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“Great Vacation!”
Review of Sandpiper Inn

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Sandpiper Inn
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Longboat Key
Reviewed May 8, 2006

My husband and I just returned from our four day vacation to RBR and I could not wait to write the review. We had left for RBR early in the morning...even though our check-in time wasn't until 4 pm and we only had a 2 1/2 drive. We had planned on going to Longboat Key and finding RBR and then killing time until check-in. On our way to LBK we received a call from Mary Lou (the manager) telling us that our room was ready, so we were welcome to come on the resort when we wanted to. That was a nice surprise.

Check-in was a little hard, due to the poor phone lines on the island. It took several tries with several different credit cards before one would go through. We noticed this several times later with other people while shopping at some of the different shops, so we felt better about what had happened to us at check-in. The managers are super nice. The "resort" was older, but clean. The gardens and landscaping were gorgeous. There was a tiny pool when you fist enter, but we never even thought about going up to it. We had one of the ocean front rooms and were thrilled with how close it was to the beach. We were literally steps from the sand and the ocean. The patio area was clean and had an umbrella table and plenty of patio furniture.

Our room was large enough...a little larger than I thought it would be after looking at the brochure actually. There was a couch, chair, coffee table, TV and a small dining set. There was a little kitchen with what looked like a brand new frig. The stove was one of the super tiny ones, but we were not planning on cooking any gourmet meals while there. They had all of the cooking and eating utensils we needed. We were worried when we realized we didn't have a wine opener, but there were two kinds in the kitchen drawer. The bathroom was clean, but the last reviewer was correct...there were no shampoos or soaps (besides two little bars). I had brought everything we would need (not knowing what this place would provide), so hadn't even really thought about the fact that there were none until I read the last person's review.

The beds were comfy and the pillows seemed brand new and were very full. I prefer my own squishy pillow, so wished that I had brought mine. I know better for next time. The sheets were older and didn't stay on the bed well, but they were soft. Some things about the room were not great...like the light that was being held into the kitchen ceiling by a coat hanger or the fact the ceiling fan in the bedroom was out of balance and made a noise constantly if turned up high, or the fact that there was only the wall unit AC and not central air.....BUT, this place was cheaper than just about any other hotel/condo I researched and IT WAS STEPS FROM THE BEACH.

The sand was white and felt like powdered sugar and the ocean water was that teal blue that you see in the Corona commercials and crystal clear. We were there for four days and almost didn't see anyone else for the first two days. We knew there were two other couples staying there, but only from the beach towels on their patios. We were the only two people on the beach for the most part for two days as well. We did see several more people on the beach on Saturday, but they still were not as close by as you would see at many other beaches. Sunday was back to "normal" and we had the beach mostly to ourselves. We weren't sure if this was just the time of the year, or if this is how it is there. We also noticed that we were the youngest people in LBK it seemed. Everyone else seemed to be 20-30 years older than us! This made for a "quieter" feel to the area. There weren't any loud teenagers on the beach or anywhere for that matter. We would go to St. Armand's circle for dinner and shopping every night (it was only about two miles away), but there were places near by where you could eat and not have to drive anywhere.

Overall, this was a GREAT place to stay. We got exactly what we wanted (and expected).... a cheaper place to stay that was right on the beach. It was super quiet and it was clean. I had gotten a brochure, read the reviews and looked at the website, so we were not expecting a new place. People were saying in their reviews that they had been going here since they were born, so we had an idea of what to expect. We didn't want to pay a lot, so we did not expect a lot (as far as room service or amenities were concerned). I didn't even think they would have internet access (which we did not need), but they did have.

We met one of the other people who was staying at the resort and he said that he and his wife have been coming to RBR from Germany for the month of May for the last 20 years. We thought that said a lot. I do think the last reviewer was very accurate, but I think too that you got what you paid for at RBR...we got a Corona commercial beach to ourselves for four days, but not a brand new condo room with room service daily. We will definitely be going back next year. We very happy with our stay.

  • Stayed: May 2006
    • Value
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5  Thank Lorie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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169 - 175 of 199 reviews

Reviewed May 2, 2006

We booked this location based on the largely positive reviews here as well as the property website. First the plusses: the property has a great location--beautiful uncrowded beach. The grounds were lovely-beautifully maintained and tropical in feel. Last but not least, the managers were very nice, friendly and accomodating; they even volunteered to us that we could stay longer than the check-out time if we wished. The disappointments, however, outweighed the plusses, and we will not be back. First, let's be clear that this is not a "resort", despite its name.My husband and I certainly expected more than we got at those prices. The unit was VERY basic-motel quality furniture, bedding and towels very tired and worn. But most surprising was what was missing. First, other than a single bar of soap, no toiletries--not even a single little bottle of shampoo. Even motels these days provide that. So we had to run to the drugstore to pick that up. And most surprisingly, no beach towels--at a beach resort! We were told where to buy them if we wanted them. Since we had flown to this location for a long weekend, we were hardly prepared to come packed with our own beach towels. And no room service either, not even a made-up bed. We were told we could exchange our towels for fresh ones every other day if we wanted, but that was it.
So just be aware of what you are getting--this isn't a resort or even a hotel as we've come to expect it.

