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“Dive with Them!!”

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Sairee Cottage Resort
Ranked #5 of 138 Specialty Lodging in Koh Tao
Certificate of Excellence
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Dive with Them!!”
Reviewed April 7, 2013

I went diving for the first time over three weeks ago, and I'm still on cloud nine! It was unbelievable, and I can't recommend this company more. If you want a personalized, professional, beyond fun, safe and unforgettable experience, look no further! It was my second time on Koh Tao, and I know how difficult it can be finding a school, trying to pick the right fit. My boyfriend and I wanted something fun and social, but where we really were learning what we needed to know to become good divers. We went to some small schools, and everything felt very over sold, almost impersonal... we walked onto the campus of one of the massive schools and immediately felt like a number even before meeting with someone and knew it wasn't for us. We then walked into Sairee, and were casually greeted by Sarah, who was so friendly, relaxed and chilled out and just answered any questions we had, without any of the cheesy selling tactics... and well it sold itself!

They don't ever do a group larger than four people and we were so lucky we just had the two of us and our incredible dive instructor Rachel! The amount of money you would have to pay for the amount of attention and focus we got outside of Thailand would be astronomical!! But for only 9000 baht each, we got 2-1 attention, five nights accommodation and the time of our lives! If you are doing your open water, I highly recommend saving the money and do SSI. It just saves you the book really.

Rachel was honestly more than we could of ever asked for. The book work wasn't much, she made the material palatable, taking the physics we needed to understand for our safety and making the paper stuff fun and casual. She was so down to earth and chill, while at the same time so incredibly attentive to our safety. I never once felt anxious, as her teaching and demeanor just made you feel right at home in the water! Sairee has great equipment and their dedication to their divers' safety is obvious! And don't worry out of the water we had a great time, and partying after the certification definitely ensues... if that is what you're looking for!

Every dive was amazing... just beyond description. You feel as though you're in a dreamworld! Diving truly changes you! I can't wait to get my advanced, hopefully with Sairee... I don't think I could get a better experience anywhere else in the world! Thanks you Rachel, and thanks Sairee!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank meggiedizzy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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598 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (82)
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UK
Level Contributor
224 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 180 helpful votes
Reviewed April 4, 2013

We booked two cottages at this resort in conjunction with a diving course at Sairee for three in our group (see separate review for the diving). Our 'hut' was absolute beach front and the other set back a bit in the resort. Can't fault either for the price. Our beach hut/cottage was OB4 and had a beautiful view of the beach and sea, both of which were just a couple of steps and a few more to the restaurant. The room was relatively small but adequate (signs of wear and tear but you would expect that) with a small bathroom (but again perfectly adequate) and a terrace with table and chairs and hammock . Shower pressure was from just adequate to almost non existent but again, in this neck of the woods would expect this.


The administration of the booking and on arrival was poor (as was the administration of the diving school but the instructors are fab - see other review) and the hut can be noisy at night as previously indicated by other reviewers - all night revellers returning early morning along the beach and to the front of the hut. This didn't bother us unduly as (a) we get up very early (about 5 am and (b) as people in our 50s and 60s (and therefore really old for this island) we quite liked to hear youngsters enjoying themselves . I was also extremely disappointed with the resort staff on arrival - I had previously emailed them as I had read there was construction work going on in the vicinity of the beach huts and was assured this was coming to an end. That wasn’t quite the case – and what they didn’t mention was the additional construction of the swimming pool for another resort in front of the hut (ie non beach side) which has some way to go. Despite this, the intrusion wasn’t that bad and the restaurant being built to the side will be finished in April 2013 and the swimming pool in front probably in May looking at the stage it is now so neither should be of concern to future guests
Despite the above, there are so many good things about Sairee Cottages that we will definitely be returning.

Our huts were spotlessly clean and we scoured the whole island for a better location to stay (just for next time) and couldn't find a better combination of location on the beach, walking to the town on a flat road (not that common round here) and the cleanliness of the beach - the staff at the resort clear the beach twice a day and the effect of this was noticeable when compared to the beach land either side of the resort (which wasn't exactly dirty in Asian terms but not as pristine as the bit of beach in front of our 'hut'). We were asked if we wanted a room clean half way through (which I wasn’t expecting as it’s not exactly a five star facility (or at least five star prices) and each day for some reason, bottled water was delivered with a fresh toilet roll – given there were only two of us in each hut I did wonder whether they thought we had some type of problem!

In terms of the restaurant associated with the resort this also was superb. The prices were lower than others along the beach , the staff were exceptional and the views sublime (with a choice of soft floor seating, normal tables/chairs and bean bags from which to enjoy)

Finally, a tip for anyone who needs to work whilst here. There is internet in the restaurant and around the reception from 8 am to 8 pm (I have tried to work out why it shuts off at this time but haven’t been able to get a decent answer). Also, the island does have frequent power cuts – and although Sairee has its own generator (which in my view is important) the internet is not always reset between power out and generator on. We got round this by bringing a 3g wireless dongle with a DTAC 3g card (we had an AIS one as a back up too). This gave us only 2g but it was acceptable for emailing, surfing the web and doing general internet work. I couldn’t build a website with a connection like this but it worked fine for me running my business from my terrace over the sea and for my husband with his business.

