“Good value for money... but not a true 4 star hotel”
My husband and I recently got back from a 5-night stay at the Sands in a courtyard studio. Ultimately, we really enjoyed the beach at the Sands as well as our first experience in Provo, but will probably try another hotel when we return for a second trip. A few comments based on our stay:
-The beach outside the Sands is gorgeous and feels very private. The sand is as soft as baby powder, and the water is crystal clear and always at the perfect temperature! There is a multitude of free beach activities - kayaks, hobie cats (which is actually harder than it looks, especially when it's not a windy day!), paddle boards, windsurfing, etc.
-We really enjoyed the swimming pool with the little lazy rivers, and spent some time here everyday. There are pool chairs interspersed in little alcoves around the pool, which allowed for some privacy. The pool could use some modernizing, as some of the waterfalls/lazy rivers have obvious cracks here and there.
-We ate at Hemingway's once (for lunch), and although the menu wasn't extensive, we really enjoyed our meal. I ordered the mango shrimp salad which was absolutely delicious! (It came with an amazing dipping sauce... couldn't figure out what it was, but it was scrumptious!!) Probably the best salad I have ever had. Hubby had the fish tacos which he also enjoyed.
-We enjoyed our courtyard studio and found it to be a good size for us. Our bedroom was actually separate from the living area, which was unexpected and very nice! The furnishings were pretty outdated and as another reviewer mentioned, the pillows were very thick and hard. Also, the airconditioning vents in the bedroom were located on the ceiling directly over our heads, which was not ideal. The kitchenette came with a small fridge (no freezer - we brought ice trays but could not use them, so had to get fresh ice a couple times a day from Building 1), small sink, microwave, toaster, and coffee maker. 4 sets of cutlery and plates/bowls were also included, which was a nice touch. There was a lot of storage space everywhere which was really nice for unpacking belongings. As a previous reviewer mentioned, there was a door on the inside of our studio (by the bathroom) separating us from the next door unit, and we could literally hear EVERY word our neighbors were saying!
-The service we experienced at the hotel was average and unimpressive. While the lobby staff was good at check-in, we were not offered any help with carrying our bags. The waitresses at Hemingway's couldn't be bothered and moved very slowly. The beach and pool staff were pretty much nonexistent - we had to set up our beach chairs ourselves and always had to actively seek help back at the hotel with the kayaks, hobie cats, and life vests. We also walked by many staff members during our stay, and while half of them would say "hi" (albeit not very enthusiastically), the rest would walk right by us without any acknowledgement. In addition, my husband realized upon our return to the US that he had left a set of house keys in our hotel room. It took me several attempts to call the Sands before I spoke with a live person. Once I finally got through, the person I spoke with had a blase attitude without any sense of urgency, and said she would have someone check the room for us... it's been four days and I still have not received a call from them. I would not call this at all representative of what I would expect from a four star hotel.
Overall, the Sands is a comfortable place to stay - we enjoyed the concept of our studio room with kitchenette, and hanging out at the pool and beach everyday. It offers good value for your money. However, to really claim to be a 4 star hotel, the Sands could use a real renovation, and staff members should be re-trained to be more friendly and proactive.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
4 July 2012
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Thank you kindly for your detailed review. We will have to share this with our team members. We are glad that your enjoyed the pool & beach, amenities and Hemingway’s Restaurant.
As you may have gathered from our lobby poster, we are in the process of enhancing our guest room bathrooms and are happy to inform you all will be completed by December 3, 2012
We are sorry to learn we did not assist you with your luggage and apologize for any inconvenience. Regarding the Pool and Beach services, we offer many amenities including non-motorized sports equipment and assistance with umbrellas and chairs however are we are not always able to provide personalized chair set-ups.
Lastly with regard to your house keys, please contact me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org so that I may assist you further.
We hope that we have another opportunity to welcome you and your family back to our resort and show you kind of “Sands” hospitality that we are truly known for.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC