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“Fabulous new hotel stylish, modern, friendly, fun!”

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The Sands Khao Lak by Katathani
Ranked #16 of 68 Hotels in Khao Lak
Certificate of Excellence
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Fabulous new hotel stylish, modern, friendly, fun!”
Reviewed January 30, 2013 via mobile

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

Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
18 Thank ab672431
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 4, 2013
Dear ab672431,

Thank you for your extensive review on Tripadvisor and I am very glad to see that we surpassed your expectations in almost all points.

As for the babysitting service I am afraid we have to keep the policy since it is concerned to safety regulations that need to be followed.

A special thank you for mentioning the staff by name who took so good care of you. This is the kind of feedback that gives strength, motivation and satisfaction for having done a good job and I will ensure your comments are passed on to them and their supervisors respectively.

Once again thank you for your feedback and we are looking forward to welcome you back again in The Sands!

With warm regards, Jakub Piwowarski, 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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USA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2013

I hard to explain by word how wonderful the hotel is.

Modern tropical hotel style with warm and cozy atmosphere.

I stayed at the Sands for 4 nights with my couple. I got a pool access room that made my stay so amazing. I can get into pool from my balcony that made me feel like I have my own pool villa and the decoration blended into the surroundings. It made my stay so relaxing and enjoyable. Another thing completed my stay is amazing bed, it’s really comfortable. I never wanted to leave my room.

About food, the breakfast is superb, have variety foods for you and everything is fresh and prepared on site from top quality ingredients. They decorated restaurant with floating market style. In the evening they have international buffets and seafood for you to enjoy but if you want an experience of romantic dinner time, The Sands provides you a very romantic restaurant by the sea.

Thank you for great service and peaceful atmosphere that charging my energy and fulfill my romantic life with my couple. I highly recommended for you all who looking for some place to stay like a paradise on earth.

The perfect hideaway for me. LOVE THE SANDS

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Patty P
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 4, 2013
Dear Patty P,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review and I was glad to see our services met your expectations. I passed your comments to our team who was very happy to hear your recommendation, especially our chefs at the breakfast. We are looking forward to welcome you back again in The Sands!

With warm regards, Jakub Piwowarski, Customer Relations Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo, Norway
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2013

Our stay in Khao Lak and The Sands was a perfect stay.Great value fore money.
It was perhaps not so nice that we have snake in the garden almost every day ,but the personel was qvick too removed it.
Our remarks was also that the pool resturant (Cocunut bar) could have a more exiting a la carte meny.All in all we had a realy good time here and we will came back next year fore sure.

Room Tip: Book a Junior suite with a fantastic sea wiew and good space.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank a a
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 a a,

Great to hear from you and that you enjoyed the stay. Khao Lak is an amazing peaceful destination with the jungle basically all around the resort, but as you could see our staff got the situation with animals of all kinds quite good under control. I passed your remarks about the Coconut Bar to our chef and I am sure we can show you some more menu-excitement latest upon your next visit. Looking forward to see you back again next year!

With warm regards from Khao Lak, Jakub Piwowarski, Customer Relations Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
261 reviews
259 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 388 helpful votes
Reviewed January 27, 2013

This is a brand new property. It was opened in late 2012. I would recommend it without hesitation except for one truly important aspect which management can easily fix but seems hesitant to do so. Firstly, the overall review.

1. Rooms: We had a seaview room almost on the beach. It was spacious, well-appointed, modern, with all the facilities one can expect for the price you pay and more. The king size bed was magnificent, and so were the toilette facilities, balcony, coach, sofa. There is also a personal safety deposit box for valuables. I'd recommend this type of room over the most expensive ''pool access'' rooms. This is so because the latter are in fact well back from the beach and more importantly because if you choose this option you don't have access to a private pool but to a public pool ''only available'' to about 20 rooms adjacent to your room. The set-up can get promiscuous, and you would have no privacy. The seaside option is, in my view, far superior and better value for money.

