We usually stay at the Simple Life Resort but fancied a change so selected the Seashell as the reviews were mixed but the resort facilities looked nice.
We booked a poolside villa through Agoda and arrived to be taken to a room which wasn't beside the pool. We mentioned this to reception who checked the booking and said it's the right room. I called Agoda (long distance) and explained to them that the "poolside" villa is not beside the pool but that there is another villa in front of it so you cannot even see the pool let alone claim that the accommodation is beside it.
As amusing as this was, the property's owner came to talk with us and she told us that the poolside villas are just a name and that they are near the pool but not necessarily beside the pool...we had to laugh or else it would have spoilt the start of the holiday.
The poolside villa in the pic looks like a very cute modern built stand alone building. In our rush to book the trip we didn't realise that in fact each building is actually two separate rooms so we had a shared balcony / entrance with the room next door. This was our own mistake for not checking. A little disappointing at the lack of privacy but not the end of the world.
The pool at the SeaShell is a decent size, looks clean but as mentioned by others, it is very often busy and in use by the dive school.
The breakfast is in the cafe restaurant on the beachside. amazing views as you wait for your breakfast but the choice of breakkie is limited and on the meagre side. You get one OJ and one coffee with the breakkie. Additional drinks are charged.
As we were staying with SeaShell, our friends wanted to do their OpenWater so they arranged this through the sea shell dive shop opposite the restaurant. Our fun dives were well run but our friends were charged 9000 Baht each for their Open Water when it was agreed at 6000 per person. As I was present during the price discussions I asked the Geordie sales guy what was going on as we had agreed 6000 for the OW students. He apologised and disappeared inside to the office,spoke to his colleagues came back and said "they don't have their own gear so it's 3000 Baht for equipment rental...the 6000 was agreed for the course only"
The owner was called again and looked equally as unamused to see me again. the situation was explained. She then said "ok what is the problem? You agree to 6000 for open water but have to pay for bcd and equipment". I'd obviously bored her as she walked off mid conversation which even left the dive office staff shocked.
Later that evening we bumped into Khun Oh who is the Manager at Simple Life Resort. After the warm hellos he asked where we were staying and all was explained including the debacle with the OW course fees. His response was "they do this many time and not good for Koh Tao".
The following day, after a day's diving we returned to the dive shop (reluctantly had to use SeaShell as we had prepaid a few fun dives) and we saw Khun Oh there with the lady owner of SeaShell. The final outcome was that the guys doing their openwater were refunded 3000 Baht each. We don't know what was said or done but we accepted the refund gladly.
This isn't a warning not to stay at Sea Shell as many others have had an enjoyable stay. It is simply an accurate account of our experience. We have now made 6 trips to Koh Tao and continue to return but would not stay at sea shell again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Seashell Resort Koh Tao is centrally located in the popular resort area, within easy walk to markets, shops,beach bar, restaurants and Sairee famous beach.The resort is styled around a garden landscaped and swimming pool, with PADI dive center and a spa area. An additional bar and modern restaurant is located on the beach serve Thai Food ,European Food and Seafood ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Agoda, Ctrip TA, Booking.com, TripOnline SA, Expedia, Hotels.com, Cancelon, HotelsClick, Ebookers and 5viajes2012 S.L. so you can book your Seashell Resort Koh Tao reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Sea Shell Hotel Koh Phangan