We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Walking distance of almost everything” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Rio Sands Hotel

Best prices for -
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 5 more sites!
Save
You added Rio Sands Hotel to your Saves list
Rio Sands Hotel
2.0 of 5 Hotel   |   116 Aptos Beach Drive, Rio Del Mar Beach, Aptos, CA 95003   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Aptos
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Walking distance of almost everything”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2014

We booked into the Rio Sands at the advice of my son's wedding arranger. We had a family suite, a regular two-bed queen room, and a one-bed King room. The desk staff were very friendly, the security was good, and it was walking distance from the wedding venue, which itself had little parking.

The two regular rooms were large, clean, and had a great view. They were located over the breakfast area. Plenty of towels, good soap and shampoo available, fridge and microwave. Good TVs. comfy beds.

Our family suite was on the first floor (hoorah for those of us with arthritic knees!), near the pool, hot tub, and lovely patio. There was a small patio outside the room. The room had sliding glass doors out onto the patio for easy access.

The room was clean, tidy, and had a fold-out couch and twin bunk beds in one room, and a king-sized bed in the other. In that room was also the kitchenette, which had a full-sized stove and fridge as well as a microwave, and a two-seat table.

My grandsons loved the bunk beds. I will say, the family suite is billed as being as large as an apartment -- perhaps a small studio apartment. when the fold-out couch was open the door swung into it. It was comfortable to sleep on, however.

The bathroom had plentiful towels, soap and shampoo in plenty, and decent storage and hot water. It had a tub with shower. The other rooms had showers only.

The king bed had some sort of memory foam top, and was very pleasant to sleep on. There were pillows aplenty, and extra pillows and blankets in the closet.

The breakfast offered was varied, including waffles (sure to please grandsons!), oatmeal, juices, pastries, hard-boiled eggs. Decent hours of operation -- 6-10.

Cons: there is a minimum 2-night stay for Saturdays, and the wedding was on Sunday, so several of our friends had to pay for two nights even tho they were only there for one.

The place has strong security cards, cameras everywhere, and yet we had a theft from our room. The management and Aptos police took it very seriously, however.

There is minimal parking; one spot per room. Since I was meeting my daughter and her family and we shared the suite, it was a good thing another family member did not have a car so we didn't have to try to find parking on the street.

The coffee in the free breakfast is sub-par.


Would I stay there again? Yes, altho I'd be more careful of my possessions.

Room Tip: The rooms in the breakfast wing have fabulous views
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RioManager, Manager at Rio Sands Hotel, responded to this review, March 27, 2014
Hello Patsmor,

Thank you for taking the time to share your review with others.
I pleased to know that the accommodations worked well for you. Our front desk staff are known for being kind, helpful and friendly. The housekeeping staff takes pride in their job and they do a great job maintaining a clean environment for our guests. We appreciate your mentioning the cleanliness of our rooms.
Management takes all situations that occur seriously. We appreciate you noting this.
I am very glad to know that you would return to our Hotel.

We hope to see you sooner rather than later.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

138 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    64
    40
    18
    9
    7
See reviews for
62
35
9
11
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (41)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Castle Rock, Colorado
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2014

I found this place on my smart phone after I arrived in Aptos with no pre-arranged place to stay. The very polite young man on the phone gave me clear directions to get there in case my GPS got it wrong. Once there, I was stunned to see I was 1/2 block from the beach, a beautiful public area with a paved path and incredible view. I was given the Internet price for two nights, a fair, off season price. This older motel was clean, friendly, and had a comfy bed for a good nights' sleep. I used the gas heater since it was rainy, and I don't like to be cold. I had a nice little patio just across from the outdoor swimming pool. The smallish room was perfect for me. The updated bathroom and shower worked very well. For breakfast, there were freshly boiled eggs, fresh fruit, waffles, and various breads and pastries. The coffee was just OK. There is a Starbucks not too far off though. Nothing fancy here, just a nice place to rest. Note: I do not know what it is like in surfing season.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RioManager, Manager at Rio Sands Hotel, responded to this review, March 17, 2014
Hello Mary C.
It seem our accommodations suited you. We continually get complements on how comfortable the beds are. Thanks for making notation of the things that are very important to our guests.
We hope you make it back to California sooner rather then later.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jackson, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2014

We were looking for a quick getaway near the beach and we were very pleased with Aptos and our stay at Rio Sands Motel. We stayed in Room 120 and it was perfect for the two of us. It had a very nice kitchen area with refrigerator, microwave, stove, coffee maker, etc. Plus, an outdoor patio and separate living room area made the suite seem like a home. The unit was extremely clean, comfortable and quiet. We couldn't have asked for more!

We walked to the beach easily from our room and enjoyed dinner that night at the Café Rio which is also within walking distance.

If you are visiting Aptos or anywhere in the Santa Cruz area, we'd recommend this spot as your home base. It worked for us.

Thank you all at the Rio Sands for making our trip a very enjoyable vacation!!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RioManager, Manager at Rio Sands Hotel, responded to this review, March 17, 2014
HI T2K_95225,
Thanks for your review. You stayed in room 120; this room is one of the most sought after rooms. Guests love the proximity to the pool, bbq and lawn area. Guests do refer to our hotel as their home away from home.
We hope to see you soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Turlock, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2014

Having delivered our daughter to a birthday party in Aptos, the wife and I made a spur-of-the-moment decision to find accommodations in the area. I tend to be EXTREMELY thrifty on overnight lodgings - a fact that has occasionally placed me in some rather dodgy conditions - but a quick online search revealed nothing remotely suitable at less than $100.

