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“Tranquil retreat”
Review of The Tongsai Bay

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The Tongsai Bay
Ranked #5 of 185 Hotels in Bophut
Certificate of Excellence
Stoke-on-Trent
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Tranquil retreat”
Reviewed April 20, 2013

I have recently returned from a 10 night trip to Tongsai Bay and all I can say on reading a few negative reviews on my return is that these people really should get a life... So the buggy took more than 2 minutes to reach me on a couple of occasions and made a no-show once - how hard is it to give reception another bell? Not very hard! So the beach is shingle and the sand sharp to walk on - put your flip-flops on and take them off at the waters' edge! Again, not difficult!The pool boy left his post to sit in the cool for a while, but left plenty of towels and water for customers to help themselves to - get off your behind and walk the 10 steps to get what you need! The showers, the fans, the air-con is fine, and yes, the maids do turn the air-con off during the day after they've come in to clean the room - but who would not want to do their bit for the planet and try to be 'green' if possible - it's not much of a hardship! Our accomodation - pool-side villa - was nice with a lovely view of the main pool and the sea beyond. We spent much of our time at the half-moon pool, which was very quiet and relaxing as it's 'child-free' - perfect for us teachers! The main hotel buildings were very nice and, yes, maybe a few areas could do with a lick of paint but so do most places every couple of years and this is definitely nothing to complain about unless you have complete and utter OCD...
There is plenty of lovely wild-life around - the variety of birds and bird-song was fantastic. The staff are polite, helpful and discreet, there if you need them and not intrusive, just as I like it. The food was good, the breakfasts excellent. I did find the evening meals a bit pricey, especially after the compulsory 7% VAT and 10% service charge had been added - I would have preferred this to have been discretionary - and the hotel is missing a trick because we quickly discovered that it was a lot cheaper to hop in a taxi to Cheong Mon down the road (300 BT in total) and eat out at a different restaurant every night and pay about a third in total of what we would have paid at the hotel, taxi included. Just lower your prices a little, Tongsai Bay, and more people will stick around in the evenings. There is plenty to see if you want to get out-and-about. I would recommend Fisherman's Village in Bhoput on Friday's market night. Chaweng has a nice stretch of beach and plenty of shops for those who like bargain-hunting and we also enjoyed a tour of the island to see the various sights the island has to offer. Closer by is Cheong Mon - a bit of a scruffy place but it's nice to mingle with locals and try the various restaurants. It also has a market there on Wednesday nights. All-in-all Tongsai is a lovely hotel in a beautiful location a peaceful distance away from all the hubbub, but near enough to get more of an authentic Thai experience - would definitiely recommend!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Maria M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Los Angeles, California
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed April 17, 2013

We enjoyed a wonderful week at the Tongsai in Samui. The resort is gorgeous, centrally located on a mountainside overlooking the ocean. The hotel had a private beach which was lovely, the water was nice, clean and warm.

We booked a Seafront Pool Villa which which was perfect. It had a huge outdoor area with large private pool overlooking the ocean. The pool was kept very clean and was lovely to swim in. The day bed and lounge chairs were very comfortable and it was so nice to lounge around the room all day. Inside the villa was also very spacious, with double sinks, a large bathroom and shower, and large double closets. This is definitely a place you can spend a lot of time in. The beds were also very comfortable.

The staff kept the grounds very clean. The main pool was nice and restaurants were good. Our package included breakfast which was a nice spread. They had everything you can imagine, both eastern and western style food, made-to-order eggs, bacon, pancakes, etc. They had a fresh fruit and smoothie station which was lovely.

We also visited the spa which was very nice, I had 2 massages there were great and reasonably priced.

Overall, we were very impressed with this resort and would definitely visit again.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Rachel D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed April 17, 2013

The hotel is 26 years old but you'd never be able to tell. One rarely sees much written about it or any heavy marketing because it's good enough to attract people based on its merits. Everything was very low key and that was exactly what I was looking for. The villas are pretty nice and they're HUGE! With the large balcony overlooking a gorgeous view, one rarely needs to leave the villa unless you want a change of scenery. Most of our meals were ordered to the room and served at the alfresco dining table on the balcony.

The food was decent but not amazing. But once you look out at the view during your meal, nothing else matters because the blue sky and beach makes up for everything and more.

The spa was a little disappointing as my masseuse was obvious trained in Thai massage but I had asked for an aromatherapy oil massage. I came out of the session very bendy but no more relaxed than when I went in.

