Ocean Isle Inn Review: A Coastal Haven on Ocean Isle Beach, NC

Nestled on the pristine shores of Ocean Isle in the Brunswick Islands of North Carolina, the Ocean Isle Inn stands as a charming beacon for travelers seeking a tranquil coastal retreat. 

Aerial photo of a hotel with a pool out the front
Ocean Isle Inn on beach front

Ocean Isle Beach is one of the barrier islands in the Brunswick Islands and is famous for its family-friendly beach vibes, pristine white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and amazing sunsets.

It’s one of the few beachfront hotel options, as most accommodation options in the NC Brunswick Islands region are mostly vacation rental properties and condos.

We’ve personally stayed at Ocean Isle Inn twice now: for a friend’s wedding on Sunset Beach back in 2008, and then for a family vacation in 2021.

We were lucky to get beachfront accommodation at the Ocean Isle Inn for four nights. Due to its location, oceanfront views, family friendly amenities, and comfortable rooms, we recommend the hotel as a great option as a place to stay on your Ocean Isle vacation.

About the Ocean Isle Inn

Aerial photo of a hotel on the beach
What a location!

The Ocean Isle Inn is a cozy waterfront property that effortlessly blends modern comfort with classic beachside charm. It’s the perfect oasis for leisure travel, beach weddings, golf outings, family reunions or even business.

Ocean Isle is the most family-friendly beach vacation area in the Brunswick Isles with its access to miles of coastline, acres of marshlands, mini-golf and arcade games, museums, zip line adventures and options for eating and drinking with waterside views.

Amenities & Features of the Ocean Isle Inn

Ocean Iisle Inn, Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina
Pool and beach access

The hotel offers a range of amenities that cater to both leisure and business travelers. Each room allows for panoramic ocean or island views to help relax and put you in the vacation spirit.

With popular dining, shopping, and activities within walking distance, Ocean Isle Inn is located perfectly to allow you and your family more time to enjoy your vacation.

Ocean front location

Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina
Private beach access

The hotel’s prime beachfront location provides stunning views and easy access to the ocean, creating a truly immersive coastal experience.

One standout feature of the Ocean Isle Inn is the private beach access. A short stroll from the hotel takes you to a pristine stretch of sand where you can bask in the sun, collect seashells, or take a leisurely walk along the shoreline.

family playing in the ocean
Fun at the beach

I was surprised at how quiet Ocean Isle Beach was in comparison to the other Brunswick Island beaches we were visiting during the fall, which was quieter anyway.

The water was the perfect temperature and we had gentle surf for some bodyboarding. It’s safe to swim as the waves are usually gentle and the currents are soft. However, visitors should note there are no lifeguards.

Roll out Bed for Sunrise

Ocean Isle Beach Pier, North Carolina
Good morning!

You cannot take a North Carolina Beach vacation and not watch the sunrise each morning, and one of the best things to do in Ocean Isle Beach is watching the sun come up over the pier.

The NC beaches have some of the best sunrises I have seen around the world, and the most amazing thing is you’ll have it mostly all to yourself. It’s that slow, gentle start to the day that sets the tone for the rest of the day of one of spectacular beauty and endless surprises.

With the beachside location of this hotel, you can just roll out of bed and onto the sand in two minutes. You could even sit on your balcony with a cuppa and watch it from there. 

Don’t be fooled into thinking once is enough either. No two sunrises are alike. On our last morning we watched the sunrise from the comfort of our balcony at the Ocean Isle Inn in pajama pants and messy hair.

Rooms with a Perfect View

Lady standing on the balcony of a hotel
Balcony views

Do your best to book an oceanfront room as the expansive views up and down the island are gorgeous. Our room featured a balcony with rocking chairs making it the perfect spot to unwind after a day of exploring or wind up for the day’s adventures.

Either Craig or I would walk down to Drift to grab coffees and enjoy a slow morning on the balcony admiring the view.

It was a beautiful spot for sunset as well. Even though the sun sets on the other side of the hotel (over the Sound) you still get beautiful colors in the sky.

A person sitting on a balcony overlooking the ocean
Rocking chair life

It was calming to leave the balcony door open at night to feel the ocean breeze and fall asleep to the gentle sound of waves crashing.

We stayed in an oceanfront room with a balcony and one of the rooms overlooking the Intracoastal Waterways. While different views of the salty marshlands, they were also serene and beautiful. So, if you can’t book an oceanfront room, you can rest assured you’ll enjoy the Sound facing rooms as well.

Great Outdoor Pool + Firepit

sunrise over beach with aerial view of hotel pool
Pool life is good, too!

If you want a break from the salt and sand, there’s an oceanfront pool waiting for you – still with views and a lovely tropical feel with the gardens and gazebo.

Our girls loved swimming in the pool and would pull us away from the ocean earlier than I would have liked! There are showers on the beach access walkway to rinse your feet before coming back to the pool, or your room.

There are plenty of pool chairs to relax on with uninterrupted panoramic views of the ocean so you’re never too far away no matter where you relax.

