We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“One of the worst experiences of my life”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 11 more sites!
Ban's Diving Resort
Ranked #6 of 49 Hotels in Koh Tao
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 4, 2007

Overall Koh Tau is a wonderful place but choose where to stay and/or dive very carefully. I stayed at Ban's for 2 months to complete a Divemaster course & I found the staff here to be extremely obnoxious, arrogant & very, very rude, both the Thais and the western diving instructors. Ban's completely ruined my experience of Koh Tau to be fair. I've never been as badly treated nor spoken to in such a rude manner anywhere else. Horrible place & people.

Stayed: September 2007
2  Thank W0rld_T0ur2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (2,269)
There are newer reviews for Ban's Diving Resort
See the most recent reviews
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

1,168 - 1,174 of 2,269 reviews

Reviewed August 10, 2007

The diving at this place is top quality. I learnt there in 1995 and went back just recently to do some more diving. It is much expanded now and we booked to stay in one of their suite rooms whilst using their diving facilties. The rooms themselves are fine, hot water, air con, balcony, etc. The only problem was that the bar and restaurant at the resort is close to the suite rooms and turns into loud music-playing hang-out every night until 2.30am, pumping out base that will resonate through your bedposts and disturb, should you be trying to catch a bit of sleep after a hard day on the beach or out diving. Dive here, it's great. But if you stay here also and want to sleep at night, beware.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
1  Thank mjgreenacre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2007

I can only recommend staying here if you are doing a diving course. First, because the rooms are half the cost with a course, and the discount only applies to days when you are actually doing a course. Second, because there's not much to do unless you are diving (although it seems the same goes for most of Koh Tao)!

We asked for a standard air-con room, but were upgraded to deluxe air-con for the first night. We ended up staying in the deluxe room and paid the discounted deluxe rate for the remaining nights. It was quite a nice room, and it looked almost like a villa from the outside! The room was very clean, with a mini-fridge, a safe, and lots of English TV channels. We noticed a faint sewage smell in the bathroom, but everyone else in my diving group said their standard rooms stunk of waste. Our room was fairly close to the bar/restaurant so you could hear music in our room late at night (not a bother for me, but maybe for some).

The Ban's grounds are gorgeously landscaped, with huge plants, flowers, paths, bridges, koi ponds, waterfalls and statues. The pool is always full of diving students so forget swimming there. The beach directly on the resort is quite small and not really good for swimming either. But it's a short walk on the beach to better locations, especially at night when all the bars set up on the sand. The location is central on Sai Ree Beach and is close to both peaceful and party bars and restaurants. You can even take a hilly walk to the main town in about 20 minutes, but bring a flashlight at night! There is a convenient 7-11 and ATM nearby.

The staff were largely indifferent (at best) to the guests. The restaurant staff were particularly disorganized and inconsistent. Sometimes you'd sit down and you'd have to flag someone down to finally get a menu. Or the food would be slow to come. To be fair, the service was sometimes fast but it was basic at best. Seriously, I don't think I saw one staff member smile in the five days I was at Ban's.

The diving instructors, on the other hand, seemed very knowledgeable and experienced. I was pretty assured of the quality of instruction, since Ban's is one of the biggest and oldest dive schools on the island. However, I did have the impression sometimes of being on a PADI production line. As a first time diver I wanted a big school, but I think I would go with a smaller school in the future.

Ban's Diving Resort is great ONLY if you are doing a diving course, if you are young, and you want to meet lots of people! Otherwise, I'd scout out somewhere smaller with a better beach and more balanced crowd.

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
1  Thank loki13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2007

Do not stay or dive here unless…. you are a non-discerning teenage partygoer, preferably one who smokes and has multiple tattoos and piercings, who is content with diving/learning to dive with a mediocre dive facility during the day and then partying into the wee hours of the night. If not particular about lodging or one who takes diving or safety very seriously, you will be fine here but it definitely wasn’t for us (me and my husband). We came to Ban’s to do several recreational dives (or “fun dives” as they are referred to here) but had such a bad experience with our room and first dive that we cancelled our remaining pre-paid dives and lodging, loosing money in the process in cancel fees. The irritable female staff member who assisted us was curt, rude and visibly indifferent about our experience or the reputation of Bans. Our “deluxe” room, #65, had a leaky A/C unit that dripped onto the floor and into the closet. The water caused a stinky mold growth on the ceiling and left the wood around the unit to warp rendering the closet door inoperable. The bathroom facet was broken and the fan, connected to the bathroom light, sounded like a WWII air raid siren (I’m going to the toilet - duck and cover!) Two single beds, pushed together to make a double, were situated about 2 feet away from the wall with a very awkward configuration of an unusable table and upside down lamp behind the headboard area. At first I figured the designer was just a dimwit but later realized they had attempted to make a singles room into a double for us. The in-room safe was closed and had to be reset by maintenance, and the TV had blaring static on most channels. Outside we were treated to noisy construction. At night we were serenaded with thumping bass noise from the resort’s restaurant/bar until 2am. The second day we changed rooms only to have dripping water from the A/C unit serve as an in-room waterfall which had to have a trash can placed underneath it at all times in order to avoid an in-room swimming pool. Although somewhat organized, in their own way, with a pleasant staff member running the dive shop; overall the dive operation left much to be desired> In summary there were at least 50+ people on the dive boat, an old, run down two-story contraption not easily accessed from the pier, the gear was heavily worn and the dive masters, many of which chain smoked when not in the water, seemed more concerned about joking around and discussing their drunken antics, than assisting divers and maintaining decorum. Despite bad dive conditions, obviously no fault of Ban’s, my female dive master wasted half the dive in an area with no visibility until we turned around and headed to an area with abundant sea life. Only one male dive master who assisted me on the surface (Anthony I believe) seemed to be concerned about the divers and conditions. Not a good dive experience to say the least. Do some research and pick a smaller, more reputable “professional” dive operation if you are going to Ko Tao for serious diving and don't want the party crowd and poor accomodations.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
3  Thank LvtrvlLA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2007

