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“HERE ARE THE FACTS” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Tonsai Bay Resort

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Tonsai Bay Resort
3.0 of 5 Resort   |   18 Moo 2, Krabi Town 81000, Thailand   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #94 of 159 Hotels in Krabi Town
Seattle, Washington
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“HERE ARE THE FACTS”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

Alright-- here are the facts about Tonsai and this Resort....

1. There is no power everyday in your room from 9:00am-5:00pm.....meaning no lights, AC or fans during that time. This is true for ALL of Tonsai. The entire area is run off generators, so to conserve energy, everyone turns them off during the day. This also means restaurants go with refrigeration and put everything on ice (including meats)

2. There is absolutely NO free wifi on Tonsai. The cheapest is 3 Baht a minute.

3. Garbage is an issue on Tonsai. It's everywhere. Took a little bit to get use to.

4. Red ants....everywhere.

With all of this said-- it is genuinely a rock climbers paradise. The entire culture is based upon it. Tonsai Bay Resort is the nicest place to stay on Tonsai....which isn't saying a whole lot. But if you are relaxed and enjoy the "camping" feel, you'll love it. If you want something a little more "resort" like with some accommodations (like always having power or wifi), stay on Railay West. The bays are right next to each other-- about a 20 minute water wade or jungle hike.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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129 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
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English first
Newport, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2012

To travel to Tonsai get a long tail boat from Ao Nang Beach, but if they stop go to Ao Nang Pier and get one from there instead for the same price. They never stop here as they are run by “crazy men”.
When arriving at Tonsai, the staff were welcoming and after check in, we were transported to our room by motorbike. We paid 1050 bahts for our room which was a reasonable size, had effective air conditioning and was clean. The shower was reasonable, but had warm running water, which was a novelty for us at this stage. We were also provided with shampoo and shower gel, which was replaced when our room was cleaned.
The hotel restaurant looks out onto the beach is quite cheap, and serves some amazing Pad Thais. This restaurant is also used for breakfast, which is a choice of a plate from their menu and the toast/bread, fruit and juices provided. However, some mornings the juice dispensers can be covered in wasps, making it impossible to pour.
If you are climbing over to Railay, the jungle route is definitely easiest. We climbed over about 9am, with no problems. However, about 6:30pm we tried to come back around the cliff instead of over as we were told the tide would be out far enough. By far one of the biggest challenges on my holiday (maybe it didn’t help that I was shoeless).
During the evening I would advise you to take a walk up the beach to a little bar called Chill Out, which has friendly staff, friendly customers (we made quite a few friends here) and a fire show which everyone can get involved in.
When leaving Tonsai, the long tail boats will only go when there are 8 people, or when whoever is waiting agree to pay for 8 people (800 bahts in total). We found that by going over at 9:00am, we didn’t have to wait. There were 2 of us, and when we arrived 6 people were already waiting.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kiev, Ukraine
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2012

The place is an ideal hideaway from overcrowded towns. In the same time you will find civilization in a 300m away from bungalou. The only con- no electricity at day time. Do you really need it in paradise?... Useful tip: plan your departure carefully - it's easy to hire boat to get there, but can be a problem to get out.

Room Tip: Deeper in jungle is better
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2012

We just walked in to this hotel after arriving and the staff was really nice. I got a bungalow for 1,050 BHT which included breakfast. A staff brought us to the room by tuk tuk like bike. The door is hard to lock and open from inside and the door has about 2-3mm gap but no bugs got in. The room was clean and the bed was comfortable. We saw a few small ants in the bathroom but it wasn't a big deal. A small fridge, a/c, safe and closets are in the room. Electricity is out from 9AM - 5PM. Restaurant and bar by the beach right by the staff lobby. There are places to lie down on the wooden floor by the beach bar. It was nice to lie down to get some tan while watch rock climbers climb the rocks. They have pillows and beach towel on the wood so you can lie down and relax. Several market and restaurants near by. It's cheaper to stay than Railay west beach but the beach is nice also. Young clouds, most of them are rock climbers. We arrived to Railay beach East around 5PM so it was low tide. We walked to the hotel and it took us about 20 min. But you have to go over the rocks in the ocean when crossing from Railay Beach West to Tonsai but it wasn't bad at all. But if you need to get to Tonsai or go to East or West Beach in the morning to early afternoon, it's high tide so you would have to pay for the long boat. Hotel does not provide any shuttle boats. Overall, it was a comfortable stay here.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Vancouver
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2012

