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“Best Bargain around” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Montalay Beach Resort

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Montalay Beach Resort
Ranked #18 of 49 Hotels in Koh Tao
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Best Bargain around”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 30, 2014 via mobile

Firstly this hotel has the most spectacular beach with what seems like an aquarium filled with marine life just a few meters off shore. The rooms are comfortable and you have the option of one with AC or with fan. I think the AC rooms/bungalows only come with comp breakfast? The food was surprisingly good with enough options and well presented and good flavour. Breakfast also good, all fresh and good flavour. Staff at the desk are helpful and speak decent English. The pool is nice and deep as they do dive training in it. If you want to travel around the island, you should hire a bike or car before arriving at the hotel as they cannot book it for you. A private taxi from the hotel costs about 400 baht. Without own transport you are a bit secluded. There are a few neighboring hotels but steep hills and undeveloped roads make you reluctant to go off property. In short I would stay here again and maybe I will book diving lessons as I hear you get a discount on rooms?

Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank s_volante
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (49)
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English first
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 29, 2014

The hotel had easy access to transportation around the island. We stayed in a garden view room which was good for the price but nothing extraordinary.The hotel has access to a beautiful quite beach, which is the highlight and would definitely go back just for it.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Sofia B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ein Bokek, Israel
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 25, 2014 via mobile

I have just read the former reviewer and would like to give my experince which was very different.
We stayed there middle of April. We were with 3 young children (9, 7, 1.5) for 5 nights.
First about the travel from the pier. The hardest part was wating at the pier at high noon with all the crowd...once we start the ride it was quite fun and the kids enjoyed. You also have nice view of the sea and jungle. Only pity is the garbage and mess when ascending at the western part of the island. I think Ko tao should be better preserved. Anyway, the road is not that terrible IMO.
We got a family room in the main building 2nd floor with nice view. At first glance the wife didn't like the place but that was after a long journey and getting used to higher class resorts. After that we did like the room which is very spacious and with plenty of natural light. It was not loxurious but suited our needs. Shower was not that great. We actually liked the choice of tv channels with Fox movies having good offer to the kids so at night when all is quiete we could enjoy a movie together.
Breakfast was pretty dull but I guess it was good to compensate for over eating in previous hotels.
The hotel restaurant was very good offering the usual menu in Thailand but dishes were fresh and quite big and also served quickly unless we came when it was very busy. Prices were very discent in comparison to what we got use to with excellent unpricey shakes. We did try once the neighboring restaurant but gave it up as it was not good and we sticked with the house restaurant. If you go there get a sit on the roof - very nice and shady. Best part of the restaurant is the service with a couple of guys giving service unlike anything I have seen. One of them is EJ from Pilipines mentioned before and another Thai guy. In general service and staff were very very nice and warm, giving you welcoming feeling and hospitality. I can't understand why the previous reviewer suffered so much. We felt other and with the staff very friendly to the children.
The hotel has a nice playing room for toddlers but the whole surrounding is very unsafe for very young kids. You have to keep a close eye on them because many risks of falling is there. We didn't let our young one get out to the balcony as the fence was not safety standart.
The greatest thing there is the beatiful beach or more accurately the sea. Many said rightfuly it is far away from all the busy hectic Ko tao tourist industry and most boats don't stop there so sea life is relatively preserved. Don't expect to much if you are an experinced snorkler/diver but it is quite nice with plenty of fish,especially around the rocks. The kids realy enjoyed it. Too bad marine life is under very heavy pressure and many signs of destruction and degenaration can be seen. I also took a scuba dive trip of the hotel dive club and I was very satisfied.
Two biggest problems which are not directly related to the hotel are:1. Flies - during daytime it is alsmost impossible to eat. I guess the reason is the garbage site up in the mountains. Mosquitos are less though.
2. The beach is not that clean and few shade area. It would have been nice if all resorts there had maintained the beach better.
To summarize - we had a great time there. I liked the staff and the beach. Some improvement could make it paradise.

Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank Amit S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Swindon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 24, 2014 via mobile

I never wrote bad review of any place before. But this one deserved it fully.I am really shocked about the service there.
Guests are treated as Payers only! Major rule of hospitality is not known for the staff (except one Phillipino waiter maybe, who really felt the idea of being Ambasador of the hotel).
Hotel is distanced from any regular service of 15 minutes drive through the high montains. Renting bikes has no sence coz you could kill yourself easily. For that reason you are sentenced for the Service of Montalay only which is doubled and e en tripple priced.
After 9 pm all the staff is away already and only think you can do is watching HBO or have sex with your loved one if you have one.
Resort itself is paradise located and money invested in it is enormous. But nothing works properly.
In such circustances me and my girlfriend decided to use immpresive dive centre attached to the Montalay. Amazing 2 lecture rooms, office, equipment room, tarrace with viewing point to the bay ... But for the question "Could we dive tomorrow?" we were answered by the tattoed guy "Can you see my nose?" suggesting that his running nose is an explantion of no activity of the base for next few days. So we decided to go to the next available one, 200 meters away German run dive centre Calypso, which was perfect one and we spend next 2 days on diving with them. Their dive base was full of divers and nice atmosphere when many millions Baths invested Montalay base were standing empty.
After 2 days of such paradise prison we decided to move to Sairee Beach area. When we annonced our intention just affer breakfast to check out ofter 1 pm (when our diving was finishing with Calypso) the sfaff asked us to leave our room and store the luggage outside of reception. When coming back after
diving we missed a regular transfer to Ko Tao beaches at 1.30 pm and deceided to wait for the next one one at 5 pm. What shocking suprise was that when sitting in Montalay restaurant with ordered drinks we were cut of wifi when everyone around us was using it.
In between 1.30 and 5 pm in a bar and reception were about 7-8 people playing with their phones and tablets when no even one drink was sold coz all the customers went outside to use other restaurants.
Besides of that almost nobody speaks English there except 2-3 people in the reception and one mentioned Phillipino waiter (who only deserve to be a real Ambasador of this hotel). Almost all the staff were represented by Burmeses who hardly understood any English. Moreover almost nobody speaks Thai.
Shocking experience! Paradise Prison like famous Pappillion on French New Guinea. With only difference it is our deserved vacation for not small money.
One thing I have to admit they are very quick and fluent in charging you (10% extra for payment by credit card) and printing invoices.
One more thing! Do not expect any cold drink for your included breakfast. You have to buy it.
Summarizing, I finished a hotel school, being travelled and diving all around Asia and I have never met such place before!
No style, manners or standards!

  • Stayed April 2014
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ryszard W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sornkanok, Owner at Montalay Beach Resort, responded to this review, May 29, 2014
Thanks for your comment and review. We feel so sorry if Montalay didn't fit your vacation needs.

Montalay located on Tanote Bay where far away from city and party zone (Sairee). Montalay is perfect for nature lover who enjoy relaxing by the pool or sunbathing on our private beach which might not fit well with your requirement. Anyway, allow me to explain and correct some of your concern:

- WIFI : We didn't block and technically impossible to block only your 2 devices. I have no idea how this could happen.

- Credit card payment : we charge nothing more. Already checked your credit card slip and bill. Please kindly contact us via email to claim back if you see otherwise.

- Staffs : Thais, Philippines and Burmese all together. Sorry that we could deliver an excellence English but we will try harder and harder.

- Diving : We will take your comment into our consideration and improve

Once again, sorry for your bad experience. Have a safe trip home.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey, UK
Level Contributor
44 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 18, 2014

First things first! Be aware that the journey to the resort from the ferry is definitely not for the faint hearted. The resort collects you from the ferry pier in a 4X4 pick up and 8 of you are sat with your luggage, no shade from the sun and little to hold onto during the hairy 15 minute ride to the resort! The final part of the journey to the resort is down an extremely steep, bumpy unmade bit of road. There is a cabin behind the driver where at least children can safely travel (although I would definitely not recommend this resort for children) for the rest of us it is quite an adventure. Having said this it is worth the effort to get there. We stayed in a hill side wooden bungalow which was very comfortable but as often typical in Koh Tao had little storage. The resort has an excellent restaurant with attentive friendly waiting staff. There is a lovely pool, a fully equipped dive school and plentiful natural shade on the beach. The snorkelling and diving here is amazing. The minute you put a toe into the water you are surrounded by a variety of fish. There are a few alternative smaller and cheaper restaurants nearby all serving good food. At these you are presented with a note pad and pen on which to write down your order which is a concept we had not encountered before. Another point to be aware of is that the hotel will only change Euros and US dollars so you are a bit stuck if you want to change any other currency including British pounds. There in no ATM anywhere near the resort so carefully pre-plan the amount of cash you will take with you.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Gateslady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangkok, Thailand
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 17, 2014

