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“Give it 12-18 months to get its act together”

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Haadtien Beach Resort
Ranked #15 of 50 Hotels in Koh Tao
Reviewed 8 June 2010

As we gave feedback at check-out, I will try not to be too harsh but I did just read the previous review which is consistent with our stay as well. There are a few things to mention.
-The hotel acknowledges that service is not to scratch, and for this as there is no service charge included in your stay, however this is a bit disappointing when you are paying enough for a 4+ star resort on Samui.
-There are communication issues with the resort and Jan. I emailed to say we were arriving on a different ferry and got a reply from Jan acknowledging this. When we arrived on the island the hotel rep said he’d been waiting at the wrong ferry and the staff member checking us in didn’t believe me when I said I’d emailed our change through.
-Although the resort runs along the entire length of beach, the beach is public, there is no where really secure to leave your belongings while you snorkel as the beach has a lot of visitors from the neighbouring resorts that have no beach access.
-We had some food (open, but sealed) in our luggage, and when we came back to our room after a swim, all of our belongings and the entire TV unit was swarming with ants. It was very distressing process removing all the ants from our belongings. We had the room sprayed while we were at dinner, but even so we still had ants the following day even though we’d made sure there was no food around. We hadn’t needed to worry at previous hotels so a notice or warning in the room would have avoided this. We also had a large spider on the ceiling, so some insect spray in the room would have been welcome.
-There are no bright lights in the bathroom, only one very high up, so it was very dim at night
Tips:
-The water is quite shallow for the first few metres out and full of coral, so if you are snorkelling it is a bit tricky to get out and a fair swim before you see fish. We saw some people take a kayak with gear which seemed like a good idea if you can tie it to one of the rope sections while you snorkel.
-The shuttle to larger towns is cheap and 3 times a day, however the resort only has one vehicle, so be ready 10 min before departure to guarantee yourself a spot as they just squash everyone on any way possible and I’m not sure what would happen if they really couldn’t fit everyone on the one transfer. Sairee Beach is lovely at night and has plenty of dining options.
-We did the whole day snorkel tour of the island, recommended by the reception staff, which was very good value.

I would not stay here again, the beach is beautiful, but the location makes it too isolated for the range of activities and food on ground. Food from the restaurant is definitely not the best in Thailand, and most certainly not cheap, and given ants in the room you can’t even buy your own snacks in town to eat.

Special mention to one of the staff, Moo, who was excellent in all aspects.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Skinnyflatwhite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mileslilliott, Manager at Haadtien Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 11 June 2010

The Management thank you for your comments regarding your stay in our Hideaway Villa.

1. We apologise for your inconvenience and confusion due to changed ferries at the ferry port pick up. Currently the local municipality is rebuilding the pier which illogically has two disembarking exit routes for passengers coming off the ferry. Once they have finished the construction work, we hope problem will have disappeared.

2. Public/private beach - In Thailand all beaches (actual sand) are public property. As such we are not able to comprehensively prevent non-resort guests access to the beach. At haadtien the land behind the beach however is indeed private property giving us control of access. The haadtien beach resort has 24hr security manning both access gates as well as hourly inspections of the property. Even with this vigilence, we discourage guests leaving personal items unattended at anytime anywhere in the property. The Beach Bar is available for guests to leave their belongings (but not valuables). We recommend guests leave all valuables in the safes provided in all rooms at the resort.

3. Thailand, being a tropical country, does have it's fair share of ants, spiders, geckos, snakes and the like. The haadtien beach resort is set against a backdrop of thick jungle so there are alot of creepy crawlies. We apologise for the incident with the ants but once they sense there's food, particularly sweets, it is then very very hard to deter them. Due to the strong chemicals contained in insect sprays and mosquito repellents we do not keep them in the villas. They are available upon guest request at the reception, Insea Bar & Grill as well as the Beach Bar.

4. Shallowness of the sea water. The shallowness is due to the changing tides, ebbing and flowing at different times of the day. Depending on the time of the month or the seasons during the year there will be shallow periods during the day and deep periods during the night and vice versa. The resort does offer complimentary use of kayaks to our guests.

5. The resort does offer complimentary pick-ups/drop offs to the ferry/town 4 times a day during this low season. We will also increase the frequency during the high season. We have currently four 4x4 vehicles - one for maintenance work and 2 to service guests. We will be increasing the number of vehicles during the high/peak season.

6. The Management takes note that you have found the food in the restaurant disappointing. We will re-evaluate the menu and will be increasing more variety.

7. The haadtien beach resort is a tranquil, peaceful, and has one of the lowest density of villa vs land size on the whole island (currently 30 villas in 45 acres of land and 350m beach frontage). We are sorry that your expectations in this regard is not aligned to our property.

