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“Gorgeous location, food...pretty good...the rest...meh”

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Haadtien Beach Resort
Ranked #14 of 50 Hotels in Koh Tao
Reviewed 23 August 2013

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!

TIPS:
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!

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank dancingvix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DGC_9, Manager at Haadtien Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 29 August 2013

dear Both,

Thank you for a wonderful review, and choosing to stay with us at the haad tien. your directness is well apreciated and the points you have given in regards to the gateway Villas, have been well noted as i ahve noted form a previous geust with similar feedback and constructive feedback.
these details are with the designers.
in regards to the heonymoons et up having gone back and ched we did not have any information, though our apologies there and i was delighted to have discussed the matter, we try to ensure all guest are greeted if there is a special occassion.
service wise this is well noted and a new program is being prepared to tackle this, not just a koh Tao this is a haad tien problems we have to tackle.
all your points are well noted and yes a plan is underway of course things will take time, and improvments must be made.

Thank you , hope tow elcoem you back to haad tien in the enar future!

Best regards the staff & Managemnt

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Reviewed 21 August 2013

This hotel is situated in a post card setting with coconut palms,thatched roof villas, extensive lawns and sandy beach but sadly the hotel did not measure up to its star rating. Our villa was not equipped with any seating other than the bed,however two chairs were borrowed from the dining area following our request for chairs. The breakfast buffet was acceptable however the standard of the other dining options was less than desirable.The menu was unchanged during our five nights and many meals were not true to menu description. The recently appointed dining manager agreed with these problems but blamed the shortcomings on the kitchen staff and did not assume any responsibility. Only two members of the management team appeared to make an effort to make our stay enjoyable.Pure at reception was very switched on and definitely went the extra mile every time he had the chance? The beach bar team did try valiantly to do their best. The half day snorkelling boat trip around the island was very good but the lunch sandwiches were very disappointing. Very relaxing,very pretty but sadly we cannot give it a rave review.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Rik A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DGC_9, Manager at Haadtien Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 23 August 2013

Dear Both,

Many thanks for the review and openess on your feedback.
certain villa has folding chairs such as the hideaways, if you stayed at the gateways there is an outdoor sala for relaxation thefore no need for chairs, most villas have their relaxation sala and the concpet was conceived as such.

menus wont change every day, we are a 4 star resort and not a city hotel with internationally aclaimed chefs who change daily, though our seafood selection has a great variety every night and all our guest love fresh seafood.
chef will change his menus every 6 months, sad to hear that its the fault of the kitchen, i belive one dish you refered to was the vietnamese wrap, vietnamese food use a lot of celery though not on the menu description apologies here, though talking to the Internship Trainee said you liked celery.
thank you for the direct feedback very much apreciated.

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Reviewed 16 August 2013

My partner and I stayed in HaadTien for 10 days after spending the same amount of time at Santhiya on Koh Phangan. It isn't fair to compare but I think being at Santhiya did influence my experience at HaadTien. First of all, I will say that the lay out of Haad Tien is amazing, and I loved the look of the place even more than Santhiya which is built into a jungle hillside. Haad Tien is open and you walk under palm tree covered lawns by the infinity pool and along the beach...nothing short of gorgeous. Every day we laid out on the beach under these smaller shade trees covered in butterflies...was almost like something out of a dream. The water was relatively clear and there was a wide variety of fish to see while snorkelling although a lot of the coral was indeed dead or damaged, not sure why. The rooms are a bit basic, but clean and sufficient, and we had a getaway villa just behind the pool which gave us a good view. A few comments about the room. There is an outdoor space with pillows and a canopy but we were there during the rainy season which meant the staff frequently had to rush around and cover the seating area to protect from the rain. It would be helpful to have a few chairs under a truly protected porch to be able to sit and enjoy the tropical rain when it does occur. When the rain was finished, they often weren't as quick to come and remove the cover so you could sit outside...or you had to take care of it yourself. I'm certainly not above doing that, but for the prices you pay, you shouldn't have to do this. There were also no chairs or sitting area in the room so if you are inside you only have the bed to sit on...again, just a bit more comfort or amenities would have been welcome. We ate lunch daily at the beach bar which we were all very satisfied with...good drinks and food (one of my favorite lunches was fried fish with green mango salsa...amazing). the staff at this bar were friendly and helpful. As you walk around the resort however, a lot of staff would never make eye contact, greet you or acknowledge you...it was odd really especially after spending 10 days in a resort where they went almost to the other extreme. Maybe it was a language issue, but I think just a quick hello or good morning is a pleasant thing. The breakfast buffet was good....not great, but fine and it is true what other people say...the service is lacking. Just to get a cup of coffee could take 10 minutes which is unfortunate also because the dining area was not that big...there does seem to a greater need of training and organisation for the employees. The bus into town was a nice arrangement and we generally took this around 6pm and then would share a taxi home with our friends who were also staying here with us and that worked out very well. There are a lot of nice restaurants near the harbour and along the main beach there, 10 minutes away so you should experience that. All in all, we very much enjoyed our stay here but as you can see, there are some issues to be addressed. It is true that the construction was still going on during our stay even though the resort had hoped it would be done by July. We couldn't hear it in our rooms, but you could hear it during the day laying on the beach....maybe it will end soon. We had initially thought we had booked a hideaway beach front villa but discovered this was not the case when confirming our visit a few weeks before departure (we had reserved on a Dutch site and the translation of the room types was confusing). To be fair, the beach front villas look really wonderful...but the difference in price made it prohibitive for us to think about changing.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank ShaneGriffin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DGC_9, Manager at Haadtien Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 23 August 2013

