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“Better than ever!”
Review of Surf Side Hotel

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Surf Side Hotel
Ranked #1 of 13 Hotels in Nags Head
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 22, 2011

This was our 5th annual trip to Surf Side and I am happy to say things were better than ever. It was very evident they have put some money and effort in to remodeling, nothing major but the rooms and hallways have been nicely freshened up. Everything looks and feels very clean and comfortable, not an easy thing for a beachside hotel. Coffee was always available in the lobby before 7:00am which is fantastic for those who retire early after a long day in the sun – in room coffee maker is provided but they never taste as good as a fully brewed pot of coffee. New for this year was ICE cold lemon water in the lobby during the day – PLEASE keep this going, I’m sure it saved us on a number of hot days where we were too stupid to get out of the sun.

Great simple beach hotel in a great location with very friendly staff. Keep up the good work and see you next year!

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank fat_passport_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SEABOARDHOTELS, Owner at Surf Side Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 29, 2011

I am happy to hear that you appreciate the changes we are making and will continue to make to always improve the hotel and make it a better experience for you every time you stay with us. We are grateful to you for your many years of choosing the Surf Side. We will indeed keep the ice water in the summer and the cider in the fall and winter. Thank you for the review and your loyal business, it is sincerely appreciated.
Cheers,
Alex Moore
President & COO
Surf Side / Seaboard Hotels

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,364 - 1,370 of 1,567 reviews

Reviewed August 20, 2011

We booked this hotel solely on the reviews for this hotel. We were not disappointed. Upon arriving, we were warmly greeted by the desk staff. Our room was very clean and comfortable. The location of the hotel and access to the beach was great!! The continential breakfast was just what we needed. We enjoyed the afternoon "happy hour" wine and snacks. This trip was fabulous and we are planning our next trip to Surf Side. We would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone traveling to the OBX. LOVE IT

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Kelli L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SEABOARDHOTELS, Owner at Surf Side Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 22, 2011

It is a long way to travel to the Outer Banks from Missouri so I am excited to know the team at the Surf SIde delivered the stay you were hoping for while on vacation. We work hard to offer an experience at our hotel that will make the choice for your next vacation an easy one, come back to the Surf Side. It is great to hear you will be back again. Thank you for taking the time to write a review and for the kind words. I sincerely appreciate your business and look forward to you staying with us again next year.
Cheers,
Alex Moore
President & COO
Surf Side / Seaboard Hotels

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2011

My family and I stayed at the Surf Side Hotel last year for the weekend and enjoyed it so much we returned this year for our vacation, staying 5 nights. We stayed in the 4th floor oceanfront loft and loved it. The view is absolutely beautiful. The rocking chairs on the balcony are perfect for relaxing while listening to the ocean.
The room is spacious with clean linens and lots of extra pillows. The bathroom is rather small but was clean with plenty of towels.
The free breakfast is tasty with quite a few options. The pool area and walkway to beach is nice also.
We can't say enough good about this place - it is just great and we hope to return soon!

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank LS1965
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SEABOARDHOTELS, Owner at Surf Side Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 22, 2011

As a repeat guest I am extremely grateful to you for offering to share your experience with others on Tripadvisor again. It is especially satisfying knowing we deliver the product that you enjoy so much year after year. Our goal is to make every stay with us as enjoyable if not more than the last so reading your review makes me proud of out team at the Surf Side. Thank you for choosing to stay with us again and thank you for the kind words, I sincerely appreciate both.
Cheers,
Alex Moore
President & COO
Surf Side / Seaboard Hotels

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2011

Loved this hotel. I travel quite a bit and usually stay at corporate owned hotels. I was a little apprehensive about booking a family vacation at a small privately run hotel. Let me tell you - there is no need for apprehension about this place. They know how do to do it right! The staff was fantastic, the place was very clean. The beds were comfortable. The morning breakfast had something for everyone (kids and grandparents). The pool was clean. We loved everything about it! I would stay here again in a heartbeat. Loved it so much that I just tried to book a fall weekend at the sister hotel in Rehoboth Beach Del. but unfortunately it's already sold out. Guess that's the down side to writing reviews!!

