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Reviewed October 1, 2007

The rooms were lovely, veranda lovely, views were fab. The ensuite was a bit dark but did the job. Breakfast was nice good choice, Staff were also very helpful and friendly. But unfortunately here are the bad bits....Found a cockraoch in my toliet bag after our first night there. Also we got loads of bites even though we had used insect repellent and citronella on both us and the cushions in veranda. It's also a bit too far from town, the road is very rough and not well sign posted. Not all taxis will leave you right back at Charm Churee, and the rough road is not lit up at all so you may need to walk in complete darkness for 5 mins or so. Beach was great for snorkelling but swimming was a tortue as the hard coral sand made it difficult to get in to the water unless your feet are like steel. Also the beautiful colourful fish really sting and target you if you have any skin imperfections. Also alot of steps everywhere which was sweet but not suitable for older people or families. I would advise to stay on Sairee beach in Koh Tao its beautiful with loads of character, nice clean swimming beach & great restaurants.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank HODMC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2007

We stayed at the Charm Churee for our honeymoon. We flew into Koh Samui and got the catamerang over. I recommend booking seats in the VIP lounge for 50baht or you'll be squeezed in downstairs with the back packers going to Koh Penghan.

We we're picked up on time at the pier in a very crude boat taxi which safely brought us to the small private beach of the Charm Churee. The first villa we had was a mistake, our travel agent's - it was just a standard villa on the beach. It was old and we could hear our neighbours either side and the toilet/shower was in the garden. It was old, shabby and kitsch. I was mifted because it wasn't the sunset villa I had booked. They couldn't move us straight away because it was fully booked, but a day later we changed locations from the beach to way up the hill to a 'sunset villa'

The owner Mr. Jack builds the villas himself, which adds all the 'Charm' to the 'Charm Curee.' Our new villa was utterly, breathtakingly amazing, beautiful. No 39 The upgrade to the sunset villa is worth the extra pounds. The villa was huge with a dressing room and a huge bathroom/shower/toilet/. It had two balconies looking at the panoramic views of the sea. We didn't want to go out. Very private and perfect for a honeymoon. The staff were excellent from housekeeping to the spa. The girls running reception deserve a medal.

The food in the restaurants is wonderful. It takes ages to cook it and they bring it all at once - appetisers with main course. Give about half an hour for it. Views from restaurant - fantastic. My favorite was the Tom Yung Gung soup and the fish souffle.

The treatments are the best I've ever had. James in the Spa gave me a Thai massage and aromatherapy massage that were so professional and thorough. The spa is beautiful - done in all these little Thai huts. They did my husband and I,at the same time in the same hut, very lovely and so well priced.

We will definately go back here. My only criticism is that there are steps to everything, our villa was at least 50 steps, very steep and sometimes badly made steps. We're lucky we're young and fit but not suitable for the elderly, kids or disabled.

We went to Koh Tao to dive. We tried Scuba Junction which was run by a funny dutch guy called K. We were impressed with them until we were herded out to his boat the Mantaray. Althought the school boasts of only 4 divers per instructor, the boat is tiny, old and fiflty. We were packed in like sardines trying to get into our scuba suits. Very uncomforable, nowhere for all of us to sit down and if the sea is choppy - dangerous. We then went to a school called Dive Point which has the same 4 divers per instructors policy and a huge big comfortable boat. They put all your equipment together for you (you stil BWRAF) had the best dives ever with them. They have a dive instructor OM (Thai girl) who has done over a thousand dives and shows us sea creatures we'd never seen before. I highly recommend a day out with them with lunch on the boat.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank pinkidakini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2007

We stayed at a horrid resort the first two days, so felt as though we were in heaven when we transferred to Charm Churee. It is not a place for the elderly, the unfit or those unable to walk as the entire resort is littered accross a very hilly area with lots of boulders and clambouring paths. However, we loved it! We had the huge private villa, for which we paid around 300 dollars - a birthday treat. It was expensive but well worth it.

Having read some of the other posts I just want to say that water pressure in the whole island is bad as water is a scarce commodity. Burmese help are not paid much, but sadly this is the going rate, there will be centipedes, geckos and lizards - you are in the tropics, revel in them! and while the rooms don't have TVs, DVDs and whatnots, they are charming and comfortable. our rooms had the most comfy bed, it was all tastefully designed (though if you don't like sunlight in the mornings, bring a face mask), there are no phones in the room so that is a problem for such things as room service (we had a mobile, so used it to call reception) but apart from that (and the air-con unit being too small for the room so it not being too cold - I will email the hotel and ask them to do something about this for my next trip) I thought it was wonderful.

