We stayed for one night twice (up and back over-nighters), and found Desert Sands clean and functional. The rooms were large and while old and dated were all we needed for a stop over. They have a decent kitchen, with all the utensils/equipment you need for a basic meal, dining table and comfy couch and big TV and the bathrooms included a washing machine. The bed comfortable and we slept great.
Back in May the garden was overgrown and the pool green and unusable. The staff were very friendly and polite.
We did not feel unsafe or threatened here, and the only people we saw walking around the units were workers or other tourists.
Yes the water tastes bad, but this in all the water in Tennant and not something hotel can solve.