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“Fantastic hotel”

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The Sands Khao Lak by Katathani
Ranked #16 of 69 Hotels in Khao Lak
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
80 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Fantastic hotel”
Reviewed March 20, 2013

I have just got back from staying here and had the best holiday. The hotel staff were amazing, really helpful and very friendly. We stayed in the Sands rooms which were clean and beautifully appointed with a good balcony. The nice touches were the towels and bags for the beach and pool area, the drinking water and the umbrella which thankfully we didn't need. The free wi-fi was helpful as were the computers and printer for the use of guests. The food was lovely and the prices were fairly comparible with the ones in Khao Lak. The grounds are beautiful and you have a wonderful feeling of space. Breakfast has everything you could possibly hope for. One of the best points was it's location which was a short walk to all of the bars,restaurants and shops. I would go back in an instant and will be recommending this hotel to all of my friends.

Room Tip: We went for a Sands room on an upper floor and it was fantastic.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank Helen W
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, March 22, 2013
Dear Helen W,

Thank you for the great review on TripAdvisor. We will gladly welcome you back to The Sands whenever you decide to visit Khao Lak again in the future.

With kind regards, Jakub Piwowarski, Customer Relations Manager
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Sydney
Level Contributor
63 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2013

Just returned from 10 nights at The Sands. We stayed in a top floor (three storey building) sea view junior suite. The room was spacious and the balcony looked over one the two pools and the Andaman Sea. We could just make out the beach but it was mostly hidden behind the newly planted palms. In a nice touch, they offer to change your bed for a softer or firmer one if you do not like it. I have not encountered this anywhere before. However we found the bed king sized and superbly comfortable.

The bathroom / toilet arrangement is a little odd in that there are glass doors that do not go all the way to the ceiling one both. This is OK if you are very familiar with your partner but privacy could only be achieved by sliding closed two huge,cumbersome frosted glass and timber paneled doors which effectively cut the bathroom off from the main room.

There was plenty of storage in the room with lots of drawers and sufficient hanging space. Lighting is good although the lights in the resort stayed on all night so you had to be sure to close the curtains fully to make the room dark. The air conditioning worked perfectly and was essential at this time of year. There was a funny not-too-pleasant smell in the room when we first arrived and throughout our stay which was being masked by an essential oil burner in the room. The waste water system seemed to be the source. This is not unusual in Thailand generally but unexpected in a brand new 5 star resort.

An empty bar fridge is included and supplies can be purchased from the shop on-site however we chose the local "Super Mart" instead as the prices were more reasonable. Two bottles of water are supplied each day which was almost enough. Coffee and tea making facilities are provided.

The resort is located at the end of a LONG drive behind another Katathani resort. So it is quite a hike to the main road especially in the heat an humidity of March. As another reviewer suggested, they would do well to offer a shuttle service up to the road and put to us the four, mostly idle golf carts. We eventually decided to hire a motor scooter which was a great decision. At only $6 per day it was a real bargain and enabled us to explore up and down the coast as well as visit the shops and restaurants easily. Having said that, the location of our room was near to the beach so even from the guest car park it was still a hike through the resort to our room. We soon realised that the staff car / bike park was much nearer our end of the resort so by taking a back street we could park there and then only had a very short walk.

The layout of the resort meant that accessing our room from up near reception was also quite a hike. Unless you wanted to walk down behind the resort on their own access road, you had to go to the right hand side, walking past all of the pool suites, then cross back over past the pools. I do not understand why they designed it this way. Other guests made the same comment while we were there.

There are two pools but in both the water was the temperature of bath water and not refreshing. Not much you can do about natural solar heating in southern Thailand I guess but the pools are only waist deep and the "Peace" pool was tiled in dark blue and dark grey which means the sunlight is absorbed by the tiles and warms the water water even more. deeper water and pale colours would have helped here IMHO.

The staff were very good over-all. Smiling, happy to assist and nothing was too much trouble. We did however struggle not being able to speak Thai. As compared to other SE Asian resorts we have been to, there were few English speakers among the staff. However we were in a minority I think as it seemed most of the guests were German and Russian. Perhaps the staff are selected for language skills other than English?

