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“The hotel offers good value for money but has some down-sides”

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The Sands Khao Lak by Katathani
Ranked #17 of 69 Hotels in Khao Lak
Certificate of Excellence
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
51 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“The hotel offers good value for money but has some down-sides”
Reviewed January 1, 2013

My wife and 2.5 year old son stayed at the Sands Khao Lak for 4 nights in December over Christmas and we have a very mixed experience there, very good and pretty bad and contributed to the 3-star rating. We stayed in the pool-access Junior Suite in the block near the main lobby. We stayed in the resort throughout our entire stay as our intention was to relax and it is hard to travel around with a young child.

In general, I think that this place offer very good value for money and is also very new. The staff is very keen to please and the place is also not crowded as I think some rooms are being worked on.
The constuction appears to be on-going as I can sometimes hear intermittent drilling sounds but it doesn’t bother us at all.During our stay, we observed workers putting up directional signs (“this way to beach”, “room 500-800 -” etc and also release fish into the pond.
One time, we had workers working on the deck of our room and we were advised by the hotel staff to locked the access door and pull the blinds for privacy.

The food is pretty good and the kids’ club is also a good distraction for my young child. My gripe is that my son was badly bitten by mosquitos (see review below).

Transfer and Check-in
We arranged for a private car transfer THB 2,000 and the pick up was quite ok. We arrived in the hotel at 10:30am local time. I understand that the check-in is 2pm but we were hoping that the room is available earlier. The staff wanted us to wait another hour to get the room ready (they offered to layout bedding on the sofa for our child which was pretty good.
The one-hour wait was reasonable as we had arrived early. I asked them whether my family can just use the room to change/shower and then they prepare the extra bedding? The staff responded by letting my family use an available room to change while our junior suite is being prepared (which is nice of them).
There were some workers loitering around that block with the temporary room. Amazingly, the shower’s drainage clogged while we were taking a shower! Luckily, our suite does not have this problem!

Pool-access Junior Suite
When we checked in the room, we noted that it looks a little ‘dusty’ and there were some mosquitoes flying around. I suspect that the room’s doors or windows were being left opened for a long time. We asked the staff to clean the room again. The house-keeping service was pretty prompt. We also asked for extra water (complimentary) and again the service was very prompt. I will give top-scores to the house-keeping staff.
The Junior suite is of a decent size. There are sliding doors separating the bathroom from the rest of the room, so we can make the bathroom ‘open’ or ‘private’ depending on the needs. Generally, since our kid is still young, we prefer an open bathroom as there are no blind spots where we cannot really see what the child is doing for safety reasons.
The furnishing in the suite/room was pretty ‘basic’ but completely new. The whole place looks functional and does not have a ‘luxury’ feel. This is actually fine for us.
The pool-access is pretty nice. It is linked to the an L-shaped pool and we can swim laps if we choose to. Each room also have a little ‘niche’ where one can sit in the water.
The down-side of our stay is that when we woke up the next day after spending the first night in the suite, my son’s face and feet (exposed areas) were covered with mosquito bite marks. He is allergic and there is swelling on these areas. Luckily he is one resilent person and didn’t really scratch and complain. This is after we ‘killed’ like 5-10 mosquitoes before turning in the night.
His condition was so bad that I feel like packing our bags and going home.
We complained to the hotel staff who installed some repellent to the room (again prompt service). We also adjusted the air conditioner’s temperature to waydown< 20 degrees C to discourage biting.
But throughout our stay, there were mosquitoes in our room although after the first night, we did not really get bitten.

Spa
My wife and I tried out the spa on separate occasions. Overall, it was pretty ok. The treatment was pretty good value for money. A 1-hour massage cost THB 1,600. However, the spa, like the room also looked pretty ‘basic’.

Food-Breakfast
We ate in the resort 3-meals a day. The breakfast spread was pretty wide. The fruits were very fresh and we especially like it. The cooked food like noodles and so on are not very good. The confectionary like pastries and so on is not very good. The place has a pancake station making fresh pan cakes and it was pretty good.

Food-Room Service and restaurants
We either ordered room service or had meals at the resort’s restaurant. The food at the restaurant was pretty good and pretty good value for money. We ordered a kid’s meal and 2 entrees (no drinks) and cost us between THB 600 and THB 1000. The Green Curry was especially good.
The room service was also pretty prompt, they will say 20 mins but typically are here at 15 mins.

Kids club and gym
There is a nice kids’ club which my son really loves, one parent will spend about 1-2 hours with him playing in there while the other is working out or in the spa. The items there are brand new and it was not overly crowded.
The gym is also pretty nice. One general observation is that the place is not packed. I think when it is completely full there will be over crowding. For example,there is only 2 treadmills.

