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“Wrongly represented as "Resort", morelike Holiday Rental Appartments”
Review of The Sands Resort

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The Sands Resort
Ranked #4 of 11 Hotels in Yamba
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 August 2014

The Sands Resort - Yamba NSW. Firstly this is nothing like Resort style accommodation but rather that of holiday rental units. It looks a lot lot better on the internet than it does in actual attendance. Don’t be caught out as we were. Just because there is a pool and tennis court that does not make it a resort. It was a very impersonal experience and one that certainly did not anywhere present the feel good wow moment that one would expect from a holiday. It started when we received an SMS saying that reception closed at 5.00pm and that our key would be in the night box and all money owing should be paid upfront and if we had any questions we should phone. The point is, we received the SMS at 5.10pm and the reception was now closed. We did ring and the after hour’s service was less than helpful and did not really have any knowledge of the facility or what to do but assured us they would phone back – that call never happened! We arrived at about 6.15pm; it was by now dark and raining. A sign on the front of the resort (and yes the horrible place loves their signs) directed that reception was at 1 The Boulevard, which with us not knowing the area we found the first driveway on The Boulevard, wrongly assuming this was reception as there was a vehicle gate and an intercom box. Any “Resort” I have ever been to generally has a drive in area for reception where you can unload bags etc… check-in or in this case as reception was closed collect keys but this was not to be the case. We were in the wrong spot, but for a place that loves their signs there was no sign directing us to the actual reception. Standing in the rain and not really knowing what to do my wife phoned the after-hours number again. To no surprise they didn’t have a clue so offered no fruitful solution. Walking around in the rain, I found what had to be reception about 50 meters up the road, no driveway and no vehicle pull in area with any shelter to be able to familiarise ourselves with the surroundings. By the map provided we found the car park which was a well lit, clean and secure car park. Top quality, except in our allocated park (and the one alongside) there was what looked like lime (or some chemical) dripping out of the slab or pipe. I did best I could to park in our allocated spot to avoid this but it still dripped on the car and I have today finished polishing the blemish out of the clear coat of the paint of my silver car. To get our bags to the room was fun, dragging up 2 flights of stairs. The room itself was quite well appointed, although the leather lounge looked like it had been around the block a few times. There was these wonderful signs that really did not make you feel welcome, the one in particular that really annoyed us was the one on the fridge suggesting we had to empty our own bins into “the main refuse bins located at each end of the resort”. Whilst we do not consider ourselves lazy or messy people, we were paying $220.00 a night for what was meant to be from memory 4 ½ start accommodation and one would assume that this was part of daily room cleaning practice. I am still not sure if we were also expected to wash, fold and iron linen, make beds or clean showers or toilets etc… There was no sign for that. We did not meet “Our Hosts” as I fondly read about in another review until such time as we walked to reception (and you cannot get there by walking within the “resort” grounds) to ask what the procedure was to leave early. We had booked for 3 x nights with check-out for Sunday morning. This place was such a let-down we were happy to blow half of the cost in accommodation and left in the middle of the night Friday. Yamba itself was also a let-down with next to nothing to do. It is just another East Coats river outlet to the ocean. The place seemed to have this seedy undertow of quite average locals, some of the cafes we went do completely lacked any warmth or welcome, in fact as if we were identified as tourists and a disturbance to the shop keeper’s day. Not the mentality when it is likely money in their till. This “RESORT” is more like a block of holiday units rented out and could be managed through a local real estate agent where you could book, pay, collect and return keys. There is no restaurant on the premises and contrary to what we read it is nowhere near shops and restaurants. It would be about a 1 km drive back to any facilities. There was bugger all restaurants in town of any quality. WE WILL NOT BE BACK AGAIN.

Room Tip: The website says free wifi. Yeh = 15 minutes free. Probably long enough to get connected and working...
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Andrew and Anne M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jan529051, Owner at The Sands Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 18 August 2014

Thank you for your detailed response. We would like to respond to the issues raised as follows. Firstly, you mention that the Sands Resort is not a Resort but a block of holiday accommodation units. The definition of a Resort is a place that is frequented for holidays or recreation or for a particular purpose and generally the better Resorts have facilities such as pools, spas, tennis courts and Reception and a desirable proximity. We would argue that The Sands Resort has all of these attributes and more (it IS only a 5 minute walk to town, restaurants, clubs, cafes, pubs) and the Resort IS beachfront. We also have courtesy buses for those guests that require transport to clubs and hotels in Yamba.