All in all I'd recommend this hotel if you want to just stay in the Villa and relax and sun bathe - what more can one ask for from a beach holiday?

Room Tip: Definitely get a villa otherwise it's quite tight on the hotel side.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank funnypea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed April 15, 2013

We booked this resort due to excellent TA reviews and the private beach offering a peacefull and private seclusion but we had many issues on our holiday, which really took the edge off it for us.

I'll start on the positive...

+ve

*We found the food very good - we ate out a Poppies and the Spirit House and the food was as good and in some cases better. You are unlikely to be disappointed by evening meals.
*Island location. For us we were looking for total chill out and the resort's location offers that.

-ve

We had the following problems with our room:
*the cold tap in the bath was loose - I'm surprised the cleaning staff had not pointed this out to maintenance.
*the water temperature on the shower was very difficult to control with no obvious relationship between turning the tap and feeling a change.
*there was a small hole in the mosquito net on the wall side - small issue but shabby.
*the maid kept on turning off the air con so we came back to a warm room - I found this particularly annoying.
*the fan in the toilet whined if left on for more than 5 minutes.
*When being shown our room, we were not shown the 'do not disturb sign'. Three nights in we wondered why the maid would knock the door twice in the evening to see when we were leaving - something, which wore very thin and led us to hunt for the sign. We found it and had no issues but should have been shown the procedure as it was on the gate at the front of the garden area rather than the door where you would expect to find it.
*We gave up with the buggy service to breakfast. We would call reception for it and on a couple of mornings just got fed up waiting and walked up the hill. We're not lazy, but being 7 hours behind meant we always left breakfast to the last minute and were in a rush so the buggy would have helped.
*We saw a rat in the beach restaurant at lunch. I know we are in a tropical environment and rats exist but I do expect better vermin control. I have been to many resorts and never seen this.
*We booked a Prana Oil Massage, which was fine but I was surprised when presented with a bill for 1,700 each when the leaflet in the room had it advertised at 900 - it turns out that was for a beach massage and the price for the spa massage was not on the leaflet but I could not understand the difference in price and felt we were not getting value.
*The pool attendant at the half moon pool seemed to be part time so there were occasions when we had to make up our own lounger and were not being topped up with water. One day there were no towels so I went looking for someone and found the pool attendant in the Butlers Grill with the towels and just sitting in the corner.
*There is a big variation in the friendliness of staff. Toh is exceptional and there are a few other good ones such as the trainees, Ton and the girl but others are not as cheery or welcoming. I had heard so much about far eastern service and smile but this was very much lacking.
*The beach is very fine pebbles so is actually very sore to walk on - when I read this in another review I ignored it but it does take something away from the beach and given the other places I've been to and my love for swimming in the sea, it was disappointing.

If I could turn back time, knowing what I know now would I book this hotel again? No.

All in all,

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank JJMatrixx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed April 14, 2013

As the title suggests the service received at tongsai is faultless, the resort itself benefits from a lovely location yes the beach sand is grainy but the bay is secluded and offers a real sense of privacy. Whilst the resort is charming i feel it relies on its setting to wow you and not its decor, it reminded me of 5 star resorts my parents use to take me too when i was a child -comparative to todays 5 star hotels this one sadly is not as pleasing to the eye as others i have stayed in , don't get me wrong it does offer all the facilities you could possibly want it just all feels a bit dated - The beach umbrellas are an unappealing brown shiny material that don't provide enough cover for two loungers , the pool was like swimming in tepid soup (it was 37degrees but so was it 37degrees when we stayed at the mandarin in Bangkok yet they manage to keep the pool cool) the rooms were spacious with everything you may need ( asked for a comforter to be put on the bed as it was rock hard also asked for replacement pillows as ours were beyond lumpy -both request met with a smile but the thing is shouldn't these be standard not a special request?) the hairdryer provided was rubbish ladies you may wish to take your own) by the end of our 7 day stay the resort had grown on me and if someone told me they were going to samui on holiday I would recommend Tongsai but I doubt I would go back to it myself

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Klaassen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
woore cheshire
Level 5 Contributor
81 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed April 14, 2013