Staff were charming (from Burma and Chiang Mai mostly), the views breathtaking, the restaurant served very good food, the beach bar was cool, the snoorkling divine, the beach a bit hard on the feet as it was full of dead coral, was beautiful and the service excellent. We just spend our days lying on our various lounge areas in the bungalow (inside comfy sofa, outside chairs and outside deckchairs), showering in the sexy outdoors shower, watching the night divers go down literally 300 metres infront of us in the ocean and wandering around the funky resort and checking out the amazing rock formations. This isn't London or Paris, you will find insects and creepy crawlies, if you don't want them don't go to the tropics. The basicness of the resort is in keeping with the overall ambiance and I would highly highly recommend it to a romantic couple who want to get away from it all, do some great diving, eat some good food (we brought our own wine) and simply bask in the splendid nature of Koh Tao.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank happytrails101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2007

Stayed in the superior room - 8 nights @ 3200 baht.

Accommodation:

Chalet is nice but basic. Plus points are the big firm bed. Minuses are dodgy electrics (balcony light kept going out, minor powercuts several times a day), no television or dvd, poor bathroom (no bath, slightly smelly, low pressure shower).

Food:

Distinctly variable in quality and you are looking at an hours wait when busy. Good restaurant location.

Beach:

Great beach, free snorkelling gear and lifejackets for those that can't swim. Two bamboo rafts anchored offshore to relax on. Plenty of fish to swim with ! Best bit of Charm Churee.

Staff:

Polite and eager to help. Glad I don't work there - most of the staff are Burmese and had to put up with quite a lot of management abuse (threats to reduce wages to 100 baht per day). Makes you feel your paradise is being funded by slave labour. At 3200 baht for a wooden shack and dodgy restaurant, they can afford to pay decent wages frankly.

Bottom line:

You go to Ko Tao for the island not the hotel. Sensei is even more expensive and Suree Beach has raw sewage going in at one point. Charm Churee survives because it does a barely ok job for us rich farang. Compared to a BKK hotel, it is terrible value for money, but still a pleasant experience.

2  Thank OnHoneymoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2007

A stay at Charm Churee is a little pricey compared to other options on Koh Tao, but we really enjoyed our 5 days there. As far as tropical island holidays go Charm Churee was close to perfect.

I chose a Panorama Room and was very pleased with this choice - stunning views of the bay and ocean, perfectly positioned about midway up the hill between the beach and the restaurant. Just when our legs were starting to tire from the steps up from the beach there was our room. The cheaper rooms are a long way up the hill past reception and don't look like they would have much of a view.

A stay at Charm Churee does involve a lot of clambering around on steps (either down to the beach or down to the restaurant). Still you have to make up for all that holiday eating and drinking somehow.

We ate at the restaurant 3 nights and also ordered lunch from the beach bar a couple of days. The menu is extensive and reasonably priced and the food was always very good (try the hamburgers for lunch). However when you get bored its an easy walk into town (about 10 minutes) - we ate at one of the Italian restaurants (again excellent) and had barbequed seafood at a little waterfront bar/restaurant.

Snorkelling in the bay provides hours of entertainment, its just like swimming in an aquarium. We also took the hotel longboat out to Koh NangYuan which also has a beautiful beach and great snorkelling (you won't be alone though!). If you are a snorkelling enthusiast bring your own mask - the hotel has a big collection of masks and fins free to use but they are all pretty crappy.

The rooms at Charm Churee all seem quite individual. We shared our room with the usual geckos and there were cheeky squirrels in the trees outside that will raid your fruit bowl if given a chance.

One morning we walked to town and then on to Sairee Beach (about 40 minutes). We also walked to the beach at Chalok Baan but I wouldn't recommend it - its a difficult walk through the jungle for the first half and the track is not signposted. Further on we wandered through several deserted looking bungalow properties where it was easy to get lost. It took us a very hot two hours including a stop for swimming. Luckily its not difficult to find a ride home on the island!

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4  Thank dgtravelbug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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