We have just returned from 12 days at The Sands and had a great stay again, the first being April last year. The Sands is located on the beach, just a 10 minute walk from the restaurants and shops of Khao Lak. The hotel and grounds are immaculate and the rooms are a good size and comfortable.
Once again we booked a pool access room and it was well worth the extra that we paid. There are plenty of great facilities for children, including indoor and outdoor play areas and 2 pools, one being a covered shallow pool for the younger children. The main infinity pool with the swim up bar is supposed to be a quiet area for adults but sadly parents ignore this, 2 children's pools are clearly not enough for some.
The Floating Market Restaurant is a good size and although the hotel was 80% full, there were always plenty of tables at breakfast. The food was varied and plentiful and nicely cooked, however, we did have an issue with the seafood in the evening buffet being cold. This problem was addressed and improved during our stay. We also ate at the beach front restaurant; the Talay. It serves a variety of seafood and meat dishes that are cooked to order. The food was always very good here and the price reasonable for hotel food, although considerably more than most local restaurants but usually of higher quality.
Although some reviews suggest a lack of sun loungers, we weren't aware of this at all. We never had any
problems finding a lounger and we didn't rush down in the mornings. If you wanted the front beach side row then you would need to take your towels down between 6.30 and 7.00 am but, really? I'm on holiday and can't do the stress! The hotel do say that they move towels when the beds are reserved but I didn't see this happen ever. Incidentally, the only reason I know about this is that we breakfasted early when on day trips.
The beach is a golden sandy beach that goes on forever. We enjoy walking on the beach and we could have gone on for miles. The local beach restaurants that we tried were cheap and the food was enjoyable. Fresh seafood is readily available at some and local Thai dishes are easy to come by.
All in all we had a great holiday and would go back. Just make sure you take an alarm. We asked for a call on the day of departure and our bags collected but we got neither.