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“The best spots in all our trip to Thailand”

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Haadtien Beach Resort
Ranked #14 of 50 Hotels in Koh Tao
Reviewed September 9, 2010

We stayed at The HaadTien in early August 2010.
A family with 3 children.
We had 2 Hideaway Villas. The cottages were nice, comfortable and well equipped.
Walking from one cottage to another was not so easy.

The location was magnificent .
The beach was quite with only few people around.
You can swim safely, relax and have a good snorkeling there, very close to the beach.

The restaurant offers a nice range of Thai and International dishes: the food is of a good quality served by a friendly staff.

The staff is very friendly and efficient, managed by Mr Jan, the hotel manager. He is very helpful and the first one to help you in everything you need.

The payment is something a bit annoying. They insist on a 50% upon ordering and the balance upon arrival.
I would also say that the it is overpriced.

All in all – it was a very good place for staying.
It might deserve the title of the best spots in all our trip to Thailand.

4 out of 5 because of the price.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
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Thank Shiri_Sh_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 8, 2010

We were pretty excited about this place. However I think they were not ready for guests (this was in Fall 2009).

First of all, it is far from the beaten path. That is not a big deal but the staff just gave a blank look when we expressed interest in scuba diving. They pointed out that the first truck of the day (to the city center) would be too late to catch a boat... and didn't offer any other solution. Hmm...

They were doing a lot of construction at the hotel. Lots of chainsaws, etc.

The restaurant (which is basically your only option) was not anything special. Greasy fried rice and other fried stuff (I love fried rice, but this wasn't even good). Not good service. OK for one day but not a place you want to be trapped eating for a week!!

After one day, and one night, we realized this would not work. We asked to check out, this turned out to be a two hour process as various staff (or perhaps it was family or friends?) wandered around. No one asked why we were leaving (six days early).

Pluses: The beach it is on is nice. We got our money back with no hassle. The location has great potential and the rooms were nice enough.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank nlmartin1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mileslilliott, Owner at Haadtien Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded September 11, 2010

Thank you for your comments and i am sorry to hear that your experience was not as it should be, however it is important to note that the date of your trip was September 2009, during that time the hotel was not finished nor were the staff trained. In fact we were in a high state of build to get everything done for the opening deadline. So although this does not remove our responsibilities to our guests, it does perhaps explain the issues you faced. We did not officially open the hotel until January 2010. So I would hope that you are able to return one day and see the dramatic difference that happened once the resort was open. Once again thank you for your comments.

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Reviewed August 28, 2010

My Partner and I stayed for 2 nights and we were celebrating our 15th year anniversary,we wanted a place special.We chose Haad Tien because it looked so romantic from the website.We arrived at 2pm and check in was only ok nothing spectacular and in fact a bit on the shabby side as they demanded 50 percent deposit and full payment upon check in no even a credit card guarantee.I do not think this is usually the procedure with 5 star hotels...
Our room was not ready even by 3 pm but the lady assured us that our room was going to be the best on the the beach and they were preparing something special for us.The beach villa we got was very nice and romantic being the last on the beach,no one was passing our room so we thought we would have total privacy,but so many sunbathers and other swimmers from other resorts right in front of our terrace,we should hear everything they were saying,coughing and others with boom box music listening to rap music! What a nightmare!
The room had a nice cast away feel to it,everything was in wood but very basic nothing luxurious,no soaking tub,tiny shower,very hard bed with not the best pillows,noisy air conditioning and poor lighting.The terrace had a day bed where I spent most of my time reading.
At night the restaurant looked sad,lack of ambience,no candles,torches,flowers ,soft music and the menu is rather simple and the food nothing great nor was the presentation of a 5 star hotel.We decided to go out to dinner as the resort seemed dead not ven romantic quiet but just dead!
Breakfast was really nothing special,bacon served cold! pancakes cooked ahead of time,eggs ok,no pastries like croissants or pain chocolat.I would not complain or expect much if it were a 3 star resort and if I was paying only 3,000 thai baht but that was not the case...they presented themselves as a 5 star resort and we paid 10,000 thai baht a night.I think for a resort that does not have any facilities like,pool,spa,tennis court,gym,2 or 3 restaurants this resort it is over priced.It may be easy to be fully booked in August but wait until the slow season comes I doubt very much anyone would even pay half for the price the resort is asking for.
I wanted to make a fair review but I think that with the economic crisis going on,most 5 star resorts are willing to give much more then Haad Tien has to offer for the price of 10,000 thai baht about 350 u.s dollars!
The resort was saved by the beautiful background of koh tao but again it is not a private beach ,too many people from other resorts and I also had the feeling of problems with security.I took everything with me each time we left the room , we brought everything with us,our computer,camera,money even our shoes and slippers were locked in the room.
I think that the resort needs to reevaluate its price tag ...far from being a 5 star,management lacks the know how in running a resort and lastly poor quality of food.
I would not come back nor would I recommend this resort to my friends,total rip off and waste of time on our precious vacation and hard earned money.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank globalspoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2010

