“ Peasholme Gap / 108 Kepwick House / The Sands / Scarborough / YO12 7TU / North Yorkshire / England „
The Sands apartments in Scarborough are a newly built development of luxury accommodation on the North Bay. Although it is not the sort of place that we would normally consider for a holiday, we only wanted to stay for a couple of nights, and were tempted by the unusual accommodation. The price of two nights in a Sands apartment is the same as two nights in a hotel, but the apartment could offer us, as a family unit, a much better stay.
The Sands has just been completed (finished in July 2009) and is built on the site of an old parade of shops and ice cream parlour. There are three, five storey blocks which all front onto the beach. These look very modern and stylish, and fit into the surrounding countryside very well.
The Sands claim that the apartments are furnished to the highest possible standards, and really have the WOW factor. We found this to be true.
I tried to book the apartment using the online booking system, but this was down at the time so I called instead. I spoke to a very efficient team member, who told me that because bookings were not yet up to speed, I could have a sea view apartment for two nights. The young man was helpful and charming, and took my deposit via credit card.
We drove up to the gate of the Sands carpark and pressed the intercom. The person who answered knew who we were immediately, and told us to park in bay 34. Before we had finished parking, we looked up to see the same young man waiting with a parking permit for us. He ushered us up to the very modern sales suite and checked our details. We already felt very pampered - we had never had service like this before!
He passed us on to a colleague, who showed us our apartment. She told us how to get in and out of the car park, spent time showing us all the gadgets in the apartment, described the gym and the free dvd library, and left us to it. We were already amazed!
True to its promise, the Sands apartment was furnished to the highest specification. There was a brand new deep pile carpet, a designer kitchen with microwave, dishwasher, toaster, fridge freezer, oven and hob. The kitchen had a loaf of fresh bread, a pint of milk, tea, coffee, marmalade, dishwasher tablets and washing up liquid. There was a large and modern dining table and chairs.
In the living room there was a large flat screen tv, with a selection of dvds. There were also music cds and a selection of coffe table books to browse through. There was even a pair of binoculars so that we could look out to sea!
In our bedroom there was an i-pod dock / clock radio and a hair dryer. In the boys' room there was an X-box with a selection of games. The beds had leather headboards and were very comfortable - our host told us that the mattresses were hand made locally. The furniture throughout the apartment was very modern and solid.
The bathroom had a bath with an overbath shower. Our ensuite had a large walk-in shower. Both bathrooms had quality tiling and solid bathroom fittings. There were soft white towels, robes and shampoo, etc. It was all very luxurious and very good quality.
A single sliding door from the bedroom, and a double patio door from the living room led out to the balcony - which had the most magnificent view all along the bay to the castle on the headland. The balcony had a table and chairs.
Inside a cupboard we found some camping chairs for the beach, a body board, and some buckets and spades.
By this time we felt like millionaires! Our usual holiday accommodation is a tent or a rather dingy cottage.
From beginning to end, the team of staff that had their offices in the apartment were completely helpful, professional and friendly. There was everything that we could want inside the apartment, and the stay was one of the most comfortable we had ever experienced. Somebody had obviously sat down for a long time to think of absolutely everything that a family could want during their stay, and put it in. There were no hidden costs.
It was lovely to get up in the morning and sit on the balcony, reading the papers before breakfast. At night, we tended to get one of the dvds from the huge choice available in the dvd library, and watch it together.
The ground floor of the development accommodates a bar, an ice cream parlour and a small shop. The shop is open from 7am to 10pm, which is great for getting cooking ingredients or morning papers. The bar has seating outside and is somewhat noisy, but nothing too disturbing. There was only one negative aspect to the stay - the skateboarders! Every night a gang of young people would gather just by the apartments and skateboard until after midnight. While we could ignore the quiet chatter from the bar, the clack clack of skateboards resounding through the night air kept us all awake. One night the lady in the next apartment came out onto her balcony and threatened to call the police unless they stopped. As you can imagine, they then made sure that they clacked even louder until 2pm.
This was the only downside of the stay. Otherwise it was thoroughly enjoyable, and a better short stay option than booking a hotel, where there would be no communal space and we would have to relax in our separate rooms, apart from the children.
We paid £149 a night for a sea view apartment. I thought this was good value for 4 people- we were looking at the Travelodge in Scarborough and surprisingly there was not much difference in price.
It would have been £139 for a non-sea view apartment.
I would recommend paying the extra £10, as the view from the non-sea view apartment is the car park deck!
There are 1 bedroom and 3 bedroom apartments also available, as well as the penthouse.
If booking again, I would ask for the apartment in the block to the far right - this is the furthest away from the skateboarders.
5 star self-catering apartment.