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“BANS Diving Resort”

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Ban's Diving Resort
Ranked #6 of 49 Hotels in Koh Tao
Certificate of Excellence
Mülheim
1 review
“BANS Diving Resort”
Reviewed February 18, 2010

BANS Diving Resort is a very organized but fun orientaded Dive Resort. In Nov. - Dec. 09 i did ma IDC and Instructor Examen with BANS and it was a lot to learn but a great time, i met a lot of georgous people, made some good friends and had some superior dives in KohTaos spectacular underwater world. The Resort is located directly at the beach, and the rooms and apartments reach up into the hills surrounded by coconut and banana trees. The BANS Resort has two pools in two different levels with bars and food delivery. At the Beach is the Fishbowl, thats the BANS-BEACH-BAR, where every night is like a saturday and DJs and Life Music keep you busy. This is the perfect location to meet people, have a drink after a long day or just to celebrate yourself and the great time you get to spend there. Also next to the beach is the BANS Restaurant, there you get everything, from western food to thai food, served with oceanview in a nice and realxin atmosphere. My time at BANS was great and my next KOH TAO holiday will be for sure at BANS.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with friends
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Thank timbohero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Devon
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed February 18, 2010

I have stayed at Bans lots of times, the place, the staff, the whole set up is great.. as westerners we always seem moan and want something for nothing... I challenge anyone to find a hotel let’s say in London, where you will get better value for money.. lets bear in mind the cost of a room at Bans would not even get you 2 days car parking in London.
Nothing is perfect in life if we all stopped moaning and got on with having a good time and holiday life would be so much easier... I personally could not do the job of the staff there as I wouldn’t have the patience for some of the rude people who stroll into the reception and think they own the place and deserve the world and then discount to.

Bans Resort has some great people working for it , always remember manners and respect will get you far in life anywhere in the world, and I’m sure if asked in the correct manner for something to be changed in a booking , room or anything else the staff will do their best to accommodate any wish and do their best to sort it out if they can.

Another note I cannot believe also in one of the remarks on here someone has said about the price of the diving coarse being more expensive at Bans than another resort ?.... Come on please the difference the person mentioned is what £10?? get a life please how much does a dive coarse cost in let’s say the Caribbean.. Europe?.. classic example of let’s just moan about nothing... the dive instructors at Bans and the whole experience are worth it is all I can say.

I think the place is great and will always stay there when on Koh Tao.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Dave-Ryan-Dylan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Molton, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
118 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed February 17, 2010

My partner and I booked to stay at Bans for five nights. We were not doing the PADI but did do a one day "discover scuba diving" programme and we booked a standard air con room approximately three weeks in advance of our stay. Upon arrival the reception staff had no record of our booking, the deposit paid or seemingly even the price that we had been quoted and asked me to log into my email account and show them a copy of the confirmation email! We were then led up to a very bog standard, dingy room with twin beds. When I explained that we had booked a double room the member of staff who took us up said "that's ok, we make double bed" and went to push the two twin beds together. When I again explained that this was not what we had booked he said that they were very busy and that there were no double rooms. When I once more expressed by dissatisfaction he told us to wait a minute and, sure enough, came back with a key to a double room.

The room itself is very basic, but then for the price we paid this was to be expected. The room was clean and I have no complaints in this regard, although clearly it has been years since any works were done to modernise or update the standard rooms as they are on the whole quite shabby. The noise at night however was totally unbearable and went on until about 5 or 6am as our room was positioned directly above the main road aswell as a noisy bar. The bed was right next to a large single-pained window which did not close properly, leaving a couple centimetres gap at the bottom. Neither of us got any sleep the first night, and in the subsequent nights it was difficult even with earplugs in.

Don't expect to use either of the swimming pools during the day as they are full up with divers.

When we went down to reception first thing the next day to ask if we could be moved to another room which was not directly above the road and the noisy bar the reception staff were very rude and, frankly, couldn't care less. We were told that they were full. I suggested that we pack our bags and leave them in reception so that if a room came free (which we had already been told was extremely likely as people come and go every day) we could have that room, but we were told that this would only be possible in respect of one of the hillside bungalow rooms which were more than double the price. Throughout our stay the reception staff were very obnoxious and unaccomodating and we found the same thing about the internet cafe (which incidentally is dearer as well as slower than a couple doors down).

In respect of the dive course, I have to say that this was fantastic. We had a Thai lady instructor who was friendly, patient, enthusiastic and clearly very knowledgable. I cannot speak for the PADI or other courses, however I can highly recommend the one day course that Bans offer.

