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“Excellent Diving Tuition, and the rest”

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Ban's Diving Resort
Ranked #5 of 49 Hotels in Koh Tao
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
89 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Excellent Diving Tuition, and the rest”
Reviewed 10 June 2014 via mobile

Stayed at Ban's for 5 nights, 4 nights included with our diving tuition and an extra night as it was all so well equipped!

We learned to dive with Fai and DM in training Paul. Super friendly, knowledgeable and made the whole diving and leaning to dive experience fun and exciting. Also enjoyed a boozy night with them at Fishbowl (just infront of Ban's on the beachfront) after we became certified.

As a couple we got upgraded to an A/C room included in the price of our PADI open water course, room was clean and relatively spacious and a lady made the bed and emptied the bins daily. Free wifi too which reaches even the pool view rooms.

Everything you need (travel agent, supermarket, restaurant and bar) on your doorstep and the staff in the office are super helpful.

Definately learn to dive and stay with Ban's in Ko Tao.

Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Lili S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (163)
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English first
Wellington, New Zealand
1 review
Reviewed 3 June 2014

Im an active PADI instructor and absolutely loved the diving in Ko Tao, I could dive Chompon pinnacle every day for the rest of my life. All the staff at bans were very professional and I have even picked up on 1 or 2 instruction tips ill take back to work with me. The only problem is that there is no heart and soul to the place. I dived with Bans for 3 days and never saw the same member of staff twice. This is truly a scuba factory pumping out new divers daily. I would happily dive with Bans again if there were no alternatives, but since there are so many operators here next time I go to Ko Tao I will be going with one of the smaller shops.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Paddy K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
56 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 May 2014

To be fair, the best way to review this place is to break it into three areas, The hotel, the diving and the scene.
The hotel : I booked two different rooms while I was there. 1 was a garden view "suite" and one was a deluxe room. The suite was very nice and roomy enough for my and my friend who travelled with me. It was clean, and the bathroom was very nice by Thai hotel standards. The AC was awesome. The downside to this room was the noise from the bar until after 2am every night. If you have an early morning dive, this can be very distracting as you try to go to sleep. The wifi service is also not as good as I have experienced elsewhere as you have to re-log in constantly and it does go out quite often. The reception team was very nice for the most part and worked with us as we negotiated better rates due to the amount of diving we were doing and the length of our 10 day stay. They worked to help us whenever we asked for something.

The deluxe room was mine alone for one night. While still ok, it was a big step down from the suite and showed signs of wear and tear such as a very leaky and cracked sink and a dirtier more simplistic shower set up. for one night it was fine and while the staff worked with me on the cost of the room, it was still very over priced compared to other properties on Sairee Beach.

The diving : This is the reason you go to Bans. This is the number one dive center in the world and after a couple of days there, you know why. The instruction was superb. I took my Advanced Open Water and Nitrox certifications with Marcel and my friend did his Open Water cert with Yanis (I think that was his name). We both had a great time with our groups and ended up hanging with them and our instructors at night and for days after the courses concluded. This place genuinely makes the certification process a party and you can hear the applause and cheers every time a class finishes their course. It is a constant occurrence and you just want to be a part of it. There are several dive sites and some are obviously better than others but they run their dive operation like a well oiled machine. The boats are simple and relatively no frills but you aren't there for the boats. The Dive Masters love what they are doing and usually work to show you the best time under water that they can keeping safety in mind at all times. I was genuinely very impressed.

The Scene: If you are 18-30, this is the center of the world. If you are not into a raucous party every night with loud music, lots of smiling people and drinks being poured well into the early morning, then get a room higher up the hill and just go diving. If this is your scene, enjoy and go make friends. You will almost always see someone you know or want to get to know better.

The only real reason that Bans doesn't get a perfect score from me is that they really are one of the more expensive options on the beach for accommodations and while the menu at their restaurant is varied and quite large, the food is simply just ok. There are much better options if you are willing to find them but you can also eat every meal there and be ok too.

Room Tip: The closer the room is to the beach, the louder it will be. Also do yourself a favor and get a room...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank ibw10016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
Reviewed 21 May 2014

Better late than never. Stayed there in October 2013. I went for the open water padi experience at Ban's and upgraded my stay to one with airconditioning. When I arrived they didn't have a room for me so they bumped me up to a deluxe villa and let me stay in that room for 3 nights! The course was awesome. At first it looked like a bit like factory work but our group got an awesome instructor: Rich Mclean. After the open water I decided to stay for the advanced aswell. That was amazing! The night dive was surreal! I can really recommend Ban's and Rich Mclean.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Zhong He L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Neuchatel, Switzerland
Level Contributor
69 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 May 2014

I stayed there for one night when arriving on the island and I booked a Deluxe Hilltop room and I regret I stayed there.
First you arrive at the road entry of the resort and you leave your laguage there and need to walk down to the beach where they have a reception. At the reception you are witnessing a classical Asian scene - there is 8 employees present and only 2 are really working.They have no clue about client service or hospitality. Once you pay you get your key and then you need to walk back up where you left your bags so someone will pick you up and drive you to your room up on the hill. There are two rooms per floor and you share a terasse with tour neighbor. Underneath the rooms there are cleaning staff quarters who sit there all day long. For the breakfast tou go to their upper restaurant which is again a joke, staff who works there couldn't be less bothered - the chairs were wet after a storm during night and nobody cleaned them. Breakfast itself was poor and pathetic for the price you are paying.
The resort is meant for young backpackers who want to the open water divers license and not for an traveller who seeks comfort and good service.

Overall whole place looks like it is run by kids (average age of employees is 18?) for kids (average age of their customers is 20).

Stayed May 2014, travelled solo
Helpful?
1 Thank AQ514
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 May 2014 via mobile

After so much searching and so much disappointment, we landed at Ban's Diving Resort. The place is very nice and the diving school is one of the best on the island (my friend is doing the PADI course). The rooms are comfortable enough. We have the pool just outside our door and the garden is great. The beach is OK. The best spot is about 200 metres away on the left side of the resort. The water is clearer than the pool. The only downside is the staff in reception. The only person that speaks decent English cannot be bothered to help. It would be 5 stars if the receptionist was nicer. All the other staff though are super nice but they speak very little English. They should really chose a nicer person to represent the face if Ban's Diving.

  • Stayed May 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Gianni2014Thailand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 May 2014

Stayed at Ban and intended on diving with husband, however I got extremely sick and was in bed for 24 hours. My husband went on one dive but then decided to stay with me. Staying in the room for 24 hours was terrible. The shower floods the entire bathroom floor, toilet was very dirty, entire bathroom needed to be renovated. Balconies are nice, but loud if neighbors are partiers. Since my husband only dove once, the room price was super expensive and truly not worth the stay. Internet was unreliable and computers in the lobby were always occupied with people sitting on them for long periods. The resort is a great idea if you are getting certified, you are truly emerged in diving, everyone on Koh Tao are there to DIVE! Sucked to get sick (but I have heard from others that they also got this 24 hour bug). Hotel is great for diving but NO hospitality at all.

Room Tip: Get a room far away from the street, loud at night.
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank chowhound2014
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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