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“snorkeling koh tao”
Review of Sensi Paradise

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Sensi Paradise
Ranked #8 of 49 Hotels in Koh Tao
Certificate of Excellence
Bullengarook, Victoria, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“snorkeling koh tao”
Reviewed 27 June 2013

we visited koh tao for the first time recently and had a great time.we stayed at the sensi paradise resort which was absolutely fantastic. our room was very comfy and even though we didn't spend the extra for a sea view we loved the peace of the garden were we could see squirrels running up and down trees and beautiful butterflys drifting past.our room was very big with a large comfy bed fitted with mozzie net. double doors opened onto a big raised verandah were we could enjoy the wildlife.breakfast was a buffet served at the beachfront restaurant and the very friendly staff were always at your beck & call. the beach in front of the resort was lovely, safe for children and a great place to start off snorckeling. there was a sunken boat just off shore that was great to snorkel about.there are some great resturants nearby and the town is in walking distance.

Room Tip: we enjoyed our room which was back about 3 bungalows from the beach, but if you can afford it one wi...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank KayBevan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Invercargill, New Zealand
Level 5 Contributor
68 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 June 2013

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Sensi. It was just the right combination of comfortable and relaxed for us. One of the best things about it was the location - at the end of the 'main drag', private and quiet but very close to town. Many other 'resorts' in Mae Head and Sairee Beach are less private and closer together. The bungalows in Sensi are spaced out and the grounds beautifully landscaped.

Another plus is the beach and the easy access to it - some of the resorts we have seen in the other bays are high up the hills and the access to the beach very steep; some have no sandy beach at all. Sensi has a nice sandy beach although this time of the year the tide was low during the day (evenings were better). There is only one tide per day on Ko Tao!

The staff were lovely, many are not Thai but from Myanmar, and most speak good English.

Some of the reviewers complained about the 'wildlife' - we didn't mind the resort's friendly dog following the housekeepers, the morning visit by the pigs (!), the squirrels playing in the trees, or the resident geckos. Our bungalow was at the back of the resort so we also had an occasional visit by some bantam roosters and hens. There were some mosquitoes on the veranda - mosquito coils from 7-Eleven for 20 baths took care of that (coconuts make great stands for them).

If you require absolute silence to sleep, you may prefer a bungalow away from the back boundary, as there was a little noise during the day from the small road and some residential/utility buildings there (hence the chickens?). The nights were generally quiet. The pier is relatively close and busy but the only boat we heard occasionally was the cargo boat that left during the night on the high tide.

Room Tip: Bungalows at the back boundary of the resort (e.g. 324) get a bit more noise from the small road and...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Antipodean1111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 June 2013

My husband and I spent 6 nights at Sensi Paradise and absolutely loved it. We stayed in the Romantic Sea View bungalow which had air con, a really nice sized room with a huge bed with mosquito netting and an incredible private terrace with a bed to take in the stunning view of Mae Had harbour. We stayed in Bungalow #33 which was well located in terms of the pool, reception and restaurant.
As some of the other posts noted, there are lots of native visitors that share the resort, but we found that to be part of the overall charm and experience and loved the sounds during the day and night of all the life around us. If you shut the doors to the room and also the bathroom, you will avoid having any creepy crawlies in your room.
We ate in the restaurant quite a few times for dinner and thought the Thai food was really excellent and well priced relative to other restaurants on Koh Tao. I would recommend eating there. We also had dinner a couple of times at Whitening which is a very short walk down from the resort towards Mae Haad village. We enjoyed the ambience and food there as well. It is very romantic.
We rented a moped from the guy right up from the resort - one of the servers at the restaurant arranged it for us but reception could do this too. It was incredibly cheap at 250 baht a day and we were told that renting from his is better than other places in town in case of any incidents/scratches, not to mention it is convenient when returning the bike at the end. We found the moped indispensable and explored Koh Tao daily on it - it would be hard to do without it, unless you are willing to get taxis everywhere and there are some of the less developed stunning spots that would be difficult to get to without it.
The beach at Sensi is really beautiful and it is possible to snorkel there as well, although it can be hard with a low tide as the corals are very shallow. We also tried Jansom Bay, which is the next resort over from Sensi. It is exclusive to the Charm Churee Villas and so they charge 200 Baht for the privilege of letting you go there.
To put this in perspective, the gorgeous Island of Nangyuan charges 100 Baht entry! So this is very expensive in relative terms and to be honest, there are better places to snorkel and swim on the island. We found that you could not linger in the water too long once you get in because the fish are quite aggressive there - they bite!! Once you start moving (swimming away!) they stop.
We found Tanote Bay to be the best snorkelling and swimming spot. It is pretty straight forward to get there from Sensi on the moped. If you do go, I recommend the stunning tree house/bungalow restaurant at Ao Leuk II, close to Tanote. It had the best Pad Thai I have ever eaten! Loved it! And the view from there is incredible!
We did yoga almost daily mostly at Shambhala Yoga in Sairee. We were taught by Kester and Cynthia and found their classes absolutely fantastic and the studio was great too. Highly recommend it. We also tried Grounded but preferred Shambhala. We followed the morning classes with fab brekkie at the Sairee Sairee café, which I think is French owned. They do great omelettes!
We managed to get out in Sairee one night, following the Koh Tao Festival. I guess we might be getting too old for it - it is a fairly young crowd out there! Koh Tao is not known for its crazy nightlife but this is one of the reasons we picked it.
We loved the location of Sensi, because it is far enough from the more touristy and "party" part of the island, Sairee, but close enough to get there if you need to. Mae Haad itself has shops, restaurants, bars and services and is also big enough if you want to avoid Sairee altogether.
Sensi tailors to the family and couples holiday seekers, although I believe Samui is better suited for families as it could be difficult to get around Koh Tao with kids.
We had a wedding in Samui following this fantastic week and stayed in the seemingly more luxurious Amari Palm Reef. And we missed Sensi! It really depends on your preference: if you want flashy, resorty, expensive and a more developed feel then stay in Samui if you want a more tranquil, remote, less developed and truly unique experience - a true paradise in our opinion - then Tao and Sensi are the choices for you! We prefer the more rustic experiences and actually found Sensi to be incredibly luxurious and fantastic value. I couldn't recommend this place enough! It was like being on honey moon again and we couldn't have picked a better place to spend our 2nd wedding anniversary! Enjoy!

