Where to start? There is much to praise; both Peter and Minetta are excellent hosts. The welcome we received was warm, friendly and professional. As mentioned by other reviewers Peter's people skills at breakfast are truly excellent, remembering people's preferences, and (on one occasion that I observed) buying in special ingredients to accommodate a guest's request for something not on the menu. The food is excellent quality, very well cooked, and very nicely presented. A small thing that demonstrates what Sandpiper House is about - check the weight (and quality) of the cutlery - none of your lightweight, cheap, made out of bacofoil rubbish here
The decor throughout is excellent, the light fittings include modern, stylish chandeliers. The furniture in the Abbey King Room was all solid wood (not cheap), no MDF at all! How rare is that? Money and taste combine to produce a very, very pleasant place to stay
I had very few niggles, but, they are niggles that prevented me giving a top rating for Sandpiper House. I want this to be constructive feedback, it is meant honestly, and a lot of thought has gone into what I would write here, not least because I hope to return and stay here on many more occasions, so here goes:
1) The towels are too small, and too few. At £80 to £100 per night the towels should be full size (at least 5' x 3') with two towels per guest per day, not the one each 3'6" x 2' jobs being used. Personally I can't understand why the boat is pushed out on the furnishings, but pennies are pinched on towels. Why not complete the luxury?
2) Whoever was responsible for making up the room each morning seemed to operate under the belief that a fitted sheet could simply be thrown onto the bed and this would be sufficient. It was quite warm when we stayed and on night one I ended up looking like a reject from one of the Mummy films. From that point on I remade the bed every evening, tucking the fitted sheet properly over all four corners to produce the kind of taut, smooth sheet that is a pleasure to sleep on. Luxury should be more than skin deep, substance AND style, if you will
3) The TV is positioned too high on the wall for comfortable viewing from the (very comfortable, and stylish) sofa. This could be remedied by relocating the table that sits under the TV, it could be turned through 90° and put against the party wall thus freeing space on the exterior wall for the TV to be lowered by about nine to twelve inches. Luxury is not a cricked neck
4) The TV again - the choice of channels is miserable. I know for a fact that Sky TV will do a reasonable deal so that each room could have its own Sky + box for a reasonable monthly cost. Even if that were as high as £30 a month (it wouldn't be, but just go with it for the moment), surely a room that is being let at £80 PER NIGHT is worth spending £1 PER NIGHT on to achieve a genuine best in class for facilities
5) The damp smell in the bathroom. Difficult, I know, in a bathroom with no window to keep things aired and dried out as you'd wish, but, perhaps stronger (but silent running) ventilation might help
To summarise my niggles; I'd use a well known phrase that included the words, "a ha'porth of tar" - I'm not saying that the ship is spoiled - so very far from it - but the cake is beautifully iced, it's just crying out for the cherry on top (I'll have a mixed metaphor please barman), and the thing is, it wouldn't be a hugely expensive cherry, but it would move this establishment right to the top of the league
Overall I'd say that you'd struggle to find anywhere nicer to stay. Peter and Minetta are running a top quality place. I guarantee that when you stay there (and you really should) you will be talking about the quality too
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the heart of Whitby, with reserved/free parking.Sandpiper offers a bolt hole which offers a home from home with luxury touches.We have invested alot of time money and energy ensuring we offer the best accomodation we can provide. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sandpiper House Hotel Whitby