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“Stairmaster hotel”

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Jamahkiri Resort & Spa
Ranked #4 of 49 Hotels in Koh Tao
Certificate of Excellence
Singapore
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Stairmaster hotel”
Reviewed 11 September 2009

Our family went with another family who'd been to the island three times before. They had previously stayed at Charm Churee which they said was getting rather frayed around the edges. So this was much better.

Our four kids altogether (ages 5 - 9) absolutely LOVED sitting in the back of the 4X4 on the roller coaster ride in and out of the resort. I was impressed by the 45 degree slopes and didn't mind the bumpy ride but our friend who has a back problem said he wasn't returning there.

The stairs were indeed a challenge, considering all of us adults are v fit (gym rats, treadmill runners etc). Obviously the porterage staff hated it too because they gave us dirty looks when we made the mistake of buying a lot of bottled water that they had to lug to our rooms.

Food was not bad -- we had many meals there which were pricier than town but also of better quality.

We decided against diving in the end as all the snorkelling around the island, whether at this resort or others we visited on a long tail, was so-so. Little fish were plentiful but only the occasional fish big enough to eat, and certainly no shark. And since it was the monsoon season, with little sunlight, we figured diving would be worse. Not to mention all the coral reefs being dead and brown, thus providing an unattractive backdrop to the sea life.

My kids enjoyed the holiday but us adults didn't feel the island was worth a second visit, esp with the long transfers.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank soulbiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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London
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 August 2009

I booked this hotel on the back of the trip advisor reviews. I did see mentions of the service but thought those people must be very fussy - let me assure they are not. I broke the different aspects of the hotel into sections as I realise this is a really long review and people can pick the topics that are relevant to them.

Service: Seriously awful. The front desk staff has a seriously bad attitude. We had a number of problems with them. The first was diving. I had arranged to do my PADI with the hotel originally. When I turned up on the first day I enquired what time I would be starting diving the next day and I was told they would let me know. I had to go back up to the desk three more times before they admitted they hadn’t booked anything. The second annoying problem was the mini bar. As we were there for nearly a week we wanted to use the mini bar for our own personal use. We called the front desk a number of times to clear the mini bar, we checked out six days later and they still hadn’t cleared the stuff we had taken out and put on the counter.

Room: We splashed out on a deluxe cottage and I am happy we did as it was very private and we did not have to deal with the 150 steps up to the reception and restaurant, one guest counted them.

Transport: The hotel is in a really remote location and the roads leading up to the hotel are (--) to be frank. Thai islands are known for the bad remote roads but in all the islands we saw this took the biscuit. If you stay at the Jamahkiri you will be dependant on the transport provided by the hotel, it runs from 9am to 8.30pm. The dive boats leave at 8 so you will have to pay for a cab to the main town. The cabs are Baht400 per person if you arrange it through a town cab and Baht900 if you arrange it through the hotel. If you have dinner in the town expect to pay for a cab home. There is no shortage of street taxis and be prepared for their prices to be hiked up when they hear the name of the hotel. The road is really bad and all cars have to travel at 10 miles an hour, no exaggeration, and the road is next to a shear drop, quite scary if you are doing the journey in the dark.

Food: I have mixed reviews of the food. The first day I had breakfast I was delighted at what I thought was freshly baked bread. When I cut into the bread the middle was still really cold, indicating it had been cooked from frozen and not fully defrosted. The dinner menu offered Thai dishes and they were very tasty.

Cleaners: The most bizarre cleaners in the world. We unpacked and put everything away just how we liked it. But the cleaners would come in every day and re-arrange our belongings how they saw fit. We would have a scavenger hunt in the evenings to see where they had moved our things that day.

Diving & Snorkelling: The advertisement that this is the only place to see sharks in the island is rubbish. I didn’t see one. I was speaking with a local dive school and they laughed at this claim saying they suspect the hotel writes a lot of glowing reviews, I have to agree. The hotel arranges private lessons from the hotel, beware, they are Bhat5000 more expensive than anywhere in the main town. I went to Planet Scuba and they were brilliant and extremely friendly and professional.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
41 Thank Aidy_Lady
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, 5 November 2009
We thank you Aidy Lady for taking the time to write a review. We are pleased to know that you liked your room and it’s location.

At Jamahkiri we take customer satisfaction very seriously so are sorry to know that you were not satisfied with our service. We strongly believe, however, that your review does not reflect us in a fair or accurate way.

