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“Another Kata Gem” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Sands Khao Lak by Katathani

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The Sands Khao Lak by Katathani
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   10/18 Moo 7, Petchkasem Road | Khuek Khak, Takua Pa, Khao Lak 82190, Thailand   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #14 of 60 Hotels in Khao Lak
Certificate of Excellence
Melbourne
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“Another Kata Gem”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

On the way back from London we stopped off in Thailand for some much needed sun and spent four nights at The Sands. (We've stayed at Katathani several times and wanted to try something different and a bit quieter).

Overall, it was hard to find too many faults with the Sands - while not as established at Katathani, everything is almost brand new

Positives
- Excellent sense of space and really a tranquil place to relax.
- Rooms are fresh and very comfortable. Kind of a tropical feel throughout. We paid extra to stay in a "Junior Seaside Suite".
- Bathroom great, and can separate it off. Massive, deep bathtup.
- Great little work space behind the bed too, so did some work and connected to the Wi-Fi for free.
- The food at the two restaurants are excellent. We spent quite a few nights dining on Seafood at the "Talay" restaurant (Rock lobster!) and loved the floating market boats that served Soup as part of breakfast buffet.
- Staff were well trained (especially for a new hotel) - while they aren't quite as formal as at the Shore, we were pretty impressed
- The Main Pool - it is really tranquil - and if you are lucky enough to get a day with some rain (and yes I say lucky because the weather was excellent most of the time) there is nothing more beautiful than swimming in the tropical heat with a gentle rain. Very romantic.
- The beach is solid, much nicer than Patong (and nicer than Kata as well). Reminded a little bit of Malaysia which is quieter than the crowds in central Phuket.
- in house Massages were reasoably priced for a nice hotel spa. We always prefer to spend a little bit more and get a massage in a hotel spa than risk somewhere on the main street (to save $5). There is actually a spa in the open air near the beach which is worth trying.
- location is perfect - Khoa Lak is a much quieter option than Patong but has lots of restaurants only a few minutes from the hotel. We tended to rotate and eat one night in, one night out, but good to have more options.

Tip: Make sure you arrange a transfer BEFORE you arrive. It costs a little more but you don't want the hassle of having to wade through crowds at Phuket airport. The hotel should be able to arrange for you.

Negatives

- The resort is new, so some the palm trees / landscaping hasn't been fully grown, didn't really bother us but it's probably a few months from being all done.
- Sometimes, the staff may get a little confused if you make complicated changes to the menu items (eg Add this, substitute that, can you do it this way), but we found that once we said it slower, and they repeated the order, all was fine.
- If you are into partying, this isn't the place for you. Stick to Patong. Suited us though.
- The gym was good, but if you're a real junkie (like my husband), you might want a few more free weights. It's fine if you're using treadmill/bike etc.

Conclusion:
If you intend to relax, enjoy great food, have a great beach location, good mix of relaxed people, and not intending to party like Patong, then would definitely recommend this as a good 'week away' kind of place. While not a six star resort, it's super solid and great value for money (and we'll be coming back on our next trip through).

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Katathani1, Guest Relations Manager at The Sands Khao Lak by Katathani, responded to this review, January 30, 2013
Dear Jill H,

Thank you for taking time to give us some feedback and I was happy to see that the hard work of our staff and the new hotel facilities were overall meeting your expectations. Khao Lak is a great destination to relax and I am glad you enjoyed the hotel as well. I also like to mention that I sincerely appreciate your support to our staff regarding the English skills. We have currently hired an English teacher and I am also doing English training on-site by myself to ensure the vacation of our guests will not get spoiled due to communication problems.

Please contact us directly whenever you decide to return to Khao Lak. We will gladly take care of you again upon your next visit.

With warm regards from Khao Lak, Jakub Piwowarski, Customer Relations Manager
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950 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (284)
Date | Rating
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  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

We're English expats living in Bangkok and were recommended The Sands by a friend who is very experienced holidaying in south of Thailand. We were originally going to stay in Patong, but were warned against doing so because of the crowds, noise and pollution.

