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“Just okay - you can find better”

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Best Western Plus Sandcastle Beachfront Hotel
Ranked #6 of 109 Hotels in Virginia Beach
Certificate of Excellence
New York City
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Just okay - you can find better”
Reviewed August 17, 2008

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.

  • Liked — The free lemonade in the lobby
  • Disliked — Outdated rooms, flies, not getting the proper room, dirty sock left by cleaning staff
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BlooBunnie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (346)
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English first
Ohio
1 review
Reviewed July 29, 2008

The view was wonderful and the location was great. Loved having a private balcony. Those are the only good things about this hotel. The smell in the halls was horrble and it was very hot in the halls as well. The elevator took forever and it was also hot, so I had to use the stairs most of the time.The cleaning and maintenece staff did not speak any english except " So sorry please go to front desk". My car was damaged two times in the parking garage. There was an army of ants in my room by day #2. The water pressure in the tub was ok, not good. The water pressure in the bathroom sink was so low I had a difficult time brushing my teeth. I was told there was not a smoking room in the hotel, but I overheard a guest request and recieve one when I was in the lobby. The pool was indoors and you could smell the chlorine a mile away. I stayed from a Wed thru Sun and the only day the restraunt was open was on Saturday evening. I also found a used IV needle under a table in my room apparently from a previous guest. I also was told I was being charged the AAA rate, but they billed my credit card for the regular rate. I would not stay again and do not recommend to anyone. Also once after climbing to the 6th floor to my room my key did not work and i had to go all the way back downstairs to have it reprogrammed.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — poor housekeeping
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank crushed21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nanty Glo, PA
1 review
Reviewed July 25, 2008

For the most part, this hotel is a fine place to stay. The ocean view is fantastic. Average breakfast in the mornings. Clean for the most part. Friendly staff. My biggest complaint is the the rooms, the pool and the exercise room are all very small. There is a lot of wasted space in the hallways that should have been put into the rooms. I would not recommend any more that 4 people per room. Would I return? Yes, if I had a smaller party staying in one room.

  • Liked — The ocean view
  • Disliked — small rooms
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank MamaG1958
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
michigan
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed July 18, 2008

I can go to any hotel and find some type of like or dislike. My objective when on vacation is to make my family happy and have the least amount of problems come out of my trip. This year I picked the Sandcastle Oceanfront for both price and location. Not the most expensive hotel and not the least expensive one. During the peak month (July) they are all competitive in price. The hotel is not new but appeared to be well maintained and clean. I was in room 405 and everything worked well including the air conditioning. Besides the two queen beds and normal furniture, we had two chairs and small table inside and 2 white plastic chairs and small table on the balcony.
The room had a small refrigerator, microwave,DVD player,25 inch color television,room safe,ironing board and iron. the sink is set up on the outside of the bathroom, and there is a small rack for hanging clothes. The hotel has 2 elevators which worked fairly well since the hotel was booked.
The free continental breakfast consisted of 2 -3 fruits, sweet rolls and muffins,bagels, bread for toast ,cereal and milk, oatmeal packets, juice machine and coffee machine and condiments.
It was about the usual that the other hotels have.... though I wish they had a waffle maker.
The lobby has a small aquarium, and there is a juice and coffee machine available 24 hours. not all floors have ice machines and vending machines but it was no big deal
The pool and sundeck are on the second floor and face the road. the pool was clean but water tasted salty .( probably from all the people getting in after the beach)
The staff was polite and friendly and housekeepers greeted you as you passed in the hallway.
The hotel has small souvenir shops where you can rent bikes or purchase beach items. It also has 2 restaurants but we did not visit them.
The hotel is next door to a small amusement park and fishing pier, and located close to other shopping stores and restaurants
within walking distance.
We have no problem staying at this hotel again,and enjoyed our vacation time in Virginia Beach. This was our third vacation trip to this area.
If you plan on coming to Virginia Beach I recommend contacting the Virginia Beach Information center by phone or online at www.vbfun.com. we talked to them while there and they gave us loads of information.

  • Liked — just about everything
  • Disliked — older hotel but kept up well
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank digger6k9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Carolina
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed June 27, 2008

The rooms were nice- ours had 2 queen beds, a small refrig, a balconey. The room itself seemed clean, but the sheets were stained. The parking garage was a nice touch- kept the car cool. The continental breakfast was ok, but boiled eggs or waffles would have been a nice addition; it had pastries, bagels, cereal, juice and coffee. There were too many tables stuffed in the breakfast room- it was difficult to move around in there.
We went to the indoor pool, which was ok. There were no towels provided for guests in the indoor pool area- many motels do that now, and it would have been nice.
The hallways are narrow, and the elevators are very slow.
The staff were helpful with direction, etc. We are spoiled with some wonderful NC beaches, and did not like the beach or the atmosphere of VA beach. Also, the smoke from the NC forest fires moved in during our stay; we have asthma and explained to the staff that we'd like to cut our stay short; we were allowed to do so without penalty, which I appreciated.

  • Liked — Nice rooms, helpful staff
  • Disliked — VA Beach atmosphere itself
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DRFNorthCarolina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
virginia beach
1 review
Reviewed June 17, 2008

Due to some ad-hoc home repairs, me and the children were forced to stay in a hotel for a few days. I chose this hotel due to the great rate. 1st mistake. I should have called the hotel to gather more info and not solely relied on expedia.com. The hotel stated there was room service available and a restaurant. Room service was never available the entire time I was there (2 days/nights) and the restaurant had a terrible smell upon entrance, when they were open which only appeared to be a few hours in the afternoon. The pool appeared dirty, the room was so hot, the maintenance guy bought a fan which helped none. The deluxe breakfast that they claim is nothing more than mere a standard continental breakfast consisting of doughnuts, juice, fruit and cereal. I don't have and issue with that, just don't call it 'deluxe'. I complained that the room was unbearably hot, the staff was rude and careless. Guess they got my money and could care less about the rest. NEVER AGAIN.

Needless to say, we had to extend out hotel stay since the repairs were not complete in my home but we left and stayed at Hampton Inn which was about 8 blocks down the street from this hotel and it was such a big and pleasant difference. Rooms very very cool and clean, room service, clean pool and 'DELUXE' breakfast available. I would recommend Hampton Inn anytime. So worth the extra cost.

  • Liked — The location.
  • Disliked — Everything else.
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank lawbaby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bloomington, Indiana
Level 4 Contributor
48 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed June 10, 2008

I booked this because of the reviews I had seen, and my experience was as good as those. The rate on the hotel website was better than any other source. Location was great. The place is obviously a bit older, but it has been well kept and my room was clean. The sheltered parking garage (free with room) is a great way to keep your car from roasting. Front desk staff was courteous and knowledgeable. Continental breakfast had a decent range of things, including fruit.

  • Liked — Very clean. Great mattress.
  • Disliked — Nothing.
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank Bruce RL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Best Western Plus Sandcastle Beachfront Hotel

Property: Best Western Plus Sandcastle Beachfront Hotel
Address: 1307 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Virginia > Virginia Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Virginia Beach
#7 Business Hotel in Virginia Beach
#8 Romantic Hotel in Virginia Beach
#13 Family Hotel in Virginia Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Best Western Plus Sandcastle Beachfront Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 144
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

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