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“Thoughtful renovation exceeded expectations!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sanderling Resort

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Sanderling Resort
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   1461 Duck Road, Duck, NC 27949   |  
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Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Duck
Certificate of Excellence 2014
VA
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Thoughtful renovation exceeded expectations!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2013

After years of coming to the Sanderling under previous ownership, I was excited to see the renovations by the new owners. The inn looks fantastic! Tons of natural light, beautiful decorating with clean, minimalist lines without being overly contemporary. We stayed in a poolside suite and the room was terrific. Comfortable sitting area, spacious room and huge bathroom! The fire pit and pools were a great addition, as well as the decks perched upon the dunes. I love the orange accent color used on everything from the towels and umbrellas to the bikes and uniforms. The grounds looked beautifully landscaped as well.

Service was for the most part excellent, we had a few housekeeping calls and they were responded to immediately with a pleasing smile. Check in was much the same. The only spotty service received was at the adult pool, where we had to go to the inn to get someone to give us cushions and towel covers. However, the weather was hit and miss showers that date, so that could have caused the service to be a bit lacking.

After such a great girls weekend, I am heading back down next week for a family trip in one of the houses. I am thrilled to see the family friendly activities they have available. We will do the sandcastle building on the beach and the kitty hawk kite demonstration with our little one. I'm also looking forward to yoga on the beach! I will check out the spa services and try out Kimball's Kitchen.

Great job renovating a jem of a property in Duck! But please don't price out the customers that have been coming for years ($5 for a small bottle of water poolside is a bit ridiculous... It should be complimentary, like the awesome coffee and newspaper).

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
wendycoulsonmurray, Director of Sales at Sanderling Resort, responded to this review, June 16, 2013
We are glad you enjoyed your getaway and look forward to welcoming you back with your family. Emilie will enjoy building sandcastles and consider the Candy & Corks and Trampoline photo session as well. It's great to read you were able to take advantage of so many of the great offerings and amenities the Sanderling now has to offer. See you soon.
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629 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (199)
Date | Rating
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  • German first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
Montpelier, Virginia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2013

We spent 3 perfect nights at the Sanderling.The service was great.Fresh coffee and daily paper are a great treat for us older folks.The adult pool and hot tub are also very nice.
We will be coming back.
B.G.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
wendycoulsonmurray, Director of Sales at Sanderling Resort, responded to this review, June 16, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with others. We are glad you enjoyed the new amenities and appreciate some of the things we did not change. We look forward to your return visits.
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Westport, Connecticut
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2013

The wife and I managed to sneak away to the Sanderling minus the kids. We arrived to a completely refreshed entrance, lobby and sitting area with views of the dunes, gorgeous pool and the fire pit. Immediately felt we were at the beach on vacation. The staff were all friendly and helpful. Our room was excellent for the price with views of the bay and ocean. We ate at all three dining areas and enjoyed the food. The upscale restaurant was excellent. In the mornings the staff would set up chairs and umbrella for us on the beach, bring us food and drink and that made the day even more relaxing. My wife enjoyed the spa while I managed to get a few kite boarding sessions in across the street in the bay. They offer through Kitty Hawk kites full service kite boarding with gear, instruction and boats. Was wonderful not to have to drive anywhere to get out riding. We rented bikes one day and road to town for lunch, drinks, fresh donuts and shopping. After a long day of kiting, beaching or bike riding we alway managed to get a soak in one of the outdoor Jacuzzis. Both pools are heated and that made evening dips very pleasant. This destination is on my list for another visit soon.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
wendycoulsonmurray, Director of Sales at Sanderling Resort, responded to this review, June 16, 2013
We are glad to read what a great getaway you had. Thank you for sharing with others. We are pleased to have Kitty Hawk Kites here on property for kiteboarding, surfing, kayaking and standup paddle boarding. You can rent the boards, take instruction or go on a tour. We look forward to your return very soon.
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Indiana
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013