We've been at Haad Tien for 6 nights in an Hideaway villa.

Positive:

1. The location: the beach is beautiful and quite relaxing instead of Sairee beach, where buildings are so close to the see that you'll have very few space to enjoy. There's nothing else but the resort on the beach

2. The privacy: all the villas are quite far from the other so you'll have your own privacy

3. The nature: you'll be in touch with nature, surrounded by flowers, butterflies and plants.

4. If you get up early in the morning you can see little sharks in the bay, not far from the beach.

5. The staff at the main restaurant was very nice and kind and the breakfast was good.

Negative:

1. The Hideaway villas are very basic, too basic for the price you pay. No storage for dresses. Very very low lights in the room and in the bathroom: it was impossible to look at your face at the mirror after 5 pm, impossible to make you up or just to shave. There was a very big window on the top of the room with no curtain and morning lights came into the room so early that we couldn't sleep after 6 am (too early for me when I'm on holidays!). No chair inside the room.

2. No sunbeds or sun umbrella for hideaways' villas guests. You'll be compelled to lie down on the sand or to use an uncomfortable beach chair (you'll be charged for that)

3. Any possibility to rent fins, they have masks and snorkels (you'll be charged), but no fins.

4. All between the villas there are many palms, but nobody take care about them. All the palms are full of coconuts often falling down on the ground causing a very big risk for the guest walking around the garden. I have been taken by a palm branches while I was on the way from my room to the reception!

5. The resort is far away from the main village and the schedule of the shuttle provided by the Haad Tien were very uncomfortable. Moreover sometimes we've been compelled to stay outside even it was raining as they haven't enough space for all the people inside the car.

6. Service at the beach bar was very bad. They had very poor choice of food and very low care about it. I was very disappointed one day when I found a fly in my french fries and when I showed it to the girl at the bar, she simply took it away with her fingers and gave me back the fries!

7. We also visited a castaway villa, which is much better that the hideaway (but the price is almost double). The castaway has no door in the toilet, but just a curtain which is pretty uncomfortable....and no storage for dresses as well. The castaway are provided of two nice sunbeds and an umbrella on the beach, but, as there is any kind of control on the beach by the resort staff, the guest are often compelled to discuss with impolite people unproperly occupying the sunbeds....

8. Even when we booked the room where assured they wouldn't have been work in progress in the resort, we had big noise since early in the morning as they were building new units.

9. The sea was very unclear in the beach, I don't know the reason, but it's not nice putting your feet in the water without seeing them in 30 centimetres of water!


If improved in all these items the resort could be a nice place, but at the moment it's has been a little bit delusion.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Reeno19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2010

