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“IDC with Sunshine, just perfect!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sunshine Divers Resort

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Sunshine Divers Resort
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Chalok Bann Kao, Ko Tao 84280, Thailand   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #10 of 75 Specialty Lodging in Ko Tao
Barcelona, Spain
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“IDC with Sunshine, just perfect!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2011

I just finished my IDC (Instructor diving course) with Sunshine in Ban's and i can tell: It was better than I expected!! For a very interesting price, it was very organized, the classrooms are so confortable, lunchs delicious and, obviously, I can't forget to talk about the staff. 3 courses director: Nathalie Hunt, her husband Tim and Guillaume (he is doing the course in french, it was very usefull for me! He speaks spanish to) are very professional. We were actually more than prepared for the Instructor Exam! The staff instructors are always here for the students, i want to specially thank Eva, she is from Spain and she was with us every time, supporting us ans helping us in doubts. For the spanish students, she was so usefull!! Nathalie is very lovely and she was so helpfull at the begining, when I was preparing everything, living in Barcelona. She catched me a nice accomodation for a long stay in the Island, cheap, clean and perfect for study during the course. She found me also a month-rented motorbike for a nice price with a friend of her. She gave me a hand for the visa to, helping with paper for the embassy. She sent me a taxi aswell to the pier to pick me up when I arrived! I can tell: Thanks to Nathalie, I am a Scuba Instructor now in Koh Tao, and it was so easy! I enjoyed a few fun-dives for free with Sunshine, the wifi service in the dive center, the good food in the sunshine restaurant, and the estimated help of the staff during the self-study. It is the place to be if you want to run a pofessional course in the dive business, I am very proud of that. Thanks Nathalie and the Sunshine Diveresort!! I hope you see soon! Best regards, Yoan Lefevre Ponce de Leon.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled solo
    • 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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128 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Ban Ko Tao, Chumphon, Thailand
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2011

Sunshine Diver’s was initially recommended to me by my OW instructor 4 years back, and I’ve gone back three times now. I initially came just to fun dive, but I loved it so much that I returned to do both my rescue course & DM. In a few months I will also be doing my instructors with Sunshine. The reasons I love this place so much [and therefore, keep returning] are because:

1) The staff are amazing! They are all so friendly, knowledgeable, and inviting. Whether you’re on a course, fun diving, or just hanging out at the shop, you always feel welcome and like part of the Sunshine Family.
2) The courses are small, and therefore you get the one-on-one attention you need. Also, the instructors always make sure you’re learning but having fun at the same time. Additionally, courses are available in a variety of languages, including German, Swedish, Dutch and Spanish.
3) The shop is great! Right on the beach looking out at beautiful Chalok Bay. There are hammocks, lots of comfy Thai pillows to sit on, and a few wooden decks you can hang out and/or tan on; even the “classroom” areas are right on the beach. There is also a great bar (Easy Bar) and restaurant.
4) Location: There are 3 main areas to find dive schools, which are Sairee Beach, Mae Haad, and Chalok Bay. Sunshine Dive Resort is located in the latter, which is quieter than the two former. Moreover, it’s beautiful, has lots of great restaurants nearby, and is in walking distance to everything you need (i.e. banks, shops, corner stores, motorbike rentals, bars, ext.)

Whether you’re new to diving, want to continue your education, or you just want to fun dive, this is definitely the place for you! You won’t regret coming to Sunshine!

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Manchester, UK
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2011

Firstly a point of order:
Sunshine Divers Resort is a Dive School with a personal touch, linked (sister company) to Bans Diving Resort. It has NO link to the neighbouring "Sunshine 1" (SS1) or "Sunshine 2" (SS2) Resorts, which offer very average basic styled accommodation, and trade off the the dive school and the dive schools name, which people must not get confused between! The Dive school does offer to arrange accommodation should you require it, and can book for you various accommodation including local basic rooms at SS1 or SS2, but also other places in the bay, and at Bans Resort itself which offers a more western style of accommodation should you wish for that. They are very helpful, and if you email them they will happily assist with any arrangements you require.

Location: On the beach front, with a fantastic views over the bay. Very tranquil relaxing setting, with a wide selection of beach front restaurants serving mainly local traditional Thai food at Thai prices. Beautiful setting.

Staff: A fantastic team led by a great manager, Natalie . All the Dive instructors, Dive Masters and the boat/shop staff were really friendly, professional and welcoming. A total credit to the school, and the management. A big thanks to Janis, Ali, Nick, Sarah, Natalie and Bastian to name just a few who made our stay truely special. Great job guys and keep it up!

Training: The classroom work was well constructed, time to watch the dvd's, work on the knowledge reviews, and have question and answer sessions with your instructor.
The actual dive training is equally excellent. Maximum student staff ratio is 4:1, but during my course I had 3 instructors/DM's training/helping me out. A great experience for both of us.

Overall:

The dive school is run by a bunch of great people in a fantastic location. Some of the local accommodation is basic, but individuals can opt to stay where ever they like, and the dive school does have deals with a number of places that can save you money should you wish. If your wanting better style accommodation, tell Sunshine Divers, and they will direct you to the better stuff. The diving and training are excellent, and the social life after the day is complete is great too, and you can sit back and enjoy a beer with the other students and instructors and relax. The customer service here is second to none, and we had an amazing time with them on Koh Tao.

