The resort has been owned by South Africans, Cheryl and Julian, who were looking for a holiday in South East Asia, found Koh Chang on the internet, bought the business in October 2008 and “retired” from the corporate world of London. Well, more a case of a “working” retirement!
Cheryl raised the couple’s four children during which time she had spells selling real estate and managing some family owned pizza delivery stores in South Africa that gave her the experience in a commercial kitchen with food preparation and managing a team.
Julian spent 22 years with one of the largest financial services groups in South Africa ending as company secretary before transferring to the London head office of this FTSE 100 company as their group insurance manager for just over 4 years.
The couple enjoy traveling, good food and wine, renovating and decorating properties and spending time with their far flung family and friends whenever possible. They like to bring what they learn on their travels from other hotels to their own resort to introduce ongoing improvements at Amber Sands. They thrive on meeting the wide range of guests and helping to make their holiday experience special.
Neither Cheryl nor Julian have had previous hotel experience or training, and yet that hasn’t stopped them winning the TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Award for five years running, the only hotel or resort on Koh Chang to earn this achievement. In addition, they have been selected as one of the Top 25 Small Inns in the whole of Thailand being ranked in 5th position in 2016.
What to expect
- Family owned involvement in daily management.
- Caring hosts who are attentive to your needs, yet mindful of your privacy.
- Warm and friendly hospitality.
- Small enough to offer an individual service.
- As one of our guests said “five star service at 3 star prices!”
- A quiet and tranquil atmosphere without karaoke, disco or televisions.
- “Put your feet up and relax” environment.
- “Home away from home”.
- Attention to detail in your rooms, with mosquito spray, slippers, a number of international plug sockets, reading lights, etc.
- Free WIFI and use of a computer.
- A library of books in a number of languages.
- Two kayaks and four bicycles, at no extra cost.
- Local advice about the island, the many local sights and activities.
- Located on the quiet side of the island, yet only 20 minutes away from bustling White Sands.
- “It's the spirit that makes all the difference.”
“What I value about Cheryl and Julian is that they give you what was promised and agreed, everything according to description. So, we were not surprised by anything we could have expected and what wasn't delivered.” – Anna Andrej 1st December 2013.
We won’t oversell and make our resort look better than it is. Amber Sands is not 5 star luxury, so please don’t expect that. We prefer to manage expectations and offer “what you see is what you get”.
Probably 85% of our guests are from western and northern Europe (mainly Scandinavian, Dutch, Belgian, German and English), with the balance from Canada, the US, Australia, South Africa and a few other countries.