Known as the ‘Turtle Island’, Koh Tao is a tiny patch of paradise in the Gulf of Thailand. Its crystal clear waters are famed for their rich marine life and epic diving opportunities, and the island itself boasts an abundance of tropical splendour.
Koh Tao is a place to escape from the world and reconnect with nature, and reflecting the island’s majesty is an enchanting accommodation scene.
From eco-conscious boutiques to graceful beachfront resorts, here are my favourite cool and unusual hotels on Koh Tao, Thailand (in no particular order)…
1. Jamahkiri Resort & Spa – SHA Plus – a unique, upscale and trendy resort perfect for Millennials and Gen Zs
This nature-lovers paradise is nestled in Thian Og Bay on the south side of the island, easily reachable by a 10-minute drive from the harbour.
Once I settled in, there was very little reason to leave, with lush tropical gardens, cooling pools, a spa, a marina, and a dining hotspot located on-site.
The majesty of the surrounding landscape brings a tranquil tone to the Jamahkiri Restaurant, where you can pamper the senses with exceptional international and classic Thai cuisine.
There’s also a luxurious pool bar and a wine cellar on-site, and the wellness centre incorporates blissful historic rituals and organic products which soothe the soul.
- To book, check prices or availability for Jamahkiri Resort & Spa – SHA Plus
2. Haadtien Beach Resort – an upscale, rustic and stylish boutique resort designed to feel like a home-away-from-home
This design-led boutique hotel offers a picture-perfect setting to connect with loved ones, and is in perfect harmony with the beauty and bounty of Koh Tao.
You will be spoilt for choice here, with 7 stunning villa types to choose from. Each unit offers a unique immersion into the island’s laid-back way of life.
If you’re feeling spendy, I’d totally recommend booking a private pool villa, which besides embodying a feeling of total seclusion, comes with a wide range of pampering amenities. From the on-site INSEA Bar & Grill to the Beach Bar Pool, every experience for me at Haadtien was graced by total beauty and elegance.
- To book, check prices or availability for Haadtien Beach Resort
3. Sai Daeng Resort – an eco-friendly, chic and tranquil boutique resort providing guests with Insta-worthy views overlooking the ocean and iconic Shark Island
Perched on the southern tip of Koh Tao, Sai Daeng was created with the intention of keeping nature untouched, and each villa is surrounded by dramatic vegetation which brings you a sense of beauty, relaxation, and tranquillity.
The neighbouring bay is one of the most popular sites for scuba diving and snorkelling, and is among the most pristine beaches on the island.
At the heart of the resort lies one of my favourite restaurants in Thailand, and it’s a place where you can sink your feet into the sand as you embrace a blissful ocean breeze and a delicious meal.
- To book, check prices or availability for Sai Daeng Resort
4. Baan Talay Resort & Yoga – a relaxing, rejuvenating and chic resort ideally located to enjoy Koh Tao popular activities
Cool, trendy, and hip, Baan Talay is one of the most secluded and beautifully designed accommodation options on Koh Tao.
This hidden gem is a real step back to the tropical holidays of yesteryear, with picture-perfect Thai-style bungalows and yurt-style huts bringing an iridescent glamour to your vacation.
A key feature of the resort is its yoga offerings, which provided me with a chance to connect with other travellers in a charming, eco-conscious haven of peace.
At the on-site Star Gazer’s Restaurant, my dinners were accompanied by the most mesmerizing panoramas over the Gulf of Thailand from an open decked terrace.
Up here, watching the sun sink behind the hillside and leaving a trail of colours in the sky made for a once-in-a-lifetime photoshoot.
- To book, check prices or availability for Baan Talay Resort & Yoga
5. Ecotao Lodge – a rustic, eco-friendly and unique hotel within walking distance of the beach
Built in harmony with nature without sacrificing on comfort, Ecotao has incorporated luxurious natural materials such as wood and bamboo to craft a true journey of the senses.
Surrounding the property are impressive corals and abundant underwater life, as well as a luxuriant jungle and many climbing routes.
The lodge’s eco-conscious ethos shines through its many first-rate offerings, my favourite of which was the yoga and meditation classes, which are backdropped by the shimmering sea.
Ecotao also offers a charming restaurant where each dish is freshly prepared using local products, and it is the perfect spot to relish the island’s majestic ambiance.
