A complete 2023 guide to where to stay on Koh Tao Island, Thailand. Includes top accommodation picks on Sairee Beach, Mae Head, & more to suit all budgets.
Koh Tao, also known as Turtle Island, is located in the Gulf of Thailand and is one of my absolute favorite destinations in the world!
I lived on the island for several months as I completed my PADI Dive Master course and I often recommend it to many people all over the world as an incredible place to visit in Thailand for diving, jungle exploring, beach hopping, and meeting like-minded travelers.
In this detailed guide, I’ll provide a rundown of the best places and specific areas to stay on Koh Tao, with up-to-date recommendations on hotels, hostels, and affordable bungalows to help you plan your visit.
Best Areas to Stay on Koh Tao
1. Sairee Beach
Known as the longest beach on Koh Tao Sairee Beach has lots to offer. From blue calm waters to beach bars this area is a known tourist hub for travelers. Many hotels and resorts line this beach and boat tours to and from Ko Nang Yuan Island leave from here.
2. Mae Haad
This is the main port of entry onto Koh Tao. Mae Haad Pier brings ferry loads of people to the Island daily. If you're arriving late and need an easy first night, this is a great place to stay.
Another reason people choose this area is the convenience as there are loads of restaurants and bars close by and the sunset over the ocean at night is also a bonus.
3. Shark Bay
Shark bay also known as Thian Og Bay is an incredible bay. Known as one of the best snorkeling spots on the entire island, this area is quiet, scenic, and surrounded by beautiful tropical jungle.
It is even possible to spot a reef shark here during the early morning hours!
4. Chalok Baan Kao
Located on the south of the island Chalok Baan Kao is a small area with the third largest beach.
Many people stay in this area for its dive centers and small bungalow-styled accommodation options. Furthermore, Chalok is also a much quieter area which is great if you want to relax.
5. Tanote Bay
Tanote Bay is located on the eastern side of the Island just around the corner from Shark Bay.
It is known for its large rock formation that is used as a jumping platform into the ocean. Also, for snorkelers, the reef here is full of life and the swell is minimal with little wind– so it is a great place to explore the underwater world.
The Best Hotels & Resorts on Koh Tao
Below are our top picks when staying on Koh Tao Island. With a list of high-end luxury hotels and resorts to budget-saving accommodation choices for those with a lighter wallet.
Koh Tao Luxury Hotels & Villas
|Perfect View Pool Villa||$$$$|
|Phandara Luxury Pool Villas||$$$$|
|Over The Moon Luxury Pool Villas||$$$|
|Cape Shark Villas||$$$|
|The Fisherman's Villas||$$$|
|Jamahkiri Resort & Spa - SHA Plus||$$$|
Perfect View Pool Villa is at the top of the list for incredible stays on the island of Koh Tao. This villa is located in the area of Ko Tao and is within walking distance of Sairee Beach and many restaurants and bars.
The location is quiet and is surrounded by the sound of the jungle. It sleeps up to 10 guests at a time so this is perfect for large groups or families or those wanting an extended stay.
The rooms are spacious with incredible views over the ocean from the private balconies. Throughout this luxury villa, there is free wifi, multiple living spaces, a fully equipped kitchen, and a large outdoor private pool.
A transfer can be arranged to pick up and drop off at the pier.
Looking for a luxury Villa on Koh Tao? The best pick is the Phandara Luxury Pool Villas. This accommodation choice has absolutely everything you need from spectacular views over the ocean to relaxing on the terrace surrounded by palm trees with your very own hot tub.
Phandara Luxury Pool Villas offers its guests a fully equipped kitchen, large outdoor seating area, and living areas and can accommodate up to 5 people. The modern-styled rooms are beautifully decorated and will have you feeling like you never want to leave.
The villa is just a short walk from Sairee Beach and 1km from Mae Haad Pier. The surrounding areas offer hiking, snorkeling, and bird watching.