Khao Lak and The Sands was an ideal long weekend getaway - and as the hotel has just opened, they went out of their way to make sure you are happy. We stayed in the top floor of their Junior Suite - right near the ocean and had view of the sunset.

Food was great and the breakfast buffet was really nice. They make you freshly squeezed juices and have a nice egg station (took a while to explain egg white omelette but they eventually got it).

Everything went smoothly, except for a miscommunication when we were asking for drinks and my partner asked for "coke and a water", and a few minutes later we got a big green 'Coconut Water'.

Free Wi-Fi worked which was good and the TV had all the usual channels.

Only minor criticism is that front desk only calls taxis if it is for the airport, and not for local trips, as they have a free shuttle (like a golf buggy) that takes you to the main road, where it is really easy to hail a cab or tuk tuk. It may have been a misunderstanding though.

Would definitely go back again because the large area of the resort means you are not on top of each other and it makes for a welcoming break to the claustrophobia of Bangkok.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Katathani1, Guest Relations Manager at The Sands Khao Lak by Katathani, responded to this review, January 29, 2013
Dear Jamie M,

I am glad to see you had a great getaway from Bangkok with us. Since Bangkok is not far away please feel free to drop by over weekend especially when the pollution and traffic jams start to drain your energy levels. We will be happy to provide the right environment for you to recharge.

For the misunderstanding with the transportation rest assured that we can arrange you a taxi wherever you may wish to go within the vicinity and beyond.

Looking forward to welcome you back again in The Sands Khao Lak soon!
Jakub Piwowarski, Customer Relations Manager
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Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

My wife and I regularly travel to Phuket, Samui, and Bali and were looking for something different over the Christmas break. We heard that Katatathani had opened up a new resort in Khao Lak, and friends of ours had found a special opening offer (a free room upgrade and late check-out for those travelling in the opening month of December) so we booked in for a week.

It seemed that we were not the only ones curious to try the new resort, as there was a huge number of Swedish, German and various other European holiday makers over there at that time, so the front desk was under the pump. We were given a delicious 'welcome drink' and were shortly checked in. Some of the staff are experienced (presumably from Katathani) and others were just learning. Everyone was really polite and enthusiastic though.

I am obsessed with bathtubs, so fortunately, the room we were given (a Junior Room i think it was called) had a nice free standing bathtub, along with double shower).

We really wanted to relax and do nothing after a busy year at work, so it was a perfect destination for doing so. We did one day trip to the islands near by for snorkelling, but otherwise lounged about by the pool while reading 50 Shades of Grey (finally).

In between bouts of swimming in the main pool, drinking pina coladas, and eating seafood, we did take a few walks along the main road - which was complete with thai, seafood, italian restaurants .... and a McDonalds! It is like a quieter version of Patong - without the sleaze, and people hassling you. More than fine for an evening walk around.

Speak slowly to the staff and smile, and they are really fun and helpful. Especially the girl from the beach restaurant (the one with braces) who told me after one my meals was delayed that they had gone out to catch the fish! She was lovely and we tipped her.

No serious complaints, just a couple of teething issues - which is to be expected.

Would return.

Room Tip: Tips- Arrange a transfer with the resort before you go. Try not to stay in the 'Sands Room...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Katathani1, Guest Relations Manager at The Sands Khao Lak by Katathani, responded to this review, January 28, 2013
Dear Michael S,

Thank you for your review and I am glad you enjoyed The Sands and Khao Lak equally. Indeed Khao Lak is a much quieter destination offering a way more relaxing kind of nightlife when comparing with Phuket. As for the teething issues if you have a spare minute I would appreciate if you contact me directly at jakub@thesandskhaolak.com mentioning some (or all) of them. It is a new hotel, a new destination and any feedback is appreciated so we can improve and work on our services. We will be happy to welcome you back again. Until then,

Best regards from Khao Lak, Jakub Piwowarski, Customer Relations Manager
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2 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

We stayed in a junior suit poolroom and it was the most perfect room since we travelled with a 4 months old baby.
Clean rooms and friendly staff. Very close to shops, markets and restaurants.
Lovely breakfast.
One of the best hotels we ever had.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Katathani1, Guest Relations Manager at The Sands Khao Lak by Katathani, responded to this review, January 30, 2013
Dear jpivars,

Great to see you enjoyed your stay and our chefs were happy about your breakfast comment. Please feel free to contact us directly whenever you decide to return to Khao Lak.

