Top 12 Cool and Unusual Hotels in Outer Banks

Located off the coast of North Carolina and southeastern Virginia, Outer Banks constitute a beautiful string of barrier islands that extends over 100 miles along the Atlantic Coast. The region is known for open-sea beaches, shipwreck diving sites, state parks, waterfront dining, and tiny lighthouses dotted on the shores. 

With humid summers and mild winters, Outer Banks are great to visit year-round. Whether you are planning a long vacation to OBX or a weekend getaway, there are many unique and interesting places to stay. From cute and quirky boutique inns to modern resorts, here are the top cool and unusual hotels in Outer Banks, North Carolina (in no particular order)...

1. Sanderling Resort Outer Banks – charming boutique beach hotel with tasteful beach-themed decor and a laid-back atmosphere

Sanderling Resort Outer Banks - cool modern beach hotel

Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and Currituck Sound, the Sanderling Resort is a luxurious resort offering a perfect blend of homey comfort and upscale amenities. Ideally located on Duck Road, the resort provides easy access to Pine Island Audubon Sanctuary.

Snug rooms at this 4-star hotel are outfitted with minifridges, iPod docks, and private balconies with water views. Some rooms come with pull-out sofas. 

There are two outdoor pools, an indoor pool, a spa, and two fine-dining restaurants with bars. Guests also have access to a fitness center, a steam room, beach chairs, and umbrellas. 

Address: 1461 Duck Rd, Duck, NC 27949, United States

2. The Ocracoke Harbor Inn – a pretty upscale boutique inn with quirky-chic decor close to one of the best beaches in North Carolina

The Ocracoke Harbor Inn - pretty beach hotel

Cute Inn Outer Banks

Overlooking the gorgeous Silver Lake Harbor, the family-owned Ocracoke Harbor Inn hotel is within walking distance of Ocracoke Lighthouse. 

Relaxed, down-home rooms at the Ocracoke Harbor Inn come equipped with satellite TV, mini-fridges, coffee makers, and free Wi-Fi. Guests sojourning in suites enjoy upscale amenities like whirlpool tubs, private balconies, and kitchenettes. Well-appointed cottages with advanced amenities are also available. 

Complimentary perks include parking, docking for boats, and continental breakfast. Guests also have access to a communal BBQ area and outdoor showers.

Address: 144 Silver Lake Dr, Ocracoke, NC 27960, United States

3. White Doe Inn Bed & Breakfast – a cute and quaint traditional bed and breakfast with bags of character

Charming White Doe Inn - Manteo, North Carolina

Set in a magnificent, gingerbread Victorian home on Sir Walter Raleigh Street, White Doe Inn is a luxe bed-and-breakfast featuring well-adorned rooms with family heirlooms, antiques, and Egyptian cotton linens. 

Each room at this 4-star inn offers a private bathroom, a flat-screen TV, and free Wi-Fi. Some rooms have 4-poster beds, private balconies, gas fireplaces, and whirlpool or clawfoot tubs.

An epicurean, 4-course breakfast is served in a communal dining room or a veranda. Guests can also have in-room dining and a spa. Freebies include evening sherry, loaner bikes, and afternoon tea and desserts. 

The B&B is within walking distance of the Shallowbag Bay waterfront and the Roanoke Island Festival Park.

Address: 319 Sir Walter Raleigh St, Manteo, NC 27954, United States

4. Roanoke Island Inn – a delightful traditional inn filled with cool and unusual features for a unique stay

Cute and quirky - The Roanoke Island Inn Cute and quirky - The Roanoke Island Inn

A quaint, boutique hotel on Fernando Street in the heart of Outer Banks. Overlooking the Shallowbag Bay, Roanoke Island Inn is a perfect place for those looking for a quiet retreat just steps from downtown Manteo. 

Homey rooms at the hotel have flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi access, and windows looking out onto the garden. Two- to three-bedroom cottages offer full kitchens, dining rooms, and living rooms.

The Dot’s Cottage comes with a sun porch, while The Bungalow has a sharing large bath with both a separate shower and a footed tub. 

Address: 305 Fernando St, Manteo, NC 27954, United States

5. The Burrus House Inn Waterfront Suites – a waterside inn that boasts a traditional feel set off by a contemporary twist

Contemporary Burrus House Inn Waterfront Suites, Manteo

Contemporary Burrus House Inn Waterfront Suites, Manteo

A polished, all-suite hotel located off US Route 64, with Roanoke Island Festival Park accessible within a 4-minute walk. Genteel rooms and suites at the luxurious Burrus House Inn Waterfront Suites boutique hotel in Manteo feature wooden floors and period-style furnishings. Living areas in suites are equipped with fireplaces and fancy seating. 

Upper suites feature cathedral ceilings, while waterfront suites come with whirlpool tubs, double showers, and private decks with bay views. Kitchenettes are available in most suites. Freebies include direct waterfront access and parking. 

