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“Wonderful location with great views across St francis Bay”

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The Sands at St Francis
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 14, 2013

This small guest house is located in a stunning position with sizable well presented bedrooms.The staff whilst friendly were not well trained and we had different cooks on the two nights that we stayed in the housewith varying results.However if like us you are on a touring holiday the Sands provided us with perfect relaxation between safari and long road journeys.Ther is little to commend in the immediate vacinity unless you have brought your golf clubs! There is a nature reserve at Cape St Francis which is of interest and for Whale-watching during the winter months.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank tjw_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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117 - 123 of 181 reviews

Reviewed March 4, 2013

This was the 4th stop on our trip from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth and the first that was a real disappointment.  I had my suspicions when a friendly young man welcomed us as we drove in mid afternoon. Apparently the manager had just left for the day. The car park was cramped and hard to manoeuvre around.  

The whole place was shabby, from the dirty carpets to the cheap patio chairs and the signs around reception. I saw one that told staff 'How to sell The Sands', first sell the hotel and then sell the room.  There were two lists of qualities which both, it transpired, overstated the reality. Wifi is charged at 30 rand but it's 'sometimes' hard to get reception in the rooms.

There is another review here dated 11 April 2012 that we now realise is a perfect description of our experience too. We were also told of the (continued) absence of the chef so that you cannot in practice get lunch or supper at the hotel. 

I can only imagine that the more positive reviewers here were unaware this is supposed to be a five star venue. The guest book was a bit of a giveaway as either the place has been very empty or else only a tiny minority leave comments. I think there were 5 from 2013.  

To be fair, the views are wonderful and together with the thatched roof perhaps these conspire to lure some guests into a good frame of mind.  Sadly though service levels at management level are barely 2star. Certainly not comparable in any way with the service we have received at other 5star stops on our journey.  The same is true of the restaurant area, the breakfast and the pool areas.  It is all so shabby.  How this place warrants inclusion alongside other 5 star hotels in the Africa Sands brochure is a mystery. Or are they all just as bad? Surely not.

The only 5 star part of this place was the first impression of our bathroom.  That was before we realised the wooden toilet seat had a crack/gap in it, there was only a wooden blind separating it from the bedroom, the toiletries had a very cheap feel about them and due to the septic tank, loo paper had to go in a bin by the toilet.

On the plus side
 Our bed was fine and the room was cleaned efficiently twice a day.  The AC worked and we got through the night.

We took plenty of photos to evidence our disappointment which stretched beyond the points mentioned above and those listed  in the April 2012 review mentioned earlier.  

It's hard to believe this place could ever have warranted a 5 star ranking. We decided not to stay the second night and moved on faster than intended.

Room Tip: Do not be fooled by the brochure's reference to private balconies. They are all on top of each o...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Mark_and_Judy_Lee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2013 via mobile

We stopped here for one night at the beginning of March. Due to hotel capacity we stayed up the road at Heath House.

We were greeted warmly at both the main Hotel and at HH, where Pam had made biscuits, which were immediately served with tea. The room we were shown to was massive, with an utterly sublime view across the Bay. Amazing.

The room was well appointed, clean and tastefully decorated. Pam was very kind and helpful and we were made to feel welcome.

Breakfast back down in the main hotel was good, fresh food, good coffee, friendly service. A tick in every box.

  • Stayed: March 2013
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Thank JohnRPearson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2013

The location on the ocean is simply wonderful and you will never find more accommodating staff. Opening the sliding glass doors to the sound of the ocean right in front of you is incredible or eating your gourmet breakfast and looking out and counting the waves is a great experience..
My only regret is that we only spent one night at the hotel. Had we known we certainly would have booked longer.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Shulamith M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2013

Although small, the Sands at St Francis Bay was everything we had hoped for. An excellent room, beautifully furnished and equipped, looking out over the sea. Delicious food, very helpful staff, and amazing value for money. St Francis Bay is a lit tle gem - quiet, very pretty, with a wonderful beach. Brilliant!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Edward D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2013

Just come back home from 2 nights stay at this fantastic hotel. Book yourelf a pool side room and look out over the Indian Ocean with uninterupted views, unbelievable and dream like. The restaurant/breakfast room gives panoramic ocean views from every table and the food is top notch. On top of all this it is hard to imagine a more friendly yet efficient staff and our room was not only spotless but also cleaned twice daily WOW

Room Tip: go for pool side every time
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank 583alan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2013

We were only able to book two nights at the Sands which was a great shame as we loved the place. From the excellent sea view from our bedroom through the special meals and the freindly and efficient staff , this small hotel was everything we could have asked for. The only thing that disappointed us , was that the menu for dinner was the same for our two nights, even though we chose a different alternative each night. A memorable part of our trip.

Room Tip: Book early ,particularly for weekends.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank David F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Sands at St Francis

Address: 8 Frank Road, Saint Francis Bay 6312, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Saint Francis Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 17 B&Bs / Inns in Saint Francis Bay
Price Range: $174 - $408 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Sands at St Francis 5*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A footstep away from the beach, a few minutes from the bustling village center and home to world class watersports and activities! This luxurious African beach house, located in the picturesque seaside village of St. Francis Bay, offers five spacious en-suite bedrooms, all with uninterrupted views of the majestic Indian Ocean and endless stretches of pristine coastline. All bedrooms are air-conditioned and offer 5 star luxury, opening onto private decks or balcony with stunning views of the beach and infinity pool. The honeymoon suite offers an extra outdoor shower and Jacuzzi hot tub on its deck, from where spectacular sunsets can be enjoyed. The glass-fronted Octagon Restaurant has a thatched roof, central fireplace and surrounding timber deck, providing a breathtaking 270 degree panoramic view of the bay. The Octagon serves breakfast, light lunches and a la carte dinners. St Francis Bay is situated close to the Eastern Cape's many malaria-free game reserves. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Sands Hotel Saint Francis Bay

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