Pool and Beach
The stretch of beach is not very nice. The beach looks pretty small. My son have a great time playing in the waves and picking up sea shells. It was also not overly windy when we were there.
There is lounge chairs available each time we are at the beach/pool. There are staff available to move lounge chairs around and to fold and unfold umbrellas etc.
The pool’s children area is also pretty nice.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Woon T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Katathani1, General Manager at The Sands Khao Lak by Katathani, responded to this review, January 2, 2013
Firstly I would like to thank you for taking your time to write a detailed feedback of our resort. We are always looking to improve our services and we appreciate your comments. We will share your kind comments regarding the efficiency and friendliness of the staff to everyone. I am so sorry to hear of your son’s bad experience with regards to mosquito nuisance. I have instructed our housekeeping staff to pay more attention especially to the rooms and reviewed our monthly fumigation schedule. We have passed on your comments regarding some particular food items which do not meet your satisfaction to the chef. Regarding the beach, our resort is located on Nang Thong Beach which is almost 2 km long. You may have experienced the high tide; as a result the beach looked smaller than usual. Once again, we are thankful for your feedback and hope to welcome you back again.
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English first
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed December 30, 2012 via mobile

This is a brand new hotel but the building was thrown together and the staff needs training. Stay somewhere else until they get their act together. The pond in the middle of the sprawling property is not attractive and the construction quality is substandard for the rates they charge.

Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
9 Thank Venice Traveler C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Katathani1, General Manager at The Sands Khao Lak by Katathani, responded to this review, January 2, 2013
We are sorry to hear that we failed to meet your expectation. We have intensified training sessions and adjusted our standard of service to meet the guest satisfaction in the busy season. Kindly note that the pond in front of the lobby is in fact a natural lagoon. To enhance its setting, we have planted the trees and water plants in the surrounding area. Your comment regarding the construction quality have been put to the management team for further improvement. Thank you for your feedback which is always important to us.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed December 29, 2012

Pros:
- The pool access junior suite is nicely done up with modern fittings and furniture. However most of the pool access rooms are still not available and there are many workers around still working on the defects in other blocks.
- Good for family with kids as they have a special room for kids playground.
- The gym besides the kids playroom is also not bad, big enough with new equipments for a decent workout.
- Food at the Talay Restaurant is reasonably priced, a meal for 2 cost around SGD30.00. Food quality is good too, except you have to wait slightly longer for the food to arrive. You can try out restaurants just outside the resort for cheaper meals though, with roughly the same waiting time.
- Besides the private pool outside our suite, there are also 2 swimming pools for the guests. Each room is also equipped with beach bags and towels, this is something we never get in other hotels. There are also plenty of beach chairs around the 2 pools and beach, should be sufficient for all guests when the resort is fully occupied.

Cons:
- Communication: Staff need to improve their English to be able to communicate and understand the guests. We asked for a glass of warm water at the restaurant but got a glass of ice and mineral water. We checked with the frontdesk staff if the pool outside our suite is clean and safe for swimming as the water pumps in the pool are not working, but they (3 to 4 staff) couldn't understand us until they seek help from another staff who can speak proper English. This whole incident took us the whole morning and in the end we were told there's nothing they can do except to wait for the external contractors which will take a while. They assured that the pool is safe for swimming so we still proceed with our swim. Later on we realised some of the pumps are working but most are not.
- There are many mosquitoes inside the room, and the staff did provide us with electric mosquito repellant when we feedback about this issue.

Room Tip: Room Tip: If you want to walk into the pool directly from your room and swim anytime you wish to, m...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Dave Y
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 Dave Y, we are happy to receive your feedback on TripAdvisor. Thank you for your great feedback about our facilities and equipment. Regarding your Cons, we have an ongoing English training that started a while ago and we will continue until we have a good working level of English in every department, until this moment there is always possibility to ask for our foreign staff on site in case there is communication problems. Also for the mosquito problem, we have a regular fumigation and set-up mosquito repellants in the rooms. We do hope to see you again at the Sands soon. Warm regards,

Customer Relations Manager
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Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed December 26, 2012

Since many people are anxious to get more news on this newly built hotel we are going to give you our initial impressions after the first 5 days of our 14 day stay.

