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“Wonderful location, superior service”

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The Sands at St Francis
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 25 June 2010

Small number of rooms, all of them very comfortable, great location at the beach, friendly and helpful service.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank Aaron M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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145 - 151 of 178 reviews

Reviewed 14 March 2010

I agree with everything "ripandemily" just posted in their review. Our only regret with the Sands is that we could only stay for one night! The service here was the best and warmest we have ever had. To the hand written welcome notes when we arrived to having our car washed and the gifts when we left. The staff could not have been more helpful or friendly. We were on our way to the Pumba Game Reserve and Chanelle (who also worked at the reserve) gave us lots of little tips about our upcoming stay there.
All of the food was wonderful and the small dining room beautiful too. Our room even had a private deck with our own hot tub! We took a long walk along the Indian Ocean collecting different sea shells before we left.
This was the best place to stop before our safari and I only wish I had booked a night after as well!

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank laurelie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 March 2010

Warm Welcome, lovely room, amazing views of the sea - even from the bath, which opened onto the bedroom with a blind. Super products in the bathroom. Lovely home made biscuits.
Dinner excellent served in upstairs dining room overlooking the bay. A different interesting menu each day. Breakfast was very good - plenty of choice. Nice pool. Loved walking along the beach reached from wooden steps from the garden. The staff were very helpful and efficient. We didn't have our car while staying here and they offered to run us to another restaurant. Free use of internet . Very peaceful and a lovely place to stay before we headed home after a fantastic holiday. Even given a present of chilled water homemade cookies & fudge when we departed.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Ripandemily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 January 2010

This small hotel was excellent after a few days on safari. Just what we needed. It is right on the beach and the rooms have fantastic views.Everything is tastefully decorated and very comfortable. The bathroom was lovely and a great big bath to relax in.Staff were very freindly and helpful at every stage. We ate in the hotel and there was certainly no pressure for us to do so! However the main village is not too far away. Food in the hotel was good and the setting lovely. Perfect stay!

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank ManchesterChris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 July 2009

I would recommend to anyone to stay here. The Sands is beautifully decorated but comfortable. Staff very friendly and welcoming. Food and Wine excellent and superb location. We were so relaxed after our stay!! It was just what the doctor ordered after the stresses of London.

Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
Thank Nicole7London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 December 2008

We stayed here for our final night along the Garden Route before leaving SA. The room was nice with a lot of personal touches like quality biscuits to go with a large tea selection, premium coffee, fresh milk in a jug in the fridge, extra amenities in the bathroom such as sun cream and personal welcome and goodnight cards written by the 'team'.

Unfortunately we never worked out who the 'team' were as during our stay our only contact with the staff was a rather inept lady who muttered monosyllabic answers at a barely audible level, never making eye contact. She failed to take any documentation from us at check-in which delayed us on departure when they attempted to get payment even though we'd already paid our agency.

We ate at the restaurant (there didn't seem to be anywhere else to go as the area is very quiet) which prides itself on being the best in the area although we had to pre-order on our arrival. It was the most expensive meal we had and although the food was reasonable we were faced with the same unfortunate lady who couldn't answer basic questions about the extensive winelist (and we're talking very basic like what their coloured star ratings meant), broke glasses which were never properly cleared up even the next day (despite the obvious danger of one of the diners being barefoot), she spent most of the evening hiding in the kitchen which was a problem as she took our wine and water with her. We and fellow diners had to keep getting up and finding her to request top ups.

Again at breakfast, we found our own menus and table, got her out the kitchen to order food while she gazed out the window and unsurprisingly got our and other guest's orders wrong.

It was only at check-out that other staff appeared and seemed totally surprised when we mentioned we were less than impressed with customer service levels. In a country with such a good choice of high quality B&Bs, surely you know when someone is totally unsuited to frontline duties?!

Finally when we got home they emailed to ask if they could take additional payment from my credit card as they didn't think our agency had paid them in full! Our very competent and experienced agency agreed that this was totally unprofessional although by this stage we weren't at all surprised.

The area itself is nothing special and the hotel under the current staff to be avoided, certainly at the prices charged. It's unfortunate as this property has a lot of potential and someone somewhere has originally given the rooms a lot of thought (which is why they got 2 stars), the real shame is we never got to meet them.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Helen A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 November 2008

We spent one night here after getting married at the Safari Lodge on Amakhala and before embarking on a 3 week honeymoon from eastern to western cape. Maybe it was because the Safari Lodge was so perfect that any hotel we stayed in afterwards would struggle to compete. On arrival, the staff were friendly and came to meet us with umbrellas (yes it was that week!). We stayed in the first floor honeymoon suite which was superb. Unfortunately we couldn't make use of the outdoor jacuzzi on our balcony or the pool because of the weather. The first floor restaurant was cold - other guests ate dinner wrapped in blankets! - and the food was nice. Our waitress was friendly but apart from her we didn't see any other staff. There was none of the personal service we have experienced before in SA. I'm sure if the weather had been different we may have felt differently but the lack of personal service is its main downfall. There is also little to do in St Francis Bay. The 'town' consists of a mall or two of shops and we only saw one restaurant. Other than that it just seems to be lots and lots of holiday homes.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank AR&RC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Sands at St Francis

Address: 8 Frank Road, Saint Francis Bay 6312, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Saint Francis Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 17 B&Bs / Inns in Saint Francis Bay
Price Range: £123 - £261 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Sands at St Francis 5*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A footstep away from the beach, a few minutes from the bustling village center and home to world class watersports and activities! This luxurious African beach house, located in the picturesque seaside village of St. Francis Bay, offers five spacious en-suite bedrooms, all with uninterrupted views of the majestic Indian Ocean and endless stretches of pristine coastline. All bedrooms are air-conditioned and offer 5 star luxury, opening onto private decks or balcony with stunning views of the beach and infinity pool. The honeymoon suite offers an extra outdoor shower and Jacuzzi hot tub on its deck, from where spectacular sunsets can be enjoyed. The glass-fronted Octagon Restaurant has a thatched roof, central fireplace and surrounding timber deck, providing a breathtaking 270 degree panoramic view of the bay. The Octagon serves breakfast, light lunches and a la carte dinners. St Francis Bay is situated close to the Eastern Cape's many malaria-free game reserves. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Sands Hotel Saint Francis Bay

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