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“Great Getaway” 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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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Duck
Charlotte
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Great Getaway”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013

Based off of a lot of nip-picky reveiws from Tripadvisor I wasn't sure what we were getting into as first time guests. All I can say is that I am glad my husband and I stayed there. This was our first time to the Outerbanks, and the Sanderling Resort was a great introduction to the area. The lobby was very open and inviting, and I understand before the renovation that is was the exact opposite. Also, to the horror of many reviewers we had a king room in the north wing facing the parking lot. The room was large, and we had no problems with noise. Also, we wanted our room a bit cooler, and maintenance came over right away to make the adjustment. Each morning, coffee service with a variety of newspapers was setup in each wing of the resort. As part of the resort fee, you are able to call ahead to have chairs and umbrellas set up. I loved that! I spent time at both the family pool and adult pool (can't imagine the resort not having pools before the renovation!) I had no problem getting towels at either pool. I do agree that the adult pool should have more umbrellas. While we were there, the main firepit was lit up. It was so beautiful sitting out there. My only suggestion is to have longer sticks for the marshmallows because it did get comical watching people jump back when the wind blew the fire in their direction. There was nightly turn down service with a little box of taffy by the bed with a "Sweet Dreams" note that would give you weather and activities going on the next day.
Also, one day during our visit, there was a happy hour for the hotel guests in the main building. There was a open bar and a nice spread of food. The staff, that you usually don't see, came out for this as a meet and great. I thought this was very successful.
We loved this resort and the area. I don't know how often we will be visiting the Outerbanks in the future, but if we do, we will definitely stay at the Sanderling Resort.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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, August 13, 2013
So glad you had a chance to visit the Outer Banks and thank you for staying at the Sanderling. We appreciate you taking the time to tell other visitors about your stay. We hope it will encourage others to visit. We'll work in longer sticks! Hope to see you soon
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479 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (135)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Raleigh, North Carolina
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013

The Sanderling is a true treasure out in Outer Banks. With all the traffic that one can experience on that secluded yet busy road, its great feel that when you arrive at the Sanderling, all the stresses disappear. With the expansion, everything you desire is there for those who want seaside or pool side relaxation. Furthermore, prior to the expansion, it was well suited for couples and singles - now there is something there for everyone. The best feeling one takes from the development is families, couples, and singles dont feel out of place. Everyone has their space to enjoy the peace and quiet of the Sanderling.

NOTE : I did notice that they have a service I think 2x a day where they can create events for kids so parents can have that chance to take that personal time - thats genius!!

Anyway, there is nothing that compares to the Sanderling in the Outer Banks!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
    • 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, August 13, 2013
We are glad your stresses disappear when you arrive on the Outer Banks and the Sanderling. We are glad you enjoyed your stay and look forward to your return.
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Pittsburgh
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013

My wife and I stayed at the Sanderling for our honeymoon a few weeks ago. Overall, we loved the property. We had never stayed there before, but had been in the building before the renovations, and can say that the facelift they did was a great improvement. The building, on the other hand, could still use a few improvements to the rooms. There were some minor wear and tear issues, such as loose tiles in the bathroom, damaged drywall in the indoor stairwell that leads to the outside from the 2nd floor of the beach house (not to mention the mess of ants and bugs), and a few other minor issues. I trust that they will be updating more of the rooms during the off seasons to match the condition of the lobby and common areas.

The positives we experienced included excellent service by the front desk and staff at the beach and sand bar. We had a minor issue with our keycards not working upon check in, and the front desk staff was very polite and professional in their helping us. The beach staff was very friendly and quick to set us up with an umbrella and chairs when we needed them. I tried to tip one of the staff on the first day and he told me they do not accept tips as this is covered by the $25.00 a day resort fee. A less scrupulous employee would have simply pocketed the tip, so he impressed me greatly. The food at the Sand Bar was excellent. My wife enjoyed her pulled pork sandwich, and the hamburger I had may very well have been the best hamburger I have ever had in my life ... I'm not even exaggerating.

The fire pits are very nice enough though we did not get to roast smores due to rain the two nights we were in the mood to. The adult pool is an excellent addition for those of us who don't want to be around other peoples' kids, and the family pool is very nice.

For the glaring negatives - the adult pool has a severe lack of umbrellas. You have to grab a spot under one early in the day or else it is hard to enjoy laying by the pool in the harsh sun.

Housekeeping was painfully slow. We witnessed a housekeeper reading a newspaper out in the open in the sitting area of the Beach House. Housekeeping actually missed cleaning our room one day, and I will say as someone who travels for work and has spent 100's of nights a year in hotels - this was a first for me.

