > Hatteras Island > Buxton
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Buxton
#1 Family Hotel in Buxton
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A casually elegant waterfront boutique hotel on the Pamlico Sound. Accommodations range from soundfront queens to premium kings with private decks, and spa tubs. Amenities include gourmet three course breakfast, fresh baked goods, kayaks, bicycles, pool, home theater, library, 1,700 DVDs, complementary beverages and snacks, beach chairs, beach towels, and high speed internet. Gourmet waterfront fine dining; fresh, organic and local. Weddings and catering. Our goal is to provide the experience of an honored guest in our casually elegant hotel. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Inn On Pamlico Sound Hotel Buxton
The Inn On Pamlico Sound Hatteras Island, NC - Buxton

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