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“Stop yer whining!” 4 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 #91 of 150 hotels in Krabi Town
West Palm Beach, Florida
Top Contributor
109 reviews 109 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
“Stop yer whining!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013 via mobile

We are a bit puzzled by all the negative reviews of this lodge. Maybe we haven't been in Southeast Asia long enough to get angry about a large, en suite, air-conditioned bungalow straddling the jungle, world-renowned limestone cliffs and a beautiful beach cove costing $74. Yes, it's more than you paid in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, but what do you expect? This is one of Thailand's most beautiful and famous beach areas. We got terrible food poisoning (from a local restaurant - not this hotel) and we still had a fabulous time. Stop yer whining.

Our connected bungalow was situated about a 5-minute walk from the shore in a quiet area nestled beside the enormous rock formations. Strolling to the beach and area restaurants, we often spotted monkeys (even a baby one riding on its mom) running alone the rocks or swinging from branches.

There seems to be accommodation priced both above and below the duplex we stayed in: more spacious stand-alones and smaller fan rooms. The fan rooms are closer to the beach but appear a bit run down from the outside. They are located in a high-trafficked spot with some litter about.

Although our bathroom was long overdue for a remodel, our duplex room was spacious and clean. Towels, water and toilet paper were restocked and the bed was made every day. The breakfast needs work, but it's included in the price.

We were surprised to read reviewers complaining about Tonsai's beach. At low tide, it is similar to a mud flat, but even then it's beautiful with the sunlight reflected in the pools of water left behind. At high tide, it's perfect. After visiting Railay and the famous Hat Phra Nang, I'd take Tonsai any day because it's protected from the wind (no sand blown in your eyes) and not overcrowded with fat, pasty European men strutting in colorful banana hammocks (Note: If you are anyone but Michael Phelps and wearing a Speedo, we are all making fun of you). Plus, you won't get accosted by touts trying to sell you a massage!

Area tips:
-Take a 1/2 day rock climbing course with the Rock Shop. For $25, you can't beat this experience in arguably the rock climbing capital of the world. You WILL be sore tomorrow.
-When the tide is low, you can walk from Tonsai to Railay along the shore. When the tide is high, walk to the far end of the beach and look for a narrow crevice in the rocks. Crawl through there and then follow the rocky path. I don't recommend doing either walk in flip flops
- On the way to Hat Phra Nang by foot, you will likely see a sign for a lagoon and lookout. The lookout hike is very steep (pull self up with ropes) but doable. The lagoon hike is vey difficult and a bit dangerous (shimmy down ropes over sharp rocks) but if you're in the area to rock climb, you probably know what you're doing. Some people use climbing gear to get there. Don't attempt in flip flops. The lagoon is a quiet, secluded tidal pool with no view of the beach, but it is worth the laborious hike/climb to see a body of water completely enclosed by high cliffs on all sides. You can swim, but the water is not pristine.
-Don't feed the monkeys. It just makes them aggressive (they will snatch items out of your hand if you're close enough). And certainly don't give them junk food. Not cool, man.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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 (11)
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1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013 via mobile

The location is nice place to stay, but the villa is not a high standard, especially for this price! When you want to move from this place, better you need to find someone to travel with you otherwise you need to pay a full amount to move from this island. Also you need to becarefull by falling coconuts in the morning, if you are an earlybird. The best way to discover other beaches is by kayak, do not rent from the resort but from local people, thb 400 p/day, otherwise you have to pay thb 100 p/hour. If you are looking for luxury stay, do not stay overnight at this place. The breakfast is not okay as well, reception call is not available, wifi is only available at restaurant. If you not believe us, book your stay at this place, after you have seen your room and toilet, you'll change you're mind (as we did).

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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The World
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

NOT FOR EVERYONE....but read on....
In previous reviews, I've come down rather hard on those who complain about not having 5 star service when, they feel that it is somehow warranted. Well, this Is a 5 star resort with a difference and it is not for those who may be thinking of high end resorts in the traditional sense. Tonsai Bay Resort is home to the world famous cliffs that climbers the world over, come in droves to learn and conquer its complexities. This resort was born of the cliff/backpacker crowd. The resort itself, comprises several attached and detached cabins. These units are spacious and clean. During peak season, there IS power available all day. We stayed here from 26 December to 31 December and had no issues with electricity. To get here, you fly to Krabi, then take a taxi (TBH600) to Au-Nang. There is only one price and there is no 'haggle room' on the pricing. From Au-Nang, you must catch a 'Longtail' boat to the resort. If you are lucky to arrive at high tide, you'll disembark in front of the resort, otherwise you could end up having to navigate through an area of old coral some distance from the resort itself. Carry all your belongings in a backpack. If you travel with a suitcase you will be the source of entertainment by all of us, as you drag your suitcase through the sand, only to have the wheels get choked with the grit. The food at the resort is plentiful and wholesome. The cooking is all traditional Thai style food---excellent noodles, rice and curries. It is cheap to eat here. A good meal will cost on the average of TBH60-80. The resort is predominantly a place that caters to the climbing crowd, outside of this, there are very little other recreational things to do here besides renting a kayak and going paddling. The beach in front of this resort does not have great sand however, a 20 minute paddle provides a beautiful beach with crystal blue water. The staff at the resort are all very friendly people. It is the the nature of the Thai people. We had breakfast as part of our accommodation. Don't expect anything fancy other than a choice of eggs, fresh fruit from the local area and reasonable coffee. The resort does have a coffee bar which is operated by some fun young people.
Nightlife is what you want to make it. Lots of beer and some very interesting people to talk to. People from all walks of life. You will find that these athletes bring their children here. There are lots of Thai children who live at the resort and it is amazing to see the harmony of different cultures.
There is reasonable Internet and if you purchase a SIM card with 3G in Bangkok, you will get good reception. This is a wonderful place to get away from it all. You can put the brakes on here. We felt safe and secure. As I said, this doesn't appear to be a 5 star resort when you first arrive here however; we found it to be our 5 star.

Room Tip: All the rooms are good at this resort. We had a detached cabin.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

Just so we are clear, this is not for everyone... 1st there is no electricity in your bungalo form 9am to 5pm which is great because you should never be spending those hours inside your bungalo anyhow.

This remote location takes you away from the busy streets of Ao Nang and puts you into a different world entirely.

The rooms are comfortable and clean, and the staff is super friendly.

The resteraunt was delicious and quite reasonable, and had GREAT sticky rice with mango!!!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Seattle, Washington
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
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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Newport, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 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
29 reviews 29 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
30 helpful votes 30 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.

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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:
#30 On the Beach Hotel in Krabi Town
#36 Top resorts Hotel in Krabi Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Tonsai Bay Resort 3*
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Also Known As:
Tonsai Bay Hotel Krabi Town
Tonsai Bay Resort Krabi, Thailand

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