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“On the beach”
Review of Palm Leaf Resort

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Palm Leaf Resort
Ranked #10 of 79 Koh Tao B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 10, 2013

We stayed here for 4 nights in a beachfront bungalow . It's literally 10 meters from the water, we just lounged on our porch between dips in the beautiful clean calm and warm water. The room is well air conditioned with a large bed TV mini fridge and kettle. The bathroom is big with a large shower, but no bath tub. It's just a few minutes walk on the beach to the main sairee streets. There are many restaurants, spas and bars along the beach. At night you can sometimes hear the loud music from the bars. But if you close the windows and turn on the air conditioner it didn't disturb my sleep. On the beach they come and sell fresh fruit, corn etc. It's also not expensive. There is a restaurant which is part of the resort and its not expensive and they bring you the food on the beach. They give you a mask and snorkel, but no flippers, and there is some nice corals near the rocks. For good corals and fish we took a taxi boat for half the day to a few other beautiful coral reefs.

Room Tip: Beachfront bungalow . If you can afford it.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank sas108
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 7, 2013

Unfortunately our month long holiday all over Thailand is approaching the end.
We arrived in Koh Tao a few days ago and checked in to a really nice hotel, little did we know that a sleepless night laid ahead of us. The following morning we discovered the Palm leaf resort, wow what a difference, the place is amazing, our hut ten out of ten, staff super helpfull and location could not be better,so one word of advice, if u go to KohTao, go to he Palm Leaf Resort.

Room Tip: The dark colored huts are better
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Mark G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 7, 2013

All I kept saying on arrival was “I love it here” as I sipped a pina colada watching the sunset. Sairee Beach is definitely the place to stay on Koh Tao. You can see the beautiful sunsets on this part of the island. It has everything you’d want from peaceful to lively and has a great feel to the place (much nicer than Mae Haad).

Palm Leaf Resort is the upgraded side of Bow Thong Resort, owned by the same family, but it all looked nice to me. It is on the beachfront at the very north of sairee beach, which is a great location… to be within 10 minutes walk along the beach to the ‘more happening’ bars, clubs and cabaret show but away from noise when you get back to your nice room. Pleasant to sit on your veranda in the evening - If you stayed further south in the heart of it then you wouldn’t even be able to put your towels and swim wear out to dry, in case they were stolen by drunken passers by!

Basically all hotels in Thailand offer free transportation to and from airport or pier, so take advantage of this by emailing your request. However, nobody was there to meet us like arranged and a helpful Thai lady in a shop down the road from the pier let us use her own mobile phone to call Palm Leaf… they said the driver was on the way, and sure enough 5 minutes later it arrived with my name on a board, so it was just late, but I had been worried as our ferry had already arrived 10 minutes late and the hotel pick up was another 20 minutes after that!)

I booked a deluxe seaview bungalow online through Palm Leaf’s own website. Nice simple big wooden huts close to beach - just what I wanted after staying in weird colourful rooms with open bathrooms - nice at Palm Leaf not to have to share the bathroom with mossies, ants and snakes! However the bathroom here was very dark, but great big shower area. We walked up and down the whole of Sairee Beach looking at other accommodation and I believe Palm Leaf was the best choice and I'm glad I booked here. There was no hairdryer in the room so I went to ask the owner, Tony, at reception and he gave me a brand new one out of the box. Buy some drinks from the local 7/11 and keep them in your fridge in room, as there is no minibar, just the usual free bottles of water. Free wifi works at reception area, so it will work in your room if nearby.

Staff friendly - Thai girl on reception who used to work at Chalok Baan Kao was lovely to talk to. They have other nationalities working there on internship (eg French but with good English).

