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“very cool place”

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Koh Tao Coral Grand Resort
Ranked #33 of 49 Hotels in Koh Tao
US
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“very cool place”
Reviewed 22 September 2008

wow, very surprised at some of the other responses about Koh Tao and this resort. My girlfriend and I stayed for 5 nights in a pool side bungalow. The bungalow itself was clean and very close to the beach. There were some very warm days and when we had the air con on it did take a little while to cool off, but then again you are on a tropical island so you might expect that 

We did a lot of diving while we were there and learned that this was definitely the high season. The morning dives were the best as we were some of the first ones in the water, we got to see sharks for our first time..yes!!. The dive staff was awesome, very helpful and seemed to be very organized.

We also took a long tail boat around the island and really enjoyed that, lots of great places to snorkel. One of the funniest things we did was the bowling center, you have to see it, they also had mini-golf but we didn’t try

One day my girlfriend went to a spa while I did some rock climbing and a bit of mountain biking. We found more things to there then we had time for, I wish I was still there.

We met another couple and had dinner and drinks in the restaurant and they said they were having a great time and we all thought it was a little piece of paradise.

So were not sure about some of the other experiences but we loved it

And would definitely recommend it anyone.

  • Liked — Clean, comfortable and on the beach
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank jncase
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 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
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PVG/SFO
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 September 2008

Like another reviewer, I don’t normally write reviews but have to make an exception this time because the experience so haunted and upset me.

We were booked into one those oceanview cottage and stayed there for 4 nights.

Pros:
1. good location: right on the beach, situated towards the end of a busy stretch with restaurants nearby
2. on site dive shop: convenient in terms of distance, but more later on the dive shop
3. decent breakfast: good selection of fresh fruit
4. nice landscaped grounds

Cons:
1. The check in desk sits on top of a few flights of stone steps. When we were dropped off at the hotel, there was no staff at the gate to help us with luggage. We are both divers and always carry our own gear. My husband had to run up the stairs to get help. When he came down and two women showed up to take our luggage. My husband, maybe being gender biased or just being brought up in a different era and place, can’t let a woman to carry his big dive bag. He ended up carrying his bag. I, with a broken toe, gladly took the offer.
2. Most of cottages look weathered from the outside. The inside is even worse. We stayed at two different cottages because some mix-up in the booking. The rooms are very small. The wood floor is squeaky and there is small gap between some planks, not enough to be concerned, but sufficient to warrant some repair. The room has a chair, small fridge, closet, safe and ceiling fan. Each cottage is cooled by an in-room A/C unit, which is barely powerful enough to make the room comfortable in the afternoon.
3. Bathroom: it’s 2 or 3 steep wooden steps down from the main floor. Fixtures such as faucets, etc. are old and rusty. The sink has brownish coloring around. Hot water is supplied by a tiny water heater for shower only (no hot water at the sink). I usually ran out of hot water before I can rinse off soap. My husband has to wait another 30 minutes to take his shower.
4. Electricity goes out twice a day for 30 minutes (or an hour??) each time to switch generators. Once in the very early morning, the other time in the afternoon.
5. Dive operation: we dove with the onsite dive shop for a whole day, 2 morning dives and 2 in the afternoon. The diving itself was worse than this place. But that’s another subject. The operation was definitely geared towards mass market with cattle cow boats. Each the dive we were on boat with at least 30 other people. On the morning dives at the dock, we had to hop over across 5 or 6 other boats parallel parked to get to Coral Grand’s vessel while carrying our own gear bag. Not fun and awfully dangerous.
6. The thrilling checkout: the hotel charges 1.5% for payment with debit card or credit card. This may have been the common practice on the island, at least that’s what we have been told. The bill presented to us has a line item for my diving and another for my husband in Thai Baht. Not good at doing exchange rate, we figured those were the right amounts. We paid and got on the hotel taxi, a pickup truck with benches on the back. Then out came this Thai woman from the dive shop yelling at us and putting her hands on the taxi so it doesn’t take off. We were taken back and the rest of the passengers looked at us as if we were trying to run away from the hotel without paying our bills. She accused us of not paying for our diving. We showed her the bill we just paid and she wouldn’t budge. Instead of making a scene, we decided to get off the taxi and went into the dive shop to sort it out with her. Once inside, she insisted that we did a total of 16 dives, 8 for each of us. We figured out that the front desk only charged us 2 dives each for the two of us because the dive shop didn’t send in papers for the other dives. We explained we only did 4 dives each for a total of 8 with them and dove with another dive shop on the island on the other days. We actually have other dive shops’ receipts to prove that on the days she alleged us diving with Coral Grand, we were actually some place else. She would not consider our evidence. Than arose the argument on the price of diving. A divemaster sitting 5 feet away from her told us X per dive in front of her. Without blinking her eyes, she wanted to charge us X+500 bahts per dive. We turned to confirm with the divemaster. Yes, X per dive. We turned our heads to the lady, X+500 per dive. It would have been a comical scene were we not worried about missing our taxi and ferry to Samui. After 20 minutes of such nonsense, we paid for the dives we actually made and walked out the shop.

