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“Great diving instruction and cheap rooms! GO FOR IT!”

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Ban's Diving Resort
Ranked #5 of 49 Hotels in Koh Tao
Certificate of Excellence
San Francisco, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great diving instruction and cheap rooms! GO FOR IT!”
Reviewed January 8, 2013

My husband and I stayed at Bans Diving Resort and received our Open Water Certificate with POLI and a great group of individuals from around the world. The instruction with Poli and Mickey was wonderful. At all times I felt safe and well informed, so much so it was easy for us to enjoy our first diving experience.

When you take the diving course you get a FREE room or room for $15 USD if you want AC. The room was fine, and since you won't do much more than sleep there (since you should be diving or enjoying beautiful Koh Tao) it's a great deal!

I would recommend Ban's, especially the diving courses, to all my friends! They even made an underwater video on our last day of diving and we watched it at the bar with drinks. The video and music paired with it was awesome! We had to buy it!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank BridgetHolian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,113 reviews from our community

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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (159)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Czech first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
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  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2013

Came to Ban's for a diving course in December 2012. I was blown away by the operation they have on there. They boast of qualifying more divers every week than anywhere else in the world and that's no mean feat. The place is teeming with people of all nationalities.

The accomodation was good. I arrived with a big group of friends and with only me doing my diving course they gave us an air conditioned room of 6 for £20 a night - which I thought was great value.

The diving at Ban's was excellent. I paid just under £200 for my PADI open water, and about £150 for my advanced open water (each about half what it would cost in the UK). Our instructor, Lucy (British), was professional and a lot of fun.

The restaurant/bar at Bans is pretty good, and the atmosphere at the bar on the beach is good at night - quite a young 'gap year' crowd though. Personally for drinks I'd head along the beach to Maya beach bar - that was our favorite despite the house music.

Had an amazing experience at Bans, and ended up travelling further afield with 4 of my dive group. I couldn't recommend the place enough

Room Tip: The Air conditioned 6-bed room is spacious and good quality.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Tom O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2013

PEOPLE: The most important thing to consider. I had a fantastic experience and thought that my instructors were fun, kind and thoroughly competent. We had dinner together three of the five nights I was there, though this was exceptional. Of course there is a lot of turnover in divemasters in Thailand, but Ban's seemed to attract a great crowd. Since you can't find out much about instructors in advance, I think it makes sense to just come to the island, meet people, and then decide which dive company you'd prefer. At Ban's I found a younger (mainly 20s, some 30s) crowd that hangs out around the beach, bar, and nearby joints; lots of Swedes, Spaniards, French, Israelis, Dutch and Americans during my visit.

SAFETY & GEAR: Safety is clearly a priority here, with the classroom emphasis on preventing problems and dealing with them should they occur. On 2 of 4 dives there was a person with a problem, and the dive instructor was quick to ascend with the different people to help them out, solve the first problem and return, and bring the second person with a problem back to the boat. I'm sure other places do the same, but I was impressed nonetheless. Gear was fine, but nothing extravagant to write home about.

CLASSROOMS: A/C classrooms w/ flatscreen TVs, very comfortable for getting through the videos. PADI obviously hasn't updated the films in a while, check out the old school cell phones in the movies!

ACCOMMODATION: Not the best I had in Thailand, but it was free! I got a room with 2 twins, my buddy had a room with a queen, and both were completely clean besides the sand that I brought back each day. The free building I stayed in had a shared bathroom, but if you pay for your room they have much nicer stuff available.

LOCATION: Sai Ree beach is the place to be on Koh Tao, don't miss out!

RECEPTION: Helpful staff with good English. I had to get a doctor to sign off on my medical form and they capably arranged for a motorbike to take me to the nearest doc for just 150baht in all. Also very helpful with allowing you to leave bags there before check-in / after check-out.