We look forward to returning and diving with Sunshine Divers again.

Thank you for a fantastic week.

Room Tip: Eat at the restaurant about 4 doors down from the resort, just beyond the Buddha Cafe and the BBQ pl...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Juneau, Alaska
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2011

As of late November 2011, there are three different businesses, all in one place, all independently operated, all right on the narrow beach - there's Sunshine Divers, there's Sunshine Resort 1 (aka SS1), and Sunshine Resort 2 (aka SS2). Sunshine Divers is located on the grounds of SS2. Both SS1 and SS2 each have their own restaurant.

I don't know much about Sunshine Divers. They seemed fairly popular, but I dove with a company in Mae Head. Sunshine divers has a web site that shows somewhat outdated information on SS1 and SS2.

SS1, according to the staff at SS2, is the "fancier" resort. It is currently undergoing renovations so there is construction during the day, but the noise isn't too bad. They have bungalows, duplex-style rooms, and apartment-style rooms. I went for an apartment with hot water but no A/C for 500baht/night. It was very clean, everything worked although the water pressure was a bit low on the 2nd floor, and by stuffing rugs in the gap under the door the room was totally mosquito free. They offer kayak and snorkel gear rental. The restaurant was being renovated so I didn't try it. The staff were a bit quirky but plenty polite. The best part about this resort is that they have free wifi and you can get a good signal inside most of the rooms.

SS2 is 10 meters away. SS2 is slightly cheaper (350baht for a cold water bungalow with no A/C) and slightly older, the dive center is located here, they appeared to have a good restaurant on site, they have a great hang-out area with hammocks and a bar where you can dangle your feet in the ocean while you sip your drink. No wifi. The layout is a bit crowded though, and it was noisier here at night due to the partying divers although the noise level seemed tolerable.

Chalok was my favorite part of the island, and I prefered it to Sairee. However while in Sairee and Mae Head you can walk everywhere, Chalok is small, a long walk from Mae Head, and although you can take a taxi there I highly recommend renting a scooter as soon as you step off the ferry. If you're worried about being ripped off with scooters, try recording the initial vehicle inspection with your cell phone.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Vienna, Austria
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2011

I've come to Sunshine for doing my Open Water course, stayed on for the advanced course and came back for some more fun diving a week later. The resort is perfectly located in quiet but beautiful Chalok Baan bay, with direct access to the beach and in immediate proximity to restaurants, convenience stores and a couple of bars. The Sunshine crew are a very friendly bunch and fun to hang out with even when you're not diving. Diving courses are conducted in small groups (max 4 people), in a very professional and yet fun manner. If you're looking for a relaxing holiday with some good diving, don't look elsewhere but go straight to Sunshine. Sunshine is a fairly small diving school but co-operate with Ban's, so if you want to go to a particular dive site (e.g. the Chumpon Pinnacle), they will be happy to organize the trip through Ban's.

NB: If you're looking for good food, go to Taraporn restaurant next door, or the Buddha view BBQ ... the Sunshine restaurant guy is a little bit grumpy and you find better Thai and Western food elsewhere ;)

Room Tip: Choose a bungalow a few metres away from the (very relaxed) Eazy Bar if you want to go to bed early...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2011 via mobile

We went initially for a week & ended up staying for 3 weeks in November, staying at Sunshine Divers Resort we liked it so much. It was the perfect trip. Sunshine divers is beautiful, with lots of exotic trees & plants surrounding the resort, offering rooms for all budgets, all rooms are 2 minutes away from the beautiful beach & bay that is Chalok. Plenty restaurants, shops & some bars within 5 mins walking distance & plus 30sec away from sunshine is the famous Eazy bar, brilliant chill out space with fire poi shows at
Night & extremely friendly Burmese staff. We went there so we could dive & do our rescue dive course, there was always free tea, coffee & water when ever we wanted it from the dive shop (since we were diving) and all the sunshine staff were so welcoming & friendly, it was like a family away from home, the rescue course it's self was amazing but exhausting - as it should be, our instructor, Natalie was amazing, so much energy and enthusiasm, it just made our whole experience so fun. I would highly recommend this resort, whether your diving or just relaxing, the experience will be fantastic!

  • Stayed November 2010
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Milan
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2011

We stayed here for me to do my advanced open water certification and my boyfriend was just fun diving. We got the fun dives for a discount because my boyfriend had already dived with them before. We were given a choice for rooms with either free (fan cold water) or a nominal fee (hot water and fan), while I was doing the course, and then the normal rates when not doing the course. We went for the hot water and fan room although the hot water didn't work, they discounted us to the lower rate when we checked out. This room was also bigger than the cheapest one which was nice. Very simple, but it was fine for a few days. There was also free wifi in the common areas which was great. The location was perfect, steps from the beach and they have the best bar on the beach just in front! If you are going to dive or do a course, I would definitley recommend staying here or at least diving here!

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sunshine Divers Resort

Address: Chalok Bann Kao, Ko Tao 84280, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Ko Tao
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 75 Specialty Lodging in Ko Tao
Number of rooms: 40
Also Known As:
Sunshine Divers Hotel Koh Tao

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