With kind regards, Jakub Piwowarski, Customer Relations Manager
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melbourne
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
32 hotel reviews
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

it was with much anticipation we came to the Sands for a week from 30 December, having wondered if it would be open in time. Given how it looks on their website and it is part of the Katathani group, we had high expectations about the standard of the property and service that were unfortunately unfulfilled.
The facilities themselves are fine - fresh and new, but cheaply built, and i would guess that the hotel will look shabby pretty quickly. The Sands rooms are quite small - I would like to know how they measure them to claim the size they give them on the website.
First the pros:
good location, walking distance to lots of shops, restaurants, etc
free wifi throughout the resort is a nice touch
on site restaurants are of reasonable quality and relatively inexpensive
the pool, although not huge for the number of guests, is very nice
the bath towels are very large and soft
Now the cons:
We were part of a group of 7 families, and only one family actually got the rooms they booked. Some were upgraded for free because their selected room type was unavailable, while others were "upsold" to the next level and had to pay for the privilege (there is even an item on the bill on checkout that refers to "upselling" - presumably they plan on doing this regularly).
Despite the fact that we all requested interconnecting rooms with our children when we made our reservations in July, we were told on arrival that we hadn't asked for them, and then that there weren't many of those, so in some instances, children under 10 were located in rooms down the hall from their parents - we had to pay for an upgrade to a different category of room to get interconnecting.
Housekeeping was woeful - we could forgive them forgetting towels, or drinking water or whatever, but could not forgive the broken glass and blood stain still on the floor 5 days after a bottle was broken, or the mattress and bed linen not only stained but wet from the previous occupant's "accident".
We were charged 1500 baht extra per night for a third bed for our 13 year old - no bed was ever provided, but a sofa was made up (according to their website, kids under 12 get the sofa for much lesser charge, but those 12 and over get a bed). The sofa is much smaller than a normal bed (both length and width) - it might fit a 6 year old, but our kids just could not stretch out. We asked repeatedly for a proper bed, were told they were all being used, and on check out when we objected to the charge for what was effectively a cot, they claimed that was all there was.
We were there for the compulsory New Years Eve banquet - and were stunned that at 5000 baht per person (including for kids 12 and over) not even soft drinks (let alone alcohol) were included. That they also charged extra for kids entertainment and games that night is quite incredible.
It is the only resort in Asia that i have ever stayed that does not make complimentary iced water available by the pool - it is pretty hot there, and they make you buy bottled water at pretty steep mark ups to re hydrate.

in summary, don't be fooled by appearances - this is built and operated like a 3 - 4 star property, trading off its association with a 5 star relative.

Room Tip: Don't even think about a Sands room if there are more than 2 small people!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Katathani1, Guest Relations Manager at The Sands Khao Lak by Katathani, responded to this review, January 21, 2013
Dear langkawi-lisa,

Thank you for your recent review on Tripadvisor about our new property. All your pros and especially the cons have been shared with all departments concerned and we will do our best to improve on every scale according to the expectations of our guests and our own as well. Having said that I would like to point out some statements of your review that appear to have been a result of miscommunication or a misunderstanding.

While the hotel is just 10 weeks in operation and in the process of developing its own culture and unique services in the area of Khao Lak, it is not so much of “what it pretends to be” but more of a goal and expectation that we work very hard for to reach as soon as possible. A lot of progress has been already done and your valuable feedback will surely support us to reach this goal in no time. Thus I like to encourage you to visit us again and to give us the opportunity to demonstrate you the progress and development we make day by day.

