Sands at Grace Bay-tell me more about...

Aug 1st, 2002, 04:18 PM
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Sands at Grace Bay-tell me more about...

Would like to hear everything, how to get the best room rate and is the condo/hotel decent? HOw many pools and restaurants?
Aug 2nd, 2002, 04:37 AM
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My husband and I honeymooned at The Sands in June. We had a fabulous time. The hotel has three pools. One is right next to the beach. The other two are in garden areas, connected by rivers (I guess that's what you'd call them). The pools were beautiful, but we never actually went in them. Once you see the gorgeous beach and water, you will want to spend all of your time there.

There is one restaurant called Hemmingways. The food there was excellent. That is where we ate all of our meals.

There is a very small convience store on the property.

If you have any other questions, let me know.
Aug 22nd, 2002, 05:12 AM
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I am considering the Sands for my honeymoon in late November, and am comparing it to the Coral Gardens. Do you recommend? Can you recommend a room? What sort of room did you have? Was the place awash with children?

The Sands is about $700 less expensive than CG, and that money could go a long way toward expanding our trip...

Aug 22nd, 2002, 05:40 AM
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Hi Natsand,
I have just booked two weeks at the Sands for October. I'll tell you why I chose it over Coral Gardens. (These are only my opinions based on what I found during my research.)
1. The main reason was that I read on several forums that many people who are not hotel guests come to the beach in front of Coral Gardens for the snorkeling and to spend the day. They come early and take over the chairs. I read that the staff does not enforce the "guests only" policy of the facilities. (Probably too polite
2. The AI (Club Med or Sandals - I forget which) brings the kiddies to the Coral Gardens beach for activities.
3. Coral Gardens does not have Hobie Cats - which my husband adores.
4. The restaurant at Sands is supposed to be one of the best on the island and is on the beach.
I, for one, like my beaches as quiet and laid back as possible. I don't want to rise at the crack of dawn to run down to the beach and get a chair and then spend the day with children running and screaming in the surf in front of me. I'd rather walk or bicycle to snorkeling sites if it means dealing with the above. I don't KNOW that what I read is 100% accurate or how bad it gets, (I read at least 5 posts on different forums about the lack of chairs due to day trippers) but I don't even want to take the chance.
I'm sure whatever you choose, you'll have a great time!
Aug 22nd, 2002, 06:57 AM
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Amy and Natsand,
The units at Grace Bay sit at different angles and some bldgs are behind others, and there are pools that are connected to one another by little channels(for lack of better word) that are about 3-4 feet across, no fast moving water more like the depth of water to walk and splash your feet.

Hemingways is a great restaurant with great crab cakes and shrimp with penne pasta. They have a buffet on Tuesday nights, but it was not anything special, other places have special things going on Tuesday night that would be better choice.
Do call and get reserved seating on the outdoor terrace, much more romantic than covered terrace, a wonderful place to sit and have a meal/drink under the stars.

As for Coral Gardens the reef does draw the crowds but not what people must be thinking crowds are, even at "the reef". Every lounge is taken at beach sometime of the day but there are not many lounge chairs to begin with and crowds were not a problem anywhere we went, just the opposite, never a crowd so to speak anywhere, children walking/lingering/splashing in the surf, we found families didnt stay long, they came with snorkel gear in hand snorkeled around the reef area and were gone, it was the adult couples who lingered and stayed longer, adults couples outnumbered families 4 to 1.
YOu do need to go down around 8o to get one of the best chaises to the left of steps if you want to snorkel in morning and then have chaise to lounge around on till you go right up to your condo for lunch then come back and snorkel again and again several times during the day but not at the crack of dawn, but then again I am early riser around 5:30 even on vacation, so 8:00 is not early for me but is for most people when on vacation.
There is never a crowd at Coral Gardens on any day we were there, people up and down beach, snorkel then gone, whereas if you are staying at Coral Gardens the convenience of snorkeling three and four times a day is heaven, and going back and forth is the best.

We had room 4105 at Coral Gardens that sat almost to end of bldg., one bedroom luxury, superbly furnished, was probably the most private unit in whole complex, elevated first floor(as they refer to), with view of beach as it curved to the left even when you were sitting down on patio, just steps away from pool but just to side enough that it was GREAT. The whole front glass wall recesses back into wall in the living/dining/kitchen area that gives the feel of only having the three walls, that open air feeling, and we left our front wall opened the whole time we were there except at night of course.
I found Coral Gardens was cheaper than the Sands when we went, so I guess it depends on how/where you find your deals-$700 is alot that could be spent on a couple of day trips and you will need it to eat out as it is expensive.
The Sands at Grace Bay is lovely also, most of the places are, you cant go wrong anywhere you stay in Provo. Have a great trip and take plenty of sunscreen and eat at many of the great restaurants in Provo, there are many really good ones.Safe Travel.
Aug 22nd, 2002, 10:55 AM
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My husband and I staying in an Ocean Front Studio. The studio was definitely big enough. There was a separate bedroom, a bathroom, and a living room/kitchenette. In this living room there was a pull down bed that could also be used. There was a screened in balcony that had a fabulous view. I'm not sure if all of the studios have a separate bedroom, or just the oceanfront ones.

There were hardly any children there. I think The Sands has one of the best sections of beach on Grace Bay (although none are bad).

If you have any further questions, post or email me directly.
Aug 24th, 2002, 11:46 AM
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Stayed at Coral Gardens last April and June. Did not have any trouble getting a lounge chair and umbrella any time of day. The beach/reef is not inundated with people. There were never any more than 30-40 people on the reef at any time and it is big enough to accomodate that many people. Actually before 10 AM and after 3 PM it is practically deserted. The lounges aren't the problem. There are plenty stacked on the dunes. The problem is there are only about 15 umbrellas. There are signs saying for use of Coral gardens guests use only. There are some people who are just brash enough to ignore them. You can usually tell the people who don't belong there by the color of their towels. If you don't want to ask them to move the simple solution is to go to the Cactus Voyager watersports office next to the Spa and find Matt, Dave or Smokey and ask them to do it.
Aug 26th, 2002, 09:10 AM
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Nancy, Wow! Two weeks in October, what fun. Sounds like you really did your homework. I was there with my family, three kids and husband, in April. You are so correct with all of your information. Please post a trip report when you come back. We stayed at Ocean Club West, and hope to stay at Sands next April. Loved OCW, but wanted to try someplace different and closer to Coral Gardens for walking. Sands is in a fantastic location. Have fun!
Aug 26th, 2002, 09:16 AM
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Hi Robin,
I'm glad you had a great time! OC and OCW look very nice. I am really looking forward to the trip. I do spend a lot of time on research to find "just the right place."
Thanks for your good wishes and I'll be sure to post when we get back - after I get off "island time."
Aug 27th, 2002, 06:34 AM
Andre Hylton
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We stayed at the Sands from August 5 through August 12 for our honeymoon.

The water was crystal clear, the units were very nice, and Hemingways was a great restaurant. Our actual stay was fantastic.

On AUGUST 25 (two weeks after we got back, and we are certain that others have stayed in the unit since we left), I got an accusatory call from someone at the Sands alleging that we broke the glass table on the patio, and that the maid just discovered it. I explained to the woman that we didn't break the glass, and we did not even use the glass table or the patio for that matter, as we spent almost all of our waking hours out of the unit. She said fine, and hung up.

Now, I have come to find that the Sands placed an unauthorized charge of seventy dollars on my credit card.


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