My wife and I took a trip here for our anniversary and had been partially swayed by all of the positive reviews posted to this site. However, we found that our experience was not worth the money we spent. Upon checking in, we noticed the Zagat rating in the lobby which rated The Sanderling as a very good to excellent hotel and the lowest scoring category was service. I found this to be very true in every sense. Unfortunately, we had poor service and our experience was soured as a result. The service red flags started at check in:
While cheking in with a very pleasant staff member another came up from behind her yelling for another guest at a very loud volume. The other staff member then continued her conversation at a volume so loud, we all had to stop and wait until she was done before we could continue our check-out.
The hotel says that it will provide chairs and umbrellas for all guests, but the number of chairs was far fewer than the number of guests. Some angry guests had to sit on towels on the beach with no shade which is not what they paid for. After complaing, we were able to get two chairs from maintenence which were broken, but at least it kept us off the hot sand. Another time we requested chairs which were not put out for us. We sat in another guests chairs who was extremely angry at us and demanded ten dollars for the use of his chairs. The hotel said that our chairs were put out, but since they do not label any of the chair as reserved for the guests that requested them, confusion ensues and somebody else probably took out chairs. The chair issues led to interactions which were unpleasant and adversely affected what should have been a pleasant day on the beach for our anniversary.
Upon returning from breakfast at Duck Donuts (which surpasses its hype), we found that our room door had not been closed after cleaning. Nobody was in the halls but anybody could have accessed our room. We called to tell the hotel this had happened and were told that was the hotel policy so that the house keeping inspector could come and make sure the room was cleaned properly. This was actually worse than saying it was an accident. A staff employee was justifying that our belongings were left unsecure as a practice. I don't understand why the house keepers can access the room but the inspector does not have a key to do the same? We were told that the people doing this were reprimanded, but again it soured the experience. For compensation we were given breakfast for two, about a $30 value, from the front office manager.
At check out, my wife wanted to pay a balance in cash from the sand bar because we ordered a wrap, a burger, and two Corona's ($60). The person working the desk told her he would take care of it, then started talking to another employee and got a phone call. Then he charged our credit card and asked her to sign a receipt. It was another example of being made to feel as though we were dormers, not guests. He then had to start over, cancel the card and ring up the cash.
The hotel has a great little spot with nice facilities and restaraunts and I'm sure can be a great place to stay. It is not walking distance to any other stores or eateries, but it is just a short drive away (2miles). It is pretty hard to keep a beach hotel clean and that was about average. I personally believe that there is nothing particularly special about the rooms which is why service should make such a big impact on whether or not someone enjoys their stay. Unfortunately for us, the service was sub par and I would not recommend this hotel to people that I care about. Our experience was not worth the money we paid for the stay.
- 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