The Sands Resort is a family owned family-friendly hotel located on the North Cornwall coast at Porth. It sits on top of the cliffs with stunning views of both the Atlantic and the rolling Cornish countryside. Packed with such a wealth ofÂ on site facilities and activities I literally couldn’t fit them all into one post and so this is part one.
From the moment we arrived we felt taken care of. Having spent weeks on end staying in hotels of varying quality in my former working life I can say with some authority we received one of the nicest welcomes I’ve had in the UK at The Sands Resort. The desk staff were friendly and there was no hesitation in offering to help us with our luggage. This theme continued throughout our stay and I really felt there was nothing they wouldn’t do if I asked.
Overall I was impressed by the staff many of whom are long standing members of the Sands Resort team. They were friendly, personable and ready to assist however they could. The little touches such as coming to chat to our children while we waited for our main courses to extensive local knowledge endeared them to me. On the whole they were a credit to the hotel and superb representatives.
Our room was an Apartment Suite on the second floor with a glorious sea view. The space was fantastic and having the children in their own room gave us some proper adult space when they were asleep. The rooms were joined by a living room but we could have probably done without it and had a Contemporary Suite, Comfort Suite or Interconnecting room (an aside – love that you can see room plans on their site). There are also a range of double and family rooms.
Our room was nicely furnished and exceptionally clean. When we returned to our room after leaving it in a slightly messy state I was stunned to find our clothes neatly folded (note to slatterns: pick up your underwear after you take it off *ahem*), beds made and teddies cuddling each other. It was at this point the biggest plus point of a holiday at Sands Resort Hotel clicked with me: someone was picking up after me and cooking the meals – I had nothing to do but enjoy myself. If you feel like you do nothing but cook and clean this is the holiday for you and I can certainly see why it’s so popular with parents of twins (not least because I’ve heard they offer a TAMBA discount).
We were staying on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis which meant we only had to take care of our lunch. Breakfast had the usual English breakfast buffet with ingredients sourced from the surrounding area. The buffet changed slightly each day affording you a little variety. There was also a range of cereals, granola, yoghurts and fruit to choose from and the children very much enjoyed selecting their own food each morning.
At dinner time you can opt to take the children to the earlier ‘children’s tea’ where they have a buffet with a couple of meal options and eat free from the stares of other diners. You can go to family dining time a little later which we found just a tad too late for our two aged 2 and 4 as they were so tired from having fun. If your children dine earlier you can use the hotel’s listening service and head to the restaurant and bar, use room service or even book a babysitter and slip away to a restaurant for the evening. I wish we had thought to do this as with Fifteen Cornwall a mile down the cliff in Watergate Bay we could have had a very nice evening out.
We ate one night in the restaurant and one night in our room when we were treated to this sunset as our backdrop. The dinner menu changes daily with a few specials staying for the week. I enjoyed the meals I ate and would class the food as reasonable: it’s not winning Michelin stars but it is pleasant to eat. I was less impressed by the children’s meals (pizza, pasta, battered fish, chips, gammon, frozen veg) which didn’t look appetising to me. My children happily ate it but I felt they were getting a lower quality of food than I serve at home and think there is room to re-imagine this element of their menu.
Overall we had an amazing break and as parents Mr Kat and I felt we had enjoyed a proper break as so many of the daily chores were taken care of for us. With so many things to entertain your children on site and on the doorstep you don’t have to go far to have a good time (see part two of this review for facilities and activities). The Sands Resort is family-friendly to the core and you’ll find yourself amongst other families all enjoying the benefits of a relaxing holiday.
Prices are from Â£700 for a week dependant on the time of year; always worth checking for late availability and special offers. We stayedÂ for two nights in May 2011 as guests of Sands Resort.