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“Absolutely wonderful!!”

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Sanctuary Beach Resort
Ranked #2 of 9 Hotels in Marina
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
A TripAdvisor Member
Long Beach, CA
Reviewed June 27, 2004

After my boyfriend chose the Marina Dunes Resort for our first vacation together, I looked it up on the internet and found a very wide range of opinions. I was a bit concerned that it had recieved some horrible reviews. After staying there, I'm wondering if the unsatisfied guests stayed at the same resort as I did! It was so amazing. The rooms are very unique compared to other hotel rooms, complete with a fireplace and dual pedastal sinks (And we got the cheapest room they offer!) Some people complained about the fact that you can't turn the fireplace on without turning the heater on (because the fireplace IS the heater) but we just opened up our sliding glass door and the ocean breeze compensated for the heat. Our room was a "dunes view" but you could still see (and hear!) the ocean. There were lots of windows with beautiful plantation shutters to let in the ocean air. The bed had about 6 pillows and a down comforter--it was so comfortable that I didn't want to get up in the morning! The staff was extremely friendly and professional. My only complaint is that there weren't bedside tables, but that wasn't a huge deal. The location was very convenient--it took about 10 minutes to get to Cannery Row and Fisherman's Wharf. I highly recommend staying at the Marina Dunes Resort and plan on returning there as soon as possible!

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903 - 909 of 968 reviews

Reviewed May 3, 2004

Staying at Marina Dunes was a wonderful experience. I only wish we had been able to stay longer. The view of the ocean is beautiful. I thought the staff was really friendly and accommodating. The rooms were the best decorated that I saw during our whole trip (we stayed at 5 different hotels). Fireplace was really nice, bathroom was spacious, wet bar was a plus. There were just a little extra things that really made the stay special (fireplace, robes, cd player in room). Driving the golf cart around the resort was a lot of fun- we didn't have any problems with our golf cart getting taken. The restaurant, AJ Spurs, was expensive but had good food. Overall, the atmosphere was relaxing and tranquil. I'd definitely come back to Marina Dunes Resort again.

2  Thank JackieMarie37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 17, 2004

This was our first time staying at this property. I was cautious as per reviews I had read on this site, but wanted a nice room with a view, as we had a 3wk old infant, and would be in the room a lot! I have stayed at many, many places on the Monterey coast, and believe that I have a good feel of the properties in the area.

So here is my opinion: THE GOOD: Our jr suite was very comfortable and nicely decorated. I was actually very impressed with the room. The lighting was very nice, liked the dimmer switches. Of course the view was spectacular. An outstanding attribute was that the bed was VERY comfortable.. a rarity, even among "expensive" properties. We did not have a room above us, so it was quiet. The only suggestion I would have for the room is to put some sort of nightstand next to the bed for wine glasses (we had to carefully set them on the floor).

THE NOT SO GOOD: The staff needs a lesson in hospitality. I booked the rooms for a Monday/Tuesday nite, the week before. I was told they had availability, and I would be getting a "deal" at $249 a nite since I had a AAA card (interestingly, they never asked for my AAA card). The day before leaving, I saw that they offered a midweek special M-th, for $249/nite (same rate), 2nite min (we were there for 2 nites), including 2- 60min. massages. When we arrived, I asked about the special- if we could get the massages. We were bluntly told NO. Another reservation person actually gave our reservation person a surprised look (I take it, at her rudeness in her reply). I believe in hospitality, especially when paying good money for a room. I was taken aback by this. At most I expected to be comp'ed the massages, at least I expected a "gentler" rejection! The other complaint I had was what I consider very penny pinching, petty behaviour. They give you golf carts to get around, which is cool. We were hurriedly packed into our cart with our infant and taken to our room. No mention of "policies". Admittedly our bad judgement, my husband left the key in the cart overnite (all keys are the same, btw). The next morning the key was gone. The front desk issued us a new key and said we would have to pay a $7 replacement key fee if we could not find our original key. No problem, this is typical.
But then a maintenance person told my husband that security goes around at nite looking for keys left in carts, takes them, then calls them "missing" (although they are turned in), and charges the customer. I guess this is not a huge deal, but it was the second thing I found to be petty, especially in today's economy when consumers should be at least minimally appreciated for their business.