We will never return nor would ever recommend it to any person we like.

  • Stayed July 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank ycyc1999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Koh Tao hotels

Boston, MA, USA
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 August 2008

I spent 2 and a half weeks in Thailand with my boyfriend; we are in our 20s. Ko Tao was the only place where we didn't pre-book a place to stay; we figured we'd find something we liked when we arrived. The island was so gorgeous that we decided to splurge for our 4 nights there. BIG MISTAKE. This place was so awful. I have no problem paying for a nice place, but we stayed in places for a fraction of the cost that were exponentially better. A few examples of why we hated this place:

1) The stupid towel rule. To get a beach towel, they give each guest a towel card that you give to the towel guy in the morning in exchange for a towel. However they INSIST that you return this towel by 6pm. This was problematic, as there were days when we traveled to other beaches and wanted to come back after 6, and days when we were on diving boats that didn't dock until after 6. One night my boyfriend was out and I was showering, when I heard someone banging on our door and yelling in Thai. I was clearly scared, and had no idea what to do. After 10 minutes of me repeating "We are busy, please come back later" and looking for windows to try to sneak out of, I realized it was the towel man, furious that we hadn't returned our towels. Really??

2) The free "welcome drink" that they give you a ticket for is only good for fruit juice.

3) Breakfast stops at 10. Try eating at 10:01 and good luck. Literally we were setting alarms on our island vacation.

4) Our room was infested with ants and had a broken curtain leaving our room/bed visible to anyone walking by. Very romantic. We complained twice and they didn't do anything.

5) After deciding this place sucked, we tried to check out early. They had taken my boyfriend's passport as collateral at check-in; you had to either pay for your entire stay up-front or give them a passport. They wouldn't let us check-out early without paying for the full stay, even when we offered to stay a coupld more nights to give them some more warning. We were trapped there.

Honestly I loved Thailand, had the trip of a lifetime, and think that Ko Tao is phenomenal and my favorite island we visited. Coral Grands is just really really bad and I hate them.

  • Stayed July 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
Helpful?
3 Thank res21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
calgary
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2008

Normally I would not be doing a write up but feel I have to because I don't want anyone else to experience what we did during our stay. Prior to coming to Koh Tao Coral Grand Resort, we stayed at various places in Thailand and we loved them all, that is until we got here. I couldn't believe what they were charging for what we got.. There were 3 of us so had to pay an extra $1200 baht for the third person. In all it cost me $7,000 baht a night. We would have moved if we could but we paid ahead of time for the three nights we were there. Staff were very unfriendly except for the small guy doing the beach towels and lounges (long hair). The restaurant was awful. I was always looking for salt and pepper shakers as there were never at my table. Food not great. The female staff looked as if they were doing us a favor by being there. The pool was small and every time I wanted to go in it, there were about 10 divers in it. The Cabana Resort at the end of the beach close by looked so much nicer and it was cheaper, but unfortunately had no rooms. Only stay here if you like getting ripped off.

Debra from Calgary, Canada

  • Liked — it was a 30 second walk to the beach
  • Disliked — price
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank carmelle100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 July 2008

Coral Grand Resort has ruined my entire holiday!! don't stay here if you going to Koh Tao, it was a complete nightmare. apparently the most expensive one on the island, i booked 3 nights the delux cottage supposed to be one of the top & 2nd expensive room in the hotel, i paid closed to 5,000 baht per night, the room was terrible for a start, air-con not funtion well, shower is dripping the whole time, i rather take shower at the pool! Most importantly the services was extremely BAD! I never stayed in a resort with such horrendous staffs! i dare to say almost every single staff in the entire hotel (beside the guy arranging the beach tower), not to say unhelpful with mere request but also incredible RUDE, having bfast morning every morning was like a challenge, you don't feel welcome let alone how awful the food is. The last day i asked this guy at the front desk to help me made a phone call to Ben diving resort to arrange pick up (there is no outside call from the room!), he was relutant to do so and kept repeating 10baht per minute! i felt this was clearly an insult, if i could pay 5,000 baht for the room, why would i not pay 10baht for the local call!! i couldn't put off with this so i confront him, he didn't apologize but pointed at his name tag and challenge me that if i ve any problem here is my name and feel free to complain! I then tried to speak with the MANAGER, he sat there pretend he didn't know what happened and staring right at me and said "what is your problem?" giving me a cold and nasty look! i finally gave up debating with them, this was absurd! their attitude is profundly disturbing, we ve to bear their grudges since the 1st day we arrived! When we about to leave the hotel, there were 2 visitors which intended to check the hotel availabilty, my sister immediately told them (in front of the whole crew of rude staffs) to switch to somewhere else if they want a nice and peaeful holiday. We were pleased they left right after us and believed our warnings! We then moved to Ben's diving resort which is a million times better in term of price and staffs, only 2,000 baht for a nice room a far step from beach, shower was great and air-con is running, staffs were extremely friendly and helpful. Unfortunately we only stayed for 1 night and left for Samui the next day. Once again i like to stress CORAL GRAND bloody ruin our holiday and please no matter how impressive their website is, dont tempt fate, you will regret once you step into their resort.

