This romantic inn with blue shutters from the Richard Gere-Diane Lane tear-jerker Nights in Rodanthe used to sit on the edge of the Pea Island Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Then it started to wash away.
After I featured the beach house known as Serendipity two years ago, local residents wrote to tell me it was “on death watch” after every storm. But I’m happy to report it has since been rescued and renovated — take a look!
Rescuing the Inn from “Nights in Rodanthe”
The house was styled for the film with blue shutters and wraparound decks:
After filming, the shutters and decks were removed and it looked like this:
Not only was it looking bare after the film crew left, it was declared a public nuisance and condemned.
One local wrote to tell me that vandals had been breaking into it and stealing things.
When the beach house was built in the 1980s, it had 400 feet of beachfront, but rising waters were washing it away.
After a particularly bad storm in 2009, the road buckled:
The owners told the Island Free Press at the time that they had “everything tied up in this house,” and didn’t know what to do next. They had tried to sell it for a couple of years but no one was willing to take it on.
But last year I got an email from Ben and Debra Huss, who described themselves as “extreme fans” of the movie, telling me they had decided to buy Serendipity and move it to safety. Not only that, but they wanted to “restore it to the original splendor of the movie.”
Moving Serendipity to higher ground:
In its new location, it reopened for business as The Inn at Rodanthe:
They have also given some of the rooms a makeover to look more like they did in the movie (the interiors were filmed on a separate soundstage).
The kitchen before:
The kitchen redecorated to look like the one in the movie:
They even replicated the swinging doors:
The doors in the movie:
The new owners tracked down the same wallpaper used in the movie kitchen, too:
Another room that was replicated was Richard Gere’s blue bedroom:
The new blue bedroom in the inn has a similar antique bed:
See the antique organ in the corner of the dining room below?
Serendipity has one, too:
Some more photos of the newly redecorated inn, which is a vacation rental today:
Nights in Rodanthe came out in 2008.
In case you haven’t seen it, here’s the official description of the movie:
When Adrienne Willis (Diane Lane) arrives at the coastal town of Rodanthe, N.C., her life is in chaos. There, she hopes to sort through the trouble surrounding her, while tending a friend’s inn for the weekend. The only guest at the inn is Dr. Paul Flanner (Richard Gere), a man tormented by a crisis of conscience. As a storm approaches the coast, Paul and Adrienne find comfort and a life-changing romance.
There’s much more to it than that, of course, but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet! I will just say that if you do watch, you may want to be sure there’s a box of tissues handy, because you might need them… 😉
I loved this story. Many thanks to Ben and Debra for telling us about the inn’s amazing rescue and renovation.