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“Don't expect too much”
Review of Rio Sands Hotel

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Rio Sands Hotel
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Aptos
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 24, 2012

This property is just an average hotel; there is nothing outstanding or special about it except it's location: 2 blocks from the beach. The rooms are clean and the housekeeping is good. The TV's are old as is the decor and there is no air-conditioning. Nor is there a cross flow of the breeze from the ocean so the rooms can get very warm and stuffy (we were in a large King room in the older area). The breakfast is basic... very basic, but well displayed. The bed was extremely hard. If this hotel were near an airport or along a freeway with other similar properties, you would not expect to pay more than $60-$80 per night.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank casilva54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BartfieldGroup, Owner Representative at Rio Sands Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 10, 2012

Dear Casilva,

Thank you for your review!

We hope you enjoyed your stay here at the Rio Sands Hotel. We have undergone a massive remodel in the past year and are continuing our quest to be the very best vacation spot possible for our fabulous guests.

We apologize if the bed wasn’t to your liking. Bed types can be tricky because they are all about personal preference. It looks like you stayed in one of our KING rooms which are equipped with Tempur-pedic beds. Some people absolutely love this type of bed but they are not everyone’s cup of tea. We have other choices that may be a better fit for you and are more than happy to discuss these with you when you make your next reservation. Above all, we want our guests to be happy and comfortable. If at any time you aren’t completely comfortable while staying with us, please let us know! Our front desk staff is here to help you in any way possible and would relish the opportunity to make your stay even more enjoyable.

Our location is definitely one of our best features. Since we are so close to the ocean, it rarely gets warm enough to need air conditioning. In fact, we consider ourselves lucky during our rare “heat waves”. Even during July and August, the temperature range is moderate with a high of 76 degrees and a low of 54 degrees (Fahrenheit).

We are sorry you didn’t find our breakfast to be satisfactory. With about 15 items to choose from, including eggs and a hot waffle bar, most people are thoroughly satisfied with all of our options.

We take the opinions of our guests very seriously and if you ever have any suggestions, please let us know! We genuinely aim to please.

We look forward to your next visit!

Sincerely,
The Staff of the Rio Sands

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258 - 264 of 329 reviews

Reviewed September 20, 2012

When we first checked in, the staff was very friendly and helpful. During our stay, all the other staff members we encountered were extremely nice as well.

We stayed in a family suite with a bunkbed and couch bed in one room and a queen size (maybe king?) in the other and that worked out really well for us with three kids. Surprisingly, the kids were quite excited about the pull out bed in the couch.

We loved that there was a little kitchen and were able to make our meals "at home" when we wanted to.

I've read about updates to the hotel in many reviews, but if there were any, I wasn't able to recognize them. To me, the decor was pretty outdated and the building itself reminded me (design-wise) of our first apartment which was old, but functional. What it lacked in pretty, it made up for in clean and convenient, though.

It truly was a short, two block walk to the beach. Even with smaller kids, it was no problem. There were a handful of cute little beach cafes and deli shops within easy walking distance.

It wasn't super warm (highs of about 70 degrees) this time of year, but it was warm enough for the kids to play at the beach and for us to take some really nice family walks.

The hotel itself had a nice little vending machine with reasonably priced little snacks and drinks that we all took advantage of.

The daily breakfast was good. Plenty of bread and pastry choices, some fresh fruit, waffles you can make yourself, hard boiled eggs, cereal, that kind of thing. The lady who worked the breakfast room kept everything stocked and tidy and was very sweet. The fireplace and soft music playing made it seem like a little restaurant instead of just a cafeteria style place to eat. That was a really nice touch.

The room was cleaned daily and clean towels were provided if you requested them.

Very good place to stay!

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a kitchen if you'd like to make some of your meals yourself. It is really co...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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Thank JulieHintz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BartfieldGroup, Owner Representative at Rio Sands Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 4, 2012

Dear JulieHintz,

Thank you so much for your fabulous review!

One of our biggest goals is to provide a home away from home experience for our guests. We are extremely happy to hear that you were able to make family dinner time happen here at our hotel. That is one of the best things about reserving a suite with a kitchen, it’s all the convenience of home without any of the stressful distractions!

We did a million dollar renovation recently and if you had the chance to stay with us prior, you would definitely notice the giant strides we’ve taken to improve and update our entire property. Since then, we’ve received nothing but compliments on the updates we’ve made and have even received the Community Enhancement Award from our local chamber of commerce. On the whole, we are constantly updating and evolving to be the best coastal escape we can be for our amazing guests.

Thank you again for taking the time to give us such a thoughtful review! We look forward to your next visit!