Secondly, you mentioned the annoyance of having to receive an SMS from us that reminds guests of our opening and closing hours, the key code number for after hours access and our address for collection of keys. Most guests appreciate this additional service which is readily available on their phone should they arrive late unexpectedly. There is a large "sign" located on the front corner of the Resort which clearly identifies where Reception is located.

Indeed, your annoyance at the "excessive" signage around the Resort is difficult to understand and in particular your comments regarding the refrigerator signage requesting guests to remove excessive rubbish from the apartment - a normal courtesy for the housekeeping staff we would have thought no matter where you stay. We do not advertise nor offer daily room service and in fact our apartments are clearly advertised as self-contained apartments with fully equipped kitchens.

The first time that we met you in Reception was when you came and enquired where to leave the keys if you left early. We did ask you if there was anything wrong and your only comment was "Yamba is a hole and there is nothing to do"! We are also a little surprised about your derogatory comments in relation to Yamba generally which is totally at odds with the thousands of people that come to Yamba each year for its special charm, its warmth and friendly approach to visitors especially. There is a multitude of activities to do - boating, kayaking, fishing, surfing, walks in the National Parks, squash, golf, tennis, bowling to name but a few and many high quality restaurants and coffee shops to keep you more than busy. We and many others therefore believe that Yamba is more than "just another East Coast river outlet to the ocean" with a "seedy undertow of quite average locals".

On this occasion, while we acknowledge your right to express your opinion, we do not believe that your comments were warranted and indeed were quite offensive to our local community.

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Reviews (147)
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Reviewed 8 August 2014 via mobile

This was our 4th stay at the Sands this time for 10 days, we have always been well looked after and given a great price on our stays also with the bonus of a free Sunday music cruise on the river. We always stay in one of the spacious 2 bedroom apartments facing the beach and have been fortunate to see whales from the balcony on one of our stays. The facilities of the complex are great with a spa, two pools and tennis courts, it is also an easy walk to both the golf and bowling clubs I highly The Sands as the place to stay in Yamba.

  • Stayed: July 2014
    • Value
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1  Thank richeve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jan529051, Manager at The Sands Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 18 August 2015

We are pleased to hear that you had a lovely stay at The Sands Resort. We look forward to welcoming you again next Winter!

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Reviewed 14 July 2014

We stayed in a lovely 2 bedroom townhouse for 4 nights recently with our son. Although it was too cold to enjoy the lovely pools we did enjoy a game of tennis at the resort. The resort is close to the town and within easy walking distance to beach and shops. The townhouse was well presented and had everything we needed to enjoy our holiday. Both bathrooms were very clean (a rarity these days) and the kitchen was well equipped to enjoy dinner cooked at home. The beds were lovely and the complex easy to understand. Even though it was school holidays I did not hear neighbour noise or noisy children to spoil a lovely break.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Michelle M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jan529051, Manager at The Sands Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 18 August 2015

Thank you so much for taking the time to provide this valuable feedback. We are very happy to hear that you enjoyed your vacation at The Sands Resort and that it met your expectations. We will look forward to once again welcoming you home again to the Sands in the future.

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Reviewed 20 June 2014 via mobile

Spent two nights in a first floor apartment with balcony and ocean views. Apartment beAutifully decorated with two bathrooms and kitchen well equipped. Great location away from hustle and bustle and peaceful and quiet yet only a couple of minutes drive to shops. on site staff efficient and helpful

Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Chrystabel C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jan529051, Manager at The Sands Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 18 August 2015

It was so lovely to read your feedback and to hear that you had a lovely time at The Sands Resort and that you especially liked your accommodation and the position. Don't forget to mention when you next stay that you are repeat guest!

