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“Hyped and Overpriced with very Poor Maintenance and questionable Cleanliness....”

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Ban's Diving Resort
Ranked #6 of 50 Hotels in Koh Tao
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 3 February 2013

Spent four nights for my Diving Open Water Course and I think I had the good fortune of getting a nice Deluxe Bungalow with all the ameneties on the top floor. However Wifi did NOT work a single day I was there, Cable TV had only very few channels I could watch, doors did not close properly thus soundproofind and insulation in general is definitely lacking.
Frankly speaking I thought that Sun Smile Guesthouse (a simple unpretentious guesthouse; see my review on Tripadvisor) had better maintenance and is definitely more hospitable than this would be 'first rate' diving resort in Koh Tao. Somewhat sad as management could easily remedy these defficiencies. I am not looking forward to staying there again.

Room Tip: Getting a pool view room could be more of a curse than a blessing as the pools are constantly filled...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled solo
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Thank Madjid A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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976 - 982 of 2,309 reviews

Reviewed 3 February 2013

You just go here for the diving course- that's the only reason. If I'm totally honest, everything else is secondary- slightly dingy rooms, not entirely sure on the cleanliness and because it's a well-trodden path for gap-year students, there was a lot of noise at night (and a little poolside debauchery) for my family. Koh Tao is amazing for diving- just fork out more to ensure the experience is everything it could be!

Room Tip: Far away from the pool as it's very very very noisy
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  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
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Thank jamesy w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 January 2013

I heard from one of its employees that Ban's dive resort authorizes about 16000 open water divers a year, thus making it no 1 world wide, and that the second largest in the world does about 8 000 a year. Well, even if the one who told me seemed proud about it, in my opinion it provides your first clue to the business ideology around which this place is organized. The desire to make money is primary, the product secondary.

This business policy, or lack of, reflects in the crew and the service provided. Upon arriving at Koh Tao pier I was ushered by a lady with a Ban's t-shirt to a taxi and told that I would get free a room included in the course. The fact that I didn't have a reservation did not matter since they were not fully booked. So i ended up at Ban's. However at check in, the lady at the counter told me that the free single room only applied if you had a prior reservation and that I could get a dorm or pay more to get a room. Had I known this I would never have gone to Ban's. After objecting to this new information, referring to what the pier lady had told me, I was offered a single room (which they suddenly had after all...), but with a shared toilet. Since a friend of mine was staying 4-5 days, I asked specifically if I could extend 2-3 more days and how much it would cost. This was answered with "yes" and "500 bath per night" respectively. The receipt i got, which i still have, reven ead "Room free 2 night, after 500 THB / night". So i booked the entire course based on these premises and paid for the cource. When meeting up on the last day to extend my stay I was told that could not since the cheap rooms were needed for other divers (they have no use for me longer since I have already paid the course fee), but that I could get another room for 2 500 a night. Upon confronting the lady with the receipt indicating a 500 thb / night extension option, she said "oh that's just something we put on all receipts". Upon directly asking her, while pointing to the words on the receipt; "So are you saying that this does not mean anything?", She answers "No, we put it on all receipts, sorry...". Ban's didn't need me anymore since my course was already completed and the fee had been paid.

In addition to all the bad reviews Ban's has received there are also plenty of good ones. And of course, usually things run smoothly and no problems arise. Had I pre booked a full stay, the same would probably have applied to me too. However, If any situation arises in where Bans must choose between profit and customer satisfaction, I suspect strongly that the customer will draw the shortest straw.

In short, Ban's lacks what makes a lot of us tourists love Thailand, that constant desire to accommodate and satisfy its visitors with a friendly smile. At Ban's it seems to be all about rapid turnover and making money as fast as possible.

  • Stayed: January 2013
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1  Thank Marcolind
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 January 2013

excellent vibe, rooms are very nice, short distance from the beach. the Ban's restaurant and bar (fishbowl) is very popular at night and it on till 3 or 4 am. hotel located next to 7-11 convenience store. nice mix of people for all countries. this is a great place for young party people or divers, not recommended for honeymooners or family. free wifi within the hotel.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled on business
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Thank tascha007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 January 2013

I always go on trip advisor and think if there are more excellent reviews that poor its usually a good place to stay as some people are being too picky... not here! dont be fooled!

Firstly our room was on the top floor only accessible by a narrow swirl staircase which was very dangerous when it was raining and also not lit up in the dark! This was also impossible for most people to carry luggage up.

We got in our room which had no fridge and wasnt very clean. We woke up in the morning to a bed full of ants which we discovered every morning!

We went to the pool, which didn't have a great deal of sun beds for the amount of rooms, and the cushions for the sun beds were extremely dirty! There was no pool bar open and no room in the pool due to all of the learner divers.

You didnt really see any staff around, and when you did they wasnt very friendly!

I loved koh toa but would never stay here again!

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank holly p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 January 2013

The accommodation is very basic and dated. Even the premium rooms (deluxe) had a broken AC and a flooded toilet. Quite loud at night if you are trying to sleep.

Ban's diving is a party place full of young kids, who are doing their PADI by day and getting wasted by night. For what you pay they don't deliver at any point. Ban's diving is like a huge diving money making machine, if you have your PADI already don't stay with them or dive with them. Go to a smaller place where you have less people in the group. There are so many better places on the island.

Room Tip: Don't do it!
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  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank AnnaNusch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 January 2013

Good things:
clean room, nice receiption, good location

Bad things:
dirty surrounding, noisy at night, basic rooms, no lift, stinky around, bad diving, disorganized diving, not safe. The beach is very dirty, lots of plastic and beer bottles everywhere, bar and restaurant are not nice.

Koh Tao is only for drunk bag packers to party, and get open water course with less money, but dirty and dog poop everywhere, and don't dive here.

  • Stayed: January 2013
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Thank DivingTropical
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

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
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Koh Tao
Price Range: £30 - £63 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Ban's Diving Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 200
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Owned and operated by a local family Ban’s Diving Resort has a very special family oriented hospitality that keeps customers coming back year after year. Within our resort are all the amenities needed to make your holiday on Koh Tao both comfortable and fun. Our facilities include a dive center, beach front restaurant, Darawan Restaurant, spa and hair salon, 24 hour mini mart, 4 swimming pools, and the Fish Bowl bar. ... 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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