What We Love
- The only full-service resort in North Carolina’s 200-mile Outer Banks region
- Live evening music, storytelling and s’mores around firepits
- Affable staff offers poolside food and beverage service
- The hotel can provide beach chairs and umbrellas
What To Know
- The adults-only tranquility pool is for guests 21 and over
- The resort can help arrange off-site activities including golf, horseback riding, and sailing
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
This beachside property personifies the no-fuss, coastal living attitude. From the Beach House’s exterior, where white rocking chairs line the portico, to the bright and cheery lobby, the Sanderling’s easy-breezy vibe is palpable before you even reach the check-in desk. The reception area is filled with wicker seating, driftwood, blue-gray ottomans, wainscoted walls, hurricane lamps and dark hardwood floors — all thoughtful reminders that the sandy shore is just a few steps away.
Bed & Bath
The 95 guestrooms, which are spread among a few buildings, echo the resort’s maritime motif with a light color scheme, private wooden porches furnished with hammock-style chairs, and saltwater taffy at turn-down. All feature mod cons such as flat-screen TVs and iPod docking stations, but the best soundtrack to lull you to sleep is the pounding surf. Large Carolina blue bathrooms have granite countertops, subway tile showers, Bocca Terry robes and L’Occitane products.
Just off the Beach House lobby is Sandbar, a casual outdoor bar that brings island time to the Outer Banks with reggae tunes from Bob Marley and the like, and shakes up specialty cocktails alongside finger foods such as mahi mahi tacos. Also on property are a fitness center, a 6,000-square-foot spa and one indoor and two outdoor pools; one is zero-entry, catering to families with fun geysers, while the other is adults-only, flanked by cushioned tangerine loungers and umbrellas. When hunger strikes, head to the Lifesaving Station, which dates back to 1874 and was originally constructed to aid shipwrecked passengers and sailors along the coast. The restaurant and bar is festooned with naval trinkets such as oars, ship wheel handles and nautical rope, and specializes in serving fresh Southern standbys (think shrimp and grits or crab-stuffed North Carolina flounder with sweet pea risotto). But if you want more of a genteel dining setting, reserve a table at Kimball’s Kitchen steakhouse for superb views of the sunset over Currituck Sound before making your own dessert (namely, s’mores) at one of the resort’s firepits.
In the Area
Sanderling Resort partners with Kitty Hawk Kites, and the on-site kiosk can arrange kiteboarding, surfing or standup-paddleboarding lessons; it also offers kayak tours as well as full- or half-day bicycle rentals. Sports enthusiasts can perfect their golf game six miles north, at the Currituck Club, or work on that backhand at Pine Island Racquet & Fitness Center. For shopping pursuits, take a drive down Duck Road to Ocean Annie’s, Lady Victorian or the Cotton Gin (and if you have a sweet tooth, OBX Sugar Shack).
How to Get There
For many years people have talked about The Sanderling Resort. Being I. The industry myself I have always wanted to stay and finally booked a room.
Plus: very friendly staff
Minus: very basic room for the extravagant money spent. Dirty housekeeping and swimming pool that hadn’t been vacuumed in a while. Trash under furniture (only noticed that as I was missing a shoe) could not get morning service in their breakfast restaurant.
Staffing is short so I understand being in the business. I would stay again, but certainly more discriminating on the rate.
The plus of the resort: Staff very professional and courteous. Every staff member always acknowledged you and greeted you. The room we booked on the Sound side which was spacious with a somewhat updated bath. The downside of the room was: the carpet in dire need of cleaning. The bed very soft and non supportive as were the pillows. I asked the front desk about the softness of the bed,they suggested maintenance come up to put a board between the mattress and box spring. Not really acceptable for the prices you pay for this room. I asked if I could have a foam core pillow in lieu of the very soft pillows on the bed. I was informed they have no other pillows available, so remember to bring your own. The shower as large as it was had no safety grab bars which can be an issue for older or younger people. Can not believe the insurance company approved this. I also asked for some kind of grip bar to be installed, but that also did not happen. If you have an issue with walking, this may not be the place for you, although there are ramps, however if you are in the North or South Tower, you have to walk to get to the heart of things.. ie. beach, pool and walk back.. Not so senior friendly....