  • Liked — May be the pool photo from the website but NOTHING AT ALL in reality
  • Disliked — everything, esp Staffs' attitude and services was the wrost ever since my travelling history!
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Cathchow113
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ireland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 June 2008

We stayed here during our honeymoon in April. friends had previously visited the island and recommended that we go here as it is not as commercial as some of the other islands. Koh Tao itself is a paradise, the beach at Sairee was beautiful, no sign of the rubbish mentioned by others. Nicer towards the top end of Sairee. nightlife is extremely chilled out, fire shows entertain you as you lie on a bean bag or bed a few metres from the tide. Food was also amazing, definitely recommend simple life chicken bbq kebabs and there was a really good mexican in the town, Tongs was also good, unbelievably cheap.
Our problems were with the accommodation.....oh and the weather!!!! We were booked in for 10 nights, but left after 6. For 3 days there was thunderstorms non stop and of course if you don't dive and there's no sun, there's very little to do on this island.
We stayed in a deluxe pirate cottage poolside. This was one of the most expensive cottages........definitely not worth the baht. We had stayed in luxury in Bangkok and Ko Samuii for a fraction of the cost. When we checked in our room had no towels, but these were delivered quickly when i asked for them. Air conditioning is poor and very noisy, it consists of a roof fan which can be very noisy and that stops when you leave your room as the key operates it. The bathroom is dangerous if you have a few drinks. It has tree wooden steps down to it, you need to be careful. We found ourselves with an unexpected guest on day 2 of our stay....a large lizard that had taken residence between bathroom and bedroom. It disappeared but returned the next day. When i approached staff at reception to remove it, they did not want to know. They appeared not to understand what i meant. I had to return 3 times to have it dealt with, it was 2 and a half hours later before anyone came to deal with it. Then it could not be found. The lizard came back that night!!!! Reception staff were unfriendly and unhelpful (although the guy who give out the beach towels was very funny and chatty). I was very surprised by this as my experience in our other accommodations had been the opposite, staff in Bangkok and Ko Samuii could not have been more helpful and courteous. Breakfast was also poor.....some of the fruit had ants crawling over it. Also no entertainment here at all at night. Oh ....and forget about using the pool......always full of divers......
We checked out 4 days early....a big disappointment in accommodation.....and we are not fussy people. My advice, do not book here. There are probably much better places to stay that are probably lots cheaper.

  • Liked — on the beach
  • Disliked — unhelpful, unfrienly staff, not value for your baht
  • Stayed April 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank IrelandMia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BE
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 June 2008

BUNGALOW: hightened small room and seperate bathroom some steps down. it was clean enought for us, even thougt there were some spider webs and dust. the wooden floor and wall had some slats, so the air condition had hard work. there was a water heater, tea bags, coffee available. towels, sheets were clean. there were some shampoo, shower gel, sope and detergents. so, the room was ok for us.
the BEACH was nice, but i was never swimming due to the dirty water and trash in the water.
the hotel STAFF was unfriendly. the receptionist was in the AC office beside and didn't move her [--] out of there, although she saw me standing at the RECEPTION.
asking to call a taxi (to another beach) seemed to be too much for them. they didn't want to know where the place we wanted to go is (actually the driver must know - not her) and after 15min we asked what is going on. not till then she called someone and assigned us to wait. she left the reception and didn't show up again. after another 20 min we left by foot.
later: there is a refrigerator at the reception but it was not possible to get anything from there. we had to go to the bar, but at the bar they didn't have anything to take away in a bottle or can....
it was not allowed to keep the available beach towels during night time to use them the next day again. even when we went diving at 6:15 we couldn't keep them and had to go to the beach and asked someone to be kind to hand out one....
the RESTAURANT we joined only once and no more.
there were many restaurant or bars with food along the beach. the food was much better than in the resort, but there as well, most of the staff was unfriendly, resigned and lethargic.

the DIVE CLUB seemed good by the first view. but it was a dispatch. guides were unprepared (i don't want to show my guide questions have to be solved - an pay for that!). my adventure deep dive was guided unprofessionally, dives were a fast swim along the site. no stops to have a properly look at something, by the only one we did the guide swam avay and we didn't found her anymore! the equipement was probably not old, but used a lot.

we will never go there anymore.

  • Liked — the nearness to the sea
  • Disliked — the reception
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank bor77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Koh Tao Coral Grand Resort

Property: Koh Tao Coral Grand Resort
Address: 15/4 Moo 1, Sairee Beach, Koh Tao 84280, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Koh Tao
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Koh Tao
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Koh Tao Coral Grand Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 73
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Also Known As:
Koh Tao Coral Grand Hotel Koh Tao

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