We are currently staying at Ko Tao Resort. Overall, it's a great resort - it really looks just like the pictures! We are here with my husband's parents, his sister and his mom's friend and her daughter. We have a beach front room, which really is steps from the beach. The deluxe rooms are also nice (even my MIL likes them and so has hated every hotel we have stayed in so far:-)).
The deluxe rooms are also really close to the beach - so don't worry if that's what you get. We haven't been up the mountain, but the paradise rooms are definitely really far from the beach.
The restaurant at the hotel is not the best. After eating a meal for 50 baht in Bangkok, it seems really expensive. The food is ok, but not great by any means. If you order french fries, you get about 10 - and pay 80 baht for them. The american breakfast was pretty good, I thought. Plenty of food and a decent price. The prices aren't bad if you compare it to the US, just high for Thailand.
The resort is more secluded than many others, but is only a 5 minute walk or so to the nearest little village. I'm not even sure it has a name. There are some restaurants, 7-11, a few shops, places to book tours and massage shops. A one hour full body Thai massage - 250 baht:-)
We haven't decided if we will rent a bike or not. Taxis seem expensive - 200 baht from the resort to Sairee - less than 10 minutes - 3-4 miles at the most. It's kind of ridiculous. But, to have access to better restaurants, you either have to decide to rent a bike or take the taxis - which, btw, are pick up truck with seating in the back:-)
If you have your own snorkel equipment - bring it. The equipment at the resort is not great. You rent it per day - return at 5pm for 100 baht for the snorkel mask and another 100 for the fins if you want them. I snorkeled in front of the resort and there were some coral formations and fish on the left at the tip of the rocks, but they were hard to see since my mask kept leaking and was foggy.
Overall, it is a very nice resort. I don't have high expectations of hotel food anyway, so that's not a deal breaker for me. Our beach front room is large, two double beds, three seating areas on the porch, and the AC is great! The bathroom is small and the water pressure isn't great, but it's functional and we aren't in the US, after all.
If you want to be in the center of things, or don't plan to rent a bike and don't want to pay taxis - definitely stay in Sairee. It's most certainly the center of any nightlife and has far more restaurants. I would imagine, however, also more noise. If you want a quieter place with a great beach and nice pools, Ko Tao Resort is very nice.
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- Also Known As:
- Ko Tao Hotel Koh Tao