Visiting Cornwall in October means that you might not be guaranteed the best of weather. So when we decided to visit Cornwall for October half term we knew that we would need some amazing family friendly accommodation just in case the weather didn’t play ball. This is where Sands Hotel Resort and Spa Cornwall steps in. Read on for our full Sands Resort Cornwall Review!
Note: We were guests of Sands Resort Cornwall but all opinions as always are our own!
Sands Resort Hotel and Spa is located a short drive outside of the buzzing town of Newquay. Newquay itself is the perfect place to base your self for a family friendly Cornish holiday because of the wealth of beautiful beaches and indoor activities in its proximity. Sands Hotel Resort and Spa is perched on a cliff top above the town meaning you have the benefit of being in walking distance to the town but without the noise and business of town while having some amazing clifftop sea views (more on that later).
Check in at Sands Resort hotel and spa review
We arrived at Sands Resort bang on for the 3 o’clock check in time. The staff quickly explained all of the family friendly activities and dining options available as well as the hotel’s unique baby listening servicing before quickly showing us up to our room.
Note: If you have accessibility issues be sure to book a room on the ground floor as there is no lift on the property. This wasn’t a problem for us and the stay were only too happy to take up our bags to the first floor.
Our Suite at Sands Resort Newquay
During our time at Sands Resort Newquay we stayed in a two bedroom suite. As any parent who has travelled with a child, especially toddlers and preschoolers, will tell you having separate bedrooms is an absolute MUST. Our suite had two bedrooms – one master bedroom which also doubled up as the main living space and a children’s bedroom separated by a corridor off of which was the family bathroom.
The children’s room was brightly decorated and ours contained two single bedrooms and a cot meaning that the rooms are even suitable for larger families.
But my favourite thing about our room was the stunning sea view it came with!
The room also came equipped with a fridge, tea and coffee making facilities, playstation (to work as a DVD player in room), television and iron etc meaning that you had everything you could possible require during your stay.
Note: On top of the two bedroom suites available at Sands they also have rooms as small as a single right up to three bedroom suites and some rooms come with bunk beds which means that most family sizes can be easily accommodated.
Family Friendly Activities at Sands Resort Cornwall
One of the things that drew me most to Sands Cornwall was the range of family friendly activities and amenities on site. The hotel has not one but two pools on site. As we were traveling at the end of October only the indoor pool was open but during summer they also have a large outdoor pool. Although we were there on some very rainy days we never had a problem with crowding in the pool during our stay.
Please note: there is no lifeguard on duty at the pool.
On top of the pool which I admit we had trouble getting our little one out of there are plenty of other indoor activities on offer including a games room with a table tennis table, pool table and air hockey table which you can use for a small fee ( 1 pound per game) and there are plenty of DVD’s and board games available for rent from the front desk.
However just because we had rain didn’t stop us using the outdoor facilities. For smaller children there is a large playground with the piste de resistance being a large pirate ship. I was really impressed with he security of the playground as it was removed from the car park with gates to prevent little people being able to easily escape.
But don’t fear if you are travelling with older children there is also a playground for them to with climbing wall, zip line and obstacle course. As we were the only ones braving the weather my preschooler also tried her hand at these.
There is also a miniature golf course, football, basketball and tennis courts and some large garden games. In fairer weather there is also a bouncy castle for smaller children. But my toddlers favourite outdoor activity during our stay was the maze which given the time of year we were travelling had been decked out for Halloween.
There are also plenty of evening activities and scheduled activities during the Cornish Half Term. For instance during our stay at 6pm nightly there were events such as silent discos and magician shows.
Also all guests at Sands are entitled to one free child care session per day. There are two rooms for kids – one for babies and toddlers and one for children aged 4+. I had never used a kids club while on holiday before and to be honest wasn’t sure if this was something for us but Ruth and Leanne in the kids club were lovely and our little one went in without a fuss and even asked to go back in again – win!
The hotel also offers a baby listening service for parents who would like to put their children down and they go for a child free dinner while staff at the resort are listening in to make sure there are no issues. As we hadn’t used a kids club before we decided to take baby steps and not take the hotel up on this service but we saw lots of people using it during our stay.
Dining at Sands Resort and Spa Hotel Newquay
All parents will tell you that making sure you don’t have a hangry child is a key component to having a successful holiday. We were really impressed by the variety of dining options available for families in the evening which included:
- 5-6pm – family eating – this service has a more limited menu for adults ( we did this once during our stay as we were tired and just wanted to chill in the evening). For adults the menu is largely the burger menu which both me and the hubby were impressed by while children are served via buffet. Note: there are no starters served at this sitting but desserts are available.
- 6:30-9 – more family eating but children and adults menu is table service. The menu for adults at this sitting is far more extensive and has specials and starters available. We were really impressed with the special we had – the pork, sweet potato and salsa verde.
- Adult only dining – for those that want to partake in the baby listening service and have a child free meal there is an adults only dining area. We didn’t try this during our stay.
One thing I really liked about the evening dining for kids was that every night the kids menu changed meaning you didn’t have the same burger chips, chicken nuggets and fish fingers on offer every night. While we were at Sands some of the options included mild turkey curry, mac and cheese, fusilli with red pepper sauce and of course there was a burger for fussier eaters.
Spa at Sands Resort
With our little one happily playing at Kids Club we partook in a Moroccan Spa session. We were really lucky that even though it was half term we had the spa completely to ourselves. The Moroccan Spa Session consisted of one hour in the wet space with the jacuzzi and sauna and then half an hour for fizz, mint tea and cakes. To say we felt refreshed after it would be putting it mildly.
There are also a range of other spa services available. Unfortunately I left it too late to book in so didn’t have chance to sample a massage so if you want to add a treatment to your Sands itinerary I would advise booking it in advance.
Things to Do Near Sands Resort Cornwall
If you decide to venture off the complex there are loads of things that can be done nearby including:
- Porth beach – a large and deep beach a short walk away from the resort.
- Fistral and Crantock Beach – some of the best beaches in Cornwall are only a short drive away
- Newquay Zoo
- Blue Reef Aquarium
- Pirates Quest – an indoor thing to do on a rainy day in Cornwall
There are also some other really pretty towns just a short drive from Newquay including Padstow, St Ives, St Austell and Penzance all under an hour away.
Overall Opinion of Sands Resort Cornwall
We had a great time at Sands Resort and loved all of the family friendly touches especially all of the options for dining. For us it had the perfect blend of kids activity as well as opportunities for parents to have some down time which made is perfect for all the family.