I stayed at the hotel from 5 to 10 May 2014. I booked on line directly with the hotel. They replied by email to a question I had very quickly. Upon arrival we were welcomed with a cold drink and a cold wet towel which was perfect after the long trip and in such heat (30-34 degrees). Check in was a pleasure (we did not even had to get up from the comfortable sofa we were seated). Staff was amazing!!!!! Extremely polite, always with a smile, getting out of their way to help with whatever you asked. Immediate response to everything we wanted. For example, I had to give them my shoe which needed fixing and within 15 minutes it was fixed and delivered to my room.
The hotel starts from the beach and rises above the sea. You can easily walk everywhere but with the heat it was easier to call for buggies. The response is so quick that you hardly wait for them.
The beach is very nice but as I come from a place with plenty of beaches, I was not impressed. It is white sand (not powder soft but sandy) but it was mostly a bit windy and the sea was wavy. The water wasnot the clear water you get at the Maldives for example. Having said this, we rented a car and have seen many beaches of Koh Samui (and all the 5* hotels) and they are pretty much all the same. The only one that was better was the becah at Rainassanse which was powder soft and very shallow but the water had the tepreture of a soup there!
It is very close to the airport but need a car to go anywhere. Taxis however are not expensive and you could use them daily to go wherever you want to go.
There are 2 pools. One infinity where kids are not allowed and it is nice and quiet and one on the beach. Both very well run with the staff runing behind you to help you.
Drinking water is free throughout the hotel and so was wifi. There is a car rental company so if you decide to book a car for a day or two, you can do it there. If however you are certain you want to get a car, it is a lot cheaper to book it before you travel and pick it at the airport upon your arrival even if this means keeping it for a bit longer than required as you save the taxis to and from the airport too.
There are 2 of them. One on the beach and one higher up by the reception. We tried both. Food was excellent, reasonably priced and service outstanding. Unless you are really fussy about your food, you do not really need to leave the hotel to dine. We had a private dinner on the beach to celebrate by husband's 50th birthday and we had the most amazing food cooked for us on the beach and served to us at a nicely prepared private table on the sand. Highly recommended if you celebrate a special event. You are given a menu and get to choose whatever you like for a fixed price. If you want to get out of the hotel for an excellent dinner, try the 'Dining on the rocks' which is at the next hotel on the other side of the hill. It is a 5' taxi ride.
At breakfast you could have whatever you can imagine. Fresh fruit is peeled for you on the spot and so are smoothies of your choice or juices. You can order any type of coffee, eggs, freshly baked croissants and bread etc etc. There was nothing that I needed that I could not find.
The only problem were the mosquitos. The hotel provides a mosquito machine but it was not enough for us. Mosquitos always love me (and do not touch my husband) and I was bitten within 24 hours very badly. If you have the same problem, make sure you take with you creams, machines, sprays and whatever else keep them away. This is a problem everywhere in Thailand, not just at this hotel.
All in all, an excellent choice!!!!
You can see the island over maximum 2 days. We went everywhere. The biggest disappointment were the waterfalls: DO NOT BOTHER! I do not know what happens after the rainy season but when we went there was water only on one or two of them and it was nothing spectacular. There are amazing sunsets at the west side of the island (Nathom) - that is where all the locals are and there are hardly any hotels. We have amazing pictures from that area. Elephant rides are overated so unless you are really keen, skip that too. Maybe the best option if you have extra days is to go on a boat trip for dicing or snorkelling. This is something we did not do. Otherwise just spend a day going round to see the island and then stay at the hotel and chill!!!!
Comparison of Tongsai Bay with other 5* hotels
We drove round and saw all 5* hotels. Here is my assessment of the ones that are worth considering.
It is just round the corner from the Tongsai Bay. It is a much bigger hotel with many many cottages, much smaller in size I believe than the one we stayed in at Tongsai Bay. Buggies everywhere there too and 2 amazing restaurants (one with awesome sun sets and one above the water (dining on the rocks).
It is probably the only hotel that is flat with the beach, without buggies and hills. It is traditional with a lot of wood and a long beautiful sandy beach (sand very similar to the Tongsai Bay).
It has probably the best beach for me but it is at a different area. The hotel itself is neat and luxurious. The cottages on the beach are to die for.
- 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