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“location, cleanliness, and service!”
Review of Rio Sands Hotel

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Rio Sands Hotel
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Aptos
Certificate of Excellence
New Jersey
Level Contributor
78 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“location, cleanliness, and service!”
Reviewed 27 January 2012

I am well familiar with this motel, having grown up in this area. It was built in the mid fifties as a classic motor inn style a block from the Rio Del Mar beach. My aunt used to stay here in the winters, and I remember how...tired...it was. Well, no more! Recently they remodeled and updated and did a wonderful job!
I generally stay in a beach house a few blocks away but it was unavailable. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at Rio Sands. I was upgraded to a jr suite at a discounted rate, and it was convenient for me-ground floor right in front of the handicapped parking space I needed. While small, it was spacious enough for me, and had an excellent tempurpedic king bed, comfy sofabed in a spacious living room, and a usable for the basics galley kitchen with micro, coffee maker, full size fridge, and oven/stove. You won't want to cook fancy, but you can make the essentials with ease.
There is a slider to a quiet patio area which opens onto a private to the hotel lovely oasis with pool, spa, waterfall, umbrella'd tables, barbecue pit, trees and grass. The pool and spa were plenty warm even on these chilly winter days.
A block away is the entrance to the beach, and across the street is a small market/deli, restaurants, bars, and the parking lot for the beach. Nearby (driving distance) are grocery stores, a CVS and lots of restaurants. Highway one is a very short distance away. It is a quiet beach compared to Capitola, or Santa Cruz.
Guests may help themselves to free expanded continental breakfast at the end of the building in the banquet room (key required to enter) from 7:30-10. Lovely well appointed room with a fire in the fireplace, soft music, and tablecloths, serving hot waffles, oatmeal, cereal, pastries, boiled eggs, coffee, juice, and fruit.
The staff were exceptionally friendly and helpful.
My only complaints were the following: the shower head in the bathroom is so high up (high ceilings) that I could not reach it to adjust it. Likewise, the cabinets in the kitchen with the coffee mugs were so high, I had to use a fork to snare the handle of the cup and pull it down. I also did not like that the maids left the used wet towels and washcloths on the floor/in tub for several days, although they left me fresh ones daily. However, I want to say that this motel was clean as a whistle, impeccably clean from top to bottom.
They have done and amazing job given the age and layout of this motel to make it more upscale and attractive, and very comfortable.
I felt safe, comfortable, and happy here and only wished I could have stayed longer. I will certainly be back.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank letsgomama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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307 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (109)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
San Jose, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 January 2012

I stayed here in January while apartment hunting in the area. I really, really enjoyed it here and it was a treat to stay here. It is a very easy walk to the beach and there are a few restaurants down by the beach as well. The room was so roomy and comfortable; the bed had a tempurpedic mattress which was especially comfortable; all the staff were very friendly and accommodating. The continental breakfast (in a room with a fireplace) was especially nice and offered many more choices than your average continental breakfast. Raquel, the Guest Relations manager was wonderful. This motel is in a quiet location very much "away" from traffic but also a very quick drive gets you to Soquel Dr. and to all points of interest. I like this motel because it is a bit "off the beaten path" yet close to everything and again, the rooms were exceptionally nice and staff was really wonderful. I did not use the pool but other people were enjoying it even in the somewhat brisk January temps.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank thea w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aptos, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 17 January 2012

It started with the phone call I made to confirm our reservations and ensure we had a first floor room as stairs don't mix well with my back. Raquel, (Guest Svc Mgr) was so friendly! She upgraded us into a first floor room. When we arrived it didn't stop there. The front desk staff was friendly, location to beach, family and amenities all within walking distance..which was great since we had just driven 2 days in a moving truck. The new temper-pedic mattress was SO comfortable; new flat screen TV, wireless Internet. (they had just completed a $2M renovation)
The breakfast room is cozy with a fireplace, an assortment of waffles, sweet rolls, fruits, cereals, and of course, coffee.
When our door would not close, a maintenance person was right there to fix-no waiting!
Our family will return to Rio Sands. Raquel and her staff know the value of customer service! Plus the location is a block or less to the beach and beautiful sunsets!

Room Tip: Rooms on west side 2nd & 3rd floors can see sunset from balcony
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Liz M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Cruz, California
Level Contributor
137 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 324 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 January 2012

We stayed here for two nights as my husband was playing a New Years Eve show at the local club the Sea Breeze, right at Rio Del Mar Beach. This place has a great location, about 1/2 block to the beach. We had a family suite, one room had a pull out couch and bunk beds, TV, closet, other room had a king bed w/full kitchen, another flat screen TV. It is a tight space if you utilize all the beds, but you probably won't be spending a lot of time in the room.

