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All reviews starlight restaurant jansom bay charm churee private beach sai nuan beach star resort our honeymoon amazing views sunset chaba bb6 island varnish privacy snorkel
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Reviewed June 28, 2017 via mobile

If you want to get away from life and relax, this your place.
As mentioned in other reviews it's not for the faint hearted, the hotel is very hilly and if you have any health issues or weak joints this place is not for you.
In saying that it's worth the hike!!!
Secluded beaches, clean, comfortable and breathtaking accommodation.
Highly recommend this hotel.
Reasonably priced, gorgeous scenery and well worth every cent!

Stayed: June 2017, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Donna C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed June 6, 2017

We last visited Bamboo Huts three years ago and were both excited but nervous that it would live up to our really positive experience we had from our original visit - almost like anticipating seeing an old friend that we hadn't seen for a long time and wondering if they would still be the same... We stayed this time for 4 nights in May 2017.

As some others have reported, unfortunately the resort (as part of Charm Churee village) is starting to have that feeling of a little bit of neglect with maintenance, and there were not a lot of people staying since it was low season. Koh Tao had bad flooding in January and there was still evidence showing in Jansom Bay and around the grounds.

We were given the same hut as last time (BB6) which is in a nice position (one of the closer ones along the walk to Sai Nuan beach).
Unfortunately there was a temporary plastic sheet fitted to our hut roof to repair a leak, therefore whenever the wind blew it would rustle and make a lot of noise, especially at night. The bamboo railings and deck had been painted several times since our first visit, and they were peeling off - it would have been better to use a varnish instead of cheap water based paint.
We also noticed the bathroom tap (or faucet) was worn out and didn't work properly, although we alerted the maintenance man and he replaced it with a new one straight away.
We still love the location and concept of the Bamboo Huts, as there is probably nothing like them in the world considering the price, privacy and location.
The staff are all lovely, everyone says hello to the guests and the restaurant staff are very attentive and friendly - especialy Phyo who remembered us from last time and looked after us like family.

To summarise

Positives:
- location is great to get away from the crowds
- amazing views including the sunsets
- the ocean right at the doorstep
- outside shower
- breakfast at the Chaba restaurant and dinner at the Starlight restuarant are really good
- all the staff are excellent and make each guest feel at home
- the price is OK, a little expensive by Thai standards but the location and setting is probably not able to be repeated anywhere in the world for anywhere near the cost
- the room was clean and the housekeeping staff were very good
Negatives:
- the resort feels slightly neglected
- the bed and pillows are very hard (although everywhere in Thailand seems to be like this)

If you are considering the Bamboo huts, we would still reccommend them, just be sure to have realistic expecations as it is not a 5 star resort and is located on a remote jungle island with lots of walking and steps (something we really liked so not a negative thing to us). The staff are great, the food (especially Thai) is good quality and the location is amazing.

  • Stayed: May 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Jo_and_Steve220
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed May 28, 2017 via mobile

Me and my wife were looking out for jungle resort for our honeymoon!!...Bamboo Hut is a perfect location for mix of jungle resort and beach side cottages!!.. The Bamboo huts cottages has best soothing view of sunset and serene experience !!..The open top showers made us feel bathing under a natural spring!!.. The cottage interiors were perfect and pool with jacuzzi was relaxing!!.

There restaurant serves some delicious food and is a perfect place for candle light dinner!!...there breakfast place has an amazing sea view!!..

It's tariff is bit on higher side but worth the stay,location and hospitality!!..

Stayed: March 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank mihir3199
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 4, 2017 via mobile

we ordered a bamboo hut for our holiday. we were satisfied with the location and the hut, but I am afraid that someone skimmed my mastercard when I payed at the reseption. My bank called my one day after I left the resort and I had to close my account

Stayed: February 2017, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Ingunn S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed January 10, 2017

The little island of Koh Tao, a two-hour ferry ride from Koh Samui, has become quite developed over the past 20 years and, from what we saw, seems to be a very popular spot for young people, with a big party area full of night clubs and restaurants.

We’d spent a week in Phuket and wanted to move around a little, so we booked a few days at the Bamboo Huts Resort on Koh Tao after having read some favourable reviews. It was to be one of the more expensive resorts we’d booked, but was only for three days and so we thought we’d splurge as they billed themselves as a luxury resort.

