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“Very good but not perfect”

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Kimberley Sands Resort & Spa
Ranked #6 of 11 Hotels in Broome
London
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Very good but not perfect”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 9, 2009

We stayed for 5 nights at the Pinctada in Sept 09. We had our reservations given the reviews on tripadvisor however we really enjoyed our stay.

Pros

The staff at the hotel are simply excellent. Nothing is too much trouble for them and they attended to any of our requests perfectly.

Our hotel room (with the exception of the point below) was lovely. Very well appointed with two large flatscreen LCDs, spacious bathroom and "mood lighting" (otherwise known as dimmers). The bed was also extremely comfortable.

The restaurants are great with really good food and a great wine list. The menu in the main restaurant changes regularly so you can happily eat there a couple of nights on your stay without getting bored.

The spa is also excellent with a wide varity of treatments and enough spa staff so that we could regularly get treatments booked on the same day.

Cons

The thing that instantly hits you when you arrive is how some questionable design choices have been made for a hotel which has been designed from the ground up. For instance, the reception area overlooks the car park with the restaurant overlooking the road. Strangely enough this didn't really bother us as the road is very quiet however I can understand why some people have complained about this.

The swimming pool is a very nice and relaxing space with a good poolside restaurant to accompany it. The hotel did not appear very busy during our stay and therefore we never had any difficulty in getting a bed by the pool. The pool isn't very large however and there are only 22 sunbeds for a hotel capable of taking up to 144 guests - again a strange design decision... Meanwhile there is a very large "meditation" garden close to the pool which never appears to be used and should really have been used as an additional pool space. There are beds located on the terraces of the individual rooms and in the Honjin Courtyards however these are just single sunbeds so they're no good if there are two of you!

We stayed in a Honjin Courtyard suite which contains a bedroom, lounge and kitchen unit. Is also has a terrace which runs the length of the room with a single sunbed and a table. Each Hongjin Courtyard Suite directly faces another with a large terrace between them seperated by a see through divider. The see through divider means that when sat on your couch or lying on your bed, you are directly looking into next door's room - clearly this is a bit strange. Equally if you're eating on your balcony, you are 2 foot away from your next door neighbour and can see them. In other words, it's not very private but could be easily remedied if the hotel replaced the see through dividers with non see-through ones.

Minor niggles included everything being very very expensive (as others have mentioned), the poolside bar/restaurant closing at 9pm because of the rooms located above it (again questionable design decision) and very expensive wireless internet access in the rooms with no complementary business centre provided. The gym is also unfortunately not adequate (no freeweights or gym ball).

Overall we had an absolutely fantastic stay and would recommend the hotel with the caveats above. The distance to the beach is about a 10/15 minute walk but it's very easy to get to and this didn't really bother us. The Cable Beach Club is admittedly a lot closer but looked quite run down to us when we visited and a lot busier (c. 240 rooms versus Pinctada's 72 rooms). If the hotel were to address the points above, it would definitely be a 5* and Broome's premier resort.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank CharlieW016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Dubai
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 9, 2009

We stayed here for 3 nights in August. The hotel had just had its offical opening. I thought it was very good in general and dont really have anything bad to say about it. We stayed in a courtyard suite and the room was very comfortable and luxurious. Breakfast was very good. We did not have any other meals in the hotel so i cant comment on lunch or dinner. This is definately the best place to stay in broome. Its not particularly cheap but I thought it was worth the bit extra. The staff were very attentive and helpful.

Two things for the management to consider. The pool is way too cold!! Please heat it up!! Your wood floors in the room are beautiful! They will get very scratched from the chairs unless you do something about it....only thinking of your hotel.....

Graham

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank GrahamDubai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 6, 2009

We were persuaded to change from the Cable Beach Club to Pinctada and I was very concerned that I had made a dreadful mistake, however, by the end of our 8 day stay I was pleased we had changed.

We had been booked into a Shinju Pool Terrace room with the option of an upgrade 'if available'. In my experience an upgrade is never forthcoming but we were changed to a Honjin Courtyard Suite. This was truly luxurious with kitchen facilities (in the event I caught any fish), a large lounge area and gorgeous bathroom.

Any problems with the room were remedied quickly. Sadly the gate leading to the courtyard was impossible for someone of my height 5'2" to open as the handles are high and on the inside.

The staff are fantastic, professional and welcoming. The Spa and restaurant are probably the standout features. Disappointingly the restaurant is on the main road and it is noisy, at night the car lights shine directly into your face while dining.

