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“Very nice and courteous, good value” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sands By The Sea Motel

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Sands By The Sea Motel
2.0 of 5 Motel   |   9355 Hearst Drive, San Simeon, CA 93452   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 10 Hotels in San Simeon
Salida, Colorado, USA
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Very nice and courteous, good value”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2011

The staff was very pleasant and helpful. Our room was clean and simple - it met our needs and was very affordable. Though most of the rooms don't have an ocean view, the hotel is within very close walking distance to the beach - a couple of minutes away. We would recommend this hotel.

Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
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120 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    53
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
USA
Top Contributor
134 reviews 134 reviews
77 hotel reviews
Reviews in 107 cities Reviews in 107 cities
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2011

this place has been redone as of 2/2011 at least with new carpets and sheets/beds.
Plenty clean for 60 bucks. I guess its a lot more in June. This roadside town called San Simeon is just a collection of about 6 motels and at least 500 rooms. But the only food here is low grade stuff designed to sell to bus loads of Hearst Castle tourists, alot of whom are from Europe. Its surprising that there are no good cafes, there is plenty of people to support one. There is at least 1 in Cambria and some in Big Sur for sure. The Best Western
cafe is only fair and the other 2 /Big Sur California cafe and the Grill across the hwy from the BW/Cavilar are both lousy tourist boxes serving box food. Eat in Cambria or Morrow Bay.
And if you are going to the Hearst Castle it costs about 25$ per person. What a joke.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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SC
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
48 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2011

I booked Sands by the Sea after reading mixed reviews on Tripadvisor and comparing rates at the Best Western & others. I decided to save a few dollars. Like most, you get what you pay for.

I booked a reservation online, prepaid so I was not allowed to cancel without forfet. We arrived at the motel about 6:30 p.m on a Thursday with no other cars in the lot. The innkeeper was very friendly but didn't have our reservation. No problem in early Feb. with no one else there but would be a big problem in tourist season. Our room was an end unit on the second floor. We opened the door and a very musty smell hit us - hard. [ Maybe musty dog?] We opened all the windows to air it out but never got rid of it. From our rear windows, between 2 other motels, we had a clear veiw of the beach, ocean, firepit and sunset.

The room had 2 queen beds, a frig, microwave, & coffee maker. The beds were comfortable, the towels surprisingly white and fluffy with good soap. Although musty, everything seemed reasonably clean.

Unfortunately, the walls are very thin. We could hear our neighbors' conversation and laughing. Fortunately, they retired about the time we did and awoke about the same time; however, it could be noisy in a room with neighbors on both sides and/or above. The second night we did not have neighbors so it was nice and quiet.

The location is excellent on the beach side of the route 1. There are several inexpensive motels on the beach side, making it unnecessary to stay on the other side of the highway offseason. We walked a short distance to the beach in the evening, sitting in front of the firepit to keep warm & talking to other friendly tourists. Very pleasant and relaxing.

Hearst Castle is only 3 miles away & a must do. The elephant seals are breeding and the nature preserve is abt. 5 miles from the motel. We walked the length of the preserve, crowded with visitors, and found the trailhead to a coastal pathway open. We walked this path almost to the lighthouse, stopping at overlooks to view many beaches with elephant seals and great views of the coast line. There were very few people on this path making it a real treat. We also did the wine loop in Paso Robles, stopping at a couple wineries for tastings. This was a lovely route to drive and well worth a half day.

As mentioned in another review, the vouchers for breakfast at the adjacent Best Western are for coffee, o.j. and a Danish or $3 towards breakfast. One morning we did the Danish, the next morning we had breakfast which was very good and recommended. It's a cute place overlooking the beach, too.

Basically, the 3 of us stayed 2 nights in a relatively clean, comfortable room with a view of the ocean, convenient to the sites we wanted to visit for the price of 1 night at the BW, which made it a good deal for us. Before staying here again, I would compare prices to the other motels on the beach. If there isn't a big price difference, I might go with the BW which looked much nicer.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Montreal, Canada
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2010

An older hotel with clean and comfortable rooms at a reasonable rate. Hotel is on the beach side of highway and our room had partial view of the ocean. We were able to walk down the hill to access the beach and watch the sun go down over the ocean. Free Wi-Fi worked fine. Only disappointment was that voucher for breakfast at the Best Western Cavalier restaurant next door was only good for a coffee and a pastry or $3 rebate on full à la carte breakfast.

  • Stayed September 2010
    • 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
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Fresno, California
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2010

It's an older hotel, but the rooms are kept pretty clean, the beds are nice, and the shower works well; who could ask for more, at such a reasonable rate? The biggest pleasure of all, though, was being able to watch the sun go down over the ocean, while huddled next to one of the outdoor fireplaces lining the cliffs behind the hotel, and being able to just walk down the hill to access the beach (while not paying beach-front property prices!)

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Juan Cosala, Mexico
Top Contributor
152 reviews 152 reviews
72 hotel reviews
Reviews in 83 cities Reviews in 83 cities
95 helpful votes 95 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2010

The light switches didn't work and the shower drain was slow and the desk clerk couldn't find our room key at check in, but when I couldn't connect to the internet I walked down to the office to ask if I'd have better luck in the lobby. The desk clerk told me that the internet wasn't working and before I could ask for the nearest wi-fi location she snapped at me, "You're on vacation! Why do you need to check your email every minute!" Umm..because we were driving across Mexico and crossing at a dangerous border and we had a car problem in Phoenix and had to drive across the desert and my elderly father was just admitted to the hospital with heart problems. I was told it would be functional soon, but wasn't working when I left the next morning. Needless to say we had several concerned family members by the time we were able to contact them at the next hotel.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, England
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2010

We wanted to try a motel on our trip down the west coast. Coming from England it was a new experience for us. We picked Sands because of the reviews on here and because other places down the Big Sur coast were booked up online.
We were late arriving and the man on the desk was great and helpful, even cracking a joke or two. He made us welcome.
The location is fine - very near the sea but definitely not in view of the sea!
The rooms are in need of some TLC. I must say it had been clean but I feel that whatever amount of cleaning you did it would never feel fresh. The furniture has seen better days. The bedding too.
The rooms are large and the bathrooms are adequate too.
All in all it was fine but I have seen much nicer looking motels that I wish we'd tried. We stressed a bit when we couldn't get an online booking on the Big Sur coast but now wish we'd left it. On the drive down we quite a few more motels and sites than are on here surprisingly - it might have been worth just trying a few as we travelled.
It's worth pointing out that there is free wi-fi.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Sands By The Sea Motel

Address: 9355 Hearst Drive, San Simeon, CA 93452
Location: United States > California > San Luis Obispo County > San Simeon
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in San Simeon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Sands By The Sea Motel 2*
Number of rooms: 33
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Sands By The Sea Hotel San Simeon
Sands Motel San Simeon
Sands Hotel San Simeon

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