Breakfasts included in price were taken at the little beachfront restaurant which was really just a big platform on the sand with tables and chairs and loads of flies! It was strange as you could only choose 1 thing off the menu! We had been used to having a varied buffet breakfast each day, but here you could only have EITHER cereal, OR toast with egg, peanut butter or nutella, OR American breakfast. As I’m a vegetarian, they did bring me some fruit instead of bacon and sausage. The orange juice was terrible – I suggest having the pineapple juice instead. The mug of tea was huge and the coffee tiny! They brought fried eggs instead of scrambled for my husband. The cocktails at bar were nice and strong and they had cheaper beer and wine during happy hour later each afternoon.

About 10 sunbeds on beach for Palm Leaf customers and another 10 further down for Bow Thong customers – these were all tied together in pairs so could not be moved around beach. The beach towels they give you from reception are very old and frayed – they need to invest in some new ones! The sea was shallow and clear for a long way out. The reef was about 30 metres from the shore and then the snorkelling was cloudly but still good.

When we were leaving Tony said goodbye as staff drove us and some other people to the pier and he mentioned putting a good review on tripadvisor for him. I would definitely stay here again. Although my review is not gushingly good, it is only because I have put everything on here that could help other travellers, but actually I would sincerely recommend staying here.

Room Tip: huts with seaview are the best
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Carolyn N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2013

Positive: great location away from noise of bars etc. Lovely man in restaurant. Sea lovely and calm. Great for swimming/ snorkeling.
Negatives: we had a sea view bungalow which was nowhere as big as pictures on web sites. Lighting in rooms very poor. Bathroom door hanging off hinges, cobwebs that never got cleaned.. The cotton wool and ear buds they provided had dirt and dead insects on them. There was a window that was broken / cracked and not taped over. Managed to get on internet once in 5 days...
Restaurant positives: great waiter so happy and friendly could not do enough for ýou. Even brought our drinks over to us on the suneeds i'f he was busy
Negatives: sorry no Thai food today. Sorry no pancakes today. Sorry on yoghurt today. Very hit and miss!

  • Stayed: February 2013
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Thank nbnr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2013

I visited the resort with 2 friends and we had a deluxe villa room for the 3 of us. The room was new, modern, spacious and had a balcony with partial sea views. I appreciated the spacious bathroom and the very quiet air conditioning (doesn't keep you awake when running at night).

The location of the resort is great, at the northern end of the Sairee beach. As others have mentioned, it's away from the party noise at night but in walking distance to restaurants and bars.

Caroline at the reception is very friendly, helpful and efficient.

The restaurant is the downside of this resort. As breakfast is included you end up there. Most staff don't understand English (nor Thai). So making a special request is difficult due to the language barrier. They got my order wrong several times. Twice they forgot to bring the sirup whith the french toast. Both time when I asked for it i got a snappish response (e.g. "happy now?"). The food itself is very basic, and just ok.

So overall, nice resort while the restaurant has lots of room for improvement.

For a potential next stay on the island I would consider the next door 'Koh Tao Cabana' Resort which looks very nice (tried their restaurant which was good).

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank twyss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

Palm Leaf Resort Koh Tao

We travelled as a couple in our 50’s and stayed 10th -21st January 2013. We were picked up as arranged and driven the 10-minute journey from Mae Haad. The resort is at the Northern end of Sairee beach, next door to the Cabana Hotel, and about as far as you can get from the beach parties on South Sairee.

We were advised by Tony, the manager that The Palm Leaf resort was created by a split off from the Bow Thong Resort by the common owner, with a new entrance road, separate reception desk, but with a shared restaurant and bar. We were very confused by this, as we had booked into the Bow Thong, but found ourselves in the Palm Leaf!

Check-in was very fast and smooth and handled by Julie and Caroline, both were charming young ladies with excellent English.

Our Superior Sea View room had a beach view, with the water about 15m away. It was equipped with an external veranda, a double sun bed, and table and chairs. Inside was a double bed, wardrobe, room safe (too small for a net-book laptop), air-con, and a floor standing fan which we had requested when making the booking. In addition there was a fridge, kettle, teas and coffees, TV, en suite bathroom with hot shower and wall mounted liquid soap/shampoo dispensers. Two bottles of complimentary water are left each day.

