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“Good place to stay”

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Koh Tao Backpackers Hostel
Ranked #108 of 140 Specialty Lodging in Koh Tao
Almere, The Netherlands
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Good place to stay”
Reviewed August 5, 2013

As a backpacker, this is a fine place to stay. Ofcourse, there are betters, like bans avenue for example, but this place is just 20 meters away from the party.

That means less noise and less annoying drunk brits, yet still in the party.

You also pay less here than at bans avenue. Squeeky beds, but apart from that a good place. Only downside is the aircon is really cold and the showers are outside of the room. Also, staying here got me 10% discount on fun dives with Davy Jones Locker. which I enjoyed a lot! Recommended by a backpacker!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Guido1010101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phil D, Owner at Koh Tao Backpackers Hostel, responded to this review, August 6, 2013
Hey thanks for the positive review, with the AC we do leave the remote in the room so that customers can adjust the temperature themselves.
Which can mean that you'll get someone in the room who'll turn the AC right down to the lowest setting which is great if you have just walked in from outside, but if you leave the temp setting as low as possible when you go to sleep it really does get cold during the night. We recommend setting the temperature to about 23-24 degrees Celsius for sleeping.
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115 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
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English first
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed July 11, 2013

I can't remember how much we paid for our rooms, but I do remember that it definitely wasn't the most expensive place we stayed on the islands so can't have been particularly pricey! We booked a couple of days before on a booking website and paid a deposit, got there and were told we had to pay the full price. When we said "oh no we've already paid some of the price through the booking website", the lady on reception very politely informed us that its actually an extra booking charge through the website, so we paid full price as she asked - so I don't know why people are saying the staff are rude as this woman was really polite to us! She was also very understanding when someone lost the key to the dorm and calmly told us that we would have to pay the fee that she'd told us about when we'd checked in - which we obviously did, out of courtesy since we were the ones who screwed up. So like I said I don't understand why people say the staff are rude or unfriendly, we were only ever treated kindly and politely, even by the night staff on reception who must have been really tired! The staff also seemed to remember who was in what room which was reassuring because it meant they knew who was meant to be wandering in and out of the hostel, also when I found a drunk girl in the toilet they knew which room she was staying in and unlocked it for me so that I could help her into bed.

The room itself was fine, 8 people in a dorm is a good amount in my opinion, especially because there was 6 of us in our group. Obviously it was hot considering it was May, but the air con was good in our room and the lockers were big enough to put all your valuables in, they weren't so tiny you could only fit your passport in, unlike some places. The showers and toilets were clean enough and the posters about the hot water were helpful. Also really appreciated the fact that a cleaner came in every day, not many hostels do that and it was just nice to have a clean room.

So yeah basically its a good place to stay if you're looking to have fun, meet new people and at the same time get a pretty good night's sleep.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank HannahS100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 25, 2013

Paid for 300 baht for an aircon room but it only worked sometimes. As we were at reception - another girl came to complain about her aircon being broken. Her room were 'discounted' to only 250 baht a night which is a complete rip off for a non-aircon non-fan dorm. Planned to stay 4 nights but as soon as we saw the state of the room and bathroom we decided we'd look elsewhere. Being just after full moon we thought everywhere would be fully booked, but we walked down the road and found a lot of places for the same price that were a hundred times better.

It's not safe!! A guy in our room had his stuff stolen, and you could tell by the state of the lockers which were dented and broken - clearly have been tried to be broken into.

Staff extremely rude!!! Travelled for 5 months and this is the worst hostel by FAR.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Backpacker91London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phil D, Owner at Koh Tao Backpackers Hostel, responded to this review, June 26, 2013
At the moment yes we do have a problem with the AC in one of our dormitories which isn't working correctly even after we've had 3 different AC 'service technicians' come to try to repair it (this will be fixed when the new AC unit arrives in a few days). None of the other dormitories have any problems with the AC and are working perfectly well unless customers insist on keeping leaving the room door open or are unable to correctly operate a remote control unit (sadly both of which do seem to happen way too often and after many years of trying we have now concluded that we are unable to AC the whole of Koh Tao via the hostel). It appears that this customer didn't notice the fan attached to the ceiling in the dormitory and for the people staying in the dormitory where the AC wasn't working correctly we put an additional fan in their room.

You say that someone in your room had his stuff stolen, this does seem a little odd as no one has reported any theft to the hostel at all. We'll check the CCTV if people come to us and tell us they have had things stolen so we can try and work out who has been coming in and out of the room, as we can see who comes in and out of every room 24hrs a day. In the past when something like this has happened we called the police to come around to investigate as this did happen a couple of times before and we were able to work out the particular guest that was responsible as all the thefts took place in the same dormitory and we could work out that he was the only person that had been present in the room when things went missing (mostly just money) and then he had additional unexplained cash on him when searched which was unsurprisingly a very similar amount to what had gone missing.

I'm sorry that you felt the staff were extremely rude, usually they are very pleasant to people unless the customers are being particularly rude or unpleasant to them. I know the other day that there was a guy who believed that after booking in and agreeing to the terms and conditions that they would at least pay for the first night of their stay should they decide to cancel on arrival, or cancel on the day of their booking or not show up for their booking that having an argument with the staff would somehow put them in the right because they hadn't read what they had agreed to and so wouldn't have to pay. When the staff do get annoyed with people who are clearly in the wrong either through stupidity or just by trying to get away without paying what they should then to be honest I can't get too upset with my staff for doing their jobs correctly.
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Travelers are raving about these Koh Tao hotels

Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed May 2, 2013 via mobile

Basic budget accommodation, clean and beds comfortable- perfect location. Air con worked well.

3 hot showers and 3 toilets but seemed to be enough.

Wifi very temperamental but worked 70% of the time.

Have to make your own bed when you arrive but I guess that's to be expected when you're paying £6!

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank GinaG2401
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheshire, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed April 25, 2013 via mobile

I stayed here for three nights. Staff were very helpful and nothing was too much trouble. 8 bed dorms are clean enough but could do with another AC unit in them as the warm air rises if your on a top bunk and the fan doesn't really do anything to assist. Not a major complaint though.

Showers could do with some hooks to hang towels and clothes on though. Great location and would recommend given the price.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank John M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cologne, Germany
Level 5 Contributor
44 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed April 17, 2013

The 8-bed-rooms are quite average. It's clean and there is airconditioning which is very helpful with the hot temperatures. You have to make your bed yourself There are shared and not so clean showers and toilets but at least you can use the shared fridge to put your drinks in it. Somebody robbed my water though, so you gotta put open bottles in it, not new ones.

The price is 300 Baht (~9,5 $) per person. Bad is that you gotta check out early in the morning. Already at 10 am. You have to be on time because Thai people take every opportunity to make you pay more!!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Nekhali
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 5, 2013