We decided to stay here because it looked very good at first sight. Unfortunately, there turned out to be many drawbacks:

- Dirty bed : we took the better roomtype of 2000 baht (got it for 1800 because i did a couple of dives). Paying 1800 baht makes you expect clean beds, but ours was full of stains (the cotton was even hard/stiff). At first we thought the sheets were just a bit worn down, but upon closer examination, on our second day, the stains turned out to be semen stains. So we'd be sleeping in a dirty bed. It took us some talking to the staff to get it cleaned. The staff was unfriendly. No sorry, no excuses, nothing..

- noise: the noise from the open air bar was really really loud. And I am even a techno / loud music lover... It went on until around 0:30 at night, so we weren't too happy about that

- overcharging: the staff tried to overcharge us when buying the boat tickets for the way back to Samui

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
2  Thank JordvanderZwaag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2007

We wanted somewhere that was on the beach and had a pool and where we could dive so Ban's ticked all of the boxes.

We asked for the nicest room they had which we were quite happy with... until the sun went down. Ban's bar was a stones throw from our room and the music was pumping until about 3am. We went down to complain and I was gobsmacked at how rude the lady was that we spoke to us. I asked that considering we were paying the highest for a room, we be moved higher up so that we could get a good night sleep. She then said 'you get what you paid for' and maybe you should just stay somewhere else because this obviously isn;t the place for you'. At that she turned around and carried on with what she was doing!!
It wasn't just her. Every member of staff there apart from one girl in the restaurant was rude and unfriendly. Quite upsetting when you are only on holiday for 3 weeks.
We couldn;t move at such short notice and we were only there for another 3 days. The next day we asked again and they reluctantly moved us 3 rooms up. I might also add - No breakfast included!

As for the pool, it is no place to go if you are not diving as it is full of learner divers. It is also as warm as bath water!

The diving itself was fun but you are crammed onto a boat - about 60 people. You have to fight for somewhere to sit in the sun!! When you do finally get in the water, you are surrounded by the 60 people you thought you had just left on the boat!! If you see a shark so did the other 60 people so its gone by the time you can get a proper look in.

AND when we had our washing done - my new bikini went missing!! Grrr

Not recommended

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
1  Thank sunseekerme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2007

We arrived from the ferry about 3pm and check into the resort our rooms werent ready but as we passed the pool on the garden were 2 single beds out in the sunshine and that only minds one thing bedbugs, so we didnt think anymore about it until we woke at one am with bedbugs sharing the bed with me and my partner so luckly for us we have friends staying in the resort and stayed with them that night because their was no-one to talk to at this time of night, the girls at reception changed our rooms and did not charge for that night and washed all our clothes diving with bans was great my parnter said but for me stuck on the beach for day was a bit boring but he really enjoyed his course and had a great instructor

  • Stayed: April 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank sgfox1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Koh Tao hotels
1.1 mi away
Aminjirah Resort
Aminjirah Resort
#11 of 49 in Koh Tao
1,250 reviews
0.4 mi away
Thalassa Hotel
Thalassa Hotel
#7 of 49 in Koh Tao
526 reviews
0.5 mi away
Koh Tao Simple Life Resort
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
1.9 mi away
Haadtien Beach Resort
Haadtien Beach Resort
#15 of 49 in Koh Tao
1,512 reviews
1.5 mi away
Montalay Beach Resort
Montalay Beach Resort
#18 of 49 in Koh Tao
678 reviews
1.0 mi away
Charm Churee Villa
Charm Churee Villa
#19 of 49 in Koh Tao
962 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Ban's Diving Resort? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Ban's Diving Resort

Address: Haad Sairee, Koh Tao, Koh Tao 84360, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Koh Tao
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Koh Tao
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Koh Tao
Price Range: $40 - $90 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Ban's Diving Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 200
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Owned and operated by a local family Ban’s Diving Resort has a very special family oriented hospitality that keeps customers coming back year after year. Within our resort are all the amenities needed to make your holiday on Koh Tao both comfortable and fun. Our facilities include a dive center, beach front restaurant, Darawan Restaurant, spa and hair salon, 24 hour mini mart, 4 swimming pools, and the Fish Bowl bar. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Priceline, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, Ctrip TA, Travelocity, Orbitz, Cancelon, Agoda, Hotwire, TripOnline SA, HotelQuickly and Cheap Tickets so you can book your Ban's Diving Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Ban`s Diving Hotel Koh Tao
Bans Diving Hotel
Bans Diving Ko Tao

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing