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“Bans is Best”

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Ban's Diving Resort
Ranked #6 of 49 Hotels in Koh Tao
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
45 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Bans is Best”
Reviewed December 17, 2011

My boyfriend and I had our hearts set on doing our open water dive licenses for months before we arrived on Koh Tao. We're not the young, full moon party type so we wanted a quality learning experience. Diving is so much fun, but only when it's safe so we did a lot of research before arriving on the island.

We'd identified four schools we wanted to see with our own eyes before making a decision: Bans, Big Blue, Simple Life and Scuba Junction.

Bans had a no-obligation pick-up from the pier so we started off here. We liked it straight away, the resort is beautiful, very affordable (9000 baht for PADI) and really well organised but we'd promised ourselves we'd check them all first.

Simple Life was next. Not too bad, but the guy on reception was offering 2-3 day courses which I thought sounded rushed. He talked more about being able to get us finished and over to the full moon party than the course itself. They wanted 9800B for the PADI and extra for accommodation, which was pretty shabby, unless you're a student and into that kind of thing. Group size is usually six and we wanted smaller for a good learning experience.

Next was Big Blue. We'd heard good things online about this place but when we arrived the guy on reception seemed like he just wanted us to walk in and make a decision. It seemed like such an inconvenience for him to answer our questions. When asked "what's your maximum class size here?" his response was "I don't know, it's always different"... Not very reassuring. Rooms were pretty below average. By this stage Bans was looking like the Taj Mahal!

Last was Scuba Junction. I actually really liked it here, the British girl we spoke to was so so helpful and showed us what to look for in well maintained equipment, which for amateurs was great info. She even offered to answer any questions if we decided to go with someone else and wanted unbiased info. The only set back was the accommodation, it wasn't pretty and they can't offer discounts as they lease the resort, they don't own it. I'm no princess but when you're staying 4+ days you want clean and comfortable digs... Am I wrong?!

We went back to Bans, asked to see the equipment which was all above board and asked about the group size. The helpful girl there said we could have any group size we liked so we decided to just do a class with the two of us to get a focussed training experience. They discounted our accommodation so we got a deluxe room nearer to the beach and it was lovely. So with great accommodation in the middle of Sairee Beach and the PADI course it was 10000B... Only 200B more than the others were asking for the PADI course alone.

That night we met our course instructor Andrea Fix who I would HIGHLY recommend.. if he's available! He built a great relationship with us right from the start. He has 14 years experience in variable environments and is also a Dive Master. He was very encouraging all the way through the course.. even when we were a little nervous and gave us plenty of time to get used to our new surroundings. We enjoyed our time learning with Andrea so much we decided to stay on the extra two days to do our Advanced Open Water, which I would recommend to anyone planning on diving again once you have your license.

The wreck dive and the night dive were certainly ones to remember! We finished six days later feeling confident and competent that we had all the tools we needed. It was truly an experience I'll never forget, and I only wish I had of got my license earlier!! I LOVE DIVING!

I hope this is of some help to those of you out there looking for an unbiased opinion, where ever you go, you're going to have a blast... but for us Bans was the winner by a long shot!

Good Luck... Renee (Aussie) & Scott (Kiwi)

  • Stayed December 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Renée W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Queenstown, New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed November 28, 2011

After arriving on the island I looked around a few diving resorts. Ban's was definetly the obvious choice. Great facilitys including a/c classrooms, two pools and well maintained dive gear. Dive boats were very comfortable.

Completing the open water course our instructor Santi added a good balance of learning and entertainment... even when he does laugh underwater at you after spiking your finger on a sea urchant. Decided to complete the advance open water also and again great. Dive conditions not the best however instructors still made the most of every opportunity to show something new. (highligh was the night dive and whale shark)

First room was very nice with a/c, h/w, a pool view and balcony, had to move to a fan room for advance course which the room was a little damp but ok. Would definetly go back however would still try and avoid the high season as I hear it can get pretty chaotic...