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Reviewed 3 June 2010

this give me the occasion to give a lot of praise to the haad tien resort on Koh Tao
i spend six days in a beach front bungalow and the praise gos to this sort of accomodation
First of all being my self a designer I appreciated the “blend in architecture” and the use of quality building material as well the choice of the accessory from sanitary fittings and top quality furniture to the beach equipment; as well the restaurant lay out.
But what I liked most was the staff, the effort of training local people
gives it a family atmosphere with their kindness to be pleasant and helpful with enthusiasm. The eagerness’ to communicate in English and some even in they first attempt in French makes it easy to be at ease and have a relaxing stay.
Therefore in my modest possibilities I will recommend the premises and
I will not hesitate to promote them on site that gives travel advice.
. The beach location is also a must as it shallow waters gives for
not at ease swimmers the possibilities of snorkeling and more adventures snorkel and divers to spot plenty of coral and fish and sometimes some little black tip sharks.

PS a little suggestion: Pls improve the privacy of the toilets, they are quite intimidating!!

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled solo
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4  Thank everendt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 May 2010

We had a bad feeling when we were picked up and drove along a dirt road to a secluded hard to get to part of the island. The rooms were nothing like they appeared on the website. Room was a tiny hut, looked old, fan was set up so it constantly banged the ceiling, bathroom door was broken, and shower was a disaster. There was a letter in the room saying to forgive them for hiccups in the service as they are new but being that it was six months old the hiccups were hard to overlook. Staff was relatively unfriendly and unhelpful (with the exception of their night manager who was very helpful and the only person worthy of being kept on staff). When we asked for a taxi it seemed like we were asking for a huge favour. They also charged us a huge amount for their hotel truck to take us anywhere (which served as the taxi as no other taxis came there). Breakfast was unimpressive at best and when we got to the main part of the island and realised how much we were paying to stay where we were we felt really ripped off. The last night we were there the hotel truck that was supposed to pick us up in town never arrived (the staff the next day was hardly apologetic that they stranded us as well as other hotel guests) we came back to find a spider the size of my palm in the bathroom. The only bright spot of the hotel was the manager that night who moved us to a nicer room when he was unable to kill the massive spider. This place I think will be closed in the near future if it does not pick up its game.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled with friends
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5  Thank Alihig77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2010

We traveled to Koh Tao in February.
We had discovered Haad Tien ahead of our trip to Thailand online and loosely arranged to stay there. Upon arrival literally every one of the staff (and they have a lot) was so extremely helpful and keen to learn it was marvelous. They left you alone if you wanted to but were absolutely buzzing if you needed something. They arranged a hotel for Koh Samui's north, which we were extremely thankful for, as we discovered Koh Samuis north can be avoided but the hotel was excellent. They asked how we liked everything, even the croissants in the morning, cause they could arrange using a different bakery if we wanted to (which wasnt necessary cause they were gorgeous). And about the 9pm car back - Koh Tao isnt really a going out place anyway, but we could have arranged pick up anytime.

Plus, there is no reason to eat anywhere else: THE FOOD IS FANTASTIC! Easily the best we've had in any hotel in Thailand. Fantastic drinks and the food from the grill was great too (BIG portions). And the seats/ loungy couchy benches were comfy. The view at night is so beautiful and on the way back to the villas along the beach we even saw glowing shrimp.

We were in a Hideaway villa which was a great space. One thing you gotta be careful with is having the light on in the bathroom at night and the jalousie down - people can still see inside.

The pool wasnt ready yet when we were there but it was hardly needed.
One annoying thing was that the complementary snorkeling kits were quickly taken each day. There were some topless European tourists, which is a bit strange to do in Thailand but it shows the tranquility of the place.

I am usually not easily please but this place is truly lovely. I would definitely return but maybe reserve this time cause I am sure everyone will want to stay there.

Next time it's a Beach villa.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Hartfiel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2010

i friend of mine metioned koh tao, and said you must visit. so off we go having already been, bangkok, samui and phangan.

we did ask some people in samui have you been to koh tao. but not many people had herd of it.

koh tao, means turtle island. the place is much smaller than samui. it takes about 3/4 hours from samui on the ferry.

The Haad Tien Beach Resort is located on shark bay. in the southern part of the island. this is in the top 3 beaches in koh tao, along with mango bay. this resort is very back to nature. we treated ourselves to a cast away villa. room number 213. right at the end of the beach. it was amazing. i loved having a beer at 6pm whilst the sun was fading and the sea was lapping up the sand. the beach is private, and this makes for a truley relaxing stay.

it is a bit out from the port, and sarie beach. but they do provide daily shuttles, and a taxi is like £4. it takes 10 mins...but this is in the back of a pick up truck. its pretty crazy. but good fun.
i would wake up in the morning and swim no more than 100m from the beach, i saw. 5ft long black tip reef sharks, turtles and so many other fish. one guy saw a 10m whale shark. all this on your doorstep. the food in the resort is amazing. the king praws are 6 inches long and sooo fat. we love sea food. so this place is great. the staff are lovely. big mention to mo. great guy who helps with your bags etc.

you must go lotus bar. loads of young sexy people having a good time from all over the world. age range from 17-35. im 28 and had great times partying with everyone.

you do get the od, cockcroach and things, but you really are one with nature at this place.so if your a wimp you may not like it..