Tonsai Bay might be the closest thing nowadays to "the Beach" - a tropical paradise with a rustic/hippy vibe, many buildings built out of trees and driftwood, isolated (boat access only), surrounded by towering limestone cliffs (rock-climbers paradise) but with most of the comforts you expect from a resort. The beach is very nice when the tide is high but a bit of a sloppy mudflat when the tide is low. Hat Railay West is a beautiful beach and only a 10 minute hike away. The bungalows are set back in the monkey - yes they are everywhere! but friendly -infested jungle, about 3 minute walk from the beach. The bungalows are quite clean, have reliable A/C, tv, mini-fridge and huge comfy beds. The beachside restaurant serves up a decent breakfast buffet (included) and a pretty typical dinner menu with oceanside bbq fare very common to Tonsai and Railay. Despite what other reviews say, we found the staff to be very friendly and helpful. They arranged our boat tours to nearby islands (Ko Phi Phi etc) and when our bus didn't show up in Ao Nang they went out of their way to get us another bus (at no additional cost) so we didn't miss the full moon party!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2012

Tonsai itself is a wonderful location with a real hippy feel. Do note however, it’s predominantly focused towards the climber community who make up over 70% of the visitors at any given time.

Unfortunately, we can’t say the same for Tonsai Bay Resort. While the rooms are actually OK (although overpriced), the staff are to put it politely sub-standard. The owner, or proclaimed owner (a chain smoking Thai man stationed in their Tonsai office) is remarkably aggressive/ rude and made us feel extremely unwelcome during our stay at TBR.

To give some examples, he did not inform us there are two types of room available (one significantly less expensive than the other) – we only noticed this when we viewed the brochure. When we asked to see the room, he aggressively informed us we could not until we’d paid for it and to our amazement stormed off mid conversation – absolutely incredible. This left us feeling angry and disappointed, especially when the Thai people on the whole are so welcoming and trustworthy.

Regrettably, we did stay for the simple reason TBR is the only place on Tonsai with Air Con

Room Tip: Recommendation – either suffer without AC in another hotel or stay on Railay where you will be spoil...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, GA
Top Contributor
131 reviews 131 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 84 cities Reviews in 84 cities
115 helpful votes 115 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2012

I have to admit I stayed here because the water taxi dropped me off at this end of the beach and I didn't want to walk another step with all my luggage.

The good: the restaurant has decent food and reasonably good service (including a Thai pancake stand...very good!) and is located under a gorgeous cliff that is constantly being traversed, ascended, or descended by monkeys, cliff swallows, and rock climbers. So really you could sit there and enjoy the show and be perfectly happy. Plus, it's on a gorgeous beach with pretty much the same stunning view as Railay. Or, you could go to your bungalow and sit on the spacious porch where it's typically more quiet; the bungalows are far back from the beach and have nice cliff views. A nice young fellow with very little English took my bags to my room, which was greatly appreciated. They have their own boat and can arrange for a private taxi transfer to the airport. You'll pay for the convenience, but since I spent as much time getting to Ton Sai as I actually spent on Ton Sai (promise to stay longer next time!) I went for it.

The bad: The room was tired and smelled very musty despite the hotel's attempts to freshen the air (camphor seems to be the freshener of choice here). Tiles were chipped, the sink had no stopper (bad if you have a thing or two to wash), plastic porch chairs were mildewed, the desk had a cigarette burn, etc. My expectations weren't high as the musty smell is even mentioned in Lonely Planet, but just calling these little details out as the rooms do photograph fairly well. They may not bother you. I'm including photos so you can judge for yourself.

Everything else: The bed was OK. No-AC rooms are a block from the beach. AC rooms are a 5-min walk from the beach, set back in the jungle. Internet is currently 2 baht/minute. I had no problem with party noise at my bungalow, and the AC worked fine. Electricity cut out once but was more reliable than I'd expected...on the level of, say, the USVI.

About Ton Sai - This is rock climber paradise. Lots of Thai Rastas, a hippie/boho vibe, very laid-back and friendly. There are two main "streets" and one of them is actually the beach. There is currently no ATM -- you have to take a taxi boat to Railay for that. Ton Sai is literally off the grid, so any electricity consumed is generated there, mostly by generators. If you want to minimize your impact, look for a place that does solar power -- there are one or two on Ton Sai. As it's off the grid, internet is also expensive and not particularly easy to come by. I had actually intended to stay at Mountain View (my friends did, and loved it...in fact they are still there...it is lovely) which has no AC but which I think does have wi-fi, but didn't hear back from them in time. Keep this general lack of internet in mind when communicating with any of the hotels. Bring bug dope; you will need it.

Room Tip: No-AC rooms are a block from the beach. AC rooms are a 5-min walk from the beach, set back in the ju...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tonsai Bay Resort

Address: 18 Moo 2, Krabi Town 81000, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Krabi Province > Krabi Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#24 On the Beach Hotel in Krabi Town
#34 Top resorts Hotel in Krabi Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Tonsai Bay Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 19
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Also Known As:
Tonsai Bay Hotel Krabi Town
Tonsai Bay Resort Krabi, Thailand

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