Stayed: April 2006
6  Thank NFL0713
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
New Brunswick, NJ
110
Reviewed January 17, 2006

Like others, I've been going to this property for years. Once upon a time, the RBR was lovely spot for a little inexpensive get away. The apartments were surrounded by grounds that were more like a tropical garden than a lawn-- green, cool, private, and shady. Management had always been friendly and highly professional.

This summer, however, i was disappointed to find that much of the vegetation has been cut, new managers are a bit tacky, rude, and unpredictable, and that the overall level of maintenance has stripped the place to a ghost of its former self.

I do not recommend RBR to families or to those looking for a unique and low-key get away. I do not recommend RBR to those who have known and appreciated friendly and professional service on vacation. But I must give the place two stars, as I can still see that others might enjoy what RBR has to offer (low price and moderate cleanliness). And no matter who owns or manages this property, the beach is still beautiful.

Stayed: August 2005
10  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded March 15, 2006

My husband and I purchased the Riviera Beach Resort in Longboat Key, Florida in March of 2005, the grounds and property remains a tropical garden on a outstanding Gulf Front Beach. The Gardens and The Beach are the reasons why we are there!! We did cut back on a limited amount of vegetation due to concern for our guests, as tree limbs were hanging, a potential danger to folks walking by and vegetation that was diseased. In the last year we have painted the entire building, cleaned throughly and replaced old mattresses and refrigerators. Otherwise nothing has changed! We have been fortunate to move our very professional and friendly managers who have been in the hospitality business for over 25 years, from the east coast to the west coast of FLA. The Riveria Beach Resort is one of the best examples of "OLD Florida" where you can relax on the BEACH at a reasonable price. We hope you will join us soon.
Best Regards from the Beach

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Nashville, Tennessee
112
Reviewed September 22, 2005

I am completely heartbroken!! I have been going to the Riveria since the FIRST summer of MY LIFE and have never had any problems. Today I called to reserve a room for my husband and I and recieved shocking news. They will not rent to me because we left a stain on the slip cover!! This is insane!! The floor was swept, dishes washed, beds striped, everything we were supposed to do. I can't imagine pushing away a life long customer because of something this small. I would prefer to buy them a new slip cover than to be kicked out like this!! I hope that the actual owners (managers run the place) will see this and contact me, and in the mean time I will be trying to find them. This place was a family tradition to me and my children, as I am sitting here with tears running down my cheaks. This, to me, proves right anyone who has visited since the new managment has taken over and feels the "family atmosphere" has diminished.

  • Stayed: July 2005
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12  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Boston
112
Reviewed June 17, 2005

I had a great restful stay at the Riviera Beach Resort. As an emergency room employee, it was wonderful to relax in the beautiful garden area, feed the birds that stroll on the walkway, and the location on the beach was just what the doctor ordered to relieve my stress.
The managers Marylou and Richard were outstanding, very attentive to my needs and even stopped their hectic pace to have a bbq with me and other guests.
While I was there, the new owners were present and were making many upgrades to the property, my garden unit got a new mattress ( what a restful sleep I had) and a brand new refrigerator.
This was my first visit to Longboat Key and the Riviera but I certainly will be making the Riviera a frequent getaway from my stressful life.

  • Stayed: May 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
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12  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Cambridge/ON
14
Reviewed June 16, 2005

Seems I need to revise my comments from May 10'2005
We looked forward to spend another vacation at the Riviera Beach Resort but it was not the same anymore. New management was not as friendly as we were used to, no beach towels anymore, umbrellas might be removed soon.... The new owner (present for some days at that time) did not even introduced themselves, did not talked once to us. The place itself is still beautiful but where is the special flair gone ?

  • Stayed: May 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Florida
17
Reviewed June 6, 2005

For years, this has been a favorite place of ours to stay. Different owners/managers have come and gone but it has always been wonderful experience. This year, when we arrived, there were noticable changes in the grounds and the upkeep. Management was absent from premises for an entire day, over Memorial Day weekend. It was a disappointing week, getting worse by the day. In the end, we left a day early because it we were simply not getting what we had come to expect from Riviera Beach Resort.

We have contacted the new management in Vermont and stated our issues. Hopefully they will listen to their customers and make some changes, if they want repeat business.

  • Stayed: May 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  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 Sandpiper Inn

Address: 5451 Gulf of Mexico Dr, Longboat Key, FL 34228-1901
Location: United States > Florida > Longboat Key
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Longboat Key
Price Range: $250 - $323 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Sandpiper Inn 2*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Large Studio, 1 & 2 bedroom apartments all fully furnished with outside patios, all ground level, overlooking lush landscaping and/or our beach, fully equipped kitchens. Private beach furnished with loungers, tables, secluded and unspoiled with fantastic views. Restaurants within walking distance, shopping, theatre, arts, tennis courts, golf, biking all close by. Small dogs allowed. Previously known as Riviera Beach Resort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandpiper Hotel Longboat Key
Sandpiper Motel Longboat Key

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