key points -
one of the best beaches to stay
very private and chilled
amazing food.
koh tao has great nightlife. go lotus bar, its crazy every night at sarie beach
10 mins to port or 12 mins to sariee beach
you will encouter nature
the staff leave you to yourself
you dont have to dive to see the fish/sharks. you can snorkle and see a lot of fish from the resorts beach.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank japes02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2010

The pictures on their website are a little deceiving but not so much. The property is as pretty as it looks on the website but a few things can be disappointing. We stayed in both the Beach Villas as well as the Hideaways. The beach villas are no doubt the best but I would not recommend the hideaways, as some of them are too far inside the property and quite a walk from the public places like the restaurant, reception and the beach, and with no club cars and no phones in the rooms its quite a task if u need something in ur room.

The access to the hotel itself was troublesome when we visited as the approach road to the property is in the disputed land and the hotel jeeps r not allowed to pass through, So u end up changing from one jeep to another every time u leave the hotel to go to town and when u come back as-well.

The hotel is awesome and the villas a real treat. The waiters in the restaurant r very friendly. Only if u can ignore these minor temporary issues its a great hotel to live on Koh Tao.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank parag_331
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 April 2010

When you look at this hotel you think it will be absolutely amazing - and to be fair the views you have of the beach are lovely. However, there are too many issues with the hotel which let it down.

The service from the staff is ok, but not great. They weren't particularly helpful in arranging for us to go out around the town at times when their own taxis weren't running - and that is very annoying that the last taxi they have coming back to the hotel is at 9pm, which is extremely early! it's not difficult at all to get a taxi back to the hotel, but it would be nice is they had a later service running.

The restaurant food was not very good from what we had off the menu. They're spring rolls are lovely, but I had their rice with praws (very bland) and my friend had the phad thai (also bland), as was the pasta! However, apparently their fish and chips is excellent. The breakfasts were very nice, but they had run out of a lot of things when we came down quite late for breakfast one day.

The location of the hotel is good, in that it's not far from Mae Head Village (about a 5 minute taxi ride). Walking out of the hotel is a pain though, because it's all the way along a very long and hilly narrow road. We didn't attempt to walk to and from the hotel because it just looked like too much hassle, and would have been very difficult in the dark. To Sairee village it's about about 5/10 minute drive, so not far at all. These are the two main town areas where you find restaurants etc. We went to a brilliant pizza place in mae head called frangos pizzeria, and just before the castle bar on the right there is a thai restaurant (tukta thai) which had lovely authentic food).

The villa we had was a beach facing villa, which had a lovely view. The villa itself was nicely done, had a flat screen tv and dvd player. The bathroom is part of the villa, and it's a bit odd that there's no door on the toilet but a curtain, and there's a glass door for the shower. If you're a couple I'm sure none of this is a problem, but as friends travelling together it was pretty amusing, although we found them quite odd features of the room. There's also no telephone, which is the most annoying thing because you have to walk all the way back to reception if you ever want to ask something. Our villa was far along the beach so walking back and forth to reception is not fun, especially at night. They had set up a spare bed for us as there were 3 of us in the villa - however the mattress on this bed was incredibly thin and not comfortable at all, so I ended up sleeping on the sofa at the foot of the bed (which was very comfortable). This wasn't a problem for me as I'm quite petite, but a taller person would have had issues!

All in all the place was ok, and maybe better suited to people who just wanted to stay on that beach and relax in the resort for their holiday. If you want to get out and about and do things around koh tao, it's too much of a hassle and definitely not worth the money.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with friends
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2  Thank farif1567
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mileslilliott, co owner at Haadtien Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 20 April 2010

I am sorry to hear that your experience at our resort was not up to the high standards we try to maintain. We are a family owned and run resort and pride ourselves on our service level, so I am disappointed that you found this to be only "OK". Having only opened in January of this year and having made a conscious decision to try to employ the local island inhabitants, we would be the first to admit the service level is not yet 5 star, but are working hard with our staff to try to address this issue and teach them the skills needed to serve the needs of our customers.
As for the location, it is remote in terms of walking to town and taxi's are needed, as for the last hotel service at 9.00, this was again a conscious decision as it is really meant to be the last drop off at 9.00pm. The hotel only has two pick up trucks suitable for the transport of guests, we were concerned that if we had a 11.30 collection, this would obviously be very popular with guests, but would nearly always result in the majority of guests being disappointed that they could not fit into the vehicles, which in turn would lead to a variety of problems.
Finally with respect to your point on the lack of in room communication. We were hoping to have this in place for launch, but unfortunately it has been far more difficult than we thought to get the fibre optic cables for the system and there fitters onto the island and installed. We do however have a commitment from the company to have all cables and in room telephones in place for the end of May. This will also mean the "wifi" and internet access which is currently only available at reception or several hot spots in the resort, being expanded to cover the entire resort.

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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
#3 Family Hotel in Koh Tao
#4 Luxury Hotel in Koh Tao
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Koh Tao
Price Range: £76 - £187 (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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