To get straight to what most of you are wondering, is the hotel finished and is any residual work being done interferring with the vacation?
Yes, and No.... Most of the work is done, from what we can judge there are still a few rooms (farthest away from the beach) that are not yet complete, I think that they are their standard rooms so if you happen to get a room close by you might suffer som discomfort but it seems that the hotel is well aware of that and do not seem to have booked people in there. The only other thing that is not yet complete is the tennis court.
Having said that the rest of the hotel is splendid, there is no feeling of vacationing on a building site, lots of lush greenery, great beach even just outside of the hotel and the room we are staying in is great (2bedroom sea suite on the third floor) with a fantastic view of the ocean.
Staff is really friendly and helpful but there is a feeling of inexperience especially now these past few days after Xmas when the hotel is starting to fill up (orders will be mixed up or forgotten, can take quite some time to get your order). The quality of the food is very good and we have enjoyed almost everything so far. The buffet breakfast is fresh and abundant and the spa treatments we have had so far are good, although a small tip would be to use the facility by the beach side, yes it is not as extravagant but top notch quality at a 1/3 of the price.
All in all so far we are pleased with our stay and would not hesitate to recommend the hotel, the teething problems with staff will improve and you do not need to worry about arriving at a construction site!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Aroundtheworld201106
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Katathani1, General Manager at The Sands Khao Lak by Katathani, responded to this review, January 2, 2013
Thank you very much for your review. We are glad to hear that you enjoyed your overall stay with us. Your comments are very valuable and we have taken a step to improve our standard of service at the restaurants. Kindly be informed that the tennis court will be completed by the end of January 2013. We are thankful for your patronage and we hope to welcome you back to The Sands in the near future.
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Cape Town Central, South Africa
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed December 25, 2012

It must have taken a great effort to complete the resort on time - the gardens are well laid out and the outdoor areas are all of a high standard including the pool areas. The beach is very nice and provides good swimming opportunities.
The main drawbacks the the hotel are 1) the exceptionally poor service - in particular at the beach-side restaurant and 2) the somewhat low quality furniture and fittings in the rooms. The second is not too big an issue although might be in a few years. Maybe management will ugprade the furniture in a year or two once they have earned a return on their current investment.
The first is a big problem - despite the kitchen being seamingly well equipped the service is dreadful to the point of ruining one's stay. It is the worst I have experienced in many trips to Thailand - and most uncommon for a Thai hotel. Staff are also particularly unfriendly and sometimes even agressive. We gave up on our order after waiting an hour as did at least two other tables. A number of others were engaged in arguments with the staff. Management need to bring in better supervision very quickly and need to consider simpliying the menu in the short term to make sure they can meet guest requirements.
We had two rooms (the second for kids) but there was no hot water in the second and this could not be repaired during our stay. This wasn't a big deal for us though as we had the use of the second room's bathroom.
Avoid the restaurant and you can have a very good stay here.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank 96CTUp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Katathani1, General Manager at The Sands Khao Lak by Katathani, responded to this review, January 2, 2013
Thank you for your recent review. We appreciate that you enjoyed our garden and the outdoor areas. However, I may apologize for the poor service received at the beach restaurant. We are paying more attention to the consistency and warmth of the service given. A training program has been put forward and we have adjusted the number of staff at the rush hours. The executive chef also completed our menu revision. We also apologize for the hot water problem in your kids’ room. Our engineering department has found the cause and rectified the problem. We hope to welcome you back in the future.
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed December 14, 2012

Really enjoyed my stay at the Sands. The hotel nicely incorporates modern with traditional Thai styling without confusing the two. The way the resort is set out gives it a spacious feel and doesn't make it seem busy. The service was great and the food, even better. I also had the best Thai massage I've ever had and would have gone back everyday for more, had i had time. Thoroughly enjoyable stay!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank peterjamesalexander
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 peterjamesalexander, thank you for your excellent review on TripAdvisor. It is great to know that you liked our design, ambience and also massage. We do look forward to welcoming you back whenever you find time to travel to Thailand. With warm regards,

Customer Relations Manager
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West Sussex
Level Contributor
15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed December 11, 2012

This is a brand new resort in a quiet, beachfront location yet within 5 minutes walk of the resort of Khao Lak. Modern and spacious, a great deal of thought has gone in to design and layout to make the hotel suitable for both families and couples with separate pools and play areas for kids. There's still a way to go on the landscaping but when we were there, there were literally hundreds of new plants waiting to go in. Once they've bedded in it will take the hard edges of the overall feel. The staff (as always in Thailand) were particularly friendly and always smiling.
Great value massage too (approx £7/8 for an hour long Thai massage)

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank The_travelgurus
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 19, 2013
Dear The_travelgurus, thank you for your review on Tripadvisor. We are glad to see your great rating and your kind words regarding our staff. We look forward to welcoming you at the Sands Khao Lak next time you pay a visit to Thailand. Warm regards,

Customer Relations Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Sands Khao Lak by Katathani

Property: The Sands Khao Lak by Katathani
Address: 10/18 Moo 7, Petchkasem Road | Khuek Khak, Takua Pa, Khao Lak 82190, Thailand
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 #17 of 69 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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