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“Very pleasant and comfortable stay; upscale but not stuffy or true luxury”
Review of Sanderling Resort

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Sanderling Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Duck
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 3, 2009

My wife and I recently completed a Fri-Sat 2-night stay at the The Sanderling in late March for our 5-year wedding anniversary. Though the weather turned out to be rainy, we were very pleased with our relaxing and quiet weekend. It was off-season and that made prices more reasonable for the South Building 3rd floor room with ocean view than peak season. We paid about $220/night plus taxes and believe we received very good value (namely the sight and sound of the ocean from our room & balcony). The room was spacious and comfortable; my wife commented on some of the higher-quality aspects of the room like wooden blinds, nice bed coverings (not to mention the ocean view which, though somewhat obscured by the sand dunes, was beautiful) and comfortable bed. That said, as other reviewers have suggested, there were some aspects of the room that prevent me from classifying it as top-notch luxury: some not-so-obvious inconsistent paint touch-ups, dead batteries in one of the remote controls, small in-room coffee pot, some unpainted areas on the window sill and some very slight dust/debris build-up near the ventilation duct. These latter aspects of the room quality were not immediately obvious but, instead, only apparent after we spent 2 days there and, due to the weather, relaxing in the room. We did take advantage of the loaner DVD player (no movies) provided by the front desk; they came and set it up and we were able to watch our own movie on the large flat panel TV in the room. We also took advantage of the complimentary scones/cookies and tea each afternoon in the main building by the communal fire place; coffee and tea were also available each morning in the lobby.

We have traveled extensively around the world and stayed in many top notch hotels and resorts (as well as many budget hotels, pensions and hostels). Whether it be Cairo, Rome, Bangkok or, in this case Duck, one has to consider the surrounding theme, local economy, competition, etc. when determining 'value' for one's lodging. All aspects considered including the relaxed "beach spirit" and relatively high cost of labor in the US, we found this hotel to provide good value. Some reviewers have taken exception to calling this establishment a 'resort' and I tend to agree. Though there are pools, jacuzzis, etc., it has more of a hotel feel than a resort feel (I usually associated the latter with sprawling grounds, around-the-clock service, etc.). The Sanderling does have a spa but we did not use any of the services. Likewise, there was a modest-sized gym in the South Building (there may have been others) that we did not try.

Our anniversary dinner at the Left Bank was very good value with a fixed price at approx $70/meal plus wine and gratuity (a larger 7-course meal is available for more $). It was more quality than quantity but we did not leave hungry (we're big eaters). Service was very good; not stuffy but not too casual (it is a beach setting so everything is a bit more relaxed). We dined early and enjoyed the view over the sound (including some scurrying little foxes playing along the bank). The restaurant was uncrowded but started to get busier later in the evening; in peak season seating could be a problem. They recommend reservations as does the more casual Life Saving Restaurant (which we opted not to try as it seemed a bit drab to us -- more interesting places to try in the city of Duck itself). We tried breakfast room service and found the quality and cost to be very reasonable.

Traffic on the single road to/from the hotel from elsewhere on the island was extremely light but we were warned that it can become quite congested (and all persons stressed 'quiet' congested) in the peak season. Beware.

We enjoyed several walks on the peaceful beach (see attached photos). Since it was off-season, we often felt we had the entire coast to ourselves. The sand was somewhat sharper and rougher than some other sands we've experienced elsewhere; I have tough feet and walked barefoot with no problem but my wife appreciated having her sandals. We collected an assortment of shells, saw several washed-up starfish and skate egg cases (black rectangular objects) and even dolphins swimming off-shore. We also took a walk on the nearby Audubon nature trail... nothing to rave about but gave us something to do nearby but off the beach.

We look forward to going back to this hotel -- in the off-season again. We'll bring our young son along next time as the establishment appears kid-friendly (though it does not appear to cater to kids -- they simply don't frown on little people running around).