The last annoyance was that on day two, upon returning from Carmel Valley, our cart was missing (we had the key in our possession at that point :-) We had to wait for 20 minutes for them to give us another cart... it was windy and cold, which fortunately seemed to bother us more than our bundled up three week old infant! We were told that the golf carts get taken here and there. Go figure. Hopefully our previously-charged $7 key replacement fee will go toward preventing this atrocity in the future.. LOL!!!

Anyway, the property is great. They have a bit to learn on hospitality and operations, but overall, we had a good time.

One suggestion: Pajaro Dunes is a privately owned community of condos and homes north of Marina at Sunset Beach. For about the same price as Marina Dunes, you can have a furnished condo with one or two bedrooms.
It is about 20mi north of Marina. It is also on the sand with great ocean views/ocean sounds. I have stayed there a few times, and would probably choose Pajaro Dunes over Marina Dunes, unless proximity to Monterey/Carmel is a big issue.


  • Stayed: March 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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6  Thank montereychic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2004

My husband and I stayed in a deluxe suite. The room was so romantic, the view was unforgettable. After reading everyone's opinions on this property we thought we would see for ourselves. I am so glad we did!
The property is in an ideal location because its located in this serene sanctuary while just a short drive to Moneray and Carmel area. The suggestions for places to eat in the area where great too. The sandwich shop up the road is worth the short drive. The staff were always friendly and helpful. We needed more towels and they were there in minutes, our golf cart ran out of juice, they were there in an instant to bring another. The room was extremely clean and comfortable. As far as beds are concerned, this was one of the most comfortable beds we’ve ever slept in other than our own. After reading some the the reviews I feel this beautiful place was short changed. We stayed for a total of 5 nights and believe me I wish I could have stayed longer. Please don’t let the negative comments sway you from this special place. I have no complaints about this hidden sanctuary. We loved it!

Thank sillyme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
San Jose, CA
Reviewed April 11, 2004

I was hestiant at first to rent a room at Marina due to the mixed reviews, but I was glad we decided to book reservations anyways. This place was a well a deserved break from our hectic schedule. Rooms were nice and comfortable. We had booked a regular dunes room, but ended up with a junior dunes suite. It had the most comfy bed and the 2 tv's were a plus. We also managed to get a great view of the ocean. Golf carts were fun to drive around the area. Hotel spa-massage were amazing! We had the best sleep while on the trip..was able to listen to the ocean. We enjoyed our stay so much that we decided to extend our reservation another day. Staff were very friendly. Only downfall is the fireplace, that kept going on and off and made a loud clicking noise.
Overall, it was a nice trip and looking forward to going back one day.I would recommend that you get a jr suite and try to get a room that does not have room upstairs. We were fortunate to get a one level cottage area.

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A TripAdvisor Member
Chicago, IL
Reviewed April 9, 2004

I had mixed emotions while arriving at the Marina Dunes Resort due to reading the recent reviews posted on Trip Advisor AFTER already booking my trip based on all other ratings. I definitely wish now that I had read the reviews prior to making my reservation. This place is not a 4-star hotel, in fact the only thing about it that deserves a 4-star rating is the spectacular view of the ocean ~ which is absolutely beautiful. Other than that, don't waste your time or money. The rooms are ok - but certainly not deserving of a 4-star rating. The carpet was stained, the refrigerator made a dripping noise all night, the fireplace was too loud, the bed was totally uncomfortable and the walls are very thin, so you hear everything your neighbors are doing. The staff was friendly and attentive, yet they cannot do anything about the construction of the facility. Given the location, we would definitely return if (and when) they revamp the entire resort, otherwise we will not be going back.

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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed March 18, 2004

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Additional Information about Sanctuary Beach Resort

Address: 3295 Dunes Drive, Marina, CA 93933-2002
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Marina
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 9 Hotels in Marina
Price Range: $230 - $1,131 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Sanctuary Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 60
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Sanctuary Beach Hotel Marina
Sanctuary Beach Marina

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