Let me be very clear. This resort is at the other end of the island; completely isolated on Aow Tanote, and away from the hustle and bustle. While that might be an appealing factor, it definitely wasn't in this case.
Imagine being somewhere you're having a horrific experience at yet be entirely dependent on the hotel to transport/feed/accommodate you.
This was place was a nightmare.
I will start off with a positive note that they have kept our room without the need of a credit card. Although in retrospect I would think that they just weren't getting any customers, and honestly I wouldnt be suprised if that were the case.
Lets start off with the room - it cost 1500 baht per night (about $50 us dollars), which for a rural island like ko tao is quite expensive. we expected something spacious at the very least, but definitely not a five star deluxe room. What we got was a crammed, filthy room covered in dust and stained sheets with no amenities whatsoever (see pictures!).
I immediately went back to the "reception" (more like a random waiting area) to ask for another room. Noone was at the desk for a good 10 minutes. Then the lady who checked us in casually strolled back to her desk and asked me what was wrong. I politely stated that the room wasn't up to our expectations and if there was perhaps a different room and that I would be willing to pay the difference. There wasn't.
We could've left then and there, but decided to stay the night and pay for the room the next morning.
That very same night we decided to look for another hotel on the more popular Sai Ri beach. We needed a cab and were suprised that they had a TAXI SCHEDULE. A cab would leave every two hours or so until 18.30, and then that's it, you're stuck there for the rest of the night. the prices were fixed (a ridiculous 400 baht one way) and if you wanted to travel outside scheduled times (mind you before 18.30pm) they would charge you twice as much.
So we were forced to wait until the next cab was despatched. We decided to have a meal at their restaurant (the only one in their resort) until the time came. We both ordered "steak", and I can honestly say it was the WORST meal I've ever had. the meat was an odd blue greyish color and tasted like it has been rotting in the sun for the past 3 days. But what choice do we have when we get hungry and this is the only place to eat? Catch fish?
To make a long story short, we managed to book a different hotel that very same evening. Never had I been so releieved that I didn't need to spend the rest of my holiday feeling like a prisoner.
But our horrible experience hadn't finished quite yet. We had arranged a cab ride from the new hotel to pick us up. Because Ko tao is such a tiny island the locals have a complete communication network with one another and so Black tip got a whiff that we were leaving. An opportunity for them to sabotage us one last time.
While checking out we had to pay for every single night we booked, not just the following day. More money down the drain, but we wanted to leave asap so we didn't care. Next we hear that the cab we arranged "couldn't make it" and that we can use their own taxi service at a better price. Again, did we have a choice? No.
We explicitly agreed on a price OFFERED by the hotel manager; half way through the cab ride it appears that the manager calls the taxi driver and tells him to charge us double. And he did. He became violent when we tried to explain our agreement. So to avoid any trouble, we paid him the amount he asked for.
That concludes our experience at Black Tip. The absolute worst place in Thailand. We have travelled everywhere, from luxury resorts to budget bungalows and we were always in awe of Thai hospitality. This was the only place where they were down right mean and abusive. But lesson learned; I will never consider this place again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Black Tip is an eco friendly PADI Gold Palm IDC resort located in Koh Tao, Thailand. We are committed to quality, safety and fun. We provide the full selection of PADI courses. All groups are kept small for more enjoyable dives. We have a range of diving options for certified divers. We have several styles of bungalows available to suit all budgets. We also have a full range of water sports activities available. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Black Tip Diving & Water Sports Idc Hotel Koh Tao
- Black Tip Diving And Water Sports Idc Resort