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.
- 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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