Room Tip: Try to go for the a/c rooms as theses have sheets and get serviced everyday
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Andrew B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 16, 2011

Being a PADI MSDT diving instructor, I was eager to learn something new while also improving my diving skills generally. I enrolled with Ban's to complete the PADI Tec 40, 45, TDI Extended Range, Cavern and Full Cave. It was one of the best decisions I've made. The instructor was extremely thorough and incorporated multiple schools of thought on technical diving (Doing It Right - DIR, PADI, TDI, software tools, etc.) to give us a holistic view of this specialized area of diving. From pre-dive planning to emergency procedures to perfecting my trim, I have no doubt that I joined the best in the field of technical dive training. The two locations in which we did our training, Khao Sok and Song Hong, were absolutely amazing. Great food, stunning scenery and wonderful hosts with the Thai locals. I have and will continue recommending Ban's Tec and am looking forward to joining them again on my future cave diving vacations and hopefully my tec instructor course!

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Emily H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed November 11, 2011

Just finished our PADI open water course and first experience of diving ever!! What a great set up bans is. It was low season and we had a brilliant experience. Our instructor belinda ( Canadian) was top notch, a really clear teacher, fun and made diving inspirational. We actually stayed on and did our adventure diver course, we loved it so much. Belinda encouraged me to do a night dive which I thought I never would. Great to have done it. The absolute highlight of our new diving experience was coming right on a whale shark- amazing! Think we were really lucky, though they are known to be in the area. The accomodation is included in the course price and the basic fan rooms are fine(it wasn't too hot) rooms are clean based on the resort site, right in the middle of the beach strip. Bans is a big set up but they do it well. We had 5 in our group which was fine and you got to meet some nice people. Had a great party at the end. Also the other instructors Dom and Rich were top notch. We have continued to dive the other side of Thailand since but koh Tao is a really special place!!

  • Stayed November 2011
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Deisefilly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Koh Tao
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 5, 2011

I've just finished my Technical training at Bans Tech, TDI Full Cave and TDI Extended range. What an amazing experiance! The Instructor takes a very dogmatic approach to diving RIGHT! These training dives were done in Khao Sok and Song Hong on the mainland south of Surat Thani. It was part of a 9 day road trip from Koh Tao. The logistics of technical diving in the middle of the jungle are mind blowing however the professionalism and the planning that went into this trip from Bans Tec was clear from day one. I am completely addicted and cannot wait till the next trip! If you are curious about technical diving, go to Bans and be prepared to spend some money because it was worth every dime. I'm so hooked I want to become a tec instructor myself.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank JCafaro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 4, 2011

Great diving tuition we got our PADI here great value if you are middle aged older than 28 do not stay in the rooms near sea get a room with hilltop view they are newer and good quality and quiet by their great restaurant Darawan the best we found on island and high quality but great value

  • Stayed October 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Totalwell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pattaya, Thailand
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed October 30, 2011

In March 2011 I signed up with Bans Tech to do the DSAT Tec Deep Instructor course and the full cave diver course. I stayed down there for 6 weeks with them. I had to return home after having ear problems and agreed go back down to Koh Tao to finish the courses off at a later date.
When I tried to arrange a date to get go back and finish the courses they would not honour their agreement. I have since had to pay for and complete the courses elsewhere.

Waste of money, look somewhere else, very bad customer service and complete lack in integrity. Caveat Emptor

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
Helpful?
2 Thank Mathew P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ban's Diving Resort

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Ban's Diving Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 38
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ban's Technical Diving is operated out of Ban's Diving, Koh Tao, Thailand. Ban's Technical Diving is an award winning DSAT, BSAC, ANDI Technical Instructor Diving Facility. The only Tech Center on Koh Tao (and one of few in the world) that offers DSAT Technical Diving Intructor Courses. Deep Wreck Diving, Cave Expeditions.-Nitrox, Deep, Wreck, Gas Blender, Compressor Operator, Rebreather, Equipment, Emergency Oxygen, Technical Decompression Diving, Cave, Cavern......... ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ban`s Diving Hotel Koh Tao
Bans Diving Hotel
Bans Diving Ko Tao

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