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“Lovely hotel but the staff are rude!”

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Ban's Diving Resort
Ranked #5 of 49 Hotels in Koh Tao
Certificate of Excellence
Dublin
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Lovely hotel but the staff are rude!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 January 2008

I stayed there with several girlfriends over the summer on our tour of Asia.
They wanted to dive but I didn't which meant we got a really good deal. we decided we wanted to stay in a nice room near the reception.
Our room was newly renovated with a lovely bathroom, tv in the room with loads of american channels, our beds are nice and there was a fridge and a view of the sea from our private balcony.

at night the resort turns into a night club area, there are numerous clubs along the sea line.

the staff at the resort are not that friendly. They can be very unhelpful.

there is a nice walk away with shops and restaurants beside the hotel area and a swimming pool with sun loungers and fluffy white towels.

  • Liked — our room
  • Disliked — the staff at reception
  • Stayed August 2007, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Ave2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,087 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (157)
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English first
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Level Contributor
30 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 December 2007

I'm surprised with all the negative reviews of Ban's. My experience with Bans was similar to all my other experiences in the south of Thailand. The people there are tired of tourists and they are rude and disinterested. Ban's is no exception - and no worse than anywhere else I stayed. While at Ban's, I stayed in a budget room that was clean and acceptable for the price (1/2 off since I was in the diving school). I think the more expensive rooms are closer to the beach and bar and, therefore, are more noisy!

In my experience the hotel staff was acceptable, but certainly not accommodating. The real problem I had was at the restaurant. It was totally unacceptable!!!! The food was marginal and you honestly had to beg to get a menu or to get anyone to help you. If you managed to order, it might take 5 minutes to get your food, or it might take 1 hour. I quit eating there after my second day -- but found several of the competing restaurants to be almost as bad.

Having said all that, my experience with the dive school was very good. I had the best instructor imaginable - his name was Ronan and he was Israeli. He was fantastic!! My dives were not overcrowded and Ronan did a very good job of maximizing our time in the water and our experience while underwater.

Koh Tao, generally, is very popular as a European backpacker destination. It has cheap accommodations, very cheap diving schools and lots of drinking and having fun. If that's not what you are into, I would strongly recommend trying someplace else. I'm only 36 yrs old and I felt like an old man there :-) Of course, if you have any aversion to thousands of <25 backpacker-types, I would avoid Thailand all-together!!

  • Liked — Dive School
  • Disliked — Restaurant - service
  • Stayed August 2007, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Bug3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 December 2007

Overall Koh Tau is a wonderful place but choose where to stay and/or dive very carefully. I stayed at Ban's for 2 months to complete a Divemaster course & I found the staff here to be extremely obnoxious, arrogant & very, very rude, both the Thais and the western diving instructors. Ban's completely ruined my experience of Koh Tau to be fair. I've never been as badly treated nor spoken to in such a rude manner anywhere else. Horrible place & people.

Stayed September 2007
Helpful?
2 Thank W0rld_T0ur2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bangkok
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 August 2007

The diving at this place is top quality. I learnt there in 1995 and went back just recently to do some more diving. It is much expanded now and we booked to stay in one of their suite rooms whilst using their diving facilties. The rooms themselves are fine, hot water, air con, balcony, etc. The only problem was that the bar and restaurant at the resort is close to the suite rooms and turns into loud music-playing hang-out every night until 2.30am, pumping out base that will resonate through your bedposts and disturb, should you be trying to catch a bit of sleep after a hard day on the beach or out diving. Dive here, it's great. But if you stay here also and want to sleep at night, beware.

  • Liked — Convenient for diving
  • Disliked — The noise
  • Stayed August 2007, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank mjgreenacre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 July 2007

I can only recommend staying here if you are doing a diving course. First, because the rooms are half the cost with a course, and the discount only applies to days when you are actually doing a course. Second, because there's not much to do unless you are diving (although it seems the same goes for most of Koh Tao)!

We asked for a standard air-con room, but were upgraded to deluxe air-con for the first night. We ended up staying in the deluxe room and paid the discounted deluxe rate for the remaining nights. It was quite a nice room, and it looked almost like a villa from the outside! The room was very clean, with a mini-fridge, a safe, and lots of English TV channels. We noticed a faint sewage smell in the bathroom, but everyone else in my diving group said their standard rooms stunk of waste. Our room was fairly close to the bar/restaurant so you could hear music in our room late at night (not a bother for me, but maybe for some).

The Ban's grounds are gorgeously landscaped, with huge plants, flowers, paths, bridges, koi ponds, waterfalls and statues. The pool is always full of diving students so forget swimming there. The beach directly on the resort is quite small and not really good for swimming either. But it's a short walk on the beach to better locations, especially at night when all the bars set up on the sand. The location is central on Sai Ree Beach and is close to both peaceful and party bars and restaurants. You can even take a hilly walk to the main town in about 20 minutes, but bring a flashlight at night! There is a convenient 7-11 and ATM nearby.

The staff were largely indifferent (at best) to the guests. The restaurant staff were particularly disorganized and inconsistent. Sometimes you'd sit down and you'd have to flag someone down to finally get a menu. Or the food would be slow to come. To be fair, the service was sometimes fast but it was basic at best. Seriously, I don't think I saw one staff member smile in the five days I was at Ban's.