I also would like to apologize that your request for interconnecting rooms could not have been satisfied the way you expected, however I need to mention here that all requests are subject to availability and the connecting rooms have been at no point guaranteed during the reservation process. In case all interconnecting rooms in the booked category are sold out it is up to the guest and room availability to choose another room-category. The term “upselling” is used on every occasion when a guest decides to go for a higher room category which usually involves a supplement charge and is in no way related to the request of interconnecting rooms.

As for drinks and snacks please note that in our on-site “Melon” shop you can purchase everything at regular mini-mart prices with no extra charges added.

Last but not least I also feel it is necessary to say that after all efforts and compromises our management went into to make sure the stay of your group with us will be relaxing and enjoyable, it is quite disappointing to see that it apparently has not been enough to reach the goal. Nevertheless we will gladly welcome you back again in The Sands Khao Lak on another occasion and try our best to meet your expectations then.

With kind regards, Jakub Piwowarski, Customer Relations Manager
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Pleasanton, California
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013

We came to the Sands Khao Lak to end our Thailand trip and we were not disappointed! It is a new resort and well situated. Our room is a pool access room overlooking a beautiful lagoon. It was my first time staying in this kind of room and we loved it :) The room looks very fresh from the white color tone. I like the small decoration details in the room e.g. the lip-shaped couch and
the ceiling lamp with small leafs. I also like the small plunge pool which is connected to the bigger pool, it gave us a feeling of having our own mini pool. The aroma oil they put in the room smells really nice. The resort looked very busy because of the holiday season, but we enjoyed our quiet time at our room terrace. The beach in front of The Sands is nice although the tide was quite high in the morning when we went for a walk. We had dinner at the restaurant by the beach once and it was perfect!

The Sands is located around 5 minutes to the center so it was very convenient to go out. Good location and the staff was very friendly and helpful. I always love the Thai smile :) Thank you,The Sands! We had a great time and we hope to be back one day.

Overall, Great location, great hotel & rooms, great staff!

Room Tip: Pool Access Room! Great value for the money
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Katathani1, Guest Relations Manager at The Sands Khao Lak by Katathani, responded to this review, February 2, 2013
Dear NorCal1929,

Thank you for your review and great to see you loved the room! Please come back whenever you plan yo visit Khao Lak again!

With warm regards, Jakub Piwowarski, Customer Relations Manager
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Cannes, France
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

The hotel has only recently opened and we just enjoyed a 3 night stay there. Our very large room had a really interesting design in light colours with a cute comfy terrace overlooking newly planted gardens through a completely transparent glass safety screen. Plenty of grass for sun beds both near the sandy beach and the pool. Excellent breakfast with the usual European standards plus great range of Thai breakfast specialities, some of which were prepared by chefs sitting in long tail boats floating in the lagoon adjacent to the restaurant. Unlike many Thai resorts, the prices are net and not plus taxes etc and a Mohito cocktail at 200 Baht (about £4.00) was great value. My partner thought the gym was very well equipped. Overall, an excellent experience with friendly staff and good value restaurants and bar..

Room Tip: Ground floor rooms have direct pool or garden access but higher rooms have more privacy.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Katathani1, Guest Relations Manager at The Sands Khao Lak by Katathani, responded to this review, May 21, 2013
Dear BC52, we are delighted to read that you have enjoyed your stay at our resort and appreciate the great rating on TripAdvisor. Thank you for excellent review about our Food and Beverage outlets! We are looking forward to welcoming you back to the Sands on your next visit to Thailand. With warm regards,

Customer Relations Manager
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Additional Information about The Sands Khao Lak by Katathani

Address: 10/18 Moo 7, Petchkasem Road | Khuek Khak, Takua Pa, Khao Lak 82190, Thailand
Phone Number:
Location: Thailand > Phang Nga Province > Khao Lak
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 60 Hotels in Khao Lak
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Sands Khao Lak by Katathani 4.5*
Number of rooms: 316
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