Dear Both,

Thank you for your review, your reviw is apreciated and a comparison aganist Santhiya is hard to comapre with their traditional Thai design.
our concept was meant to be an open landscape inside a coconut grove nestled agisnt the beach.
agree in regards to the coral as i have explained many times, it is a shame though we will work with Bio rock to re populate the reef, hard to expalin to people not to waer finns over a coral reef.

July is not meant to be a rainy season and considered a summer, though we have had soem storms all over asia. we will consider the point to make the canopy more all year round this is not the first one.
point taken we were not fast enough to remove the covers, this point has been discussed with the relevant team.
the fried fish with green mango has been a favoruite of many guests at the beach bar, does taste good.
for our staff we have a combination of Thai adn Burmese those with little English would not say hello etc , a plan is in palce to bring in an English teacher to help give them confidence.

Breakfast service agree with you and others a point we are trying to rectify with more qualifed staff.
thank you all for staying with us and hopefull we are able to entice you back in the near future.

Best regards, the staff & Managment

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Reviewed 16 August 2013

Though a bit pricy,its the place to be while in koh tau. koh tau is the best of three islands - and while there this is where you should stay. The restaurant is lovely. The pool is amazing and if not for the construction works on its northern edge (seems like building a new resort there) - the beach is one of the most amazing you might find. While in Koh tau dont miss on the lovely village not so far away named sairee. Lovely shops and great resaurants

Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
Thank Avner C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DGC_9, Manager at Haadtien Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 19 August 2013

Dear Both,

Thank you for a wonderful review and feedback, once the construction is over the resort and the location will be back to its pristine self, though we take very good care of the beach daily.

Best regards, the staff and Managment

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Reviewed 12 August 2013 via mobile

Recent reviews share the same theme that this hotel, which rates itself as five star and prices accordingly, is over-priced and I would have to agree with that assessment. There are no true five star hotels on & Koh Tao so far as I can tell and Haad Tien takes advantage of the clear demand for luxury but its in danger of leaving guests under-whelmed and feeling as if they didn't get great value if they charge such high prices...much better value is available on nearby islands if you desire real luxury from a hotel.
What you do get is a great location with a terrific beach from which to snorkel from. Yes that means having to share with some day trippers using the same great facility but to us that didn't matter too much.....there was enough space. Perhaps reading some of the verbiage on the hotel's website you might be mistaken for thinking its serene and tranquil; the nearby building works are testament to the fact that its not! The hotel management are still pedalling the story that the building site is nothing to do with them; this is simply not the case as its evident to anyone looking that a new block will open under haad tien's stewardship very soon. To be fair the noise during our stay was minimal but I thinks it's naughty that the hotel didn't make any considerations for the works and are denying its of their own doing.
The food at the resort we did find to be hit and miss; mostly it's of a decent standard and priced reasonably but in truth the buzz of eating in town (try FIzz bar in Sairee) was more enticing and the free transfer into town each eve was a welcome offering from the hotel.
In summary I would give this a better rating if it was rated and priced as four star and not five. If I came back to Tao I would probably stay nearby at somewhere half the price and use the beach......N Joi!