Sincerely,
The Staff of the Rio Sands Hotel

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Reviewed September 14, 2012

My husband and I wanted to go explore Santa Cruz, but we didn't want to stay in the city, so when we found Rio Sands we were very delighted! It's located in a cute and quiet beachy neighborhood very close to the beach and is just a short drive to the city, so we pretty much got the best of both worlds! After a long day of walking around Santa Cruz, we came back to the hotel and enjoyed the jacuzzi and the pool, which are both large and relaxing. We loved our room, it had a little kitchen stocked with dishes and everything you need to feel at home. Next time we visit we plan on being more prepared to actualy use it! (I thought it would have been nice to bake cookies!) It also had a pretty big balcony looking out to the pool. You could tell they recently renovated and that they really care about their hotel, because the room looked fairly updated and was very clean. We had a great stay here and will definitely be back! The outside area with tables and bbq's would be an awesome location for a reunion or a group of friends getaway.

Room Tip: if you plan ahead and bring your own food, get a room with a kitchen.
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank jilliqua
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BartfieldGroup, Owner Representative at Rio Sands Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 18, 2012

Dear Jilliqua,

Thank you so much for your fabulous review!

We are so happy to hear that you and your husband had such a lovely time while staying with us! We do our very best to make it a home away from home experience for all our guests. Baking cookies would be a great way to utilize the kitchen! We’ve found that reserving a room with a kitchen and cooking some of your own meals can be a great way to save on extra expenses while travelling. Plus, for people with restrictive diets, it’s ideal!

We recently renovated our hotel and are so glad you were able to notice the updated features. We put sincere love and care into all we do here and it means a great deal to know that it is felt by our guests.

Thank you for sharing! We look forward to your next visit!


Sincerely,

The Staff of the Rio Sands Hotel

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Reviewed September 13, 2012

We were looking for an inexpensive mid-week trip to the ocean and came across a nice deal here right after Labor Day which we quickly took advantage of. We always make our reservations at the hotels we stay at because we get better rates and much better room choices and that was the case this time too. We met others during our stay here who used Expedia, etc., they paid more and had many billing problems...we didn't.
The place was full so we had to make one move during our stay which was no problem except that we found they have two different types of beds. Our first room had the standard innerspring mattress which was fairly new and very comfortable. Our second room had the new "memory foam" mattress which we didn't like at all but we were told that eventually all the rooms will have them. I guess the memory foam is a personal thing that some people like and others like us don't, I think the hotel is making a mistake in putting them in all rooms. Most travelers will tell you that a good night sleep is THE most important thing on a trip but putting beds that a large number of people don't care for is risky.
Other than the bed thing the hotel is great, the rooms are clean and in excellent shape, the pool and hot tub are nice, the location perfect, the staff is friendly, and it is just a short walk to the ocean. We took a walk the first night and were rewarded with some whale sightings, an otter, plenty of birds and even a trout swimming in the creek.
Breakfast is a big deal for us and we were impressed with the breakfast room they have which is large, it has plenty of places to sit and even has a fireplace. Food selection is good except no meat is avaiable but everything else is fine. It filled our tummy's each morning and that is just what we needed.
The area is quiet so sleep is good unless you have noisy people in an adjacent room but that is not the hotels fault so we can't really complain too much about that (or can we?).
Bottom line, if you like memory foam then this is the place for you, if you like innerspring beds then call first and see if they are still available and that is just we will do the next time we come to Aptos.

Room Tip: If screeching kids in a pool annoy you then ask for the wing that is not next to the pool, we should...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Dizzycatz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BartfieldGroup, Owner Representative at Rio Sands Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 18, 2012

Dear Dizzycatz,

Thank you so much for your review!

We are very happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay! What a treat that you were able to see some whales on your walk! This area is rich with natural beauty and wildlife, but whale sightings are definitely a special treat. Some say it’s good luck!

It’s extremely important to us that our guests are comfortable and feel at home while they are staying with us. Mattresses, unfortunately, are always up for debate. Every person is different and, in that way, each mattress may or may not fit each person’s individual needs. What we have found is that the majority of our guests prefer the memory foam mattresses. Beyond that, memory foam has been proven to improve posture and sleep quality in trial testing. Of course, we completely understand if these mattresses are not quite your cup of tea.

Please don’t write off our hotel simply because our future plan includes memory foam. We are constantly adapting to create an even better environment for our guests and your continued input will help shape our evolution.

Sincerely,

The Staff of the Rio Sands Hotel

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Reviewed September 2, 2012

The rooms were immaculate. Great little pool -- staff was very helpful and accomoodating. Breakfasts were delicious --- it was the typical continental breakfast but wirh some nice details like fresh hard boiled eggs.