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Reviewed 3 June 2014

We stayed 2 nights at The Sands on Friday 23rd and Sat 24th May on a second floor apartment at the southern end of the complex overlooking the ocean. Our 2 bedroom apartment was amazing and we could even see whales in the distance from our balcony. This is about the 4th time we have stayed at The Sands and the only thing that disappointed us this time was the extremely loud music and high pitched yelling/screaming of a large gathering of people coming from a private property situated right next door to the southern perimeter of The Sands on the Friday night. This was allowed to go on until 4am in the morning and meant we did not get any sleep. I appreciate that The Sands management are not responsible for what happens outside of their resort but unfortunately this does impact on their guests and residents.Thankfully the Saturday night was quiet and we were able to sleep ! Other than this we enjoyed our stay at The Sands once again.

Room Tip: Choose a quieter room in middle or northern end of complex with an ocean view
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank SanHow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jan529051, Owner at The Sands Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 4 June 2014

Thank you for your response. We were happy to hear that you enjoyed the Resort and your apartment but sorry to hear that neighbours outside the Resort caused you some disturbance which we were unaware of until we read this posting. You are correct we can control what goes on within the Resort if we are advised at the time but we cannot control the unfortunate behaviour of others outside the Resort however a quick phone call to the Police would have perhaps resolved this issue quickly.

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Reviewed 1 June 2014

I was told when booking this room that it was recently refurbished but it wasn't. I found it quite expensive for what we got. Nice pool and spa area. Also found a note on fridge that we have to take out all rubbish and wash and place all dishes in cupboard before leaving otherwise you get billed $50. Never seen this kind of thing anywhere else.

Clean unit though, ocean views only, not beach views

Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
1  Thank Jane L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 April 2014

IMO, the price was too high for what we got. Overall ok but we expected more considering the high rates.

What we liked:
1)The townhouse was ok, clean, comfortable, modern kitchen well equipped. The bedrooms were ok.
2) Close to Pippi beach, even though we preferred Yamba beach (better for children and not many people with dogs).
3) Friendly staff.
4) Tennis courts

What we didn't like:
1) No AC in the unit, it was ok in late April but I wouldn't stay here in Jan - Feb.
2) Useless WiFi, seriously the service is terrible and at additional cost.
3) The pools were considerably small considering a complex this size and freezing cold!!!, only the Spa was heated but extremely small and always crowded.
4) No ventilation at all in the toilets and one of them was next to the kitchen !!!

We stay here during Easter long weekend.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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    • Cleanliness
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3  Thank BillyOaks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jan529051, Manager at The Sands Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 27 April 2014

Thank you for your feedback, we do appreciate your honesty. We are glad that you enjoyed some aspects of the Resort and would like to comment on some of your other feedback so that other prospective guests are adequately informed.

In terms of the AC, we do advertise that some have air con so it is important if you want air con that you request it. All of our apartments however have ceiling fans as a minimum. If the WiFi problem was reported to us, we could have done something about this as normally it is a minor issue an a quick fix. The townhouses have not had any problems with WiFi previously - in fact other guests have reported how easy it has been and how clear the signal is.

The two pools that we have available for guests consists of a smaller pool within the Leisure Centre where the tennis courts and one BBQ are located and the second pool is a 25 metre lap pool which is the largest on offer in Yamba. The heated spa also accommodates 12 people and we would not consider this small by any other standard and also is the largest on offer in Yamba. We agree that the pools are not heated (the spa however is heated at 27 degrees) but up until May the weather is still reaching temperatures of up to mid 20's and in comparison to the spa it would be cool. Being school holiday and Easter season the Resort is fully booked and yes the spa is a popular pastime for young and old who stay within the Resort.

We are looking into the ventilation problem that you reported and definitely agree that this is a valid point to be raised.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Yamba again in the near future and thank you again for your feedback.

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Additional Information about The Sands Resort

Address: 20-21 Pacific Pde, Yamba, New South Wales 2464, Australia
Region: Australia > New South Wales > Yamba
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 11 Hotels in Yamba
Price Range: £119 - £262 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Sands Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 72
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The only ABSOLUTE BEACH FRONT Resort Accommodation in Yamba!•Lap pool (SUITABLE FOR TRAINING) with splash area catering for smaller children•Outdoor entertaining areas and barbeques •Large Leisure Centre pool•Outdoor heated spa •Two Tennis courts •Security parking, mostly undercover• Easy walking to shopping, golf club, bowls club and general sights of Yamba. Free WIFI in the Leisure Centre and set within tropical gardens - paradise on the beach! A welcome pack is available on arrival to get you started! ... more   less 
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