We were hesitant to stay at the Sands due to a few negative reviews but once we settled in to the hotel it surpassed all expectation and we were extremely happy there.
The room we originally booked was a family room. I would not recommend this room if you have older children, also the view is average (see photo), and once you shut the sliding door to the kids room there is no visibility of the TV for the adults.
The staff at reception suggested we upgrade to a junior suite pool access for a minimal additional charge. The room is gorgeous. Modern, with light colours and a Japanese style sliding door to close off the bathroom. The best thing is it has a balcony/deck which leads to a private pool shared by about 15 rooms (but hardly any other rooms used the pool so you basically had a 40 metre lap pool with fragrant floating frangipanis and a water feature to yourself.) Stunning!
Breakfast was excellent. A great range of western and Thai food. Exotic tropical fruits, and the old style Thai soup made literally from a floating fisherman boat out the front of the breakfast area. Very efficient and friendly staff clear your plates, and serve the buffet. It's a buffet therefore one expects to help themselves.
Fitness centre was great and it seemed to be used a lot. The staff were very enthusiastic and eager to help, to join in with the games, and are daily cleaning the equipment. I did a few Muay Thai boxing classes which were great fun and hard work.
The Coconut Bar which also has a swim up bar was great fun and we ate and drank there often. Especially during happy hour where all drinks including cocktails were $3AUD which is a comparable price to the little restaurants along the beach. The staff were very enthusiastic, friendly and worked hard. Sometimes I found the main pool a little sterile and lacking something, I know it is supposed to be a quiet pool but seeing that food and drinks including a kids menu are served there and such a stylish infinity pool should have a bit more atmosphere, more music and more fun. I am sure the staff would be up for it.
The kids pool is great with a pool slide and lots of jets and spas. Perfect for up to 6 year olds. Probably a little young though for my 8 and 10 year old. Hence we used the "quiet" pool, which was fine.
Babysitting is a bit of a problem. The hotel charges per child and insists on one babysitter per child. So I was paying the same price I would at home. Also 2 babysitters in a small room at night is unnecessary.
The overall look and feel of the hotel is stylish, modern, despite its youth there are already many plants growing beautifully. So many little touches I loved like the glowing lounge chairs outside one of the bars that changed colour, or the groovy directional signs. It does not really feel like a traditional thai resort, instead the overall look is very cool, almost boutique yet it is a large hotel. The staff are constantly cleaning the grounds, everything is very clean. A lot of effort is going into maintaining the gardens.
Location is very close to town, just a 5 min walk to the main shopping area. Also 10 minute walk along the beach to little restaurants. Another small complaint, It would be good to utilise the rarely used golf buggys and shuttle the guests up to the main road and back.
The staff are great. Yes they are having difficulty with English but they are so enthusiastic and the only way this can improve is through contact with the guests. If you take the time to say hello and have a chat they are really lovely. Khao Lak has a small town feel to it and much quieter than Phuket. Don't expect the staff at a newly opened resort to be slick at speaking English, they will get there with time. In the mean time they are polite, friendly and really want to help. Special thanks to Joy and the other staff a reception, Man, Ing, At and Lak at the Coconut Bar, Nim and Kwan in housekeeping, and Yin, Weenapong, Bic and Bee at the Fitness Centre and kids Club.
Overall we had a great stay and would recommend The Sands
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Travelocity, Agoda, Expedia, Booking.com, Hotwire, Priceline, Hotels.com and Cheap Tickets so you can book your The Sands Khao Lak by Katathani reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.