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“On the quiet side of Tao”

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Montalay Beach Resort
Ranked #18 of 50 Hotels in Koh Tao
Reviewed 27 May 2014

First of all, I love Koh Tao. It is such a chill and good feel Island, and hopefully it will stay like that a while longer.

Montalay is on the very quite side of the Island, and pretty hard to get to. This might of course put you off, if your looking to party with your fellow divers.

We met a rep. when we arrived, and went with him as he was really helpfull and cool. Apart from him, the service was average and not really great. The hotel restaurant is very basic, and there's really not that much happening.

It's clean, and quiet, which we actually wanted for a couple of days, before heading over to the dark side.

That side of the island has great snorkeling, and the beach is sort of secluded and nice. This is also the side of the island where your more likely to catch a glimpse of sharks when diving!

Over all, quiet, kind of boring, nothing over the ordinary.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Aleksmill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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191 - 197 of 704 reviews

Reviewed 18 May 2014

The hotel is nice and the beach its on is lovely. If you want to only go to Ko Tao to stay at this resort I'm sure it would be nice BUT its impossible to go anywhere else. You can use their shuttle but thats only 3 times a day and costs an extra 300 baht round trip per person. A local taxi costs a whopping 1200 baht round trip. There are no shops at all nearby so if you need anything you have to go into town.

When our transfer arrived I asked if we could rent a bike from the hotel they said no but showed me where I can get one. I got a bike and followed out vehicle to the hotel ( I have been biking in Phuket, Ko Samui and Vietnam mountains). After about 15 minutes the roads are impassible on the small scooters they give you, when breaking my tyres slid both times and I fell grazing and cutting both knees, leg, foot and left arm. The "nurse" who was very sweet cleaned me up BUT put cotton on all my open sores the next day it was stuck in my wounds and I had to go to a hospital to get it removed. When I asked the hotel about this I was told SHES NOT A NURSE ! The roads are very bad sand, dirt roads with bumps, stones and deep water crevises. The bikes given at the pier are in no state to be driven on these roads. We later learnt its a local scame where they are guaranteed you will have an accident and you return the bike damaged and they charge you a fortune to get your passport back its called the Ko Tao stamp !!!! WHY DIDNT THE HOTEL TELL US THIS ?? I definitely dont think im a professional off road biker and would never have rented a bike. This resulted in me being unable to swim or snorkel or go in the sun for my stay. On leaving they also told the bike company where we were being dropped off and at what time - THIS IS OUR PRIVATE INFORMATION HOW CAN THEY GIVE IT OUT ?? Nonetheless we had to take taxis while we were there which cost an extra 1000 baht a day at least . Very unpleasant moved to a cute hostel on Soiree met loads of amazing people and watched the sunset everyday.

The hotel is beautiful but the service, reaction and behaviour overall ruined my whole holiday

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled solo
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4  Thank Charlie_KSA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sornkanok, Owner at Montalay Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 29 May 2014

First of all, thanks for your review and comment. We're so sorry for your accident and feel pity that you wasn't enjoy your stay with us.

Montalay located on Tanote Bay where seduce and isolate from party or city area. Montalay is perfect for nature lover or those who enjoy relaxing by the pool, sun-bathing on our private beach, and snorkelling with real plenty of fish.

The road to Montalay still half way as dirt road which required skilled driver to ride a bike here. However, we provide shuttle service 4 times/day. Or you may rent ATC instead of motobike.

On your leaving day, we didn't intentionally disturb your privacy. We didn't know that you plan to leave your passport with bike company and leave without pay.

Once again, we're sorry for what happen to you and hopefully you will give us a chance to service you once again.

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Reviewed 1 May 2014 via mobile

Firstly this hotel has the most spectacular beach with what seems like an aquarium filled with marine life just a few meters off shore. The rooms are comfortable and you have the option of one with AC or with fan. I think the AC rooms/bungalows only come with comp breakfast? The food was surprisingly good with enough options and well presented and good flavour. Breakfast also good, all fresh and good flavour. Staff at the desk are helpful and speak decent English. The pool is nice and deep as they do dive training in it. If you want to travel around the island, you should hire a bike or car before arriving at the hotel as they cannot book it for you. A private taxi from the hotel costs about 400 baht. Without own transport you are a bit secluded. There are a few neighboring hotels but steep hills and undeveloped roads make you reluctant to go off property. In short I would stay here again and maybe I will book diving lessons as I hear you get a discount on rooms?

Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
3  Thank Simon V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 April 2014

The hotel had easy access to transportation around the island. We stayed in a garden view room which was good for the price but nothing extraordinary.The hotel has access to a beautiful quite beach, which is the highlight and would definitely go back just for it.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Sofia B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 April 2014 via mobile

I have just read the former reviewer and would like to give my experince which was very different.
We stayed there middle of April. We were with 3 young children (9, 7, 1.5) for 5 nights.
First about the travel from the pier. The hardest part was wating at the pier at high noon with all the crowd...once we start the ride it was quite fun and the kids enjoyed. You also have nice view of the sea and jungle. Only pity is the garbage and mess when ascending at the western part of the island. I think Ko tao should be better preserved. Anyway, the road is not that terrible IMO.
We got a family room in the main building 2nd floor with nice view. At first glance the wife didn't like the place but that was after a long journey and getting used to higher class resorts. After that we did like the room which is very spacious and with plenty of natural light. It was not loxurious but suited our needs. Shower was not that great. We actually liked the choice of tv channels with Fox movies having good offer to the kids so at night when all is quiete we could enjoy a movie together.
Breakfast was pretty dull but I guess it was good to compensate for over eating in previous hotels.
The hotel restaurant was very good offering the usual menu in Thailand but dishes were fresh and quite big and also served quickly unless we came when it was very busy. Prices were very discent in comparison to what we got use to with excellent unpricey shakes. We did try once the neighboring restaurant but gave it up as it was not good and we sticked with the house restaurant. If you go there get a sit on the roof - very nice and shady. Best part of the restaurant is the service with a couple of guys giving service unlike anything I have seen. One of them is EJ from Pilipines mentioned before and another Thai guy. In general service and staff were very very nice and warm, giving you welcoming feeling and hospitality. I can't understand why the previous reviewer suffered so much. We felt other and with the staff very friendly to the children.
The hotel has a nice playing room for toddlers but the whole surrounding is very unsafe for very young kids. You have to keep a close eye on them because many risks of falling is there. We didn't let our young one get out to the balcony as the fence was not safety standart.
The greatest thing there is the beatiful beach or more accurately the sea. Many said rightfuly it is far away from all the busy hectic Ko tao tourist industry and most boats don't stop there so sea life is relatively preserved. Don't expect to much if you are an experinced snorkler/diver but it is quite nice with plenty of fish,especially around the rocks. The kids realy enjoyed it. Too bad marine life is under very heavy pressure and many signs of destruction and degenaration can be seen. I also took a scuba dive trip of the hotel dive club and I was very satisfied.
Two biggest problems which are not directly related to the hotel are:1. Flies - during daytime it is alsmost impossible to eat. I guess the reason is the garbage site up in the mountains. Mosquitos are less though.
2. The beach is not that clean and few shade area. It would have been nice if all resorts there had maintained the beach better.
To summarize - we had a great time there. I liked the staff and the beach. Some improvement could make it paradise.

Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
2  Thank Amit S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2014 via mobile

I never wrote bad review of any place before. But this one deserved it fully.I am really shocked about the service there.
Guests are treated as Payers only! Major rule of hospitality is not known for the staff (except one Phillipino waiter maybe, who really felt the idea of being Ambasador of the hotel).
Hotel is distanced from any regular service of 15 minutes drive through the high montains. Renting bikes has no sence coz you could kill yourself easily. For that reason you are sentenced for the Service of Montalay only which is doubled and e en tripple priced.
After 9 pm all the staff is away already and only think you can do is watching HBO or have sex with your loved one if you have one.
Resort itself is paradise located and money invested in it is enormous. But nothing works properly.
In such circustances me and my girlfriend decided to use immpresive dive centre attached to the Montalay. Amazing 2 lecture rooms, office, equipment room, tarrace with viewing point to the bay ... But for the question "Could we dive tomorrow?" we were answered by the tattoed guy "Can you see my nose?" suggesting that his running nose is an explantion of no activity of the base for next few days. So we decided to go to the next available one, 200 meters away German run dive centre Calypso, which was perfect one and we spend next 2 days on diving with them. Their dive base was full of divers and nice atmosphere when many millions Baths invested Montalay base were standing empty.
After 2 days of such paradise prison we decided to move to Sairee Beach area. When we annonced our intention just affer breakfast to check out ofter 1 pm (when our diving was finishing with Calypso) the sfaff asked us to leave our room and store the luggage outside of reception. When coming back after
diving we missed a regular transfer to Ko Tao beaches at 1.30 pm and deceided to wait for the next one one at 5 pm. What shocking suprise was that when sitting in Montalay restaurant with ordered drinks we were cut of wifi when everyone around us was using it.
In between 1.30 and 5 pm in a bar and reception were about 7-8 people playing with their phones and tablets when no even one drink was sold coz all the customers went outside to use other restaurants.
Besides of that almost nobody speaks English there except 2-3 people in the reception and one mentioned Phillipino waiter (who only deserve to be a real Ambasador of this hotel). Almost all the staff were represented by Burmeses who hardly understood any English. Moreover almost nobody speaks Thai.
Shocking experience! Paradise Prison like famous Pappillion on French New Guinea. With only difference it is our deserved vacation for not small money.
One thing I have to admit they are very quick and fluent in charging you (10% extra for payment by credit card) and printing invoices.
One more thing! Do not expect any cold drink for your included breakfast. You have to buy it.
Summarizing, I finished a hotel school, being travelled and diving all around Asia and I have never met such place before!
No style, manners or standards!

  • Stayed: April 2014
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2  Thank Ryszard W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sornkanok, Owner at Montalay Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 29 May 2014

Thanks for your comment and review. We feel so sorry if Montalay didn't fit your vacation needs.

Montalay located on Tanote Bay where far away from city and party zone (Sairee). Montalay is perfect for nature lover who enjoy relaxing by the pool or sunbathing on our private beach which might not fit well with your requirement. Anyway, allow me to explain and correct some of your concern:

- WIFI : We didn't block and technically impossible to block only your 2 devices. I have no idea how this could happen.

- Credit card payment : we charge nothing more. Already checked your credit card slip and bill. Please kindly contact us via email to claim back if you see otherwise.

- Staffs : Thais, Philippines and Burmese all together. Sorry that we could deliver an excellence English but we will try harder and harder.

- Diving : We will take your comment into our consideration and improve

Once again, sorry for your bad experience. Have a safe trip home.

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Reviewed 18 April 2014

First things first! Be aware that the journey to the resort from the ferry is definitely not for the faint hearted. The resort collects you from the ferry pier in a 4X4 pick up and 8 of you are sat with your luggage, no shade from the sun and little to hold onto during the hairy 15 minute ride to the resort! The final part of the journey to the resort is down an extremely steep, bumpy unmade bit of road. There is a cabin behind the driver where at least children can safely travel (although I would definitely not recommend this resort for children) for the rest of us it is quite an adventure. Having said this it is worth the effort to get there. We stayed in a hill side wooden bungalow which was very comfortable but as often typical in Koh Tao had little storage. The resort has an excellent restaurant with attentive friendly waiting staff. There is a lovely pool, a fully equipped dive school and plentiful natural shade on the beach. The snorkelling and diving here is amazing. The minute you put a toe into the water you are surrounded by a variety of fish. There are a few alternative smaller and cheaper restaurants nearby all serving good food. At these you are presented with a note pad and pen on which to write down your order which is a concept we had not encountered before. Another point to be aware of is that the hotel will only change Euros and US dollars so you are a bit stuck if you want to change any other currency including British pounds. There in no ATM anywhere near the resort so carefully pre-plan the amount of cash you will take with you.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Gateslady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Montalay Beach Resort

Address: 53 Moo 3, Tanote Bay, Koh Tao 84280, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Koh Tao
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 50 Hotels in Koh Tao
Price Range: £27 - £71 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Montalay Beach Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 53
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Montalay Beach Resort is a small to medium size hotel, locate in the eastern part of Koh Tao (Turtle Island) called "Ao Tanote". It is a beautiful secluded bay and is a great place for snorkeling and diving. Ideal for families with children or couples to chill and relax. All rooms, cottages and suites are close to the beach and nestled amongst the trees. ... more   less 
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