We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Nearby Hotels
Reviews (2,788)
Filter reviews
2,789 results
Traveller rating
1,700
590
235
136
128
Traveller type
Time of year
LanguageAll languages
More languages
1,700
590
235
136
128
Show reviews that mention
All reviews open water course anthony griffiths fishbowl bar dive master advanced open water fish bowl night dive free room fun dives great instructor dive course air con learn how fan room my girlfriend sairee beach basic room
Filter
Updating list...
1,223 - 1,228 of 2,789 reviews
Reviewed 31 March 2012

Stayed here for 3 nights. The hotel is split in 2. One part is on the hillside which overlooks Sairee Beach but heed the word hillside. Depending on where you are it could take 15 mins to walk to Sairee Beach and some rooms are quite high up with a lot of steps.

The lower part of the hotel is down by the main walkway along Sairee beach. Bans really make an effort to maintain the 'jungle esque' area which is impressive (see photos) this is where we stayed. Apart from the occasional large bug or two the only problem here was Fishbowl late bar. Bans operate one of the most popular night spots on the island. So 7 nights a week music is blasted along with upto 200 partygoers. This was ideal when you were out for the night but when getting up early to go diving and you need to sleep by 2am. Not a chance!

Overall rooms were good. Bathroom area is a wet room with poor shower. Good sized living area. No breakfast included as the Fishbowl serves food from early on.

There are 2 pools. One in the lower area. One in the hillside area. As the name suggests, Bans is a diving hotel. Every day there are people using the lower pool for diving lessons and you cant use it. The hillside pool is the same but there is still space to use the pool. The gardens around the hillside pool as well as the actual pool are very nice.

  • Stayed: March 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank johnstonj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 March 2012

The rooms were comfortable and clean - we stayed at the new building uphill, which was a bit far from the beach but u get used to it. The course was also fine, professional and effective. My final experience with the hotel service was very negative, though. I bought a boat-train ticket to BKK from the reception, which is part of the service they provide and collect comission for.
The girl from the reception sold me the ticket, given the time of my internatioinal flight from BKK and she assured me that i'll be on time. I asked several times if delays are common and was told that i shouldn't worry. As u can imagine, it was not OK anf if i listened to the advice not to worry, i would definitely miss my flight. I had a terrible experience, stressful and painful (sitting night train) and i do blame the Ban's staff on that and not the Thai Railways.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank mar i
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 March 2012

I originally went to Ban's for my open water course in 2009, based on lonely planet reviews. I returned in March 2012 to do my advanced open water and nitrox cert based on previous experience. I quickly learned that as a returning student there was a plethora of discounts available to me for future courses and fun dives even after all that time. The hotel staff were extremely helpful and the quality of dive instruction was simply amazing. They'll even take for a drink at the end of the day and introduce you to other students and instructors. If you have a chance ask for Jaffa as a dive instructor. Solid guy and he could navigate the dive sites there blindfolded if he ever needed to. He really takes care of his students both in the water, and afterwards if you need help with anything.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Daniel E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2012

Let's be quite fair - you get what is on the label. The prices are very reasonable (especially the free accommodation if you are taking a dive course!). The dive courses looked very cheap to me as well - about the same price as Philippines. The staff are professional & very friendly/helpful. The rooms are basic and clean. Now the gripes. I think it's great for courses - but we went there as experienced fun divers, & found ourselves in a bit of a 'sausage factory'. I won't tell you how awful our first dive was, with a Japanese DM who treated us like first-dive students, even though she knew our experience level. We had all our camera gear, & warned her we were doing macro - but she wouldn't let us stop underwater for more than 10 secs, without banging her tank & waving us on! At 35 mins into the dive, with over 100 bar left, and at only 14m, she signed us to ascend & carry out our safety stops. This definately wasn't fun diving! To give the Dive Centre it's due, once we explained the problem, they bent over backwards to make it work for us. We were let loose on our own, after a young DM had shadowed us on 2 dives, & seen us both come up after 55 mins with 100 bar left, to his empty tank. After that, it was great, & they couldn't do enough for us. But the downside was the poor dive sites, the same every day. Ideal for Open Water qualifiers or Advanced courses, but a bit too crowded for us, with no variety. And frankly, the quality was very poor compared with the rest of Asia (we normally dive Philippines, Borneo & Palau). It may be that other dive sites around the island were better - we just didn't go there! I normally take 100 or so photos per dive - on most dives at Koh Tao I didn't even switch my camera on. There was just no macro wildlife at all - no shrimps, crabs, nudibranchs, sea horse ie all the usual small stuff. Yes, there were plenty of reef fish to be seen, but not as much variety as we would expect. Frankly, the reefs we dived did not seem too healthy to us.
In summary, I would say that if it's the first time you've dived in Asia, if you want to party a lot, or if you want to do courses - Ban's is probably the place to go. If you're an experienced diver, probably not.
Positives: Professional, cheapish, friendly, helpful, clean. Great for courses. Good for partying all night.
Negatives: Not really for fun divers. Nitrox has to be ordered the day before & 'bought in' ( a bit pricey). The restaurant is a bit expensive, and unlike the rest of the resort, the service is truly appalling - it is staffed by pimply boys who spend their time texting, or re-arranging their weird hair styles. One even tried to take my order with a mouth full of food, then found he couldn't even talk!

Room Tip: Don't accept one by the pool - too noisy!
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank RobertScuba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2012

Me and my husband chose ban's as it is the most famous diving school in thailand. we had our open water diving courses there. as for school and instructors, i give it 5 stars (the instructors had a lot of patience with me as i had problems with my ears and could not managed to finish the course- I practically had an instructor for my own ...:) )
As for the resort, is very large and has a large palette of accomodations.
-the fan rooms are in a 2 storey building and do not have private bathroom - these are free if you complete the diving courses there
- the AC rooms - these are across the fan rooms in similar 2 storey building. you have to pay extra for them when on courses (we paid 600THB), had private bathroom, but the rooms smelled all the time (cheesy smell) - i think it was the mattress or the furniture....rooms otherwise are ok, they look clean, although the bedsheets look worn out. The bathroom is basic and the tiles with some mold but not very dirty. with that smell all the time, i could not feel very comfortable there.
- other deluxe rooms - there were other buildings with rooms that looked from outside more luxurious (they had large glass-doors). probably more pricy.

the beach and water is ok , the bar there is very crowded with divers and nice atmosphere with fireshows and live music band.
they provide taxi service for free to/from peer.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank bmihaela
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
View more reviews