Buffet breakfasts were included in the Floating Market Restaurant everyday and the quality was good but not great. There was lots of bread for toasting but it was all white. There was no grain or brown bread that I saw in 11 days. The fresh noodle soup / dumplings and dim sum served by one lady outside of the restaurant was the best food served each morning. I am not sure if the other guests failed to realise she was there but most just walked straight by her. Their loss.

We ate two dinners in the other restaurant, "Talay" which is right on the beach front. it is a magic location and seafood was excellent. We love Thai food and ate most meals in the many restaurants in Khao Lak and Bang Niang (further up Petchkasem road) but the food at Talay was the best food we ate during our stay. I rate it 5 stars alone. Superbly cooked, beautifully presented and plenty of it in a stunning location. Careful ordering wine though as the prices are the same as you'll find in Australia. This is the same throughout Thailand (and Vietnam) however. Beer and spirits are really inexpensive but wine is heavily taxed I think which makes it $$$. I drank the local beers Chang and Singha both in the resort and in the towns.

The Sands is brand new and it is remarkable how well they have made it so nice so quickly. The gardens will be stunning when the trees really get settled and their supporting poles are removed. I was a little surprised to see signs of poor and rushed construction. Little things like the cement render around many of the doors was already cracked and in need of repair, the grout in the tiling had been rushed and not neatly finished and was falling out. Silicon sealant around the glass and towel hooks was messily applied. Steps were of different heights in places and the surface of some of the paths was already coming loose.

It is a huge resort and it dwarfs all the others up and down the beach in both the number of storeys and size. It fronts the beach with a huge concrete and stone boulder wall which is not attractive. The addition of several tons of sand to raise the level up might hide the wall and soften the appearance. None of the other resorts we walked past north or south on the beach had this kind of presence.

Room Tip: Only stayed in the sea view junior suite and would do so again as it was so close to the beach, and...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Andrewhe
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, March 22, 2013
Dear Andrewhe,

Thank you for the very detailed review on TripAdvisor and I was glad to see that you enjoyed your stay.

Your remarks about the wine prices are absolutely correct. Due to the high tax on alcohol imports prices for wine are at the same price level like in Australia and most of them even more expensive then in Europe.

As for the beach front unfortunately it is not possible to hide the stone boulder wall under tons of sand since no matter how much sand we will put there, it will be washed away by the sea. In fact the coast at the Andaman sea is under a constant process of erosion and every year more and more parts are washed away, especially during the rainy season when waves become stronger. By putting heavy stones we contribute to protect the beach and secure our property from landslides at the same time.

Also I already forwarded your remarks about the construction mistakes to our engineering team who will take care of corrective works on the property as soon as the occupancy will allow us to do so without causing disturbance to our guests.

Once again thank you for your feedback and we will gladly welcome you back again in The Sands Khao Lak.

With kind regards, Jakub Piwowarski, Customer Relations Manager
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Glasgow
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2013

Firstly, you couldn't find a better location in Khao Lak: it's a beachfront property and a short stroll from the main drag where you'll find a decent choice of shopping, eateries, bars etc.

I was surprised by how large the property was, yet it rarely seems crowded - the idea of having a separate family pool certainly helps.

As you might expect from Katathani, the staff, service and dining are all first rate, but what I enjoyed most was my superb split-level room, it was very stylishly designed, the bed was blissfully comfy, the bathroom area - which can be screened off or opened up depending on your preference - well equipped and sported an excellent, and very powerful shower. Some rooms have private pools, but mine had its own balcony with sea views and was an ideal spot to relax with a cold beer or two in the evening.

The Sands is still a reasonably new hotel and some of the staff and facilities were still bedding in when I stayed but, even so, I had a wonderfully relaxing, if too brief, stay and can only imagine it will get better as time goes on.

Room Tip: Rooms nearer the beach have the the best views, but are a fair walking distance from the main buildi...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank GrahamCScotland
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, March 15, 2013
Dear GrahamCScotland,

Thank you for your recent review on TripAdvisor. Great to see that you enjoyed the most remarkable benefits of our property: The size of the resort which is granting you a relaxing and not crowded atmosphere together with the brand new rooms designed with a strong empasize on functionality and style.

We will be very glad to welcome you back again to The Sands in the hopefully not too distant future.