- To book, check prices or availability for Ecotao Lodge
6. Sairee Hut Resort Koh Tao-SHA Plus – a cozy, contemporary and lavish resort situated on the longest beach in West Koh Tao
Here we have a cosy, friendly retreat set on west Koh Tao’s longest beach. Flaunting one of the island’s most mesmerising beachfront swimming pools, as well as luxuriously designed rooms and villas and a gorgeous garden, this state-of-the-art luxury hotel is clad in refined elegance from head to toe.
I thought the on-site restaurant & BBQ offered one of the best, most authentic culinary experiences on the entire island, catering to all tastes and budgets for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
There’s also a beach bar where you can sit and relish a golden sunset and bathe in the moonlight as you indulge in a crafted cocktail.
- To book, check prices or availability for Sairee Hut Resort Koh Tao-SHA Plus
7. Wind Beach Resort – a vibrant, modern and hip resort where guests can hire bicycles to explore around the area
Nestled along Sairee Beach, Wind Beach is a radiant embodiment of Koh Tao’s magnificence. Here, I experienced one of the most majestic sunsets of my life, while sat on a cosy bean bag right on the beach.
From the delicious homemade gastronomic offerings to the palm-fringed, paradisiacal setting around the pool, every moment here was enchanting.
There’s a strong sense of community here, upheld by a quirky staff presence and a whole host of activities which can be arranged on-site.
Each room is fitted with wooden furniture and island-inspired pieces, complementing a fine selection of modern amenities like a flat-screen HDTV and a minibar.
- To book, check prices or availability for Wind Beach Resort
8. Chaantalay Hotel – an elegant, hip and contemporary hotel featuring a swimming pool, sundeck and fitness center
The unique, modernized design of Chaantalay Hotel offers an elegant welcome to Thailand’s main diving haven, with a predominant focus on simplicity.
The hotel flaunts intricately styled spaces such as a glimmering outdoor pool, a sanctuary of international cuisine, a pool bar, and many fitness and recreational facilities.
Chaantalay’s eclectic atmosphere is upheld by a charming staff presence, who presented me with special memories in the form of life-lasting excursions around this paradise island.
I spent hours playing pool with other travellers in the bar, which is a vibrant space deeply embedded in the lush tropical terrain for which Koh Tao is famed.
- To book, check prices or availability for Chaantalay Hotel
9. AC 2 Resort – a spacious, cool and relaxing resort ideal for those looking to discover all that Surat Thani has to offer
Blessed with heart-warming sunsets and a graceful boutique flair, AC 2 Resort nestles less than a minute’s walk from Sairee Beach, one of Thailand’s most idyllic utopias.
From being picked up at the harbour to checking-out, every moment on Koh Tao was made ever-more majestic by the resort’s charming staff presence.
The villas, wood-clad and brimming with elegant artistry, were designed to infiltrate your island vacation with the very essence of beachfront glamour.
As you meander through the luxuriously manicured grounds, you will encounter a handful of open-air decked areas, where the sea views are some of the best I have ever witnessed. On-site you can also enjoy both Thai and European cuisines in a paradisiacal setting.
- To book, check prices or availability for AC 2 Resort
10. Sensi Paradise Beach Resort – a lavish, quiet and elegant resort perfect for a couple’s romantic getaway
Set at the quiet end of the island’s longest beach, Sensi Paradise Beach Resort is an unobtrusive masterpiece of luxurious, tranquil living.
Perfectly blending in with the natural beauty of the island, the resort offers family houses, romantic suites, and beach bungalows, all dressed in a quirky island flair and soothing the senses with serene wooden embellishments.
The amenities are top-notch, and beautifully contrast the laid-back island style with a modern, high-end outlook, bringing a tone of glamour to discerning guests.
Whether you choose to sit out on the deck and admire the spectacular sea views, or take a refreshing dip in the large, glistening outdoor pool, you will be guided to surrender to the rhythms of island life throughout your stay at Sensi.
- To book, check prices or availability for Sensi Paradise Beach Resort
11. Taatoh Seaview Resort – SHA Plus – a traditional, beautiful and spacious resort where guests can experience authentic Thai cuisine and fresh seafood
Dressed in a rustic style, Taatoh Resort is a collection of gorgeous elevated homes which reveal the Koh Tao’s beauty like nowhere else.
The location is exceptional, offering convenient access to the island’s main snorkelling hotspot. Each bungalow comes with a private outdoor seating area where you can overlook either the garden or sea, and comes with a glamorous marble-floored bathroom and state-of-the-art in-room amenities.
