Where to stay in Koh Tao

Where are the best places to stay in Koh Tao?

Floating quietly in the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Tao is a slice of paradise. Koh Tao means Turtle Island (and coincidentally the island is even shaped like one) and while the turtles have moved on, its unrivalled beauty, miles of powdery jungle-fringed beaches, coconut forest speckled mountains and an amazing underwater world make it not only a diving mecca, but one of Thailand’s most picturesque islands to spend time on.


If diving isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other activities available, or alternatively you can simply flop on the white sands, cocktail in hand and observe a mesmerizing sunset from Sairee Beach. Blissful beachfront dining includes tempting seafood restaurants and cool waterfront cocktail bars.


On the island of Koh Tao, Sairee Beach and Chalok Baan Kao are the best places to stay. On Sairee Beach you can immerse yourself in the epicurean pleasures of Sairee Beach, which has the busiest beach area and a buzzing nightlife, restaurants and leisure activities - perfect if you are looking for a mix of fun and activities. Gorgeous Chalok Baan Kao is the softer, smaller sister of Sairee Beach, a beach resort with a good choice of things to do but with fewer late night parties and a more laid-back vibe. The best diving sites can be found around Chalok Baan Kao.

Hotel   Avg price
Chalok Baan Kao
39€ - 47$
DPM Koh Tao Diving Hotel & Bar
Tambon Village
42€ - 51$
Sensi Paradise Beach Resort
Mae Haad
58€ - 70$
Hotel   Avg price
The Tarna Align Resort
54€ - 65$
Anankhira Villas
Sairee Beach
76€ - 92$
Hotel   Avg price
Jamahkiri Resort
Ao Thian Og
84€ - 102$


If you are interested in where to stay in Koh Tao, you may also be interested in where to stay in Koh Phangan and where to stay in Koh Samui.

Best places to stay in Koh Tao


Sairee Beach


Beaches, nightlife, friends


Sairee BeachFor sun, sand, fun and nightlife then the Sairee Beach area is the place to stay. Sairee Beach is the largest and most popular beach on the island, as well as the most developed, and although it is more easy going than its older sister, Koh Samui, is still famous for its 24-hour party scene. Sairee and the surrounding area offers an abundance of accommodation options, diving centres, leisure activities and hippie market bliss. Topple onto the velvety white sands to top up your tan, take a boat ride around the island or if you are feeling more energetic, have a game of beach volleyball. The calm and shallow aquamarine water is ideal for any level of swimmer.


Getting around this area is fast and cheap if you rent a scooter from one of the many companies available in the town. You can use the scooter to explore the interior of Koh Tao and wind your way through the island’s rugged jungle areas. At the end of the day there’s no better way to finish the day than by kicking back on a sun lounger on Sairee Beach, drink in hand, to watch one of its breathtaking sunsets. The scent of freshly barbecued seafood, which is Sairee Beach’s signature cuisine, as well as the many international options available, will surprise and tantalise you after sunset into going to one of the many restaurants that line the beachfront. If you still feel like going partying afterwards there is no shortage of options. The south area of Sairee Beach is the most frenetic, with the greatest concentration of animated bars and clubs on the island in which to mingle and dance until dawn.


In contrast, as you move north up the beach, you will find that the party scene cools down and makes way for more upscale resorts and chilled out beach bars. This area is an ideal in between place to stay in if you are considering something more relaxed and upmarket away from the true backpacker crowd, but still within walking distance of nightlife should you wish to dip into it now and then. You can also climb to adrenaline inducing heights by doing rock climbing, abseiling and bouldering inland from Sairee Beach or head off along one of the canopies of jungle paths to discover its lesser known areas, easily reachable from the town. Staying around Sairee Beach will mean you have instant access to the many tour companies that organise activities and trips around the island.



Hotels in Sairee Beach




Chalok Baan Kao


Beaches, diving, families, couples 


Chalok Baan KaoTucked away in the southeast of the island, the crystal clear waters of Chalok Baan Kao face out over the Ang Thong National Marine Park, making it a remarkable place to stay. Popular with families, it is quieter and more serene than Sairee Beach with the calm, shallow waters providing fantastic swimming conditions for children. A holiday in Chalok Baan Kao will give you a tranquil base with which experience all that the island of Koh Tao has to offer.


Nevertheless, although the area is more sedate than Sairee Beach, it still has all the amenities you might need including the ever present dive shops, mini markets, travel agents, ATMs, restaurants and bars. It is one of the island’s most popular as well as the largest dive centres, which are geared up to help you make a splash and witness some truly spectacular marine life. You can train to get your PADI or SSI certification at one of the certified training schools, which will open up a whole new and awe-inspiring world for you. As you dive down to explore this unusual world, you will be greeted by brightly coloured schools of fish, angelfish, stingrays and coral as well as potentially a black-tip reef shark hiding amongst the wonderful coral and rock formations.


Moving further south and separated from Chalok Baan Kao by a rocky outcrop, you will discover the paradisiacal beaches of AoTaaToh and Freedom Beach. Dreamy, translucent waters gently lap the pristine shore and a coral reef nearby creates perfect conditions for snorkelling and swimming. There is a simple wooden restaurant on the beach selling drinks and snacks, and you can also access the TaaToh Lagoon, a hidden lagoon and beach resort only a few minutes walk away.



Hotels in Chalok Baan Kao