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“Outstanding and relaxing stay”
Review of The Tongsai Bay

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The Tongsai Bay
Ranked #5 of 185 Hotels in Bophut
Certificate of Excellence
Shoreview, MN
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Outstanding and relaxing stay”
Reviewed February 13, 2010

Beach - It's very course and difficult to walk on. However, it's private and is on a lagoon.

Pool - There are two - Our favorite was the adults-only crescent moon pool.

Food - Outstanding! Our favorite was Chef Chom's. The Thai food is definitely hot there and so delicious it makes my mouth water just remembering.

Service - The service is above and beyond anything we have ever experienced. The staff goes the extra mile to ensure you are happy.

Room - We had a beachfront suite and were upgraded to a mountainside cottage. Besides the steps to the cottage, the cottage was well worth the trip. Private and secluded and quite nicely furnished.

Recommendations - Try the restaurants, they are excellent. The spa is great as well.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Solyvive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Kent
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2010

My wife and I have just returned from 16 nights at the Tongsai in Koh Samui booked via Travelbag except the EVA flights which we did directly. EVA run 777s from LHR to Bangkok and we could get premium economy window seats for £750 each. Its not Singapore Air but at that price who cares. Bangkok airways flys to Koh Samui and their service was good and they have a complimentary lounge in Bangkok airport. Koh Samui airport runs efficiently and the hotel is only 10 minutes from there. Travelbag arranged the transfers which were good and their rep was very efficent.
Tongsai Bay is a true oasis in an island which is a bit spoilt by over development. If you drive round Koh Samui you are struck by how difficult it is to get to the beach such is the way the good beaches have been filled up with hotels. Of course all these hotels do not really have their own beach they just try to block it off and what we saw of Chaweng and Lamai did not encourage one to get in the water there. It is also the case that some of the best and big resorts fail to mention that , depending on your allocated room you may have to cross a main road in order to get to the beach.
Tongsai is a medium size hotel which was our preference and it also happens to be privately owned and that seems to be one reason why it retains its unique character.
The other secret is its location, which is well off the road and surrounding a bay with its own beach. This is really a completely private place with rocky cliffs surrounding the beach which keep anyone else out. If you look at the hotel from the sea you might actually miss it as most of the accommodation is discretely built into the hillside above the cliffs and the mature gardens and low density build contribute to that. Despite its medium size it has a good spa , a sheltered cement tennis court, good gym , two great fresh pools one of which is 50m long, internet cafe etc etc. The beach is sandy but a bit coarse and there is nothing to snorkel for in the sea. The sea breeze is what allows one to sunbathe comfortably in temps of 34 deg by day but at this time of year it can be windy enough to make the sea a bit rough. We had 5 rough days in 16. Sea is beautiful to swim in and hotel has complementary canoes,hobie cats so one can get into the bay or over to the island near to Chaeng Mon beach. This is the nearest public beach and village which can be walked to in about 20 minutes. There are on offer sea tours to Ko Phangan , Marine Park of Kao Tao. They seem a little expensive but the only that seemed worthwhile was snorkelling in Kao Tao. We hired a car for a day and went round the island. There is not a lot to see apart from coconut palms , Big Buddha but driving was not a problem.
The hotel does not offer half board but we did B&B and ate in the hotel every night. You can eat for nothing if you go out in Thailand and there is a good chance you won't get sick but the hotel food was really nice , not expensive and was cooked in open kitchens so why take the risk.
The hotel has an understated type of Thai design with lots of hard wood and attention to detail rather than making the place look like a Buddhist temple. The hotel were kind enough to upgrade us to a sea front cottage which was semi detached overlooking the sea. In 2 weeks we never heard anything except the sea. The rooms look kind of hidden and functional from the outside but are really beautiful inside. They are split level with bath etc by the door then four post double bed with full mosquito net ,then steps to living area with table and tv . Outside there is a private sundeck overlooking the sea and a covered deck with an outdoor bath.
Ok you say, I can see why you liked the hotel . But this is Thailand and the real treat is always how the hotel is run, and the quality and attitude of the staff which seems to be a national characteristic. Staff will always greet you whenever you arrive at any location.
The hotel has a golf buggy service which takes you anywhere in the resort within 5 mins. Tennis players get cold towels and cold water. Complementary snacks in the rooms and two buckets of ice per day. Messages and decorations made of flowers on your bed. You are greeted like a celebrity by the fresh fruit ladies every morning at breakfast. Arrive at the beach and in 2 minutes your sunlounger has fresh towels and you get a cold drink. I could go on and on and mention a lot of names but that would probably be unfair on the staff who did not need to interface with us.
The hotel recently appointed new management and they arranged for us to have a one off tour of the hotels green project including its off site veg and herb garden and recycling project. My wife is interested in horticulture and it is typical of the hotels attitude that they arranged a one off tour for us.
This hotel is suitable for couples only of all ages provided that they appreciate moderate behaviour and respect the peace and quiet of others. During our stay there were visitors from UK ,Japan,Korea,France ,Germany Denmark and others. They all seemed to have found this hotel for the right reasons and as such I never found a moment when I was uncomfortable about anything except having to come home.
It was also my birthday just before we arrived but the hotel insisted on giving me a cake and sparkling wine anyway( remember wine costs a fortune in Thailand .) We also visited the spa twice for massages. The spa was cleverly designed with stepping stones and a garden, the staff were well trained and very professional as well as being very nice to us. This was clearly a well managed operation whose services could become addictive.
In summary Tongsai is a lovely hotel is a perfect private setting with a mature feel to it.
The staff are attentive and well trained with that special Thai approach to service.
Like all those other reviewers we were not disappointed and I guess you will not be either

