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“Superb hotel, some staff let the side down.”
Review of Sands Hotel

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Sands Hotel
Ranked #1 of 12 Hotels in Margate
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Superb hotel, some staff let the side down.”
Reviewed October 30, 2013

I booked my partner in I at this hotel last weekend whilst visiting for a friends birthday. It is in an excellent location and has superb views of the beach and coast.

Upon booking the room, I received an email asking if i'd like to book for dinner which I thought was a lovely touch. I'd also forgotten to pre-arrange parking (FYI if you're driving then don't forget!) so I fired a quick email off to the hotel before I left London. By the time I was there it was all arranged.

We were greeted by Grace at reception who was very friendly and welcoming, she even showed us into the room and gave us a quick tour. I spend a lot of time in hotels on business and this was a very welcomed extra touch.

The bar and restaurant down in the Lobby had a good selection of wines, a bottle of which we took to our room and was perfectly chilled. We didn't end up eating in the hotel, but they did book us a table at Georgio's just up the street and the food/service there was also outstanding.

The next morning we came down for breakfast which was included in our room charge. As we walked into the restaurant we were simply asked "are you ok there?" which I found strange, I would have expected a "good morning, how are you?" or something to that effect. We were instructed to sit anywhere that was set up for breakfast. Not all tables were and one vacant one by the window which would have been perfect had not yet been cleaned from it's previous occupants.
Our order was taken and fresh coffee brought to us and we had some pastries from an excellent continental selection. We had the Full English which was delicious and cooked to perfection.

I have to say in a stark contrast to the night before I did not find any of the staff engaging or chatty. There were some delays on requests, such as more milk for the coffee or glasses to go with our water (that took about 15 minutes). I thought it was such a shame for such a lovely hotel for the staff not take a genuine interest in us like the lovely Grace had the night before. I often work as a mystery shopper as well as being a senior manager with an award winning airline and I found the service in the morning to be lacking in any warmth or sincerity. Don't get me wrong they were polite and respectful but just missing the 'welcoming factor'.

I should mention the attention to detail in the rooms and the hallways not to mention the lobby is absolutely stunning; a lot of thought and planning has gone into this hotel and you really do feel like you're getting what you pay for. The mini bar contents was a little bit slapdash with a couple of chocolate bars etc but the tea and coffee making facilities in the room were again superb.

My tip to the hotel; keep doing what you're doing, but get your staff who were working on Sunday 27th October to smile a bit more and let some of their personality shine. If they can't, then they are letting your wonderful hotel down.

Room Tip: We had a town facing room (slightly cheaper) which was perfect, but if you want a sea view I'd r...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
26 Thank dfa73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (272)
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English first
Berkhamsted, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed October 23, 2013

I've had three stays recently on business and each of them were wonderful. The rooms are superbly furnished. The 2nd floor internet access is not so great and if you're running a bath on the 3rd floor be prepared to wait a good 15 minutes. These are little quibbles though.
The treats in the mini bar are lovely, the food in the restaurant is terrific, the sea front views are magical and the full english is grand, though some granola and muesli would be of benefit at the buffet.
BUT......what makes it a really special place is the staff. Everyone is cheerful, courteous and willing. From the late night barman, [echoes of Sinatra's 'One More For The Road'] to the waitresses and reception staff and the brilliant chambermaids who fixed my tv, towels and tea tray with effortless ease and a smile. I can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank A S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed October 23, 2013

Still working the kinks out of this one -- everything's new and clean -- but ...

Don't bother trying to enter the hotel from the official address on Marine Drive. The door is locked and can't be accessed without your room key. To check in, you must go all the way around to the actual "front" door. There is no parking bay, loading area or anything of the sort here, as there is where you originally drove up, but you may get lucky and find a pay-and-display spot. If you do want parking at 12 quid a night, the hotel has (only) 8 spaces in a local lot, but at these room tariffs, you think they'd be included in the price.

Rooms are very nice and clean, although we marveled at why they'd want a flokati rug in the room. Lighting in the bathroom is poorly done. Can't see a thing.

Hotel staff are new, raw and need training, although they are all sweet and helpful.

Someone advised badly on the music in the bar/dining room area - one of the worst collections of tunes ever assembled, played on a tin-ear sound system. If you complain about it being annoying, or not being able to hear conversation, staff switch it to "old people's music," which is also horrid, rather than turn it off.

Staff do tend to congregate in clumps of conversation, away from their duty stations, and one has to wait a good bit sometime for attention.

And, since we were at breakfast at 0730, we were told we could not check out until 0800, because the clerk was not in yet. Also, the waitress had to ring up the cook to get him down to cook breakfast.

Nice attempt a a nice hotel for a wonderful place to visit, but needs some work and advice from someone a bit more seasoned.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
17 Thank Michael M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
enguarde
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed October 21, 2013

My wife and I stayed here for one evening and had a very enjoyable but brief stay. The room was small but very well appointed, with a great view over the bay, We also had a fabulous evening meal (certainly by our standards anyway) and breakfast.

My caveat is that you need to be careful when booking. The online form is not secure, so do not use it until it is (https://). I rang and booked what I was told was a room, evening meal and breakfast but at the meal we were told that the dinner was not included. However after politely reminding them of what I booked, we were then told that we would not be charged for the meal.

When I checked out an additional charge was added to the bill. It was not that significant so I paid it because we enjoyed our brief break and did not want to end on a sour note. However I was not impressed, and do think that the remarks made by others about staff training are valid.

I do wish the hotel and Margate well because it has so much potential. If you are looking for somewhere to stay this is certainly very good but check precisely the nature of the offer and don't use the online booking until they make it secure.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
14 Thank enguarde
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 5 Contributor
74 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed October 19, 2013 via mobile

A mixed review depending on your brief: If you *had* to stay in Margate, this hotel is clearly the best place to stay/dine/drink in.

If you are simply looking for a weekend coastal break, this is adequate as an experience but poor value for money.

The rooms are small, similar to a B&B and decorated in a glitzy WAG style. Bathrooms are nicely finished. Staff are generally average, kindly and well meaning but poorly trained. Small touches give this away as being a pretty amateur set up for a hotel that charges £150 upwards on a Saturday night.

  • Stayed October 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank VB1306
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed October 9, 2013

Stayed here with my hubby for (sadly) just one night in early October. We opted for a "superior sea view" room. The room wasn't very large - but it was immaculate, stylish and very comfortable. Only small niggle was that there was no source for music i.e. docking station or other - something that I expect from a five star boutique hotel these days. There were built in ceiling speakers - but we couldn't figure out what they were for (not the t.v.)... but just a minor niggle.

We spent the afternoon at the bar on the end of the harbour (Lighthouse Bar?) and we heard the most fab Country duo called Starlane - honestly these guys were amazing. You have to try to catch them soon. We couldn't believe we were sitting outside, in the gorgeous sunshine, listening to the best music we've heard in ages. What more could we want?

As it happens, the only answer was champagne! Well it so reasonably priced - it was rude not to! So we made full use of the private balcony and very comfortable seating. The sunset was simply to die for.

We headed down to dinner and was a little sad to see the restaurant was empty (it was only 7.30pm), we really hope that the local community support this business - they are leading the way for a new market coming to Margate.

Our dinner was fab - no complaints at all about the food. The service was ok, but really lacks some maturity. The girls were lovely, but perhaps a little unprofessional (not their fault - they need some supervision) - for example the choice of background music was really not appropriate for the setting - seemed to be more for the waiting staff than the customers. Again just a small gripe - am sure it improves when they are busier.

Breakfast was brilliant - everything was top notch.

Margate deserves sucess - we will certainly be back and will definitely be booking this hotel.

So if liek me you were hesitating to book a stay in Margate...... just do it and make sure you stay at this hotel - you'll be pleasantly surprised!

Room Tip: Go for the sea view - superioir if you can stretch to it - the balcony is a great addition.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank JulieG794
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed October 9, 2013

This new hotel in margate is amazing really puts some class back into the area. Decor is lovely rooms are amazing pure luxery will definatly be going back. The resturant looks over margate sea beautiful food very good, staff very friendly and helpful. Do not be put off because it's Margate as this are is trying to get back on the map. Round the corner is a superb Indian called Ambretta worth a try old town as well is becoming very euorpeaon!! All of it not far from Turners art gallery really refreshing to see how they want their town back on the map.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Sandra T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sands Hotel

Property: Sands Hotel
Address: 16 Marine Drive, Margate CT9 1DH, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Kent > Isle of Thanet > Margate
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Margate
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sands Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 20
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Sands Hotel Margate, Kent

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