Brand New, but Could Use Some Improvement Already... A review of Sandpearl Resort
My husband and I (along with our 3 year old son) recently stayed at the Sandpearl Resort to celebrate our 6th Anniversary. Things began well, as upon arrival we were upgraded to a Gulf view room for no charge (we had reserved a Bay view).
Our room (standard - 2 doubles) was beautifully appointed. Very comfortable beds, soothing colors/decor, nice TV and alarm clock/radio. Although brand new, our room was not immaculate - lots of construction dust and marks on the walls and carpet. There are mini-refrigerators in the room which are a nice convenience. Rather than purchasing from the resort or mini-bar, hit the CVS a block away from the resort for soda, beer, wine and snacks and save yourself a ton of money!
Housekeeping has a lot of improving to do. We used wine & water glasses during the first night of our visit that weren't replaced the following two days and only after we complained. Same with water - you are supposed to receive two bottes of water (included in the 'Resort Fee') per day. Ours was not replenished until we complained. Turndown is also supposed to occur every night, but we only received turndown service one out of three evenings.
The Marketplace (which serves Starbucks coffee) in the lobby is a nice convenience, especially during the off-season as the local shops don't open until later in the day. The first morning we visited, the staff working was painfully slow but polite and knowledgable about the drink menu (we are Starbucks addicts). The second visit - forget it. The two employees barely spoke English, on top of lacking knowledge about what they were serving. All of the pastries served are baked on-site. The sticky buns were awesome; the muffins horrible - overbaked and flavorless. Most of the muffins contained nuts (even the blueberry!), but there was no warning of this anywhere - so those with allergies beware.
The food at the Tate Island Grill was terrific. Excellent burgers and wrap sandwiches. The prices were reasonable and comparable with what you'd pay elsewhere in the area. The kids meals are a little pricey, but worth the convenience not to leave the resort. The service was not always warm and friendly; the quality of the food and drinks made up for it.
The pool area was beautiful; our son enjoyed it immensely. The beach area adjacent to the resort was clean and gorgeous.
I hope my frankness doesn't deter anyone from trying the Sandpearl - we loved it and had a terrific stay. Just expected a little more for how much hype we were initially fed. We hope to make the Sandpearl a favorite return destination. For the price, I hope the kinks are worked out before our next visit.