The lack of shade is really a problem, I think in 18 months when the trees have grown and more beach umbrellas are available for the pool and courtyards, this will alleviate the problem.

A huge problem which is unlikely to be overcome is the distance to the beach. Most people will head down to the sunset at least once in their stay even if they are not spending any other time at the beach, it is a good 20 minute walk each way. Once you have done that walk 4 times, it is not fun.

If you don't mind really treating yourself stay here, and hire a car for the trips to the beach

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank bubblezz4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne Australia
Level Contributor
24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 20, 2009

I agree with most of the previous reviews and also felt that the workmen everywhere did not enhance the atmosphere. We have previous stayed twice at Cable Beach Club Resort and having followed the development of Pinctada were eagerly looking forward to our stay. The most positive comment I can make is that the staff are exceptional and it is the hotel that lets them down rather than the other way round.

No compendium in the room advising of the services available. I dont want to use the phone to find out simple things. No bathrobes. No bath.

The noise of the overhead planes was unbearable and I cannot recall ever experiencing this at Cable Beach Club. The noise level in the rooms was also very bad with no insulation from outside noise and people coming and going early in the morning and late at night. The "mood" lighting in the room was totally inadequate with a light above the sofa and a bedside light that was too dim to read by, the only light in the room. The television was not tuned properly for wide screen and made everyone look huge. The maintenance man did try to fix it but it didnt make much difference. The tea making facilities are far too high in the cupboard and you are at danger of spilling boiling water on yourself trying to get the jug of boiling water down. The Nespresso machine is a gimmick and only offered us a coffee each as the other two were decaf.

I had to ask the housekeeper to clean the sawdust from the handle to our bathroom. Whilst I can understand that little things like this can happen the hotel had been open for 2 months when we were there and someone should have checked the final presentation of the rooms and if I noticed it how was it that the housekeeper didnt?

The restaurant has been built almost onto the road and whilst seated in this supposed 5 star restaurant the yobbos going past toot their horns and scream and yell. It would have been preferable to have sited the restaurant near the pool and unfortunately it seems that architects specialising in this type of development were not used. The lobby is next to the restaurant and open air and it fronts onto the car park so the whole front of the hotel is pretty ordinary in outlook.

The prices in the restaurant were totally over the top and on a par with top prices in the Eastern states. Eg: Entrees $30 Mains $40 with no vegetables or salad - this was a "side" and cost an extra $10, Desserts $18. Wines: Frankland Estate Reisling (the only reisling on the list) $55 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc $80 Yarra Burn Sparkling $42.

The spa was wonderful because the staff are excellent. It too is expensive.

The hotel is also too far away from the beach and everything else for that matter.

I think at this stage it has a long way to go to be 5-star at the moment it is probably high threes.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Distantaussies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 14, 2009

We try to go to Broome twice a season and have always stayed at Cable Beach Club but always felt that, whilst a really nice resort, was a little lacking in a few areas and always felt that Broome needed a boutique luxury resort, thus we jumped at the chance to stay at Pinctada after a much aniticipation in it's opening. My partner wasn't convinced that it would be better than Cable Beach, however by the end he was a total convert! If you are looking for an inexpensive place to stay and money is an object, I wouldn't stay here but for those who are prepared to pay for the finer things, Pinctatda come highly recommended. Our stay was not without a few minor criticisms, which by the end of our stay were more than forgiven. When we arrived at Broome airport, there was no-one to pick us up which was a little surprising, since we have specifically requested this due to our very early arrival. When we arrived at the resort, it was full house as the gala openeing party had been the night before, so I can understand why our transfers had been overlooked. We stayed in a Honjin Courtyard Suite, which has it's own plunge pool in a courtyard to share with 8 other villas. There is also little courtyard area at the side of each villa with a sunlounger, so there are so many places to find solace and relax in this resort. After the majority of guests checked out from the gala openeing, we found it so quiet and relaxing. The food was excellent, which was another thing we had also found difficult in Broome. The complimentary breakfast is a choice of buffet with cereal, fruit, toast, cold meats and cheeses etc, or a hot menu, which was lovely, though at times breakfast service could be a little slow. Some of the dishes I had on the menu were so good, I'd like to write to the chef who designed the menu (Greg Malouf of Momo Melbourne) to ask for the recipes. This place is luxury all the way, from the beautiful bedlinen and furniture to the Nespresso machines, mood lighting and great food. It is a fifteen minute walk from Cable Beach. We also had two absolutely incredible treatments each in the day spa (hot stone massage and sea salt body scrub, vichy shower and mini facial). All in all, this resort was lovely, we returned to Perth feeling totally relaxed and we intend to return to Pinctada time and time again, it's absolutely World class.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank arrivederci77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
290 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 230 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 30, 2009