We decided to go have a look at available eateries down by the Aptos beachfront and happened to drive by the Rio Sands. For whatever reason, the Sands did not pop up during my admittedly cursory online search. "Let's check it out" suggested Mrs. Vander Weide. Walking up to the office from our street parking I was suitably impressed. While by no means a new establishment it was obvious that a good deal had been spent bringing the hotel up to standards at least externally commensurate with the neighborhood.

We approached the front desk to initiate our inquiry.

"Well," stated the clerk, "it just so happens that we've got a special running this weekend. We can get you into one of our rooms for $79 and, if you'd like, we'll upgrade you to a suite at no extra cost."

I did the mental equivalent of a jaw-drop. I was certain we were going to be looking at $150 at the very least. All told, the bill came to a few cents less than $90. Bill paid, it was time to check into our suite. Another jaw drop. What a freaking bargain. The room was impeccably clean, spacious and well appointed: by FAR the best I'd ever encountered at this price point. By far. The suite included a kitchenette with sink, microwave, full-sized fridge and gas range. Our balcony overlooked the pool area and cool beachside Aptos neighborhood with the beach itself hinted in the near distance.

After a very restful night - my wife and I both agreed it was the most comfortable hotel bed we'd ever experienced (at ANY price point) - we enjoyed the Sand's complimentary continental breakfast in their spacious banquet room. Standard fare, really, but more than enough for a guy like me who thinks that a waffle-maker is the pinnacle of a conti-brekkie.

We're coming back. Matter o' fact, we're headed to the front desk right now to make reservations for the Thanksgiving break.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RioManager, Manager at Rio Sands Hotel, responded to this review, March 3, 2014
Hello Kurt V!
Wow! What a wonderful review. We are very pleased that you were happy with the accommodations.
It is the owners belief that all travelers should have a good nights rest; hence the comfortable mattress you slept on. By the way, its a Tempurpedic mattress.
We boast having the BEST Guest Services Staff, Housekeeping Staff, and Maintenance Staff. Without them we would not get the great reviews we so often receive.
We will be looking forward to seeing you around Thanksgiving!
Thank you very much for the review.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Livermore, California
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2014

I have been a regular fan and guest of Rio Sands for near 9 years now. Family is nearby and as a frequent guest, I just always love the service, Friendliness, breakfast room, Family pool area. YOU can not go wrong with Rio Sands .....My grandsons love visiting me there for POOL time even though they live only blocks from the beach. Rio Sands is Truly only feet from the beach, wonderful Beach Beans coffee shop and right up the big hill is Delux Market for any needs to bring back to the hotel room. I am loyal to this hotel becuase it has never disappointed me, plain and simple. thanks RIO Sands

Room Tip: restaurants, grocery store, wonderful beaches, near and near enough and Boardwalks, tourist activiti...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RioManager, Manager at Rio Sands Hotel, responded to this review, February 26, 2014
Hello Patty r,

It's great to hear from our loyal repeat guests. Thank you for giving the Rio Sands a such a kind "shout out".

The pool will be waiting for you and your grandson's the next time you visit.

We look forward to seeing you soon!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2014

I have been a long time fan of this hotel . I have never been disappointed. My most recent visit here was associated with a stressful family situation. As always, the staff was very helpful and accommodating . The location is perfect....life is always better with a nearby beach.We had 2 lovely, quiet, clean rooms with very comfortable beds, insuring a welcome nights rest. I felt really pampered.

Breakfast area was newly remodeled . It was a relaxed setting and hours were flexible.I will be back . It is the perfect actidote to the SF city life. The microwave and refrigerator are a real convenience and help me follow my dietary restrictions and save money. Thank you for a lovely experience.

Room Tip: Rooms over banquet area are my favorite. Tempurpedic beds and quiet.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RioManager, Manager at Rio Sands Hotel, responded to this review, January 28, 2014
Dear Andrea D.,
It’s always well appreciated when our guests take the time to write a review. I am pleased to know that we’ve “hit the mark” for you during your stays with us.
You touched on aspects of the property that are important to us. Thank you for your kind accolades.
We look forward to seeing you again.
Sincerely,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frankfurt, Germany
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2014

It is hot in the bay area, so we wanted some beach time. Plus there was a big football game. it is hard to please everyone. This hotel has a very comfortable accomodations. We had a family room with a king bed and bunk beds in a separate room. We had a second room with a king bed and an additional sitting room (where we put the baby). The rooms are clean. The hotel is quiet when it is supposed to be (you can hear people moving around before check out). The beach is close. The pool is heated. The nearby cafe's are very nice. The sports bar was open and fun (and the Seahawks won!). I was most impressed with the nice breakfast and good coffee that put out. and the price was right! Thank you Rio Sands!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RioManager, Manager at Rio Sands Hotel, responded to this review, January 28, 2014
Hi Katrincka,

It’s great hearing that your stay was comfortable and the accommodations met your needs.
Thanks for noting the cleanliness of the room. We are so appreciative of our housekeeping staff. They all do a great job.
The continental breakfast is something we always get compliments on. I’m glad you and your family enjoyed it.
You are so very welcome. We thank you for your kind words.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Price Your Stay

Been to Rio Sands Hotel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Rio Sands Hotel

Address: 116 Aptos Beach Drive, Rio Del Mar Beach, Aptos, CA 95003
Location: United States > California > Aptos
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Aptos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2 star — Rio Sands Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rio Sands Hotel is by the beach. Just a 2 minute walk to 20 miles of walkable sea shore. We have rooms with fully stocked kitchenettes, a BBQ area, pool heated to 80 degrees year round. Enjoy our continental breakfast served daily. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Orbitz, Hotels.com, Priceline, Cheap Tickets, Booking.com and Tingo so you can book your Rio Sands Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Rio Sands Hotel Aptos
Rio Sands Aptos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Rio Sands Hotel, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.