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“Tongsai Thai Magic”
Review of The Tongsai Bay

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The Tongsai Bay
Ranked #5 of 185 Hotels in Bophut
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 March 2014

We came here 23 years ago, had happy memories and so decided to give it another go. We booked with Trailfinders, as we always do, and when I said where we wanted to stay, Ryan the agent said he'd spent his honeymoon there and it had been a great success. Well that was encouraging. Not surprisingly the place and been revamped but much in the original style. Most people stay in cottages on the hillside overlooking the beach. These are all a little different but follow a basic format: secluded veranda with a huge bath to wallow in; indoor living area with seating, TV, bar fridge, brewing equipment; huge and very comfy bed often four poster; and a modern bathroom with two basins, large shower etc and a dressing area. What more to want? Snacks and fruit are replenished daily and room service is very prompt. The three dining areas provide a variety of excellent quality Asian and European food to suit all tastes. The staff are all quite charming and some are enchanting. Look out for Khun Klin. There are few caveats. Don't expect a Caribbean sea. The water can be a little rough and therefore cloudy, but the accompanying breeze keeps you cool. If you decide to go for a boating expedition check with Mark or Leisa, who run the establishment, rather than rely on the advice of your local agent. Don't expect too much of the local villages. Samui is Tong Sai. Some people have been back ten times and we will come again. I just hope Klin will still be there.

Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Richardofrushall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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699 - 705 of 1,938 reviews

Reviewed 6 March 2014

I am writing this review from the prospective of someone who has been in the hotel industry for 30+ years:

My experience at Tongsai Bay was a 5++++. Leesa, Mark and their team exceeded all of my expectations. The villa was awesome. It had beautiful views of the beach and the bay. I would recommend spending the extra money to upgrade to the villa.

Getting a massage on the deck of your own villa next to your private pool with the ocean sounds in the background: PRICELESS!

It is worth every dollar in relaxation and comfort. We enjoyed all of the food and beverage outlets: The beach restaurant, Butlers for Tapas and the main dining room for breakfast. The food and the service were the best I have experienced in all of my travels.

The spa services were best in class. I recommend Hong (sp) to do your massage. All the knots were gone by the time she was done.

They have figured out at Tongsai Bay...You are welcomed as a guest in their home. They treat their staff like family and it shows in the committment to making your stay memorable and relaxing.

The only critique I have is that they could not find a way to get me more time off so I could stay for a month. Oh well no one is perfect!

Room Tip: Spend the money to get a villa
See more room tips
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Keith P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2014

This is our 3rd stay at The Tongsai Bay and not our last! Two single girls about town that want to every now and again, kick back and relax! We have certainly found "our place". The hotel management and staff are so friendly and welcoming, nothing really is too much trouble. Mark and his team put in 100% effort in everything they do to make your stay a memorable one. The resort is perfectly located, a tranquil setting that will "chill anyone out". Nothing left to say other than, we love The Tongsai Bay, and will never tire of this little piece of paradise!

  • Stayed: February 2014
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4  Thank Sarahmgibbs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2014

One of the things I love the most about Trip Advisors is nutcases who slate really excellent hotels to meet their personal agenda. “Nicola – why is this good” I hear you ask? Let me tell you why…because these bonkers individuals lower our expectations which means we will definitely be happy with any moderate hotel, and absolutely delighted by those that stand out such as the Tongsai Bay Cottages and Hotel.

To be fair, this hotel does clearly state that it is passionately loves the environment, and it is in a hillside location surrounded by beautiful natural foliage. So if you don’t like the thought of anything natural this may not be the place for you. The benefit of being truly environmental is if you don’t kill little critters such as geckos, they will actually eat the mosquito’s etc so there is a win win all around. Based on advice from another reviewer we were careful to observe for snakes, although unfortunately we didn’t have any gap in the door frame for them to get through and because we used the mosquito net at night we did not have the opportunity to be attacked by any animal or insect. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t admit that on our last day when we returned from breakfast to collect our bags we did find a tiny snake sunning itself on our balcony – I think it thought we had already left!

Service: check in was efficient, friendly and very warm. Little things were noted without us realising it and those things made our entire trip smoother (such as our return flight: they didn’t just arrange a car for us, they told us the best time to be ready to check out and knocked on our door to help us with luggage without us having to call )

Room: AMAZING! We were traveling with another couple and the hotel arranged both rooms to be next to each other but without any shared wall, so we had total privacy but the ability to be close when we wanted to be. We do agree that the rooms are a bit dark but that’s mainly because it was bright and sunny outside and cool and darker inside – it wasn’t a problem. The room had a separate sitting area with a minibar/fridge, coffee tea and endlessly replaced water as well as a TV and DVD player, a desk and a safe. Each day the housekeeper refreshed fruit and brought a little jar of cookies or other treats. The bed was on a slightly higher level which made the room feel very spacious, it was a 4 poster with mosquito net (we never actually had any insects inside the room but it was a nice comfort to have it just in case as I do respond quite badly to bites and stings) There was a large wardrobe and dressing area, and a bathroom with a shower large enough for 2, and a large vanity with two sinks – really good for not feeling crowded.

The balcony/terrace was totally private and had a table and chairs, two loungers and a lovely outside bathtub which we took full advantage of.

The only down side, which isn’t really a down side at all is that the room was towards the top of the hill and a lot of steps….after a lazy day on the beach or a dinner finished with sticky rice and mango, the stairs to and from the room helped my holiday weight stay in control!