We stayed six nights at the HT, when we arrived at the end of the afternoon after a very stressing trip to KT, we were surprised by the lack of service at the reception, especially on how they insisted for full payment of the stay while they had already reveived a 3 nights payment as guarantee, in addition to which we had asked to pay in bath with our credit card and it ended up that they charged us in Euro (applying the rate change they wanted).
We arrived to the bungalow (castaway beach villa) these were nice as in the website, but I noticed that there were some people sitting on the beach close to our sunbeds .
The evening we had dinner at the restaurant I had fish cake horribly spicy ( I like spicy food but these weren't normal and during the night I have been sick,) my husband and my friends food was ok but nothing special. There was a terrible lack of service in the restaurant (as well as in the hotel we discovered later), this is not what you expect for an hotel with such rate.
We had breakfast the day after, really nothing special again if I was in a 2 stars hotel I would say "you got what you pay" but this was not the case.
The nightmare starts at 10 a.m. with hundred of people arriving from everywhere on the beach, we were expecting a private beach as advertised on their website but it was worse than a public beach, kids screaming, people shouting, a group of young people with guitar singing, a lady change her bathsuit on the beach ending up naked at 1 m from us.
We had people all around us and the second times I had to fight with some young lady that was sitting on my sunbed I rushed to the reception asking for explanations, they told me that "yes the beach is private we can stop people at the entrance but we cannot stop people coming by boat", after I had a discussion with the manager this time I told me that "the beach is public this is the law I cannot do nothing", I was very upset I asked for at least some indications saying that the part with sunbeds was private, he eventually agreed an put a rope that people were happily crossing when they needed (for e.g. to join the path that leads to the bar and that was passing on the back of the bungalows) , another issue was the privacy with all these people on the beach it was impossible for us to have any privacy in our bungalow which has a big window facing the beach furthermore with all these people around we did not feel safe of leaving anything not locked (including our snorkeling gear, bathsuits that we put normally on the terrace for them to dry).
Another issue was the snorkeling: we loved to snorkel and I agreed that in the bay the snorkeling is very good but with all the longtail boats going back and forth to the beach we did not feel safe, plenty of time while snorkeling we heard boat motors coming and had to take out of the water our heads to check that we were find.
Thanks God around 5pm people started to go back to their hotels.
During the evening we discovered that at the entrance there was an indication: "this is a private beach, but you are welcome there is an entrance fee of 100 Bth and you cannot bring food or drink with you"
Basicaly they lied to us, there were making money also with the day trippers.
I argued with the manager and asked for a reimbursment but obtained nothing he indicated me that I had to check out if I wanted some money back, this was impossible to do as it was peak season!
This holiday were supposed to be relaxing on a quiet beach, in stead we ended up in a nightmare.
We took all our meal in another hotel of the bay, where the food and service where at the level of the price and where it was quiet.
This is really a pity, because the beach is beautiful, but with this kind of management it is hell, in addition to which they are going to destroy the delicate coral in the bay.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank La_Viaggiatrice075
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mileslilliott, Owner at Haadtien Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded September 14, 2010

On behalf of the owners and management of The Haad Tien I wish to express our extreme disappointment that your experience in our resort did not live up to your expectations.
The majority of your complaints seem to be centred on the issue of the beach. The beach at The Haad Tien is 350m long and as you are aware is completely encompassed by the resort property. This in effect means we can control access to the beach to a very large extent from land access. However as our general manager pointed out to yourselves during you stay, all beaches without exception by Thai Law are public land and therefore if people come to the beach via sea, we cannot ask them to leave, any information you have been told by other sources I am afraid is completely untrue. I have spoken to the resort manager regarding your concerns, as to be honest it is not usual to have many, if any non resort guests utilising the beach, as it is a quite difficult and time consuming access from sea and the day boats therefore avoid it. He has confirmed that during your stay there was a much higher than average utilisation of the beach by these operators and as such this was an unfortunate and unexpected situation. We have in response to these concerns increased our security presence at all entrances to the resort property to stop non guest using or benefiting from our facilities, which should dissuade the operators from using the beach. This I can report has had a good deal of success, as the beach over the past two weeks has been much quieter, which may be also in part to that fact that the experience you had was an unfortunate peak occurrence. I would add that we did try our best to ease your situation by erecting a rope barrier around your property and sun bed area to ensure an extra level of privacy.
I can also confirm that under no circumstance do we allow and “charge” guests from neighbouring resorts to enter our property. Firstly that would be illegal, as the beach itself is public property and secondly non resort guests freely wandering though the resort would a great security risk for us and therefore commercial not acceptable.

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Reviewed August 21, 2010

Stayed for 7 nights and had an absolutely wonderful experience, from start to finish. The Castaway Villas were spotless, tasteful and roomy. The seating area on the balcony area was perfect for a beer or two in the evening before dinner.

