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“Sufficient for all, suitable for most.”

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Buddha View Dive Resort
Ranked #21 of 50 Hotels in Koh Tao
Reviewed October 21, 2011

**Note: This review is for the Buddha View accommodation, not the dive couse. I have posted a separate review of the dive course in the tour category** Of course, we chose to stay here because we were diving with Buddha View and the amazing Ricardo! We opted for the nicer deluxe rooms, so I can't speak to the quality of the fan rooms. It was 1400 baht/night for 2 people, 1300/night for 1 person, not including a 100/night discount for diving. This price is pretty steep compared to most islands, but Koh Tao in general isn't very cheap apart from diving. I would suppose the price is alright relative to Koh Tao for the quality of the room. It was well furnished, hot water, aircon, modern art, ample lighting, balcony, towels, blanket, and comfy bed. No fridge. It's right on the beach, which isn't much of a beach if you've been elsewhere in Thailand. Be forewarned, if you're looking for a picturesque beach, Koh Tao isn't the place. This place is centered on diving alone.

Some cons about the hotel - No soap! Small con, but bring your own. The restaurant sucks. Expensive, unimaginative menu options and the staff! No smiles, no service, all they do is sit around glued to the TV which is loudly blaring dubbed western movies into Thai. You have to walk over and ask them if you want to order, or for the bill, or any general requests. That is, if they're awake. Our guy was too busy eating and watching to be bothered, so we did him a favor and went to the restaurant next door for the remainder of our stay. Buddha View coffeeshop or whatever the name is had a great "Amazing Egg Sandwich" which was quick, delicious, and easy to take on the boat, and also real coffee, not Nescafe crap. The biggest con - The attached Buddha View bar. The bar was great during happy hour (until 7) with great island prices on beer. The bar was a total nightmare from 10 PM on. The music is waaaayyy too loud, even when we were sitting down there having post-dinner drinks. The volume stays the same all night. Its a small bar, and its within earshot of the accommodation for divers, so why on Earth would anyone allow the music to be so loud into the night? I'm all for a good time, but if I wanted to be up all night listening to pounding tunes, I would be on Koh Phangan at the Full Moon Party. Instead, I came to Koh Tao and Buddha View to dive. Early in the morning, along with everyone else. That bar is bad for business, and when we come back, we will consider staying elsewhere just to avoid the late night party noise that Buddha View allows to carry on. Shame on you Buddha View, total lack of respect for your customers for not imposing volume limits after hours. The louder the music and the drunker the patrons, the louder their yelling and laughing. Not all of us enjoy sleepless nights before diving.

If you want to dive and party, Buddha View is one stop shopping. For a quiet night and a good night's rest, try another hotel. Maybe I'll be in the mood to party next time if I don't have early morning dives and I'll be one of the ***holes that's keeping you up at night if you stay here.

  • Stayed: October 2011
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4  Thank Jahorgie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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124 - 130 of 235 reviews

Reviewed October 20, 2011

Myself and my partner recently completed dive courses at Buddha View - Open Water for me and Open Water plus Advanced for my partner. My partner also participated in a few fun dives after the courses.

We were so impressed by the service, price and atmosphere at Buddha View that we have been recommending it throughout S.E.Asia to fellow travellers. Our room was basic but perfectly fine considering you are usually out diving, studying or socialising. The room was free for both of us because we did courses with Buddha View.

We booked the courses through the Bangkok office near Khao San Road, with Dave and Nan. They were incredibly helpful and trustworthy. They explained that you can get the courses cheaper when booking through travel agents, but they have hidden costs (e.g. for the course book) and the transport (bus and boat) might not be as advertised. We have researched other countries and companies to complete Open Water courses and have found none as cheap as Buddha View on Koh Tao.

Our instructors, James and Peter, were fantastic; so professional and knowledgeable. They were always there to help with any problems, no matter how small.

The equipment was to a very good standard and the boats were well equipped, with the larger ones providing a toilet, drinks, fruit and even biscuits!

An added bonus is the atmosphere at Buddha View - the Buddha Bar is a great place to chill with fellow divers in the evenings and the BBQ every night is delicious and great value.

As for the diving around Koh Tao - we saw plenty of different species of fish and eels and the coral was beautiful. The visibility was good on all the dives and the sea was nice and warm!

We have been with other dive centres since Buddha View (Malaysia, Borneo, Gili Islands) and while good, they haven't even come close to the service we received.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Liz C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2011

The whole place buzzes diving. We actually were'nt diving but our kids were. The kids stayed in the free accommodation during their dive course. It was pretty basic, but it was free and adequate for them. We opted for something better and took the deluxe air con rooms. These rooms were excellent value. Don't think there was anything else on Koh Tao near the beach with air con, satellite TV and hot water for 1500bht. Rooms were a little bit bare for my taste, but comfortable.
What was really special about our stay was the ultra friendly staff and great atmosphere. Absolutely excellent BBQ each evening on the beach and a great little bar to spend the evenings. Really made us feel at home. I know the kids also had a great time on their dive course. All of us came away with such fond memories from Koh Tao because of the great atmosphere at Buddha View.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with family
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Thank John J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2011

I booked to stay at this hotel online and paid a deposit for a room however, once I arrived I was informed that because I was not diving I would have to stay elsewhere.
A member of staff gave my deposit back to me and led me to a nearby hotel further down the beach, which they told me was common practice during high season, with all my luggage in mid-day heat.
Once we arrived at the hotel it was clearly nowhere near the standard of Buddha View and did not have the facilities the Buddha View offered such as wifi, although it was the same price.
I explained to the staff at Buddha View I was not happy to stay at the other hotel offered and I explained why. I was also confused as to why a deposit was taken to secure my room and then when I informed them I was not diving there was no room for me. I was left to findmy own accommodation on the island in high season which was extremely difficult.
I would not reccomend staying at this hotel due to their unreliability, unhelpfulness and lack of concern.
Be warned just because you book this hotel and pay a deposit does not mean that you will actually stay here!

