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“Full of Character, Amazing beach & Wonderful staff”

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Haadtien Beach Resort
Ranked #15 of 49 Hotels in Koh Tao
Melbourne, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Full of Character, Amazing beach & Wonderful staff”
Reviewed 6 July 2010

After reading all the reports and looking over all the pictures (on here and the website), I was becoming very concerned my expectations would be too high and be let down when we arrived. I could not be more wrong.

We were picked up from the pier, which is crazy. There are people and taxi's everywhere and the pier is made from 100 different types of timber and even tree branches. The hotel is 15 min ride (in a ute), along a mostly concrete road. There are parts closer to the hotel that are dirt and uneven and very very (extremely) bumpy. At times you need to duck as leaves brush over head.

At first it was a little scary but then we noticed how much care the driver was taking and it became fun :) We arrived at the hotel and were greeted by the resort manager and friendly reception staff and shown to our room.

The walk to our room was surreal. There are palm trees everywhere and the villas were spaced enough to give privacy but not to feel isolated. We stayed in the hideaway villa and we were lucky enough to get room 112. It had a beautiful views and you could see the sea through the trees.

The room was devine. It was simple yet elegant and had a very natural feel. The bed was comfortable and the pillows were bliss! The room had a TV (with 50+ channels), DVD player, fridge safe etc. Power points were a little difficult to find but after having a look there were plenty. We were also able to pick up the free Wi-Fi in our room.

The bathroom was great but we had a little difficulty with the drain in the shower. There aren't many lights in the villa but it creates a very warm/romantic atmosphere.

The beach is amazing and although you can't do much swimming there is a lot of snorkeling at either end of the beach. It was great fun to explore and we got some stunning photos.

The restaurant was our favorite out of all the ones we visited. The quality of food is fantastic and the staff/service was unbelievable. They were extremely attentive and so genuinely friendly it really made us feel at home. Everyone greeted us by our first names which was a great personal touch.

There were a couple of dogs running around the resort but they were obviously very well trained. They stayed away completely during dinner and did not approach us unless we called them over. Even when we were walking around the resort hey would ignore us unless we called them.

There was a free taxi service that ran three times a day to town and once back to the resort in the evening. If we wanted to use the taxi outside the three times there was a charge of 150thb per person which we thought was reasonable. To get a taxi back from town cost 300THB.

The hotel does not have all the bells and whistles a big resort might but it makes up for it with character and service. I think if they tried it would take away from what this place is. The resort feels very private and so welcoming. It unique and wonderful... The staff were extremely friendly (and so genuine) and went out their way to make us feel at home. We loved it and look forward to soon.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with friends
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1 Thank anthony_001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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London, UK
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 June 2010

A genuine 'away from it all' retreat, highly recommended. Unlike many bays on Koh Tao and neighbouring islands, Shark Bay is genuinely sheltered and secluded; crucially, Haad Tien is pretty much the only resort in the bay - Rocky Resort adjoins, but feels separate and doesn't undermine the atmosphere (space, tranquility, seclusion); this is in stark contrast to other bays, where bungalow after bungalow, resort after resort, line the beach and back onto a commercial strip of bars, travel agents, Internet cafes and ATMs. The village and beach of Chalok Baan Kao are a good 30 min walk away on rough roads/ tracks and have all that you might need; there is also a thrice daily free shuttle to the pier at Mae Haad (incl an 1830 & 2130 service which work for dinner - try White Lightening for good drinks and a varied menu, on the beach by the pier) where there are many more shops and services. But there is little reason to leave the beautiful bay: the snorkling is good (hire kit there - kayaks too if you want); the cocktails at the bar are good; and the fresh fish/ seafood barbecues each evening are delicious. There is also free wifi in the bar/restaurant area.

Two downsides: the sea is too shallow for proper swimming really, and when we visited the pool had been conceived but constuction was yet to begin; there isn't a massive choice of vege food, and the Paad Thai was not one of the best we had (fresh fish and seafood great though).

  • Stayed July 2010
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank univ0754
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 June 2010

We have spend 4 nights in this resort. My husband was doing diving cource in the other place and we choose this resort so I could feel safe and enjoy time by myself.
+
* Stuff is very nice, friendly and helpful, I think the best we have experienced on our trip.
* A lot of space, very green, picture perfect
* Beach bar/restaurant, very nice view and comfortable sofa/seats
* Even the beach is not private, I was alone there from 8 am for couple of hours, so It was definetelly private for me :); kayaks available for rent and free sun chairs
* Best fruit shake I've tried!
* Free wi-fi in the restaurant and reception

-
* Beach is gorgeous, however the corals are quite close to the coast and it is impossible to swim unless you are a good swimmer. As there is no pool this is was the biggest disadvantage being on the beach, but not being able to enjoy it in full
* Somewhere on the back of the resort (where Hidaway villas are) there is energy generator and it starts to work in the evening and though the night, Its very annoying and you can almost feel the vibration. We have been moved 2 times, but in the end have been places in a quiter place.

Overal we had a brilliant time, however I think the resort desperatelly needs swimming pool, and with some constraction going on around, it feels bit overpriced as of now, but It worth for privacy you get. The road to the resort is really bumpy and its hard to get there, so hopefully it would be added as well.

It would be good for you if you like picture perfect place, privacy, excellent service, dont mind different creatures (like lizards and other bugs that can come to your room) and if swimming is not an issue.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank iren_iren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Birmingham, Alabama
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 June 2010

My husband and I traveled to Thailand on our honeymoon. Our first leg was on Koh Phangan - and Koh Tao was quite a nice departure from the more crowded larger island. The Lomprayah ferry takes you from Koh Phangan over to Koh Tao, where you're picked up and whisked away down some crazy streets and paths into the wilderness! Suddenly, you see the beautiful ocean and the very new and spacious Haad Tien resort. The welcome drinks and friendly staff made it seem like heaven after HOT midmorning travel! They continued to be very helpful and welcoming for the rest of our week long stay. DEFINITELY splurge on a Castaway Villa. We had villa 213, which was the second to the last one - meaning that we had tons of privacy and quiet. There was some construction going on, but it didn't bother us at all since we were off the beaten path a bit. The beach bar is great to hop to for a beer, and it is 1/2 way from where our villa was to the main restaurant.
We found Haad Tien so pleasurable that we didn't leave the resort except ONE time! It was just too peaceful and the people were such a joy to be around (the staff). Tum is the bartender at the beach bar, she's amazing! I would most definitely recommend Haad Tien to anyone traveling to Thailand. We were easygoing, and I believe that they responded well to us. We usually find that traveling can be very difficult - especially with the language barrier, but Haad Tien is working quite hard to train their staff well and it seems to be working!
Oh, there is no pool - but we traveled 19 hours to be in Thailand ON THE BEACH, so we didn't miss it! Some minor issues might have bothered us if we were high maintenance, but if people would just CHILL OUT and relax - you'll find this place as heavenly as we did, I'm sure!

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank PaigeBRobinson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
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 review, 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
paris
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank everendt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
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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Helpful?
5 Thank Alihig77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Haadtien Beach Resort

Property: Haadtien Beach Resort
Address: 19/9 Moo 3 (Shark Bay), 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 Family Hotel in Koh Tao
#3 Spa Hotel in Koh Tao
#4 Luxury Hotel in Koh Tao
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Koh Tao
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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