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“This is the last time I ever let my husband book a hotel room.” 1 of 5 stars
Review of John Yancey Oceanfront Inn

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John Yancey Oceanfront Inn
2.0 of 5 Hotel   |   2009 S Virginia Dare Trail, MP 10, Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #16 of 19 Hotels in Kill Devil Hills
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“This is the last time I ever let my husband book a hotel room.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2013 via mobile

This is the most disgusting hotel I have ever set foot in. Of the 2 room keys, only 1 worked. Not a huge problem, but once the door opened.... OMFG. The smell. Kind of ocean, funk and febreeze. Mixed with more funk. The carpet rippled like the ocean. Not a positive thing. I didn't allow my kids to take off their shoes, and now we're home they have flea bites on their ankles so I guess that was pointless. The bathroom was filthy with peeling laminate on the vanity, dirt piles behind the door, no water pressure and a toilet that barely managed to flush 2 sheets of toilet paper. The beds were surprisingly comfortable but the sheets didn't smell clean - like old lady perfume, probably a previous guest, I'm assuming the owner of the brown wavy hair in the sheets that I noticed the following morning. The bed had various yellow stains that I don't want to think about. All through the night I could hear other people's trips to the bathroom in great detail as the walks were so thin, and then every alarm clock from 5.30 to 8.
When we got up the next morning, my husband's shoes were soaking wet, as was the carpet. That explains the smell - and all the clothes I'd laid out over the chairs the night before were slightly damp. The fridge was around 1 degree below room temperature. Furniture old and mismatched, walls chopped with missing paint, the plastic bucket directly outside the door full of sand, bugs and old cigarette butts should have told me "RUN, don't walk, and never look back!" If there had been other hotels available, trust me we would have left this hellhole. But as there weren't and the alternative was sleeping in the car with 3 little boys including a 7 week old, we stayed and hated every second of it.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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258 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (59)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Parma, Ohio
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2013

First off, the location is great. If you are single/college students just looking for a place to lay your head, this will work for you. However, I was traveling w/my daughter and was hoping for at least bit more considering the star rating this place is rated.

As soon as I arrived, the gentleman checking myself and my daughter in acted as though he really couldn't care less seeing as his buddy was behind the counter jerking around w/him. We got some convoluted directions as to where to find the complimentary breakfast in the morning and then we were sent on our way.

As soon as I opened the door to our room, we were overcome w/the stench of seawater. I understand the place probably gets flooded pretty often (we were on the 1st floor), but the carpet was a nasty and stained mess. I really didn't wish to walk on it w/bare feet. The bedspread had some small stains on it, but I have unfortunately seen worse. Overall the cleaning girls did the best they could w/what they had to work with, but my main complaint is the star rating. I certainly wouldn't rate it higher than a 2 and that is a stretch.

The location is great and on the beach, the complimentary breakfast was good, but the accomodations were less than I expected...old, smelly and dingy. I certainly wouldn't recommend this to anyone above a college kid just looking for someplace to crash

Room Tip: Maybe stay off of the first floor
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
edward22, Guest Relations Manager at John Yancey Oceanfront Inn, responded to this review, July 31, 2013
We at the John Yancey pride ourselves on offering clean, affordable oceanfront accommodations, and first-class guest service. We are sorry your stay didn't meet your expectations, and do hope you will come back and give us another opportunity. We have gone to great lengths- and expense- to renovate most of our of oceanfront rooms in the last 2 off-seasons, plus updating our amenities (new changing room/shower, new dune deck, breakfast room). We have more upgrades planned for this off season as well. We do hope you come back and see why the John Yancey has been serving Outer Banks vacationers for over 40 years.
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Steubenville, Ohio, USA
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2013

My daughter and I went to the OBX in June and needed an ocean front "pet friendly" motel for her small dog. Very few motels accommodate pets. We also wanted an out door pool. So John Yancey was the only want to fit the bill. I have to stress that the Sea Building is the best--you can literally walk out from your room to the sand. Most motels have steps to get to the beach--at this motel--it was nice to literally be on the beach. Our room at the sea building was nice, no complaints--the balcony overlooking the beach was bigger than the standard motel balcony.

Management was nice. we had a 10 hour drive to get there, and they had one of the help assist us carrying our suitcases and loot to the room. The lobby which is open 24 hours a day had coffee on at all times and a large assortment of herbal, and reg teas.

