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“Small but clean...” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Inn at River Oaks

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The Inn at River Oaks
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512 N Howe St, Southport, NC   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 8 Southport B&B and Inns
Jonas Ridge, North Carolina
Level Contributor
39 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Small but clean...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2013

We just stayed at the Inn at River Oaks for 4 nights. I was swayed by all the positive comments on the Inn on Tripadvisor, and I can certainly echo most of them.

The Inn is close to the shops in the "downtown" or central business district of Southport. We chose to drive our car to them, but one could easily walk, as the interesting tourist-aimed shops start almost immediately out of the parking lot, and the farthest isn't more than 1/4 mile away (I wanted the car close by however for storage-my wife will have me acting as a pack mule otherwise!)

Further, I recall reading a review that suggested getting a room at the back for solitude from the road noise on Howe Street/NC 211, and I concur. I'm glad to say that we did have a room in the back. The only "negative" regarding quality of sleep was that we couldn't get the room dark due to a night light bleeding through even with blinds and a shade pulled.)

Also, I can agree that the room was very clean, including the bathroom. The very pleasant "clean" smell (not bleach per se though, which would be too overpowering) was obvious from first entry.

You can tell from the two staff members/owners I dealt with that customer service is a major priority. They are there and ready with an accommodating “oh yeah” or “sure, absolutely” if you need them without being overbearing or TOO involved in your stay-just right in my opinion.

As far as nit-picks-and I mention these areas only as a service to other readers/Tripadvisor members and not so much as "major gripes" against the Inn-most are likely related to the age of the Inn and the period in which it was originally built.

First, the room and bathroom are SMALL. I've stayed comfortably in Microtels before by myself and with my wife and my room here (#16) is smaller than those. I'm guilty of being a heavy packer (prepared for anything) and I bring valuables inside at night so nothing is left in the car (I travel with a full-frame DSLR camera and camera gear, and being birders we both travel with expensive binoculars and guidebooks). By that time, the room is choked with luggage and duffels, and walking/maneuvering/sitting is limited.

Second, I would mention that there is only one electrical receptacle (not "outlet" which might convey TWO plug-in receptacles) in the bathroom. Women-you'll have to decide between the curler and the blow dryer! My wife decided to move the blow-dryer to the plugs near the bed but this wasn't at a mirror (NEAR ONE, but not at one). Also (and I know this just illustrates how SPOILED we are in our electronic device world!) this meant we were constantly shifting plugs around, even with the provided adapter in one of the receptacles. Laptop, blow-dryer, camera battery charger, two cell phone chargers, CPAP machine, etc. all were shifted constantly while we were here. A paragraph here might make it look like a bigger deal than it is-I just wanted to mention it to other travelers.

Finally, I would mention that the arrangement for hanging clothes was only a small projecting arm which was just enough for my wife’s clothes for four days-I had to leave mine in a garment bag lying flat on a small piece of furniture-with luggage stacked on top of them. I wished there had been more accommodations for hanging clothes.

As stated at the outset though, most of these are likely related to the age of the property, and the owners still get kudos for doing such a great job with what they have.

Overall? The cleanliness, value for the price charged in such a nice coastal town, and customer service given by the staff/owners make this a GREAT VALUE.

Room Tip: Rooms in the back are farther from road noise
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
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34 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    21
    9
    2
    0
    2
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Brevard, North Carolina
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2013

This place is an absolute jewel....reminiscent of the days of real motor courts. Very clean, updated and well maintained. Truly a relaxing beach experience! Family owned & operated, the staff is very courteous, helpful and informative.
If your looking for safety, privacy and your own porch equipped with rockers, swings and a cool ocean breeze, this is your place. We plan to go back often.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, North Carolina
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