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank TropicalDepression
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sam2007dan
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 7, 2010

We stayed here in Feb 2008 for 2 weeks and enjoyed every moment although to be honest as it wasnt our honeymoon it was geared more towardes honeymooners for relaxtion and luxury. We stayed in a cottage suite which was amazing you can see how in my pics. Food was quite expensive for Thailand but really nice...although the curry in a little bar in Chaweng The Islander was better than the the room service curry. The staff were excellent we couldnt have asked for more. During our stay my boyfriend had a lovely photo taken with a tiger at a park and had it laminated but unfortunately we lost it, one of the staff managed to go out of their way to go to the park at obtain another copy and sent it back home to us in London. The security, waiters, reception everyone was so lovely, we felt quite sad to leave at the end. We used to get driven on a little buggy to our cottage as iut was quite a walk. The only thing i must say is you need to take a taxi to get to most other places. And may i suggest you dine at The Dining on the rocks Table 99 it was amazing. We are going back to Koh samui in 6 weeks time although we are not staying at Tongsai as we are after a less luxury holiday this time but will visit for lunch/dinner one day and hopefully see a few familiar faces. Please note that this has a pebble beach not soft white sand. The waiters during the day bring you cold towels to cool down and the beach towels and sun loungers are sooo confortable!

  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank sam2007dan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luxembourg
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed February 5, 2010

The Tongsai Bay is unique!

Located in a breathtaking bay. Excellent service - and staff extremely friendly. They always have a smile on their face and would help you with everything you need.
The private beach is very convenient - swimming pools fantastic.

Their Breakfast is the best ever, served on a beautiful spacious terrace. If you have the possibility: enjoy a massage at their wonderful SPA and you will be completely relaxed and full of energy again.

We will be going back very soon.

It is a magical place where one gets very positive energy!

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank AntjeBenelux
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wimborne
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed February 3, 2010

Came here 2 years ago and wrote a review then also! Now hotel under new management and the good things are still here, plus some nice extras. Once again we are enjoying fantastic service - the staff just cannot do enough to help you enjoy your stay. This time breakfast was included in the price which was much better and also because we were (are!) staying 10 nights, also included is one free meal from a choice of set menu's and also an hours spa treatment in our room. Fab-u-lous!! As before the only possible thing one could say is that you have to be prepared to use taxi's to get to any local towns. The cost of this is 600 - 700 baht for a return journey depending on whether you wish to go to Bo Phut or Chaweng. This is about 12 to 14 pounds stirling.
Still it is worth it to experience some of the lovely restaurants even though the food in the hotel is very good indeed. Every day, not only do we get the usual iced water as we sunbathe by the pool, but also a little bit of prepared fruit is brought round every day at 3pm. Get back to the room after a hard day's sunning and there will be a little treat such as little cakes or sandwiches plus the bed will probably have been decorated with flowers etc etc. I could go on, but just come here and find out for yourself!!

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank WimborneAnnette
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Africa
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2010

This resort is probably one of the best we have ever stayed at! Everything was perfect, from the rooms, the location, the friendly staff and the spectacular view. If you love resorts, this one is so good you do not have to leave the property. If, like us, you like to explore a bit, also great as this resort is slightly off the beaten track, but within 10km of the Fisherman's village (a must see) and Chaweng beach. The private beach is also great - after a day of exploring and being trampled by people on other beaches it was always fantastic to return to our resort. The beach bistro serves great food and has a decent wine list. Also have to mention the breakfast - we especially enjoyed the "smoothie ladies" who cut fresh fruit for us everyday and made the tastiest smoothies ever.

We absolutely love Tong Sai and will most definitely return.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank NadsSouthAfrica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barnstaple, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed January 24, 2010

I first stayed at the hotel in 1991, 4 years after it opened. We returned in January and stayed in a Grand Villa for a week this time and the place just gets better and better. What makes it so unique is the blend of unashamed luxury mixed with informality. The location, in a private bay, is exceptional, the staff are all wonderful, as only the Thai's can be, and the 3 restaurants and bar all offer beautiful food, sensibly priced. Our only complaint is the price of the wine (even the Thai wine, which is now perfectly palatable). The beach bar and restaurant is a particular favourite; friendly, informal and relaxed.

The son of the founders now run the hotel and have added a freshness to the facilities including such things as an ipod dock in the rooms and a cookery course, which was extremely well organised and great fun (Alvin, their Chef, is a star!).

We've been lucky enough to travel to some of the world's best hotels but this, for us, remains the one that we intend to return to again and again.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Empireboy
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 Family Hotel in Bophut
#5 Luxury 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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