What happened to the old Sandcastle Suites area, whats it like now?

Joe E's avatar

My family stayed at Sandcastle almost every year in the early 90’s right after it was built. With it's suite layout, nearly every room being lakeview, and it being new it was a better option than Breakers at the time. (almost every room at Breakers were in those old wings back then).

One time we stayed in the ‘Grand Vista Suite’ which was located on the tip of the wing extending out furthest by the Lake and Bay. There were multiple rooms, kitchenet, huge bathroom with walk-in shower and jacuzzi, and best of all a wraparound balcony with views of the lake and bay. It was without a doubt the best accommodation on point at the time.

The biggest problem with Sandcastle was its location, being very inconvenient for going to and from the park. We went back to rest and eat dinner at Breakwater Cafe one evening and even though the hotel was fully booked we were the only ones there. The pool was never crowded either. I highly doubt we will see another hotel there for this reason among others. Nobody is going to want to pay luxury prices for that location, and any restaurants or poolside bars won’t make any money. It made sense Breakwater café went to breakfast only since that’s the only time people were there consistently. . Also the beach is pretty bad near the sandcastle site and not nearly as nice as the prime beach in front of Breakers. It makes sense for them to have one central hotel for an amenities and staffing perspective.

Once the east and tower at Breakers was built, there wasn’t much reason to stay at Sandcastle unless those were the only rooms available. I stayed at Sandcastle a few times near it’s end on $50 hotwire deals (yes, it was that cheap) and it was sad to see how much it degraded. The refresh they did in the mid-2000’s looked like a cosmetic retouch only. It looked like it had the same countertops and bathroom fixtures from 1990, the fridge was broke, fan looked original and missing a few blades, and balcony was in awful shape. Kiznel was in charge for the refresh then and it seemed like they decided to put in the bare minimum. The cheap remodel was probably the death knell for it.

It was interesting that when the new Luxury RV sites opened it was maybe a half of what they have now. I wonder if they were gauging interest, and once they saw they were booked consistently they built more. There is still some room left and those sites are still consistently booked, so I wouldn't be surprised to see a few more at some point. I am hoping for a few luxury cottages there though, as I think those would get booked and not put too much additional strain on staffing.

Gemini 100- 6/11/01

Plague on Wheels's avatar

I want some good old fashioned tent camping on the point. When can we get some of that up there? Also, I concur , even in the late 90's Sandcastle was an absolute dump.

e x i t english's avatar

I remember someone asking about tent camping up there, and the answer was something to do with the water table and flooding. I can see that actually being true, given the amount of water I've walked through on my way to the car during one of the sudden thunderstorms that pop up at any given time.

That's another thing I'd worry about - the winds can get pretty wicked during those storms, and I'd be afraid to return to my site and have to pick my stuff up from someone else's site.

We're tent campers, and we love it in all kinds of conditions, but I can definitely see it being a little hairy up on the peninsula - especially without tree cover to protect from winds.

HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar

I've camped twice at Camper Village (2013 & 2014) and both times I woke up to 4-6 inches of standing water on our site. After the first time it told me all I needed to know if tent camping was ever feasible. I think they did retention ponds when they revamped that whole area. It needed it.

My first CP trip without adults, on the edge of seventeen (honestly) we tent camped at bay shore estates (if my memory is accurate). Thunder and lightning with continual torrential down pours we (can’t fix stupid) set up the metal tent poles and draped the canvas. Upon waking the next morning (for ERT on the brand new Mantis) the pillow beside me was actually floating.

i haven’t tent camped in Sandusky since.

Kevinj's avatar

It's certainly not on-point, but before kids we used to tent-camp at East Harbor State Park; did it so often we even had a sweet location that was pretty private (like a wooded cul-de-sac in the park) that the reservation lady would pencil us in on.

Funny this is coming up, because we're planning on doing this with the kids in the Spring just for fun.

Promoter of fog.

I'm trying to remember exactly when they got rid of the last of the original Camper Village rings; going from park maps alone, it looks like it was between 2013-2014, well before Sandcastle came down after 2017. They definitely added retention ponds with each cluster of cabins/cottages having one. I also figure that losing the significant amount of pavement from the original RV sites and the Sandcastle parking lot should have improved the drainage considerably too.

I've never walked over there, but are you allowed to use the beach at that end? It seems like a dead end but perfect for people using the RV sites (premium)

MF as a human eager to talk about my home park!

I believe that there’s sand beach from that tip all the way down beyond the park and in front of most of the homes on the chaussee. Just much more narrow than in front of Breakers.

TwistedCircuits's avatar

I will also add, unless they have started taking care of it since those premium spots have opened when we walked up the beach from breakers it was not well kept in that area.

Still haven't been able to uncross these circuits...
DJ Fischer

True. I walked along the beach from Breakers one night really late after having a few at Fridays. Seemed like a good idea at the time. I got to a stretch that was really rocky and somewhat hard to navigate. Then I started to think about snakes in the dark and promptly levitated my way to the sidewalk behind Magnum. Much better.

The buildings at Sandcastle Suites always interested me. I also liked the location of the pool and the alcohol stand that was never open at least in later years. I wonder what the rooms, lobby, and hallways would be like if they did a renovation like they did with the latest Breakers reno.

Joe E's avatar

Yeah that pool and it's location was great. I wish they would have kept or refurbished the pool or at least the hot tub as as the lone pool at LHP can get busy at times (Breakers has around 670sih rooms with 4 types of pools. LHP has around 300 sites/units and a much higher guest per unit count) . Plus It would be very convenient for the luxury sites as the current pool is quite the haul from there.

Walking around LHP midday I always see a decent portion of folks a just relaxing at their sites. Some are there all day it seemed enjoying the weather and the views.. My guess is they are staying there longer and don't feel the need to be at the park all day and every day. I would think a pool over that way would get more play given the change in crowd.

Gemini 100- 6/11/01

Joe, you are spot on. Great insight from someone that does not stay at LHP.

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