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Jackie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SEABOARDHOTELS, Owner at Surf Side Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 16, 2011

Thank you for being our guest and for writing such a great review for us. We love being compared to the chains as we know we can do it better! We are hands on owners workng hard to make our properties the best in our markets. We are rated #1 in all of our markets because of our awesome staff from the front desk, to the housekeepers, to our breakfast room attendants, our maintenance crew, and the laundry department. Our focus is on you our customer to make your first stay with us the first of many to come. Thank you again for placing your review and for choosing to stayw ith us at the Surf Side, it is most sincerely appreciated.
Cheers,
Alex Moore
President & COO
Surf Side / Seaboard Hotels

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2011

We did just a one day, two night stay and were very comfortable. Helpful staff, good location, nice room, really good continental breakfast. I would highly recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Katy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SEABOARDHOTELS, Owner at Surf Side Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 16, 2011

I love the short and to the point reviews that tell others what a great choice the Surf Side is for an Outer Banks vacation. Thank you for the review and for choosing to stay with us, it is sincerely appreciated. We hope to have you as our guest again.
Cheers,
Alex Moore
President & COO
Surf Side / Seaboard Hotels

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2011

“All guests are equal but some are more equal than others”

We chose Surf Side Hotel based on the overwhelming positive reviews found on this website. Among the considerations were: exceptional customer service, indoor & outdoor pools and kiddies pool, “no pets” policy. (Yes, we prefer “no pet” hotels). Besides, whenever it is possible we try to support independent hotels to chains.
During booking a room for 4 nights we added the usual special request that we need a firm bed due to my serious back problems. To our astonishment, we soon received a phone call from Todd, charge of reservations, who said that they had only medium firm beds and if that not were comfortable for us we could cancel the reservation. Now this seemed to us a truly exceptional customer service – I can’t recall that it has ever happened that a hotel staff had called us and specified the kind of beds they had and asked if that was good enough for us. I know it will sound funny but we checked out in a local mattress store what a medium 5 firm mattress meant and then reconfirmed our reservation. In any case, this kind of attention along with the enumerated points listed above made us hope that we could expect and would look forward to a fabulous vacation.

While driving up to route 64, we discussed with my husband that we could stay one day longer in case the hotel could accommodate us. At check-in we communicated our intention about the additional stay, and the gentleman assured us that this (that is: our) room was available and would be available for us, moreover, that we did not have to tell him right away or even that very day when we checked in, we have plenty of time during the week to think about it. Having been tired from the drive, we appreciated his courtesy and offer, we continued with the check in, and then hurried to the pool and to the beach; after all it was already late afternoon or rather early evening on Sunday. By the way, this was the last occasion when we met with any kind of service or customer care in this hotel or from their staff.
Tuesday morning my husband went to the front desk to pay for the additional day. To his total shock, another (more senior) clerk informed him that our room was sold out, and there was nothing else available except one room in the other building without a balcony for $100+ more. Inquiring about the how and why this happened we were offered a few misleading statements first. Later on we found out that another guest, already in the hotel and on the same floor, as we were, wanted our room. The hotel reception, I guess, didn’t offer the more expensive room without the balcony to this guest, as did to us, instead “pulled the rug”, so to speak, under from us, and kicked us out from our room. We were not offered, a usual courtesy in cases like this, that the hotel would make a few calls to find accommodation for us in another hotel. As an unpleasant consequence we spent a few hours driving around to find another lodging on Tuesday. On Thursday, we were refused even an hour extension; it was so urgent that this mysterious but obviously favored guest could move into our room ASAP. [We were allowed to use the pool - I hasten to add before the Hotel President would comment how gracious they were in trying to accommodate us. Well..]
Our opinion about the customer service of Surf Side, needless to say, dived form 5 to -1 by this time.

Now I should go into details about the good and the bad about this hotel (the ugly was already covered above) though as you can imagine, with such a bitter aftertaste I don’t have a lot of inclination to dwell much on the details.

Upon our arrival the hotel had some serious maintenance issues and this meant that there was no air conditioning in the lobby, the tiny reception area, the corridors and next morning in the breakfast room. Since nobody told us that it was a temporary problem, we assumed that common areas had no air conditioning and felt sorry for the staff who sat behind the reception desk in that very hot tiny room only with the aid of a few fans. The overheated breakfast room wasn’t a pleasant experience. By Tuesday everything was repaired but then we didn’t understand why we weren’t informed that the breakdown was just a temporary incident. Only insiders and returning guests who are/were considered ‘family’ deserve information and explanation?