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank PackTheBagAndGo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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975 - 981 of 991 reviews

Reviewed March 20, 2009

We got lucky when we found The Sanderling for a short getaway on the Outer Banks. Great location right on the dunes overlooking the ocean. Huge room with balcony. Dreamy beds. Large bathroom with shower I wish I could have brought home with us. Free wireless internet and safe for laptop. 2 large screen tvs - one in the bedroom and one in the living area. And this was their standard room. Rate we got calling the hotel was less than hotels.com or expedia. Like others have reported, check-in seems unnecessarily slow since staff doesn't seem to know how computer system works. But staff is friendly and our room was spotless. Restaurant on premises doesn't disappoint but doesn't amaze, either. We didn't try their formal price fixed restaurant across the street But we'll certainly be back. I can't imagine staying anywhere else.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Yahooer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2009

Stayed a couple of nights at the Sanderling in November - a great time of year to be there.
Great location, right on the beach, nice property all around.

We were in the North Inn in a king room on the second level with a nice balcony facing the ocean.
The room was very spacious, nicely decorated and recently renovated. The bath was also very nice, new and modern - no tub but a very large shower enclosure.

They offer complimentary afternoon tea and cookies which is perfect before a long walk on the beach. Breakfast was excellent and not too expensive.

All in all a lovely stay in a fabulous location.

  • Stayed: November 2008
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Thank HobokenGlobetrotter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 20, 2008

My wife and I enjoyed a wonderful if too brief respite at The Sanderling (Duck, NC) during the second week of October. While rooms at the inn fetch top dollar even during the off season for an ocean resort area, overall the experience justified the cost. The Sanderling is located right on the oceanfront a few miles north of Duck. Our room faced the Currituck Sound and had a nice size porch overlooking the sound. The room itself was generously sized and had very nice accompaniments, including a bar with sink, refrigerator, and microwave. Add to that an HD large screen LCD/TV, high speed internet, a nice restaurant. and a short few steps to the beach. What more could one ask for? It's a great vacation spot and the weather was perfect (mid-70s to low 80s) during our stay. We enjoyed spectacular sunsets over the sound and full moon rises over the Atlantic. October is a great time of year to visit Sanderling if you don't have school-age children. It's quiet and there's very little of the traffic that we've experienced on the Outer Banks during peak season.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank David G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2008

I will preface this review by saying that my boyfriend and I truly enjoyed our 3 nights at the Sanderling. Beautiful beaches, great room (South Inn ocean view), and loved loved loved our little patio overlooking the water.

But I have to agree with other reviews regarding staff and service:
We had reserved a room in the Main Inn, and upon arrival we were placed in the South room, which wasn't even ready for us. Front desk seemd like high schoolers not yet trained for job, but it was already August. Killed some time at Lifesaving Station(dinner-ish time)- wasn't the best. Later on we ordered room service and no joke the caesar salad was a hulk of lettuce not yet broken up, one huge crouton, and a chicken breast. So it was "make your own salad" for twenty bucks. The kid who delivered it didn't know how to open our bottle of wine and broke the cork. Just very awkward overall. Had a massage at the spa, I've had much better elsewhere.

So I agree with prior reviewer to just treat this like your own apartment, and get everything you need yourself. Just enjoy the great beaches, large rooms, GREAT food at Blue Point (make reservation well in advance!)

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank jules_brooklyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2008

My husband and I heard much about the Outer Banks of NC - being from Massachusetts we often frequent Cape Cod and heard that the Outer Banks was very much like the Cape Cod we both knew when we were young - which intrigued us and prompted our visit to the Sanderling.

We drove from MA spending the first night in Ocean City, and continued on day 2 to the Sanderling.

