Very Cool, But Is This Really the World’s Most Terrifying Bed & Breakfast?

I visit the Maldives each year, because I really value the seclusion. The distance to travel, and even the need for a domestic flight and boat ride to reach the Park Hyatt after arriving in the country, create a sense of separation from the world for me. I need that to relax.

There are equally beautiful waters elsewhere, and there are overwater villas elsewhere, but the combination of service, food, seclusion and beauty create for me a perfect place.

There is, however, seclusion much closer to home (although a boat out to reach it will cost as much as domestic Maldivian transfers).

Frying Pan Tower is getting quite a bit of coverage, such as from the Daily Mail and also Yahoo! Travel as the scariest place to stay.

32 miles off the coast of North Carolina, this bed and breakfast features 8 bedrooms and is designed to feel like the original Coast Guard light tower it was in 1964. They supply linens, towels, and basic meal supplies but will make arrangements including a private chef to suit. The website shows a current rate of $498 per person for 3 days and 2 nights.

This is the southernmost end of the feared “Graveyard of the Atlantic” which stretches up to the northern end of the Outer Banks of N.C. The shallow waters of the shoals (only 35-50 feet under the Tower) made ship navigation treacherous so in 1854 a lightship was stationed there. For 110 years, except for a few years during The War Between the States and WWII, crews manned the lightship 24/7 in all weather.

This was replaced by a permanent station that was abandoned in 2004 because.. GPS. It was purchased from government surplus for $85,000.

The B&B features wireless internet, electricity, hot water, and a pol table and television.

Here’s a video of the flight to get there.

Now, you do get real storms in the Maldives:

One couple in an overwater villa at the Park Hyatt there reported wearing the life jackets in their room overnight in May 2014!

But here’s Hurricane Arthur sweeping through Frying Pan Tower.

Scary — but also not far from land and well serviced, not only are there modern conveniences but the proprietor can arrange for me. So I don’t think I would rate this the world’s most terrifying place to stay. People rent sail boats all the time and this is a structure that’s lasted for 50 years. For that I might start with some of the bed and breakfasts in Syria or start noodling on the 262-room ISIS hotel in Mosul.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. A bit off topic but isn’t wearing a life jacket to sleep in a water bungalow a bit silly if not idiotic?

    If for a reason the bungalow plunged in the water, they could end up stuck inside the bungalow and drown. Not to mention how uncomfortable it must be to sleep with that thing on.

  2. Sweet video of a Boy Scout trip out there, and other moronic videos during that hurricane…he went out on the landing platform in the winds…

  3. “The War Between The States?” Where did that term come from? I don’t see it in either of the linked articles and there is no attribution for that block quote.

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