Our family recently spent an INCREDIBLE week at The Sands (plus a few nights at West Bay Club)! It was my husband & my 4th visit to TCI, & our 2nd stay at The Sands (our last being in 2006). We love this resort! It felt like we were coming HOME when we returned! This was our first trip with our 4 y/o son & he loved every minute of it.
ROOM: We stayed in a 1-bedroom ocean view. (I booked our room through Travelocity, & got a great price for our 7-night stay - $2080 with taxes). Usually, I do not splurge for ocean view, my reasoning being that we will be spending most of our time on the beach & not in our room. However, considering we were bringing our young son this time, we figured we would be in the room more than usual. I am SO glad we got the ocean view; it was worth every penny! We spent A LOT of time on our screened-in balcony, eating meals & playing games/cards at the table there, hanging out in the comfy chaises (I even slept out there one night!), & enjoying the gorgeous view of the pool, grounds, & ocean. I had emailed The Sands ahead of time, to request a room in building 4 or 3 (those closest to the ocean). They accommodated my request & gave us Room 4303 (building 4, top floor. I could not have asked for a better room, view or location. Close to the beach, Hemingway’s, & parking spaces where we parked our rental car). Our room was spacious, clean & exceeded our expectations. We had a nice living room (w/pull-out queen-sized sofa, flat screen tv in the armoire that also held a variety of paperback books for guests to enjoy – nice touch), dining table (which we never used, as we sat on the balcony all the time), desk (my son loved to color pictures for the housekeeper here), & nice kitchen, with breakfast bar, full-size refrigerator & granite countertops. The kitchen was stocked w/all the amenities needed to make meals in the suite (glasses, utensils, pots & pans, coffee service, paper towels, dish soap, dishwasher, etc). We made at least 2 meals a day in our room (breakfast & either lunch or dinner), which was a great money-saver. We also really enjoyed hanging out on that balcony, like I said. It rivaled any restaurant on the island for ambiance & view! The washer & dryer in the room is an essential for us; they also give you laundry soap.
The one thing that could have been better about our room was the mattress in the bedroom. It was not very comfortable, & “squeaked” every time one of us rolled over. While not horrible, we definitely noticed a huge difference in bed quality when we went to West Bay Club.
PROPERTY AT THE SANDS: The Sands’ property, landscaping & grounds are gorgeous & very well-maintained! Two pools (one big one near the ocean, with a little kiddie-sized pool attached; & a meandering pool in the middle of the property – our son called this the “Swirly Whirly Pool,” & he loved going in it as the “meandering” parts are only 2 1/2 feet deep, a perfect depth for him!). He also loved the Hammock/Coconut Grove: they have hammocks set up in a dense coconut grove – the perfect place to find a quiet place to relax & read a book! At night, the property looks magical, especially the area near Hemingway’s, as there are lit torches & palm trees with rope lights wound around the bases. My husband & I often spent our evenings sitting on the lounge chairs between the pool & ocean, sipping wine & looking at the stars (& on some nights, listening to live music at Hemingway’s), as our son played in the kiddie pool. So perfect! We always felt safe on the property & saw the night security guard making his rounds in the evening, as we sat near the pool. We had the pleasure of talking to him & learning about his journey from Haiti to TCI. Very nice gentleman!
STAFF / SERVICE: We found the staff & service at The Sands to be outstanding! I cannot say enough good things about the staff here. Not that it was bad when we stayed at The Sands before (otherwise we would not have stayed here again), but we did notice a difference in the friendliness of the staff, & the promptness in resolving any issues this time. The first thing I noticed was that, any time I told the staff that it was our 4th visit to TCI & our 2nd to The Sands, they said “Welcome Home!” And I truly felt like I was “coming home!” ALL of the staff were very friendly. Always ready to say hello & greet you with a smile. On our first night there, we went to the front desk to let them know that we needed some shampoo & the toilet handle was not working properly. They sent someone to our room almost as soon as we walked back to it, to bring shampoo, then someone else a few minutes later to fix the toilet handle. I was extremely impressed with how quickly they took care of this! Great customer service!
The groundskeepers were also very nice to us & my son, talking to him & explaining how the sprinklers worked (he is obsessed with things like that!); I felt like they went above & beyond, & that means a lot when comparing resorts & places to stay!
The housekeeper for our room was OUTSTANDING! Aside from cleaning our room perfectly, she neatly (& cutely!) arranged my son’s stuffed animals on the pillows of our bed when she made it, & arranged his little picture books on the nightstand. These were little touches that went above & beyond what was expected. Our son loved that, & we did too! He loved drawing her pictures & she was very engaging with him when we saw her. That is exceptional service!
The Sands has a Manager’s Party on Tuesdays at 5pm. It is set up by the large pool & they have complimentary beer, rum punch, & snacks (chips & salsa, veggies & dip, cheese & crackers). It’s a great time to relax & talk to other guests!
BEACH: We LOVE the beachfront at The Sands! It is the prime location on Grace Bay, in my opinion! You can pick up your beach towels at the hut right by the beach entrance. There are palapas lined up with chairs underneath, or one of the beach attendants can place an umbrella in the sand closer to the shoreline for you. You can use the free beach sports equipment offered (we went out on the Hobie w/one of the beach attendants one day, & used the sea kayaks). The Sands is within easy beach-walking distance to lots of other resorts, so you take a nice walk along the beach to one of the other restaurants. Snorkeling is okay in front of the resort (I did see a couple sting rays, conch, flounder, lots of little fish, & I got a sand dollar); for really good snorkeling, head to Coral Gardens or Smiths Reef or Pelican Beach in Leeward.
EATS: Hemingway’s is excellent! (see my separate review for them under restaurants). Great menu, ambiance, & service! *Tip: they serve their (cheaper!) lunch menu until 6pm (as do a lot of restaurants at the resorts), so we went there twice for an early dinner & were able to order off of that. We also like the lunch menu selection a lot!
OUT & ABOUT: We rented a car for about 1/2 of our stay. While not necessary, we love parts of the island that are only accessible by car (Taylor Bay, Pelican Beach at Leeward, plus several restaurants in the Turtle Cove area – Sharkbite & Tiki Hut). We rented from Grace Bay Car Rentals (Toyota Corolla) for about $50/day. It was handy to stock up on groceries, too – we went to the IGA on Leeward Highway as well as the Graceway Gourmet off of Grace Bay Road. And we love to go to the shops in Ports of Call, Regent Village, & Salt Mills.
I can’t imagine a more perfect stay at The Sands! We loved everything about it & made some incredible memories. We can’t wait to return “home”!!
Buildings 3 & 4 are closest to the ocean!
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.