The diving instructors, on the other hand, seemed very knowledgeable and experienced. I was pretty assured of the quality of instruction, since Ban's is one of the biggest and oldest dive schools on the island. However, I did have the impression sometimes of being on a PADI production line. As a first time diver I wanted a big school, but I think I would go with a smaller school in the future.

Ban's Diving Resort is great ONLY if you are doing a diving course, if you are young, and you want to meet lots of people! Otherwise, I'd scout out somewhere smaller with a better beach and more balanced crowd.

  • Liked — Gorgeous landscaping, nice room, knowledgeable diving instructors
  • Disliked — Unhelpful staff, lots of young partiers (<25), nothing else to do besides diving
  • Stayed June 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank loki13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 July 2007

Do not stay or dive here unless…. you are a non-discerning teenage partygoer, preferably one who smokes and has multiple tattoos and piercings, who is content with diving/learning to dive with a mediocre dive facility during the day and then partying into the wee hours of the night. If not particular about lodging or one who takes diving or safety very seriously, you will be fine here but it definitely wasn’t for us (me and my husband). We came to Ban’s to do several recreational dives (or “fun dives” as they are referred to here) but had such a bad experience with our room and first dive that we cancelled our remaining pre-paid dives and lodging, loosing money in the process in cancel fees. The irritable female staff member who assisted us was curt, rude and visibly indifferent about our experience or the reputation of Bans. Our “deluxe” room, #65, had a leaky A/C unit that dripped onto the floor and into the closet. The water caused a stinky mold growth on the ceiling and left the wood around the unit to warp rendering the closet door inoperable. The bathroom facet was broken and the fan, connected to the bathroom light, sounded like a WWII air raid siren (I’m going to the toilet - duck and cover!) Two single beds, pushed together to make a double, were situated about 2 feet away from the wall with a very awkward configuration of an unusable table and upside down lamp behind the headboard area. At first I figured the designer was just a dimwit but later realized they had attempted to make a singles room into a double for us. The in-room safe was closed and had to be reset by maintenance, and the TV had blaring static on most channels. Outside we were treated to noisy construction. At night we were serenaded with thumping bass noise from the resort’s restaurant/bar until 2am. The second day we changed rooms only to have dripping water from the A/C unit serve as an in-room waterfall which had to have a trash can placed underneath it at all times in order to avoid an in-room swimming pool. Although somewhat organized, in their own way, with a pleasant staff member running the dive shop; overall the dive operation left much to be desired> In summary there were at least 50+ people on the dive boat, an old, run down two-story contraption not easily accessed from the pier, the gear was heavily worn and the dive masters, many of which chain smoked when not in the water, seemed more concerned about joking around and discussing their drunken antics, than assisting divers and maintaining decorum. Despite bad dive conditions, obviously no fault of Ban’s, my female dive master wasted half the dive in an area with no visibility until we turned around and headed to an area with abundant sea life. Only one male dive master who assisted me on the surface (Anthony I believe) seemed to be concerned about the divers and conditions. Not a good dive experience to say the least. Do some research and pick a smaller, more reputable “professional” dive operation if you are going to Ko Tao for serious diving and don't want the party crowd and poor accomodations.

  • Liked — Nothing
  • Disliked — Everything
  • Stayed July 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank LvtrvlLA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amsterdam
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 June 2007

We decided to stay here because it looked very good at first sight. Unfortunately, there turned out to be many drawbacks:

- Dirty bed : we took the better roomtype of 2000 baht (got it for 1800 because i did a couple of dives). Paying 1800 baht makes you expect clean beds, but ours was full of stains (the cotton was even hard/stiff). At first we thought the sheets were just a bit worn down, but upon closer examination, on our second day, the stains turned out to be semen stains. So we'd be sleeping in a dirty bed. It took us some talking to the staff to get it cleaned. The staff was unfriendly. No sorry, no excuses, nothing..

- noise: the noise from the open air bar was really really loud. And I am even a techno / loud music lover... It went on until around 0:30 at night, so we weren't too happy about that

- overcharging: the staff tried to overcharge us when buying the boat tickets for the way back to Samui

  • Liked — The matress
  • Disliked — The sheets and the staff
  • Stayed June 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank JordvanderZwaag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ban's Diving Resort

Property: Ban's Diving Resort
Address: Haad Sairee, Koh Tao, Koh Tao 84360, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Koh Tao
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Koh Tao
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Koh Tao
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Ban's Diving Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 38
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ban's Technical Diving is operated out of Ban's Diving, Koh Tao, Thailand. Ban's Technical Diving is an award winning DSAT, BSAC, ANDI Technical Instructor Diving Facility. The only Tech Center on Koh Tao (and one of few in the world) that offers DSAT Technical Diving Intructor Courses. Deep Wreck Diving, Cave Expeditions.-Nitrox, Deep, Wreck, Gas Blender, Compressor Operator, Rebreather, Equipment, Emergency Oxygen, Technical Decompression Diving, Cave, Cavern......... ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ban`s Diving Hotel Koh Tao
Bans Diving Hotel
Bans Diving Ko Tao

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