I thoroughly enjoyed drifting off to a blissful night’s sleep accompanied by the sounds of the waves and the cacophony of exotic animals in the jungle surrounding.
The resort, brimming with understated elegance, is perfectly catered to travellers in pursuit of a relaxing haven where scintillating azure ocean views surround you at every turn.
- To book, check prices or availability for Taatoh Seaview Resort – SHA Plus
12. Koh Tao Relax Freedom Beach Resort – a quiet, newly renovated and classic resort moments away from John-Suwan View Point
Adorned with graceful wooden elements and emanating charm and sophistication, Relax Freedom Beach Resort is a honeymooner’s dream.
A secluded cove beach surrounds the property’s luxuriant grounds, inviting you to relish the sun-drenched splendour of the island’s most shimmering stretch of shoreline.
Each unit is dressed in a cabin-like flair, with thatched roofs towering over a whole host of island-inspired décor, designed to bring a sense of serenity to guests.
A stand-out feature for me here was the exceptional range of activities on offer, which included snorkelling, diving, and fishing excursions. The staff at the front desk are charming and amiable, and can draft up the most idyllic island itinerary for you.
- To book, check prices or availability for Koh Tao Relax Freedom Beach Resort
13. Tanote Villa SHA Extra Plus – an idyllic, petite and modern accommodation in close proximity to Koh Tao and Mae Head Piers
Tanote Villa is the most idyllic spot to indulge in spectacular views while pampering the senses in a turquoise infinity pool.
Framed by rustling palms and cosy sun loungers, each pool within the property’s lush grounds offers a sense of blissful seclusion, where you’ll feel as if you have the entire land to yourself.
Each unit, elevated high on a hillside, comes with wraparound wall-sized windows and expansive terrace areas, and is surrounded by verdant greenery.
The interior aesthetics embody an eloquently crafted essence of local Thai culture, inviting couples, isolation seekers, and luxury travellers to revel in pure elegance.
- To book, check prices or availability for Tanote Villa SHA Extra Plus
14. Blue Tao Beach Hotel – SHA Plus – a new, stylish and cozy accommodation offering guests a beachfront location
Blue Tao Beach Hotel is an idyllic island sanctuary where a connection with nature and luxury amenities combine in blissful harmony.
The elegant, white-washed interiors exude the essence of bare-foot luxury, and are flooded with both abundant natural light and a soul-soothing backdrop of the ocean azure.
From the property’s lush grounds, you can step directly onto a shimmering stretch of shoreline and dive straight into the sea.
You can also recline in a tree-hanging beach-front hammock, and dine before a once-in-a-lifetime sunset. Each room is equipped with a kettle, a flat-screen TV, and a terrace offering panoramic ocean vistas.
I was able to hire a scooter on-site, which made exploring this heavenly island extremely convenient.
- To book, check prices or availability for Blue Tao Beach Hotel – SHA Plus
15. DPM Koh Tao Diving Hotel & Bar – a quirky, cool and fun accommodation where guests can enjoy an array of on-site entertainment and activities
DMP blissfully embodies Koh Tao’s unique and colourful energy, and is clad head to toe in charming, nature-inspired décor.
This eclectic, communal refuge is rooted in a passion for diving, guiding discerning guests to explore the underwater treasures of the Gulf of Thailand.
The property is decorated by quirky works of island-inspired art, as well as many spaces to sit and relish an open-air, sun-drenched ambiance.
Not only was DMP the perfect spot for me to arrange diving excursions, but returning here after an adventure-filled day was equally mesmerising. The sunsets were majestic, the communal spaces were invigorating, and the food was top-notch.
- To book, check prices or availability for DPM Koh Tao Diving Hotel & Bar
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Ever since he was knee-high to a grasshopper Michael has always been a sucker for an adventure. Growing up he was lucky enough to live in a handful of exotic far flung locations including Hong Kong, Pakistan, Kenya and Tanzania and since then he’s continued his taste for seeking out new cultures. So much in fact he now travels the world as a trading digital nomad, exploring everything from the sizzling street markets in Bangkok to random back alleys in Sri Lanka and everything in between! He also has a special fondness for Cohibas, street food, playing carrom, and fine wine and knows his clarets from his chiantis. He counts Cuba, Amsterdam, Indonesia, Cambodia and Italy as his favourite destinations.