First, a disclaimer…this is another from-the-heart review. We have not received any compensation from the Inlet Inn.
As we have said before, staying in downtown Beaufort will lower your stress by limiting your accommodation choices. If you are staying in the historic district of Beaufort you can rent a house or condo, you can stay in a Bed & Breakfast, you can choose the Beaufort Inn, or you can stay at the Inlet Inn.
Our current favorite is the Inlet Inn. It has become our home away from home in Beaufort.
This review will give you four reasons why.
The waterfront/boardwalk area along Taylor’s Creek and Front Street is the heart of Beaufort. It’s the place you want to be to get the best of Beaufort.
The Inlet Inn is located at the corner of Front and Queen Streets, at the east end of the boardwalk directly across from the boat slips for Lookout Cruises, Beaufort Inlet Watersports, Good Fortune, and Island Ferry Adventures.
The Inlet Inn is also directly across Queen Street from Taylor’s Creek Grocery and a 30 second walk down Queen Street from the Beaufort Grocery and our favorite restaurant on the planet, Blue Moon Bistro.
It’s a great spot to begin a walking tour of Beaufort, or simply to set off for a run or walk. The boat watching and people watching are also top-notch.
The Inlet Inn has a third floor lounge/common area.
The area contains the Inn’s kitchen, a large room with several long tables and chairs, a computer, and television. It also has a loft area with a table and chairs and a balcony, known as the widow’s walk.
The views from the second and third floor rooms are great, but the widow’s walk is the highest point in the historic district and has a view that is worth the price of the room.
You have to see the view from the widow’s walk.
If you are walking along the boardwalk, you will see amazing boats, the water of Taylor’s Creek, and the shoreline of Carrot Island. On the west end of Front Street, you can see along the channel, over to Fort Macon, and almost to Beaufort Inlet and the ocean.
But, from the Inlet Inn’s widow’s walk you can see over Carrot Island to Beaufort Inlet and the Atlantic Ocean.
You can see the beaches on the east end of Bogue Banks and the west end of Shackleford Banks.
To the east (left if facing the ocean) you can see the Cape Lookout lighthouse, and to the west you can see the Morehead City port and the most amazing sunsets in Beaufort.
Remember, the coast line around Beaufort runs east to west, so if you are facing the ocean, you are looking south (weird, hard to get used to, but interesting).
At times (and you can see this from the rooms and the widow’s walk), the Inlet Inn will give you the perfect view of dolphins playing in Taylor’s Creek, which seems to happen especially when the moon is full, but that may just be a coincidence.
3. Customer Service
From the call to make reservations, through check-in, the visit, and check-out we have had nothing but top-notch service from the staff of the Inlet Inn.
Our first visit to the Inlet Inn was in the early fall of 2011 and through the late summer of 2012 we have spent about 20 nights at the Inlet Inn.
The ladies who work the front desk now know us by name and always remember the names of our three children. They always ask the kids about their adventures around Beaufort and treat us like family.
On a trip in April 2012, we left a few things in our room. Within a half hour of departure, we had a call asking if we were close enough to come back. We were already out of the area, but they held our stuff until our next visit a month later.
On another recent trip, we checked out on a Monday morning and headed over to Fort Macon to do some fishing and enjoy the beach. One of the ladies at the front desk insisted that the kids give her a call on the way home and tell her how many fish we caught. We did, and she dutifully listened to the kids’ fish tales for 10 minutes.
The Inlet Inn’s third floor rooms sleep five.
We often (now almost always) travel with our three children who are 10, 7, and 6 years old. We still like to share a single room when we are only staying over two or three nights. With the exception of the house and condo rentals, the Inlet Inn is the only place in the historic district that has single rooms that will sleep five.
So, without the Inlet Inn we would have to reserve two rooms, and we couldn’t afford to come to Beaufort with the kids quite as often!
While the first and second floor rooms have private balconies, the third floor rooms have a bay window with a day bed that comfortably sleeps one for the evenings.
At first, when staying in one of the third floor rooms you can feel a bit jealous of those with private balconies – don’t. The view from the windows is almost as good as the widow’s walk and the day bed is an amazing place to hang out, drink coffee or tea, and read in the mornings.
On the morning of check out, you will not want to leave that spot.
Because the Inn is so close to the water, humidity can be a problem, so each room has a stand-alone dehumidifier. These are loud and we often turn them off when in the room. Don’t forget to turn them back on when you go out, as they will make the room more comfortable. Feel free to empty if they get full or call the front desk and have someone come up and take care of it for you.
There is a small sign in each room that has several rules, one of which is “no coolers.” I have always taken this to mean fishing coolers and associated gear. We always have a smallish rolling cooler with us and it has never been a problem. The rooms also come with a small dorm-like refrigerator, and a coffee maker.
Ice (from the Beaufort Ice Company) is available at the front desk.
The Inlet Inn’s décor, both inside and outside the rooms, is very light, and as with the rest of downtown Beaufort, the use of an almost white-washed white paint scheme is abundant. This gives the Inn a bright feel and if you let it, it will bring a smile to your face.
The kids playing a fellow guest’s mandolin
Wireless internet is present throughout the Inn, but it the signal does get rather weak as you move to the east end of the building.
The rooms seem to have proverbially thick walls. I have never been bothered by other guests, whether voices or television.
The rates, while not inexpensive, are in line with prices around Beaufort. The Inlet Inn is an especially good deal after October 28th and before March 18th. The rest of the year the rates are fair. The rooms are clean, comfortable, and commensurate with the price.
Very, very few…we have to stretch it to find some.
We do occasionally like to work from Beaufort. If you are staying in one of the rooms on the very east end of the Inlet Inn the wireless connection is weak. I either rely on my iPhone or take my laptop to the third floor lounge. If that’s a concern, mention it when making the reservation. I am sure they will make a proper room assignment.
If you have the windows or balcony door opened and you open the door to your room, it will create a wind tunnel effect and slam the door hard – watch out for that.
The complimentary, delivered-to-your-room breakfast is a little carbohydrate-heavy. Great the first morning, but becomes tedious if you stay for several nights.
And, we’d love it if they’d install a hot tub.
Those are all the downsides we can come up with.
Stay at the Inlet Inn; we love it.
Try to plan ahead and make reservations, as they are often full during peak-season.