The breakfast was VERY basic yet free. They had 2 cereals in bulk, toast/muffins/danishes and packages of oatmeal and waffles. Fruit was hit and miss on some days. They did have juices and large assortment of teas plus coffee. So if you are watching your weight make sure you grab the oatmeal as that is about it.

Pool is not bad considering many of the motels at the OBX have indoor pools.

I have stayed in higher rated hotels at the OBX yet I have paid much more for the rooms.

If you want a pet friendly or reasonable priced oceanfront place John Yancy fits the bill. If we come back again with the dog, I will absolutely stay here.

PS If you are looking for a couple great, yet informal places to eat or take out (we had take out mostly because of the dog with us) -Jolly Rodger or Tavern 12. Tavern 12 very close to the motel and we had take out there 3 times. Great salads and sandwiches.

Room Tip: Sea Building has 2 floors. If you are on 2nd floor it is about 13 steps up to it. Best location hand...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Herndon, Va.
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013

The separate tall building just to the left as you face the ocean is where you want to stay, because the room have been refurbished and are very nice. We had an oceanfront room on the 4th floor and it was perfect. Complimentary breakfast is good, just hot waffles, cereals and pastries, so bring your on fresh fruit (a peach is what we brought with us). Best part of breakfast is their excellent coffee (not brown water like most other places). You can refill and take a cup back to your room (we did this both days). The pool is nice (out next to the street) and has little wooden "gazebo" sitting areas so you can get out of the sun.

Now here is the BEST PART of staying here. I am serious about this. The absolutely best restaurant in this whole area is a little old-fashioned diner right across the street---Kill Devil Hills Grill. Oh my gosh. There is a long line every night, but it is worth the wait. Order their specials. One lady we met at the pool area said she and her husband travel there from Ohio, and say at the John Yancey, just so they can eat here 3 nights. We ate there one night, and came back the next night to eat there again. Believe me, it is worth it to stay here just so you can eat at this little jewel of a restaurant! Remember the restaurant is closed on Sunday and Monday, so plan your stay accordingly...

Their wi-fi signal is strong here (you will have no problems). That is a big deal for the males in my family. Beds in 4S Building are great. Even a cute little playground for the kids.

One last thing. When you are searching for this hotel online, be very wary of "booking" agents that pop up and appear to be their designated reservations person. I got hooked into one of these, but gratefully backed out just in time. Only deal with their real front desk. You get better rates with them directly and they tell you everything about the "features" of the hotel honestly. Just be aware that there are lots of online brokers who are NOT the John Yancey folks, even though they say they are and have John Yancey in their url address.

Room Tip: Stay in the tall, 4 Seasons building. Those are the rooms that have all the upgrades and are quite...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013 via mobile

Had it not been location and the fact that we could walk directly out of our room on to the beach, I probably would have been looking for another hotel, even if it cost a few dollars more. The room we had was supposedly "updated" this past winter. While the deck/balconies looked new, the interior updating consisted of slapping in a new coat of paint. Furniture was old, you could tell where something had been previously screwed down to the dresser. Breakfast was nothing but cheap carbs. Stayed there 6 nights and only ate breakfast there 2 mornings, even my kids were not impressed. But my biggest complaint was the lack of towels a and washcloths. Only once did we have the correct number in our room, despite leaving a note. When asking for more at the front desk, we were told they would bring more to our room when they were available, that they had been booked and very busy. Isn't a beach front hotel normally busy in the middle of July? They seemed caught off guard by this. Seems to me that purchasing a few more towels and washcloths would be a small price to pay to keep the guests happy. Especially if the owner/manager can afford the BMW that was consistently parked by the office...cause no one else that can afford a BMW is staying at this place!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
North Little Rock, Arkansas
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013

On the nights of the 5th and 6th of July this year, my brother and I, and our German friends were accommodated in two separate rooms in two different buildings of the John Yancey Inn.

My brother's and my stay was pleasant and uneventful, however, the building in which our German friends had stayed suffered severe power problems for over 12 hours which led to inoperable air conditioning, no elevator service, lack of television and internet access, a useless in-room refrigerator, and eventually even the failure of their key-card door lock system.