Address: 509 US-64, Manteo, NC 27954, United States

6. First Colony Inn – quaint, traditional-style inn that oozes typical Southern charm

First Colony Inn at Nags Head - quaint, traditional style inn

Housed in a low-rise dating back to the 1930s, First Colony Inn is the only historic B&B in the region. The 3-star hotel perches across the road from a private beach, with Jennette’s Pier reachable within a short drive. 

Antiques-laden rooms at this historic hotel are fitted with fridges, coffee makers, and microwaves. Upgraded rooms come with kitchenettes and wet bars, and some offer whirlpool tubs. Free Wi-Fi is available in all rooms. 

Complimentary services include afternoon refreshments, continental breakfast, and passes to the YMCA parks. Guests also have access to a seasonal outdoor pool and a communal lounge filled with books and games. 

Address: 6715 S Croatan Hwy, Nags Head, NC 27959, United States

7. Tranquil House Inn by Carolina Retreats – a haven of rest and relaxation in beautifully elegant surroundings

Elegant hotel - The Tranquil House Inn, Manteo, NC

A sophisticated, boutique hotel facing Manteo’s historic oceanfront. Featuring 25 country-chic-style rooms, Tranquil House Inn offers an extravagant lodging experience to well-heeled travelers. 

Each room comes with a private bathroom and a cable TV. Some rooms have 4-poster beds and/or beachfront views. Suites are equipped with separate bedrooms and living areas with plush seating. 

Complimentary amenities include a continental breakfast and a daily wine and cheese reception. There’s an on-site restaurant serving authentic American cuisine in an elegant setting. Guests also have access to an on-site bar and a waterfront deck. 

Address: 405 Queen Elizabeth Ave, Manteo, NC 27954, United States

8. Saltaire Cottages – lovely beachside apart-hotel with a cool coastal vibe

Saltaire Cottages, Kitty Hawk Beach NC - cool beach accommodation North Carolina

A laid-back apartment hotel located just across the street from the Atlantic Ocean, with the Kitty Hawk Pier reachable within a 10-minute walk. At Saltaire Cottages, guests lodge in unfussy, nautical-themed one- to four-bedroom apartments with private kitchens, living and dining areas, and screened balconies with ocean views. Each room also has Wi-Fi access, a flat-screen TV, and a washer/dryer. 

The semi-oceanfront hotel also has an outdoor pool and a sundeck with barbecue grills. 

Address: 4618 N Virginia Dare Trail, Kitty Hawk, NC 27949, United States

9. Makin’ Waves 290 – a cool and unusual beachfront holiday home that offers high ceilings and spacious living areas

Cool and unusual beach holiday home - Makin' Waves 290

A charming, semi-oceanfront property located at a 1-hour drive from Hatteras and Nags Head. 

The four-bedroom Makin’ Waves 290 holiday home has a fully functional kitchen with a 2-person breakfast bar, a living room with a flat-screen TV, an adjoining dining area with seating for eight, a balcony, and a deck with sea views. 

The top floor has cathedral ceilings with ivory-cream walls and wood accents completing the look. 

Address: Waves, 27982, United States

10. Coastal Charm 220 – spectacular colourful holiday home with a gorgeous terrace featuring a hot tub overlooking the ocean

Coastal Charm Holiday Home on the beach, North Carolina

A stunning, oceanfront home Coastal Charm 220 offers multiple primary bedrooms and upscale amenities. The first floor features one bedroom with private deck access, a half-bathroom, and a large game room with a pool table, a microwave, a refrigerator, and a 55-inch smart TV. 

The second floor has a lounge area with a 60-inch smart TV and stylish seating, four bedrooms with deck access and flat-screen TVs, and a furnished deck.

The top floor offers an airy living area with a fireplace and two couches, a primary bedroom, a well-equipped kitchen with granite countertops, and a dining area with seating for up to ten people. 

This cool property is minutes away from Avon Beach. Other popular attractions near the holiday home include Canadian Hole, Old Lighthouse Beach, and Cape Point. 

11. Tree House 38 – cool and quirky beachside holiday treehouse accommodation with light and inviting interior

Cool and quirky Treehouse 38

Located on Avon Beach about three miles from the Canadian Hole, Tree House 38 features four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a small living room with floor-to-ceiling windows, an adjoining dining area with seating for eight, a fully functional kitchenette, a laundry, and a balcony with sea views. 

Guests can enjoy a myriad of activities nearby, including diving, cycling, horse riding, and snorkelling. 

Address: Avon, 27915, United States

12. Cake by the Ocean – cosy beachfront holiday home with a unique personal touch

Cake by the Ocean - beach holiday home with carefully decorated interior

A low-key property located near Kill Devil Hills Beach, less than two miles from Kitty Hawk Beach, Cake by the Ocean has three bedrooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, a living room with a fireplace and a flat-screen TV, an adjoining dining area with seating for eight, a well-equipped kitchen with a 2-person breakfast bar, a balcony with outdoor furniture, a garden with barbecue facilities, a separate sitting area with a flat-screen, and a terrace overlooking nearby houses. 

Southern Shores Beach and Nags Head Beach are within a short drive from the property. Windsurfing and mini golf can be enjoyed nearby. 

Address: Kill Devil Hills, 27948, United States 

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