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“10/10”
Review of Koh Tao Star Villa

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Koh Tao Star Villa
Ranked #3 of 148 Specialty Lodging in Koh Tao
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 21, 2013

Our travels through Loas and Thailand saw us staying (a group of 5) in a number of villas and hotels, however it was only when we stayed at Koh Tao Star Villa that we realised what we had been missing out on! Everything was perfect. Alan and Heidi were in close contact with us before we had even arrived, which made our arrival really smooth and stress free. During our stay everything was 10/10 - felt like a second home and Alan and heidi more like friends helping us out. Being experienced locals, Alan and heidi are really well connected on the island and offered unparalleled advice on anything and everything Koh Tao. My only regret about going to Koh Tao is not staying longer at Koh Tao Star VIlla. Can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank yiiimbo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 21, 2013

Our stay at Koh Tao Star Villa was the highlight of our 3 week holiday in Thailand. We only booked for 3 nights planning to move on to Koh Phangan and Koh Samui before returning back to the UK. We liked it that much that after only being there for perhaps 3 hours we were enquiring if we could stay for the remainder of our holiday. Sadly they had no availability but they were very helpful in assisting us find and plan alternative accomodation for the remainder of our trip.

All in all Koh Tao Star Villa is a fantastic place to stay. Allan and Heidi are excellent hosts. They are very friendly and provide you with all the facillities and information you require to have a fantastic time on Koh Tao.

Me and my partner have reccomended their place to several of our friends back home who are planning to visit Koh Tao in the future and we ourselves are certian to return as Koh Tao was the favourite of the islands we visited and a large part of that was down to the wonderful service Allan and Heidi provided.

Thanks

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank JohnW1986
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2013

If you are looking for a peacefull and quite place in Koh Tao - Star Villa is the right place ! Above the crowdy village u have a nice view over the hills and the sea. We rented the Penthouse for 2 even though it is for 4. We felt like home and nothing disturbed us. A great home cinema system, a billiard table, darts, some stuff for a little bit fitness are available to easy occupy oneself. Best place to watch the sunset every night.

The kitchen had everything we needed to make some good pasta! But if you don't want to cook there are some restaurants that deliver or you have 5 minutes to Sairee and 10 to Mae Haad with a motorbike. Every thing u need or everything u can see is near and easy to reach (if the streets are passable). Alan and Heidi also offer you two rides every day.

They came pick us up at the port. It was funny to stand on the Jeep and take the holey streets to the Star Villa. Alan even took our bags to get up the steps. They were really nice and told us were are good places to go and showed us where we can rent a motorbike to good conditions.

The ecological rules of the house are good to show how people can help keep Koh Tao clean. We were surprised about them but only because we found it really necessary. We never used the AC

If we go back to Koh Tao, we gonna stay there again. It's the [--] !!
Thank you Heidi and Alan for everything.

best wishes
the swiss couple ;)

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Domingaaa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2013

Thank you so much Heidi and Alan for giving us such fantastic experience in Koh Tao! The communication even before arrival in Koh Tao was fantastic, Heidi and Alan were waiting to greet us at the port and then made us feel so at home on arrival at the villa. The views of the palm trees down the mountain were so serene as was the view of the bay full of ships and squid boats. From the get go Heidi and Alan were full of advice for where to eat, snorkel, get the best deals on bikes etc. they have people for everything!

The bungalow we stayed in was on the second level and has everything one would need, even a huge hard drive (full of tv series and films) if all you want to do one day in relax in the room. We will definitely be back in Koh Tao soon and wouldn't dream of staying anywhere else.

Thank you Heidi and Alan!

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Clairefc90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 17, 2013

Alan was incredibly hospitable towards us, whether it be offering advice on where to dine or what to see, arranging transport across the island, ferrying us back and forth to and from Sairee beach, and even extending an invite to join him at ten-pin bowling island-style. The Villa itself was spacious and well appointed, clean and modern. The fridge was stocked daily. And the media centre was an added (unexpected) bonus. Internet access and air-conditioning were also appreciated features. It is some way off the main strip - and transport independent of Alan can be difficult if you, like us, don't feel up to making the journey by foot - but has an excellent hillside view. In fact, on a couple of overcast days, we decided to stay put and just read a book on the balcony, which was peaceful and pleasant. We had wonderful stay and would definitely agree with the overwhelmingly positive reviews found here. It is a credit to the host

Thanks, Alan

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank cassingles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2013 via mobile

This was one of 6-7 accomodations we stayed in during our 2 week Xmas trip from Bangkok to Singapore via Hua Hin and Ko Tao/Samui in 2012/13.
There were five of us including my parents who are healthy but in their mid 70s.
I choose the accomodation based on good review on Tripadvisor and Booking websites.
The accomodation is a two storey villa built onto a very steep hill side. Top storey is a two bedroom penthouse unit that the owner couple usually lives in and lower storey are two one bed units. We booked the penthouse unit and one of the lower floor units.
The villa itself is design and engineering wise quite impressive and the owner couple must be given credit for that.
The problem is that this couple are too attached to their property. The photos shows the draconian House Rule you are required to sign as well as surrender your passport. Alan the owner admitted that he charged extra for a guest who regularly used his aircon with the window open. There are also rules about turning off all lights and all aircon that are not immediately required. The door to the room that has aircon on must be closed. The aircon temp must not be below 25 degrees or so. The remote to the penthouse living room aircon could not be found and there is no aircon in the living room of the one-bedder.
These rules are enforced as the couple live in a small detached builing nearby while they rent out the penthouse. I always had the feeling we were being watched like a hawk the whole time we were there. Very uncomfortable as I dont know these people and there are no other people about.
One of the reviewers mentioned that he walked back from Sairee beach. Amazing as it exhausted me just coming back squeezed in the owners old suzuki because of the slopes that even the four wheel driven car struggled with.
Most serious problem for our group was the stairs. The steepness of it the length of it the slipperiness of it and the narrowness of it. Potentially deadly for my elderly parents and not that comfortable for me and my wife as well. My parents very carefully went up to the penthhouse unit and did not come down until it was time to leave the next day.
We were booked for 2 nights but cancelled the second night for this reason. We offered to pay the advertised 30% cancellation fee and even 50% but unfortunately the owner couple wanted 100% and will not budge. I explained that if they had told us about the stairs we would not have booked this accomodation and that the owner should have highlighted this when we told them we are a family group. The owner threatened to call the police and did make a cal in front of me which I now believe to be a fake call as police never arrived and when I told them we will go to the police ourself they refused to go with us.
The sympathetic Thai police mediated and ordered the couple to accept our 50% offer.

