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“Retro, but not in a good way” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Sea Foam Motel

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Sea Foam Motel
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7111 S. Virginia Dare Trail, Nags Head, NC 27959   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 12 Hotels in Nags Head
Raleigh, North Carolina
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Retro, but not in a good way”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

I'm sure this motel was great at one time ... many, many years ago. The Sea Foam is not one of those cool, charming retro motels, but one that literally has not been updated or modernized in any way. For our $166 single-night fee, on the pro side was the location: beach on the doorstep. That's it. On the con side? It would tire me out to write it all down in narrative form, so,here goes a nutshell list: two very small beds (the 1950s kind where your feet nearly hang off the end), cable for the TV loosely hanging out of a hole in the wall (not sure how it could possibly meet code), non-working TV remote control, fridge with a soaking wet bath towel inside (I'm guessing to handle a leak), no working outlets in the bedroom that weren't already in use by lights, fridge, etc., a toilet that wobbled and felt like it might tip over when you sit on it, broken up sink knobs, dirty and broken bathroom tiles, slow draining sink and shower drains, trickling/running toilet, half a roll of ultra-cheap and thin toilet paper for three people, a smell of liquor throughout the room that never dissipated, parking spots not sized for today's large cars and an apathetic front desk staff.

I certainly would never stay here again, and don't understand any of,the glowing reviews. And I am NOT a lodging snob, having stayed happily in hostels and other budget hotels, in addition to more luxurious digs.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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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166 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    67
    13
    9
    15
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67
42
5
2
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (53)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Cleveland, Ohio
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

Since my daughter and I had such a great time in Nags Head, NC last year, we decided to go back again this year. We stayed at the Sea Foam Motel again, but this time for a whole week!

Some of you might not know that the Sea Foam Motel has efficiencies available for weekly rental-Saturday to Saturday. It is much cheaper than trying to find a house to rent in Nags Head, and you can't beat the location of the motel. The motel sits off of Virginia Dare Trail on the ocean side. Rooms over look the Atlantic with large sand dunes established. (please stay off the dunes!)

While I insist on smoking rooms...the Sea Foam is smoke free in the rooms...but it's only a step outside to light one up.

This year, our efficiency had a full-size refrigerator, sink, cupboards, dishes, utensils, pots, etc. But we opted to bring our own pots. I also brought a few vintage table cloths to brighten up the place while we were there.

I still think the beds are hard, but by bringing our own pillows, we were more comfortable. We rented the first floor efficiency (Room 10) and we could walk right out to the beach everyday! The only issue I had was the renters in the room above us--every time they walked...we heard it, luckily, they were quiet by midnight every night. We also had an issue of the renters dumping water and other objects from the balcony above onto us at certain times...so I had to say something to the management, and they stopped.

I do recommend bringing some over-the-door hooks--for towels to dry, and a HAIR DRYER. We also brought a surge protector to plug in all of our electronics. I even brought sheets from home as I find their sheets to be quite scratchy. So having my over-used, really soft, cold sheets on the bed made sleeping wonderful.

I would suggest that the front office be a little more sociable and greet travelers with more exuberance. Nags Head and the Outer Banks are such a lovely place...they should be excited every time someone walks in the office.

While the Sea Foam is vintage and retro, be surprised that they are truly taking good care of it. My number one issue is bugs in any shape and form, and the Sea Foam is FREE of bugs!!

Room Tip: I think the ocean side lower level rooms are great...you can walk right out to the beach, or grab a...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bel Air, Maryland
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

I can't see how the reviews for this hotel are 4 out of 5. We booked multiple rooms and 3 of the 5 rooms were terrible. The bathrooms were in such bad shape you didn't feel like you could get clean in the bathtub that looked to be from 1946 at best. The room did smell a bit stale and the beds were not very comfortable. The best thing about the hotel was the location. It's right on the beach with a nice view and a gazebo that you could go to that leads to the beach were quite a few people gather. I gathered there each morning, to get fresh air after staying in that terrible room. My rating of a 1 is a little low. I would have probably gave it a 2 based on the location, but this hotel is way over priced for the outdated room you get. This should be priced around $70 a night, but $150 a night. I almost forgot to mention that on our last day, my wife saw a bug what looked to be a roach in room #11. I couldn't wait to leave.

Room Tip: Room 15 didn't look bad and neither did room 34, but rooms 11, 13, and 21 are absolutely horribl...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glen Allen, Virginia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2013

The motel is very vintage and very charming. My only complaint is that the room smelled a little stale, but nothing that a Glade Plug-In didn't fix! We had a 2nd floor ocean view and it was very romantic. Would definitely recommend and would also stay again!

  • Stayed June 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
ITHACA
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013

We stayed 3 nights in June 2013 at the Sea Foam and loved it! Location was fantastic - walking distance to the Pier, ice cream stand, grocery store and Sam & Omie's restaurant. You didn't need to get in your car once you were there. We had a 2nd floor room with 2 double beds. Very spacious room at this "mom & pop" motel. Room was spacious, clean and comfortable. Had everything we needed (fridge and microwave) and a table overlooking the ocean. The private balcony and screen door were our favorite features. Slept with the screen door closed and listened to the waves all night long. My only "complaint" is that there is a sensor light on the balcony that we could not shut off - this interfered with sitting out on the balcony at night but wasn't a show-stopper. Staff was friendly; bathroom was clean and although it's the original plumbing - worked well; pool was well kept. We really liked the "family" feel of the Sea Foam - met nice people on the gazebo to the beach, at the pool and on the beach. We spent an additional 2 nights further south and we agreed - we greatly preferred the Sea Foam and would love to come back and spend a longer time!

Room Tip: 2nd floor ocean view
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 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.
Hanover, Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2013

my husband and i stayed there june 9th-13th.it was very comfortable and convenient to the beach- loved that.had ocean view but if you are 1st floor you are looking at dunes unless you are standing.so i would suggest 2nd floor.bathroom is really small but the room itself was a good size and very clean and that's what counts with us.i will return next year but will try to get 2nd floor oceanview now that i know.plus a very short walk to Sam and Omie's for a great breakfast!

  • Stayed June 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Nashport, Ohio, United States
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2013

Stayed one night with family June 6. Nice view, convenient and kinda fun in a retro sort of way. Was clean and comfortable. Definitely dated but didn't expect otherwise. Would stay again. Nice pool. Allows on night stays which was a huge plus.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sea Foam Motel

Address: 7111 S. Virginia Dare Trail, Nags Head, NC 27959
Location: United States > North Carolina > North Carolina Coast > Outer Banks > Nags Head
Amenities:
Free Parking Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 12 Hotels in Nags Head
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 51
Also Known As:
Sea Foam Hotel Nags Head
Sea Foam Nags Head

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