This is going to be a long review because I want you all to know the details and judge for yourself before you decide whether to stay here. I've traveled around the world and stayed at many different resorts. I have never thought to ask whether there were "quiet hours" before I made a reservation, but that will be my first question from now on. We stayed for three nights. The first night, we opened the windows and could hear the waves--my favorite part of sleeping by the ocean. BUT there was a fire pit just outside our deck (we were in a premium king room, by the way). When the fire pit was not extinguished at 10pm, when I wanted to go to sleep, I waited until 10:30 and called the front desk. (The problem is that folks congregate there and talk and talk--having a good time--great, but I need to get some sleep). When I called the front desk to ask what time the fire pit would be shut down, the nice woman said "10:00?" I said, well it's 10:30 and then she said "11:00?" And I said, "well, I'm trying to go to sleep now, can you get it turned off?" And she replied in the affirmative. Fast-forward to 11:15 and it's still on, AND I did not get a call back to explain. So I called a second time--and was told okay, we will turn it off. Fast forward to midnight--after the fire pit was extinguished, two people remained sitting there talking, and I could hear the woman's voice through my ear plugs (so much for the sound of the waves). So I walked out to the front desk to see whether they could do something about that. To be clear, the staff were extremely friendly, but no one seemed to have any idea how to keep the grounds quiet -- and it was midnight. The next morning, I spoke to a manager and she assured me that the fire pit would be shut down at 11pm that night, which it was. However, a group of young folks (I'm 44) had arrived and they decided to blast their music on the deck on top of the sand dune just outside our window and they were dancing and literally yelling "woooo" until well past 12:30 am. I was truly astonished. I didn't know the Sanderling permitted outdoor parties on the grounds at all hours--no one did anything to stop them, and I mean the music was blaring. We closed up our windows and I put my ear plugs in and slept. Then on our final night--the fire pit was running until 12:15 am--something about a fire alarm going off somewhere in the hotel and they forgot to turn off the fire pit. So, just to be clear, the manager told me that there were no quiet hours, whatsoever. Apparently anything goes. While we had a phenomenal time during the day at the resort--stand up surfing (Melissa was great at the rental shop), walking the gorgeous beach, enjoying the new pools--the nights were crazy, and I was lucky to get 6 hours of sleep (can't sleep late because the sun rises at 5:46am and there are no blackout curtains--the sun lights up the room). I enjoy getting up early, but if I can't get to sleep early, too, it's no good. The bottom line: if you like to stay up late and party, you will love the Sanderling--the staff was top-notch and the place is beautiful. If you like to get lots of sleep on vacation and like to hear the waves while you sleep, stay someplace else. I get it that the Outer Banks has a party culture, but I never imagined a place like I thought the Sanderling was would tolerate such noise until past midnight three nights in a row. I was stunned when we checked out and nothing was comped. I've never had to talk to a manager at a place where we paid more than $400 per night. This was truly unprecedented and I was extremely disappointed that they didn't compensate us for our lost sleep. I would hope that the new owners would institute quiet hours. That would solve the problem. And really the fire pit should be shut off at 10pm--it's right outside the rooms. And music, other than that played by the hotel, should be banned. One more note--the food was delicious!

Room Tip: I would advise staying on the side of the hotel facing the road because there are two fire pits in t...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 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 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
wendycoulsonmurray, Director of Sales at Sanderling Resort, responded to this review, June 4, 2013
Thank you for your review. Unfortunately a very fair assessment of this weekend which was unprecidented for us as well. We have always had a 10pm curfew specific to music. The firepit hours which are new this year (only a month into it) are being evaluated to ensure that guests are not inconvenienced. In this particular instance as we reacted they moved to the beach which is public and despite attempts we lost the ability to enforce it. Please know we took the appropriate actions needed at that point. We are sorry that your experience was negatively impacted. We appreciate your kind words on those aspects of your trip that were more memorable. Please know that quiet enjoyment is important to us and we know it is to our guests as well. It is our hope you will return for a good night's rest.
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2013 via mobile

We just left from eating lunch at the outdoor restaurant at the Sanderling Resort called the Sandbar. We were disappointed in the quality of the food. We both had the Fish Tacos and they were very bland and for what we got, very pricey...$13. We were excited to see they had Pacifico on tap (makes us think of Mexico) but they charged $6 for a glass which seems a little high but not a deal breaker. We were also told it was on the beach which is why we drove there. Yes, it's on the beach but you can't see the beach...only the pool. The Resort looked nice but they need to make some changes on the food.

Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
wendycoulsonmurray, Director of Sales at Sanderling Resort, responded to this review, June 3, 2013
Thank you for visiting Sanderling and dining at the Sandbar while on the Outer Banks. We are sorry that the experience did not meet your expecations. We have passed along your feedback to continue to help us improve. We do hope you will stop again while in the area
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Greensboro, NC
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2013

We were fortunate enough to be able to sneak away for quick stay in Duck, NC recently. We have friends that live there but we wanted to spend one night on our own and so we decided to stay at The Sanderling. Neither of us had been there before but my wife used the spa previously.

I hate that I didn't get the names of everyone who made our stay comfortable and enjoyable ranging from the reservations agent to the front desk staff - next time I will.

Anyway, from the moment we arrived we were always greeted with a smile like a returning family member. The reservations agent was not able to get us an ocean front room but she did a great job getting us a room on the corner of the building that had a great view of the ocean.

It's clear that the facilites have recently gone through a face lift. I cannot attest to what the property looked like before the renovations but it's very pretty now! The covered boardwalk to the front porch complete with rocking chairs leads you into an open an airy lobby. The front desk doesn't consume the space like some resorts which is nice. You get the sense that this is really more like a lobby of a B&B with comfortable seating and not an over-the-top decor.

I'm not sure if there's an elevator or not but the front desk staff helped us carry our bags up to the second floor where our room was located and the whole time engaged in conversation with us. Discussing where we were from, what our plans were, etc. It didn't feel forced either - like it was something they were trained to do. It really felt genuine and like they really cared.

It appears that the rooms were also renovated without being TOO renovated. The bathroom was huge with nice fixtures. The bed was very comfortable with a large sitting area complete with couch and chair and wrap around windows. It's nice to see that some of the historical charm of the resort was left alone while some of the other fixtures were upgraded. We opened the windows to our room and even though we weren't ocean front, we were still able to fall asleep to the sounds of the ocean waves hitting the beach. There's nothing like the sounds and the smells of the beach to put your soul at ease and The Sanderling will deliver this in droves!

As I said before, we had never been there before but the new pools and hot tub looked awesome! We wish we had brought our bathing suits and we would have taken a dip in the hot tub (temps were too cold to swim).

We awoke to the same sounds that lulled us to sleep and decided to have breakfast in the restaurant, The Lifesaving Station. The dining room had huge doors that allowed tons of natural sunlight in and in keeping with the feel of a quaint B&B, we really loved the decor and layout of the dining room. The breakfast menu had a great selection of just about anything you may want. We opted for the old stand by bacon and eggs and were not disappointed. When we go back, I'm sure we'll sample other menu items.

After a filling breakfast we decided to try give the spa a shot. After a quick stop at the front desk, we had an appointment at the spa for later in the AM. This worked perfectly to allow us to take a nice leisurely walk along the beach. Because it was still early in the season, it was still chilly but anyone who has visited the NC Outer Banks can attest, it's really a very peaceful and beautiful beach.

In keeping with the rest of our experience at The Sanderling, the spa was not a disappointment either. The front desk staff at the spa greeted us with a smile and masseuse's were professional and really took the time to understand the areas we needed to have focused on.

As much as we love our friends that live there and are happy to stay with them, we will definitely return to The Sanderling very soon and spend a few days so we can really enjoy all the "new" Sanderling has to offer.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
wendycoulsonmurray, Director of Sales at Sanderling Resort, responded to this review, June 3, 2013
Thank you for "sneaking" away for the night to stay with us. So glad you enjoyed your visit. Hope you can join us again (don't forget those bathing suits) for a longer period of time. Thank you for sharing your experience.
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Richmond, Virginia, United States
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

To begin, I wish that Trip Advisor allowed for 1/2 stars because this would be a solid 3 and 1/2 stars for me. This review is based on paying <$400 a night plus $25 a day resort fees, so what may have been acceptable if we were paying $200 is no longer when considering the higher price. I've been going to The Sanderling for years and agree with the other poster who noted the disappearing amenities. You used to receive a breakfast basket each morning and a welcome bottle of wine, the last few years you received two bottles of water and a jar of homemade granola. Now? You get a refillable carafe of what I assumed was distilled water that doesn't even get refilled every day. Or at least ours didn't.