  • Stayed: August 2013
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3  Thank Groovytime
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DGC_9, Manager at Haadtien Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 16 August 2013

Dear Both,

Many thanks for your review, and your direct feedback much apreciated, we do have a great location and a top end beach that is not private we maintain the beach.
the resort next door will not be under haad tien though called the Beach club and a totaly separate run operation fully indipendant.
we are a 4 star resort for sure and are not rated as a five a few people have taken this into consideration.

thank you both for staying with us.

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Reviewed 11 August 2013

We stayed at the Haad TIen Beach Resort for 4 nights in July 2013. We stayed in room 528 with own private pool. The room and the sourroundings of the hotel were absolutely beatifull, bounty and magical! We highly recommend it for a few days get-away.
Only down side was that the hotel does not provide twin beds. Twin beds would have made our stay (sleep) perfect!

Room Tip: Room 528 with your own private pool and beatufull view, partly over the sea.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Vibekefs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DGC_9, Manager at Haadtien Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 16 August 2013

Dear Both,

Many thanks for your wonderful review and feedback, the pool villas do offer a great location to hide for a day or two then walk down to the beach, noted for the twin beds though all rooms are queen size beds.
thank you both ocne again.

Best regards,

thge staff and mangment

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Reviewed 11 August 2013

We have read the good and really awful reviews of Haad Tien - this is our take on the place.

We stayed at the Haad Tien Beach Resort for six days early August 2013. Overall we had a really good time, but here are a few noteworthy comments:

Building Works
There is a major building project ongoing behind the main restaurant; the building manager informed us it is nothing to do with the main hotel - however it is very close and in a similar style......(watch the marketing brochures moving forwards). Although there was some noise, the main structural work has been completed, and to be fair, when by the swimming pool you could not hear anything. Our villa was very close to the restaurant and it did not disturb us. I would have thought the works will be finished by the end of October 2013.

Food
Generally ok. The restaurant is better than beach bar (for the kids - pizza was very good).

Service
The people were very friendly, overall the service was quite good (4*). We had a couple of issues, the manager was a bit defensive to start off with but then very helpful. The waiting staff aren't fluent in English (but not a problem for me).

Evening
The resort is very quiet with not much to do but have dinner and go to bed (all closes about 10.30pm), there is a courtesy bus every evening (6.45pm) to Sairee Beach - really worth going to, good shops and great restaurants (return taxi is about 400 Bts whether you are a group of 1 or 10 people).

House Reef
The house reef is very good (the bay is known as "Shark Bay") but it is difficult to get to out when the tide is low (over the coral) - you will need to hire a canoe (250 bts).

Take your own snorkelling gear - good gear is very expensive on the island - reef shoes are a must.

Boat Trips & Diving

Definitely take a trip around the island (which will actually be the south, east and north sides due to the prevailing westerly winds) - excellent snorkelling sites. The boat from the hotel is about 30% more than you can negotiate in town (Mae Haad) - however the hotel boats are generally moored at the hotel so you will not be let down.

The diving at the hotel is much more expensive than can be negotiated in Mae Haad but you do travel in smaller groups (and the diving is closer to the hotel than Mae Haad).

Summary
Resort has a nice beach and is quiet, it is priced at 5* rates but is a 4* at best. We liked Koh Toa and this is probably the best resort there (at the moment) - would we go there again? Yes

Room Tip: Until the building works are finished (I would have thought the end of October 2013) you probably wa...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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5  Thank WhenMylesandI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DGC_9, Manager at Haadtien Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 16 August 2013

Dear all,

many thanks for the review and your great feedback and comments.
the resort next door will be a totaly indipendantly run resort with its own pool, restaurant, spa and dive centre, well worth waitng for the brochures to come out will offer a different feel to the haad tien.
your coments are well noted and we do have some avenues we will need to adjust and change as we go along, our boat trips around the islanbd as you mentioned may be above the mae haad price though we offer a safer trip and provide food in the price.
Dive shop offers a high price due to a more personalised servcie to a limited number of guest compared to the large dive shops who offer lower rates with a lot more divers safety is essential.
its nice to venture out at night to mae haad or saree in the evenings as there is a lot to see and dine out there also.
we are a 4 star only, this is where we need to achive our standards as we develop.
thank you all again and we hope to welcome you back in the near future.

Best regards, the staff and Managment

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Additional Information about Haadtien Beach Resort

Address: 19/9 Moo 3, Koh Tao 84360, Thailand
Phone Number:
Region: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Koh Tao
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Koh Tao
#4 Luxury Hotel in Koh Tao
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Koh Tao
Price Range: £65 - £241 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Haadtien Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 70
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 
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Also Known As:
The Haad Tien Beach Hotel Koh Tao

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