One of the older, 'weathered' accommodations in Nags Head (built in the 70s?), and it shows in its lack of amenities. (Reminiscent of what rentals probably were like in the 70s, maybe early 80s.) I imagine vacancies are rare in the summer, in part because of price relative to newer rental properties and in part because it is oceanfront. HOWEVER, a caution for those who think oceanfront also means ocean views. A mix of efficiencies and 1-3 bedroom cottages, none have ocean views. The cottage closest to the walkway to the beach has a patch of ocean view if you are sitting on the screened-in porch, and possibly inside the cottage you might be able to see a patch of the ocean from one of the windows. But you are at least only steps away from the beach/ocean. Their advertisement says "private beach access," which I assume just means only guests can use the walkway to the beach, as the beach itself is public. My husband and I stayed in an efficiency, but one of the guests staying in a 2-bedroom cottage invited us in just to see what the cottages were like. They are surprisingly fairly roomy, nicely laid out; even the efficiencies are roomier than I would have thought, though the shower stall-only bathrooms in the efficiencies are small and dark. In fact, the efficiencies generally are kind of dark--few lamps/lights and the wood paneling is dark. (The cottages are a bit brighter.) Cottage or efficiency, there's a full-sized refrigerator, stove, cabinets. But utensils and dishware and cookware are sparse and obviously donations, either from yearly guests or perhaps from the managers of the property, and maybe the owner(s) as well. If you plan to do more cooking than eating out, though, you might want to bring a few pots and pans and the like with you. Dish rags and towels are supplied, but you'll need to bring your own detergent (none of the units have dishwashers), unless a previous guest left theirs (along with soap) behind on check-out. They do supply toilet paper (but not paper towels or trash bags). Bath towels and wash cloths are supplied, though pretty scratchy, old (or perhaps just cheap, like you'd find at a discount store). Sheets and pillowcases are clean but again, very thin, cheap. I would advise bringing your own pillow(s). And if you have any kind of back problems, you really might want to bring a cushion top. The mattresses are pretty awful (something several other guests we talked to complained of). I don't know if they are just really old or a discount brand, but they are really uncomfortable. My lower back hurt the entire week. (That is my biggest pet peeve anywhere I stay. A lousy mattress equals poor sleep and can really put a damper on your vacation. IMO of course, it is inexcusable to not provide quality mattresses and pillows, even if you skimp on everything else.)
The mattresses, actually, are indicative of the kind of property this is overall. The owners obviously keep expenses as low as possible to maximize profit. Nothing wrong with that, though as I said, I think at the very least some investment should be made when it comes to the mattresses. Who wants to go on vacation and sleep poorly every night because of cheap mattresses?
Our efficiency had only one small closet, in the bathroom. We were not happy about that, as any clothing you hang will have a slight musty smell. I would advise bringing fabric freshener. I would also advise bringing a power strip or two as there are few outlets, and none of the cottages or efficiencies have been brought into the electronic era (though at least the TVs are flatscreens). Weirdly, what outlets they do have were behind the bed or the lone dresser, obviously not easy to get to. So if you want to be able to charge your cell phone, or an iPad or Nook, anything that requires a current and the ability to charge something, I would advise bringing with you at least one power strip (we brought two, which I wound up being grateful for). As for Internet access, they DO offer wireless access, though it is spotty and weak, as the owner has not invested in a signal booster. In fact, the lumpy mattresses and the lack of a good wireless signal were the two things most of the other guests complained about.
As for the property managers, the wife, a Mrs. Irene, is a really nice woman, very friendly and interested in the guests, and knowledgeable about the Outer Banks in general. Her husband I did not talk to or interact with much except to exchange a polite "hello" in passing with each other, but he seems more... mercurial as one (regular apparently) guest put it. Not unpleasant, but the kind of person whose friendliness, apparently, depends on what mood he is in when you encounter him. Other than when we checked in and one day when we passed each other in the beach walkway, I did not see or talk to him, but his wife, she was a truly warm person--"a people person" as my husband would say.
But goodness, I did not intend to write such a long review! My husband and I travel often. He teases me that my reviews of accommodations are sometimes longer than our actual stay. I cannot help it; I really believe the quality of your accommodations can truly make or ruin a trip. So I will stop now and just say that if you are more a 4-star-ratings person, hooked on your iPad or computer or Nook, etc., you will not be happy here. You will for certain be miserable if you are prone to back problems. If you want ocean VIEW, this is not a good choice. But if you want some place quiet, steps from the beach/ocean, and don't want to spend a lot on accommodations, then this might be a good choice. So on a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being "the best," I would rate this a 3. I don't think we would stay here again unless it was the only place with vacancies.
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