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.
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’.
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.
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