Picked Tongsai Bay on the back of previous reviews and stayed 10 nights from 2.4.13 in the Poolside Cottages.Location was perfect and the room of a good standard.From the moment we arrived,found all the staff to be helpful and attentive.A quick call to reception and a buggy was ready to take us to reception whenever we needed one.The breakfast was of an exceptional standard and offered a great choice of foods, whether hot or cold.Thanks to the staff who gave us great service,particularly Pra Dab, Krit and Pong.
Yes, the beach is shingle but you just leave shoes near the sea.It is private and when you look at other resorts such as Chaweng Beach, see the obvious benefits in that being the case.Swimming was good every day although is too cloudy to cater for decent snorkeling opportunities.
spent most days at the half pool situated above the beach which afforded peace and tranquility.Staff provided regular cold drinks and fruit throughout the day.The Mynah birds were a joy to behold with their songs.The provision of a heat seeking missile would be nice for the jet skiers from nearby beaches although didn't really cause that much of a problem!!
The Hotel goes that little bit extra by way of providing water for free in the rooms and is replenished daily, as is the bowl of fruit and the provision of biscuits and sweets by the turn down staff.In addition,daily papers (Bangkok Post) are also provided for free in reception.
Looking at the trip solely on value for money, I believe it represents excellent value for money. If you look at other resorts such as banyan Tree, I would expect the Chef to be Gordon Ramsey, Jamie Oliver to be waiting on tables and jeremy Clarkson driving the hotel buggies to justify the additional cost.However, i would agree with some other reviews regarding some areas of the resort requiring some TLC. In addition,we felt some of the prices charged in the restaurants to be a bit pricey, along with the high price of cocktails (compared with what we paid whilst eating out numerous times in Cheong Mon).Also the wine prices are excessive, cheapest bottle being 1200 baht which when you add on the 10 per cent service charge and 7 per cent tax equates to about £30.However the food was of a good standard and the buffet night at Chef Chom worth the cost of 1200 baht per person (although felt the beach barbecue was too much at 1500 baht per person (before the add ons).
Used the Hotel taxis which were good value to visit Cheong Mon, Fishermans Village (a must do trip on a Friday evening) and Chewang beach. Also booked a half day tour of the island via Asia World which at 850 baht each was again good value. If you dont do fishermans Village, there is a smaller market at Cheong Mon on a Wednesday night which is worth the trip (only 300 baht return from hotel).
Weather was kind with only the last two days being overcast.Very rarely would we consider returning to somewhere twice but this resort is one of those exceptions and would highly recommend it to friends.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank richardWooreCheshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level 4 Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed April 14, 2013

Just stayed in the Tongsai Bay, We have stayed in most Thai resort's over the last couple of years, Koh Samui is a lovely holiday location, a bit quieter than other Thai resorts and islands, but never the less very relaxing.

The Tongsai is a lovely hotel, a bit dated but not old fashioned, the hotel gardens and public areas are great and the pool's are very nice. The beach is lovely, but the sand is coarse and not be to some people's liking, however the sea is fanastic, clear and free from objects.

The hotel restaurants and bar's are great value, friendly staff, clean and a nice selection of tradional Thai and International Foods (Mon night BBQ a must).

The hotel is however between Chaweng and Boput and the hotel Taxi's are good but slightly more expensive than the local taxi's.

We had a lovely time there and would recommend it, to our friends and would definetly return in the future.

Room Tip: Pool Front very close to the beach and main pool and bar
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JohnM194
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Tongsai Bay

Property: The Tongsai Bay
Address: 84 Moo 5, Bophut, Ko Samui 84320, Thailand (Formerly Tongsai Bay Cottages & Hotel)
Phone Number:
Location: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Ko Samui > Bophut
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Bophut
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Bophut
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Bophut
#5 Luxury Hotel in Bophut
#5 Family Hotel in Bophut
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Tongsai Bay 5*
Number of rooms: 83
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tongsai Bay is located on Ko Samui, an island in the Gulf of Thailand just a short travel distance by air from Bangkok and across the southern peninsula. The view of Tongsai Bay is hypnotic, as its set amidst a secluded ocean cove; an eco-friendly colony of cottages, low rise buildings and villas barely displacing the lush greenery on the hills of the island's northeast corner. 3 restaurants serve Thai, and international food and the hotel hosts regular live music for evening entertainment. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tongsai Bay Cottages And Hotel
Tongsai Bay Cottages Hotel Bophut
Tongsai Bay Hotel
Tongsai Bay Resort
The Tongsai Bay Ko Samui/Bophut

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