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“The staff let the place down”

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Montalay Beach Resort
Ranked #18 of 49 Hotels in Koh Tao
Reviewed November 28, 2013

Everything about the place is pretty good for what you pay for. It was nice being on the other side of the island. The beach is nice and the rooms are clean, with high ceilings and a nice balcony. Its just such a shame that the staff there do not reflect the hotel. There was one guy working in the restaurant called "Jet" who is from the Philippines who was lovely and always smiling, and was the one exception. The rest looked completely put out, grumpy and looked very unhappy to be working there. Especially one older guy. I'm sorry but I work in customer service as well and it's just not OK to be like this. Whatever there problem is it really lets the hotel down, which is such a shame. You would think that it wouldn't matter so much what the staff are like when you're away on holiday, however I was travelling alone and I spent time in 3 hotels on my trip and it really does effect the way you feel. They were very unwelcoming and just seemed like you were kind of annoying them. I'm speaking about the people at front desk and in the restaurant. Not sure about the rest. So...to sum things up, I wouldn't return on the above basis.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank amyj81763
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sornkanok, General Manager at Montalay Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded December 3, 2013

Thank you for your comments. We're so sorry to hear that our staff gave you an inappropriate service. We'll try our best to improve our service quality and hopefully we may welcome you again next time.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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207 - 213 of 678 reviews

Reviewed November 12, 2013

I spend hours searching for the perfect place to spend our time in Koh tao. And we found it here. The property is newer the facilities are flawless the staff is helpful and they communicate well..

The beach is awesome, it has great snorkeling a big rock to jump off.

The remoteness of the resort is a plus how ever Koh taos taxi drivers are extortion masters 400thb to the resort. A 10 min drive. So if your staying here I would recommend renting a scooter or atv to explore the town and the rest of the island. Also note they pick you up for free when your arrive and have scheduled shuttles to town throughout the day.

Room Tip: Upgrade to a room with a bay view. It's worth it.
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Dactay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sornkanok, General Manager at Montalay Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded December 3, 2013

Thank you for your wonderful comments. We're so much appreciate your visit and hopefully to see you again :)

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 9, 2013 via mobile

The place might be a few minutes away from the town, but who is in a hurry, When you want to take it eazy/holidaying?! food bit price than other places but totally worth it and I mean cleanliness, presentation,SERVICE!! therefore..totally worth it!!. Now the resort... It is just right.. When i booked after reading reviews and checking the pics i thought was an Ok place, I even thought i migh not like it that much... But IT EXIDED MY EXPECTATION BY FAR!! Pics dont full fill what the place its like!! I stayed in the standart suite it was very nice got to watch tv after coming from the tour because we were soooo tired after all the activities so its got to be able to watch something (if you have the energy), by the way if u can.. Bring snorkle mask or get it in town its cheap and at the resort you will neef it!! The beach that is right outside the resort its the perfect place, you will see friendly beautiful fishes that would not be shy to shy to swim with you. Oh! And if you feel like chilling and having a drink the staff at montalay has you covered.. Right outside at night they will have a table with a cocktail you order..we could just keep talking away with all the great service/experience we had our 5 day stay but i can honestly say holidays are to go relax, have fun make memories and montalay was the perfect complement to our trip; to all the staff at montalay all i can say keep up the good work! =0}

Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
3  Thank Pamela J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 8, 2013

There are a few options in terms of accommodation and I don't think it was fully clear to me from the website - there are the huts in a forested area or there's the more traditional hotel style rooms in a kind of modernist looking block. Out of personal preference we opted for the latter.

The room was huge, clean and well equipped. The bed was great i.e. it was a proper mattress. The room was cleaned daily and towels were also changed daily - they give you towels for the beach too which was great.

The hotel and beach are quiet and secluded and that's what we were looking for - if you're looking for a pumping nightlife then don't come here. You can get into town via a taxi service run by the hotel but we didn't bother. When staying over the other side of the island we actually walked here - it took just over an hour and if you're relatively fit it's fine to do (take water though!).

The hotel has a restaurant and we were very happy with the options, service and quality of food. We saw another restaurant further down the beach but didn't bother to try it. The waiters at the Montalay restaurant were so friendly that we were hooked on going back - I can certainly recommend the Pad Thai and the Mussels. I'm baffled that other reviews say that service let this place down - I can't praise the waiters, they were all ultra friendly and great fun. I must admit that the lady handling the money at reception wasn't the happiest of people but I find if you smiled you would eventually got one back!

The resort ran a little bar on the beach in the evenings - they put out a few chairs with candles on the table so you can sip on a margarita and listen to the waves - all very romantic, though the cocktails could do with a little more alcohol ;)

The beach was quiet and the snorkelling was excellent - if you walk into the shallows within about 5 metres there is a slight drop and you are surrounded by corals and colourful fish. The sea was warm, clear and calm every day - perfect for snorkelling.

We initially booked 3 nights and ended up staying 10. By the time we left I was eating slower, walking slower and breathing slower. This was a perfect place to relax, it's extremely good value for money and I would certainly recommend it!

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank RoweyH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2013

I booked five nights at Montalay with some concern given some of the comments in reviews. I think maybe some people did not do any research or understand what to expect. Koh Tao is a remote island reached only by ferry, and Tanote Bay where Montalay resort is located, is on the remote side of the island. While there is a road, it is half dirt with erosion from rain, and only safe for motorbike or 4 x 4 transport. So you will be isolated if you choose this resort. IF you want access to markets, nightclubs, bars, restaurants etc, then do not come here, or to this side of Koh Tao.

