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“Possibly the best value in Whitianga”

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Sandy Shores apartments
Ranked #9 of 18 Hotels in Whitianga
Reviewed 13 May 2014

The upper level at Sandy Shores is a huge apartment - not a hotel or motel (this is really miscategorised here), it's more a whole floor of a quite large house. It's also good value for money in what is typically a very expensive town for accommodation; it would comfortably take four people (two couples) which would make it a bargain at NZ$170, or a bit over $40 each per night. In fact one of the main reasons I stayed here was that it was only about $30 dearer than the town's basic motel rooms that offered few extras.

This place is right on the beach with a really nice outlook; in fact the photos on the website don't do it justice. It's about a five minute easy, flat walk to the town's main shopping strip, or about a one minute drive. The place itself is clean and safe, and while it's located on a main road it's not that busy, with very little traffic at all after dark. The proprietor was polite and pleasant.

Some of the strong points included extensive Sky Pay TV reception on a big Panasonic TV, an excellent self-catering option with a full kitchen including heaps of gadgets and accessories, very nice towels, good quality toilet paper, and seemingly unlimited wifi with a good strong signal. Sitting out on the balcony overlooking Mercury Bay in the evening with the lapping waves, or taking in the morning sun over a cup of coffee was decidedly pleasant.

The negatives were mainly minor whinges only. There was some detritus of summer left around (namely dead bugs in some of the light fittings). There were a couple of blown light bulbs, most annoyingly one out on the balcony right above the table. The floor in the shower was creaky and the taps in the sink were a bit stiff. The sound goes through the floors reasonably easily, so the people above were quite audible pottering around, and the people below undoubtedly had the same experience. There was no fan in the bathroom so it fogs up when you shower, and while soap was provided, there were no other toiletries supplied (e.g., shampoo) so make sure you remember to pack that stuff. There was no air-conditioner, and while this was certainly not needed while I was there, I'm not sure what it would be like in summer with lots of glass for the sun to beam through; having said which, lots of places in town on the beach didn't seem to have air-con either, so maybe it's not really necessary in the Whitianga climate. Furnishings and decorations were a bit twee and perhaps not to everyone's taste, but each to their own. No bedside clocks were provided in the bedrooms.

As I said, these are mainly pretty minor complaints, and many are more just questions or matters of taste. Overall I would certainly recommend the Sandy Shores Apartments - in fact it's one the few, and maybe the only, accommodation place I've ever yet rated five on TripAdvisor.

Stayed: April 2014, travelled solo
2  Thank Boxing_Kangaroo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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35 - 41 of 47 reviews

Reviewed 30 March 2014

We stayed for three nights in Thelma's 2nd floor apartment. The lift was a real bonus and saved carrying our cases up the flight of stairs. The apartment is fantastic and the panoramic views are simply superb. This was by far the best accommodation we stayed in during our travels around NZ. The apartment is truly self contained and Thelma was exceptionally helpful to us. A real gem.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Therese864
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2014

Initially we loved this place. The location was fabulous within 5 minutes walking distance to the main street of Waitangi and a few minutes more to the wharf. We had the apartment which takes up the whole of the first floor - there are two smaller apartments on the ground floor and the owner, Thelma, has the top floor. Plenty of parking on site and initially Thelma was very helpful, even hanging our washing out one morning. The view is fabulous and on crossing Buffalo Beach Road you are right on the beach. It is a great apartment for 2 couples having 2 good sized bedrooms each with a seaview. The living area is very spacious and the kitchen well equipped. Some of the furniture is a little dated but is very comfortable - apart from the balcony setting which is metal and pretty hard to sit on for any length of time.

However, and this is a very big however, on our second to last day on our way out for coffee Thelma asked when we were checking out. As we had arrived on Monday and had booked (and had 3 emails confirming this ) 6 nights we said after breakfast tomorrow (Sunday). She informed us that we were due out that day and had an "AA" booking due in at 2pm. I produced copies of the exchange of emails confirming our date of departure, but to no avail. This "AA" booking was obviously very important in that we were thrown out a day prior to our confirmed departure date. We ended up in a pretty ghastly unit further out of town as there was no decent accommodation left and were unable to access Sunday's night's accommodation a day earlier. This left a really sour taste - we had had a great week and this really ruined what had been an up till then top accommodation experience.

I have been a 'frequent traveller' for more than 50 years in many countries - our family business was tourism - and have certainly experienced the highs and lows of accommodation but this is the first time an accommodation manager/owner has behaved in such a cavalier fashion.

Room Tip: The large two bedroom apartment on the first floor has great views and is very spacious
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank sez5446
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 March 2014

We stayed for two weeks 10/02/14-24/02/14the views just unbelievable the accomodation was just great ,the apartment had everything we needed and our host Thelma is just like the perfect mum , the apartment is five minutes away from town where everything you need is and we have already booked for next year can't wait.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Derek Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2014

Wow! What a great place to stay! We were 2 couples and had rented the upstairs apartment. Plenty of room coupled with an amazing view made for a most pleasant stay! We loved being able to cook a meal and enjoy it in the spotless kitchen/dining room! Within walking distance to restaurants and shopping. Thelma is so friendly, accommodating and helpful. We were going to do some water activities and she provided us with beach towels and advice! She is such a wonderful hostess! The place is spotless and very comfortable. We all really enjoyed our time spent here!

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank colinandroxanne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 February 2014

We booked for 1 night February 2014 based on reviews on trip advisor - we stayed an extra night as it felt comfortable and I think great price for what you get and decided to recoup our tired travelling bodies and just do day trips
The views are amazing and Thelma is such a beautiful Lady
Full sized fridge for making ice for our esky, lounge to watch tv, full cooking facilities although we went out for dinner, shower pressure good, free wifi and sky tv
You can hear the waves breaking which makes a relaxing sound to sleep
being close to walk to dinner is the best especially if you enjoy a wine or 5 with dinner
Would definitely stop here again if coming to coromandel area again

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Karyn D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 January 2014

my husband and i absolutely LOVED our time here. the pictures don't do it justice! everything was very clean, (even the dishes) there is a small kitchen and outdoor bbq, and thelma was such a friendly and helpful host. not to mention that the beach is just across the street from the front door, and the view is absolutely gorgeous!! we would definitely come back, and strongly recommend it to anyone looking for some time away from it all.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Whitney C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sandy Shores apartments

Address: 14 Buffalo Beach Road, Whitianga 3510, New Zealand
Phone Number:
Region: New Zealand > North Island > Waikato Region > Coromandel Peninsula > Whitianga
Amenities:
Beach Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 18 Hotels in Whitianga
Number of rooms: 3

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