Holden Beach House Review: Blue Heaven, 108 Raleigh Street

Blue Heaven, 108 Raleigh Street on Holden Beach, North Carolina

Blue Heaven, 108 Raleigh Street on Holden Beach, North Carolina

Well, we visited Holden Beach, North Carolina again (in case you missed the post a few weeks ago with a whole lot of pictures I took during our stay)!  Because we ended up renting last minute (really, we called up a week before we would arrive), and because we needed internet for a group member who was still taking an online class, we rented a house we’ve never been to before: Blue Heaven, not quite midway down the island, at 108 Raleigh Street.

Sign assuring us that this really is Blue Heaven, 108 Raleigh Street, Holden Beach, North Carolina

Sign assuring us that this really is Blue Heaven

Actually, we stayed (twice!) in the house right next to Blue Heaven – so we already knew that the neighborhood was nice and the walk to the beach was minimal.

View from the back deck of Blue Heaven 108 Raleigh Street, Holden Beach, North Carolina

View from the back deck (which I somehow manage to not get a picture of – it’s spacious, uncovered, and a nice place to sit)

That’s Blue Heaven’s best quality – location, location, location.  It’s the first house on a side road, which means it’s very quiet; so much quieter than being in the second row.  It’s also in the middle of the island, which is just a nice place to be.  And lastly, it’s not a terribly long walk to the beach – maybe a few hundred steps further than from a second row house.  Honestly, you couldn’t ask for a better located canal house.  (There is a dock into the canal – small boats only (motor boats are fine as long as they aren’t too big).)

View down the canal from the boat dock at Blue Heaven 108 Raleigh Street, Holden Beach, North Carolina

View down the canal from the boat dock

So beyond its fabulous location, what did I think of the house?  Here are some of my pros and cons below.

 


 

Bedroom at Blue Heaven 108 Raleigh Street, Holden Beach, North Carolina

Bedroom #2

Pros: Modern appliances, terrific location on the island, the air conditioning works well and keeps you cool, the table is large and can seat up to 10 (if you get the chairs from the bedrooms – there’s only 6 chairs with the table, but it’s probably the nicest table I remember at a beach house)…

Dining area at Blue Heaven 108 Raleigh Street, Holden Beach, North Carolina

Dining area

…the lighting is decent at night (a real pro if you go in the winter; in the summer, it’s just nice to be able to see my knitting after the sun sets), two decent sized decks (one the front, which is somewhat small but is covered, and a very nice, large deck (complete with picnic table and several chairs) on the back overlooking the canal), queen beds (sooooo much nicer than double beds!), the beds are extremely comfortable, lots of clotheslines, comfortable couches and chairs (so nice – not every house has my idea of a comfortable couch), a good stove that works well, a nice, powerful microwave, a fairly large-capacity refrigerator (again, this is so nice for a large group), a good variety of pans, etc., in the kitchen (including a crockpot), a good amount of silverware and plates, bowls, etc…

Kitchen area in Blue Heaven 108 Raleigh Street, Holden Beach, North Carolina

The kitchen area

…a really cool clock that technically shows you when high tide and low tide is (we found it to be about a half hour off, but no big deal, and I think someone set it right about halfway through the week), a nice, simple layout with one living area (small kitchen, dining area, and living room rolled into one large, central room then four large bedrooms at the four corners of the house with two bathrooms which you can enter through the bedrooms), a hot water heater that holds out through 10 showers (a real plus!), lots of hooks and things in the bathroom and bedrooms to hang towels and such on…

Living room area at Blue Heaven 108 Raleigh Street, Holden Beach, North Carolina

Living room area

…great canal view, dock into the canal (small boats only – a kayak would do just fine, as would a small motor boat), free long-distance calling (who needs it with cell phones, but great all the same), very fast high-speed internet (secure; the password is in a picture frame in the living room area), and a neighborhood atmosphere instead of we’re-all-renting-why-don’t-we-all-ignore-each-other type interactions from people you meet.

Pullout couch behind the dining room table at Blue Heaven 108 Raleigh Street, Holden Beach, North Carolina

Pullout couch behind the dining room table

So as you can see, there are a whole lot of pros.  There are also a few cons:

One of the bathrooms at Blue Heaven 108 Raleigh Street, Holden Beach, North Carolina

One of the bathrooms

Cons: No dishwasher (boohoo, sob sniffle, said the person who had to wash the dishes – lol), floor is extremely uneven (you walk uphill and then downhill between the living room area and the kitchen – one day I was standing in front of the kitchen sink and stepped backwards, and found myself stepping considerably downhill) – I have no fear at all that the house will fall down or something (it’s actually much sturdier than most of the beach houses I’ve had in recent years, one of which you could see the basement floor if you looked down the bathtub drain – thankfully, this one has no such light leaks!), but the floor is just interesting…

Bedroom at Blue Heaven 108 Raleigh Street, Holden Beach, North Carolina

Bedroom #1

the HE washing machine and dryer are a bit different to use – look up the instructions on the internet, because the instructions on the wall and all around the washer and dryer are wrong – the internet directions aren’t much better, but at least they reflect the actual machine…; the washing machine and dryer are a little small for the capacity of the house – just plan on doing more than one load of laundry each day; the washer and dryer are located in a closet in one of the bedrooms (this wasn’t a big deal to us, but could be to someone else); you have to use HE approved laundry soap in the washer…

The washer and dryer hang out in the closet of Bedroom #4 at Blue Heaven 108 Raleigh Street, Holden Beach, North Carolina

The washer and dryer hang out in the closet of Bedroom #4

…the house is low enough to the ground that we couldn’t get our full-sized van underneath; only an adequately stocked kitchen (like, only one big pot, only one big bowl, only one 9×13 pan, only one bread pan, one small cookie sheet, etc. (this makes it difficult to make more than one thing at a time, like, a pan of chicken and a coffee cake that both need the single 9×13 pan!); the entire house shakes when the washer goes through its cycle (one of my group members said it reminded him of an earthquake he experienced in the Far East (again, let me say that the house is very sturdy, so it’s probably just something to do with the washer shaking – a lot)).

Bathroom at Blue Heaven 108 Raleigh Street, Holden Beach, North Carolina

The other bathroom

So nothing in the con line I can’t deal with.  Let’s look at some things that might be deal breakers for others.

Bedroom at Blue Heaven 108 Raleigh Street, Holden Beach, North Carolina

Bedroom #3

Neither here nor there: The house has a distinctly 1970’s decor – dark wood paneling everywhere, yellow countertops, etc.  The good news is that the appliances are quite new (the washing machine is even newer than the instructions on the wall) and the carpet has also fairly recently been replaced.  Other newer things include the dining room table / chairs, couches, a very large TV in the living room area, and quite 2000s looking curtains.  There are also TVs in just about every bedroom (I think the one bedroom doesn’t have it, but the other three do).  The wall decorations include quite a variety of artwork.

Bedroom at Blue Heaven 108 Raleigh Street, Holden Beach, North Carolina

Bedroom #4

So would I recommend it to a friend?  Absolutely!  They’d just have to want a low-priced, quiet house near the beach.  Don’t expect it to be a palace – just an upgraded 1970s beach cottage.  And enjoy the beach!

Tide Clock

The Tide Clock