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“Good things, but bad things, too”

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Sanctuary Beach Resort
Ranked #2 of 9 Hotels in Marina
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Level Contributor
14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
“Good things, but bad things, too”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 18, 2006

Marina Dunes is like the little brother who thinks he's just as good as the older brother, but he really isn't. It wants to be a fancy resort, but it doesn't make it.

The room was nice to the eye. My wife really liked the way it was designed. But the t.v. was on the other side of the room and it was small. I couldn't read anything that came on the screen. And the bathroom might have had two sinks, but there was no counter space. And when I woke up on our last morning I had ants all over me. That was disgusting and gross.

They also don't have you park at your room. They give you a golf cart to drive around. This might sound quaint and fun, but it's just a pain and an inconvenience, and if the weather is bad, it's even more inconvenient. And when we checked in they didn't have a cart ready, but they said they would drop one off soon when they were charged. Well, 24 hours later we still didn't have one. When I walked all the way to the front desk to ask about it they said that we needed to come get one if we wanted one. That was a horrible answer and not the way to deal with someone.

Also, when we checked out and I complained about the ants all I got was "sorry about that, now what did you take out of the mini bar?" There was no effort to compensate me for something that I thought was rather disgusting. Even a free bag of pretzels and a soda would have made me happy, but they didn't even bother to try. I thought that was really weak. I also think the $15/day dunes restoration fee they charge is some sort of scam. I want to know what it is they are restoring and why I have to pay for it.

The restaurant on site was great. They feed you until you're about to puke. A definite plus for the property to have that restaurant. And the close proximity to the beach is nice, although screen doors would be great on the patio. The bed was very comfortable and we liked the fireplace. It gave it a romantic flair.

I just think they need to train the employees a little better and to work out some of the kinks and it could be much nicer.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank George W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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924 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 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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A TripAdvisor Member
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 18, 2006

My husband and myself were looking forward to this weekend getaway for several months. We have stayed at several bed and breakfasts throughout northern California, and have had terrific relaxing times. We both work long hours and the thought of a beach bungalow at Marina Dunes was wonderful!
Well, when we arrived we checked in, which is at(4pm) and we were brought to our Deluxe Ocean View Room by golfcart. The lock was broke on the door and thank goodness when we pressed hard enough from the inside it closed and we could lock it. The decor was ok, the patio had not been cleaned and the chairs on the patio were dirty, the sliding doors were filled with water marks and stains, I dont think they had washed them since winter begun. The patio was full of sand too. The entire carpet on the side of the King Bed was wet and something was sticking out from under the bed...we looked further, there was old food, dirty tissues, and someones hat.... what's next??????
The basket that they mentioned full of snacks in your room was for sale only, so if you ate anything, it was charged to your bill. We turned on the electric fireplace, and it would stay on for a couple of minutes and go off. Someone came to check, but still it would not work properly.
We had wanted to go for our sunset walk, but ended up trying to get moved to another room.
I called the front desk and was quickly told they were busy with other guests, they would move us in a FEW minutes......After 35 minutes of waiting and missing our evening walk and dinner reservation, I called again and was told others needed to be checked in. I told them we were checking OUT!!!
We located another hotel close by that gave us a discount because of our terrible experience and gave us coupons for a wonderful dinner by the beach at a great resturant. (I have sent a review for them, because of their kindness, we enjoyed Monterey. They SAVED our weekend!)
THINK TWICE before going to Marina Dunes.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 14, 2006

We found Marina Dunes for $90/night on [--------]and booked promptly. It was a room that wasn't an ocean view. When we got there, the front lobby people were a little snotty, but I got over it. The golf cart thing was kind of fun, except when it's freezing cold at 10:30 at night, but it kept the area quieter without everyone's SUVs wheeling through the resort. The bellhop was polite, and showed us everything in the room. I was really taken away- it was a very unique, not Marriott-style room. There was no couch and coffee table set up, just simple room with a wet bar, table, and two chairs. And surprise, our deck had an ocean view!!! The bathroom was very spacious with two separate pedastal sinks on opposing sides of the shower/tub (nice big tub), and the toilet had a private door to close. The fireplace didn't really heat the room up well, and it was the only thermostat in the room. When people complain that it was cold or the ocean isn't clear, blue, and the beach had kelp, it's obvious they don't know what real oceans are like. When you live near an ocean, you expect cooler temps and FOG. It comes with the territory! You need to go closer to the equator for your Carrribean-esque weather and clear blue waters. The ocean and the life in it is what makes Marina, Carmel, and Monterey what it is!