When, upon checkout, we discussed this matter with the manager she agreed that a fair resolution for our friends' inconvenience would be a refund of one night's stay. She advised us further that as our friends' reservation was made through a third party (Expedia) that they were unable to give an immediate cash refund, but that she would intercede on our German friends' behalf and work with Expedia to facilitate the refund.

As our friends' native language is not English, the manager further agreed to advise me of the refund request status the next day so that I might pass the information along to our friends. She took my cellphone number and we all checked out of the hotel very pleased with her helpfulness.

After not receiving the expected call by the end of the next day I called the John Yancey Inn and was told that the manager was busy with a customer and that she would call me back in short order. Again I gave the desk clerk my phone number, but never got a call back.

The next day I again attempted to contact the manager through a phone call and this time was told that the manager was away from the facility, but that she would call upon her return. Again, the call never materialized.

All in all, over a ten day period I made four calls attempting to contact the manager and on each occasion received the "Leave your number, and she'll call you back" response.

Having still not been able to reach the manager after the ten days I sent an email, again requesting information as to the status of our friends' refund. The email was sent seven days ago, and as you may have guessed by now... once again, no response.

Fortunately for our friends, before we left the Inn we had requested written confirmation that the management had agreed that a night's stay refund was in order. Upon their arrival back home in Germany our friends contacted Expedia who at this time seem amenable to the requested refund. They have asked that our friends forward a copy of the manager's written statement so that they can further process the request. Thank you, Expedia.

I am, however, DEEPLY disappointed with the lack of response from the manager of the John Yancey Inn. I find it incredible that she appears to have just simply refused to acknowledge my attempts to contact her about this matter. Not so much as a "Thanks for the call, but we've decided not to help!". Even such a response as that would have been better than completely ignoring me. Unbelievable!

As stated, my brother's and my time at the Inn was fine. It is an utter shame that the lack of service exhibited by the manager has so colored our stay.

Bottom line... When dealing with the John Yancey Inn's manager, GET IT IN WRITING!!!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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High Point, North Carolina
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

We stayed there this past weekend. You can see that the property is making strides in upgrading the hotel. I commend you for the outdoor changing station and the clean room that we had. But there some things for them to work on:
1) If a guest has 3 people on the reservation- please make sure that there are towels and washcloths for 3 people.
2) If a guest has a roll away bed- please make sure that the springs don't poke you all over. My 6 year old son could not tolerate the springs- they were built into the mattress. Invest in some new roll away bed mattresses or some memory foam toppers. At 11:30 at night (when we finally got ready to lay down for the night) I had to go to the office and ask for something to put onto the mattress to help. I was given a thin quilt which worked out ok but not ideal.
3) If a guest relations agent makes a mistake- don't make the guest feel badly for bringing it to the hotels attn. Don't tell the guest that the guest relations agent will have to pay for the difference out of their pocket. That is NOT customer service.
4) For the complimentary breakfast- please, please, please provide fruit. One morning we saw 2 apples left. (at 8:30 a.m. 1 morning and 7 a.m. the other there was no fruit) Most people prefer fruit in the morning. Also please think about adding yogurt or such to the breakfast bar.

Basic customer service is really what is lacking - the general manager is a bit rough when talking with customers.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
edward22, Guest Relations Manager at John Yancey Oceanfront Inn, responded to this review, July 26, 2013
Thank you for your feedback. We pride ourselves on being responsive to guest needs. Our free continental breakfast does offer fruit, bananas and apples, and is open as of 7am. We are happy to provide additional linens for guests. Thanks for the feedback on the roll away.

We continue to make strides to improve the quality of our rooms and property, and hope you can come back and enjoy a favorite Outer Banks oceanfront hotel for generations.
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Additional Information about John Yancey Oceanfront Inn

Address: 2009 S Virginia Dare Trail, MP 10, Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948
Location: United States > North Carolina > North Carolina Coast > Outer Banks > Kill Devil Hills
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Kill Devil Hills
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — John Yancey Oceanfront Inn 2*
Number of rooms: 107
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Oceanfront motel in the heart of the Outer Banks, NC. Outdoor pool, dune deck, rooms with balconies, FREE breakfast, FREE Wi-Fi, and more. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
John Yancey Oceanfront Hotel Kill Devil Hills
John Yancey Quality Inn
Quality Inn Kill Devil Hills
Kill Devil Hills Quality Inn
John Yancey Oceanfront Inn Outer Banks, NC - Kill Devil Hills

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