Good, and good to know: first floor means European first floor, that is, if you booked a first floor room, you are not on the ground floor but on the US second floor with a true balcony. Our room was called “Oceanside” which is true while still a bit misleading. Yes, one does see the ocean from the balcony “up and down”, but our room was right above the parking lot. In other hotels this side is called “parking lot side” and only those rooms are called “Oceanside” which face the ocean and there is no parking lot below. It isn’t a big deal after all, for us it wasn’t, but a fact is a fact. Sunrise cannot be watched from these balconies in the main building because all rooms face west.

Our room was large, very clean and bright though it was obviously among those that still had not received updated furnishings or the advertised beach chairs on the balcony. Then again these facts didn’t bother us much, we didn’t spend much time there. By the way, the beds were perfect. I wish the hotel had abandoned using those passé bedspreads and horrid poly blankets. (We spent quite a bit of time to push them out of way without possibly touching the blanket every given day.) The cotton linen was very nice and we used those only.
The maid service obviously spent more time diligently putting back the bedspreads and blankets in place instead of, for example, wiping clean the sink and the soap dish, so probably that’s why they didn’t discover that we ran out of soap. When we checked in, we barely had enough towels, before we checked out we had enough to supply a whole army. The bathroom was small but adequate but the lack of the exhaust was inconvenient.
This is the first hotel though which advertises “iron and ironing board in every room” but irons are kept at the reception, and one should ask for one. Much cheaper hotels won’t bother with such kind of embarrassing practice.

Breakfast consisted of a large variety of items. I enjoyed the always fresh and always tasty fruit salads the most.

The kiddies pool is gone and this unfortunately means that one cannot swim in the pools since the kids are jumping, playing, covering the pools with boards, and so forth. The outdoor pool was divided with a rope into two units by the management, so it was made clear anyway that the pool was not meant for swimming. Surf Side is obviously a family focused hotel, and I am sure parents with small kids are happy for it, but if an adult couple checks in with the expectation of swimming in either of the pools, s/he will be disappointed.

Room Tip: get cozy with senior staff - it probably helps a lot
  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
6  Thank Meditationes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SEABOARDHOTELS, Owner at Surf Side Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 16, 2011

I am sorry that you were unable to enjoy the hotel the way the vast majority of our guests do. As you stated our customer service was exceptional and I am proud of Todd and appreciate him for his dedication to making our guests recognize how important they are to us. I say over and over in my tripadvisor responses how much we want to make a first stay with us the first of many to come. The tremendous number of repeat guests that come back year after year is testament to that fact that we deliver a hotel experience that is special. It also says that we treat every guest equally as every guest was once staying with us for the first time.
I struggle with taking my time to repsond to all of the things that are simply not accurate in this review but I feel compelled to make note of a couple. The fact is we are in the business of sellig rooms and every day a night passes with unsold rooms we can not get that night back or the lost income from that room. You had the opportunity to add the additional night at check-in and chose not to take it so the room is available to sell. We never said we would hold the room. Another guest inquired to availability and took what was their choice. We do not offer to call other hotels in this situation as we had a room available for you and again you chose not to take it. We can not extend check out times when we have room moves as was the case with your room. We accommodate our guest that are staying over with us by cleaning the room they are moving into immediately after check out time. Very important misinformation for future guests, we call our side rooms Ocean View not Oceanside as is wrongly stated by this reviewer. They are true to the name, they offer great views of the ocean. In fact the rooms that are on the side with the parking lot offer better ocean views that the south side to many guests. Two other items of misinformation, we never had a kiddie pool and none of our rooms face west. The majority of our reviewers give us fair honest opinions of their stay. I am defensive in my response as I do not feel this is a fair review due to the large anoutn of misinformation. As this guest has not been happy with any of the hotels they have stayed in and reviewed I am even more certain of my feeling.
Alex Moore
President / COO
Surf Side / Seaboard Hotels

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2011

First off let me say that my wife and I refer to TripAdvisor.com before we spend even one night in a hotel anywhere. We had a horrible experience in Albany, NY on a Cooperstown trip years ago, and when we got back we discovered this website and have been fans ever since. The reviews are always spot on for us.

As for our stay at the Surf Side Hotel, we just got back yesterday after a 2-night stay Aug 8-9, 2011, and we were very pleased with our stay. It was our first time at the Outer Banks, after visiting VA, NC, and SC beaches multiple times over the past 15 years, so we were not familiar with the different areas and hotel offerings at all. We almost didn't make the trip because it was difficult trying to find a decent hotel that wasn't too pricey, and we didn't want an affordable place that was a total dump. It seems the Outer Banks is more appropriate for anyone wanting to stay a week at a rental property. It seems that hotels are few and far in between. But we finally decided on the Surf Side Hotel after reading the TripAdvisor reviews, and I'm glad we made the decision to stay with them.