There are BBQ pits outside, pool and jacuzzi open year round. The stay comes with complimentary breakfast which is very comprehensive: waffle maker, hard boiled eggs, fruit, coffee, juice. Plenty to get your day started right!

On the Esplanade down from the hotel is The Cafe Rio Restaurant. Great oceanview dining. We didn't have dinner here as it was NYE, but have eaten here in the past. There is also a little deli by the beach for snacks, sandwiches, etc.

It was a great weekend and an even great 10 minute drive home. But we did feel like we had been on a vacation thanks to the great accomodations!

Room Tip: Ask for 145 as it has a peek of the ocean, small kitchenette. The family suites face the pool w/a pa...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank BabsSC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Novato, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 December 2011

This is the third time since this November that I have tried to review this motel with TripAdvisor and have lost my review each time due to password problems. Hopefully, this review will find its way on Tripadvisor website. My two boys, cousin, visiting from England, and I really enjoyed our stay at the Rio Sands Motel. The rooms are comfortable with a fully stocked kitchen and outside our patio is the swimming pool with outdoor heated shower and great hot tub. We noticed that the pool was cleaned early morning each day and sparkling clean and always inviting. We also enjoyed relaxing in the spa garden with the water fountain and colorful lights with outdoor heaters. This is a great place to relax and have drinks and escape the children for a short while. The breakfast was outstanding and not the regular continental-fare that is usually offered. This breakfast offers a large buffet and great assortment of food and fruit and the children enjoyed making their own waffles each morning. We decided to extend our stay for another day because the staff are so courteous and friendly. Raquel, the manager, did not hesitate to fulfill any of our requests and Steven was our favorite person behind the desk who is very helpful, polite, friendly, and offered information for the area and provided us with discounts coupons. We enjoyed chatting with Steven finding out about the local stores and places to visit. My son enjoyed chatting with Steven because he took the time to discuss skateboarding stories and inform us about the local skateboarding stores. The computer in the front lobby is great for printing out local information. The Rio Sands is just a short walk to Aptos Beach which is a beautiful long stretch of clean beach for long walks and seashell collecting. The staff at Rio Sands made our stay feel like a home-away-from home and we look forward to a return visit in the near future. There is no need to look for other motels in the area, since we have found the Perfect Little Gem in Aptos. Thank you to all the staff for making us feel welcome and taking care of our needs. Marlene Beach

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank marlene1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stockton, California
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 November 2011

I am here on my temperpetic mattress, relaxing after enjoying breakfast..Complimentry great waffles, many choices of breads sweet rolls coffee cakes etc., all serverd in a beautiful banquet room with a fireplace. Most motels only offer a teaser served in their lobby with nowhere to sit.
This is the cleanest ,well run, friendliest motel only a block to the beach. With a heated pool
and spa ,lovely grounds, recently remodeled, you won't beat it anywhere.
I was sorry to hear the negative reveiw from the contractor and his crew.
Our temperpetic mattress is wonderful, our tv. works great, the front desk staff friendly and most helpful.
Booking through the hoteol site , with the trip advisor promo code (trip), we booked our room
for only $44 a night. (sun-tues).This is one of our best finds.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Marta M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oakdale, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 November 2011

by workin out of town were needkng to stay close to the job site
room rates were fair and clean. i am a general contractor booking up to 4 rooms a nite for 2 weeks. as of today i will never stay here from now on because of management and desk staff

from billing problems to attitude i feel that tbe amount of money spent for the services recieved was not worth the bad televisions, beds, and views.

we next plan to stay in capitola about 10 min away for same rate and be on the beach.
just my 2 cents but we spend alot of time in hotels and this one does not rank high on our oist
note we just here to work not vacation and this is how our experience was

Room Tip: go north 10 min and you will be in better neighborhoods, restaurants, and views
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank steve w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rio Sands Hotel

Property: Rio Sands Hotel
Address: 116 Aptos Beach Dr, Rio Del Mar Beach, Aptos, CA 95003-4503
Region: United States > California > Aptos
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Aptos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:2 star — Rio Sands Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rio Sands Hotel is by the beach. Just a 2 minute walk to 20 miles of walkable sea shore. We have rooms with fully stocked kitchenettes, a BBQ area, pool heated to 80 degrees year round. Enjoy our continental breakfast served daily. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rio Sands Hotel Aptos
Rio Sands Aptos

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