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“A really nice stay”

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Ban's Diving Resort
Ranked #5 of 49 Hotels in Koh Tao
Certificate of Excellence
Northampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“A really nice stay”
Reviewed August 28, 2010

We paid a bit more for this hotel than we have been paying on other islands in Thailand, however the prices in Koh Tao are just more expensive so if you want to continue with the level of comfort, the price must go up. I was, however, very impressed with what we got for our money here. The location of the hotel was very central on Sairee beach and the convenience store is right next door. The rooms are set back far enough that it was really quiet and away from the night life. The rooms were really nice, although we got the last rooms available for this price so had to make-do with two single beds rather than a double. We had our own little balcony (however this hotel has a lot of greenery around it so there are mosquitos EVERYWHERE) with a clothes horse so we could hang up our swimsuits and towels. The shower was very powerful (however some people we met there said that their shower was not powerful at all, so i guess it depends on the room you get) and the bathroom was clean however there were cobwebs all over the ceiling in the bathroom. There is a safe in the room which is a big plus for me, and there was complimentary shampoos and conditioners, which was nice as it's not often you get this when you're on a budget. The staff here were really friendly and there are two pools available to you, but often people are training for diving in these pools. This was overall one of my favourite of all the hotels I stayed in in Asia.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Michelle444
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Switzerland
Level Contributor
205 reviews
82 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 157 helpful votes
Reviewed July 31, 2010

The Resort itself appears really nice, they have a really big pool (at the time we stayed there it was unfortunately under construction, and it was not mentioned on the homepage...).....and the staff is nice as well. There is a restaurant and a bar. The restaurant serves really good food for a really good prices. We stayed in a aircon room, if you dive than you get a fan room for free and the aircon rooms are 400 Bath. Normally a aircon room would cost 1000 Bath if you don't dive with Ban's, that's way too much what you get. The standard rooms are really simple ant not really luxury. At least there is a TV, the aircon was working and a small balcony. It's a decent place to stay but just if you dive and don't have to pay 1000 Bath.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Nicoleri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 22, 2010

Ban's diving resort was probably the worst resort we stayed in while traveling in Thailand, which I traveled in for over one month. When we just arrived the Thai lady in the reception tried to lie to us and charge us an extra 500 baht per night, luckily I went to their website before and saw the real prices.

We saw two rooms (not the most basic ones), and except for the fact that the rooms looked nice, there was a terrible smell of mold in both that just didn't go away, no matter for how long the A\C was on.

Most of the reception staff were rude and unhelpful. When we tried to use to deposit-box in our room it failed to work so we called someone from the reception to fix it and nobody came. We had to call them for over four times until someone came, the next day. He tried to fix the safe for a while and failed, then he said he'd get a new one for us. With that said, we didn't get anything resembling a safe. When we went to see why in the reception they said they are out of safes and they don't have anything to give us, they didn't bother to let us know or apologize.

Overall, a very bad experience, maybe the worst hotel in Thailand, ALTHOUGH IT LOOKS GOOD ON THE OUTSIDE.
On the other hand, diving was okay, instructor was professional and we went to the boat every day without too many delays.

In conclusion, this is a factory for dive courses with a terrible resort and okay instructors, so if you do decide to come here, stay in any other resort in Koh Tao.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank orenaga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Falklands
Level Contributor
24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed July 17, 2010

I stayed in one of the hilltop bungalows - definitely worth the extra money over the basic poolside aircon rooms (and very good value if you're taking a diving course; if not, there are probably better value-for-money options elsewhere on the island). The room was spacious, the bed was huge with a firm mattress (of which I'm a fan - others might prefer soft), the balcony had a nice view, and there was a safe for valuables (the basic rooms had no safe, and I had camera gear with me).

Problems were minor: the sink plug was stuck, and had to be unstuck by housekeeping; and wireless internet was not free (!!), although the cost was reasonable. Of course, there's also quite a hike up a steep hill to get to the bungalows, which did not bother me, but might be troublesome to others. Lots of good places to eat near the resort, and the popular Lotus bar was just a short walk along the beach. The resort restaurant was also pretty decent, and makes a good ice coffee.

The diving course was great! As I only had three days, I did a sped up course as an individual student of Pannee (my instructor, who did a great job), but paying the standard rate, which is incredibly good value (most places charge a premium for individual tuition). Since we were done early, I also did a 30 metre dive (part of the Adventure diver certificate) and a fun dive (for a total of 4 dives on my final day). The two extra dives also had a very reasonable cost.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank WoosterBertie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tahlequah
Level Contributor
83 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
Reviewed July 16, 2010

Our family went to Koh Tao for open water certification and loved every minute of it. I liked the open resort where you didn't feel cloistered. The hotel staff and dive instructors were amazing. Ask for Abby if you are a first time diver-she is an excellent teacher and fun to show you the ropes. Rutger was also a blast to hang out with-our sons loved him. We stayed in the suite on the hill. The room view and quietness were worth the hike. Room was huge and very well appointed. Our sons stayed in the deluxe room near the pool. They enjoyed the action of the fishbowl and nightlife. Fishbowl restaurant was good for predive breakfast.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank JasonandJen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whistler, BC
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed June 1, 2010

We pre-booked a Garden Suite directly with the resort and made the trip directly from Koh Samui by ferry. Lomprayah quite good but trying to get your bag when you had to get off was a farce -- until someone finally figured it would be a good idea if they got all the Koh Tao bags off the boat and then let guests find their bags on the dock. Anyhow, I stray. Arriving off the pier is a bit of a blur......what with all the "salesmen" trying to get you to stay at their resort. The Ban's drivers were pretty easy to find and we jumped on the back of a pickup with our bags and were taken quite quickly to the resort.
You're dropped off on the main road at the "top" of the resort........and are asked to leave your bags there while you go down the hill to reception to check in. Check in was quite quick and we were escorted to our rooms, although my husband had to climb back to the top to identify our bags. Not ideal when you're staying at the bottom and it's 35 degrees out!