Upon arriving on Monday in the late morning, the room wasn't available for check-in, but the front desk attendant was very helpful and gave me the parking pass and said we could use the pool and beach before check-in. He also gave me two towels upon my request, as it's one of the things we forgot to pack (there's a $15 charge if you don't bring a towel back, so don't forget it if you borrow one). He gave us a lunch recommendation for a place in walking distance down the street, and after a great, affordable lunch (about $25 for 3 of us) we hit the beach. After a few hours on the beach we spent some time in the hotel pool and then checked into our room.

The room was very clean and spacious with fairly recent furniture and TV. You can tell the entire hotel is a little dated (30 years or so) but I didn't care for newness, I just wanted cleanliness and affordability. The bathroom was clean and there wasn't mold or loose caulking or tiles, or things of that nature in the room, so the room was very well-maintained. The sliding glass door to the patio needs a little TLC after being opened and closed thousands of times, but the view was very good from the patio, looking south along the beach. As for a smell in the room, as some other reviewers mentioned, believe me I know mold and mildew as I'm very sensitive to that sort of thing, and I can say that was not the case with our room. Actually, the entire Outer Banks smells mildewy at times from all the salty air and humidity, so if you are not used to it, don't be alarmed when you are overcome with the smell of think, salty humidity. It was extremely humid our two days there, where you burst into sweat immediately and have to shower 3 times a day.

So, the positives are:

I booked online and the hotel owner called me the next day to confirm my reservation and he even knocked off another $10 because my daughter was only 6 years old.
Very affordable, clean room totaling $362 after taxes and fees for a 2-queen bed room.
Friendly, helpful staff at front-desk and the cleaning crew was good.
Great location in Nags Head right on the beach.
Walking distance to places to eat including some great ice cream.
Parking was never a problem.
Decent continental breakfast with cereal, breads, hard-boiled eggs, fruit, waffles, french toast, and an assortment of drinks.
Nice pool outdoor and indoor with jacuzzi.

And the negatives are:

Both pools are small, but that didn't bother us. It was a nice place to cool off and relax.
Pool furniture outside is not the greatest.
Outside pool needed some vacuuming and skimming, but it's a beach-side pool, so this is rather common in my experience.
The elevator moves at the speed in which they moved Hatteras Lighthouse. I mean, it is SLOOOOWWWW!!! But this is a minor annoyance with all things considered.
The continental breakfast opened way too late, at 7:30am, and the dining facility was way overcrowded as everyone showed up at 7:30am.

Overall, I was very pleased and would stay again if I head back to Nags Head. VA Beach is closer for me for a day trip but I prefer Myrtle Beach, so our next beach trip will probably be back to SC. My daughter is only 6 and needs more kid's activities, which Myrtle Beach offers. We stayed at the Dunes last year after reading TripAdvisor reviews and were not disappointed, as they have lots of indoor water slides and a lazy river for the kids. Litchfield Resort is another place we stayed down there, and for similar reasons.

Room Tip: Very affordable room at a great price. Very helpful staff. No frills hotel offering a good experie...
  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank David S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SEABOARDHOTELS, Owner at Surf Side Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 15, 2011

I am extremely pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us. As an obvious Tripadvisor afficianado I accept your well versed review with pleasure. I will take in to account and review your negatives, the deck chairs are in the budget for next summer, making the elevator faster is a differnt beast.
Thank you for choosing to stay with us and for taking the time to place a review, it is sincerely appreciated.
Cheers,
Alex Moore
President & COO
Surf Side Hotel / Seaboard Hotels

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Surf Side Hotel

Address: 6701 S Virginia Dare Trl, Nags Head, NC 27959-9119
Phone Number:
Location: United States > North Carolina > North Carolina Coast > Outer Banks > Nags Head
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Nags Head
#1 Family Hotel in Nags Head
#2 Romantic Hotel in Nags Head
Price Range: $120 - $282 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Surf Side Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 70
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The BEST LOCATION, BEST VIEWS, BEST STAFF, BEST ROOMS, and the BEST VALUE! We are #1 on the Outer Banks because we know what our guests want and we strive hard to give it to them every day. Since 1984 our family owned and operated hotel has been making first time visitors long term guests with our Carolina Hospitality coupled with our exceptionally clean and well appointed rooms. We look forward to having you as our next guest. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Surfside Hotel Nags Head
Surfside Nags Head

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