Overall, we just found this place amazing and as we live only three hours away a stay at Sairee will be put on our overseas ‘visitor’ agenda as the combination of price, location, and quality cannot in our view be bettered (and we have searched hard on this island for same!)

Just hope this review doesn’t mean we will never be able to ‘get in ‘ in the future !

Room Tip: you can't beach the beachfront rooms!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Carolineess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2013

We had originally planned to do the four-day Open Water course but due to illness we only had time for a one-day "Try Dive." The experience by far exceeded our expectations. We arrived at 10:30 for paperwork and tutorials. Our instructor, Micki (hope I got the spelling right), was thorough, patient, professional, friendly - everything you would want a dive instructor to be. After a quick lunch break we boarded a boat with the rest of the divers and headed out to the dive site for Japanese Gardens and Twin Peaks. Micki helped us suit up and we were in the water. We did practice drills for about a half hour in the shallow end and then we headed out! We got a full hour of actual scuba diving and saw so many different fish and sea life. Micki was always attentive to make sure we were comfortable but also made sure to point out all the different types of coral, fish, anemone, etc. (As well as warning us about the nearby trigger fish.) We chose to do the second dive for another 1,000 baht. This time we got to see even more - moray eels, sting rays, grouper fish, and even a little Nemo. All in all, while it's unfortunate we couldn't do the Open Water and get certified as planned, we still had an incredible first diving experience. Since our Try Dive is in the Padi system, we can do guided dives for a discounted price at other islands without the tutorial and skills practice. We plan to do this in Ko Phi Phi, our next destination. Hope to come back to Ko Tao again one day and would definitely go with Sairee Cottage again.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Megan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed March 16, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here for just under 2 weeks on the advice of a friend and loved every minute of it. We did our open water and advanced diving courses with Sarah and Robyn. I would definitely recommend requesting them if you're going to dive at Sairee. From restaurant recommendations to advice about the island to pointing out some naked divers, they really went the extra mile to make sure we had a great stay. We stayed in 2 different types of rooms. The basic ones are clean and fit for purpose. For a little bit extra you can have a spacious room with a big balcony. We didn't spend much time in our room, but it was nice to have a bit more comfort after a days diving. We were really sad to leave everyone at Sairee Cottages. If you're thinking about staying anywhere else in Koh Tao...no no no! Sairee cottages is the only place!!

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Bejohn85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canada
Level Contributor
256 reviews
78 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2013

LOVED this place! I had a beautiful cottage right on the beach, literally a few feet from the ocean ...I couldn't have found a better location! The cottage was a good size and very clean. It had a huge wrap around deck with a hammock where I could lay and watch the ocean while reading or writing. Every night I was treated to a beautiful sunset right off my deck. It was right on Sairee Beach and close to everything. There is a dive shop and restaurant on the property as well. I only wished I could have stayed here a month!

Room Tip: If you can get OB2 ...THE BEST location ...ON the beach, just feet from the ocean!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Dave B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
1 review
Reviewed March 6, 2013

We loved our diving experience at Sairee cottage! My friend and I were both nervous about our ears as we have trouble equalising on planes etc. however, Sarah was very patient and lovely and made our experience so enjoyable that we hardly noticed our ears! She also has a great knowledge of the area, in particular where is best to eat and go out. Definitely ask for Sarah if you go to this school! Diving group was very small so great if you are anxious and need more one on one. Still very sociable though!
The cottages themselves were ok. They got quite hot as we had a room with a fan but to be honest, Koh Tao is beautiful so you don't really need much time in the room except to sleep. No wifi in rooms but the reception area has wifi which has a good connection for skyping etc.

Room Tip: If you have a bit more money to spend, maybe go for air con and a hot shower but otherwise the budge...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Laura G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
20 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed March 1, 2013 via mobile

We came to Sairee for the lodging and stayed for the diving! The bungalows are basic but on the nicer side and ours was located in a quiet spot along their nicely manicured walkways. Rooms are a good deal (400 baht I think) and even better (free!) when doing a dive course with Sairee. We came for an Open Water Course but loved diving and our 2 instructors, Sarah and Robin, so much that we stuck around for our advanced. Our dive instructors made all of the learning time a breeze and our in-ocean skills were always a blast. On multiple occassions I laughed underwater so hard I got water in my regulator or in my mask but, after time with Sarah and Robin, clearing these up is easy. Oh, and the restaurant is good too. I can't say much about it because i got hooked on their delicious vegetarian pizza and ate one a day for most of my stay - so good - but didn't try much else.

Overall, try and score a bungalow and ask for Robin and/or Sarah for your dive classes. They're the best.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TravelLipps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sairee Cottage Resort

Property: Sairee Cottage Resort
Address: 10/1 Sairee beach, Koh Tao 84360, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Koh Tao
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 138 Specialty Lodging in Koh Tao
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 68
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sairee Cottage Located in the middle of Sairee beach surrounded by tropical garden and beautiful Sairee Beach. We offer different type of room that suit all budget such as .. Bungalow start from 700 THB Standard bungalow Garden room Triple room bungalow Family Bungalow Beach front Bungalow Poolside room Resort Facilities 2 Main Swimming pool Sairee Cottage Restaurant Butter cafe and bakery Butter Ice cream ( Gelato ) Pool bar day bed playground parking area etc.. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sairee Cottage Diving Hotel Koh Tao

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