Montalay Beach Resort is tucked away on the east coast of Koh Tao and overlooks an unspoilt bay filled with tropical fish and thriving coral, the resort is surrounded by an abundance of forest and flora which gives the traveller a true sense of paradise. The drive there was a tad bumpy as the terrain in that region is steep and raw, however staff from the resort are skilled drivers that offer unparalleled safety in regards to your transfer to/from the pier. We were lucky enough to experience both the cottages and modern apartments that were available. The cottages are situated amongst a cluster of trees complimented by a small man-made waterfall which meanders through the cottages down to the shoreline, offering us a unique travelling experience. The modern apartments are equipped with modern living amenities and also a balcony. The apartments are situated on top of a small hill which overlooks the resort and bay. The staff were very friendly and offered exceptional customer service throughout the entire stay. The prices of services, and food were also very affordable. Montalay gave us a unique travelling experience in which we will never forget. It is worth the money, and I highly recommend it to any smaller groups or couples seeking for a true paradise getaway.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank arrow91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 15, 2014

We stayed at the Montalay for 8 nights in March and were very pleased with our stay there. As others have mentioned, it is a bit of a rocky adventure to get there on the mountain road but once you get there, it's beautiful. We stayed in one of the huts which has its pros and cons. The hut had a great view from the balcony overlooking the sea and we had privacy as it was away from the main building. The downside was having to walk up a number of stairs (64) so it's worth it if you have no mobility issues. The value of the stay was excellent as we paid about 1500 Thai Bhat for a stay at the resort on the beach including breakfast. There is a nice mix of guests from individuals, to couples and families. Like the majority of places in Thailand and Vietnam, having to put up with tourists smoking on the premises, including at the restaurant when we were eating is one of the annoying parts that spoils the ambience. However, this is not the resorts fault. Still it's a consideration for us non-smokers always having to accommodate or move away from smokers.
The location with being right by the beach is great as one could go snorkelling right by the shore and see lots of underwater life. The spot is a bit rough for swimming so the lovely pool there is ideal for swimming. One can also relax and read on the loungers by the pool which we took full advantage of.
The resort lives up to the name in terms of quality and amenities. The accommodations were spotless, including the rooms and resort facilities. The surroundings had beautiful gardens and views. The bed was comfortable. We were provided with fresh complimentary glass bottles of water on a daily basis. Fresh fluffy towels were available for the room and for the beach on a daily basis. In contrast to some places we have stayed, all of the staff were very friendly, attentative and helpful. My husband had injured his hand on the beach was feeling unwell and the staff were so caring and helpful in attending to him. The reception staff spoke fluent English and had a great sense of humour too.
If you are into diving, it's great for people to take lessons as the dive resort is right there. If you want to go snorkelling but not diving, you should bring your own snorkel gear as the rental was expensive for daily use. It's not included if you are not diving.
The restaurant on site is a bit pricey with the food being underwhelming and the menu quite limited so like many others we chose to generally eat at other places along the beach. I think that they could try to feature a daily special quality different dish each night just to change things up.
If you want the convenience of town and accessibility of Kho Tao, it's a trade off. The resort has daily shuttles for 100 THB each into town and back, or you can rent a motorbike. However, this place is quite far from town so if you just want a quiet getaway and paradise by the beach, the Montalay is an ideal place to chill. I would highly recommend the Montalay as a place to stay.

Room Tip: The Bungalows are a good choice for view and privacy if you don't mind climbing all those stairs...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Greer J
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $
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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