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“Very Nice place with some disadvantages”

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Jamahkiri Resort & Spa
Ranked #4 of 49 Hotels in Koh Tao
Certificate of Excellence
Gentofte, Denmark
Level Contributor
159 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
“Very Nice place with some disadvantages”
Reviewed 13 August 2009

First of all let me state that we truly enjoyed our stay at the Jamakhiri. The staff was excellent (and many), very friendly and willing to help with everything.
The original hotel is also very beautifull with the small huts built into the cliffs, but we were given rooms in the new wing which are a classic hotel section. So even though the view is beautifull - it's much like being on a cruise ship - it is still a hotel and not exactly what you dream of when going to Koh Tao.
Otherwise it just worked. The hotel is placed almost out of reach, but the hotel operates a free shuttle every our to the main city that you can use. If you a party goer it might be a problem that the latest shuttle is at 20.30 but we are travelling with kids so no problem there.
From the hotel you can also walk the very steep trail to the beach and enjoy a day there - don't waste your time on the hotels own 5x5 meter beach - it's simply to small.
A disadvantage is also the very expensive food at the hotel it self - it is approx. 500% over city prices but even though it's better than Pranees shack by the harbour and you don't use plastic plates it's not 500% better :-) This has been pointed out by others and we agree.
One thing we will recommend is to use the hotels half day long boat for snorkeling. It's 2800 baht including snacks (dont expect lunch) and equipment and you get to snorkel where you want to and not in a group of 50+ other tourists as we saw in some of the bays. Just remember to bring money to enter Koh Panyang (Spelling might be wrong here). We weren't told so we couldn't enter :-(
But the snorkeling was great - Koh Tao probably have some years left untill we tourists have ruined the last coral.
A really great time, but the fact that it was an ordinary hotel building makes the 5. star unreachable.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank PLNG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Hartford, Connecticut
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 August 2009

This beautiful hotel merits a mixed review, as one can expect luxury and beauty combined with some major inconveniences.

On one hand, the view is amazing from almost any angle of the hotel and the accommodations are top notch. When you look out from your balcony on the bay, you will be glad you made the trek. The service is quick and friendly, although communication can be difficult with the staff, most of whom only speak thai. The food is pretty good, too, although expensive, as might be expected at an isolated resort.

On the other hand, the hotel has some serious flaws. It forces visitors to climb up hundreds of stairs to get from their rooms to the restaurant and other facilities. The stairs are unevenly spaced, steep, and lack handrails. It is also very remote. Visitors should be aware that they are in for a ride on the back of a pickup truck along rugged terrain before arriving at the resort. After a ride on the sweaty ferry, this might not be everyone's idea of luxury. Plus, the resort has a bug problem at its restaurant, which means that you will be enjoying the view while swatting at flies. This might sound petty, but it seriously compromises the romantic setting they have created for you.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank cadam09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brasschaat, Belgium
Level Contributor
17 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 August 2009

Stayed there in July with wife and 6 yo child. We stayed in the newer 'hotel' building (not in the "villa's").
The rooms are nicely done (well, if you don't mind red carpet in the bedroom and grandma-style white and pink tiles in the bathroom) and offer a fabulous view of the ocean.
There are a LOT of stairs so this is not a hotel for elderly or unfit people.
The restaurant is really nice but sadly the food is overpriced and below expectation. There is a free shuttle to town though.
The swimming pool is really beautifull, as are the garden statues (monkeys mostly).
We did not use the spa as it seemed as overpriced as the food!