However, if you understand all the limitations and decide this is for you, then like me, you will enjoy your time here.

Booking was straight forward, I used the hotel booking website. I booked a hotel style room with aircon.

As mentioned by other reviewers, when you arrive on the ferry there will be staff (in two locations actually) holding a sign with your name on it. You do not need to pay for a taxi, so just ignore all the men yelling out for your business. If you cannot find the staff, try the car park to the left of the Lomprayah ferry pier. There is a restaurant there with Montalay Meeting Point on the front. Once everyone is gathered you will be assisted into the back of a 4 x 4 with your luggage for the 10 min trip to the resort. Enjoy the ride, it might be a bit scary in parts, but good fun.

Check in was smooth, and I was shown to my room by one of the staff who dragged my luggage up the hill. My room was at the front of one of the hotel blocks, but the view of the sea was obscured by trees. No matter, I didn't request a sea view room. The room itself was very spacious with a great balcony, toilet & shower, plus a small refrigerator. There is a ceiling fan which really helps keep cool. There is a small store on the resort which mostly sells drinks, chips, biscuits and toiletries.

The pool is great, quite deep at one end as it is also used in scuba diving classes. However the bay is where I spent most of my time. You will have fish at your feet as soon as you sit down at waters edge. Over 5 days I explored the bay, hiring snorkelling equipment from the dive centre (100b a day). There is plenty of sea life in the bay, lots to explore.

Many people have been critical of the restaurant, however I could not complain at all. I would have preferred a local style breakfast over the eggs and bacon, but it was good quality and gave me plenty of energy for the day. I had all meals here, mostly costing 300 to 600 baht for a meal and drink. maybe that is a little expensive compared to street food, but this is a remote location, and transport has to be included. There are other options nearby, but I remained at the resort. I cannot say I had any language issues with any of the staff, and found everyone to be quite friendly, as long as treated with respect. I didn't try any of the hamburgers or other western food, I would have remained in Australia if i wanted to eat western food. The curries were divine.

I hope to return to Montalay in the future, i really enjoyed the isolation, the bay, and the reort itself.

Room Tip: The hotel rooms are closer to the bay, not too far up the hill.
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank Marc B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2013

At the start we were thrilled with the service but it went down hill. We arrived in Koh Tao to staff holding a sign with our names on (we hadn't even expected a pick-up so were chuffed!). They took us back to the hotel which is isolated but if you want good beaches its worth it.
The grounds are nice and we had a huge room with a gorgeous bathroom, and really couldnt fault the room at all.
It was the restaurant and the service we got that was a bit iffy. Overall the quality of the food is pretty good but for Thailand it is very expensive (about the same as England) but there is no-one else to go so your sort of stuck with it. If you order say 2 cheesburgers, thats quite easy for them, but one evening we ordered 2 different curries, one came with the option of chicken or pork, but when we chose Chicken they were completely baffled by the request, they couldnt understand, even though it was translated for them! I then ordered a different curry which was again difficult. They thought we wanted the same one. Then they didnt tell us there was no rice so we had to call them back. Then we waited about 40 minutes for two curries (people who had ordered after us got theirs quicker). Then about 15 minutes later the rice came, but only 1 portion. We were so fed up we didnt even eat half of it, then when we tried to complain at the £20 bill we were met with blank faces and translation issues again.
When you pay at the reception desk the manager prcatically throws the receipt at you, no eye-contact or patient service. And this was even before our disagreement over the food.
We refused to eat there the next night and walked down the beach to the left where they BBQ fresh fish and prawns but that was equally expensive.
Your also a bit stranded. My partner had ear ache from all the snorkling and the taxi service was £8 one way in a shared taxi which was very expensive compared to elsewhere in Thailand. Then you have to find your own way back from the town.
The saving grace was that you can rent a canoe from the dive centre and we rowed to a bay further down the shore to the right where the sea was like mineral water, it was amazing!! Our little adventure was the highlight of our stay on Koh Tao.

Room Tip: Rent a canoe and see more! We coped with just a fan in September. It wasn't worth paying £40 a n...
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank holsfun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2013

After 5 days that we spend on Sairee beach we went to the quiet side of Tanote bay in Montalay resort.

We stayed for 4 nights and i woudnt mind if we did only two,unfortunally.

Rooms (spacious,big bed,nice shower,...) and grounds are well maintained and the bay it self is supposed to be the best on Koh Tao (snorkling,clif jumping,etc) but i couldnt imagine spending here more time that we did as there is nothing you can do in the evenings (also you have limited choice of food which is to expensive for the quality you get (stay away from hamburger if you are hoping to get decent meat in it like i did,so sad).......go to the next place on the beach to the right /Diamond).

Also the staff is sometimes limited in communication/English and they do tend to forget what exactly did you order or even not bring it.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank beliblisk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Montalay Beach Resort

Address: 53 Moo 3, Tanote Bay, Koh Tao 84280, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Koh Tao
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 49 Hotels in Koh Tao
Price Range: $32 - $71 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Montalay Beach Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 53
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Montalay Beach Resort is a small to medium size hotel, locate in the eastern part of Koh Tao (Turtle Island) called "Ao Tanote". It is a beautiful secluded bay and is a great place for snorkeling and diving. Ideal for families with children or couples to chill and relax. All rooms, cottages and suites are close to the beach and nestled amongst the trees. ... more   less 
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