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“Nice place to stay but a bit more expensive for backpackers as the cheapest option is grim.”

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Taatoh Resort & Freedom Beach Resort
Ranked #46 of 49 Hotels in Koh Tao
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Nice place to stay but a bit more expensive for backpackers as the cheapest option is grim.”
Reviewed March 25, 2013

My boyfriend and I stayed here one night as had had enough at looking at different places on Ko Tao. We stayed in a clean, nice but basic bungalow for 1000 baht (£22) for one night. This was our most expensive accommodation throughout out trip and by no means the nicest. The cheaper bungalow at 700 baht (£15) we looked at was too grim for us and we had been staying in hostels as well as other bungalows during our stay in Thailand. We are not that fussy which says a lot about the condition of the cheaper option. On the positive as I said our bungalow was nice, the food was good and the staff polite and helpful. The resort itself is in a beautiful setting with a shallow beach of its own (not great for swimming but perfect for cooling off and for children). We moved on to a cheaper resort with as nice bungalows after searching through trip advisor. Oh apart from the first bungalow we saw the place was clean as far as we saw but I am taking it into account in my scoring on cleanliness.

  • Stayed March 2013
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Helpful?
Thank Isobel_m-s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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272 reviews from our community

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English first
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 17, 2013

There is one reason and only one reason to stay here, but it is a good one: the location. Freedom Beach and its sister resort, Taatoh (which is where I stayed) have three private beaches with gorgeous white sand, clear blue water, and a ridiculously perfect sunset view. So despite all the cons (of which there are many) I would probably stay there again, under the right circumstances.

First off, I stayed in one of the 1000 bht per night bungalows, which were amongst the cheapest there, and from what I gather the more expensive bungalows are significantly nicer. So if you're planning to spend a little extra money, my impression of the rooms may not apply. The bungalow was spacious enough and had a nice balcony. The "sea view" was a bit of a lie - I could see a patch of water between trees and some electric cables, but I guess technically I did have a view, albeit a kind of crappy one, of the sea. The bathroom was primitive; the drainage for the shower was a hole in the floor with no screen, meaning that gross little bugs (like the ginormous cockroach I saw) could come right in if you forgot to cover it. There was also no good place to put your toiletries, which was especially frustrating since the shower is not separated from the rest of the room - just a shower head strategically angled to miss the toilet (put the seat down anyway) and the sink. Note: this is a very common set up in Thailand. That I didn't mind, but a shelf somewhere to put my toothpaste, shampoo, lotion, etc, would have been handy.

The cheaper your bungalow is, the further away it is from the beach, so I had a bit of a hike up and down a hill (there are very steep stairs) to get to and from the beach, so you really don't want to forget anything. I knew from other reviews that this was going to be the case, but it was worse than I had expected, and an annoyance nonetheless. If you have mobility issues, either upgrade for a more expensive bungalow close to the beach, or stay elsewhere.

The staff was supremely unhelpful and rude. The woman I assume was the manager looked annoyed every time you asked for assistance. They do not tell you that you can get your room cleaned if you leave your keys at the front desk, which would have been nice to know. And they don't keep the entryway very clean. I don't mind taking off my shoes to go indoors, as is often expected in Thailand, but if I am going to, I'd like the floor I walk on to be relatively clean. The free wifi is in the reception/restaurant area, and parts of the beach, only, and constantly wasn't working. That was really, really annoying.

Food service is very slow, you practically have to go to the waiter to order and pay rather than waiting for him to come to you. That said, the restaurant is GREAT, far better than I'd expected. I thought it'd be more catered to tourists, but the food was very traditionally prepared, and they don't skimp on the spice. The Tom Yam soup had me in a sweat - and I mean that in a good way,

Another issue (not to do with management) is the distance from the main town, Mae Hat. If you don't have your own transportation, the only way to get to and from town is by taxi. The resort will call you a cab for 200bht, and to get back it's 300bht (about 10USD). I ended up just walking into town and back, which was actually fairly enjoyable despite the heat, but not something you want to do more than once. Plus the hill to get in and out of the resort is really, really steep - like San Francisco steep - not pleasant at all in 90 degree weather.

As a previous reviewer said, this is not a great place for a solo traveler if you're looking to meet people as it's mostly couples or groups of friends. I wasn't looking for that, so it was fine, but it should be mentioned.

My verdict is that if you have a scooter and can stay in one of the nicer bungalows, this place is perfect. If you have no transportation of your own and don't like roughing it, then you have to deal with some real inconveniences. I felt that the location was just nice enough to make the inconvenience worthwhile. It really is that good.