Stayed November 2005
Helpful?
4 Thank Angela G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Modesto, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2006

I decided prior to visiting this hotel not to read others' review because I felt it might change my mind about staying at this hotel. I absolutely loved my experience at The Marina Dunes. From the moment I walked into the lobby I knew I was in for a wonderful time. My visit started with driving a golf cart to my room which was located right next to the walking path down to the ocean. My room was an ocean view room so I immediately opened up the white shutter doors and took in the beautiful sunshine and blue waters of the beautiful ocean in front of me. The floors were made up of gorgeous brown tiles and I instantly felt like I was staying in a comfy bed and breakfast. I spent quite a bit of time zooming around the spacious hotel parking lot in the golf cart with my boyfriend and walking along the beach with my hotel room only steps away. All in all this was the most romantic getaway I have been on. The outside world just melted away and what was left was my boyfriend and I and the fantastic sound of the waves crashing outside of our hotel room. I would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone who is ready for an escape from the hectic everyday and wants a chance to experience true bliss.

  • Stayed August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank TCool0820
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 1, 2006

I guess you can spend a lot more to stay in the Monterey area, but for $150, this left something to be desired.

The good. Great potential; on the beach, nice bungalows, views, and fireplace.

The bad; too remote. You are not near any services. The rooms are not well stocked. Lousy mini bar. Made worse because you cannot step out into your car. Instead, you have to drive a rickety golf cart to get to your room. Particularly annoying in the morning when I learned there was not even a coffee service available. The rooms included a single serving of utterly inedible freeze dried coffee (reminded my of the Motel 6's I used to stay in). Had to first drive the golf cart out to my car, then drive off into Marina just to find a Starbucks! Took 45mins to return with coffee for my wife. Also, the staff was either overwhelmed or just slow. Took a long time to get anything from them. Lastly, can't believe a relatively high end resort would not have wireless internet access. In fact, they advertised their modem connections! Welcome to 1992!

This might be a case of accountants running a business they don't understand. The expensive part is taken care of. Instead, they cut corners to save a few bucks and really dimish what could be a great spot.

Stayed January 2006
Helpful?
6 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, CA
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 3, 2005

If you like children screaming and running about, well than amigo you've come to the right place. The walls are paper thin, housekeeping woke us up at 9am by cleaning next door (front desk mustered a half --- apology), they charge you 10$ to bring a crappy breakfast to your room, and we didn't get to enjoy in the fun of a golf cart, just because we didn't said the front desk.

Monterey/Carmel have no shortage of quality boutique inns, please, go elsewhere. The website is completely misleading, it doesn't look like that (although the beach is nice). The bathrooms are plain akward, but the rooms are decent. Overall, not worth the price in an area filled with great hotels.

Note: we stayed at a sisterinn of this hotel in S. San Francisco and it was much better, that's why we stayed here no questions asked. Well, should have done our homework.

Helpful?
5 Thank bennyloyno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 3, 2005

My girlfriend and I were supposed to leave for our California trip on Wednesday evening. All of our flights were cancelled due to thunderstorms. We did not leave till Thursday morning from an airport 50 miles away. Flew into SF Int'l, rented my convertible and headed to the Marina Dunes. The ride down route 1 from San Francisco was amazing. By the time we got to the Marina Dunes Resort it was mid afternoon PST, mid evening EST and we had been up for 15 hours after sleeping for 4. The lobby was small, but uncrowded, and the staff was very helpful. We followed our bellman in our golf cart, named Calamari, to our Oceanfront Deluxe Room. Upon entering the room was small, but clean and we enjoyed the fireplace. The view is what made it special, it was cloudy but as soon as you opened the sliders you could smell the ocean air and hear the crashing waves. We dropped our bags, hit the bathroom and headed to the beach. Neither of us had ever seen the Pacific and it was a thrill just to put our feet in a different ocean. After this we spent an enjoyable afternoon by the pool and hot tub. We went to dinner at AJ Spurs, the food was good and the drinks were strong, just what we needed. Then drove our way back to our room, showered, put on our comfortable robes, cracked a bottle of wine and sat on our deck in the dark listening to the ocean. We only stayed one night before moving on, but it was a perfect way to start our vacation. We got a good deal staying on a Thursday, only $160... Make sure you take the drive and go to Monterray, I reccomend Breakfast at the Culinary institute and 17 mile drive...

  • Stayed June 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sanctuary Beach Resort

Property: Sanctuary Beach Resort
Address: 3295 Dunes Drive, Marina, CA 93933-2002
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Marina
Amenities:
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 (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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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