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Steven T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sydney
Level Contributor
112 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 140 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 August 2009

I reside in Thailand 6 months of the year and travel extensively.
This is an isolated resort accessible by a rough dirt track. They do offer a shuttle service to town free on the hour.
Like many resorts with captive guests they do overcharge accordingly with a 7% tax and 10% service charge. ( The service charge is becoming a joke in Thailand, as those hotels that charge for service almost never pass the proceeds on to staff. it goes into the managements coffers. Guests are still expected to tip staff extra.)
The rooms have lovely views out over the ocean and the staff very pleasant. A romantic getaway that may not suit everybody, especially the elderly or frail. I got a little tired of walking up the 146 steps ( I am not kidding ) from our room to the restaurant/reception 3 or 4 times a day.
The resort has a very pleasant restaurant that is the only restaurant tin Thailand that I know of that insists that guests remove their shoes before entering.( Must be for show only as the resort is not Thai owned). Interestingly whilst the hotel insists that guests remove shoes they allow smoking throughout the restaurant, which is against the law in Thailand.
Overall we had a pleasant stay, but 3 days was enough.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank traveller59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2009

The hotel setting is beautiful no beach but pretty scenery- unfortunately the resort is so remote that you have to endure a painfully rocky journey on a 4X4 to get anywhere in the town. At night if you go out this costs 500 baht- more than your meal out!

The nearest beach is a steep 15min walk away - certainly not for the unfit nor the elderly or v young. i even had to stop for a breath when walking to and from my room.

The place seems to be run by teenagers who barely speak english no one showed me around the resort on my arrival nor did they ask me how i was each day- with the exception of one young chap called JD who charged my blackberry at reception daily as the sockets in the villa were not working all the time.

The villa's were lovely with the exception of no shower (only a tub) and more importantly bed bugs which ferociously attacked my legs each night (much to my discomfort) and gecko's inside the bathrooms. Room service finished at 10pm with charges of 7% and 10% on top of expensive rates - certainly not what you want when on a remote island with o access to the town after 8pm (the last time of their shuttle service)

On my penultimate day i spent the day by the pool and had a late lunch at the pool bar. within minutes of taking a bite of the prawn salad i had ordered i was back in my villa with severe and simultaneous diarhhoea and vomiting. i had to vomit in the sink and called the reception to send a maid to help me clean it up but they sent no one. i then fell asleep and woke three hours later and had to call them again.

This food poisoning and bed bug experience prompted me to decide to leave a day earlier and go back to koh samui for my sanity. i was disgusted that they made me pay for my room for the day i hadnt stayed (surprising the decided to suddenly speak english!) and insisted i paid for half of the meal that made me sick even after i complained.

I am astounded that people have said that the service is at the level of the Four Seasons- the service is better at a Comfort Inn if you ask me. Breakfast is mediocre, the service is below average and there is absolutely no charm to the place whatsoever- the staff are more interested in making money off tips and overcharging customers for what is well below standard quality levels.

it is a real shame because the experience at this hotel was utterly disappointing- even the spa was no good for beauty treatments- i mean a pedicure with no scrubbing nor base coat or top coat on the varnish?? it totally tainted my opinion of a beautiful island.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled solo
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Helpful?
21 Thank princessinlondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JamahkiriLucas, Manager at Jamahkiri Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 3 November 2009
Thank you princessinlondon for your review and comments. We are glad you found the resort setting beautiful and were pleased with our receptionist.

We are sorry that you were disappointed with your stay, but are honestly very surprised to know about the serious claims you raised in your review.

In regards to your issue with our food, our duty manager as well as executive chef, who is available at all times and enjoys speaking with guests, were totally unaware of the issue until they read your review. We also did not receive any comment card from you upon check-out.

In regards to bedbugs, it is unlikely that this was the case, as only one month earlier we bought all new mattresses for our rooms.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chiang Mai, Thailand
1 review
Reviewed 23 July 2009

JAMALKHIRI RESORT

My wife, daughter and I had a wonderful time at the Jamahkiri Resort on Ko Tao. It is very beautiful there, with lush landscaping and white villas cascading down to the ocean below; reminding us of Greece. The swimming pool is magical, especially at night.
The villa itself was spacious and lovely, with a fabulous view from the rooms and the deck. There were double doors between the bedroom and the living room where our adult daughter slept. In the spacious bathroom there was a large jetted tub with a view of a small landscaped area outside, but with total privacy. The tub had a showerhead, but I did miss having a standup shower.

