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“Should have been much better”
Review of Sands Hotel

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Sands Hotel
Ranked #1 of 12 Hotels in Margate
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 29, 2014

This hotel could very easily have got five stars - the hotel rooms are furnished to a very high standard, there is a great bar and the food is good quality. But unfortunately for us, it was let down by certain aspects of the service.

Having not visited Margate before, we arrived about 5pm on a Saturday night and entered from the seafront (Marine Drive). There was a small unmanned reception desk in the hallway, no bell and no indication where to go. I tried down the staircase but came across the kitchen; I was told to head up to the next level instead (improved signage would have been useful).

We found the main reception up on the next level. The receptionist asked if we'd reserved a parking space although I explained we'd seen nothing on the website saying we needed to do that. She told me the last visitor permit had just gone, so gave us verbal directions to the Morrison's car park where she said we could park overnight. There was no map to show us the way. We then drove to the car park, only to find parking was limited to 12 hours so was no use unless we wanted to leave 5am the next morning!

By this time it was dark and there was heavy rain, thunder and lighting. Using our iPhones, we made our way to another car park but the same restrictions applied. We then phoned the hotel and were finally directed to a third car park at Mill Lane where we could park overnight, albeit the groups of youths hanging around in the stairwell didn't make it a pleasant experience. The whole thing wasted about an hour and left us feeling quite stressed so we returned to the bar for a much needed drink.

Later that evening, we returned to the room and tried to switch on the TV, but there was no remote. I couldn't get through to reception so went back down to ask. Staff apologised but said they had no spares available so we were stuck with Sky News all night! I decided to make a coffee in the room and was pleased to see fresh ground coffee provided (no instant) - but there was no cafetiere to make it in. Staff apologised again and brought one up to us.

Next morning, breakfast was very busy and hotel almost full, but only two staff serving - doing there very best to cope. We were directed to a table although it was about 5-10 minutes before a menu or offer of drink arrived. A bit after 10am, we heard staff on the phone checking if the kitchen could be closed. We had to call over to say they hadn't even taken our order yet! When the breakfast did eventually arrive, it was very good.

Overall, what should have been a relaxing one night break turned into a slightly stressful night away. This has the makings of a very good hotel and should be a great asset for Margate. Whilst a lot has been invested in the building, the management now need to improve the customer experience and also provide enough staff on duty. All staff were very polite so no complaints there. Hopefully these issues will soon get resolved.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank RichardT187
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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671 - 677 of 730 reviews

Reviewed January 27, 2014

We booked for two nights for my husband's birthday and it was absolutely fab-u-lous in every way. The service, the rooms, the food, everything was first class. We had originally planned to go to the Cotswolds but I am soooo pleased we changed our minds. We will definitely be back as soon as possible. Loved the plug sockets in the bedrooms by the way!!!!!

Room Tip: We had a town view room and to be quite honest, apart from not being able to see the sea, it was del...
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank mari w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2014

Arrived for a surprise night away,as already mentioned Margate isn't most people's top choice.
This is an oasis, with professional friendly staff.
Our room was nice, more modern than boutique.
With snacks being complimentary and nice choice of quality tea and coffee.
Everything is good quality with rooms well thought out and spotlessly clean.
Our evening meal was excellent, using imaginative combinations of quality ingredients.
The only complaint was with breakfast,where the glasses ran out and then the plates also ran out.
Service was fairly slow and less attentive than dinner.Having said that our breakfast was good.
Parking is slightly confusing as you need a pass and also park in a special bay.We had to wait for a pass to be returned as there aren't enough for every room.
Would be happy to recommend this hotel.

Room Tip: Rooms at the front have a fabulous sea view
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank AvantGuard22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2014

This hotel has got the WoW factor in spades and is a diamond in the rough of Margate.
Went in for an afternoon cream tea and the service was charming and attentive, staff could do with a nice " Armarni " style uniform to keep up with the inteirior of the hotel.
Message to the owners " please buy the Royal Albion" in Broadstairs and give it a complete make over, Shepard Neame deserve to be sacked from this hotel.
We loved the Sands just such a pity that it is in such a dump of a town, Margate will never change its spots no matter how it is revamped, you are floging a dead pony !

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank LewisCox50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2014

We stayed at The Sands for a friends wedding reception and were quite frankly blown away by the quality oozing out of the hotel.

First of all it is beautiful and no expense has been spared with the rooms. It seems like a small comment but there are loads of plugs in the rooms which helps me charge everything I own. Free room snacks, a huge bath, a very comfortable bed, a nice hallway for each room.
The bar was also very reasonably priced and the breakfast staff were very accommodating for the picky and partied guests staying the night!

This place really is in a league of it's own, very impressed. It's venues like this which are breathing life back into Margate.

Room Tip: The Sea View rooms are nicer but are identical to the town side rooms.
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Brad_McMoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2014

Fabulous hotel..... The rooms were luxurious and beautifully decorated, the finishing touches were excellent. The bathroom was magnificant with under floor heating. We stayed in Room 3 over looking the bay.

We stayed at the hotel to attend a wedding reception and the food was outstanding! The staff were extremely attentive. The next morning the breakfast was also feast!

I would not hesitate to use or recommend the Sands Hotel. Fabulous

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Marilyn S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2014

What an amazing venue! My husband and I held our Wedding Reception here and from the planning stage to the actual event Sands didn't put a foot wrong! The Events Coordinator Tina was professional and welcoming and helped us plan the evening we wanted with some wonderful suggestions and ideas. The evening itself went without a hitch. The staff were friendly, professional and attentive and went above and beyond to make it a fabulous party. Our guests raved about the venue and the rooms and couldn't get enough of the excellent food. Tina recommended a local jazz band (Chris Kennedy) who went down an absolute treat.

The rooms themselves are beautifully decorated and very comfortable. Sands surprised us with flowers and rose petals which was a really nice touch. You could pick the hotel up and place it among high end hotels in London and it wouldn't be out of place.....but I guarantee the view from the balcony wouldn't be as beautiful!

Breakfast the next morning was also delicious. The continental buffet was very fresh constantly attended by the cheerful staff (Bearing in mind we'd kept most of them up till 3 in the morning I was astounded they managed to be so chipper!)

We really highly recommend The Sands Hotel highly and we wouldn't hesitate to go there again.....I just want to do the evening all over again....and I wouldn't change a thing!

Room Tip: The view from the Seafront rooms is spectacular. But if it's cosy, private or romantic you'...
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank TollyBB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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: $166 - $217 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Sands Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 20
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Also Known As:
Sands Hotel Margate, Kent

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