Kho Tao Cabanas is an amazing bungalow retreat set amongst a sprawling jungle hillside overlooking an amazing beach.
My partner and I had just flown over from a week on Phi Phi Island (which though still beautiful, is now a victim of its own success. Streets clogged with cheap t-shirt shops and drunk bunk packers). We came via Koh Samui and Koh Phangan, spending only a few days on the beach on Phangan as both these islands are now also suffering from the excesses of tourism (just skip both and head straight to Koh Tao).
The transfer pick up at the jetty was a bit of a shambles. Or guide was there to greet us with a sign, but there was no transport. After waiting a good 15 minutes, we decided to take a local taxi (a truck with a covered area at the back that you sit in).
But the transfer mix up aside, the moment we arrived we were made to feel welcome by the lovely girls at reception who greeted us with cold towels and a welcome drink. All smiles, perfect English and very accommodating.
We stayed in a bungalow overlooking the beach. Think Gilligan's Island but more upmarket. The rooms are comfortable and the bungalows are set amongst the grounds, so that the entire resort has a feel of being part of its surrounds, rather than dominating it.
We decided to extend our stay immediately from 2 nights to 5 nights and the girls at reception assisted in every way possible, even calling our next hotel to cancel and explaining on our behalf. The girls were also very happy to recommend local businesses for scuba diving (Scuba Junction and Good Time Adventures - both who were brilliant) Outstanding service!!
The spa has a great menu of body treatments that are pricey when compared to a massage or foot rub you would get in town, but it was well worth it. The staff were experienced, the spa impeccably clean and we left feeling revitalized and refreshed.
The restaurant has a pretty good offering of food. Prices again are resort prices. The breakfast buffet is a bit sparse and the staff here were a bit hit and miss (one girl in particular was surly and didn't smile at all).
There are beachside day beds set up that you can lounge around on and you can order food from the restaurant from staff who wander by every half hour or so. If the beach isn't your thing, there is a great infinity pool complete with waterfall that overlooks the grounds out to the beach.
There are only 2 drawbacks to Kho Tao Cabanas-
1 -The hike up the stairs through the grounds to the hillside cottages (this might just be down to my laziness actually and not be a real drawback).
2 - The disco thumping that starts at about 8pm each night and continues until about 3-4am every morning. There are Bach clubs situated half way down the beach and due to Kho Tao Cabanas location the sound travels up the beach. We honestly did not have a full restful nights sleep the entire time we were there. It began to really grate on our nerves by the last day. Thankfully I had a full box of sleeping tablets on hand. It's a shame that such a beautiful and idealistic setting is ruined by a small party crowd.
Overall, Kho Tao Cabanas is a wonderful resort in a beautiful location with (for the most part) friendly staff.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Koh Tao Cabana is an intimate resort located on Thailand's most secluded island, It offer a brand new alternative for adventurous travelers seeking unprecedented comfort with traditional Thai charm and hospitality. Indulge your senses in one of the most exclusive locations on Sai Ree Beach, You can get back to nature in the peace and serenity of your own private villa, set amid beautifully tropical gardens where you'll feel like your second home! Life takes on a slower pace here with the promise of an untold adventure. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Koh Tao Cabana Hotel Koh Tao