Ocean Isle Inn, Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina

people relaxing by the pool
people sitting on lounge chairs next to a pool
aerial view of hotel swimming pool and rooms with pathway to beach
two girls in indoor swimming pool
The indoor pool

There is also a heated indoor pool with a hot tub, which we did not use. We preferred to be outdoors. We also did not use the firepit, but I can imagine that would be another amenity of the hotel to love.

Comfortable Rooms

double bed in hotel room with beach views
Ocean view room

The Ocean Isle Inn offers a variety of accommodation options, from cozy rooms to spacious suites, each tastefully decorated with a beachy aesthetic.

I believe the hotel has had some upgrades and updates since our visit, so enjoy a new refreshing look! Bathroom renovations are now happening until March 2024.

We had a room with two queen beds that were very comfortable with lots of pillows. The rooms and hotel were quiet, making it easy for sleeping.

I liked how the room had Italian tiled floors instead of carpet – looks better, but also better to deal with all that beach sand. I didn’t really like the decor but I believe the rooms have a different look now with the upgrades.

You also have large ocean or sound view windows, table and chairs, wet bar, mini fridge, microwave, and free high-speed Wi-Fi. All rooms are smoke-free. Read more reviews and check availability here.

Walking Distance to Many Places

Ocean Isle Fish Company, Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina
Ocean Isle Fish Company

Another reason to love a stay at the Ocean Isle Inn in the Brunswick Isles is its location to other Ocean Isle places to visit.

We could easily walk to various restaurants, bars, and cafes on the island.  You could park your car and not need it for your entire beach vacation, unless you wanted to explore other areas of the NC Brunswick Islands.

The Ocean Isle Inn is located right near the Ocean Isle Beach Pier, which is perfect for those who love fishing, or just a place to grab a scenic view of the beach.

Right near the Salt Marsh Waterways

Stand up paddle boarding, Ocean Isle Beach
Sup, y’all.

Ocean on one side, salt marsh playground on the other. You couldn’t ask for a better place to stay in Brunswick Islands.

You can paddle board or kayak all over the waterways, salt marshes, rivers, and ocean shoreline of the NC Brunswick Islands region. It’s a fantastic way to see a different side to the island.

We took our stand-up paddle boards out on the marshland area of Jinks Creek just behind our hotel, the Ocean Isle Inn. I loved the tranquil experience paddling with just the birds and a silence you normally wouldn’t find in a beach destination.

There are outfitters across the islands that rent kayaks, paddle boards, or offer guided tours.

Sunset over Jinks Creek, Ocean Isle Beach, NC
Sunset over Jinks Creek

Sunset here is also beautiful! Be sure to go to Jinks Creek for it, maybe arrive a little early to secure a prime seat to watch the magic happen!

Other Guests Like the Free Breakfast

Drift Coffee & Kitchen, Ocean Isle Beach, NC
Breakfast to go from Drift Coffee & Kitchen

The Ocean Isle Inn has a free continental breakfast. It’s pretty much the standard USA hotel breakfast – waffles, bagels, cereals, yogurt, juice, and coffee.

For Craig and me, it wasn’t an appealing part of our stay, and we ate at the local Drift Coffee &Kitchen.

We rarely eat hotel breakfasts and prefer to eat locally. I’m gluten free and we’re both quite fussy about eating healthy, nutritious meals and we don’t feel hotel breakfasts do this well. However, I would have eaten the bagels, if I wasn’t gluten free.

The girls were happy to grab a bagel and waffles for breakfast though, which was great for saving money!

Where is Ocean Isle Beach, Brunswick Islands?

water tower with town in the background
Brunswick County

The NC Brunswick Islands region is in Brunswick County in the southernmost corner of North Carolina, just south of Pleasure Island (aka Carolina Beach and Kure Beach).

Ocean Isle Beach is at the lower end of Brunswick Islands and is midway between Wilmington and Myrtle Beach (approx. one hour to each). It’s one the top beaches closest to Raleigh.

Things to do Near Ocean Isle Beach, NC

Lady walking through sand dunes on a beach
Bird Island

Click to read our full list of things to do in Ocean Isle Beach including places to eat. We highly recommend the Kindred Spirit Mailbox Hike on Bird Island. And here are more ideas in our 4 -Days Brunswick Island vacation. And here are more vacation ideas for the North Carolina coast.

In Summary: Ocean Isle Inn is a top place to stay

Sunset over Jinks Creek, Ocean Isle Beach, NC
Cheers from Jinks Creek

The Ocean Isle Inn is a coastal haven that captures the essence of relaxation and seaside charm.

Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a quiet retreat, this hotel provides a welcoming oasis where the sound of the ocean waves becomes your daily soundtrack.

With its scenic views, attentive staff, and comfortable accommodation, the Ocean Isle Inn is a top choice for those seeking a memorable coastal escape. Don’t forget to book your stay in advance as it’s a popular Ocean Isle Beach hotel.

With its friendly atmosphere, beautiful scenery, and endless activities, Ocean Isle Beach offers a relaxing and fun-filled vacation experience that you will never forget.

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