Over the moon luxury pool villas is an excellent self-catering option for your next stay on Koh Tao. These private villas are located in a quiet area surrounded by incredible palms and boasting magnificent views over the ocean.
Ideal place for those wanting to explore the white sand beaches nearby as Sairee Beach and Mae Haad Beach are a 10-15 minute walk from the property.
The villas are beautifully furnished with large open rooms with incredible views. Each with its own fully equipped kitchen and multiple living areas. Multiple activities such as scuba diving, hiking, and day tours can be arranged from the property.
A private chef is available for those who want the full service.
Another great choice for a relaxing stay is the Cape Shark Villas. Located on the south of the island and closeby to Shark Bay, Cape Shark Villas offers its guests magnificent infinity pool views and its own private beach area.
Villas can accommodate up to 9 adults and 4 children at a time which makes this an ideal choice for those traveling in large groups or families. Selected villas have an equipped kitchen, dining area, Flat screen TV, air conditioning, an outdoor terrace, Free wifi, and a private pool.
There is a free shuttle service for those who need transport from the Mae Haad Pier which is a short 15-minute drive away. The perfect location for those who enjoy water sports, relaxing by the beach, or snorkeling with turtles and reef sharks.
The Fisherman's Villas is another option for those wanting a luxurious stay that is surrounded by nature with views over Shark Bay. These villas boast a range of hut-styled traditional villas that cater to all. Getting here is easy, there is a free shuttle to and from the Pier. Shark bay is a popular area for snorkeling alongside turtles and reef sharks.
There is an on-site restaurant for breakfast and a spa and more restaurants are a short 300m walk from the property. Tian Og Bay and Saideng beach are only a 15-minute walk from The Fisherman's Villas. Free Private Parking is available for guests.
The Fisherman's Villas has its very own fully operational dive shop for those wanting to explore the beauty of Koh Tao from under the water.
The Jamahkiri Resort & Spa is a really great bang-for-buck luxury resort. Guests will find this one on the beachfront of Shark Bay in a quiet and secluded location away from the hustle and bustle.
The resort offers its guests a private beach, spa and fitness center, massage packages and its very own on-site Padi-certified dive center. The villas come in many options and cater to both small and large groups. Rooms boast incredible views over the surrounding clear waters and some even with their own private outdoor swimming pool. Babysitting services can be arranged for an extra cost. John Suwan Viewpoint is a short 8 minutes drive from the property.
One of the best Koh Tao accommodation options!
Best Mid-Range Hotels on Koh Tao
|Sensi Paradise Beach Resort||$$|
|Blue Tao Beach Hotel||$$|
|View Point Resort||$$|
|Ban's Diving Resort||$|
If you're visiting Koh Tao for a quick island getaway, one of the best places to stay is Sensi Paradise Beach Resort. This resort is in a great location on the beachfront close to Mae Haad Pier and within walking distance to many great cafes and bars.
The bungalow-styled rooms all feature free wifi, air conditioning, a private bathroom, private balconies, and views over the garden or pool. The resort has its very own on-site restaurant with locally caught seafood on the menu. It has views over the stunning Koh Nang Yuan Island.
The outdoor swimming pool is perfect for cooling down on those hot island days and for letting the kids burn off the extra energy.
Another great place to stay is the Blue Tao Beach Hotel. This hotel is located along the beachfront main road. It is close to a range of shops, restaurants, nightclubs, and spas. It has incredible sea views and the sounds of the ocean add the perfect touch.
The shallow waters on the outside beachfront of Sairee Beach offer the perfect place to cool off and relax. The hotel features a garden, air conditioning, wifi, a kettle, and a la carte breakfast.
The hotel is just a short boat trip from the incredible Koh Nang Yuan Island.
Located just a stone's throw from Chalok Baan Kao Beach View Point Resort is a great place for couples or honeymooners looking for the ultimate relaxation accommodation.