With kind 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.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed March 14, 2013

My husband and I are currently staying for a week and are really enjoying this resort. I contacted the resort before we arrived to organise a beach suite as close to the adult pool and beach as possible and was pleased to get a quick reply from the reservations team. The really good points of this resort:

-Located within walking distance of Khao Lak, so plenty of restaurants and shopping at night time, but the resort is quiet and relaxing.

-The resort have Salas right on the beach for your daily massages. We had vouchers for free Thai massages, so used this facility almost every day. The beach is beautiful and clean.

-Prices at the resort restaurants are reasonable.

-Newspapers and books available near the reception free of charge. Free wi-fi is a real bonus too.

Some points for the resort to consider:

The menu at the coconut bar/adult pool could have more variety. Especially more Thai food.

Most of the cocktails are very sweet, maybe less fruit syrup and more natural fruit juices can be used.

Overall a wonderful resort with friendly and helpful staff.

Room Tip: Rooms near the beach and adult pool are best
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank YJMM
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, March 15, 2013
Dear YJMM,

Thank you very much for the great review and I am glad you are enjoying your stay.

I will forward your remarks about the cocktails to our Food & Beverage manager to see whether we can re-examine the receipes, however for the Coconut Bar there is no plan to expand the menu. We like to keep the bar as what it is: A nice pool bar with a couple of snacks. For guests who would like to enjoy a bigger variety of food, the Talay restaurant is barely a 1 minute walk away offerring great Thai cuisine at very reasonable prices.

Once again thank you for your review and I wish you a continuously enjoyable stay.

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.
Rockingham, Australia
Level Contributor
78 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed March 13, 2013

Wow, we wanted a relaxing no hassel holiday and thats what we got, new hotel right on the beach. Very clean and friendly. You didnt need to go out of the hotel to eat and drink cheaply like most hotels, it was very comparable. Very little shade around as everything is new, this will improve with time. We will go again

Room Tip: ground floors have easy access to everything
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Paul L
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, March 15, 2013
Dear Paul L,

Great you had a relaxing stay with us. The palm trees should offer a lot of more shadow next year already as they are growing quite quickly thus we are all looking forward to welcome you back again in The Sands Khao Lak with an even improved and more relaxing site.

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.
Cronulla
Level Contributor
52 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2013

Husband and I had a week at the resort and thoroughly loved it. Sooooo relaxing and they could not be more accomodating. The accomodation was excellent, the staff were very attentive and eager to please. The beach was beautiful and you can run for miles. We had perfect weather but the water did tend to be quite warm. It is an good 1.5 hours drive from the airport and Khao Lak is quiet, this is a perfect stay for time out. Breakfast is really well provided with everything to choose from - dinner in Talay Restaurant which has a beautiful outlook need to be bought up a notch. Steak wasn't tender and the duck still had the a layer of really chewy fat and was served with baked beans! But our 2nd dinner there we had different choices and these were better but still felt like the meal was very mediocre.

Room Tip: We had beach views and were closer to the beach and infinity pool which was a great location.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Bluepole
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, March 12, 2013
Dear Bluepole,

It is great to read you enjoyed your staying with us and that the hotel supported your relaxing time with it's excellent location and our attentive staff. Your comments about the duck and the steak have been already passed on to the Chef and I am confident we can present you better dishes upon your next visit.

We are looking forward to welcome you back again!
Jakub Piwowarski, Customer Relations Manager
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HK
Level Contributor
63 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed March 8, 2013

This is my first to be in Khao Lak. It is less colourful than Phuket but relaxing and enjoyable to be there. The food is as tasty as other parts of Thailand except seafood. The best is, it is cheaper. This resort is located at a very convenient place of Khao Lak. However, you enjoy a quiet, fresh and relaxing environment in the resort. I think I will return shortly having the advantage of living near Thailand.

Room Tip: Junior Seaside room is great but not expensive. If you choose to stay in pool-access room, you can...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank keungkeung
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, March 11, 2013
Dear keungkeung,

I am very glad to see your first trip to Khao Lak left a positive impression on you and that you would like to visit us again. It is indeed less colourful than Phuket but if you are looking for a place to unwind and relax there is no better place to visit.

We are looking forward to welcome you back again soon!

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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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 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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