Room Tip: The Romantic Sea View Bungalow is fantastic - we stayed in #33 and found it to be very well located...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
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5 Thank Svetik82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 21 June 2013

Sensi Paradise lived up to all expectations of an island holiday. It is rustic and full of creatures from spiders to bats. But if you don't mind the occasional visitor, this experience is all worth while. We stayed in the romantic sea view room which I highly recommend. It is like having your own private bungalow. It was spacious with a huge deck, comfortable mosquito netted bed and clean bathroom. It was rustic in a very 5 star way and the view was simply breathtaking. The resort has an amazing restaurant with very friendly and helpful staff and is literally on the beach. The resort is also extremely close to the small yet well equipped village. The scuba diving is perfection and the clear blue, warm waters do not disappoint. The island is like something out of a story book and the resort is the perfect place to stay if you want the typical island feel. I would definitely visit again!

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Kirsten S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 June 2013 via mobile

This was our second stay at Sensi and we have loved it every time!!! The resort is beautifully set in lush jungle surrounds and the bungalows offer privacy & practicality.
We chose a romantic sea view room and loved the balcony with its perfect sea views. This was more expensive then last year when we were in a deluxe room. If you book deluxe request room 19-great views!!! This year we had room 35 and although it was further away from the main amenities, it was peaceful & private.
A few changes we noted since our last stay:
1) there is a pool bar option now and although they bring food & drinks up from the restaurant, the service was prompt and prices reasonable.
2) breakfast is now a buffet option instead of choosing your own meal (eg. Eggs Benedict). Although I prefer the old option it is easier and quicker to have the buffet and they had a good range of food choices.
Overall we love this resort & recommend it to all staying in koh Tao. We will be back again :)

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank sammclean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 June 2013

Sensi was all we hoped for and more. Splurge for the Romantic Beachside Bungalow if you want a relaxing morning coffee, evening beer, or rainy-day afternoon in privacy but with a gorgeous view of much of Koh Tao! The location of the property is also excellent with its own practically private beach, on the very end of the lower-key end of the Mae Haad area and pathways. So you can enjoy the resort or be out in town trying new restaurants and shops in 5 minutes. Breakfast was great, and service was always thorough and friendly. We even had an umbrella escort from breakfast to our bungalow across the resort on a rainy day! The pools are also great. Snorkelling was not so good when we stayed as the tide was strangely, always too low for our liking, but you can easily take a boat trip from Sensi or around town. Hope to come back soon!

Room Tip: Romantic Beach Bungalows are wonderful!
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Liz J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 May 2013

We originally booked a 4 night stay here last week with another couple, but we only ended up staying here for 2 nights. This is possibly one of the worst places I have stayed at. To be fair, the island itself doesn't have any major hotel chains and the island seems to be still developing.

The hotel does offer a free shuttle service from the ferry dock- one nice thing. We got to the hotel and were given our room. Actually all the rooms are little cottages on stilts. They have a really cute front porch with a table etc., but the mosquitos were so bad you can't really sit out there and enjoy. The room looks ok, the bed does have a nice mosquito net around it, but it is pretty small overall. Now I don't need a 5 star resort, but I can't do bugs. We had loads of ants all over our room. To the point that they were all in the bed. If you lifted up a pillow, ants were under the pillows. They really were all over and I was scared to leave my suitcase open at all. We complained to the front desk and they just came in and sprayed some Raid and left the can on the bed table! Really?? So when we got back from dinner, we had a bunch of dead ants all over the room and the bed. They didn't even bother to clean them up!

The bathroom is also another issue. You can't flush toilet paper down the toilet, so you're expected to put it in the trash bin after you go. Um, no thanks! And they bathroom also doesn't have a proper window, it has chicken wire around it! How do you expect to keep mosquitos and bugs out with chicken wire as the window?!

The rooms also don't have phones, so no way to call up to the front desk if you have an issue with something.

After sleeping with the light on that night (for fear of what else would show up in the room) we decided to check out when we could catch the ferry again the following morning. We spent 2 nights, but if you leave early, you get charged another night. So we paid 3 nights in total. If I would have known I was signing up for a camping experience, this may have been a different story, but I wanted to stay in a hotel. This might be fine for people who are fine with the great outdoors, the scenery is beautiful, but I don't need nature in my living space.

The hotel is in a good location, the breakfast was good, the pool was nice, the beach was nice and the walk into town was very easy and they had lots of good restaurants and massage places nearby.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Kelly C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sensi Paradise

Property: Sensi Paradise
Address: 27 Moo 2 | Mae Haad, Koh Tao 84280, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Koh Tao
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Koh Tao
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Koh Tao
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Sensi Paradise 3*
Number of rooms: 40
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Also Known As:
Sensi Paradise Hotel Koh Tao
Sensi Paradise Ko Tao

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