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with friends
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10  Thank penny g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2011

We booked online to stay here for two nights after the full moon party on Koh phangan. We booked in advance and paid a deposit online. I asked for a twin room and recieved an email back stating that they only had a double to which I replied that this was fine.
Upon my arrival at Buddha View they once again stated that they only had a double room and asked if this suited our need to which I replied that this was fine, to which they seemed relieved and helpful. (Suggesting a room was available as requested and a deposit paid)
I was then asked to take a seat while they sorted things out for me. The staff then approached me to ask if I was diving, when I replied that I wasn't sure yet what our plans were they returned my deposit (in cash which I had paid online) and told me that they would be putting us up next door as they had no rooms available.
When I stated that I had paid a deposit to secure a room they told me that it was common practice to put people in hotels nearby. When I told them that I was not happy about this as we had picked Buddha view for various reasons they did not seem bothered.
Basically they wanted to give the room to someone else who was definitely diving as they would recieve more money from them.
As Koh Tao was very busy after the full moon party we struggled to find the accomodation we wanted and our experience with Buddha View caused unnecessary stress and worry.
I would not recommend staying here or diving here as the accomodation was unreliable and the staff very unhelpful.
There attitude was "if your not diving go and stay somewhere else"
we had a terrible experience with Buddha View and one that they would not get away with had the Island not have been so busy after the full moon party.

The service was awful and one that I had not experienced anywhere else in Thailand.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with friends
    • Service
5  Thank Jessica466
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2011

I stayed here in February 2011 to do a diving course. We were in a group with only three other people, so we've got alot of attention. The instructors seemed very capable of teaching how to dive and there was a great vibe! The resort is practically on the beach and it's lovely to walk around in the evening. I'ts quiet, but also cozy. Every evening there is a BBQ where you can choose the food and they will make it for you! Perfect! We also spent the nights at the resort. We slept in a double room with private bathroom, which was nice and clean. You can also stay at another resort or cabin nearby if you like, all resorts on that bay are in walking distance of eachother. And if you stay there, hire a canoe and peddle one bay to the north, is seriously crowded with baby sharks! If you do not like that: the sharks do not come near the resort. I would definitely stay there again!

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank marrigje19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 4, 2011

Koh Tao is obviously a little underdeveloped versus some other Thai hotspots, and that's its charm. However, you can find yourself some excellent scuba diving and snorkeling. I hooked up a dive package with Buddha View for myself and my family, but after some research I saw that their main backpacker style hotel on Mae Haad was facing a muddy bay and therefore didn't have much snorkeling. We checked into that main facility first, and it is relaxed (google "Thailand sanuk") but professional , clean, and a lot of fun in terms of a place to stay. Most facilities like stores are just down the road.

However, Buddha View are opening a new facility on Tanote Bay, which was more family oriented (no loud drinkers in the evening), so we opted to dive out of that facility. (It will be called Mandaley Bay; the rooms were still under construction when we were there but they look like they will be nice modern apartment style digs with a small amount of landscaping). It uses the Blacktip Dive facility, so you can get more info on TA via a search for that dive operation.

All in all, we were very happy that we booked with Buddha View; they were friendly and helpful and most importantly, professional. (We dealt mostly with John, who was even good with our kids!). Every step of the way, from helping to book the lodgings on T-Bay (we used Tanote Villa Hill, which was excellent) to making sure your checkout was handled correctly, they made sure our experience was a enjoyable one. I signed up for a deepwater diver PADI certification as well as an introduction to diving for the kids called "bubblemaker". For that, they even let them work with a respirator instead of just snorkeling. My deepwater diver cert was more demanding, and so be prepared to learn more about the effects of depth and pressure on humans. For that, they offer an e-book to get your dive training started, which was cool, and then they give you books and videos before two classroom

My instructor was Marco; he was a good and patient teacher and though in the end I developed a little dizzyness at lower depths, one great advantage of diving out of this spot is that instead of a pool your first couple of mini-training dives take place in the ocean water of Tanote Bay where there is coral just fifteen feet from shore and some lovely rock formations, so you will get a lot of amazing fish and sites to see without too much effort. All in all, I would say I found that using Buddha View was a great way to start to learn to dive, I will definitely be back to Koh Tao in the future, it was a wonderful and reasonably priced way to enjoy the islands of Thailand.

Room Tip: Try their new Tanote Bay facility called Mandelay Bay, its got better offshore diving
See more room tips
  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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Thank salve_sons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Buddha View Dive Resort

Address: 45/1, Moo 3, Koh Tao 84360, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Koh Tao
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant
Hotel Style:
#5 Luxury Hotel in Koh Tao
Hotel Class:5 star — Buddha View Dive Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Buddha View Dive Resort is Thailand’s premier PADI 5 star Gold Palm IDC Resort and PADI Career Development Centre. With over 20 years of experience in the diving industry, Buddha View provides world-class PADI diving courses, regular and special diving trips and accommodation to suit all budgets. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Buddha View Dive Hotel Koh Tao

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