My husband and I were in town for a wedding and looking for somewhere to stay that was not a chain. We enjoy fancy hotels, but it just felt wrong to go to a place like Southport and stay in a big chain hotel. The problem though, it that my husband is a germ-a-phobe! I made the mistake of renting a cabin once and it wasn't as clean as we hoped and he was miserable all weekend. So many reviews though said that this place was super clean. Well... they were RIGHT! Wo both enjoyed our stay at The Inn at River Oaks. It was super clean, quiet, and just what we were looking for. The bathroom was a little small, but efficient. If you're looking for a big fancy room, this wouldn't be the place, but if you're looking for a local place that is a fantastic price, homey, cute, and clean, stay at the Inn at River Oaks - you won't be disappointed!!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RiveroaksMotel, Manager at The Inn at River Oaks, responded to this review, July 8, 2013
You guys are too good to us! We do work hard but its reviews like these that keep us going. Thanks so much to ALL of our guests we are blessed to live in such a great area with such delightful customers. Wouldn't have it any other way : )
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calabash, North Carolina
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013

We stayed here based on other TripAdvisor reviews and were not disappointed. The "inn" is a small older motel that has been modernized without losing its mid-century charm.
Our room was basic, but very clean, including the carpet, and it had a microwave, small fridge, and coffee maker. The tv was older, not a flat screen, and took up a lot space, but it worked fine. We liked having 3 windows, one on the back wall, one in the front, and one in the bathroom, which made the room very bright. The wall unit a/c was fairly quiet and the air was cold.There are rocking chairs and porch swings outside each room's door.
Management was super friendly and very accommodating.
The inn is in a very walkable area, with local shops and sights within walking distance, and in the evening we walked the few blocks down to the Southport waterfront. Very enjoyable.

  • Stayed June 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
British Virgin Islands
Level Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013

I really enjoyed my 2-nite stay at the Inn at River Oaks in Southport. This road side motel feels like a time warp where you land in the 1950's! It has a great location. The 2-full sized beds were located in a very clean room (we had #8). You get a separate gold key to the ice room. Sink is behind the main door and the shower stall was extreme small, but honestly had the absolute best water pressure of any hotel I have ever stayed at! The A/C worked blissfully well and we heard no outside sounds. There is Los a small fridge in the room. I would stay here again.

Room Tip: The beach on Oak Island was very fun!
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013

I have been many places in my life and stayed at a lot of hotels by far The Inn at River Oaks beats them all for many reasons. Joe, Zeke and Chad are the best. They make you feel at home and just like a local. They make you feel safe and are constantly asking you if you need anything. They fill you in on Restaurant advice, Beach advice and anything else you may need to know.
The rooms are clean and have everything you need for a relaxing vacation. As realtors say LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. The Inn is within walking distance to everything you may want to do.
Thank guys for a wonderful time. See you in August. Sadie you are a great dog.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Carolina
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2013

Rarely do I find an establishment that ranks as highly in my mind as the Inn at River Oaks. My family has stayed here multiple times in the last year, and my wife and I just returned from our anniversary trip. We travel to Southport about every month or so, and we always try to get a room here. Firstly, the staff acts like you are their only guest, and are always on call if needed. We had one trip where we didn't get to the Inn until 10 pm, and Zek went well out of his way to make sure we got comfortably into our rooms. When we first looked at this hotel, Joe took us to several of the rooms they had available to try and find a room that fit our needs. And the biggest thing is how clean the rooms are.

We have seen both Zek and Joe out in the town, and they always come talk to us and try to make sure we are enjoying our stay. They are traditional beach boys, so you have to keep in mind how relaxed they are. It has been my impression that they want to make sure you feel like part of the community. If you want to know the good places to eat and fun stuff to do, talk to the guys here. I greatly enjoy seeing the guys that work here because I know it will involve catching up on what has happened since our last visit, and listening to some wonderful stories.

Since our stays, I have read several of the reviews and appalled at some of the items others complained about. I have never had issues with the rooms, and if I ever did, I know it will be promptly handled. If you want a good place to stay where you feel as comfortable as you do at home, come see Zek and Joe.

Room Tip: All the rooms are very quiet, and the rooms toward the back tend to be a little bigger.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Inn at River Oaks

Address: 512 N Howe St, Southport, NC
Location: United States > North Carolina > North Carolina Coast > Southport
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 8 B&Bs / Inns in Southport
Number of rooms: 16

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