Arrival: After our flight arrived we approached the transfers station at the Broome airport and were told a representative from the Pinctada was waiting to greet us. This was a pleasant surprise. I had booked through the hotels website but wasn’t informed we would get a transfer included. The handsome young man who greeted us was charming. He drove us carefully and offered us an orientation tour of Broome which we accepted and enjoyed. He said that they try to greet everyone at the airport but with some of the late flights it becomes difficult but overall they greet most people.

On arrival we were seated in a beautiful open air lounging area near reception and given a non-alcoholic cocktail whilst we registered as guests. First impressions were of a stunning resort. We were escorted to our room by the same gentleman who had transferred us. Our room on the third level overlooked the fabulous pool and the view was stunning.

We were told to dial the ‘wizard’ if we needed anything.

Room: The room had a comfortable king bed, ipod docking station and good sized television. They advertise on their website that there is a pillow menu. We requested to see the pillow menu via the ‘wizard’ only to be told it doesn’t exist and the pillows in the room are the only pillows available. Some people are fans of feather/down pillows and others aren’t. There was a lot of ‘pillow thumping’ going on during the night as we did not find them comfortable. There is no information compendium in the room which is standard in most hotels and resorts. There is no writing paper in the room. There are no robes in the room. There is no hairdryer in the room but you can request it from the ‘wizard’ which I had to do.

There are 150 movies available on demand but you do need to pay for them – about $16.95 per movie which we thought expensive as many movies were not new releases. The sofa is wicker/cane with cushions and is positioned over the other side of the room some 5 metres minimum from the television. The television is best viewed from the bed or you need to move the sofa which is really heavy. The bathroom is nice but had no bath. The shower is large and pleasant. The toilet continually ran on during our entire stay which we found unpleasant coming from drought stricken Australia. The toiletries are pleasant but not in abundance and we ran out on several days. 1 cake of soap on arrival was shared between the shower and basin. The shampoo bottle was emptied before replaced and no backup was provided. They do not replenish the toiletries daily unless they are empty and binned. There is a tea/coffee preparation area inside a cupboard which is awkward to access and too high to see what you are doing. The Nespresso coffee machine is great but they only provide 4 pods a day – that’s two cups each. Again the coffee machine was awkwardly placed in the cupboard and too high for me to see what I was doing (I am 5’2”). A balcony off the room is narrow and has two chairs and a small table and overlooks the pool – had a bit of a ‘Melrose Place’ feel as we could see most other rooms/balconies. Remember to put ‘do not disturb’ on the door as the mini-bar guy is sure to burst in on you! There are no cooking facilities whatsoever.

Pool: The pool is stunning and surrounded by Jamie Drurie designed gardens. There are no umbrellas whatsoever! We therefore could not sit around the pool during the day as you would burn in the 30+ degree celcius temperatures. We swam at dusk wondering if we’d be evicted from the pool as there is a big sign stating no swimming after dark. We spent one entire day in the resort trying to relax – trying! An annoying woman was mowing everything in site. Mixed in with the gardens around the pool they have planted ridiculous small patches of grass on slopes which apparently require being mowed until a mini tornado forms! We asked her to stop after enduring the noise for over an hour and you can guess the response.

Resort: The resort is not finished as at July 2009. It opened in May 2009. We were told the official opening is not until August and apparently that made it alright. There were no discounts or apologies for the noise and discomfort of tradesmen and builders hammering, grinding, drilling and plodding about the place. Much is not finished as at July 2009 and there are many fiddly things left to do. We noted several annoyed guests who’s reviews will probably never found on here and their voices not heard.

Tour desk: Tour desk is non existent! One has to ask at reception and they pull out a tiny folder of depleted information which seems to be for staff eyes only. My advice is walk next door to Bali Hai where they have a fabulous comprehensive tour library in their reception foyer.