The resort does not have a beach, but there are concrete ‘boardwalks’ and seating areas along the base of the cliff. The nearest beach is about fifteen minutes walk by road, or you can wade to it at low tide. This beach is being developed as a bungalow resort though, and I wonder if visitors will be welcome once the construction has finished.

The tides were exceptionally low when we were there, so snorkeling off the resort or the beach was difficult over the coral. I don’t imagine this would be a problem at other times of the year. We saw (harmless) black-tip sharks and many fish of different sizes and colors. We kayaked over to the next two bays where it was easier to snorkel at low tide, and there we found unspoiled living coral.

The resort had only four kayaks and one was not seaworthy. The back supports on the others needed repair. For a resort of this size, the number of kayaks is woefully inadequate. Hopefully, the resort will purchase more for the high season. Our resort at Railay Beach, Krabi had about a dozen kayaks.

You have to be reasonably fit to enjoy yourself at the Jamalkhiri; to go anywhere in the resort means navigating many steep steps without handrails and getting in and out of the trucks needs a certain agility.
This resort is not suitable for children; there are many opportunities for accidents on the stairs, and the ‘boardwalks’ do not have any barriers.

The staff was wonderful; helpful and charming. The omelets for breakfast were fine, but we generally avoided the restaurant, where the food was average. A short truck ride will take you to Heaven & Earth Restaurant where the food and atmosphere are terrific.
The ride to the resort is very rough, but the drivers in their four-wheeled trucks are skilled and careful drivers.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank concertina-guy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
105 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 July 2009

Wonderful stay here with Jamahkiri. Service is top notch, comparable to Four seasons around the world. Staff have good command of english and service from the driver to front desk to room service is faultless. Grounds and room facilities are well maintained, unlike other so called high end resorts which seems to neglect building maintenance.

Breakfast is awesome and magical considering the terrain and location of the resort. As the resort is clinging to a cliff face, there are wonderful sea views to be had almost anywhere from the resort. Movie room, free dvd and free internet is a nice touch.

Free 4 WD shuttle into town is fun and considerate. Due to current road works, trips to and back the resort had to taken from an alternate longer and much rougher road. If you are thinking of renting a motorbike to get there,Please forget about it! You would not make it! Saying this from a very experienced bike rider.

Gentleman on duty at the pool is just amazing. Topping up your cold water, adjusting umbrellas and laying out fresh towel all this with a smile and a little chat. One thing though, please consider using plastic glass and cups around pool area as I saw 2 breakage in an afternoon. Might be a hazard for people walking barefeet.

Dinner at the resort restaurant is a pleasurable experience.

I really can't fault this resort even if I think real hard. A wonderful memorable stay.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Boeing777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Jamahkiri Resort & Spa

Property: Jamahkiri Resort & Spa
Address: 21/2 Moo 3, Koh Tao 84360, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Koh Tao
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Koh Tao
#1 Luxury Hotel in Koh Tao
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Koh Tao
#2 Spa Hotel in Koh Tao
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Koh Tao
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Jamahkiri Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 36
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Jamahkiri Resort & Spa, is a comfortable and sumptuous living resort located in Thian Og Bay on the south side of Koh Tao, a serenity area of the island, easily reachable by a panoramic 10 minutes drive from the harbour, offering a spectacular view over the gulf of Thailand. Once settled in, you will quickly discover that there are very little reasons to leave the resort, lush tropical garden, cooling pools, the Jamahkiri Spa, a fitness room, the marina and our private PADI diving club, recreational facilities, and fine cuisine, compliment the beauty of the resort's magnificent surroundings. Our place is the perfect combination for peace, serenity and nature lovers; add to that comfort, natural surrounding, and pristine services and its no wonder that since welcoming his first guest in 2002, Jamahkiri has established its distinctive reputation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Jamahkiri Hotel Koh Tao
Jamahkiri Spa And Resort
Jamahkiri Boutique Hotel
Jamahkiri Boutique Resort

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