The room was a bit of a disappointment compared to the "new" photos on the resort's website. The suite rooms are a little worn and tired looking. Everything was clean, but it didn't have that "fresh" feel to it. The suite was on the third floor of the building next to reception - if you're not good with stairs ask for a lower suite as the steps are high and uneven. Amenities are pretty good in the room although they need more towel bars in the bathroom -- one doesn't suffice for two big bath towels. Make sure you don't leave any food out as minute ants will get to it! Keep your stuff in the bar fridge. If you don't plan to stay up till 4am, you might consider staying further up the hill. Being so close to the restaurant/bar, we were kept up nightly by the noise from the band/bar. Pool shown on website was closed (not informed) and is located above the main road so a fair trek from your room. Only pool was the small one used for dive courses, so not an option.
While the room was disappointing, it wasn't a "bad" room - just not that "yes! perfect!" that I expected from the photos.

The location of the resort is great. Just on the main beach and close to all amenities and of course their dive centre. Bans has a 24 hour convenience store, dive shop, and restaurant (where you can charge to your room).
The Dive Shop is great. The girls in there are very helpful and organized. We took an Advanced Open Water Course which was alot of fun and Steve our instructor was very informative and helfpul.........and a laugh.

The convenience store doesn't often mark prices on their goods so you often have to ask them to check first.

The restaurant has good cheap food. Pad Thai is good, the "thai breakfast porridge" is GREAT, but if you plan to eat breakfast together, it's a bit of a crapshoot. Twice my husband and I ordered breakfast and both times he finished his meal before I got mine. And once, we both had scrambled eggs on toast! Bizarre.

Reception needs to get some computers! Plan to check-out at least 1/2 an hour before you need to as they tally everything by hand so it can take some time!

Overall, I would definitely recommend diving and taking courses with Ban's (The world's largest), but would consider getting a beachside hut at another resort nearby next time.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank whistlergirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed May 31, 2010

Just wanted to stop in and say something about my trip here.. I totally fell in love with this part of Koh Tao, after being a bit hesitant on the ride in from the pier, with all the touts trying to get me to their hotel.. I'd prebooked this place, to do the dive course as well, on recommendation from a friend who usually has pretty good taste..

OK so got off the boat, fought past the touts, found the guys who ran the bus for Ban's, actually pretty easy, jumped on board and off to the resort with a couple of girls also doing the diving. Got in there, treated lovely by most all the staff, and fairly easy going. Now, unfortunately I'd booked one of the cheapest rooms going, thinking, hey I'll survive in here.. Wrong - do yourself a favour and for what turned out to be about $10-$15 AU a night difference, get one of the rooms with AC down the bottom of the hill, instead of the cheap non AC rooms at the top. My first night was in one of the cheaper rooms, and I'm not super fussy, but the mould stink and basic facilities here were too much for me. I spoke to the staff the next day, and they happily gave me keys to a few different types of room to check out - paid my extra and got one of the rooms in the lower left building complex (when you face the beach). No, there was no views to speak of, but there was the most awesome little balcony, good clean room, comfortable (firmish) bed and little TV and fridge.. They included a couple of bottles a water each morning with the lovely cleaning service and staff. Very happy in here for the week and half I stayed..

Now the diving course didn't turn out to be for me, but for comment, I thought it was top rate - i had a great instructor, who really tried to help me make it work, but in the end i chose to bail and just enjoy a low stress holiday instead. the staff refunded my unused days and honoured my discount room rate.. Very reasonable, and although its in their best interests anyway, they offered to hold off for a couple of days or rearrange if I changed my mind and wanted to try again. All in all for what was a slightly embarrassing for me experience, they made me feel understood and not the slightest bit uncomfortable, so cheers to them for that.

Down to the restaurant/bar overlooking the beach.. I'll never forget this.. some great basic food - as per other places in thailand, far too many options on the menu - ill go the gordon ramsay here - do a few things, do them well. But always enjoyed my little breakfasts, some pad thai for lunch and the bbqs for dinner.. Also ended up having drinks with some of the other people I started the diving course with, great little social environment - not too full on, but not dull.. had a couple of really (too) good nights and was sorry afterwards, but loved it. Live music (acoustic) most nights, movies nearby in other resorts, cheap massages, and the rented a cheap little motorbike and explored some..

All in all enjoyed it so much that after heading to Koh Phangan a week later, and absolutely hating that (Coral bungalows, I'm about to can your awfulness next), I changed plans and came back to bans to sit on my little beach, swim and enjoy my last week in thailand.

One major piece of advice, when it gets stormy, the catamarans cancel boat services - no big deal, BUT some of the more dodgy operators in the single hulls, still run services between the islands, against advice.. I made the mistake of taking this "3 hour cruise" .. Seriously was supposed to take 1 1/2 - 2 hours crossing, took us 4 and half . I thought I was going to die, and along with at least 40 other passengers being flung about this god awful trip, lost the contents of my stomach several times over on the trip after trying like hell to stay strong on this one. AVOID this at all cost- this was my decision btw, nothing to do with Bans...

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Paul I
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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