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“What a dump!” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Sands by the Sea

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Sands by the Sea
2.5 of 5 Motel   |   15 Ocean Avenue, PO Box 300, York Beach, York, ME   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 9 Hotels in York Beach
Certificate of Excellence 2014
South Orange, New Jersey
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“What a dump!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2012

We stayed at this place the last week in August. The king sized bed juts right up against the wall. No way to get out of the bed from the one side. The pull out sofa had springs popping out. Loved the no towels over the balcony rule. Not sure I get it though. Clearly they think theres a modicum of ambiance? To access the pool you have to walk thru the drive way parking lot. The last room on the first floor allowed us spotty internet at best and the joy of the street cleaner/blowing at 6am every morning. The daily cleaning was less then optimal. By Friday our bathroom stank like a public restroom. Because of these substandard accomodations we literally only slept and showered there. Not a place tp go back and relax or recharge at. Huge disappointment.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SandsbytheSeaMotel, Owner at Sands by the Sea, responded to this review, September 19, 2012
We were unaware that you had not enjoyed your stay. We would really have liked to know while you were here so that we could have helped make your stay more enjoyable. Maybe by switching your room or possibly fixing any problem that you might of had. We are here to help. As far as the street sweeper at 6AM, that is enirely out of our control. They do not come every morning however and also they get past our property rather quickly. We cannot change what the town does and their schedual for street sweeping. Atleast they make an attempt to keep our streets consistantly clean. As for the location of pool and having to walk through part of the parking lot to access it, I have never in 11 years had that complaint. The pool is literally a stones throw from any one of our rooms and having to walk across the driveway to acess it is not necessarily an obsticle. We show clearly how our property is set up on our website. You can see that we are a horseshoe shaped motel with a pool in the center of that horseshoe with a driveway around it. What should we do, knock the whole building down and spend $7,000,000.00 redesigning the entire complex to comply with your thoughts on pool access? That would be nice, but I'm sorry to say that we just dont have that kind of money or time, especially since we are quite pleased, as are most of our guests, with our pool and its location on the property and to the beach. I am also unaware of any Internet problems on the end of the building. I put in 2 extra antennas to avoid any signal weakness' on the Ocean Front rooms, this is the first Ive heard of it and cannot say that I agree with your Wi-Fi signal analysis. i will be looking into this accusation immediately. We have incredibly strong signal that can handle a lot of users. It is possible that there was a glitch or somebody on the network was downloading something massive, either way we have systems in place to block those types of downloads and/ or reboot the system when need be. All you would have had to do was call the front desk. Complaining on line weeks later will not allow us to help you out in any way while you're staying with us. We should know about your concerns in real time, that way we have a chance to remedy them as soon as possible. As far as your comments on the cleaning...maybe the reason your bathroom smelled like a "public rest room" is because the people who were using it. Our bathrooms are clean and so is our daily housekeeping service. I guess we will never know now because you didnt express ANY of your concerns while you were here. If something is not up to par it is always a good idea to make management aware of it. I will not pretend that we are perfect, but we try very hard and would have loved an opportunity to help you. I think its OK to express some disappointments on line but I find your comments and opinions unecessarily demeaning and just over the top, rude. Thank you for not staying with us next time you come to visit York Beach from New Jersey.
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94 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    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 (32)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Merrimack, New Hampshire
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2012

Sands by the sea was great. We stayed in a king room with a great view from small shared outside walk deck. Room was very clean and comfy. This was my second time staying here first time did girls weekend this time was with hubby. Both times had good time. Staff was more than accommodating.

  • Stayed September 2012, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlington, Vermont
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2012

I have been going to york beach for 30 years and have stayed in a lot of hotels there. This past summer my family, my sisters family and my and step dad stayed there. We usually stay on long sands but thought we would try shorts this year and we are glad we did. Sands by the sea is perfectly located in town and across the street from the beach. The rooms were very nice and clean and updated. The pool was very nice also. The front desk guy was great and very polite. The only complant is or A/C wasn't working. Even thought the front desk guy tried to fix it didn't work. I had to suggest maybe they bring us a fan and the did a little one. We made due with it. We only stayed 2 nights so we just dealt with it. We were happy with sands by the sea and will def stay there again !!

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NH
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2012

We are familiar with this area, love the beaches here, but this was our first time staying overnight near Short Sands Beach. We planned a last minute getaway, with little time to research. I saw the #1 rating, read a few reviews, then booked it. We of course, were not disappointed with the beach and the small walking town. The front desk staff was friendly and helpful. The room had a King bed, comfortable, with a nice fully enclosed cover on the mattress (I have a fear of bedbugs ever since my daughter experienced them in a Boston apartment - I saw no signs of them.) We own a furniture store, so my husband is very concerned about mattresses. I was very comfortable and he was reasonably comfortable. Our room was #54. The carpet, walls, ceiling and furniture were clean. The toilet seat in the bathroom was peeling (yuck) and the shower curtain was dirty. I told the staff and they said they would replace it, but we were checking out. They are sincere about fixing problems, so hopefully they read this review and get a new toilet seat for this unit. I appreciated the many clean towels, paper products and soap and liquid soap/shampoo dispenser. The tub and walls were new and clean (like bathfitters), but the sink was tiny. There was a convenient small shelf above the sink which helped. There was a small clean microwave and clean cold refrigerator in the room, which also needed to be used as a night stand for my book, because there was none on my side. There was a clock, but NO coffee maker or hairdryer (bring your own). Since there was no coffeemaker, there were also no mugs or cups, so I couldn't even use the microwave to heat water. I thought about buying a mug (because I brought tea bags, coffee, muffins and fruit) but it was easier to go to the "Daily Grind" coffee shop on the street behind the motel. They had fantastic frittatas, scones & coffee!! It is between the Animal Kingdom and the entrance to the motor home park, diagonally across from the Fire station. Also visit the information center next door and he will recommend great places. We ate a lunch and dinner in the pub part of the Union Bluff Hotel - delicious food!!! Ooops, back to the motel review. They did not have a suitcase stand, so I had to carefully place my suitcase on the dresser (I am allergic to carpet). Then there was no place to make my lunch - no table in the room. The window curtain over the walkway window was new, and room darkening, but the old small curtains over the small windows on the opposite side did not cover the windows and the street lights shone through all night long! I need total darkness to sleep, so had a difficult time sleeping. But it was nice and quiet. We did not hear the neighbors. I am also allergic to smoke. They have huge rusty ashtrays outside every unit! I was so thankful that all smokers were at least two doors away from us. Having a smoker next to me would have sent me into an asthma coughing fit and ruined my stay. So Thankful. They really should move those ashtrays away from any units, since the A/C intake vents are next to the doorway. After I got home and read more of the reviews, I saw that you need to have a suite or condo unit to have more amenities. Maybe I am used to Best Western's or Marriott Courtyard type hotels and thought these missing amenities were standard in all rooms. Live and learn. We were on the second floor, left, so did not have an ocean view unless we went out onto the common balcony walkway, and looked over the railing. The A/C worked better on low than on high. The pool looked clean and lovely, but we came for the beach. The kids and their parents seemed to enjoy it a lot. We rushed to pack and check out before heading to the beach for the day. When I noticed that I had forgotten my pillow in the room, we headed back over and the housekeeper had nicely brought my pillow along with a drawer-full of my husband's clothes to the front desk. We were so grateful and happy that we had left a tip! They are very nice, caring, honest people here! All that said, we had a truly enjoyable getaway! The Ocean and the coastal view is breathtaking! Enjoy it in Sept. & October too, when the crowd is gone, and combine it with a drive through the foliage mountains.

Room Tip: The 2nd floor has a better view of the ocean, on the right side, front or back units, just not the l...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2012

They advertise that 5 people could stay in these rooms. That is certainly true, if you are willing to walk sideways to get to the bathroom. Even the sink was undersized, not to mention the lack of parking. I am not all that convinced it was especially clean either - the carpet felt sticky. The location, however, was ideal - right in the heart of Short Sands. The pool was also nice and clean.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SandsbytheSeaMotel, Owner at Sands by the Sea, responded to this review, September 5, 2012
Thank you for staying with us. Most of our standard rooms allow for 2 Adults and 2 Children. Anymore than that and it will begin to get tighter once you fold out the couch or inflate an air mattress. This is why we also have larger units, cottages, suites and luxury condos. If you needed more space you could have easily talked to the font desk and we would have tried to upgrade you. Complaining on TA advisor after the fact does not give us a chance to meet your needs. We will always try very hard to help you. You will not find larger standard accommodations in this area for less money than we charge. Our prices are actually quite competitive and less than many other smaller and less primely located Inns and Motels in the area. As far as the comments on the cleanliness, if your carpet was indeed "sticky" my housekeeping staff would have been happy to help you with that. Again, you must let us know what is on your mind so that we can help fix any problem you may be having. When it comes to cleanliness I'm not entirely convinced that anyone even competes with us in that area of service. We are the cleanest on the beach, hands down. No one is cleaner than us. If you experienced anything less than perfectly clean I would like to apologize and i would also have loved an opportunity to see it and fix it. Thank you for your comments on our pool and location. Take care.
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Montreal, Canada
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2012