Breakfast was a choice from a set menu and nicely presented. Sam, our waiter, was even happy to bring breakfast to our room.

The room was serviced daily, and was left spotless. The only minor irritation was having to ask for additional toilet paper because the single roll left each day was a bit small. We found the mattress to be very hard, but the management provided a quilt to soften it with. A minor electrical fault was fixed within an hour of reporting it.

All of the staff are friendly, and helpful. We would like to give a special mention to Sam the waiter who speaks excellent English, and was knowledgeable about the local area. Thank you Sam! Both receptionists, Julie and Caroline were a credit to the hotel, always smiling and helpful, even after a long day. Tony the manager was attentive, without being overbearing, and also speaks excellent English.

We encountered some very high tides during our stay, with the result a large section of Sairee Beach had no sand left. This had the unfortunate result that the area of beach in front of the Palm Leaf got very crowded, as it was one of the few stretches of sand left. There is also a resort rule that sun loungers for guests cannot be moved around (even in front of the hotel) – I found this out when one I tried to move about 20m away from a crowded section, was impounded and moved back by the staff! In fairness, they did find us a couple of deckchairs and put them where we wanted them. We discussed this with Tony, who confirmed it to be correct. So we could only conclude the sun loungers are for the convenience of the management and not the guests. We thought this most peculiar for a resort heading for the top end.

We did a little snorkelling along the rocks beside the Cabana, and found shoals of rabbit fish, baby parrotfish, red- breasted wrasse, mullets, eight striped butterfly fish, sea cucumbers of all varieties, plus boulder corals, staghorn coral and a whole host of the other usual coral reef suspects.

The Palm Leaf resort is probably in one of the better locations on Sairee Beach, away from the parties at the south end. We did hear some noise one night from a music festival, but the background music in the hotel bar is unobtrusive, and seemed to be turned off around 9:00pm, so our sleep was not disturbed.

Room Tip: The rooms away from the beach are more private.
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank geordiediver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 17, 2013

We spent 7 nights at Palm Leaf in a bungalow just in from the beach. The location is so beautiful in the corner of the bay with lovely snorkelling just off the corner (lots of colourful fish). The beach is pristine with gorgeous crystal clear water.... low tide was at night so we enjoyed great swimming in the day. Palm Leaf is very well run and the staff most efficient, they even arranged a birthday cake for a friend who was celebrating her birthday with us. The restaurant has delicious food, the most delicious panang curry and green curry I have ever tasted! Breakfasts that were included were western style....rooms were clean and simple, which was great. You had to sleep with the aircon on as it was so hot and you could not open the windows or doors as the mosquitos are in abundance and there were no mosquito nets over the beds (this could be a possible improvement if you are like me and dont like aircon?) It was great for teenagers as they could walk down the beach to the action at night and walk home again... there are lots of fire dancers and fire skipping ropes in the bars along the beach (10 minute walk)... there is also a lovely massage place along the beach, on stilts, so you hear the water lapping the shore as you enjoy a thai massage!

Room Tip: The rooms right on the beach can be noisy at night with the bars up the beach, better to get a room...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Susan D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Palm Leaf Resort

Address: 15/2 Moo 1 North Sairee Beach, Koh Tao, Thailand (Formerly Bow Thong Resort)
Phone Number:
Location: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Koh Tao
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 79 B&Bs / Inns in Koh Tao
Price Range: $46 - $106 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Palm Leaf Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
You find us at the north end strip of Sairee Beach. Palm Leaf offers the best view at the bay with its grey boulders and the colourful sea. Just a 5 min walking distance away from the village, it is still a very calm and private place to be. Moreover it is the only snorkeling side at Sairee beach.Set in a nice garden our lovingly furnished bungalows and rooms await your arrival. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bow Thong Hotel Koh Tao

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