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“Great for family time. Close to the beach.”
Review of Rio Sands Hotel

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Rio Sands Hotel
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Aptos
Certificate of Excellence
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Great for family time. Close to the beach.”
Reviewed January 20, 2014

The Rio Sands is a budget hotel that appears to have once been a motel, and has been updated. The hotel is located in a residential area of Aptos about two blocks from Rio Del Mar beach and Seacliff State Beach. Be advised that Aptos Creek is the border between Rio Del Mar to the south and Seacliff, and that the creek can change course seasonally. When we visited in January, 2014, the creek did not reach the ocean, and bisected Rio Del Mar, making beach access more difficult. A short 5-minute stroll over the creek bridge led us to Seacliff, and all the waves we wanted.
Our two-room suite was small but clean and suited well for a short or extended stay. Upon entry we were greeted with one front room with kids bunk bed and convertible love seat, as well as a wall-mounted flat screen TV. Off the front room near the entry was the shower-over-tub bathroom, with pedestal sink and ample towels.
A door divided the front and master sections of the suite, good for mommy and daddy privacy. This room was a bedroom with attached kitchenette, small bistro table and two chairs, and a king bed with side tables. Another wall-mounted flat screen was located facing the bed. The kitchenette featured a full-sized fridge, sink, microwave and oven/stovetop combo. A few dishes, kitchen knives and mugs were in the cupboard. Additional items were available if needed from the front desk.
A sliding glass door with privacy curtain led to the well-manicured common areas, as well as a clean and very popular hot tub and heated pool area, just past the pool gate. Guest rest and changing rooms were located near the pool area. Outside the pool were numerous lounge chair sitting areas and a large pit barbeque for guest and event use. One the pool deck, several tables with dated fiberglass umbrellas and well-used, but clean molded chairs. Ample lounge chairs on the pool deck. Pool towels available at the front desk upon request.
The night of our stay, the hotel was completely booked. Being an older property, we were able to hear the upstairs guests' coughing and muffled loud conversation, as well as creaking from the floor when they walked. Not unbearable, but noticeable.
In the morning, the included breakfast was more than expected. After the short stroll down the block to the banquet facility, we arrived at the breakfast service. Fruit, hard boiled eggs, pastries and make-your own waffles were available, along with fresh coffee, juice and tea. It was a typical continental-style, serve yourself morning, but the staff member I saw was attentive, and the area kept clean and stocked. We left feeling full and satisfied.
It should be noted that, although the hotel is very close to the beaches, there is not a lot going on in this section of town during the evening, if that's your thing. One small restaurant near the beach, Pixie's, was closed at sundown, and catered to the beach crowd. Same with the coffeehouse nearby. The tavern on the corner was closed down when we visited. The upscale looking Rio Cafe was open for business and bustling. The corner market was grimy and stocked random canned items, dusty single bottles of beer and not much else. I mention this because, if you plan to make use of the kitchenette, you will need to head up the hill and on to Soquel Drive to get any groceries. We opted to call Pizza My Heart on 41st Avenue in Capitola to deliver us some fresh pizza.
Overall, the cleanliness, on-property family-friendly amenities, courteous and friendly and proximity to the beaches made our stay enjoyable. We would stay at the Rio Sands again.

Room Tip: First floor rooms near the pool gate are convenient for families who want pool/spa time.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Zwerski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RioManager, Manager at Rio Sands Hotel, responded to this review, January 28, 2014
Hello Zwerski,

Thank you for taking the time to write your review. It seems your family had a good time during your stay with us.
I appreciate you noting the cleanliness of the rooms, our friendly staff and the proximity to the beach. It’s great to hear that you will be back.

We hope to see you soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (112)
Date | Rating
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English first
The Villages, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed January 18, 2014

We looked forward to our stay since we had stayed there the year before. Checked in only to find that the banquet space where a lovely relaxing breakfast was served was under renovation. No one informed us of this inconvenience. We were put in a "Queen room" only 1 bed, much more a double than a queen which adjoined another room. Paper thin walls. It was like staying in a 1950's Motel 6. I complained and found out that we were given the only room with one queen bed in the entire hotel……it was not full. The price did not reflect our less than adequate room.
They changed our room, to one whose heat did not work. The front desk nite person had to come in every two hours to jump two terminals in the ancient space heater. On Sunday morning the maintenance man informed us that the heater was shot. Couldn't fix it until Monday. I requested that our room charge be reduced or erased and the front desk personnel said they had no authority. We checked out and were told Rachel (the manager) would call on Monday. Have never heard a word from the hotel and they charged us the full rate.
I think they may be going belly up. If you stay there I think you will be sorely disappointed.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Walker965
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RioManager, Manager at Rio Sands Hotel, responded to this review, January 28, 2014
Dear Walker 965,
I want to apologize. The inconveniences you tolerated during your stay.
As promise per our telephone conversation, a full credit has been refunded to your credit card for your entire stay.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level 5 Contributor
88 reviews
75 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2014

Well I stayed here recently for 1 night and we did not sleep well at all. I am surprised I did not see a mention of noisy heaters as maybe this is a room specific phenomenon? Our heater worked OK but then after it stopped (i.e. desired temp was reached), it made all kinds of noises like a really loud drip sound. It woke me up on at least 3 occasions. I tried to turn the heat down but we did not have much in the way of comforters/blankets which is odd for winter. Usually hotels put super thick comforters on the bed and you have to crank the AC to not sweat, I could have actually used one of these for a change.