About 2 weeks ago my parents and I decided to go to the US for the very first time. So we picked up Sands by the Sea. Nicole, at the phone, was a lovely help in order to make the reservation as it was the first time we took a room with a small kitchen. (The kitchen was really nice and quite convenient). We arrived there and Paul welcomed us with a smile and answered our endless questions about what to do and where to go around York beach. Our room was nice and cosy. We had everything we wanted and more towels/ shampoos than ever expected! This place is litteraly just accross the street from the beach, and there are many other beaches as beautiful around. The pool was also really nice and clean. It was quiet but also in the center of everything. It was our first trip in the US and we are already planning to go back, with the rest of the family. You will enjoy it, thanks again!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SandsbytheSeaMotel, Owner at Sands by the Sea, responded to this review, September 5, 2012
Thank you so much for your enthusiastic review of the Sands by the Sea Motel. We are so glad to hear that we had something to do with your first experience in the United States! Nicole was new this year and it was her first season. She is working out so well and it makes me so glad that you mentioned her service to you. Also I'm happy to hear that Paul took such good care of you as well. My office staff means the world to me and it's so very nice when they get compliments from our guests. We appreciate it very much. Thank you for all your kind words. We look forward to seeing you every year from now on. Bring all of your friends and the whole extended family next time because you guys are just the type of guests we love to have staying with us!
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New Haven, Connecticut
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2012

Thank you once again Sands Motel for helping accommodate us. Our reservation was a tricky one but the sands staff helped work it out and fit us in during a very busy time. This was our 3rd time staying with Sands Motel and yet again it was wonderful. The room was immaculate. I saw a lot of new things they have done to their rooms since the last time my family stayed and it is wonderful to see the owner making so many improvements. The staff was helpful and smiling as usual. The room had a great view. Walkable to everything. The pool was great at keeping the kids happy and occupied. Giving free wifi to all the customers was such a huge addition. Being able to stream videos for my kids before bed was perfect. All I can say yet again is thank you for another perfect stay and just like every year we will be back. I would recommend this place to anyone looking for rooms in this area.

Room Tip: No matter the size of your family they can accommodate. Upstairs has a beautiful view.
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  • Stayed August 2012, 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.
SandsbytheSeaMotel, Owner at Sands by the Sea, responded to this review, August 31, 2012
I really appreciate all of the uplifting comments that you made. It really meant a lot to me and my staff when you mentioned the improvements and how much you enjoyed them. It makes us happy that the Wi-Fi helped out with the kids this year. Im glad your room was "immaculate" and that the pool was a plus for your family. We try very hard and it really means a lot that you have complimenetd my staff. They work tirelessly for me and for you and other guests to make your vacation a memorable and clean one. I just wanted to thank you for staying with us and for saying all thoase nice things. Take care and we'll see you again as soon as you're ready!
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Additional Information about Sands by the Sea

Address: 15 Ocean Avenue, PO Box 300, York Beach, York, ME
Location: United States > Maine > York > York Beach
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 9 Hotels in York Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Sands by the Sea 2.5*
Number of rooms: 60
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
If you like being able to check into a clean, friendly, ocean front motel with a beautiful pool and close proximity to not only the beach, but the shops, restaurants, park, trolly, amusement park and even a Wild Animal Kingdom, then you've found the right place! Come see us at the Sands by the Sea Motel where all of your troubles and worries will melt away as you first arrive and view out over the majestic Atlantic Ocean, which is visible from most of our comfortable accommodations. We have a range of standard rooms, 1-bedroom suites, 2 or 3 bedroom cottages and even the Sea Rose Luxury Condominium Suites. We look forward to seeing you in York Beach at the Sands by the Sea Motel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sands By The Sea Hotel York Beach
Sands By The Sea Maine/York - York Beach

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