Business Facilities: A ‘business centre’ is non existent. I was not impressed with the lack of concern when I asked where the business centre was located and about internet access. I was told there was wireless laptop access in the room, which I already knew. If you choose to travel light and not carry a laptop (or do not own a laptop to carry) then a lack of business facilities is totally inadequate for a five star resort. I was told as an afterthought that there is an internet café at the store at the end of the street. This major inconvenience cost me money and caused me stress that I did not need whilst on holidays. I was out of touch when it could have been so easy to provide facilities so I could be in touch. All could have been resolved by providing the standard business centre that most 5 star resorts and hotels provide to guests. Oh but they did offer to send a fax for me at a small charge!

Bar: Evening service is poor. I ordered a champagne cocktail in the bar one night. It was warm, flat and came 20 minutes after I had ordered it. I was disgusted and left it only to find it had been instantly charged to my bill. Needless to say Renee efficiently deducted it from my bill on checkout when I informed her it was not worth paying for.

Breakfast: Breakfast is a buffet style. There is one person in attendance offering tea/coffee and juice when you arrive. I did enjoy the breakfast. It is simple and light and quite ‘continental’ in style with cold deli meats, cheese, cereals, a bowl of fresh fruit, and pastries/Danishes. It was included in our tariff. Its not for the person who is looking for a banquet or a big serve of Eggs Benedict! Breakfast is served in the same area as their one restaurant which makes dining all a bit repetitive.

Restaurant: The restaurant food is not bad. It is not cheap. $AU40 to $AU45 per main course. $AU50 to $AU80 for a bottle of wine. It’s the same menu day in and day out, lunch or dinner. We got bored with it after eating lunch and dinner there on the first day and breakfast again the next morning. They have the builders and maintenance work headquarters set up next to the restaurant so you can watch the workers having 'smoko' whilst dining 5 star.

Casual Dining & Room Service: There is a more casual pool area ‘dining’ called Brizzo adjacent but it is difficult to get service there. There is no service at all after 8.30 pm! One evening we sat for 45 minutes between 7.30pm and 8.15pm and nobody served us as they were all busy in the restaurant. We gave up thinking it must be too late (who wears a watch whilst on holidays and there are no clocks to be seen), went back to our room and ordered room service from an edited menu of the restaurant food, which was uninspiring and expensive and was again the same food as served in the restaurant!

Ambience and Atmosphere: Noisy. All the while the hammering, drilling, plodding, mowing continued along with the looks on the disgruntled faces of fellow guests.

Location: The location of Pinctada is next to Bali Hai which at this time is the top rated property on Trip Advisor for Broome. Bali Hai does look great from the perspective of somebody who stayed next to it and not in it. The Pinctada is a good 15 minutes walk from the beach and 10 minutes from the nearest shop selling food at expensive prices.

Nearby restaurants: I recommend Zanders at Cable Beach for beachside dining and the Threadfin Salmon there is delicious and 10/10. Its about a 20 minutes walk from the Pinctada so you need comfortable walking shoes.

We also ate at the Cable Beach Club one night – its piggy pen buffet style dining with the food being quite mediocre. We tried to make a reservation at another restaurant at Cable Beach Club only to be told it was closed for the next 2 days! I remembered some of the reviews I have read and can reiterate they are quite factual.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank tripping-traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Broome
Level Contributor
21 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 28, 2009

Restaurant at Pinctada Hotel and Resort. EXPENSIVE EXPENSIVE and average service.

four couples of Broome locals visited last weekend, we where not that impressed. Broome has pretty good choice overall. the Restaurant only had 3 tables of people, who all turned to be locals trying it out after being open a few weeks now.

The menu was a bit boring and expensive. The service was inexperienced and it showed. Poor/average wine list with high prices.

the resort and surroundings seemed very nice good lighting ,decor etc

Helpful?
4 Thank Kimberleybloke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kimberley Sands Resort & Spa

Property: Kimberley Sands Resort & Spa
Address: 10 Murray Rd | Cable Beach, Broome, Western Australia 6726, Australia (Formerly Pinctada Cable Beach)
Location: Australia > Western Australia > Kimberley Region > Broome
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Broome
#4 Romantic Hotel in Broome
#6 Luxury Hotel in Broome
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Kimberley Sands Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 72
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kimberley Sands Resort and Spa is Broome's newest full service spa resort located close to Cable Beach. Located in the Kimberley Region of Western Australia, our Award winning intimate 72 room & suite resort is created to nurture you. Here you'll find understated elegance and around the clock attention. Original art to the hand selected furnishings and decor, every detail reflects the Kimberley. Features include the 25m Maxima pool, guest gym, meditative gardens and day spa. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pinctada Cable Beach Hotel Broome
Pinctada Cable Beach Broome

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