Oceanfront hotels in Delaware are far and few between, let alone one with so much ambiance. For over 120 years, the quaint Delaware town of Bethany Beach has proudly harbored a treasure: a historic oceanfront inn right on the Atlantic Coast. The Addy Sea has a rich background filled with life and laughter. In 1904, the inn was one of the first establishments built in the town by the Addy family, founding members of Bethany Beach. Since then, this Bethany Beach bed and breakfast enchanted guests from around the world. However, perhaps none were so endeared to Addy Sea than Leroy Trice ‘Roy’ Gravatte III.

A History of Leroy’s Love for Addy SeaHistoric picture of Addy Sea.

As a child, Leroy fell in love with Addy Sea. From the 1940’s he stayed at his grandparents’ house in the summer, just across the street from this Bethany Beach inn, and dreamt of calling it his own. In an interview with Delmarva Life, Leroy recalls his childhood dreams, saying:

“I hop[ed] that when I grow up someday that I [would] be able to afford a property like that.” 

And he did. 

In 1974, Leroy was able to purchase Addy Sea from the third generation of the Addy Family.  Over several decades, his passion turned the property into the stunning Bethany Beach oceanfront inn as it is today. Driven by his vision for Addy Sea, Leroy worked hard to make sure the inn always encapsulated the spirit of the era. His extensive renovations and continuous-improvement efforts have been monumental in fostering the elegance and exquisite comforts Addy Sea currently exudes. 

Beloved Bethany Beach LegacyPicture of Leroy at Addy Sea

For decades up until a few years before his death in February 2021, locals could expect to find Leroy swimming in the ocean every summer morning. His love for the sea, the inn, his family, his faith, and his community inspired and motivated him; his license plate proudly bore the letters A D D Y S E A—like a badge of honor. 

Anyone who had the pleasure of knowing Leroy will look back fondly on his big personality and genuine interest in people’s livelihoods. Leroy made sure to greet everyone who crossed his path on daily walks and delighted in conversing with friends and strangers alike. If asked how he was doing, his response was always “Better than I deserve”.

If there’s one thing (of many) that he loved, it was weddings. This Bethany Beach oceanfront hotel has hosted up to 16 weddings a year. Listening to the sounds of celebration, music, and love emanating from the Addy Sea gave Leroy great pride and joy., He even asked permission to attend the ceremonies, donning a vibrant red coat in honor of the event.

A Delaware Vacation Spot that Extends Generations

Leroy’s vivacious persona has left a lasting impression on Addy Sea and the many families who consider it their home away from home. The guests fondly recall memories of Leroy sitting on the beach and his playful banter. A fourth-generation Addy family member expressed a very heartfelt thank-you for taking such good care of Addy Sea. Leroy’s connection to Addy Sea might best be summed up, as he would say, “romance real estate.” The inn owned him, and that’s the way he loved it. Suffice to say that without Leroy’s tireless dedication to Addy Sea, it simply wouldn’t be the historic oceanfront inn that thrives along the Atlantic Coast today. 

Those who wish to experience Leroy’s legacy for themselves can book a room online or call (302) 539-3707 for availability and inquiries.