In summary, this is a very nice property, overall friendly staff, nice location, and makes for a great, romantic, getaway. We definitely plan on staying here again and will recommend this property to others. We hope that Sanderling continues to improve and build on the great qualities they already have.

My wife used the spa across the street, and said it was excellent.

Oh, and PS .. to the guests who complained about noise from other guests enjoying the fire pit. This is a hotel. You are staying here with other guests. If you want total solitude, go rent a beach house on the 4x4 beaches away from other people. I'm sorry if you came to the hotel for "peace and quiet", but the guests who came to enjoy themselves paid just as much (if not more) than you did.

Room Tip: The sound side still offers beautiful views (you can see the sunset from your porch!)
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  • Stayed July 2013, 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
    • 3 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, August 13, 2013
Congratulations! We are thrilled that the Sanderling will always be special as your honeymoon spot and hope you return for many anniversaries! We have already made some adjustments to getting more umbrella shade at the tranquility pool and will continue to evaluate. Glad your wife enjoyed the pampering at the spa and sorry it rained so you could not enjoy the fire pits. Thank you for your review. We you next year!
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Davidsonville, Maryland
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

We just left an awesome weekend at the Sanderling. Granted, we never had the pleasure of staying at the 'old' Sanderling, but we could not have been happier. Naturally, there were a few issues. The lifesaving restaurant could use a few more hands...but the setting is wonderful and the food was spectacular. Kimbal's Kitchen was one of the best gastronomical events of my life. Great service, impeccable wine list and breathtaking sunset views top off creative and delicious selections.

As for the staff...we have been blessed by a lifetime of world wide travel and I would rate the Sanderling staff amoug the best. They were truly friendly. In other words, they projected true happiness. They made us feel special. The place is not cheap..but if you want a truly luxurious resort with uncommonly bueatiful views go to the Sanderling. Otherwise, there is a Holiday Inn in Nags Head.

Stayed July 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, July 24, 2013
We are so glad you found us and look forward to having you return. I have passed your compliments along to the staff including Kimball's Kitchen. We are addressing the "number of hands" at Lifesaving Station and sorry for any inconvenience. Thank you for sharing your experience.
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1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

I agree with others...This resort has an excellent location and the facilities are nice, but the service is pretty bad. They say they provide service at the pool, but only if you track them down at the bar and then very slow. Waited an hour for my check at the pool. A water cooler is provided at the pool but often there are no cups. Most often there are no towels left at the pool. You have to call the front desk to get chairs set up on the beach and the guy that did ours acted like we had really inconvenienced him - even though we paid $25 a day and this was to be included. Oh, and when we asked him for beach towels he told us we had to walk back to the pool and get some. No drink or food service at the beach. Rooms are fine - pretty standard. Showers only in the room -but they are nice and big. Love the extra hooks in the bathroom for wet suits, etc. Not enough umbrellas at the family pool. Room service didn't clean room until late afternoon after we asked them. Food service was good and fast - but had trouble getting them and the front desk to answer the phone. Have to lug your suitcase up stairs as there is no elevators. Parking is close and available. A/C only goes down to 70. Food was good. Spa was good, but no hot tub or sauna. Everything is pricey. Beach is gorgeous, but cannot see or hear the waves from first or second floor rooms. No water bottles or drink machines anywhere. Beds are very good. We are having a good time but it is not really worth what we paid because of the lack of service or special touches.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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, August 13, 2013
Sorry for my delay in responding. Couple of updates since this posting. Room temperature settings have been lowered. The reason for the setting is because everyone has a balcony and once those doors are left open it compromises the air conditioning. We want you to be comfortable and will adjust it further upon request but this allows the system to still function. We do have drink machines including water in the South Inn. ice available in each building and water at any outlet. We have also added a filtered water station at the Sandbar. We heard the request for service at the pools and have increased staffing to accommodate. Towels have been moved back into the guest rooms as we have done in the past. We do want our guests to enjoy all the new renovations and amenities and appreciate the time to tell us what is important.
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Springfield, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2013

