Tropical Thai Heaven: The Sands Khao Lak Resort / By Tony Bar / Barselona / TRAVEL EXCLUSIVE NEWS / New York
We’ve created the ultimate Thai holiday with luxury and indulgence, featuring the incredible beachfront resort The Sands Khao Lak by Phuket’s premier hotel group, the Katathani Group. Khao Lak is the new Thai Hotspot, and it’s easy to see why. Khao Lak today is the Patong of decades ago – stunning and tranquil, situated on a sandy beach strip just north of Phuket.
The Sands resort is located about an hour from Phuket International Airport in the heart of trendy Khao Lak. The hotel can also arrange transfers and a handy private airport pick-up is included in this deal, so there is no need to search for a taxi.
As Patong has been overrun by tourists, Khao Lak has surged in popularity. We’re frequent travellers to the region and can attest that the Patong crowd of 20 years ago is now turning to Khao Lak to avoid the hustle and bustle of Patong. Khao Lak is also close to to the stunning Similan Islands, where visitors enjoy snorkelling, scuba diving, and pristine nature reserves.
Inspired by nature and designed with stylish, spacious contemporary angles, the Sands Khao Lak is one of the newest additions to the multi award-winning Katathani Group.
Kata has a number of hotels in Phuket – including highly rated hotels The Shore and Katathani. The Sands gives Katathani devotees the chance to experience Khao Lak in luxury.
What differentiates Khao Lak from neighboring tourist destinations like Phuket, are its upscale, secluded coastal resorts, quiet, uncrowded beaches, family-friendly night time environment and provincial ordinances, which prohibit the building of structures taller than the height of a coconut palm tree.
It’s ideal for couples looking for a relaxing vacation and also fantastic for families, especially with younger children.
If you want to hit the nightclubs every night, then we’d suggest avoiding Khao Lak, and heading to Patong, or Bangkok or Kuta in Bali – but for families looking for fun and relaxation, or couples looking for romance, Khao Lak is THE premier destination.
The Sands is a large hotel – with more than 300 well sized rooms with sea or garden views. While large in size, the resort manages to maintain an intimate feel, with guests spread over five swimming pools and several restaurants.
The kids (and the young at heart) will be blissfully entertained by the delights of the indoor games centre.
The resort also includes a supervised ‘kids club’ for children aged between four and twelve, with a kids ‘fun zone’ swimming pool area with a play pool…
children’s pool, mini water slide and bubble zone. For parents looking for some freedom from the kids in the evening, the Sands offers a reasonably priced babysitting service.
Rooms are either King or Twin and the bathrooms are a lot better than what we’re used to back home! The usual features like LCD TVs and Wi-Fi are all there, and the Sands has a great in-house spa and gym.
Great bathrooms, with a large bathtub and separate shower.
Travelling with kids? It could be worth asking the Sands about their family rooms, and upgrade that can be arranged directly with the resort if you find beneficial. Guests who upgrade to a family room get a bright coloured room with separate kids area.
Guests choosing to upgrade to a VIP Package will also stay in a gorgeous Lagoon View Sands Room that grants breathtaking vistas. As an added bonus,
guests will also enjoy double the amount of massages – that’s a whopping 16 massages to share between two adults for the eight night package and 20 for the ten nighter!
The ‘Fun’ Pool
When we visited the resort, the little kids were loving the special kids pool, which has a waterside, fountains, bubble play and lots of other fun features. Sadly, we weren’t allowed on the water-slide. (Apparently, we were too old).
There’s plenty to do at night at the Sands – enjoy one of the in-house restaurants, or take the free cocktail making course and indulge in a few cocktails at the same time. There’s nothing better than sitting back with a pina colada and looking over the pools.
Guests light lanterns at The Sands.
There’s definitely no shortage of dining options at The Sands (and Khao Lak in general if you want more variety – there are numerous options located within walking distance of the resort).
The Sands has two main on-site dining options including Floating Market, a luxurious Thai restaurant alongside the resort’s natural lagoon, and Talay, a modern sea front restaurant showcasing local, regional and international cuisine, and featuring live cooking presentations.
Every morning all guests get a full buffet breakfast, complete with every type of Western and Asian food imaginable. From the egg station, where you can select poached, scrambled, sunny side up … to the dim sum and soup stations.
One of Thailand’s specialty dishes – Sticky Rice & Mango!
Guests will enjoy a romantic three-course Seafood Dinner for two at Talay (with highlights such as Lobster bisque and Grilled Rock Lobster) and a three course fine dining Thai dinner for two at the Floating Market Restaurant.
Or choose to trade in one of your dinners for a Thai cooking course for two, led by the renowned Chef Somchai, where you can taste and learn the secrets of making traditional Thai delicacies.
Evening view of The Floating Market Fine Dining Thai Restaurant.
Guests enjoying dinner at The Floating Market Restaurant.
Evening with the Talay Restaurant to the left.
Delicious Pad Thai Station.
Getting to Khao Lak from Australia is easy. You can fly directly to Phuket International Airport from some Australian cities, or do what we did and come via Bangkok (or Singapore/KL) .
Phuket International airport is serviced by Virgin Australia, Jetstar and Thai Airways. Other options include flying to Singapore, Bangkok or Kuala Lumpa and taking a short connecting flight directly to Phuket. Once you get to Phuket, you can take your pre-arranged transfer straight to the hotel.
The offer also includes eight soothing 30-minute massages at the seaside Sala (or ten massages for the standard ten night package)
While there are literally hundreds of cheaper options outside the hotel, there’s a big difference in the quality of treatment and the spa itself. Some of the cheaper spas outside the resort may not have the levels of service and more importantly, hygiene that you get from the premium hotel spa.
Khao Lak is quickly becoming one of our Travel Team’s favourite getaway destinations, and with all this who can blame us? There’s simply no better place to indulge in some uncompromised tropical relaxation by the beachfront, than at The Sands Khao Lak Resort.