INTERNET: Free in restaurant and by pool but for unknown reasons you must pay 100baht / 24hr to access elsewhere. This is my major complaint against the place. WTF? Maybe it changed since my visit. (sorry, meant to post this a while ago but got lost among other files)

Their website is pretty terrible but don't be fooled, you'll have a great experience. I can't compare to other schools as I haven't taken their courses, but I can say that this one was EXCELLENT.

Room Tip: This isn't about the room - it's about the scuba diving!!
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank music s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 29, 2012

My friend and I stayed at Ban's for 6 nights over Christmas 2012, we were really looking forward to it as our Christmas treat in the middle of a 6 month trip! 

Unfortunately our experience at Ban's wasn't too positive. We checked in and were told they only had a double room left, even though we made our reservation for a twin in September 2012, we were made to feel like this was our problem as they were 'really busy'. This would all be okay if we weren't paying 3,000 Baht a night (£60). 

We asked to be moved and were given a key to a different room, when we walked in we discovered the room was filthy, full of rubbish, un made beds. We took the key back and decided to keep our double. 

Our room wasn't too great. The bathroom was dirty, black hair everywhere (I'm brunette and my friend is blonde) and also black hair on the bed side table. I asked for it to be cleaned and it was but only some of it. There are still strands of hair on our bathroom wall now.

The toilet was covered in dust from the fan and the bathroom also smelt of drains. The shower was cold, despite us asking for it to be fixed. It was always a dribble of water and not much else.

The wifi didn't work at all. I don't know what happened but we had to pay to use Internet cafes - which we did for our Christmas Skype calls. It would have been nice to be able to use the wifi that we had paid for at Ban's. 

The worst part at Ban's was the staff on the front desk. Rude, non attentive, abrupt. The main lady who sits on her own at the back was the worst. When we paid she couldn't event muster up a hello or goodbye, let alone eye contact. They really need someone with people skills on that desk! 

Overall Ban's was a big disappointment. I know my friend enjoyed the diving however the customer service doesn't balance up to the diving standards. 

We have both travelled throughout Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Burma and Hong Kong in the past 2 months and Ban's was by far the most expensive and the most disappointing. All we really expect d 2 female travellers is a clean and friendly place to stay. 

Don't bother. Honestly. 

Room Tip: The cheaper rooms have no wifi at all. The more expensive rooms have wifi SOMETIMES but don't co...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lucy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 26, 2012

I stayed at Ban's and did my open water course, they gave me a room for free and the course was really good and supportive as I was a little nervous. My instructor - Anthony - made the whole course. He was really thorough and patient with the whole group with time for individual instruction also. I loved it so much I stayed another few days and did my advanced course.
I'll be back for sure!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank saskia_athlene
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Basildon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed December 7, 2012 via mobile

We stayed here for 3 nights and it was the worst I have stayed in thailand. Firstly we was on top floor and you could only get up to the top by a metal spiral stairs, when its wet and dark it is so unsafe, especially with luggage! Then there was no fridge, a bed full of ants, spiders and flys shoot out the toilet air vent when you turn it on, and more holes in the bed sheets than you can imagine. No room in the pool due to divers, pool bar never opened once, dirty sunbed cushions, and rude staff in mini market, beach bar was being rebuilt so half was a building site, and outside reception stank of sewers.. So didn't fancy eating here!.. Good location but other than that bad experience!! If I come again I would recomend staying at nagnayn. Just awful....

  • Stayed November 2012
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Helpful?
2 Thank JodieJohno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kaapstad, Western Cape, South Africa
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed November 28, 2012

Stayed at Ban's never wanting to dive, ended up doing the open water course with my wife and a friend we met en route to the island. We had a blast, our instructors, Becky and Santi where unbelievable, they made the whole thing fun and interesting.

The graduation party at fishbowl was very cool. Our room was small, but sufficient, stayed very close to the fishbowl bar, bit noisy at night but never bothered us. We ended up without warm water for a couple of days, but with the warm wheather we had this was no problem.

I wish we had more time on the island and at Ban's. Awesome island, nice resort, value for money.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank VanZylb
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
#4 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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