top of page
Search

Inn the waves of change....we find our true direction



Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and beautiful at the end - Although I'm exceptionally cognizant of our beloved inn’s rich history as seen in some of these incredible pics below...


The "Atlantic" through the years...






....... it has become super easy to forget about the condition of the inn when we first embarked on this Atlantic adventure - Walking around the many rooms and gardens, it’s truly difficult to believe the condition the century-old hotel had been in when we bought it. Last week, when looking for a particular photograph, I came across lots of pictures I had taken when we first bought the inn and the changes were incredible - What was once a tired, rundown, shabby old hotel has truly come back to life💕 . I thought it might be fun to share some of the pics with you..


Tired, rundown....and a little shabby

April 2020



Here are just a few of the "unexpected surprises we had to deal with...



And then you find out the bathroom needs a completely new floor!!!!!




Who does that to such a beautiful wood ceiling??

And what was this hole found behind a mirror??


Now, some of my earlier blogs documented the changes as we tackled the multitude of renovation projects (I still can't believe we managed so much in just a year), but as I have mentioned before, we want the Atlantic inn to continually evolve and grow.... never to be taken for granted again and allowed to fall into such a state of disrepair. That when guests return (which we are super fortunate and still can't believe how many of our guests/friends do return again and again to visit with us), that although the inn retains its historic charm and character, that there will also be something new.


Here at the Atlantic Inn, we have several different types of "changes":


There are those that are forced upon us, like when an AC unit fails, one of the hot water heater stops working, or our rather harsh weather conditions finally take a toll on outside furniture, decks etc.……Many of these projects are unavoidable – well, this is a century-old hotel that had been rather neglected in the latter 10 years of its life, and repairs are often a bit like opening Pandora's box… and, as we’ve found out to our cost, are generally super expensive.

Now, for the most part, many of these projects go unnoticed by guests, as they should - who wants to hear about a broken water heater, AC unit or fridge, or indeed see pictures of them before and after? it's not exactly newsworthy… but these types of projects are critical to our business and the success of the inn…

No warm water for your shower after a long day on the beach, no nice cool bedroom to return to for a nap, and no breakfast, because we had to throw away all the food from the fridge…. would most certainly upset our guests, and rightly so, these are basic services that should be easily met. So, these “changes” always take priority. The safety and comfort of our guests always comes first.


Don't worry I'm not going to post a load of pics of these projects, although I do have to post one of our new washing machines and tumble dryers in the laundry...they are huge and awesome, and can be controlled via an app on my cellphone 😁


Loving our new washers/dryers...


Next come the changes that happen due to experience and lessons learned - remember three years ago when we bought the inn JB and I had absolutely zero experience in the hospitality business, in fact I was much more at home working in the “hospital” business🏥, which I suppose at least comes from the same Latin root word “hostes” which refers to someone who receives a visitor.


Changes that had to happen.....Initially, before we actually opened to guests, we learned how to work in a commercial kitchen, where it fast became evident that many of the implements and equipment that are required to run a safe and efficient kitchen, were missing when we purchased the inn.

What we needed? Why we needed it? Where was it needed? and How were we going to source it? were just a few of the questions that we had to ask when purchasing commercial grade sinks, microwaves, dishwashers etc.


There were many items that transferred with the sale of the hotel that were outdated, worn, broken, unsafe to use, plain ugly, or in some instances..... just plain scary, like some of the artwork!!!! –


The list was endless, more akin to starting from scratch, which was what we were actually doing. Coffee makers, crockery, cutlery, pots, pans, ice machine, furniture for every room, beds, mattresses, bedding (we are super, super fussy about the types of bedding we use), towels (who knew we could go through so many towels!!!) and I certainly won’t bore you by continuing the pages and pages that made up our long lists…..but needless to say, it was way much more than we had ever imagined!


Everything just had to go...



Much of the initial shopping was super important as we had a very distinct vision of what we wanted the inn to look and feel like, and wanted to make sure we got it right. You can judge for yourselves to see if we got it right...check out these "Before and Afters".


Before.....and Afters

Then

Now


Then

Now

Then

Now

Then

Now

Then

Then

Then

Then

Now
Now

Now

Now

Now

Then

Now

Now

Then

Now

Now

Then of course there were the bedrooms and suites...


Then

The Bodie Suite

Now

Now


Now

Now


Then

The Lighthouse Suite

Now

Now

Now

Now

Now


Then

Then

The Seahorse Cuddy

Now

Now

Then

Now

Now



Then

The Windchaser Suite

Now

Now

Now

Now

Now

and Now...A few more suites/rooms


The Seaside Suite




The Arran Suite





Port


The Mermaid Cuddy


Starboard


Over our first 2 years of being open to guests, we have learned an incredible amount about running the inn, but initially there was definitely a lot of trial and error. Although JB had always made an awesome breakfast…. it was generally only on a Sunday, just for us, and consisted of staples like eggs, hash Browns, sausage or bacon, very occasionally JB would deviate and cook French toast or coffee cake.

Suddenly we had to come up with multiple breakfasts menu options, learn how to cook them and ensure they tasted great…. Oh, and the tricky part - be able to cook and serve these menu items for 20+ people every morning to their satisfaction. Whilst we were good at remaining calm when serving breakfast in the main guest lounge and dining area, in our first season this belied the panic, stress and chaos that we were often experiencing in the kitchen. Looking back now it's a wonder, we didn't change our minds about including cooked breakfast in our guests stays......or divorced!!!



Food, Glorious Food...







Now our kitchen functions like a well-oiled machine, with JB and I working together in harmony, each knowing our roles for a successful (and calm 😊) breakfast routine, as opposed to our early days which were more akin to a scene from a Laurel and Hardy movie, or even more appropriate, an episode from “Fawlty Towers” with John Cleese, an old British comedy about an English Bed and Breakfast, which if you’ve never seen, although incredibly dated, is super funny (wow, those examples really show my age).....we were often falling over each other, sinks overflowing, and many unsuccessful recipes ending up in the trash!!


Laurel and Hardy

"Fawlty Towers"


More lessons learned.....What type of outdoor furniture will withstand our incredible Outer Banks weather – baking hot summers, nasty storms, high winds, and of course our ever present salty air. A classic case in example:



My ailing metal framed hammock

This past season took its toll on my fave round hammock swing – the supposed “weather proof” metal frame corroding to the point that I no longer felt particularly safe when laying in it anymore. This is when I’m so blessed to have JB as my husband, who designed and built me a fantastic new wooden frame, that is not only super-sturdy, but also looks more in keeping with our new beautiful “Courtyard Deck” that it sits next to.


My awesome new hammock stand (Thanks JB, you're incredible) 💕

Pumpkin decided to check out the hammock...


Then of course, there are the items that we thought we’d need….and then once we began using them, or saw them at the inn, realized that they were too small, too large, too slow, too fast etc. or in many cases, just didn’t “look” right at the inn. So much so, that we really do need to have an inn “yard sale”, as many of these items are like new or indeed are actually brand new.


Next are my favorite changes….the ones that have either taken more time and or money than we had early on, or are ideas that we had more recently and are implementing. Changes like the newly resurfaced car park, the new website, the Courtyard Deck, Zen ponds out front, new games both indoor and outdoor, new pictures, our ever-expanding "Memory Wall", a TV out on one of the back decks to watch Fall college football (or for me just now to watch college basketball…. roll on NCAA championships!).


New Car Park

The "Courtyard Deck"



My little Zen ponds


Finally, there are is our ever-evolving "Innspirations List" (not to be confused by our "Atlantic Innspirations" gift shop that will soon also be available online)


"Atlantic Innspirations" Gift Shop


These are the ideas that pop into our heads that we think may be great additions to the inn and the services we provide – I think mine are a little more random and a tad more crazy than JB’s ideas that generally make more sense and are doable😉....and don't worry, we have lots more of both!!


As we enter our 3rd season, our lives as innkeepers are definitely easier and much more efficient than before, and although our kitchen may no longer be a comedy of errors - I'm sure there are many other things we can still improve on.


But for us, the driving factor for owning and running The Atlantic Inn is that we have to enjoy what we do, gone are the days of crazy, corporate, clinical and academic lives, where we felt like we were living on some never-ending treadmill. Now, it's all about waking up every morning and looking forward to our days - Living on what we consider to be the most beautiful island on our little blue planet, having fun, learning new things, making new friends, chilling out with old friends, hopefully making some people happy along the way, and generally loving life....and isn't that what it's all about?




Loving our Atlantic Life...






JB and I most definitely "found ourselves" at the Atlantic Inn....you can too, why not join us for a vacation and Find Yourself at.....The Atlantic Inn 💕










Hope to see you soon!

Take Care,

Love and Hugs,

Pam & JB


498 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page