My father, sister, and I spent 3 days at the Tranquil House Inn a few years ago. And although it was all right, we've never gone back on our subsequent trips to the Outer Banks. My opinion is that they lure people to stay at the inn with flowery (and ultimately meaningless) phrases about their attentive and personalized service, which they quite fail to provide.
Room: Comfortable, clean, and quiet, with a great view of the Sound. However, it was on the third floor; and the inn, though built quite recently, did not have any elevators (at least, none accessible to the guests). So it was hard to get our suitcases up and down. It was also difficult for my father, who was in his eighties at the time.
Bath: OK, but it was only a shower bath -- no tub, which was a disappointment after an 8-hour drive, especially for a place that has no pool or hot tub in which to soak off the kinks of travel. Also, the water was far too hot for a commercial establishment; we managed OK, but it would have been very easy to sustain a bad scald from it. My father, an engineer, had to point out to the staff on two separate occasions that the water temperature far exceeded the maximum for a hotel, and that they could remedy that by a simple adjustment to their hot water heaters. Nothing was done about it, however.
Food: We had one meal at the inn's restaurant thie night we arrived; and although it was excellent, the restaurant served only dinner, not lunch -- no mention is made of this on their website or in the brochure they sent me when I made our reservation. Also, although we were staying in the off-season, and the inn wasn't crowded, and it was the middle of the week, neither the restaurant nor the inn staff made any attempt to accommodate us. We arrived early in the evening and were told that if we didn't dine immediately, they couldn't take us till after 9 p.m. So instead of being able to relax for a bit in our room and freshen up, we had to rush down to dinner. I would have thought that an inn that boasts so highly of its solicitous service would make an effort to seat inn guests in the restaurant whenever they arrive. Plus, there were only 3 in our party! And when we went in to dinner, the restaurant was hardly crowded -- there was plenty of room and tables. But the food was fine and I must admit that the water is the best I've ever tasted -- I'm not being facetious, it was like another beverage!
Service: Unhelpful and offhand. Just plain bad. The woman who was at the front desk for most or our stay was extremely officious, unresponsive, and brusque. Again, this in not acceptable at an establishment that claims to have such high standards of personalized service (and charges you for it). It was nothing of the sort -- more like, fend for yourself.
Miscellaneous: We never did find the area where the breakfast items were supposed to be, or the wine and cheese, either. Did they hide it in the middle of the hotel? It certainly wasn't near the desk or lobby.
Addendum: A year or two after our stay, I saw an interesting profile of the Tranquil House Inn on a travel show. I've seen many episodes of this show and the reviewers usually find some positives about the places they visit. The reviewer's tone about the Tranquil House was flat, distant, almost detached, giving just a few basic facts about the place -- location, age, etc. The review was very brief and showed the inn only from the outside. I guess the reviewer didn't like it, either.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A modern inn with a view over Roanoke Sound. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Tranquil House Hotel Manteo