But when we got here we learned that it has been has been absorbed by the larger (and much more down-scale) neighboring resort Charm Chruee Villa. Which meant we were paying a premium price for second-class food and service. Also, since the original reception area and restaurant for the Bamboo Huts is now closed, this puts the huts far away from the central reception area, restaurants and other amenities and that means it’s a long hike up and down steep paths and stairs to get from your hut to those amenities.

So, if it’s isolation on the water and the feeling of living in the jungle you want, you’ve got it. But you better to be fit, and patient, to get around the resort. My wife had twisted her ankle a few days earlier, so getting around this resort was an arduous task for us. I can’t stress enough times that you need to be a mountain goat to really get around this place. It’s fine for the younger people, be we’re close to retirement age and although we keep in good shape, we still found it to be a bit of a workout to get around.

Check–in was easy enough. You are required to take off your shoes before entering the reception area, as is the rule everywhere, not only at the resort (and your hut), but just about everywhere you go in Koh Tao. You are then given a welcome drink, juice, nothing alcoholic unfortunately, which is what we needed after our long trip! The staff is young, friendly and enthusiastic, but their English is almost impossible to understand and you find yourself constantly asking them to repeat things. We were taken to our hut, which was a good 15-minute hike up and down steep paths and steps. Thankfully they were bringing our suitcases later, but I still had a heavy backpack and shopping bag to lug along. Because of the distance and rugged hike the resort offers a shuttle, which was about 2 – 3 minute hike uphill from our room to the meeting area (the “original” reception for the huts). You call ahead 10 minutes and they come and pick you up and take you to the reception area and then will bring you back again later.
There is a very small beach, Jansom Bay, scuba shop and an “Elvis” bar about 5-10 minutes away, which is open from 10:00am to 5:00pm, but again you’ll be hiking up and down hill to get there as this resort is built on the side of a cliff on the waters of the Gulf of Thailand. The beach is great for snorkeling as there’s a lot of colorful tropical fish right off the shore. They will swim right around you in the shallow water. One day one of the ancient wood recliners I was on collapsed under me as the wood had completely rotted out. We soon realized that the whole place had not been maintained or updated in any way for years.

There is also another beach in the other direction, Saithong Beach, which seems to be another resort they’ve amalgamated with, but it’s an even further and hillier hike. When we got there we realized that this is a more basic form of hut vacationing, for younger and hardier souls. No recliners on the beach and we’re getting a bit old for lying on a towel on the sand, so after an hour or so we made our way back to our hut.
The huts themselves are comfortable enough with a king bed, large bathroom and shower (no tub), bidet and a urinal, which, if you are a guy is a big two thumbs up (don't ask why, it just is). But the sink has cold water only, so if you want to wash in hot water the shower is your only option. There is a fairly well-stocked mini-bar and the prices are reasonable for a hotel/resort. They do have a flat screen TV in the room, but there are only two channels available (one in Thai). We always travel with laptop stocked with lots of movies and TV shows, so it wasn’t an issue for us. There is a safe, though the likelihood of anyone sneaking into the resort is close to zero.

The huts have a large balcony/terrace perched on the rocks overlooking the bay. It has a thatched roof, an uncomfortable bamboo recliner for two and two, more traditional, padded beach-style wood recliners. The sunsets are spectacular from this venue.
We had a couple of problems the first day. There’s a large wooden headboard, about 6” deep, which seemed very sturdy as it even had electrical outlets built in. Since there are no bedside tables (or lamps), the only place to put a drink or anything else you may need while in bed, is on that headboard, as it has a wide shelf on the top. The first night we were sitting in bed watching a movie on our laptop and my wife leaned back on the headboard - the whole thing fell over and everything on it came crashing down. It looks like a big sturdy thing, but we learned that it’s not secured or attached to the floor in any way. We had a glass of wine and a bottle of beer sitting on it, smashing glass everywhere and so we had a big clean up before turning in for the night.

As for seating, there are two rather uncomfortable padded bamboo/vinyl seats and a vinyl day bed, but it’s not very comfortable for relaxing as there’s no back to it, so the bed is your best bet for relaxing inside. There is a long desk with three drawers and a tea/instant coffee service. On the plus side the Wi-Fi internet works well, but you are only allowed access to two devices, so tech savvy people like ourselves (with a laptop, iPad and phone) are out of luck. Choose which two of your three devices you need connected most. Silly.