I stayed here for four nights and left the day before my friend, I paid on leaving and when she went to leave they would not let her go without paying for me again. When I went back to ask for my money back the manager was unbelievably rude and called me a liar as it was his girlfriend on reception. Please be careful if you are visiting this hostel as the staff are dishonest.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RoseC181
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PhilKohTao, Owner at Koh Tao Backpackers Hostel, responded to this review, April 6, 2013
I have been waiting for this review to come in as I remember this customer well as it was an entertaining tale over a 300 baht charge which we showed them they had not in fact paid twice for and was simply a mistake by the customer. I was starting to think that perhaps I wouldn't get the opportunity to share this particular hostel story with the masses. I'd also like to point out that I was in no way rude to this customer or call them a liar I simply pointed out to her the flaws in her story although I do admit I did laugh when she threatened to sue me. Our staff and indeed my girlfriend are certainly not dishonest and have no need to try to cheat 300 baht from our customers.
Okay so the first time I met this customer was when I was called to the hostel as they said they had paid twice for a night's stay, as the owner of the hostel I went to see what the problem was as the hostel manager was unable to resolve the problem.
The first thing that the customer said to me when I arrived at the hostel was 'I have an excellent memory and never forget anything', which seemed an odd thing to say when I said hello.
They then proceeded to tell me their version of what had happened, she told me how on the day that she checked out (the previous day) she had paid for both her final night of accommodation and another girls accommodation that she had met at the hostel who was sick and so she had given money to her so that she didn't have to get out of bed. The following day the girl who had been sick, then checked out and was charged for 2 nights stay at the hostel, she assumed that the other girl had actually just not paid for her accommodation, but was meeting up with her later on and so would sort it out then. When they met up the first customer said no she had paid the accommodation the previous night for both of them and so both girls came back to the hostel to ask for a refund of this double paid night of accommodation.
However upon their arrival back at the hostel there was a different member of staff than had been working when they both checked out. They had both checked out with my girlfriend, who I must admit has a pretty good memory herself, for example she'll often know every customer's name that is staying in the hostel which is often full to capacity at 32 people. As she recalled the events of the previous morning when this customer checked out she came to the reception to check out but was confused when told that she still needed to pay for the previous night as she thought she had paid for all the nights she had stayed already and so went back to her room without paying to check with her sick friend how many nights she had been staying at the hostel because she couldn't remember (the same girl who said she never forgot anything when I first met her). Then returned and paid for her own nights of accommodation and checked out and left. So the following day when her friend who had recovered from her sickness checked out she was simply charged for her accommodation. As my girlfriend didn't follow the first customer into the room when she went to check how many nights she had been staying at the hostel she was unaware of any money exchange between the 2 girls to pay for the sick girls accommodation.
So there was clearly a dispute over who had paid what, so I explained to the customers that there was a simple way to determine if they had indeed paid an additional 300 baht or not for a night of accommodation for the girl who had been sick and that was to look in the accounts. As we write down every payment that comes in and out each day and then at the end of the day we record what the float for the start of the day was, how much has come in and what has gone out and it gives us a cash total for the day, which should add up to the amount of cash in the cash draw. So I checked the records for the previous day, funnily enough there was no record written down of the customer paying an additional 300 baht for the girl that was sick. To which the customers response was no I definitely paid it to the receptionist (my girlfriend), so she must have just forgotten to write it down. So I explained how the system worked and that even if that was the case then the accounts for the day would be over by 300 baht, which they weren't. The customer then started to get very agitated and was saying that they really couldn't afford to lose this 300 baht that they were claiming to have paid, it was a lot of money to them and could potentially ruin their whole trip, which seemed slightly unlikely even at this stage as it costs more than that just to get a ferry off the island. So I explained again to them how the accounting system works and that it clearly showed that we did in fact not have a surplus 300 baht from the previous day when she checked out and the receptionist (my girlfriend) from when she checked out who had come back to the hostel to speak to the customer and explained to her that she had in fact not paid for a night of accommodation for herself before returning to the room to check with her sick friend if she had already paid or not as she couldn't remember how many days she'd been staying at the hostel. Then when she came back to the reception just paid for her own stay of one night and not her sick friend's night.
