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Review of Tarpon Inn

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Tarpon Inn
Ranked #1 of 4 Port Aransas B&B and Inns
Reviewed 8 May 2014

Just returned to TI for a few days this May and again enjoyed it greatly. My rooms (they were busy and I have to move because I extended my stay for another night) were as expected, old fashioned but comfortable and spotlessly clean; with linens fresh and new. Even the bed mattresses were comfy.

The new owner is renovating the rooms one at a time so as not to cause too much commotion. The walls are having plaster removed to expose the original heart pine; also know as 'red pine'. Of course the pine will be left exposed when done. And I believe there some upgrades to the bathrooms also.

The manager Debra is on-site every day morning and evenings to supervise the staff and she even makes coffee early, if requested, for fishermen, beach combers, and sunbathers getting an early start.

In my earlier review I mentioned the spotless pool and back garden/lawn area, still in my opinion one of the finest in Port Aransas in terms of a quiet relaxing space, surrounded by native plants including beautiful palms. I don't say it's the largest or nosiest pool, with towel boys, chaise lounges and tiki bars (one of the huge concrete condo "housing projects" further south perhaps?). But who's to say that you can't walk next door to the Flats Bar or across the street to the Back Porch?

If what you want is the standard chain motel/hotel experience with tissue boxes and TV's. and telephones in every room there are plenty of places for you in Corpus. Most travelers carry their own shaving kits and cosmetics, including smart phones and iPods (there is Wi-Fi available at TI).

Also, if you have done much travel in the southwest U.S. and stayed for example in the Trost designed historic hotels (The Gage in Marathon, The Paisano in Marfa, or the El Capitan in Van Horn) you are not surprised at the size of the bathrooms, lack of TV's etc.

The TI is a unique historic place and, in my humble opinion, should be enjoyed for what it represents: a window to the past; a slower paced time, with more greenery and less pavement and concrete.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled solo
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6  Thank Austin_78704_Guy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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54 - 60 of 139 reviews

Reviewed 22 April 2014

Disappointed in this mainly b/c it is in all the guidebooks, so expected more. Be sure to read previous reviews b/c many include things I was going to mention and re-emphasize, so just be aware of what kind of place it is. Main thing is yes, it is a cool historic place, but also true that it is not being kept up as nice as it could be. Room amenities are close to nil, like going to summer camp. Not even a Kleenex box, or a clock. No screen in the bathroom window so if you want fresh air you risk bugs. Toilet seat was very worn out, many scuffs which made it look not clean, an easy thing to replace. Exactly one hanging piece of art in room, a framed outdated festival poster; tons of old nails in the walls w/nothing hanging from them. We had room 16 and if you look online, that is it exactly: it had two beds, a dresser made of painted plain wood, and two wooden (read: uncomfortable) chairs. They advertise that the rooms have antiques; not one in this room. Glass doorknobs as someone else mentioned were cool, we anticipated more of that kind of charm on going in room but no. Pros: beds very comfy, bathroom quite large, cool to sit in rockers on porch, they had TWO suitcase racks (many high-end places don't even provide that), walking distance to many good eateries. But don't think you'll have a water view; you can see boats docked but not the water itself. And very loud right on the road there sometimes. And yes you hear every conversation and move your neighbors make, thin walls (old place so that can't be helped as much, but just be aware if you are sensitive to noise). Shower was narrow, and window had been sloppily painted (years ago) and paint marks still on the glass and desperately needed new coat; those kind of details as someone else said, easy to fix, cosmetically. And yes, way overpriced for what you get, which is basically an enclosed room to sleep in. And the lobby is not a place you'd want to spend time in; half of it they use for storage and seems like staff space. Room is small so you'd better be there to enjoy the outdoors. Strange: extra pillows in the closet but no pillowcases on them, so basically unusable. Clothes bar in closet but no hangers: why? We asked at desk and they gave us some, so why not just provide in the first place? It was also very cold when we were there and on the beds were thin thin blankets, so we also had to ask for more blankets; they gave us fluffy comforters that were quite nice (again, why not just put on the beds in cold weather). Ate at Fish House next door one night, good food and reasonable prices. Get breakfast at Eats just a block away, behind the inn. Great coffee and good breakfast sandwich. Coffee Waves also a great place to hang out a few blocks away, cool decor inside. Office hours of the place yeah, not open til 8 in morning, so too bad if you want just a simple cup of coffee earlier. They also accept pets which is good for pet-owners but not for us who listened to one bark for an hour and a half in the room below us around midnight when some inconsiderate other guests left it there; also a problem when no one at desk to complain to (they do have a # to call but by the time we got up and around to do something, it stopped). Also worth visiting just down the street: Potters on Cotter. Did see other places to stay in and around Port A and can see why this, in comparison, gets good reviews, but really could be better or not charge as much. Staff was pretty friendly and tried to be helpful.