From check-in to check-out, we found the staff to be extremely polite, accommodating and eager to make our experience a memorable one. We had 2 breakfasts and 1 supper at the Life Station restaurant. The breakfasts were delicious (if you're an oatmeal fan, try the simmered steel cut oats, you won't be disappointed). Supper was good, but portions were small - we ventured out to the Blue Point and the Roadside Raw Bar (both in Duck) which were both outstanding (if at the Roadside try the Roasted Vegetables with Grilled Shrimp and Risotto Cake - one of the best dishes I've ever had).

As for our room, we booked a limited sound view and received a 2nd floor room in the North wing overlooking the man-made fountain and some lush foliage. The fountain muffled the street noise, and was shut off each evening in order not to disturb sleep. The patio was wonderful - it was private enough to sit out and read without seeing anyone. The view of the sound was beautifully tranquil. The patio also had a small rack to dry bathing suits (a very nice touch). The bathroom had a fabulous walk-in shower (big enough to comfortably fit 2) and was spotless. The bed was a comfortable king size bed.

Upon arriving, we decided to go to the ocean to take a swim. We walked the corridor of the North Inn, and opened the far door. There, to our surprise, was a gazebo with stairs leading to a deck overlooking the ocean. On the deck were lawn chairs and beach umbrellas. The waves were spectacular, the water temperature perfect and the body surfing was grand.

We drove to Corolla ( a 10 mile drive) and took our pickup out on the beach - what a great experience ~ the pool man at the hotel told me there was 17 miles of beach to drive on reaching all the way to Virginia. We also tried to walk the Audabon Trail which is accessed from the Pool parking lot, but it was too HOT! Only made it one mile out and back, but saw rabbits, cranes and deer.

Overall, a truly spectacular experience! We'll definitely make this a regular stop on our vacation itinerary!

Thank you all at the Sanderling!

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank MeandMyHubbie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2008

Just came back from Labor Day W/E and really enjoyed our stay at the Sanderling. We were new to the Outer Banks, and this was a great introduction. It's not for the budget minded, but it is a nice nice property, with comfortable rooms. Complimentary coffee in the mornings, and tea and cookies in the afternoon. The beach is great, as was the yoga class in the spa across the street. (The main Duck Road separates the hotel from the spa, tennis courts, and the outdoor pool. It is a busy road, and can be a bit like jaywalking in NYC).

The fitness center was a bit small,and fortunately, you get free access to the larger Pine Creek fitness center three miles up the road. My kids had no trouble getting onto the internet on their macs, but I had some problem with my pc - it might have been my wireless card. The service was great, and they did a great job cleaning up the rooms. Can't complain about anything. The Life Station had some good food for lunch and breakfast ($12 breakfast buffet). We didn't try the Left Bank.

A previous poster's recommendation to try to get a South Inn, 3rd floor room was right on - great room with clear view of ocean and sound of breaking waves.

My whole family enjoyed a relaxing stay. It was a good launching point to see the Wright Memorial and Jockey Ridge Dunes.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank kiki1980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sanderling Resort

Address: 1461 Duck Road, Duck, NC 27949-4635
Phone Number:
Location: United States > North Carolina > North Carolina Coast > Outer Banks > Duck
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Duck
Price Range: $208 - $466 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Sanderling Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 95
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
At the Sanderling Resort, casually elegant first-class amenities blend seamlessly with the spectacular landscape to foster connection and renewal. Offering magnificent views of both the Atlantic Ocean and the Currituck Sound, our guests have the same unique opportunity to admire both a sunrise and sunset - both over water. The Resort's guestrooms with their oversized bathrooms and generous decks, are a perfect complement to the quality of the natural setting, while our acclaimed spa and pools provide both unparalleled serenity at the tranquility pool, or a boisterous family environment at the Resort pool. The Resort's renowned restaurants offer the finest dining on the Outer Banks, with perfectly prepared and presented fresh coastal cuisine and a choice of venues to match the time of day, the season and your mood. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sanderling Hotel Duck
Sanderling Resort Duck, NC - Outer Banks
The Sanderling

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