In mid-February, M and I enjoyed a lovely stay at Sanderling Resort on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We had previously stayed there six years ago during the same time of year... right before closing on our house, actually! The Sanderling was purchased by two companies in May 2012 from the resort's only previous owner. Since I had celebrated many holidays there as a kid, I definitely wanted to see the changes that had occurred thanks to the multi-million dollar renovations!
Good news: everything is still gorgeous. Even when it snows. Especially a Spa day overlooking the frozen-over Currituck Sound.
Bad news: too cold and windy for any beach walks, but nothing about the hotel for our stay was a problem.
First impressions from our stay: the logo of the Sanderling has been slightly altered and the resort utilizes the colors orange and white which definitely makes a cheerful statement! The resort is much more family-friendly now, with fire pits (nightly s'mores fixings left at your room each day), multiple outdoor pools on the ocean side, five dining establishments (some open only seasonally, varying from snack bar to formal dining), and fully renovated rooms. The spa is still a destination in itself, with luxurious spa suites, relaxation rooms, and a serene atmosphere. We had a great spa day there.
When we checked in we learned that two of the three buildings were closed for renovations, which was fine because there actually were only about 16 guests staying while we were there. We were upgraded (due to the availability being in the off-season), and happily went to check out the digs. Our room was gorgeous. It was spacious, with high-ceilings and modern touches while still feeling incredibly "homey." We had a balcony that overlooked the ocean above the dunes and the grounds below. In comparison to previous visits, I think the main issue for me was lighting. Our room this visit was brighter due to the color palette and light fixtures. Previously, rooms were a bit darker even though they were attractive and comfortable. We enjoyed being able to spend time in the room as well as the common areas (i.e. South Wing still has the fireplace downstairs and the gorgeous framed Hermes scarves).
If you're interested, the room is called a South Inn Oceanview King. We had a top level one on the corner.
Final thoughts? If you have Celiac disease, you'll be in heaven with the thoughtful touches and details... multiple dining choices on-property! Imagine someone bringing you a gluten-free roll without requesting it at the Lifesaving Station, or room service substituting said rolls in your eggs benedict order the remaining mornings of your stay. These gestures count! Celiacs know how hard that is so having ample options in one place is wonderful.
Families who live in Virginia? Make the drive to the Sanderling if you haven't been before. It's definitely an up-and-comer in the resort scene and well worth the trip with many fun sites and activities for little ones (even more so from Easter through Christmas).
Condé Nast Traveler rated Sanderling Resort #38 of the Top 50 Mainland US Hotels in their Readers' Choice Awards as well as placing the Resort on their Gold List. Travel + Leisure named it as one of the 500 Best Hotels in the World.
We certainly look forward to returning again soon!