Great Hotel, Great Location!
I saw a bunch of (I think) erroneous negative comments about this place, and wanted to add my comments to help balance them out:
Me, my wife and 2 kids just stayed there for several days last week. We're from new york, but were in Aptos for my Mom's wedding.
Overall, our stay at the Rio Sands was VERY pleasant.
* Very close to the beach. I'd say "100 steps" is about accurate from the nearest end of the hotel. We walked it in about 1 minute.
* Totally SAFE. Rio Del Mar is a tiny, upscale seaside resort town. I grew up in Santa Cruz county and RDM is considered one of the most posh areas. There is NO crime to speak of in this area, and there were NO bars on any windows that I could see.
* Very nice- the rooms are comfortable, and decent-sized. We stayed in a "Queen Double" and were comfortable with our 2 small kids.
* Only negative I can think of: The rooms are a little stuffy when you first move in, probably due to the humid climate of this little valley- the morning fog blows right in off the water. But not bad- the rooms smelled fine. We just opened the windows and the balcony doors and let the breeze blow through.
* Our room had a very nice balcony overlooking the Pool/spa courtyard.
* The Pool/spa courtyard was really well maintained. Lot of greenery and the pool itself was great- although I had to watch our kids, as the deep end is 6' deep.
Price: Great. We got a great rate by booking through their website. Considering the close proximity to the beach, the price was great.
Staff: Very friendly and helpful. We had to check out 2 days early due to a family emergency, but the staff had us all set and refunded in about 5 minutes. i never saw anyone non-english speaking manning the desk. Maybe the housekeepers, but that's obviously common.
Overall, I dug this place and will definitely return next year! :)
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