The bungalow-style rooms feature air conditioning, sea views, Wi-Fi, private bathrooms, and a private balcony. There is an outdoor swimming pool for those wanting to stay refreshed in the resort.
Be sure to check out Freedom Beach, Shark Bay, and Chalok Baan Kao Beach. These beautiful beaches are just a short walk from the property and offer the chance to swim with turtles, reef sharks, and schools of tropical fish.
This is the ultimate luxury experience at an affordable cost!
Known as one of the best dive schools on the island Ban's Diving Resort is another perfect accommodation choice for those wanting to expand their diving skills.
Ban's is where I completed my Dive Master ticket. It is located along the main road and sits on the beachfront of Sairee Beach. This is a popular place to get your scuba diving ticket by day and party at the Fish Bowl Nightclub by night.
There is a range of suites to choose from when staying at the resort and most rooms offer a mini bar, a safe, a private shower, views over the garden, and air conditioning. If you need to catch the ferry to neighboring Koh Samui, there is also a free shuttle that runs to and from the pier.
There are 3 restaurants on-site and it boasts multiple outdoor pools to relax around after a long day of diving.
The best part about Ban's Diving Resort it is powered by its very own recycling plant. The water is also used within the back gardens to grow fruits and vegetables that are served in the restaurants.
Situated on the quiet east coast side of the island in Tanote Bay nestled amongst the trees the Tanote Villa is one that shouldn't be missed. This 3-star resort features two outdoor swimming pools with spectacular ocean views.
The villas are situated only a short 5-minute walk from the incredible Tanote Bay Beach. This popular beach brings tourists from across the island daily due to its white sand and large rock which can be used as a jumping ledge. There is an on-site restaurant with a fine selection of authentic Thai and European food.
There are a selection of rooms to choose from with some featuring large floor-to-ceiling windows with views over the ocean, a minibar, air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, and private bathrooms. Connected family rooms are also available.
Tanote Villas is known for its incredible location for sunrise!
Best Budget Hostels on Koh Tao Island
|Summer Guesthouse and Hostel||$|
|The Dearly Koh Tao Hostel||$|
|Moov Inn Garden Hostel||$|
Summer Guesthouse and Hostel is a great option for those on a budget but still wanting to experience a comfortable private stay. I have personally stayed at Summer Guest House and had an awesome experience and we loved the furry residents.
Located 1km from Sairee Beach this guesthouse is a great base for those wanting to explore the island yet not wanting to break the bank for a night's stay. There is a supermarket located across the road and a short walk from an impressive gym. Everything you need is within a 10-minute walking distance.
There are a range of rooms to choose from such as dorms or privates with balconies. It has a very laid-back vibe and you'll be sure to meet other like-minded travelers here.
The top backpacker budget hostel on the island of Koh Tao is The Dearly Koh Tao Hostel. Known for its high level of cleanliness people compare this to a 4-star hotel. This newly designed hostel offers private rooms and dorms and there's also an outdoor swimming pool with lots of lounging areas.
Additionally, travelers will find a rooftop area for people to meet one another and multiple workspaces for those spending a few hours on the laptop. Furthermore, each common room features a flat-screen TV.
If you're up for a party, this hostel also hosts beach crawls.
If budget backpacking is your thing then look no further than Moov Inn Garden Hostel. This hostel is in the perfect location Mae Haad.
Guests can enjoy clean dorm rooms at a super low price with air conditioning, secure storage boxes, an outlet, and a privacy curtain. There are lots of areas to relax and unwind, it even has a pool table. There is a restaurant on site that serves delicious meals and a rooftop bar which is a great place for sunset.
The property is a 5-minute walk to Mae Haad Beach and Pier and a 1km walk to Sairee Village.
This is every budget traveler's dream!
More Travel Guides to Koh Tao Island
I hope that this Koh Tao accommodation guide has helped you find an awesome place to stay during your visit to this incredible gem!