Facilities: Yoga: excellent local teachers and access to the studio outside of class time which we took advantage of. Spa: really nice spa offering everything you’d expect. Prices in line with upscale resorts and even if expensive by Thai standards, less than half the price of UK or US treatments. Fitness room: nice range of equipment adjacent to the pool: tennis, table tennis…we said we would but we ran out of time… Movie night under the stars: this was fun….they run a new release movie on the beach next to the bar.

Restaurants: really excellent, the thing that stands out though is the service which was second to none. The theme nights -BBQ, Thai etc were all really good and had entertainment as well as food.

Beach: the sand is quite coarse but immaculately clean and as long as the weather is fine you can swim straight off the beach. WE didn’t use them, but other guests were using kayaks & windsurfs etc. There isn’t any snorkelling as there is no coral for the fish at that point.

Leaving the resort: we didn’t bother walking to the close by village but the couple we were with did, they said it took about 15 minutes and the hardest part was going up the hotel drive as it is quite steep! There is a row of shops, restaurants and massage places – it’s not a quaint village, just a strip which was pretty much what we saw all over the island. To get a car to/from just about anywhere on the same side of the island was 400 bhat, a fixed price that meant we never felt ripped off by anyone.

Other – the hotel arranged a car and driver for one day for us to go around the island, it worked out much cheaper than a group excursion and was totally catered to us.

I can’t put my finger on it, but I have to believe that the staff training and retention programme at this hotel is best in class. The staff were so discreet and attentive, and seemed to really love the hotel and their work. Whatever the Tongsai Bay is doing in this regard they should keep it up because it makes for a really good guest experience.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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6  Thank Nicola L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2014

My husband and i stayed at The Tongsai last January and we loved it so much that we decided to spend a week there this year on our honeymoon. Most things are never usually as good the 2nd time around, but this place really is. We have never gone back to the same place twice while on vacation but this is a very special place and so we wanted to make sure to write this review!

Mark, the manager, is a very cool guy and made our stay really awesome.....great room, champagne, card welcoming us back was left in our room along with flower petals and all the special honeymoon amenities. We had to say that Mark and the entire staff here is definitely one of the reasons we will be back. That along with the fact that this place is situated on such a beautiful bay in Samui that every cottage or room will have a view of the ocean. It's very peaceful and the vibe throughout the whole place is very chilled out. They do have a great bar and beach restaurants as well. But our favorite is the breakfast! Amazing buffet style and the quality is outstanding.

Mark helped us arrange a sunset cruise our last night on the island which was fantastic and we also arranged another snorkel/kayak tour through the hotel as well. Everything went off without a hitch and was fantastic.

Our one and ONLY complaint is the beds are a bit hard, but hey.....this place is paradise otherwise!

Stay here! That's all we have to say. We will be back for sure!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank ChicagoMichelle2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 March 2014

I used celebrate my birthday on trip, Tongsai gave me in a complete picture. Not only the relaxing envirnment but also ppl work in there.
It so surprise that sent me a wine n birthday cake, I even tried before in other hotel in pervious several birthday trip.
I almost spent all 5 days inside the resort, as the beach n the cottage suit already give me all I want, watch sea view on the balcony with sunbath or soak in the bathtub,everything nice to me.
I would like to say I will be back on my next birthday :)

Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
1  Thank Tracy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 March 2014

It had been six years since I had travelled long haul and I searched long and hard to find the right hotel. My usual haunt years ago was the Datai in Langkawi and I was looking for something along similar lines although not as expensive. From the moment I arrived I knew we had made the right choice. Although we didnt arrive until 10pm at night, the staff made us very welcome with a nice drink and explanation of breakfast etc the next morning. We were then shown to our room. The room was large with a lounge area and large bathroom as well. Personally I am glad we requested a higher floor room as I dont think I would have liked to be on the ground floor although I could appreciate this may be good for families with children. The staff could not do enough for you and indeed I was given a card which explained my food allergies to show at every restaurant so that I was not put at risk. The only slight negatives and I have to look very hard at being picky was I didnt rate Butlers Tapas at all (I thought the food was bland and poor value for money) but Chef Choms and the restaurant at the beach were excellent. I will definitely be making a return to Tongsai Bay in the future. Well done to Mark and his team for providing a truly excellent level of service and thanks for a wonderful holiday.

Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank wouldhave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Tongsai Bay

Address: 84 Moo 5, Bophut, Ko Samui 84320, Thailand (Formerly Tongsai Bay Cottages & Hotel)
Phone Number:
Region: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Ko Samui > Bophut
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Bophut
#2 Romantic Hotel in Bophut
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Bophut
#4 Family Hotel in Bophut
#5 Luxury Hotel in Bophut
Price Range: £170 - £397 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Tongsai Bay 5*
Number of rooms: 83
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tongsai Bay is located on Ko Samui, an island in the Gulf of Thailand just a short travel distance by air from Bangkok and across the southern peninsula. The view of Tongsai Bay is hypnotic, as its set amidst a secluded ocean cove; an eco-friendly colony of cottages, low rise buildings and villas barely displacing the lush greenery on the hills of the island's northeast corner. 3 restaurants serve Thai, and international food and the hotel hosts regular live music for evening entertainment. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tongsai Bay Cottages And Hotel
Tongsai Bay Cottages Hotel Bophut
Tongsai Bay Hotel
Tongsai Bay Resort
The Tongsai Bay Ko Samui/Bophut

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