Online Reservations - in the past you could specify your building (North, Main, or South) and then your room type. Now you just have room types without the choice of building. So your "Sunset Room" could either be in Main with a view of the sound or in North looking at the greenery? And if you choose Oceanside King your room may open directly onto the outside bar area affording you zero privacy. Based on this I'd suggest calling and making a reservation directly so that you could still have some choice in the matter. Tip - North has 1st floor rooms that open directly onto the family pool area. There is no other barrier. These rooms have an alarm that goes off whenever the patio door is opened so if you like to just have the screen open the alarm continuously goes off.

New Reception Area - this in now very bright and open. The bar is tucked behind the wall next to the check-in desk. We had a little confusion when checking in since I had booked a deal and was combining two reservations for a four night stay. We had an email from the resort stating this was no problem. While we were in the same room all four nights, we were forced to come down and exchange keys at the start of the second reservation.

Adult Pool - we loved this area, but service was sporadic. The lounge cushions were placed out a different times each day, often after people were already enjoying the pool. Plus the terrycloth covers mentioned on the website rarely made an appearance. However, the pool itself was barely heated and the jets in the spa pool were already broken.

Beach - the best part of staying here. Now you can have the resort set up chairs and an umbrella on the beach for you and not try and race to get one of the old blue beach chairs before they were all gone. A definite plus.

Firepit - also very nice. There are actually two of these, one directly out back of Main and one closer to North. My issue here is that the website makes a big deal out of being able to make smores. When we were there, if you wanted smores you had to purchase a smores kit from the inside bar. I guess $400 a night doesn't get you a break on the smores.

Room - we had a very nice room on the second floor in South. Unfortunately the staff decided that mowing needed to be done before 9am on Monday - our 1st morning there. Not the best way to start my vacation. And you could tell that the renovations hadn't reached out building yet. In Main all the room doors were painted bright white. In South, the doors were brown and the old door number placards still hadn't been entirely removed.

Outdoor Sand Bar - service here was very attentive. We enjoyed just walking up from the beach, eating lunch, and wandering back down. Much nicer than last year's outdoor bar.

Overall - we had an enjoyable stay, I just wish the service had been more consistent for the price we paid.

Room Tip: Call for reservations vs. using the website if the location of your room is important to you.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
wendycoulsonmurray, Director of Sales at Sanderling Resort, responded to this review, May 30, 2013
Thank you very much for this very thorough review. We appreciate you visiting and taking the time to share with other travelers. We do want to continue to improve and feedback is the best way for us to be sure we are giving our guests what they want.

Couple of Updates to Share -
The new carafe's are filled from a filterated water system and it does get refilled during daily service and at turndown. We have used this feedback to ensure that is happening. If you prefer bottled water we are happy to notate that in your preferences for future. It was in no way meant to be a cost savings measure.

We did change our room types last year to be more related to the view instead of the building. The sunset view however is only in the North Wing. With the construction of the Sandbar we do have several rooms affected with the view and as of this posting have reclassified them. They are no longer oceanside (but oceanside means they are on the oceanside of the building. oceanview means there is a view).

We have various codes based on the weather and winds that dedicate when we put out the chairs, umbrellas and terry. We were having the terry on the lounge chairs blow away and are looking at a better way to secure that. The pools are regulated to be heated to 82 degrees.

When we saw the posting on facebook about the mowing we immediately called maintenance but unfortunately that had already disturbed the peace. We will monitor our schedule more closely not to interupt. We apologize for this.

It was decided to leave some homage to the past in the South Wing including the Hermes scarves, paintings and the color scheme. This was purposeful and distinctive from the bright white in the Beach House. Due to the way the old room numbers had been affixed we have reordered room numbers that will fit in those existing brackets. Because we changed the room numbers we did replace them temporarily with the new numbers to avoid confusion.

We know travelers will find these reviews helpful. We hope you will once again join us in the future.
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Additional Information about Sanderling Resort

Address: 1461 Duck Road, Duck, NC 27949
Phone Number:
Location: United States > North Carolina > North Carolina Coast > Outer Banks > Duck
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Duck
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sanderling Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 95
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Along with the Left Bank restaurant, the property is now AAA 4 Diamond. In April 2011, a soft goods renovation was completed for all the guest rooms including carpet, paint and all new bedding including mattresses. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sanderling Hotel Duck
Sanderling Resort Duck, NC - Outer Banks
The Sanderling

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