We stayed for 5 nights. The first 3 were spent in a Oceanfront room as part of the romance package; the last 2 were on the Sound side (parking lot side) of the Main Inn. The Oceanfront room was far superior and very enjoyable -- we could see the water and watch the sunrise without getting out of bed. The best part of the Sanderling is the SPA and the friendliness of the staff. But for the price, I expected a higher level of service and quality.
The restaurants (Lifesaving Station and Left Bank) were extremely overpriced and the food was just OK. Our best meal by far was at Blue Point in Duck, which I highly recommend for lunch, dinner, or sunset cocktails on the sound. Some nights they offer live music on the sound. Acqua was great for soundside dining, Cravings is great for sandwiches and Duck Deli BBQ is inexpensive and very tasty. The drive to Nags Head is well worth it for breakfast at the Nags Head Pier Restaurant.
Certain things like having to walk to the pool without so much as a paved path and paying extra for access to tennis courts detracted from our stay. But the renovations planned for this winter will resolve the pool issue.
Highly recommend the spa -- treatments rivaled the best I've ever had, and the staff was very friendly and knowledgable. We took advantage of the steam room and jacuzzi on days we didn't even have treatments scheduled, and the staff welcomed us each time. Couples massage was fantastic and well worth cost. Our appt ended close to sunset and we were able to enjoy tea outside with private view of the Sound.
The beach at Sanderling is gorgeous, and they provide umbrellas and towels. But swimming wasn't allowed our entire stay bc of dangerous rip currents.
We're a couple in our mid 30s without kids. We were significantly younger than most of the guests during our stay in September. That wasn't a problem, but could be a consideration as it somewhat impacted the atmosphere of the resort. Keep in mind nothing is within walking distance except the resort restaurants, and cabs are expensive.
Overall, the convenience of a resort (as opposed to renting a house) was worth the cost, and this was a great way to experience the OBX. Eat elsewhere and visit the other towns... Duck, Nags Head and Manteo for sure!
Oceanfront was worth it!
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.