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.
- 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