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“Tired and run-down but ok value and a good location”

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Ban's Diving Resort
Ranked #6 of 49 Hotels in Koh Tao
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 16 February 2014

I stayed at Ban's for 7 nights on a Scuba diving trip in February 2014. I chose Ban's due to its relatively high ratings on Tripadvisor and also as it appeared to be relatively low cost. The photos and description on Ban's own website were also a factor. On arrival to Ban's, following an efficient check-in, I was escorted to my room. The room appeared to be fairly run-down by comparison with the photos on their website. There was a very strong smell of sewage in the room, which the hotel employee who brought me there offered to cover up with "spray". I declined his offer and was escorted to an alternative room on the opposite side of the resort. This room was clean and fresh, but similarly run-down, so much so that I had to recheck Ban's website to make sure that I was in the same place. The website photos, whereas a good indication of the basic layout and theme of the rooms, disguise the very tired nature of the entire resort. The rooms are finished with cheap materials that are badly worn and poorly maintained (cracked wall, floor and ceiling tiles/ badly marked walls and surfaces/ torn curtains and bed linen/ successive coats of poorly applied paint, etc.). I would guess that the photos on their website were either taken when the hotel was new, or that the resolution is sufficiently poor to hide the true appearance of the rooms. That said, the room was clean and comfortable and, I thought, relatively good value for money. In the grounds of the resort, the tired, run-down theme is continued (in fact there are small areas of this place that, when seen in isolation, could be described as 'derelict'). Again, however, the whole place is clean (apart from the toilets located beside the reception, which were shockingly dirty) and the gardens are fairly spectacular. My interactions with the hotel staff were fairly limited, but I would say that most people that I encountered were friendly and helpful enough, although there were some exceptions. The location is very good, with direct beach access and right beside many good bars and restaurants. However, the flip-side of that is that there is a lot of noise from a couple of the late-night venues that are either side of the resort. However, things were generally quiet by 3am and the noise was not so bad that it couldn't be drowned out by turning up the fan on the aircon. Overall, if you are looking for reasonable value for money and want to be at the heart of the Sairee Beach area, then Ban's is an ok choice. If, however, you are attracted to the "resort" style setting and the appearance of the rooms on Ban's website, you will be very dissappointed, of not have your vacation ruined. I was travelling alone, so my requirements were pretty low. I probably would stay again if I couldn't find anything better, but I certainly wouldn't bring my wife to this place, for example.

Room Tip: Choose the rooms at the back of the resort; they will be quieter.
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled solo
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1  Thank Coldten
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 14 February 2014

I love Scuba diving, and did my PADI instructor course and MSDT ratings with Ban's. The instructors and course training was highly professional, and all trainee instructors got plenty of experience assisting and leading courses.
There is a constant flow of PADI courses throughout the week, so there are plenty of opportunities to practice your skills and get the dives up. I did about 200 dives with Ban's, sometimes doing 5 or 6 per day.
Ban's also has night dives, which I highly recommend. The hotel is so-so, since I stayed long term I had the a/c pool room view. The room was in need of upgrading, especially the bathroom, faucets and bed linen.
Things to do in Koh Tao: rent a bike, ride round the island, do lots of snorkeling in all the little beaches and enclaves, and dive.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank MaximRossOz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 February 2014

In January 2014 I joined the Instructor Development Course (IDC) with Bans. It was a great experience for me during these three weeks. The course directors Guillaume, Natalie, Jeff and also the staff Eva, Michael and Paul were really patient and helpful, even if you were struggling with physics they made extra lessons, till everyone understood it. It was not just a learning atmosphere, it was like a family helping each other and at the same time having a lot of fun. Every single course director has their own skills so I got the best out of everything.
At the beginning of the course I was afraid and felt not ready at all, but at the date of my exams I was really confident that every single student will pass.
Also I was not sure to continue my education in taking part in the MSDT. Now I can say it was the best thing I could do! I didn`t just learn how to teach also my own diving skills could improve a lot and it was so much fun. There isn`t much theory but more practical learning. I appreciated the little group so I could benefit enormously. Thanks to Craig who taught me a lot of new diving skills! I really enjoyed the dives with you!
Now I just want to say thank you to Guillaume, Natalie, Jeff, Craig, Michael, Eva and Paul! Thanks again for this great experience and for teaching me how a good instructor should be. I really appreciated your patience and help, when I was tired and had a hard time. Also it`s not as a matter of course from Bans Diving resort, letting me join the IDC twice, because my ear was injured and I could not finish the first one.

I really recommend to do your IDC with these professional, experienced, helpful and friendly people.


Stayed: January 2014, travelled solo
1  Thank Mi87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 February 2014

we had been here for learning 'AOW' and we're very satisfy with the all service i.e. room, food, transfer from pier-hotel-pier and also the 'AOW' class that Ban's Diving provided us the very experience instructor. We had a very most happiness time here.

Room Tip: I suggest to get 'top hill room' number 203-204, this room can see panorama view of the sea...
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank jsaleesung
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 February 2014

Beside from the diving centre (wich is great and works efficient) the rooms are not that great. We had the 600 bath room and got it for free during our divecourse, which is great, but the 600 is a bit overcharge for the quality you get. The rooms were basic but clean. The one we had, was a bit uphill and 5min walk to the beach. The worst thing about the room was the lack of hot water. With so much money going around in Ko Tao and Bans, a cold shower is a shame. You can sleep cheaper, and if you don't dive with Bans, I suggest you book at an other place.

Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
Thank Frank B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 February 2014

We had a wonderful experience taking our dive courses at Ban's. The instructors were great at teaching diving and fun to hang out with after the day's activities. The rooms that come with the program aren't too flash. We upgraded to an air con room on two separate occasions, during our two different stays and they still weren't that great. However, they were cheap and we didn't spend much time in the room in Koh Tao anyways. The garden view rooms looked much better but didn't appeal to us based on the price difference and our evaluation of how much time we'd be spending in the room.

Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
Thank Rutty6699
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 January 2014 via mobile

We had a 1 star course of diving at Ban's. Our instructor was David Cohen, and honestly, we couldn't ask for a better instructor!

He was gentle, funny, good teacher, very patient and professional. We were in our honeymoon, and it was definitely the highlight of our 1 month vacation, a lot of it thanks to David!

We were a group of four people, all Israelis, and he speaks Hebrew as well so it was awesome. If you want to take the course in English, he teaches English groups as well so go for it!

Totally recommended!!

Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank Ran L
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
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 - £67 (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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