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“Average hostel, dirty bathrooms, super rude staff” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Koh Tao Backpackers Hostel

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Koh Tao Backpackers Hostel
Ranked #99 of 135 Speciality Lodging in Koh Tao
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“Average hostel, dirty bathrooms, super rude staff”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 December 2013

I stayed at Koh Tao backpackers for one week. I have to say if I wasn't diving every day and hardly ever at the hostel, I would not have liked staying here. The dorm room I stayed in was ok, but there was no window to open which with 8 people got very stinky and stuffy indeed. The aircon kind of helped, but as I had a bed directly underneath I got absolutely blasted with it and was waking up sick in the morning. So cold on one end of the room, but still stuffy at the other end according to the other guests. Also lighting was really bad at night which made it hard to study for my PADI exams (only one end of the room was lit - one light). No communal space to hang out, and no kitchen which can be annoying for backpackers looking to meet people. Bathrooms had a vile stench that smelled like a small animal had died. Not helped by the no shoe policy in the hostel, and you're walking around on gross dirty floors. Staff are really rude, not even due to communication barrier (their English is actually ok) but just really rude for rude's sake - I saw them plain yelling at guests (v unprofessional). Oh and they charge you for a top sheet or blanket here (by the night, so not just a one off payment). Does bedding not come with your bed for the night? Ridiculous! Same goes for towels. My recommendation is if you can get a bungalow and split the cost with your mate, it will be just as cheap (depending where you pick) and much more pleasant!

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Hithere255100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Phil D, Owner at Koh Tao Backpackers Hostel, responded to this review, 28 January 2014
We no longer charge for towels or blankets as this seemed to be the root of many complaints we received, I just assumed it would be fairer to not charge people who were backpacking with a towel and sleeping bag/blanket and only charge people for the laundry cost if they did rent these from us. I do apologise I was mistaken and so now we have just included these in the nightly rate for everyone, so it's no longer an issue.
Yes there is only the one larger fluorescent light in the dormitory, but this is actually pretty bright. If you were having trouble seeing your books in order to study then there is also the DJL Dive School bar almost opposite the hostel which we use as a common area as I'm the owner and it didn't really make sense to build a common room inside the hostel seeing as I own a swimming pool and bar restaurant less than 10m from the hostel, where of course you get discounted food when staying at the hostel. I'm surprised that you missed this as I would have thought that someone must have mentioned this when you were diving with DJL as of course this also gets you discounted accommodation at the hostel or FREE accommodation with dive courses. Sorry no kitchen at the hostel as I say I own a restaurant over the road and as we are in Thailand even here on this tropical island you can get a meal for 60 baht or something from 7-11 for even less.
We do use Bio Aid in the toilets and showers which I know has a bit of an odd odor smelling not the best but we use it as this breaks down the waste in an environmentally friendly way instead of using bleach and other chemicals as many resorts do which has resulted in the damage you probably saw on Sairee reef.
You say the staff where yelling at customers, occasionally this is required with the the ones that completely ignore what you are telling them and do completely the opposite (most often late at night when they are very drunk returning from the pub crawl or beach bars), in general though the staff are nice and pleasant providing the customer isn't causing problems. Basically treat people how you would like to be treated yourself.

I am a little confused though if the conditions and experience at the hostel we so terrible as you have put in your review then why the heck didn't you just mention something at the dive school to change your accommodation to one of the other free options that come with the diving courses like one of the private fan rooms that we have at the dive school?????
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108 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 November 2013 via mobile

Stayed for 2 nights in a 4 bed dorm room which was clean enough and had lockers and air con plus a fan. Shower and toilet area constantly had a vile stench in the air but Were not the dirtiest you will find I'm sure, staff helpful and friendly enough, were given sheet and pillow case but had to pay per night for a blanket. Worst part about it was the pillow which I can only describe as a bag of gravel (and that's being kind) overall it's in a good location and does what you need it too for the price!

Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Tom W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yangon
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 September 2013

I was travelling solo in August and wanted to find a hostel to stay. it is very close to the pier and the beach. It's also more quiet than the main beach, which I prefer. The hostel is still new, so it is clean. Perfect for backpacker.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Janice C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 September 2013

This place was in the perfect spot with a bit more care it coild be lovely and if your not a full blown backpacker then imwould stay clear the air cone worked bit didnt reach past half way so one side of the room was freezing the other side boiling. You got given a sheet and a pillow case but had to pay for a blanket and the bed has a very noisy and hard plastic cover on it so every move anyone made in bed woke the other people. The bathrooms were a disgrace with no water pressure bad drains so you had to stand in other peoples dirty water. Such a sad thing as the island is one of the most beautiful places we went and if we had not allready arranged our stay in koh samui we would probably have stayed longer just in different acomadation. Did meet some lovely people there and the DJL bar across the way is brilliant with the pool side bar and full english fry up

Stayed September 2013
Helpful?
Thank Tegzdv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 September 2013

A group of 4 of us stayed here, initially planning just to spend three nights. When we arrived the lady who checked us in was lovely and super helpful. We were trying to find a ferry over to Koh Pagnan for full moon party so she suggested a number of places we could go to check for ferry spaces and tickets etc. We ended up extending out stay, so she shuffled new arrivals around into other dorms so that the 4 of us could stay where we were. We left our stuff at the hostel the night we were away for full moon party and when we arrived back late the next afternoon she was so pleased to see us and said she'd been worried because we were so late back...the staff couldn't have been more helpful or more kind. Showers were cleaned regularly, and despite there only being a few of them I never had to wait longer than 10 minutes for a shower. And yes, you're asked to take your shoes off when you arrive, but that helps try to keep the sand out and is common in loads of places all over Thailand...and they were never stolen or anything, so I can't see any reason to complain

It isn't 5 star accommodation, but as a backpacker it was perfect, and much nicer than lots of the other places we stayed in.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank HappyBackpacker1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Almere, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 August 2013

As a backpacker, this is a fine place to stay. Ofcourse, there are betters, like bans avenue for example, but this place is just 20 meters away from the party.

That means less noise and less annoying drunk brits, yet still in the party.

You also pay less here than at bans avenue. Squeeky beds, but apart from that a good place. Only downside is the aircon is really cold and the showers are outside of the room. Also, staying here got me 10% discount on fun dives with Davy Jones Locker. which I enjoyed a lot! Recommended by a backpacker!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Guido1010101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Phil D, Owner at Koh Tao Backpackers Hostel, responded to this review, 6 August 2013
Hey thanks for the positive review, with the AC we do leave the remote in the room so that customers can adjust the temperature themselves.
Which can mean that you'll get someone in the room who'll turn the AC right down to the lowest setting which is great if you have just walked in from outside, but if you leave the temp setting as low as possible when you go to sleep it really does get cold during the night. We recommend setting the temperature to about 23-24 degrees Celsius for sleeping.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
27 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 July 2013

I can't remember how much we paid for our rooms, but I do remember that it definitely wasn't the most expensive place we stayed on the islands so can't have been particularly pricey! We booked a couple of days before on a booking website and paid a deposit, got there and were told we had to pay the full price. When we said "oh no we've already paid some of the price through the booking website", the lady on reception very politely informed us that its actually an extra booking charge through the website, so we paid full price as she asked - so I don't know why people are saying the staff are rude as this woman was really polite to us! She was also very understanding when someone lost the key to the dorm and calmly told us that we would have to pay the fee that she'd told us about when we'd checked in - which we obviously did, out of courtesy since we were the ones who screwed up. So like I said I don't understand why people say the staff are rude or unfriendly, we were only ever treated kindly and politely, even by the night staff on reception who must have been really tired! The staff also seemed to remember who was in what room which was reassuring because it meant they knew who was meant to be wandering in and out of the hostel, also when I found a drunk girl in the toilet they knew which room she was staying in and unlocked it for me so that I could help her into bed.

The room itself was fine, 8 people in a dorm is a good amount in my opinion, especially because there was 6 of us in our group. Obviously it was hot considering it was May, but the air con was good in our room and the lockers were big enough to put all your valuables in, they weren't so tiny you could only fit your passport in, unlike some places. The showers and toilets were clean enough and the posters about the hot water were helpful. Also really appreciated the fact that a cleaner came in every day, not many hostels do that and it was just nice to have a clean room.

So yeah basically its a good place to stay if you're looking to have fun, meet new people and at the same time get a pretty good night's sleep.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank HannahS100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Koh Tao Backpackers Hostel

Property: Koh Tao Backpackers Hostel
Address: Moo 2 | Sairee Beach, Koh Tao 84360, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Koh Tao
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #99 of 135 Speciality Lodging in Koh Tao
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Koh Tao Backpackers is in central Sairee, Koh Tao. Koh Tao Backpackers offers cheap hostel style accommodation for both divers and non divers. Located in Sairee at the Silver Sands Resort, behind Davy Jones Locker Diving who's restaurant/bar and swimming pool we use as our common areas, Koh Tao Backpackers is close to everything you'll need whilst here on Koh Tao. We also have full access to the Dive resort's swimming pool and bar restaurant. We have AC in all the dormitories, hot water showers, lockers in the dormitories and 24 hour reception with CCTV cameras. ... more   less 

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