I stepped on the placemat in the tub and my foot slipped almost causing a fall which is ironic as that is what it is there to prevent. I quit using and noticed the tub was more slippery than average.

I didn't see the banquet room for breakfast but did see the buffet and took a pass and went to Starbucks.

Positives: Great location by the beach, front desk personnel were friendly on check-in.

Cons: Obvious cosmetic upgrade but room temp controls should be digital and my heater was suspect.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank ATLAS313
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RioManager, General Manager at Rio Sands Hotel, responded to this review, January 3, 2014
Hello ATLAS313,
Your review was very informative. As you are aware we had our Maintenance Tech, check the heater in your room during your stay. He informed you that when the metal to the heater expands; it will make noise. However, I do apologize for the inconvenience of the noise from the heater.Also, all rooms have extra pillows and blankets in the closets. If their ever is an occasion where a guest should require more blankets then what is provided in the room; we are staffed at the Front Desk 24/7. We would be more than glad to bring them up to you.
Thank you for noting that the Front Desk Staff was friendly.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Loveland, Colorado
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed November 19, 2013 via mobile

The price of this hotel is amazing, particularly given its proximity to the beach!! It's an older building, but the building and grounds are well cared for, and rooms are impeccably clean. Breakfast was generous, served in a nice banquet room. I spoke with two business travelers who've been staying there regularly for years. I'll definitely be back!

I found this property through Hotels.com, and although they messed up numerous aspects of the reservation (and I will never use them again), the staff at Rio Sands were incredibly accommodating. Dan and Cole at the front desk helped me repeatedly throughout my stay, turning a difficult experience into a pleasant one. Thanks!

Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
Helpful?
Thank StillPnina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RioManager, Manager at Rio Sands Hotel, responded to this review, December 6, 2013
Dear StillPnina,

Dan and Cole are the best! We have a wonderful Guest Service crew. Thank you for your kind words regarding the fellows accommodating your needs.

We pride ourselves in having an incredible Maintenance, Housekeeping and Guest Service staff.
I sincerely appreciate you taking note of the care our team takes in the property.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level 6 Contributor
109 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed November 17, 2013

I stayed at the Rio Sands for two months for work. It really is a charming places place literally about 100 feet away from the beach. It is very quiet. So if you are looking for a fun beach atmosphere go to Capitola or Santa Cruz. This is a quiet beach with a lovely restaurant, bar and deli near by. Safeway is a short drive away.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank KnickerbockerJones
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RioManager, Manager at Rio Sands Hotel, responded to this review, December 6, 2013
Hi There Knickerbocker Jones,

It seems you had a nice extended stay. The hotel does have that beach charm that seems to bring our repeat guest back time and time again. We hope you'll be back soon.

Thank you for taking the time to review our hotel.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aptos, California
1 review
Reviewed October 17, 2013

I recently stayed here a month while working out of state. The hotel is very clean and quiet. I cannot say enough good things about the staff.......they were wonderful. The grounds are beautiful and very well kept. The staff was especially helpful with questions about the area. I recommend this to everyone I know wanting a place to stay close to the b I would not hesitate a return trip.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rebecca F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RioManager, Manager at Rio Sands Hotel, responded to this review, December 6, 2013
Hello Rebecca F.

Thank you for noting that our Guest Service Staff is friendly & efficient. I appreciate your mentioning the beautiful grounds and the cleanliness of the room. We'd be lost without our Maintenance and housekeeping staff, they do a wonderful job.

We hope to see you soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mendocino, California
Level 5 Contributor
85 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed October 9, 2013

I didn't actually stay here but my daughter works there and we were able to use the pool and SHE has stayed.,
it is a great motel for a family. there were lots of kids for my granddaughter to play with. people barbeque at night and are friendly and the pool and hottub are wonderful. this motel has kitchens too in some rooms and is only 2 blocks from rio del mar beach.
I highly recommend to families with kids or people who don't have kids but love them.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank sabine17093
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RioManager, Manager at Rio Sands Hotel, responded to this review, December 6, 2013
Hi Sabine 17093,
The pool and barbeque areas have always been a great place where children and adults meet and make lifetime friends.
Families really appreciate our kitchenette suites. They enjoy having the comforts of home and find that having the ability to cook meals in their room makes for a more economical vacation.
Thank you for recommending our hotel. Come back soon so you can enjoy more "fun in the sun"!
Report response as inappropriate
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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