I would wholeheartedly agree with other comments posted to the effect that this place is a "factory". The staff clearly don't give a monkeys unless you are doing a full dive course and even then don't expect service with a smile but expect to be greeted and treated in a very unfriendly manner. To top it all off we were charged a 3% fee to use our card to pay for our stay/ dive trip on the last day. Had I known this in advance I would have drawn cash out of the ATM. When I explained this to the lady at the counter the response was a, frankly quite typical, shrug of the shoulders.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Swansea_Girl_1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 15, 2010

Im writing this review as Ive noticed that there are many negative stories about Bans and I must be honest this baffles me!! I wouldnt normal write reviews but I feel very strongly about defending a place that truly changed my life!
I first went to Bans in the summer of 2008, during my 6 week teaching holiday, I was back packing around Asia and stumbled upon Bans, I was searching for somewhere to stay and dive. I completed my open water course with them and it truly changed my perspective on life (Sounds over the top but true) My Instructor was inspirational. After I left Koh Tao I continued around Asia for 4 weeks. But Koh Tao had a pull on me so I returned towards the end of my trip. I loved diving so much that I completed my Advanced course.
Fast forward 1 year, the draw of Koh TAo and Bans had me, so I quit my job and went back and started my Divemaster course. I stayed with Bans for a further two months.
If it wasnt for the quality instruction and experience I would never have dreamt about going down this path.

But some quick facts:
Food - excellent I especially loved the chicken no name, OK service is not as quick as in the UK but then you are in thailand!
Rooms - free ones are ok but pay more get more .
Diving - Outstanding!

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank leed1983
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo, Norway
Level 5 Contributor
80 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed February 5, 2010

Koh Tao is very expensive. This room was in the cheap end. Medium size room with bath and balcony. Very hard matress. No AC, noisy fan. No safe. No hot water in shower. Rundown furniture. Minimal cleaning; the room seemed "unfresh". Did not change towels during our stay (5 nights). Nice pool-area nearby. Noisy generator behind house.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank sturle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
176 reviews
129 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 370 helpful votes
Reviewed January 27, 2010

Stayed at Ban's resort for 3 nights, but only because I was diving as there is no way I could have stayed there if it hadn't been the case. Had an A/C room, which looked nothing like the brochure. I was supposed to pay 600 bath per night (diving price, the regular price being 1100 bath). Even at that rate, the room seemed crappy and overpriced since it was ridiculously small, had a constant sewer smell both outside and inside the room, crappy air conditioning, a gap below the door so big that I always had unwanted guest such as a dead Gekko with a colony of ants one morning and it also ensured I could hear anyone outside the room (since this is a big resort, there is no shortage of people passing by), uneven bathroom floors (if you shower at least once, you will be unable to brush your teeth or enter the bathroom without your feet getting entirely wet, no kidding!), cable TV that did not work properly, unusable pool for non-divers, no room service in the 3 days I stayed there, etc.

Overall, the place felt a lot like a big chain hotel, but without the quality and without any effort to make your stay pleasant.

What made matters even worse is that even though I had been told that they were one of the rare places on the islands where you could actually stop taking a diving course at any time and only pay for the content you actually received, this turned out to be an absolute lie. In other words, if you're not completely sure you can dive and breathe using a scuba tank, don't expect them to live up to their word. In my case, it unfortunately turned out that I was unable to breathe properly underwater and I therefore had to abandon the course. As a quick note, I'm sure a lot of places on Koh Tao will not refund you at all in such cases, but if a place claims to do the opposite, as Ban's resort claims to do, you can't help but feel cheated when they don't respect their own engagements.

Basically, out of a course that costs 9800 baths with nothing included (this is expensive since you can identical courses for 8000-9000 baths and even less, including 4 nights accommodation), I had to pay 4000 baths for a few hours of theory in the classroom and about 30 minutes in a pool. Since other places offer an opportunity to try out pool diving for free, it's hard not to feel ripped off when you pay that much money and never even go out diving. I am more than willing to admit that it's not their fault I was unable to complete the course, but I have nothing to do whatsoever with the policies they set out and refuse to honour.

Furthermore, the girl at the reception when I checked out was quite unpleasant and uncaring regarding my situation once I made it clear that I would not be taking any more courses in the next few days and that I did not want to purchase any transport from them to leave the hotel. She refused to give me the diving rate discounts I had been promised arguing that I had had not finished the courses. Naturally, since I already found the place most unpleasant and since I would not have stayed there if it wasn't for the diving classes, I must say that this proved to be highly unsatisfactory.

In order to be fair, even though I hated my experience at Ban's and would find it difficult to recommend it to anyone except my fictitious ex-wife, I must say that the diving instructors were great and that I have nothing bad to say about them, quite the contrary. I really wish I had been able to complete the course and I wish them all the best, ideally in a more pleasant working environment.

If you decide to take your diving course at Ban's, I would highly recommend staying somewhere else, regardless of any "discount" you may receive. On the other hand, if you're not diving, run for you life and stay as far away as you can!

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank gohabsgo2028
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Italy-China
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed October 13, 2009

Stayed in Ban's for 4 nights (the rooms are not front beach but Bar/Restaurant/Divign centre are). I chose the cheapest room (600 bath 400 if you dive). Clean , nice with TV (no aircon or hot water but it was more than ok). nice view on the garden/pool. I saw the superior rooms as well: fantastic furniture (kind of romantic)aircon TV very clean. I chose the cheapest coz I was on a budget...
The Diving centre is great and super accessorized , the team of instructors seems great and very freindly. The BAr/restaurant is the place to be for happy hour: instructors and fun divers all over the place. Breakfast was very good (different choices), I haven't tried other food. The lime juice was PERFECT! I am sure in high season this place is a blast!

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Tittachina
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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