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All reviews continental breakfast sister hotel restaurant next door beach side hearst castle room was clean elephant seals ocean view big sur sandals motel highway cavalier pits microwave miles coastline
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Reviewed 20 April 2016

Take your time as you drive down the Big Sur coast line between Carmel and San Simeon. Stop at vista points to snap photos of the stunning views. Visit the elephant seal colonies. The hotel is located in the little enclave of San Simeon, about 5 miles south of Hearst Castle, in a cluster of several basic motels and restaurants. The Sands is located on the beach side of the highway, and there is a direct path down to the beach below from the side street immediately to the south of the property. The room was clean and comfortable. There is no air conditioning, but in April the climate is cool and comfortable at night. This may be something to consider if you are visiting in the middle of summer. Pets are allowed, which was greatly appreciated. A coupon toward continental breakfast, or 3 dollars toward a more substantial meal is provided to each guest. There are many different tours of Hearst Castle. We booked two tours, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. This allowed us to have lunch and relax a bit between tours, as the motel is only less than 10 minutes away by car. For dinner, I recommend driving another 10 minutes to the south to the town of Cambria, where there are many more dining options. All in all, the Sands provided us the perfect home base for exploring all the beautiful Central Coast of California has to offer. Highly recommend!

Room Tip: ask for room 239 for more privacy
  • Stayed: April 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank shithappens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2016

If you're in San Simeon to sit inside and watch the surf, this is the wrong place to do it... But if you're looking for a clean, comfortable, safe place to hit the sack before hitting the road (or the beach), the Sands By The Sea Motel fits the bill.

Although this is not a Best Western, it is on the property of said same chain and owned by the same group... essentially it is a Best Western but missing something - like any view whatsoever. It rings in at about $100 a night, compared to the Best Western at about $160, so not cheap, but about right for "the beach." The bathroom was clean, room clean, everything worked, reasonable (but insecure) WiFi, good coffee and tea in the room, lots of big fluffy pillows and a huge king bed one could land a helicopter on with room to spare.

Drawbacks were: the lack of view: it is blocked by the Best Western; the ridiculous complimentary breakfast at the Best Western's restaurant, a $3 voucher if you don't want the $8 dollar-store pastry and thimble of juice and coffee - and boy, the sneer one gets from the serving staff when one shows up with those complementary vouchers; the shower faucet is downright dangerous, sticks out, and in an attempt to rinse out the shampoo under a trickle of water, just knock that faucet with your elbow and the water slams into full hot (or cold, if you're lucky); the water miser measures on the sink make it like using a plant mister to rinse your toothbrush; and the biggest complaint - paper thin interior walls: we could hear everything our neighbors were saying!

Room Tip: Speak softly, lest your neighbors overhear.
  • Stayed: April 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Morgan_Stone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2016

Hotel was nice. It did its purpose of having somewhere to sleep for the night. Check in time when you call they say 2:00pm when you get there no one is there and when someone finally showed up he said check in wasn't until 4:00pm but he will check and see if the room is available. Hotel was clean. the view is of a hotel room behind it. there is a Best Western built a few feet behind this hotel.

Trip Advisor on the other hand I would never ever use them again. I booked a double queen for 2 people. They assumed we were a couple and decided to change my booking to 1 king bed. WRONG... VERY WRONG assumption in this day. The hotel is small so there was no other room available. Speaking to customer service- Linda- She tells me I book a standard double room- "meaning I only booked a double bed the size is between a twin and a King"- What Hotel on this earth has a room with only 1 size double bed. Please explain to me why anyone would choose 1 double bed over a king anyways- which is definitely not what I chose. So I asked to speak to her Manager- Felicia who says the same thing verbatim as Linda tried to tell me about the one bed I booked. Then she told me that the room is not guaranteed and it is in the fine print etc. Basically just covering there butts. They did absolutely nothing at all for me. NEVER EVER WILL I BOOK WITH THEM.....

Room Tip: Apparently On Trip Advisor you get whatever room is available. not what you chose.
  • Stayed: April 2016, travelled with friends
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Gloria T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2016 via mobile

So if you expect the quality of the new best western resort, you are wrong. But its definitley worth the money you pay (116 plus tax for 2 queen size beds). We had a very silent night, no noise coming from anywhere else than the ocean. Our room had real oceanview, even if the sight was not very good. The room in general was nice, only the bathroom needs to be upgraded! The hotel had fast wifi, a private beach and an indoor heated pool which was a bit old but still okay to swim a bit! The best thing about this hotel was the staff! Everyone was so friendly and lovely. For the breakfast, we recieved a voucher for a continental breakfast in the restaurant nearby. If we ever come to San Simeon again we will stay here! Btw: this hotel is also a hotel from best western. Our payment went to BW. Maybe it is the old main hotel, before the new one next to it was built.

Stayed: April 2016, travelled with family
Thank Tim R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2016 via mobile

Booked a double bed to show up and they gave out my room and said they only had a King bed. Because I said it was 2 people they assumed it was husband and wife and it wasn't. Offered me blankets to sleep on the floor because they don't have any rollaway beds. Wasted and hour of my vacation and had to book another room down the street. Luckily there was rooms still available!

Stayed: March 2016, travelled with family
Thank Ciriaco G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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