2. Breakfast: It is appropriate with great variety. It is served in a nice setting, and a pleasant way to start the day.

3. Facilities: Excellent and new. A good gym, ample areas, and two large pools. However, despite having two excellent pools, this is the problem in the property. There are 2 large and excellent pools. One is marked the Kids pool (which is a very very large pool) and another pool which is openly marked as ''The Quiet Pool'' (of similar size as the Kids pool). The issue, and it became a very big issue, is that parents with children wilfully ignore the ''Quiet'' sign and head directly to that pool with their children ignoring the ''Kids Pool'' altogether. The upshot is that at times, and for very long periods, the ''Quiet Pool'' was anything but quiet. It resembled in fact a noisy Child Care facility or an after school hours playground. We raised the issue with senior management as it became intolerable. They listened, but took no meaningful action despite the flagrant and repeated branches of their own policy. We were told that they didn't want to upset the ''families''. The ratio between families and couples was about 1 to 20 respectively however. So please very few, they annoyed the vast majority. My advice is that if you want peace and quiet travelling as a couple, you SHOULDN'T book the hotel UNTIL management effectively enforces their own stated policy by removing children from the ''Quiet Pool'' and keeping it that way. Staff did nothing even when told to do something and management tried to keep everyone happy which is of course impossible to achieve in this scenario. You go to Khao Lak to relax and having children screaming around you isn't what you paid for. I saw a previous review by a Norwegian reviewer (who visited a month before we did) who complained about exactly the same situation. This confirms that despite being aware of the issue management failed to act.

3. Beach: Hotel is on the beach which is very nice both for swimming and for walking. Fantastic setting throughout.

4. Amenities: The hotel amenities are good, and also the prices in the hotel restaurants were quite similar to the ones on offer in Khao Lak (which is only 5 minutes' walk from the property). This is to be complimented as you are not compelled to leave the hotel to eat if you don't feel like it. There is also complimentary internet wi-fi available across all areas of the resort, including the rooms. This is to be applauded. The connection was also of good quality.

Overall, this is a very good property with a remarkable future in Khao Lak. The only proviso is that you have to be assured by hotel management that they will enforce their own policy by keeping the main pool area for adults not turning it into a kids' playground particularly since there is a very large pool for infants and children of the highest standards.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
24 Thank EZT
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 EZT,

Thank you for the balanced review. Our team was very glad to note all the pros listed and I am sure you agree with me that the hotel is on the right track.

About the issue with the children in the quiet pool I am glad we found a way to create more harmony as you experienced only 1 day after our conversation. While before opening a hotel there are many concepts and ideas developed one can never be sure what the end-result will look like. Therefore sometimes concepts need to be adjusted or supported by additional measures which can be a challenging task while balancing between guests requests and expectations. However as you could see, there is always a way to find the right compromise and since all our guests come here for vacation and relaxation, there is a common ground and a solid base to work on this together.

Once again thank you for the valuable feedback and I am looking forward to see you again in Khao Lak.

Best regards, Jakub Piwowarski, Customer Relations Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed January 26, 2013

We stayed at the Sands in December and were really impressed. It's clearly a new resort which is both good and bad. The furnishings are all virtually brand new and everything is immaculate and it's great to have new sun lougers. (On the down side, some of the staff, while really nice, seemed new).

Value wise we thought it was excellent, we loved Khoa Lak (it's worth the hour drive from Phuket airport as Patong is disgusting - we refuse to stay there). The beach is superb and main pool is great and the breakfasts are brilliant. In fact, it was probably one of the best breakfasts we've had, huge choice, and really fresh ingredients. (Breakfasts in Thailand are far better than China or Europe).

We stayed for a week, which felt a bit short (wold have loved a few more days), but will try to plan a return trip on the way home from Europe next year.

We've stayed at quite a few places in Asia, and value for money wise, The Sands is up there with the best.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Jenny S
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 1, 2013
Dear Jenny S,

Thank you for your review on TripAdvisor and I am glad you enjoyed the stay with us. Your comments about the breakfast put a smile on the face of our chef who was delighted to hear it. Looking forward to see you again upon your next visit to Khao Lak!

With warm regards, Jakub Piwowarski, Customer Relations Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kristiansand, Norway
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed January 25, 2013

This hotel us far overpriced compared with service level you expect in a hotel like this is Thailand. Let me give you a few example:
Brefast room. Good food, but abselute no service with the service from the staff. It was higher fiócuse in serving their own staff - and told us to go and help your self with coffey.