If you like snorkeling, then you won't be disappointed. We went there with this as one of our primary aims, and managed to spend every morning in with the sharks, and then the rest of the day in and around the bay with the rest of the wildlife.

Finally, a special thanks to the staff, particularly the restaurant staff, who showed us nothing but the friendliest service for our entire stay.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
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3  Thank simon_Japan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2010

We stayed for 4 nights that The Haad Tien in late July 2010. Initially we booked a Hideaway Villa, but when we got there we found we had been kindly upgraded to one of their top beachfront villa's at no charge! A very nice and kind surprise. The room was lovely and new, and the maids did an outstanding job of making up the room each day.

The first thing we noticed when we got there was the superb location.... the resort grounds are stunning (very well kept with green, green grass and lovely coconut trees). The beach is lovely- quite heavenly really. They have a lovely beach bar which couldn't be more quiet and relaxing if they tried. The restaurant also has a lovely ambience and is set outdoors, right on the beach. We only ate dinner once at the restaurant, but we were very impressed with their seafood bbq. We ordered a baked seabass (cooked in foil) to share, which came with pineapple, Thai herbs and a baked potato. The price was reasonable. We very much enjoyed it, but opted to go to Sairee or Mae Haad for dinner on the other nights because there is a bit more happening in town.

There have been a few comments on TripAdvisor about the service at The Haad Tien. We also noticed that at times communication with some of the staff was difficult- some of them don't speak English fluently. We also noticed that the front desk staff sometimes came accross as slightly abrupt, but I am convinced that they meant no ill-feeling, it was just a communication issue. These service difficulties did not bother my husband and I, because we recognise that Jan (the manager) has opted to hire local people and train them up, which is something that we fully support. However, while we thought that most staff really tried their best to please, I do agree that they could benefit from some more formal customer service training to bring it up to 5-star level.

The biggest downfall of The Haad Tien was the limited shuttle services that they provide to the town. They have 3 free shuttles to the town daily, but only one free service back (at 9.30pm). Other than this you have to pay for it, and it isn't cheap. I really felt that for a resort of this calibre (that is in a location too far to walk to the town), that they really should provide a few more free shuttles per day. Having said this however, I wouldn't let this put you off staying here- perhaps just hire a scooter or a quadbike to get to and from the town.

One of the other disappointments was the snorkling tour that we booked through The Haad Tien. They have an affiliation with Blue Diamond Tours and we did not enjoy this day trip at all. Of course this has nothing to do with The Haad Tien itself, except that we booked it through the resort. We were very disappointed with the quality of the boat (we were squeezed on like sardines and had to stand) and the snorkling left much to be desired with most of the coral being totally dead. From what I can ascertain, most of the tour operators are the same and I think snorkling is not the best on Koh Tao- I think scuba diving is the only way to see anything worthwhile. The Haad Tien offers free snorkling gear and I would recommend just using this and going snorkling from the beach (because Shark Bay is one of the locations they take you on the tour anyway, and all the locations were much the same).

Koh Tao itself is really lovely and the little villages of Mae Haad and Sairee are very charming with lots of good eateries (mostly low to mid-range, not so many high-end). I would particularly recommend eating at Whitening (Mae Haad) and Sairee Cottages (Sairee).

All in all, The Haad Tien is one of the nicest places we have stayed in Thailand and we were very impressed. They don't have a pool, but they didn't seem to need it with the beach being so nice.

The rooms are lovely and new, the grounds are luxurious, the beach is one of the best on the island and the restaurant is good quality. Being so new there are a couple of things they could improve on, but I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this place to others.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank JackieEvers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Haadtien Beach Resort

Address: 19/9 Moo 3, Koh Tao 84360, Thailand
Phone Number:
Location: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Koh Tao
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Koh Tao
#4 Luxury Hotel in Koh Tao
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Koh Tao
Price Range: $99 - $290 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Haadtien Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 70
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
HaadtienBeach Resort is a boutique destination set in a stunning backdrop of beachfront panoramas, featuring its own 380 metre secluded beach situated at the southern tip of Koh Tao. The property contains 70 private villas thoughtfully spaced amongst over 45 acres of land, which features a stunning natural bay, perfect for swimming and snorkeling. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Haad Tien Beach Hotel Koh Tao

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