  • Stayed: August 2012
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Thank Blueberry B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BartfieldGroup, Owner Representative at Rio Sands Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 11, 2012

Dear Blueberry B,

Thank you so much for your fabulous review! We pride ourselves on delivering the best customer service possible to ensure your vacation will reach above and beyond your expectations. Your opinion means the world to us.

Thank you for sharing! We look forward to your next visit!

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Reviewed August 16, 2012

I went with a group of people. It is very convenient to the beach. It is convenient to Safeway and gas stations and freeway. About 2 mile away so no freeway noise. The small coffee shop and restaurant near the hotel is limited but convenient. New Brighton Beach State Park is also close drive off the freeway.We were visiting family that was camping there.
It is located in a neighborhood setting.
The people staying here might be loud. The parties by the pool end around 10:30pm and some continue to the room. You can hear the noise.
We were in a room where you have the bedroom when you walk in and the kitchen and couch in the back. Kitchen with small stove and small refrig., sink,etc.. You can see on other people's photos.The vinyl couch was comfortable. I removed the three cushions to sleep on since the roll away bed was awful. Large dent in the mattress. You cannot sleep on the roll away. Well removing the cushions you notice that the couch needed much vacuuming. Nice to have extra pillows and blankets to use on the floor with the cushions.
The TV was a nice size. Balcony looked out on the pool with a table and two chairs. The breakfast as mentioned in previous reviews. I thought nice to have a variety of breads to choose from. Cold cereal, hard boiled egg, banana, orange slices, waffle maker, pastries. Basic starch fair. Orange juice and coffee and hot choc. and tea. There was no trays to bring the food to your room. I guess they discourage bringing food to the room. Pool with hot tub. Our family enjoyed the time at the pool area since the fog was in at the beach. Remember only one car per spot at the hotel. You need to park in the neighborhood to not get cited. By the end of the night spots are taken.

Room Tip: No elevator if that is a problem for you. If multiple cars only one car per room. Roll away bed unco...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank irishtea3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BartfieldGroup, Owner Representative at Rio Sands Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 18, 2012

Dear Irishtea3,

Thank you so much for your review! We are so pleased you picked the Rio Sands for your coastal getaway! Our hotel and the surrounding area is one of relaxation and the quiet neighborhood definitely lends to that. Though we only provide one parking space per room, the neighborhood makes it possible for guests to safely park on the street without worry. We’re happy you were able to utilize our central location; it is quite helpful to have Safeway and other great shopping and restaurants just a hop, skip and a jump away.

We do our very best to keep the atmosphere mellow and do not consider our property a party hotel in any way. We have the pool and barbeque area available for use throughout the day but we close up the pool at 9pm and the barbeque area promptly at 11pm so our guests can enjoy uninterrupted peace and quiet during the night.

We sincerely apologize if you found your sleeping arrangements in the room to be less than desirable. Our rollaway beds are a great option for people travelling with kids or those who are trying to maximize the space available. We understand that some families choose to stay in one room to cut down on costs while on vacation and we do our best to provide a variety of sleeping options.

Thank you again for taking the time to post such a thorough review! We look forward to your next visit with us.

Sincerely,
The Staff of the Rio Sands Hotel

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Reviewed August 11, 2012

attentive, corteous front desk, spacious rooms, breakfast included, small pool and pation on the back of the building. we were really please and enjoyed our stay thoroughly. we have 2 young children (3 yers and 6 months) and the small, fully furnished kitchen area inside the room was a great plus to manage their meal time and cook something for oursleves as well. of course, despite being a motel category, rooms are a bit pricy, but the overall package is definitely worth the bill. the beach is litterally 2 min walking distance from your hotel room. we will get back next time that we travel to California.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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Thank LondonGabriele
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BartfieldGroup, Owner Representative at Rio Sands Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 30, 2012

Dear LondonGabriele,

Thank you so much for your thoughtful review!

We are excited that you and your family had such a pleasant stay with us!

Hope you’re able to come back for a California getaway sometime soon! Give us a call if you need any vacation planning tips for the area, we’re happy to help.

Sincerely,
The Staff of the Rio Sands

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rio Sands Hotel

Address: 116 Aptos Beach Dr, Rio Del Mar Beach, Aptos, CA 95003-4503
Location: United States > California > Aptos
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Aptos
Price Range: $82 - $212 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Rio Sands Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rio Sands Hotel is by the beach. Just a 2 minute walk to 20 miles of walkable sea shore. We have rooms with fully stocked kitchenettes, a BBQ area, pool heated to 80 degrees year round. Enjoy our continental breakfast served daily. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rio Sands Hotel Aptos
Rio Sands Aptos

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