Sands Hotel, Margate
Review stay on 11–12 January 2014
Reviewed by Stephanie Moore
When I was offered the chance to review Sands Hotel in Margate by What’s Good To Do I was over the moon. It was a fantastic chance for myself and my husband to get away and have a well needed break together. Sands Hotel looked perfect for this.
The booking was easy, and if travelling by car you should take the opportunity to pre-book your car parking permit for £5 per night per space at the time of booking. You can park in the reserved yellow parking bays in the nearest car park which is only an alley way away from the hotel entrance.
From the high street the hotel looks beautiful and very welcoming. Upon entering you walk straight into the reception/bar area. The bar and restaurant is open to the public and was fairly busy with people having afternoon tea. We were welcomed straight away by friendly staff that were polite, courteous and efficient. We were shown to our room, whilst waiting for the lift I was able to see the true beauty of Sands Hotel. The restaurant area looks out over the beach which is fronted with a glass wall to see far and wide.
Even the landing areas were something to say wow about!!
Upon entering our room we were shown how to operate the room climate control system. This was a fantastic feature to have in each room. We were in control of how cold/warm we wanted our room. No worrying about opening windows or feeling too hot/cold. However we braved the January sea breezes to go and sit outside on our own balcony that overlooks the Margate beach. With two little seats and a coffee table I could see you making the most of this in the warmer weather with your morning papers (can be ordered to your room), coffee or evening drinks whilst you watched the world go by.
As we arrived just after 3pm we wanted to get out and have a look around Margate and a walk along the beach before it got dark so we quickly unloaded and had a walk along the front. As you walk around Margate you can see that Margate has hit hard times in the past but you can also now see how the town is now being rejuvenated and Sands Hotel is one of the big steps towards this. Myself and my husband both believe that Margate has all the potential and roots to becoming a great seaside resort again.
When we arrived back at Sands Hotel it was suggested we popped up to the roof terrace, this currently wasn’t laid out how it should be, as possibly it had been subjected the January storms! I just enjoyed going up the spiral staircase which had the most amazing centre piece that ran from top to bottom and looked like it never ended. Made using the stairs worthwhile!
The view was fantastic, you can see right over the roof tops. It reminds me of the Disney film ‘Mary Poppins’ with all the old roof tops and chimney pots. It would normally be laid out with comfy garden furniture and with the glass railing you get a great all around view of the beach whilst chilling with a glass of wine. Complete bliss!! Although for us it was a little windy up there in January!!
We were already booked in for dinner so we were able to get ready in our room before dinner and what a lovely room to get ready in. It had all the mirrors a girl could want!!
The detailing in the room was just amazing, it looked so special. From lamps to crystal encrusted light switches, every bit was perfectly thought out. As the original building is from 1888 they have made sure they have used some of the original detailing ideas. These just finished off the rooms and keeps them looking like any other hotel rooms.
Inside the wardrobe it was spacious with lots of hanging space, spare pillows, iron and ironing board, hairdryer, safe, complimentary snacks, tea and coffee making facilities.
The bathroom was fantastic, with a bath and a very large separate cubicle with rain shower head. The bathroom is set up for whatever you prefer. All the provided towels (which there were plenty of) and bath robes are fluffy and crisp white. I went home smelling of the lovely shampoos and shower gels that are left for you to use. My only negative is they could have left a spare toilet roll.
Once we were ready we went downstairs for dinner. The restaurant is so beautiful and the atmosphere of the room is so relaxing and calm, even though it was a busy Saturday night. Whilst we were waiting for our food we were given some small slices of bread and butter served on a square piece of slate. All food is cooked to order and some do have a note to say please allow extra cooking time. We waited approx 20mins for our starter which when it arrived you could not fault it, it was presented stunningly. I could not wait for the other courses to arrive!
For Starters I ordered ‘Mille Fuille of Apple and Duck Livers, Blackcurrant Compote and toasted Brioche’ This was a lovely starter but for me I found it a little strong after a while and I was happy to eat half of what was on my plate but I enjoyed what I had.
For Mains ‘Pave of Sussex Red Sirloin, Wild Mushroom, Roasted Garlic, Horseradish Pomme Puree and Madeira Jus’ This just melted in my mouth, I have not tasted steak like this in my life. Everything about this dish was flawless and I enjoyed every mouthful.
For dessert ‘Banana parfait, toasted vanilla marshmallow, chocolate sauce’ This was a scrummy pudding to end a wonderful dinner on. Everything blended perfectly together it was just a shame I was so full up I could not finish it all. Boy did I try!!
We then retired to our room where we were able to chill out and watch TV on the large flat screen internet TV. We were able to catch up with a couple of programmes using the free on demand services which a nice extra to have.
Although the room is facing out onto the main road the road noise was not a problem, the curtains were blackout curtains and we slept very well. When my alarm went off to get up for breakfast I would have happily stayed in bed a lot longer! Breakfast finishes at 10am at the weekends and 9:30am in the week.
Again we were greeted by friendly staff and could choose our table to sit at. This time it was daylight so we could see clearly the beautiful outlook of Sands Hotel. We were offered unlimited tea, coffee, toast and to help ourselves to the large buffet of a continental breakfast selection whilst we waited for our traditional cooked breakfast to arrive. Again I was not disappointed; the food was cooked to perfection. I forgot to get a picture of my cooked breakfast!
Check out was easy and I was sad to leave. I think everyone who is looking for a boutique hotel, sea views and to treat yourself to some fine food then this is the hotel for you. We had an amazing time and I thank all the staff for making it that.
If visiting for Valentines this February, visit the Bay Restaurant and celebrate with a candle-lit 3 course dinner with live music for £50 per person.
For more information or to make a booking visit www.sandshotelmargate.co.uk or telephone 01843 228228.