My boyfriend and I just got back from a stay at the Sandcastle Oceanfront Resort Hotel. We stayed there from Aug. 15 to the 17th.
We don't drive so we took a cab from the airport to the hotel. The cabs are metered and boy did our cab driver drive slow to make the most of it. He was a nice guy but when you're driving and all the cars in the world are passing you, it makes it kind of obvious that you're doing that just to run up the meter. The drive seemed to take forever and by the time we arrived at the hotel, it came out to about $46 and change.
The hotel was old looking from the outside, kind of what you would expect from a beach hotel that's been around for a while. There were 3 girls working the front desk and check-in was pretty quick. After getting our keycards, I asked where we could pick up towels for the beach and was told that they don't provide beach towels - they have pool towels but you could buy a beach towel from the hotel gift shop. This was contrary to what my boyfriend was told when he called the hotel the prior week. He specifically asked whether there was an airport shuttle to the hotel (they told him "no") and then he asked if the hotel provided beach towels (they told him "yes"). Apparently the part about beach towels was a lie. We ended up buying the cheapest towels in the gift shop for $5 a piece - something extra to carry home in our luggage which we weren't anticipating.
I'd also like to point out - not a big deal, just weird - that the hotel's keycards don't even mention the name of the hotel. Instead, it's an advertisement for a pizza place. The hotel also doesn't have it's own logo pens - just a regular PaperMate pen. I don't know, I thought that was odd. Back to the reivew.
We went up to our room which was located on the 6th floor. The hotel has 2 elevators and they ran pretty smoothly. Upon entering the room, we saw 2 queen beds - I had reserved a king sized bed. We went back down to the front desk and were told that you are not guaranteed a king sized bed if you book through Expedia. It's nothing more than a request. I'm sorry but everytime I've ever booked through Expedia, I've not been disappointed and have always received the room that I booked. My boyfriend spend a good 20-30 minutes talking to the manager about the situation with the room and the towels. Nothing was resolved though and we lost valuable time at the beach trying to come to an agreement. Management didn't want to take responsibility for anything.
Back to the room now. The room was spacious but the furniture was outdated. The front door had a lock but no safety latch for added protection. The bathroom was relatively small and there wasn't much countertop space for toiletries. The one thing that was good was the view from the room - the beach and ocean. We're not sure how they got into the room but our first afternoon there was spent killing these little flies that were all over the windows. The door to the balcony had to be slammed shut or else you couldn't lock the door. The balcony chairs looked very dirty and we didn't use them at all. The TV was a good size and there is a DVD player in the room if you'd like to bring movies to watch - we're pretty sure that no one uses the DVD player but I suppose it's nice to have just in case.
Our second night, we found a dirty sock in our room and it didn't belong to either of us so that was pretty skeevy. Our last night there, we requested a wake up call for 5:30 in the morning to catch an early flight. Thank goodness we woke up when we did because the wake up call never came and by that time it was already 6:45. We rushed like crazy to get ready and to check -out and meet our car service.
The hotel has a free continental breakfast from 7am to 10am. It consists of Thomas' Bagels, danish and muffins (a toaster is provided in case you prefer your breakfast hot) and condiments like peanut butter and jelly. There is also an assortment of cereals and oatmeal as well as fruit (apples, bananas and oranges). The lobby has 24 hour free coffee and tea as well and 24 hour free lemonade and fruit punch. My boyfriend thought the lemonade was the best part of the hotel. The hotel is also located next to an amusement park. Saturday night, there were fireworks being shot off in the water - a very nice and beautiful way to end the night.
You'll find lots of places to eat in Virginia Beach. The set up is pretty easy - one side of the street is lined with hotels and the other side is lined with restaurants and little stores. The hotel is within easy walking distance of everything. We ate at Dough Boy's California Pizza and it was pretty good - not NY pizza good but good enough. They make a really, really good cheesy bread though with light, airy bread and not too much cheese. We'd definitely recommend getting that. Service was quick and the waitress was very nice. We also ate at IL Giardino, an italian restaurant, which was also very good. That was my treat to my boyfriend for his birthday and we were both very happy. Service was very good and the food was excellent. Make sure to check the Virginia Beach guide book in the hotel room for coupons for free appetizers at many of the restaurants.
Overall, to recap - the hotel had a really nice location but please keep in mind that there are many hotels along the beachfront and they're probably better than, and more modern than, the Sandcastle. The rooms furnishings were outdated and there were flies and a dirty sock left in the room. Lemonade in the lobby was really good.
If you're not going to be driving, I suggest using the Norfolk Airport Express which charges a flat $40.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to the BEST WESTERN PLUS Sandcastle Beachfront Hotel located directly on the world famous Virginia Beach boardwalk. Our guest will enjoy world class service, easy access to the beach, and spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean. The BEST WESTERN PLUS Sandcastle Beachfront Hotel offers several types of accommodations to choose from. We offer you amazing views from 146 rooms with private balconies, two queen beds, or one king bed. All of our rooms offer you microwave and refrigerator, while our suites will provide you with a kitchenette. No matter how you must stay connected we offer free local calls, long distance access, and wireless high speed internet access. In addition, we have an on-site fitness center that overlooks the beach, on site laundry facilities, and complimentary business center. We are happy to provide you with conference rooms and meeting space for up to 150 people is perfect for your personal or professional functions. The Virginia Beach oceanfront is host to some of the best festivals and events you will find on the east coast such as; American Music Festival, Patriotic Festival, East Coast Surfing Championship, Neptune Festival, North American Sand Soccer Championship and the Boardwalk Art Show. Other nearby attractions includes Naval Air Station Oceana, Fort Story, Damn Neck Naval Base, Cape Henry Light House, Virginia Aquarium and Marine Museum, Virginia Beach Fishing Pier, and Ruddee Inlet.After spending the day enjoying Virginia Beach or working come back and enjoy the comfortable and spacious lobby or enjoy a great dinner at Pier 14. We look forward to seeing you soon! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sandcastle Oceanfront Hotel Virginia Beach
- Sandcastle Resort Va Beach
- Sandcastle Oceanfront Resort Hotel