Modern comfortable rooms
Overlooking the eastern stretch of Sai Daeng and running out on to the boulder-strewn headland that juts out into the sea, new for 2016 Sai Daeng Resort delivers some very smart rooms at a price that won't leave you in tears for what you get in return.
A deceptively large resort, the further you wander into it (we were shown around for a solid 40 minutes by a very gracious staffer), the more it reveals itself. While there's no denying the resort stands out, considerable effort how been made to work around the natural beauty of the bay where possible. The resort includes a couple of low rises blocks plus villas scattered around, there's also a delightfully placed pool, a waterslide (yes really, Ko Tao's first!) and a private artificial beach looking out to the north overlooking Ao Leuk.
There's a beachside bar and cafe with tables lined up under shade trees on the sand (the pool up top also has a wet bar), a restaurant a little higher up, and free snorkelling gear. The last one is a good touch as a lot of places on Ko Tao charge for gear, and the snorkelling here is quite good.
The resort itself is another one of those polished grey concrete minimalist style affairs. Expect lots of bare walls and glass, but it works well. We were shown a "Sai Daeng Beach Pavilion" which are upstairs downstairs deals (separate rooms) but are right on the centre of the beach so the views from the generously-sized verandas (no hammocks unfortunately) were terrific. For a resort this new, the wood decking was already starting to yield under the sun, so they'll need to get on top of that.
The room was compact and spartan, with a typically white linened bed, flat screen TV, air-con, WiFi throughout and a hot water shower. Sliding glass doors opened onto the wooden terrace that had us elevated right above the sand, with good views along the length of the beach.
They do have two kinds of cheaper rooms than these, but they didn't strike us as good value (the cheapest have no view at all) and if you can't stretch to at least the beach pavilion style room, we'd say opt for Coral View Resort next door (starting at 1,900 baht) which has more affordable options but is still well located to the beach.
The swimming pool is a freeform horizon pool with a small wet bar at one end. It struck us as perhaps a little small for a resort of this size, but it wasn't at all crowded in the midday heat as we trudged by. There is a second small pool at the base of the waterslide (which itself sits just above the main pool, but it tumbles down to the north towards Ao Leuk.
Also on the north side is an artificial "beach" the hotel has made (really a sand backfilled retaining wall) and the snorkelling out this side looked very solid to us. An advantage of this vantage point is while you would be snorkelling in Ao Leuk, you're a long way from the crowds that go in off the beach there (though snorkelling boat trips could still deliver people here).
As with neighbouring Coral View Resort, Sai Daeng resort is quite isolated, reached by a winding, and extremely hilly in places concrete road, that cuts across behind Jamahkiri to get here. As with a number of the more remote roads on Ko Tao, this isn't one novice motorcyclists, so do take care if you're heading over this way, even on a day trip.
Partly on account of the road, if you're wanting to spend a lot of time in the big smoke, this may not be the right choice, but if isolation is what you're after and the prices are right for you, this is a solid option. Our listed prices are just a subset of what is offered on their (somewhat confusing) website. Be sure to shop around for a competitive rate online. Recommended.
Address: Haad Sai Daeng, Ko Tao
T: (099) 287 0717;
Coordinates (for GPS): 99º50'23.62" E, 10º3'56.52" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 4,000B to 8,000B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Standard double room|
No windows Add 700 baht for a window
|2,290 baht||3,270 baht|
|Superior double room||3,990 baht||4,270 baht|
|Deluxe double room||4,250 baht||5,700 baht|
Stuart McDonald co-founded Travelfish.org with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer, freelancing and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.
Provided by Travelfish partner Agoda.
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