Our 25th wedding anniversary stay at The Cove started off on the wrong foot: we arrived very late ($175-a-night) because we missed the ferry. We didn't know that the ferry mentioned on the website is the *only one* to have a late schedule. We tried another ferry service (Swan Quarter), only to find that it stopped running at 4 p.m.--well before we arrived at the ferry landing at 8.
After a long, dark, scary ride up the West side of the Sound to cross over and then down to Hatteras, we finally boarded the 10 pm ferry and arrived at The Cove around midnight, and found the keys readily available (as Erin promised) and (warm) champagne waiting in our room (which we go to the refrigerator and "exchange for a cold bottle or cider if we chose").
The second floor Dolphin Room itself was rather small, but what I expected from the web photos: dominated by a large, comfortable queen-sized bed, ceiling fan, desk, T.V. (full satellite), WiFi, and matching fish-oriented decor. The bathroom with full tub and shower were also as expected, and very clean with lots of towels (including special dophin-illustrated "beach" towels for our use). The one-piece fiberglass tub/shower were clean, but a bit low-budget-motel in feel.
The building, from the outside, has a "cozy, cottage" look and architecture, but somewhat sparse, as if it were owned by someone who doesn't like grass or gardening (there is no landscaping or flowers--only gravel); however the rooms feel more like a Motel 6: clean, matching linens/artwork, with a very small T.V. at the far end (sitting on the dresser) of the room. I expected the decor, and it was, after all, the cheaper room, so I'm not complaining (except about the pouring a/c unit above the balcony door--more on that later).
My favorite aspect of The Cove was the delightful, cheery, and informative "native" hosts. I couldn't have asked for more from both Erin and Chad as they worked tirelessly to ensure our every comfort. But our personal balcony had no view, and an annoying, pouring stream of a/c window unit water, that fell on our heads every time we opened the door and it created a small stream we had to wade through on our private balcony. But two chairs and a small table were waiting, so we could sit outside in privacy (shielded by overgrown trees and oleander bushes). A small garden would have been nice to look at, but soaring seagulls aren't a bad trade-off.
The breakfast was tasty, but I agree with other reviewers: there were no options since Erin served us each the same plates of food. We could choose to leave food on our plates, but buffet-style would've been more appropriate, in my view, since I had to throw away the food on my plate that I could not eat.
Some guests complained about the mosquitoes; however I understand that rainy season has such natural problems. Even so, Erin provided lots of repellant for our use, and the entry-way's wrap-around screened porch (with ceiling fans) was perfect for lounging out of their pesky reach. No such luck on the personal balcony, however: It is not screened.
As a seasoned B&B denizen, I believe the hospitality was excellent (it is somewhat rare to find hosts that are "natives," and both friendly and knowledgeable), and Erin especially was kind and generous. Erin and Chad deserve a better place to host because the building itself had some problems (dripping a/c unit, small rooms and t.v.'s, no landscaping) that could be remedied with a little cash investment, and a handyman's/gardener's attention.
I probably won't return to The Cove because, for the money, I think I can do better elsewhere on the island--should we ever return to Ocracoke, which is highly unlikely. Next time, I think I'll skip the ferry ordeal (and costs) and find a place inland.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- After an hour ferry ride you'll find yourself really able to unwind. Four rooms and three suites, a scrumptious full breakfast (such as Eggs Benedict, stuffed French toast, pumpkin pancakes and others) can make lunch optional. You'll love our fig preserves, our very own figs. Our complimentary evening wine and light hors d'oeuvres reception and bikes, together with water and sunset vistas like none before will embrace you. 14 Miles of undeveloped beach, charter fishing, charming shopping or just doin' nothin' will have you coming back! See you soon? ... more less
- Also Known As:
- The Cove Hotel Ocracoke
- The Cove b&b