Room Tip: Upgrade to the nicer bungalows if you can afford it. Be prepared for a little discomfort otherwise.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Pam E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
calgary
Level Contributor
36 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed March 10, 2013

If you are looking for a 5 star resort this is not it. If you want a superb location, excellent bungalow overlooking a beautiful bay and opportunities for sunsets, this is it. Yes, there may be some insects and the walk to the room is long, but this is the tropics. If you want a 5 star resort hotel stay somewhere else. This is what being in Ko Tao is all about for me. Little more cost than I am used to, but I did have AC, great bungalow with hot shower, spacious room, clean room (put your keys at the front desk if you want your room cleaned), and a gorgeous place to eat breakfast. I did not have issues with the staff -- everyone was fine, perhaps not with the sunny, sunny disposition of many Thai establishments, but from the reviews I am wondering if guests are expecting a Western style hotel/resort for a price of a moderate accommodation in SE Asia -- and expectations are far more than you are going to get and staff is tired of that. Depends on how you want to travel. I like feeling like I am in another country and have never stayed (or wanted to) in a fancy all inclusive resort hotel.

Room Tip: Concrete bungalows are superb!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank canadianfamily007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
35 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed March 4, 2013 via mobile

We stayed at Freedom Beach Resort for 5 nights as the setting came highly recommended by friends. We loved the beach, the beach bar and beautiful snorkeling areas but the resort itself really put us off our stay... We were put in a room miles from all the others, which was filled with spiders. We moved to another, which was better but still not great. (And we were left to move all our stuff up and down steep pathways alone). The staff were exceptionally rude and unhelpful to guests (many people complained). Because the resort is so far from town, you are forced to eat at the restaurant - which can be quite expensive if traveling on a budget.
Although we loved the setting, I will go back for a day trip rather than stay there - purely because the staff are so rude and the resort is relatively isolated.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Katelighton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Koh Tao hotels

Madrid, Spain
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2013

We paid 60 € per night, only to sleep with koakroaches, spiders, empty fridge, no shampoo, dirty sofa, only a towel to cover ourselfs. Its incredible to imagine having paid that much money for such a bad hotel. We booked for 5 nights and paid unfortunately upfront. The very unfriendly, completely uncompetent front desk lady (she called herself the boss) told us, we could not get back the money, after complaining within hours of moving in. Next day we even went to the police, but they could not help. So we made up our mind and tried to enjoy the last days on the island, even with staying in that "worst hotel ever".

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Henry G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangkok, Thailand
1 review
Reviewed February 22, 2013

This place has it all, and good value at 1800 B - ( AUD 60 ) a night ( includes full breakfast!), you get an air conditioned villa with hot water and an amazing location. The beaches are clear water, excellent snorkelling ( diving tours pull up right in front of the beach bar) and the beach is very shady as well. the main dining area has amazing views so you have breakfast overlooking the bay and beach. For dinner the food is really good and the service is great, the staff mostly have good english. As the bars and dining closes at 9.00 pm everything is then beautifully quiet. If you want to party on - the hot spot of Sari Beach is only 10 minutes on a scooter. We booked for 3 nights and stayed 6. Great for a family as the beaches are perfect for kids.

Room Tip: Seaside bungalows near the beach bar are excellent - near perfect beach and easy access to the bar...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank sargedm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed February 15, 2013

We found freedom huts after a tuk tuk ride around koh Tao with our VIP driver Gail! The location was everything to us, you can complain about the basic amenities and the frog in the shower room but come on its Thailand! Where else in the world are you going to have views like that. I found William really sweet, and he makes a mean margarita. Great place for our three year old who appeared to hold hands on the huge swing with a different tiny person every night. A very special place x

  • Stayed January 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Nerysnoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Taatoh Resort & Freedom Beach Resort

Property: Taatoh Resort & Freedom Beach Resort
Address: 20 Moo 3, Koh Tao 84360, Thailand (Formerly Freedom Beach Resort)
Location: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Koh Tao
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
#23 On the Beach Hotel in Koh Tao
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Taatoh Resort & Freedom Beach Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 54
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
One of the last quiet beaches on Koh Tao. Friendly family atmosphere. Two private bays. Reasonable priced accommodation. well maintained, comfortable bungalows and friendly and attentive staff hopes to make your holiday an unforgettable and carefree time. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Freedom Beach Hotel Koh Tao

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