This was my first choice as a place to stay on my first time to the OBX, but I'm divided about whether I would return due to the uneven service and quality. Overall, only a few people seemed to really understand the need for top notch customer service. Part of the problem seemed to be that the team was new and inexperienced so hopefully as the summer gets going, they wll improve.
The standouts of the resort were the morning yoga class (really nice teacher), the beach (soft sand after about 4 feet of shells and the water was cool but not cold), the Sandbar (good service and for a quick hamburger and adult shake place), and the spa (excellent and reviewed separately).
The room-- housekeeping was only okay-- we realized the second day that our room wasn't completely made up when we arrived-- I thought the quilts were supposed to be used for sitting out on the beach or something, but apparently they were supposed to be on the bed. The bedroom and bathroom was spacious with plenty of room for everything. The mattresses were very uncomfortable-- way too squishy (not firm enough) for me. The resort does provide beach towels and also had some complementary water and a smore kit which was a nice touch. One other structural issue-- there was not a clear path back from the main buidling to the north building (where we were staying) without walking through the parking lot (there's not even a sidewalk, you have to walk through the middle of the parking lot). There was a way to get to the kid's pool, but then to get into the north building, we had to duck under some tape/go through new construction.
As an example of the lack of customer service-- the electricity went out in our buiding one evening (around 7pm) and didn't come back on until sometime in the middle of the night (maybe 3am?). The hotel did give us a discount for this inconvenience, but there was really no communication from management about what was going on-- no one was onsite handing out flashlights and explaining what was happening or anything. While the outage apparently wasn't the resort's fault, it meant we couldn't finish dressing as we wanted to for supper, had to shower in the dark, etc. It could have been handled in a much more customer friendly way and this is I guess the main issue I have with this resort. It seems to charge for a lot but not offer first-class service.
We were really looking forward to our first stay at the Sanderling. Would have given this a 3.5 if we could. Arrival and checkin was fine. We were located in the North Inn which is more the family location as that pool is located next to it. We should have picked the South Inn overlooking the adult only tranquility pool. Our mistake but that is a better location I think for just couples without children.Our room overlooked the parking lot and we couldn't go on the balcony due to the amount of flying bugs and so many dead on the screen and if opening the door many got in at night even with the porch light off as they suggest. I guess this is just an issue of the area. Pools were nice. Staff friendly. You had to bring your own chairs and umbrella to the beach and setup yourself but not far and you could ask for a staff member to do so if you asked. But if really a premier resort, you should have someone out their doing it or have it set up each morning. Tried to call the front desk when leaving the last day and the phones were out. Our mattress really should be replaced or flipped as it had quite the divet in it and we rolled together. Not extremely comfortable.
On the plus side, plenty of parking. Room A/C and fan was excellent. Housekeeping was perfect, plenty of towels of various sizes and beach towels and nice big shower and bathroom. We didn't use the wifi. Also great how they had coffee available in the morning on the first floor with creamer and teas. Breakfast in the life saving station was good and not off the charts expensive but it was slow. Sandbar lunch was good and staffed by pleasant attentive servers. Kirby in the bar was fantastic!
Think we'd try again but in the south inn and after memorial day as we had friends who were disappointed in the available amenities in early May. But I hope they get new mattresses.
Very friendly service and nice resort with good beachfront. The pros: Rooms were nice and ours had a little patio overlooking the pool- that 's the best side. Loved that the hot tub was really hot!! And they were happy to set up chairs and umbrellas on the beach. Also loved that they had good coffee set up every morning! and the s'mores kit in the room was such a nice touch! The location was good for either going south to Duck or north to Corolla. Easy walk to the Paper Canoe restaurant across the street for dinner, which was nice.
A local bike shop delivered and picked up bicycles so we could bike the paths.
The cons: The bikes offered at the resort were rusted so I'd advise going to a bike shop in town. The internet was a bit spotty when we were there but we managed. The fire pit had that smell (not sure if it's propane or gas but couldn't bear it). But others didn't seem to mind as much as the night they provided music, many people sat around it. The bed was slightly saggy, fell off the platform twice but they are so quick to fix any problems.
But so many goods to balance any small negatives. Overall very nice!