Room Tip: Definitely upstairs to avoid noise from above; also a better view from your rocker ;-)
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank CatLoverColorado
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2014 via mobile

We loved the rockers on the front porch. Our room, 26, appeared to be more spacious than others. It was a pleasant surprise they are dog friendly. We were in walking distance to the best breakfast on the island- Frankie's Kitchen.

  • Stayed: April 2014
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3  Thank Pamela R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 March 2014 via mobile

I rented a room on a Saturday night during the low season, the location n the fact that all others were sold out made the decision easy. The room was considered "premium queen"; costing us 150.00. Upon entry to the room it was smaller than even a motel 6 although the furniture was cute and antique, as the front desk agent assured us. I was surprised there was no place to store clothing, the armoire in the room was merely for decoration. The bathroom had a tub (this is what made the room a premium queen) but it was small n dingy. The size n outdatedness of the room wouldn't have been altogether too bad were it not for the mold. The shower curtain had mold on the inside as well as the wall. Small room...no tv..wall unit ac...no storage and mold. All leaving a bad bad taste in our mouths. When we return to Port A I will ensure we do not stay here.

Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
1  Thank tani24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 March 2014

I was drawn to this inn based on its locale and historical past. Unfortunately, the accommodations were pretty disappointing. Here's the good and bad from my stay:

Good: You can easily walk to lots of restaurants and shops. The trolley makes a stop right out front.

Bad: The room was musty and didn't seem very clean. It was apparent that some areas had not been dusted in awhile. When the mirror in the bathroom fogged up, you could read that someone had wrote "clean me" on it, and I could totally understand why.

Good: The folks at the front desk were pleasant.

Bad: We had to listen to our neighbors walking around for much of the night. Our light fixture and the antique secretary shook with every step. (I highly recommend getting a room on the 2nd floor)

Good: Roosevelt's was very good and just a few steps from the door. (Be sure to make a reservation in advance)

Bad: Linens had holes in them and the pillows were super lumpy. I woke up with an achy neck the next day.

Good: Hmmm....I'm afraid to say, I'm out of good things to write about.

Bad: The furniture is showing it's age. They are antiques, but they are not in good shape.

Overall, I just feel that there is a lack of attention to detail. There's potential for it to be a truly charming and wonderful place to stay, but it just seems that the owners/staff are assuming that people will over look the issues due to its historical significance. I get that it's an older building that is exposed to the coastal environment, but the neglect just seemed excessive.

Room Tip: Choose a premium queen room that's upstairs.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank meesha03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 December 2013

We stayed here because it's an historic hotel. It is truly historic in that it has not been updated in it's history. Granted, heat pumps have been added; but the mold, mildew and rust are from it's history. We were aware that there is no TV or telephone; but a room the size of a postage stamp can be a bit cloying. It takes a very long time to get hot water and be sure not to overuse the two towels and one wash cloth. We were booked for two nights; but left after one.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Sheron B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 November 2013

No TV but I don't go to watch my favorite shows. Most attractions, shopping and restaurants are within walking distance. I still have not been able to get a reservation at Roosevelt's but will keep trying. The only complaint is it took a long time to get hot water to the room.

Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
2  Thank John H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tarpon Inn

Address: 200 E Cotter Ave, Port Aransas, TX 78373-5124
Region: United States > Texas > Texas Gulf Coast > Port Aransas
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Port Aransas
Price Range: £127 - £142 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Tarpon Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With 200' long porches to relax on since 1886, the longest porches in Texas stretches and relaxes along with you. The salt air and breezes are gently encouraged by old-fashioned ceiling fans. The sweet creaking of roomy rocking chairs blends with the pages of a novel being turned. Where each room is decorated in period antiques and no two rooms are alike and where there are no televisions nor telephones. If our place sounds like your kind of place, then please consider this an invitation to make yourself at home. We're waiting to treat you as part of our Tarpon Inn family and encourage you to wonder if it's possible to stay forever,or at least a couple more days. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tarpon Hotel Port Aransas
Tarpon Inn Port Aransas, Texas

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