This wasn't acceptable to the customer who suggested that it was perhaps my girlfriend who had stolen money from me/them, and pocketed the 300 baht she claimed to have paid and not recorded it in the accounts. I did mention to the customers that my girlfriend wouldn't actually need to steal cash from either myself or them as if she needed any cash she would simply write it down as a payment out and take it from the money in the hostel, as is normal for meals, magazines, going to get her nails done etc, etc.
So as I wasn't accepting her theory that my girlfriend had stolen the 300 baht (when there would be absolutely no need to do so as she has access to the hostel money every single day), I suggested maybe just maybe she could be mistaken and have actually not paid the additional 300 baht as the receptionist (my girlfriend) had said had happened.
No the customer wasn't having this and repeated again that she never forgot anything and was clearly getting angry now and threw in that she was in fact a lawyer in the UK (hey she may have been a lawyer for all I know as it's possible to become a lawyer by the time you are 23ish just about after the degree and the next couple of years along the career path) and this was the reason she had an excellent memory and so couldn't possibly be mistaken. At this point I was thinking wow a poor backpacking lawyer staying in hostels in Thailand that is financially ruined after the supposed loss of 300 baht that's got to be a first.
To snap me out of this thought the customer decided that no they were definitely right and so told me that they were not going to go anywhere and going to wait at the hostel reception until they got the 300 baht that they claimed to have paid and the receptionist (my girlfriend) had subsequently stolen...
At that point I thought okay I've shown them they haven't paid it, as it's not in the accounts, she's been told by the person she claimed to have paid it to that she didn't and their perfect memory argument was pretty much blown out of the water when they'd said to me when they said they couldn't remember how many nights they'd stayed at the hostel before they'd headed off to the room when they didn't actually pay. Now I didn't call them a liar once, but really how many lawyers are there out there who's entire trip could be ruined by the supposed loss of 300 baht.
So I said to them to go ahead as we could see that they hadn't paid this additional 300 baht and I'd decided that no out of principle I wasn't going to cave in and give them 300 baht just to go away. I don't believe this was just an attempt to get money, I think that the girl really did believe that she had double paid, however she was unable to accept the fact that she hadn't when it was clearly pointed out to her. Even at the time before she wrote this review I didn't even think it was an a case of putting on a good show to cover up that she had pocketed the 300 baht off the sick newly met 'friend' she had supposedly paid the nights accommodation for. To me it seemed that she really just couldn't accept that she was wrong.
I left the hostel and went back to work managing the Davy Jones Locker dive school and a little while later they came there and tried a different approach by not being so hysterical and asked again if there was any way I would give them 300 baht and so I explained again to them for the fifth or sixth time that as there was no evidence of them ever paying this money in the accounts system and there was no surplus cash on the day they claimed to have done this and I didn't believe that my girlfriend would need to steal 300 baht from them instead of just spending her wages, or money from the hostel that no on principle I couldn't give them 300 baht without a reason as I believed they were mistaken as all the evidence suggested.
Obviously I was supposed to play ball and give them 300 baht as the customer lost it slightly and threatened to sue me over 300 baht that she hadn't paid, which did make me laugh and I said to go ahead and so the next threat was to write bad things everywhere and tell everyone how bad we are, that threat really isn't that effective if you aren't that bothered or quite like replying to some of these reviews that often are not all that accurate.
It does also look as though they've just finished their trip as they stayed in August and it's now April when they've got round to writing a tripadvisor review, perhaps memories coming back after looking through the holiday snaps of that smart assed bloke in Koh Tao who laughed at them when they threatened to sue him for not coughing up 300 baht so they could have an extra sangsom bucket!
Thank you for leaving your review as it made a smile come to my face as I recalled the story whilst writing this response.
PS, I hope that the lawyers wages have gone up in the UK whilst you've been away so that you can afford a drink in your local pub.
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Additional Information about Koh Tao Backpackers Hostel

Property: Koh Tao Backpackers Hostel
Address: Moo 2 | Sairee Beach, Koh Tao 84360, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Koh Tao
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #108 of 140 Specialty Lodging in Koh Tao
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Koh Tao Backpackers is in central Sairee, Koh Tao. Koh Tao Backpackers offers cheap hostel style accommodation for both divers and non divers. Located in Sairee at the Silver Sands Resort, behind Davy Jones Locker Diving who's restaurant/bar and swimming pool we use as our common areas, Koh Tao Backpackers is close to everything you'll need whilst here on Koh Tao. We also have full access to the Dive resort's swimming pool and bar restaurant. We have AC in all the dormitories, hot water showers, lockers in the dormitories and 24 hour reception with CCTV cameras. ... more   less 
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