My boyfriend and I just returned from Ocracoke last night from a weekend trip, during which we stayed at the Ocracoke Harbor Inn. Throughout the course of planning the trip, we received very good, very friendly service.
We arrived Friday night around 8 pm, and although the office was closed, the key was awaiting us. We settled in, went to dinner and out to watch a basketball game, and returned around midnight to our room. Our room had a private deck, which only had a sliding door that didn't lock from the main hallway. From the private deck, one had to enter the room with a key, and the door locked behind you automatically.
When we got home, we sat on our private deck for a bit, and then decided to head into the room. At which point we realized we were locked out. I accept responsibility for this, although I don't think it's very intuitive for one to have to worry about getting locked out on their private deck attached to their room.
We had no phone, no keys (room or car), and my boyfriend was barefoot. We walked down to the office, which listed numbers to call for after hours service. However, these weren't particularly useful since we had no phone, or even change to use a phone. At this point, it was about 1:30 a.m. We went to a pay phone, but with so many numbers to call, we chose not to call all three emergency contact numbers collect, and instead I suggested we walked to the Sheriff's Station, but wasn't surprised when no one was there. I've been coming to Ocracoke for a long time - during the off-season, especially, it's not unusual for the station to be unattended at night.
Finally, we headed back to the payphone at the variety store (we've walked roughly .8 miles at this point, with my boyfriend shoeless), at which point we felt we had no option to call 911 and speak with a Hyde County dispatcher. She was wonderful, and she hung up with us and verified all of the numbers we should call for after-hours service and called all three on our behalf. No one answered. At any of them.
At this point, we were at a loss. I had worked on the island a few summers ago, and our dog was staying at a kennel with 24-hour access. The temperature was in the low 50s and windy, so we walked over to the kennel to clear our heads and warm up. Luckily, there was a phone there (unfortunately, that hadn't occurred to us before), and after several more tries, someone finally picked up.
We explained what had happened, and the gentleman said he would meet us at the room. We explained that we weren't there and would have to walk a half mile to get there. He did not offer to come get us (although he knew exactly where we were and I assure you that Ocracoke is not a large enough place for this to be out of his way). We started walking yet again. At one point, a truck drove past us, then turned around and headed back to the hotel area. We assumed correctly that it was the proprieter that would be meeting us. Why he did not stop to ask if we'd like a ride, or at least ask if we were the folks at the Ocracoke Harbor Inn, is beyond me. Ocracoke is one of the few places where one could rightfully expect one to stop and offer help at 3 am.
We finally got there, saw that it was indeed the same vehicle, and the gentleman was standing by our room. I said "hi," and he immediately hushed me. While I didn't expect him to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 3 am, I did expect to be treated politely as a guest, and one who was locked out of her room simply by stepping onto her private porch. Again, not the best set-up.
Anyway, it was not a pleasant experience. These proprieters should have been available to get us into our room immediately. While not a particularly enjoyable part of the job, assisting people in re-entering their rooms in the middle of the night is part of being an inn owner/employee. The entire thing took an hour and a half. Needless to say, it put a large damper on our weekend getaway.
On top of that, the walls and floors are fairly thin and thus the stay was noisy.
Not all was bad - the hotel was clean and the view was excellent. I had great experiences with all other staff members.
I do intend to contact the establishment itself about the experience.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Ocracoke Harbor Inn overlooks picturesque Silver Lake Harbor in the heart of the Village. Enjoy the scenery from your private deck or relax at water's edge on the docks. The Inn's beautifully appointed 16 rooms and 7 suites provide for a delightful and relaxing vacation surrounded in uncompromising luxury. Enjoy complimentary continental breakfast on the waterfront deck and watch the fishing boats depart for the day. Then kick off your shoes and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of the Island. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Ocracoke Harbor Hotel Ocracoke