No diving was booked for you because no booking was made!! One email asking about diving is not a booking. Still, we did organize a course just for you after speaking, only to later have it cancelled and done elsewhere.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paris
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 August 2009

We are a family with 2 children (6 and 18 months) and we stayed 3 nights. Location is remote and great if you are not interested in night life and shopping. View is beautiful. We stayed in the new hotel wing (not bungalows), the room was spacious, clean but decoration very western and not a great taste. Swimming pool is great. The drawbacks as stated in other reviews, hundreds of stairs (a nightmare with the stroller and our chubby daughter) and the spa and restaurant overpriced. We had a good relaxing stay before going on to more adventure.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank NBouville
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 August 2009

We stayed here during our honeymoon and while it has lots of cute features it really wasnt any thing special. We stayed in the new part of the hotel and to be fair the rooms were clean and spacious. Now im not one to moan I dont mind a bit of exercise but in that heat with those steps.......not nice!. The hotel is ages away from anything and you have to get on the back of a 4x4 and travel over what I can only describe as a cross country course. The food is ok for brekkie but I did eat a bad meal in their resturant on our first evening and suffered afterwards. The place has so much potential to be lovely but the staff are a little moody and just seem to see £ signs whenever you need help with anything. I did enjoy our stay in Koh Tao and I put that mainly down to the time spend down in the main town and not at the hotel. If you do stay here make sure you walk down or swim round to the beach the otherside of the hotel.

On the plus side the pool is nice and the view are amazing

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank LittleL03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 24 August 2009

Jamahkiri is a beautiful beautiful resort and we were very sad to leave at the end of our 7 days. What you see on the website does not disappoint. I loved our pavilion. In addition to the amazing surroundings and architecture, the service was excellent, with friendly and helpful staff. Everyone we encountered spoke English well enough to meet all of our needs. We used the services of the resort thoroughly...the restaurant, the spa, the business centre, the dvds, the health centre, the pool, the shuttle.

For those who complained about getting a hotel room instead of a pavilion, the various types of accommodation are clearly described on the resort website, with photos included. I found the on-line reservation system to be efficient and user friendly. I highly recommend splurging to get one of the pavilions (individual chalets) instead of a room in the hotel building though. While the rooms look beautifully appointed as well, nothing beats the panoramic views from the balcony, or through the 3 panels of floor to ceiling windows of the pavilions.

Although the resort itself doesn't have much of a beach to speak of, there is a long stretch of beach just around the corner from the resort, which is also pretty deserted most of the day. It is less than a 5 minute walk away. At low tide, you are able to walk along the rocks (leave from the dock by the kayak rental). At high tide, you have to take the steep road from the hotel parking lot. We only used the steep road once.

What is great about the hotel "beach" though is that you can swim out from here to snorkel. (At the real beach, it is too shallow to get over the coral at low tide.) Snorkeling here is decent. Loads of snorkeling boats come into the bay. Both my husband and I saw sharks on separate occasions. The snorkeling is fantastic two bays north at Aow Leuk. We rented a kayak from the hotel and kayaked there.

My husband highly recommends the dive centre at the resort. Because he dives and I don't, he is often paired with whoever is left over as his dive buddy whenever we travel. Here, the diving is private, so his buddy is the dive master, who incidentally, was very good and professional. The trip included some finger food and drinks.

Yes, the road to the resort is an adventure, but a large part of Koh Tao is unpaved. We had no problems with the road as the resort provided a free 4x4 shuttle to town every hour, plus pick-up and drop-off on arrival and departure. It takes about 20 minutes, which is my only complaint. At no point did I feel unsafe riding in the 4x4. We went into town 2 nights out of our 7 day stay. You just have to be careful to catch the last shuttle back - 8:30 pm I believe, which we always did.

The restaurant at the resort is on the expensive side but it is to be expected as it is a hotel. However, the food was well worth it. The portions are a lot larger than what you get in town and the quality is excellent. The buffet breakfast which is included is also great. I read a review about a problem with flies, but we didn't have any problem with flies, mosquitoes or any other bugs at the resort.

If you want cheaper alternatives, there is always the free shuttle to town. There is also a beach restaurant on the beach around the corner which is another option to the trek into town. We had lunch there a few times and it was alright. We didn't try the other restaurant off the beach, above the rocks.

Obviously, because the resort is built into a cliff, it is not suitable for anyone with mobility issues. There are a lot of steps to negotiate to get anywhere, but it is a good workout that you soon get used to.

All in all, I would say Jamahkiri deserves a 5 star rating. We had one of our best holidays here, and we cannot wait to go back.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank cheerywanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
finlande
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 August 2009

The location of the hotel is realy a problem !
The acces is a dirt track (witch at least make you feel a massage )The acce to the bungalow is a steep stair who will exhaus you.
I thaught when i saw the web site of the jamhkiri resort that i will get what i se on the photo but instead of a bungalow i got a room in a ugly 5 storage building witch is not showed on the website.So i felt ripped off.
The restaurant wasn't great and overpriced/
.the spa wasn't profssional.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
37 Thank steveFinlande
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin, Ireland
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 August 2009

Stayed in one of the new hotel rooms for 3 nights. First impressions were good, room was large, clean and great views. Spa and pool area were nice. However that's about all the good points, had dinner there our first night and just couldn't eat it, chicken smelt and looked dodgy. We ended up only eating fries for dinner on our other two nights there. Staff are pleasant but nearly too attentive, couldn't relax because there were always a few pairs of eyes watching us. The location is the real downside, I've never been so scared in my life going up and down the resort,there is no road whatsoever, because of this we only left the resort once during our stay.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Ainsoc
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 Luxury Hotel in Koh Tao
#1 Family Hotel in Koh Tao
#2 Spa Hotel in Koh Tao
#2 Top resorts 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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