My Husband and I were in Haad Tien for the end of our honeymoon for a week after a crazy week in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Bangkok. Needless to say we were looking forward to a week of luxury and relaxation. We definitely received the latter, but the luxury part....well we had to pay extra. I shall explain.
In my mind what makes something luxurious isn't necessarily having high end products and people kissing your feet...its the little details that add up....and they didn't add up here.
We had stayed in a Getaway villa....i cant remember what the room number was...but it was behind the pool and the last one on top. I believe being a little further away was nice. It was one of the Getaway villas with most privacy as no one really is walking by. Where as other villas even though you are closer to everything, if you keep your blinds open anyone walking by can see your business!
Now it was our honeymoon and in previous hotels (all 3 of them) had done SOMETHING for our honeymoon. Some extra flowers, fruit and a simple "happy honeymoon" were offered, however in Haad Tien we hadn't received anything. It was disappointing. It doesn't cost a thing to stick a flower in a room and a little note happy honeymoon. After my husband ran into the manager the 3rd day we were greeted in our room by a bottle of white wine. Much appreciated!
So the room itself. Very beautiful, very clean, gorgeous view. Loved the outdoor space of a deck with a place to lay and cushions. However there wasn't a single place to hang your wet bathing suits, towels,etc... (again detail) So we sacrificed our luggage rack to use for exactly that. Speaking of luggage, we had to "live out of our luggage" because there's truly no place to put your clothes. No drawers, no Shelves, just a small "closet" that is very short, so if you hang a short dress it will touch the bottom. The lighting of the room is very romantic...aka dim lighting with no option in the bathroom for better lighting to see yourself better. No full length mirror either. They give you robes but nowhere to hang it. Not a single hook in the room. The closet is too short, sooooo what do you do with it? And lastly as someone else mentioned, there isnt a single chair in the room. We did ask for one and they did bring one. Again...details! All these stupid things add up. Did it ruin my honeymoon?? absolutely not! However you just see such a gorgeous place and these things start to bother you making your potential amazing experience into just a nice one.
The beach is gorgeous. I personally barely heard the construction, didnt bother me a bit. But then again Im from NYC and I can easily drown out white noise like that. Obviously the further left (looking at the water) you go the less noise you hear. But most of the resort is to the left anyway. Id say only an unlucky 4 or 5 villas can be remotely affected by the construction and they are the beach villas. Other than that, no need to worry about it. not to mention they dont seem to be remotely almost finished! But to finish my thought of the beach...yes reef shoes/water shoes Id say help a great deal as I indeed cut my self walking in the water. Snorkeling is OK...nothing GREAT but not terrible either. All this being said....Koh Tao is a very rocky island...and from what Ive seen there arent many beaches per say. Sairee beach is tiny. and high tide practically wipes it away. So is it the best beach on the island.....probably. Everything else is small. So that being said, yes people from other parts of the island do come to the beach there. But no it isnt heards of people. No its not obnoxious twenty somethings...its just fine!
The service....oh the service. Before I go on...I think in general service in Koh Tao is VERY laid back. So what Im about to say im not sure if its a "koh tao" way of being, or a Haad Tien problem. But as other people stated, its a HUGE lack of organization and communication. People are nice that work there. BUT, as i said to my husband one morning..."wow Thai people are so incredibly kind and cordial...but the few that aren't seem to all work in the restaurant here"! Our first night we dined at the restaurant as we were exhausted and didnt want to venture out. They seemed overwhelmed and took two to figure out where to put us as it was busy. when we finally sat down it took a pretty long time to attend us...it took a long time for everything and there just wasnt anything pleasant to say about that night. The food was good for sure! Not mind blowing but good and fresh. We never ate dinner there again in the 7 nights we were there. Now, the management needs to think....if we make their dining experience a unique/special one our guests will spend more money here and stay as opposed to going out. Right?!? Call me crazy! Because there were more than one night that we would of loved to stay in, but didnt cause we know we wanted a nice dinner.
We did have lunch there a few times because you dont have too much of an option. Again, food was good, service....put it this way it took 45 minutes for one club sandwich one day. And since their english is limited there was no explanation. I understand s**t happens, an order forgotten, or something, but it just adds to the list of "things to improve on"!
So full circle to have to pay for your luxury...well the last night we paid for an upgrade for the pool villa! My husband surprised me actually and Fernando (current spanish intern) help him pull it off. It was STUNNING!!! completely hidden away, private pool is just amazing! We ordered room service the last night in order to take full advantage of the place. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!! The room had better lighting and An actual door for the bathroom. And when we walked in there was your traditional towel swans on the bed full of flowers in a shape of a heart. So the treatment that we expected from the first day we received after we paid more. Hmmmmm!
The 3 places in Koh Tao where we received service that was more cordial and professional in European/American standards were run by Europeans. So what does this tell me? Those people properly trained their staff. And makes their restaurants from good to Great!! A lesson that Haad Tien needs to learn.
All in all did I like Haad Tien? Of course!!! Was i in Love? mmmm almost! You cant deny its natural beauty. I just wish that management just takes an extra step...just a little one and as I said before it can make this nice hotel to an amazing one!
If you are alone (meaning just a couple) make friends! We did and split a boat ride around the island. I think it cost 3,500 Baht for the first 2 people then 500 each person after that. We were 6. So a total of 5,500 ($175 or 132 Euro) for a private tour around the island where the captain would stop in AMAZING AMAZING snorkel spots! I believe we spent a good 6 hours total...maybe 7! TOTALLY WORTH IT! Yes its cheaper to go to Maad Haed and get a boat there...but in the morning you have to pay for a taxi...and back...add that in and you are more or less at the same price getting it from the beach in Haad Tien! If you cant get anyone to come with you then maybe to save a little it is worth going into town.
Right next to Haad Tien there is Jamakiri spa and resort! Their Spa is AMAZING!!! its right up the very steep hill and worth going.
Up that same hill almost in front of Jamakiri theres a little sign saying Eagles point. GO! The view is breath taking. Its a little home. You can go a have a drink and/or eat something. You kind of feel that you are in these people home. We had traditional Pad Thai and it was awesome!! and super cheap!! And the view, priceless!
In town @ Sairee Beach we went to Barracuda (amazing fish), The Gallery (great thai fusion), Fizz (decent drinks right on the water/beach), Porto Bello (we needed a thai food break and we got pizza). We even went to a "lady boy" drag cabaret club. It was fun...not the best drag show to say the least...but fun none the less.
Diving! Yes there is diving at the hotel. I heard multiple things from it. Nothing terrible. BUT much more expensive. There they charged 1600 Baht per dive. I went to Pura Vida Diving in Maad Haed and for 1600 I got a very thorough refresher course, and a 2 tank dive!
Definitely let me know if you have any questions I have no problem helping out!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- HaadtienBeach Resort is a boutique destination set in a stunning backdrop of beachfront panoramas, featuring its own 380 metre secluded beach situated at the southern tip of Koh Tao. The property contains 70 private villas thoughtfully spaced amongst over 45 acres of land, which features a stunning natural bay, perfect for swimming and snorkeling. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Sawasdee, getaroom.com, Hotels.com, HotelsClick, Ebookers, Evoline ltd, 5viajes2012 S.L. and Cancelon so you can book your Haadtien Beach Resort 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:
- The Haad Tien Beach Hotel Koh Tao