All in all a very uncomfortable stay for us and our version of Hotel California.

  • Stayed: January 2013
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4  Thank PaulKwon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlanCassarKohTao, Owner at Koh Tao Star Villa, responded to this reviewResponded January 31, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to write this review.

We thought long and hard as to how to respond to it. We even considered trying to get it removed as clearly its sole intention, was to discredit our hard earned good reputation and to damage our business. We were not even sure if we should dignify it by responding, but then came to the conclusion that it was an excellent opportunity for us to reiterate much of the information already available about Star Villa.

You see, although we regret that your experience of Star Villa was not what you were expecting, we also find it very difficult to understand. We state very clearly, more than once, that Star Villa is ‘off the beaten track’ and that it is ‘not suitable for young children or for the elderly or infirm’. You state that you have read the reviews shown here on TA, and there is a lot of information contained in those reviews about the set up at Star Villa. So let us now take this opportunity to reiterate that Star Villa is built in the side of a hill so therefore, you have to go up hill to get to it which affords us our wonderful, panoramic views. For this reason we supply a free taxi service twice a day into Sairee. We also therefore, have stairs, some without railings. Deceit is not our game. We put a lot of effort into our website to ensure our accommodation is accurately, honestly and fully described as we would rather our customers have all the information before they book.

We offered to take you back to town to find more suitable accommodation when you stated upon arrival that your parents would struggle with the stairs (though you would have to pay the cancellation fee) but you refused. We also suggested you put your parents in the apartment on the lower level instead of in the Penthouse at the top of the building, again you refused. A strange thing to do we thought when you were claiming that your parents would struggle with the steps.

We made it quite cleat that we do not accept bookings for less than two nights and it was explained to you that if you stayed for the one night that you would have to pay for two but you insisted on staying.

As for our “House Rules”, they can be seen on our website. They are simple, common sense things like: ‘No smoking inside the apartments’, ‘Please do not use the white bathroom towels for the beach’, ‘please be considerate with your use of water’, ‘please use the recycle bag provided for cans and bottles’, ‘if you are not using something (electrical), please turn it off’ and ‘if you wish to use the aircon, please close the windows and doors’. None of them are Draconian (great word by the way) unless you wish to see them as such. Koh Tao is a beautiful island but it does have issues – lack of rain fall (its only source of fresh water), poor electrical supply from highly polluting diesel generators and huge rubbish handling problems.

We are very proud of the efforts we have made to make Star Villa as ecologically friendly as possible – ecologically sustainable tourism is our goal – but we do need help from our customers to achieve this. We state that we ”reserve” the right to charge customers that repeatedly and flagrantly disregard these requests. Actually, we have never had to resort to this, as 99% of our customers are over the moon about our commitment to keep the island in its current (beautiful) state. We are sorry that you do not seem to be like minded.

We (as you can see from the other reviews) go out of our way to take outstanding care of our customers and do our best to ensure that they leave Star Villa with many happy memories. We have met many, many lovely, genuine people and have made many new friends along the way.

“Hotel California”? I am sure that many of our guest wished is was as they would gladly love to stay longer.

May we suggest that before booking your next holiday that you do a little more research to avoid more disappointment or conflict.

Heidi & Alan
Owners

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2013

Set back in the hills from beach, but only 10/15 minute walk from the action, Star Villa is an amazing experience. I fell in love with the place from the pics in the web site alone so you can only imagine how I feel having stayed there. Its the thought and consideration of the hosts Alan and Heidi that make it special. I love their taste in decor, there is a feeling here that they have made the accommodation to exactly what they would like to live in, its tasteful, its interesting, even artistic. There are some real USPs as well, Alan has cleverly devised an entertainment system that you wont find anywhere else, with a great selection of movies and music. There is also an efficient take-away food services that make a night-in a truly chilled out time. Further, the owners provide you with a mobile phone to use while you are their, and you will get a polite reminder if you forget to call on the mobile and take up Alan's offer of a free taxi ride. I have never been inspired to write a review before, but Star Villa is a unique experience which I want to share with every discerning traveller, so if you are going to Koa Tao, there simply is no better place to stay, so I suggest booking early to avoid dissapointment, its that good.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Julien L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Koh Tao Star Villa

Address: 11/18 Moo 1, Koh Tao 84360, Thailand
Phone Number:
Location: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Koh Tao
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Room Service Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 148 Specialty Lodging in Koh Tao
Price Range: $79 - $156 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Koh Tao Star Villa 3*
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in the jungle clad hills above Sairee Beach, Koh Tao Star Villa offers unique accommodation on Koh Tao. spacious, modern, fully furnished apartmens with western standard bathrooms all designed with the ecology of the island in mind. Enjoy beautiful sunsets from your terrace and enjoy free use of our games room and BBQ area. And this very peacful setting, is only 3-4 minutes by bike or ATV from the centre of Sairee Beach - truely a great combination. ... more   less 
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