After the Great British Washout of 2012, where summer in the UK never turned up and was replaced by torrential downpours, I felt a little cool on the idea of a staycation again this year. We'd managed to go abroad in June but with some friends we decided to travel together to Newquay the following month.
Virtually all other reviews mention how child-friendly, or, more precisely, child-orientated, Sands is and certainly you'd struggle to find something better. Located just north of Newquay in the quiet Porth area, the facilities available are impressive, including indoor and outdoor pools, adventure playgrounds, a zip line, tennis court, football pitch and mini-golf. The hotel adds day and evening kids clubs, an evening creche plus a 5pm kids-only meal-time too. This was great, because it meant adults can enjoy a three-course meal with a break from the little ones.
That's not to say that couples or friends wouldn't want to stay, but families are best supported. This includes the rooms too. We stayed in 114, in the southern-most block on the top floor. It has a double bed at one end, and two built-in lowered cabin-style beds that can double as settees. Each room has two flat screens TVs as well - another useful touch for parents - while ours had a balcony with fantastic views east.
The hotel was exceptionally well presented in all communal areas as well as the rooms. Clearly investment has been made in this sense; the hotel was never short-staffed and all rooms were serviced every day. Staff were friendly and helpful too; one evening, when our kids and some of the others had laid all the lounge cushions out on the dance floor, I thought the Duty Manager would go mad when she saw it - but just came into the room and laughed along.
Sands offers accommodation on a half-board basis and again, this doesn't disappoint with a wide variety at breakfast and different choices each evening for the three courses. All our evening meals were excellent. For an extra £7 or so, you could pick an á la Carte option too. Throw in kids' evening entertainment and it's the complete package.
Other than suggesting adding air conditioning to the rooms (an expensive investment, admittedly) and perhaps expanding WiFi to work further away from reception, the only real observation I would make is that the up-front cost feels quite high. We paid just under £250 per night for five nights. When you subtract the breakfast and dinner costs you would spend elsewhere plus the free activities on hand, the total gets more competitive, but there will certainly be cheaper family options around Newquay.
However, if you're the kind of traveller that seeks complete peace of mind when on holiday, especially with children in tow, Sands wins an easy five stars here.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sands Resort Hotel & Spa overlooks the Atlantic ocean to the west and countryside to the east. The hotel offers a range of free sports facilities and children's clubs as well as a beauty spa, two pools and a gym. Most suites have separate sleeping areas for children and are in a contemporary design. A free baby listening service is also available.In 2016 Sands Resort Hotel & Spa was voted to be amongst the Best 10 Family Hotels in the UK ranking 5th in the TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Awards. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sands Hotel Newquay
- Sands Resort Hotel And Spa
- Sands Hotel Porth
- Sands Resort Hotel & Spa Newquay, Cornwall