On the way home back from our Niagara trip, we decided to take a detour and visit Cedar Point for a night. I did quick research the day before check-in and was curious why there were so little reviews with a #1 ranking on TA. After noticing this was a new hotel (realized later on it was just renovated) I immediately jumped at the opportunity especially with the rates so affordable. According to the front desk, the Maui Sands just recently opened in May 2012.
Our room was clean and newly refurnished. It included 1 king and 2 SETS of bunk beds. It had a microwave and refrigerator. Although there were some flaws, we were thoroughly satisfied with the room and since the price was so affordable, it was a no-brainer to stay a 2nd night.
Let me just bullet-point everything else…
* Bunk room was missing a TV, but not big deal to us.
* One of the bunks was not safe. It was either poorly assembled or a bad design-- the whole bunk was moving and a portion of the ladder was coming off. After a several more uses, expect that thing to go down.
* Empty wall brackets at the sink and in the bathroom tub. These brackets are meant for soap dispensers. Either remove the brackets or put in some soap dispensers.
* I loved the trash bins. There are 2 wide bins.
* Included basic cable (practically every basic cable channel, some hotels limit you to only a certain amount).
* There is a full size mirror mounted in the bathroom.
* The room included an electronic safe that we wanted to use, but it was not working properly. Didn’t want to bother asking the front desk to unlock.
* Wifi very spotty.
* Hotel is an awkward location behind a Shell station. From the street, there is no drive in entrance/hotel sign to direct new guests where the front of the hotel is.
* Bad curb appeal. Outside of the hotel is sketchy at first impression. They probably have to spruce it up a little better. There is a tacky banner above the entrance. There are noticeable cheap/fake plants on the landscaping that don’t do any justice to the curb appeal.
* Lobby is dark and uninviting. There are thick trees that gloom the lobby. I recommend removing the trees, bring in more light into the lobby, and highlighting their future attraction (an indoor waterpark – which is not open yet).
* Pool will be open in a couple weeks according to the front desk. I hope they aren’t stalling.
* There is a motorcycle in the lobby. Why? Park it outside! It has nothing to do with the theme.
* The back office is viewable from the outside. Shade your windows! Your office looks in disarray.
* Elevators did not work on our 2nd day of stay. One of the elevators needs remodeling. It was like a service elevator. They used a loose fabric as a carpet – I’m sure there is some sort of code violation with this; someone can trip and injure themselves.
* Breakfast was weak. Go somewhere else.
* Finally, it was evident that this hotel is owned by a particular group who had family and friends hanging out at the bar, hanging out noticeably in the back office, and their kids in the hallways. Maui Sands Owners, please leave the hotel common area for guests only – and not as a hangout for your family/friends. I think Anthony Melchiorri from Hotel Impossible would agree.
If you are looking for an affordable stay with quality rooms, but low expectations on amenities, book this hotel in the summer of 2012; the demand is low and the rates are low. I’m not sure how long the nice room conditions will last, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it decline in the future. Also once the water park opens, expect rates to increase.
Here are some recommendations for food in Sandusky:
* Berardi's Family Kitchen – Great place for home cooked American food. They have been around for 70 yrs. Known for their thick fries. I had their Hot Shredded Beef (Served between two slices of bread and topped with gravy). Loved it. Comfort food.
* Toft Dairy - A MUST for local ice cream. Expect large portions – really large. Their kids size would be equivalent to an extra large size from where I’m from. And I’m not exaggerating.
* Jolly Donuts – Good donuts.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.