Duke of Dare sold, to re-open in spring

By on April 20, 2021


After sitting empty and derelict for more than a decade, the Duke of Dare Motel on U.S. 64 in Manteo is undergoing a facelift and is expected to open by the end of May under a new name – the Heart of Manteo Motor Lodge.

According to the new owner of the property, Rajesh Lakhani of MKL Hotels of Richmond, VA., the 57 rooms of the hotel will be completely refurbished and the interior and exterior will be renovated, offering a “nice curb appeal.” The dilapidated swimming pool along the highway will be removed.

The exterior of the building will receive a fresh coat of paint and get some landscaping, the new owner told the Voice. New carpeting, paint and furniture is in store for the interior of the building. Rooms will be equipped each with a 60-inch television and a mini-fridge.

Lakhani, who also owns the Colonial Inn and Blue Heron Motel in Nags Head, the Outer Banks Motor Inn in Kill Devil Hills and the Hatteras Island Inn in Buxton, purchased the property on March 31 for $1.5 million from Elizabeth Creef.

“My whole idea on the Outer Banks is to keep these old-style, old-fashioned hotels, keep them running as a motel and motor lodge as the market demands,” Lakhani asserted. “I am not a developer. Basically, I prefer to keep all the hotels as is, renovate them to give them new touches, and just take it forward.”

Lakhani said that Manteo, as well as the Outer Banks as a whole, has a lot of demand for more hotel rooms for tourists as well as people staying on the Outer Banks for work-related trips. “I have been in constant touch with the demand in the area, and even Manteo has a lot of demand throughout the year,” he said





  • M. Saunders

    Mold, anyone? Decade plus standing empty in this climate???

    Tuesday, Apr 20 @ 6:15 pm
  • Obx mermaid

    The new owner is going to do minimal cleanup and it will still stink! And he will now own enough of the hotel properties to set up a monopoly to set the prices higher! The tourists will probably get legionnaires disease from staying in the moldy hotel rooms! Inspect real good health department!

    Tuesday, Apr 20 @ 10:15 pm
  • OBX Resident

    I guess the Creef’s can refund the $18,000 GoFundMe money ‘needed’ to fix the destitute Pioneer’s Movie Theater’s projector that only cost approx $9,000 to repair.

    Tuesday, Apr 20 @ 11:12 pm

    Totally agree with OBX Resident. Poor, poor Pioneer Theatre needed to beg for money from the community!!!! How about returning it to those who contributed?! Pathetic.

    Wednesday, Apr 21 @ 2:15 pm
  • Ms. Ida

    I’m glad he’s not going to tear it down; I’ve always liked the looks of that building. It’ll be nice to see it back in business again.

    Thursday, Apr 22 @ 12:16 pm
  • Craig Saunders

    As for the old motel, how could a shuttered and run down building left for continued deterioration be a good thing for any town.

    This gentleman sees an opportunity. As I recall, the building has been sitting for some ten years with plenty opportunity for others to take it on.

    Seems to me, no one else did. If it’s not remodeled with care, and is not clean and managed properly, the marketplace will surely take care of things.

    I’m hopeful it’s a successful endeavor for this man, and I’m betting he’s going to work hard to make sure it is.

    Our nation was built on folks seizing opportunities. To those running this guy under the bus before he’s done anything with it yet,……why didn’t you buy it?

    Saturday, Apr 24 @ 10:44 am
  • Accidental Exile

    My bet is no locals will get jobs, but at least someone will preserve one of Manteo’s architectural gems.

    Saturday, Apr 24 @ 11:15 am
  • Zack Bass

    It should be completely gutted, not just “refurbished”. I bet the place smells like a thrift store. How is the roof after all these years? Plumbing? Electric?

    Tuesday, Apr 27 @ 5:54 pm