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“Nice location” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Sands Motel

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The Sands Motel
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1465 US 31 North, Traverse City, MI 49686   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #33 of 39 Hotels in Traverse City
Kent County, Michigan
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
“Nice location”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2014

I wasn't looking for a five star with all the bells n whistles, we never use them anyway! This place fit our needs. Affordable and in a great location. I would love to stay for 2-3 days in the summer and enjoy the nice beach area this motel offers.

  • Stayed May 2014
    • 3 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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54 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    13
    15
    4
    7
    15
See reviews for
11
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4
1
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2014

Stayed here during the weekend of the Bayshore Marathon. I was very worried based on earlier, negative ratings but needed to be close to the race venue and also not spend a ton of money. Chris, the owner, was a GREAT host to all of his guests! He really makes everyone feel at home and gets to know you. The continental breakfast is your average fare, but an elderly guest required protein in his meals so Chris would poach eggs for him every morning for breakfast. THAT is customer service!! And Chris always asks if there is anything he can do for you to make your stay better. He really is great and cares about his guests' happiness. We enjoyed our stay at The Sands so much that we extended our two nights stay, to three.

I also am returning in two weeks for my child's orientation at Northwestern Michigan College and we plan to stay at The Sands during that visit.

The rooms are small but all hotel rooms are small. We did not feel crowded at all. The refrigerator and microwave in the room worked great and were an added bonus to us saving money during our stay. The room was clean and well stocked with towels, toiletries, coffee... the coffee pot worked... the hair dryer did not, but we had brought our own from home. The WiFi was Free and FAST, which is not always the case with a lot of bigger, pricier hotels. Our room was not cleaned that first day; I was fine with that, I just asked Chris for a couple of towels...It was just me and my friend and I don't make my bed at home everyday anyway. Our room was cleaned the next day. They have a very small staff of four.

The bonfire on the beach was great! The beach was clean, and the sand and sun so welcome after our long, hard winter.

Most of the guests were friendly and enjoying their stays at The Sands as well. There were, however, those few who you could tell were unhappy with their choice in wanting to save money. They would look at everyone and everything disdainfully, and when you would try to engage them in conversation, they would respond with a smug attitude. These are the type who will leave negative reviews about minor, nit-picky things.

For twice as much money I can stay at another hotel along the strip, I can get my bed made, I'd still have to request clean towels because of "green" policies, WiFi may or may not be free, I may or may not get a breakfast, I may or may not get an awesome private beach, I probably won't get a beach bonfire, I definitely won't be greeted by the owner with a smile and my first name followed by a conversation. I most likely won't have conversations that last for hours with other guest while sitting on the deck while watching the sun set.

But for half as much money, I can stay at The Sands Motel, I can have all of those things and many, many more little things that made my weekend in Traverse City memorable and fun and relaxing... and all of those things are so GREAT that any tiny, minor inconveniences are easily overlooked.

If you are a down-to-earth person, someone who enjoys people, someone who can overlook the little things, someone who wants to relax on the beach, drink a beer or a glass of wine, have a good time ... give The Sands a try!!

And if you are an uptight, hoity-toity, jerk from a big city who needs to look down his nose at the peasant folk... You probably won't enjoy your stay here. So call your credit card company, ask for yet another credit increase so you can stay at a pricier hotel. Thanks.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Traverse City, Michigan
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2013

I have been staying at the sands motel for 3 months now. Their monthly rates are among the most affordable in traverse city. Perfect for an NMC student looking for an affordable place to stay in the fall, winter, or spring. Location is great, right on the beach, near downtown, right across the street from the state park, and just down the street from NMC and many beautiful beaches along the miracle mile. I am looking forward to staying another six months til May. Great service, location, affordable, and has a comfortable at-home feel to it. Awesome place!!!!

Room Tip: Pick the rooms closer to the water for a nice view of the bay!
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Whitmore Lake
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2013

We Checked in Thursday Sept 19th. The room was full of bugs, the cable did not work, the walls and shower had holes in them. The toilet didn't work and the lock on the door did not work.
One of our party was accosted by one of the monthly and weekly residents in this dump and the police were called.
When the Traverse City and County Sherriff came they indicated we couldn't have stayed in a worst place.
We were a group of 5 couples checked out the next day. The owner never showed up to fix the problems.
Clientele are people on assistance and many appear to have mental disorders
STAY AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Room Tip: Don't let the price guide your decision. Stay away!!!!
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Detroit, Michigan
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2013

My boyfriend and I stayed 3 nights here. We booked the stay and I asked about the cancellation policy on the phone. The girl said we just charge you for the first night and if you decide not to stay after that it is not a problem. After seeing our room and all the problems, we wanted to move elsewhere after 1 nights stay. We were told there was a 72 hour cancellation policy so we would be charged either way. I could not find this stated anywhere on the website and told them what I was told when I booked the reservation. They did not care. This motel rents rooms weekly and monthly and allows smoking on the balcony right outside the rooms so all the smoke from the people were going into our room and we had to keep the windows shut the whole time. The dead bolt key they gave us did not work in the lock. The excuse was they had just gotten new keys. Wouldn't you try them before giving them to guests? It was so hot and the air conditioning was stuck on high or nothing else. The knob was completely broken. During the first night we had to get up constantly to turn it on and off. The front desk/office is closed around 8pm 9pm, with no one in charge at the motel at night. We complained about the malfunction air everyday to 3 different employees, no one cared or had any answers. We could not move to another room since this was the only room that had a king bed. The owner was called repeatedly by the motel and myself, and he never called back. He was the one that was responsible for emergency's at the motel. Unbelievable. The foam mattress cover was held together by electrical tape, the bathroom door would not shut, spiderwebs and spiders all over the balcony. The BBQ every Tuesday night promoted on the website and in placards in the room? No one in the office knew a thing about it. No water trampoline either. We were told at checkout we would get a discount, never happened. Was told the owner, Chris, was going to contact us, it has been over a week now. This place is a joke, and run extremely unprofessionally. The staff at this establishment has no idea about being in the hospitality industry, nor cares. Too many hotels/motels in this area to stay at this dump.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Thunder Bay, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2013

We stayed at the Sands for just 1 night which ended up being 3 nights due to the wonderful beach location and staff.....Mickey was a great host to this hotel....wonderful breakfast and we met alot of wonderful people....closest type of resort to the carribean you can get in North America...see you all next summer guys...xoxox

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2013

I made the mistake of leaving $600 in cash in the room so I went back to retrieve it. When I got there the maid was in the room and my envelope was gone. She of course denied it. I called the police and was told 'we get called here a lot'. The only thing the manager did was send the maid home. No integrity. No honesty. It makes me sick.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Sands Motel

Address: 1465 US 31 North, Traverse City, MI 49686
Location: United States > Michigan > Grand Traverse County > Traverse City
Amenities:
Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #33 of 39 Hotels in Traverse City
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Traverse City's best kept little secret for a motel on the beach of Grand Traverse East Bay. 21 cozy rooms with microwave, coffee pot, and refrigerator in them. Wireless net with continental breakfast in the summer time. Also, the only live streaming video of our beach and of east bay. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Sands Hotel Traverse City
Sands Hotel Traverse City

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