My wife and I have been coming to the Sanderling for 15 years, and I wasn't sure what to expect with the recent changes. Overall, I'd say the changes are for the good, but there are a few bumps in the road. It seems like the new owners have brought in their own staff from other countries, and while the front office staff is warm and genuinely helpful, the staff working with the beach chairs/umbrellas, etc are not the warmest people in the world, but very efficient in their work. The physical changes to the resort were done well. Love all the new decking and having both an adult pool and children's pool was nice. My wife and I enjoyed the adult pool's peace and quiet. It was nice having a pool to go to when the wind was howling on the beach. I would like to see some sort of shade on the outside upper deck overlooking the ocean in the Beach House. Maybe an awning or umbrellas for the chairs. Paying a resort fee really bothers me, but I will say this is the first time I felt I was getting at least a little something for the money. The resort wide wi-fi was strong and had a consistent connection, and even when I tried to tip, the staff would not take tips because it is included in the resort fee (for everyone except food service staff). The rooms had not changed and were up to previous standards. Although, in today's day and age, how can the bar areas and bedrooms NOT have HD tv? Guests were trying to watch the Wimbledon final in the bar areas and could barely pick out the players!!

My biggest complaint was the speed of service at the Lifesaving Station during breakfast. The restaurant is unable to handle a 2/3's full restaurant. The main room was partially full, the new outside eating area (nice area) was full and there was a group of 12 in the side room to accommodate large parties. It took an hour for the people in the main dining room to receive their breakfast. To me, this is inexcusable for a resort restaurant, in the middle of the summer. You have to be staffed and expecting a large crowd!

Unfortunately, the hotel has lost some of that southern charm that made it such a unique place to stay. I missed being able to go to the gift shop (which has moved across the street to the Spa) and grab an ice cream. I miss the banter with people that had worked there for many years and had great local stories. I will give it another stay and hope they work out some of the kinks. As a previous reviewer stated, it is a unique property on a beautiful piece of land and overall, a nice place to recharge.

Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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wendycoulsonmurray, Director of Sales at Sanderling Resort, responded to this review, July 20, 2013
Thank you for once again returning to the Sanderling. We are glad you were able to enjoy the new amenities and renovations. We appreciate your insights on how we can improve. Efforts to speed up service in the Lifesaving Station have been addressed. The Jamicians have been with us for the last 4 seasons - in most cases the same ones return every year - and this is not a change with the new owners. Additionally almost the entire core management staff and full time year round associates have all returned from previous seasons and worked hard through the winter during the renovations to prepare for this season. We do look forward to welcoming you back and thank you for the opportunity.
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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2013

We are long term previous guests of the hotel - for 12 years. We knew the renovation was in progress and were concerned it might not all be good. Our concerns were realized. The previously tranquill, relaxing vacation spot is now being ramped up to make as much money as they can, from every square foot, with catering to the destination wedding crowd. Housekeeping kept the rooms clean, and the old Left Bank restaurant was our salvation for a good, timely meal. The ocean is still great, but that was about it. The cost of the rooms continues to climb every year into the Ritz range, while the quality of the rooms now just seem adequate. The windows and screens were very dirty and with old bugs. The temp in the rooms is locked at 70 degrees. The pillows and mattress are poor. The Lifesaving restaurant was revamped, and our experience there was painful. One dinner, it took 40 min to even see a waiter. Ours was not the only table with this experience on more than one meal. The food options and quality are both very poor, the room runs at an NFL stadium noise level, and service is minimal. The wedding parties, on more than one occassion, blocked our lobby and made it difficult to walk thru the area. The gift shop is now across the street in the Spa - so it is inconvient to make a quick purchase. The charm of the old afternoon complimentary tea and cookie service is gone. The new and loud reggae music by the snack bar is non-stop. They did not put anymore elevators in any of the other buildings. The beach umbrella service started cleanup and putting them away at 4 pm every day. This was a huge disappointment, and we doubt we will be traveling back there again.

Room Tip: If you have a nice and clean home, just stay there, you'll have less frustration and save lots o...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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, July 18, 2013
We appreciate you returning to the renovated Sanderling and apologize we did not meet your expectations. We are glad you enjoyed Kimball's Kitchen and apologize for the delays in Lifesaving Station. This has been addressed. The wedding business is no more than in the past but with the heat the small elopement group was taking advantage of a few minutes of air conditioning before venturing to the beach. The gift shop was moved over to the spa to allow us to open up the Beach House Lobby so you could enjoy that lovely view as you entered and provide more of a Beach House feel when you entered. If you are looking for a sundry item we are happy to have it delivered to your room. The beach umbrellas are put away as guests leave but rest assured we are not cleaning up those that are still enjoying their time or choose to come down later.
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Additional Information about Sanderling Resort

Also Known As:
Sanderling Hotel Duck
Sanderling Resort Duck
Sanderling Hotel
Sanderling
The Sanderling
Sanderling Resort Duck, NC - Outer Banks
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 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*
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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