The main restaurant is on the water, has an outdoor eating area, and is in a very pretty setting. Needless to say, after dinner, you have to make that same hike back up. Yes, you’ll be in good shape when you leave this place! Again, it’s shoes off before you enter the restaurant. Then you sit on mats on the floor, cross-legged, or legs stretched out. All very authentic and a bit of fun once, but that level of authenticity could soon wear on you. My wife asked for a fish dish, snapper, that was on the menu for 600 baht (approx. $24 CDN or $20 US). But it was all gone. Instead she was offered grouper or shrimp, priced by the kilo or half kilo at around 1,200 to 1,500 baht or $60 CDN, $50US. This would have been OK to share but we wanted different things. We’d been in Thailand for a while already and as much as I love Thai food, I’d been eating it twice a day for 12 days and was in the mood for some red meat. The menu offered Australian beef tenderloin for 600 baht, which I ordered medium rare. It looked good when it arrived, in a nice sauce, but when I started to cut into it I knew all was not well with this piece of meat. All I can say is Australians must have very strong teeth. First of all it was cooked medium well in the middle, with the outside parts well done, and then chewing through it was a job. Admittedly, we are spoiled living in North America where we probably get the most tender and delicious beef anywhere in the world, but this was right at the bottom of the list. Lesson One: “when in Rome” – eat Thai food!

But the biggest disappointment was breakfast the next morning. We’d worked up quite an appetite during the 15-minute hike to the restaurant and expectations were high, as the setting is gorgeous, overlooking the Gulf of Thailand. but the buffet selection and quality is poor and on a level usually associated with Days Inn and other budget hotels. We were paying a good price for our accommodations, more in fact than the previous two Thai hotels and resorts we’d been staying in, where the breakfast buffets had been amazing. Breakfast is served between 7:00am and 10:00am. We arrived around 9:00am. The orange juice dispenser was empty and there were no glasses anyway, I got the staff to remedy this fairly quickly. Then all the fresh fruit was gone (the best thing about Thai breakfasts) and was not replenished during the time we were there. There were two staff members running around and they were clearly understaffed for the number of people at breakfast. A cook will prepare omelets. The buffet includes bacon, hot dogs, hard-boiled eggs, cereal, yogurt, croissants and bread for toast. They only have white bread, and again, they were all out of it by the time I wanted toast. It was replenished quickly though. Then there are salads and some Thai hot lunch type dishes.

All in all we were extremely disappointed. The impression we got, in the first 24 hours of being at this resort is that it is run on a shoe-string budget. The staff is young and eager to please, but seem inexperienced and not very well trained. The pathways to get around are downright dangerous in areas. Many have water pipes and electrical wires draped across them haphazardly, with no effort to keep them tidy and they are a hazard, especially at night. Most of the paths have a flimsy bamboo railing in particularly dangerous areas, where there is a steep drop off to one side for instance, but many of them are broken or have collapsed long ago and there seems to be no effort to repair them or put up signs to warn people of imminent danger. One slip in the wrong direction could take you down a 20-foot drop onto the rocks and who knows how you would get out of there, you are far from any practical help! The entire resort looks like it hasn’t been upgraded or maintained in many years. The umbrellas at the beach restaurant are rusty and stained, the chairs are old and faded. I could go on and on. The place looks more like a 2 start Mexican resort than what is billed as a “budget luxury resort”.

The bottom line is we paid for what was advertised as a budget luxury resort. Yet we paid more than for our rooms at the Andaman White Beach resort on Phuket, which is a first-class operation (see my review), and the Millennium Hilton in Bangkok, which is equally impressive, albeit on a big hotel chain level. What we got was a shoddy resort, poor to mediocre food, amateurish service, an inadequate beach, no swimming pool and a high price. According to the travel website we booked through, our room was supposed to have an outdoor shower and access to the water, we got neither. We got a bargain basement room. Discount travel websites can get you some cheap deals, but we’ve learned that you usually end up with the worst rooms at hotels and resorts, so beware. Often we have asked for and paid for upgrades when seeing our rooms as it’s still usually worth it. We didn’t bother at Bamboo Huts as we were only booked for three days, though we were ready to leave after day 1.

In summary, I cannot recommend this resort to anyone, unless you are young, get some amazing cheap deal and are not fussy about food and service. We certainly will never go back to Koh Tao again. There are just too many other great places to see and visit in Thailand.

  • Stayed: December 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
8  Thank 416er
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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