Main resturant. Nice place - good location, but standard on western disches was not good. Food was not cooked in the way it was told to bee cooked, and the salomon in the roos was OLD and taste bad.

Pool bar in quiet pool was good, but the quiet pool was full of cracy kids that did nor repect the difference between quiet pool, and fun pool. In adition you have several happenings with diper kids not ysing dipers in a pool. It does not make the situation better that the happening was not removed but fluating around.

It was not to many individual travelers. When the TUI - Fritidresor arrived the hotel has like a charter camp, and not a hotel. Large grupes of Swedish - FInish - Russian guests that took over the publick places.

Room Tip: Try to get one of the suites located closest to the sea.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
18 Thank ths051064
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 4, 2013
Dear ths051064,

Thank you for your review on TripAdvisor. I am very sorry to see that you did not enjoy your staying with us which seems was mainly not for the product as for the service that did not match up with your expectations.

Please be assured that upon hearing from you while you were still at the resort, immediate actions were taken to rectify your concerns and as you can see on the more recent reviews we are on the right track to ensure our guests have a great vacation with us.

On a last note I would like to mention that our resort is welcoming all nationalities equally and I was sorry to hear your notion towards specific groups of our guests.

I hope you enjoyed your visit to Thailand and I would appreciate if you consider staying with us in the future again. We will gladly welcome you back to The Sands in Khao Lak by Katathani.

With kind regards, Jakub Piwowarski, Customer Relations Manager
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Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
30 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
Reviewed January 21, 2013

Just returned from a two week stay at The Sands and must say, it was a really relaxing experience. It is a brand new resort, the rooms are really fresh and bright, with a nice green concept throughout. Amenities are pretty good, and the room is a comfortable size. Stayed in a Seaside Junior suite, which gave me great access to the main pool. The desk behind the bed is really handy, and the bathroom is nice - deep bath and separate show. You can also get their Pool Access rooms, which looked pretty nice, but a little further away from the beach than the Junior Suites.

The main restaurant is themed like the floating markets of Bangkok - which doubles up as the breakfast buffet restaurant, and then the candle lit, fine dining type of Thai restaurant in the evening. The second restaurant is right near the beach and has spectacular views of the ocean. I ate the Red Snapper most days, but everything was great, and surprisingly, the prices were the same if not cheaper than the lesser quality 'touristy' restaurants outside the hotel. The mixed fruit shake with blended ice is a must too!

The service at the restaurants was always excellent - 5 Star service, with regular top-ups of water and a welcome basket of bread within moments of sitting down. The live music in each restaurant added a nice touch, and

There are a few bars at the resort too, one near the lobby, another in the middle of the ground, but we tended to hang by the pool bar. Had a nice view of the ocean.

One of the most appealing aspects of the resort is the sense of space you feel when you are relaxing around the grounds. There is a lot of 'greenery' and space between the two main swimming pools. Found that everyone could relax throughout the resort without being on top of each other, which often happens in some of the other luxury resorts in Khao Lak and Phuket. I also liked the fact you could lie down on deck chairs on grass too, overlooking the ocean - without having to deal with sand! There is a 'fun' pool for families with kids, and a very tranquil main infinity pool which is beautiful to swim in any time of the day (especially during a rainstorm!).

Romantic walks along the beach is a must (weather permitting) and the resort is really close to the main walking street in Khao Lak, which makes it more convenient location wise than some of the other resorts I have stayed at previously in Khao Lak (Ramada, JW Marriott).

Overall, while the resort may not be as glitzy as some of the other resorts in Khao Lak on first impressions (the plantation around the lake is obviously new and not fully developed), it definitely grows on you, leaving you not wanting to go anywhere else to relax or to eat! Recommend for a relaxing Khao Lak getaway.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
20 Thank bubajane
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 27, 2013
Dear bubajane,

Thank you for your detailed review and I was very glad to see that you had the most relaxing and enjoyable stay. You are very welcome to visit us again in the future and please feel free to contact us directly to support you with any request or preference for your next visit so we can do our best to ensure you have a great experience also upon your next stay in The Sands.

With kind regards, Jakub Piwowarski, Customer Relations Manager
Report response as inappropriate
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 #16 of 68 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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