Our pick of the bunch
Ko Tao is so big, we’ve split it up into areas, select one of the below for detailed accommodation and food listings in that area. Sights and general overviews for Ko Tao as a whole can be found via the icons above. Don’t know where to start? Read an overview of Ko Tao’s different areas.
North Sairee is the area perched on the rocks at the end of the bay. The resorts here are stretched along the hillside and coastline and have some of the best views along the bay but no direct access to the beach. It’s quiet here yet Sairee is only a 15-minute walk away and there is a place to stay whatever your budget. Here are our top picks.
Although a couple of luxury resorts compete for attention at this end of the beach, Thipwimarn simply does it best. It’s the longest standing resort and the view from the pool, restaurant and even reception area are nothing short of fabulous. The resort has its own spa too and a range of individualised rooms to suit various budgetary pockets.
The hillside is lovingly landscaped into a beautiful tropical garden. There are a lot of steps in this resort but they are even and a lazy depth to suit a holiday pace. The restaurant food is tasty but the service can be a little slow, so wind down to island time, enjoy the view and don’t get frustrated! Rooms range from 2,000 to 9,000 baht. (16/7 Haad Sairee, Ko Tao; T: (077) 456 6409; www.thipwimarnresort.com.)
Midrange: Hillside Resort
Hillside Resort is has been recently renovated and it works really well. Traditional-style Thai bungalows have been refurbished and now have the feel of seaside chalets with quaint powder-blue paint jobs.
Although they are older bungalows, they have really been tidied up and now boast air-con too. I don’t know of anywhere else where you will get air-con and a stunning view for just 1,600 baht, and that includes breakfast, too. The resort even has a pool right down by the water’s edge, a great restaurant with cracking sunset views and free WiFi in every bungalow.
As the name suggests, the resort is located on a steep hillside, but you can get around using one of their two golf carts — when you want to go somewhere, find someone with a radio and call the gold buggy to collect you! Prices go up to 3,800 baht. (19/1 Moo 1, Haad Sairee, Ko Tao; T: (077) 601 822; www.kohtaohillside.com)
Budget: Golden Cape Resort
Golden Cape Resort is a bit like the resort the time forgot, but give time also forgot the price, you can’t complain. A simple wooden bunglaow starts at just 300 baht, the concrete bungalows start at 500 baht and you can get air-con thrown in from 700 baht.
Okay, it can’t be all good, right? The garden is not immaculately manicured but it’s clean and tidy. Rooms are well used but also well looked after and clean. The mismatched garish bedding could be a little too much to cope with for some. While there is no view, there is path to the beach and it’s blissfully quiet here. (19 Moo 1, Haad Sairee, Ko Tao; T: (077) 456 811)
By Ayesha Cantrell
Last updated on 2nd January, 2014.