Where to Stay in Koh Tao | Beaches – Diving – Nightlife for 2024

Want to know where to stay in Koh Tao?

Koh Tao is the smallest out of the trio islands in the Gulf of Thailand neighboring with Koh Phangan and Koh Samui. While Koh Tao is relatively small, there are a few different areas around the island that offer a different atmosphere. So it’s important to choose the location and where to stay in Koh Tao wisely.

A map showing where to stay in Koh Tao

Koh Tao has a few areas that all offer a different appeal. From the lively streets along Sairee beach and Maehaad to the laid back Chalok Baan beachside neighborhood and even isolated resorts dotted around the island, Koh Tao offers something for everyone.

Ready to delve into where to stay in Koh Tao? This article covers the best areas to stay in Koh Tao and is divided into 5 categories: Local Area – Popular Area – Laid Back Area – Snorkeling Area and relaxation.

3 Tips for Booking Koh Tao Accommodation

Related article: How to get to Koh Tao from Bangkok

Top 3 Picks: Koh Tao Places to Stay

Ready to book your accommodation in Koh Tao? Lets start off by covering the best accommodations for any budget. Each one of these has been rated highly for location, comfort, cleanliness, and for being close to a gorgeous beach.

#1 For Budget

Sabai Sabai Poshtel
✔️3 minute to beach
✔️Close to Port

#1 Mid Range

Lucke Boutique Hotel
✔️On the beach
✔️Breathtaking Views

#1 Luxury

The Ava Resort Koh-Tao
✔️Affordable Luxury
✔️Unbeatable Views

Not what you’re looking for? Don’t worry, the list below includes the best places to stay in Koh Tao divided into different areas.

This is the best Beachfront Hotel in Koh Taoand is often sold out
And this is the coolest accommodation in Koh Tao – expensive but sleeps 4/6
This is the best Koh Tao Tour – complete with badge of excellence

Where to stay in Koh Tao – Overview

Below is an overview for all the areas to stay in Koh Tao. Each area features 1 recommended accommodation for each budget. This overview will give you a good idea of what to expect in each particular area and as a result you can book your accommodation with ease knowing you’re choosing the right place for you travel style.

‘All recommended accommodation are one of the best in their category so advance booking is always a good idea’

# for budget
Maehaad pier in Koh Tao


Best place to stay for any Budget in Maehaad ⤵

# for everything
Sairee beach is of the most popular areas for tourists to stay in Koh Tao. This image shows a famous bent palm tree on the beach

Sairee Beach

Best place to stay for any Budget in Sairee Beach ⤵

# for relaxation
A aerial view of Chalok Baan. A beach surrounded by lush jungle

Chalok Baan Kao Bay

Best place to stay for any Budget in Chalok Baan ⤵

# for adventure
A beach with clear water and big boulders

Ao Thian Og

Best place to stay in Ao Thian Og ⤵

# for relaxation
A beach with clear water and big boulders

Tanote Bay

Best place to stay Tanote Bay ⤵

Where to Stay in Koh Tao

Sairee Beach

Located on the west coast of the island, Sairee beach is the best place to stay in Koh Tao if you want everything within walking distance. The 2 km beach is the largest and most well known on Koh Tao. While it is also the most populated beach area on Koh Tao, that laid back island vibe is still there.

Also, if you’re going to Koh Tao to get your open water certificate, in Sairee you’ll find the largest concentration of dive shops. And at night, the walking street that stretches along the beach and passes through various restaurants and accommodation you’ll have clusters of lively atmospheres including live bands and low key beach parties.

Best Accommodation options in Sairee Beach

#1 Budget Option
#1 Mid Range Option
#1 Luxury Option


Maehaad is the main point of entry for most tourists. This is where the pier is located and is also Koh Tao’s capital city. While not the main tourist area, Maehaad is located directly next to Sairee Beach and they both spill into each other. It takes about 10 minutes to reach Sairee beach from Maehaad (depending where you’re staying).

Here you’ll find cheaper accommodation and there is also a number of local eateries where you’ll find meals for around ฿50/฿70. However there’s also a number of western restaurants and a couple of bars also. This is the best area to look into if you’re on a budget yet want to be close to the main tourist area.

Best Accommodation options in Maehaad

#1 Budget Option
#1 Mid-Range Option

Other Mid-Range options:

Blue Diamond Resort
Nadapa Resort

#1 Luxury Option

Other High-End options:

Villa Seaview Garden
Big Tree Boutique Hotel – (gorgeous place – 15 minute walk to beach)

Chalok Baan Kao Bay

If you want to know where to stay in Koh Tao that is peaceful, has an amazing beach with clear water, is good for snorkeling, has a handful of places to eat but is close enough to the main tourist area, then consider Chalok Baan Kao Bay.

Chalok Baan Kao Bay is nestled inside a horseshoe shaped coastline on south Koh Tao. It only takes 10 minutes to drive here from the livelier town of Maehaad and Sairee beach. However, the atmosphere is the complete opposite.

There’s just a few places to eat, and not much nightlife. Just a handful of resorts that will deliver a peaceful and relaxing stay. Staying here means falling asleep to the sound of the ocean, and starting the day on your front porch watching the sun rising and the waves gently lapping on the sand as you sip a cup of coffee.

Best Accommodations in Chalok Baan

#1 Budget Option
Best place to stay in Koh Tao for diving on a budget
#1 Mid Range Option
Where to stay in Koh Tao
#1 Luxury Option

Ao Thian Og

Ao Thian Og is located on the opposite side of Chalok Baan Kao Bay only separated by a tiny peninsula. The beach here is often referred to as Shark Bay because it’s common to go snorkeling and spot small black tip reef shark along with turtles, various other marine life and colorful corals. And if you’re ‘really’ lucky, you may even see a whale shark!

Ao Thian Og is really laid back. It’s a beach with a handful of accommodation and completely surrounded by lush landscapes. Ao Thian Og isn’t the best place to find budget accommodation as it is mainly higher end resorts. However, you can stay Chalok Baan as there is only a 10 minute walk between the 2 beaches/areas.

Luxury Option
Luxury Option

Tanote Bay

Tanote Bay is located on Koh Tao’s east coast and is the most populated area on this part of the island. However, by no means is it busy here. In fact the only amenities in Tanote Bay are offered by resorts. And not many locals live here either.

It’s a gorgeous curved beach with crystal clear waters that are perfect for snorkeling along the colorful marine life. And the beach completely wrapped in a lush landscape dotted with a few resorts which are generally on the pricier side.

If you want a place for complete relaxation and aren’t concerned of not having loads of dining and entertainment options in the evening, then definitely consider Tanote Bay. It’s gorgeous, peaceful, surrounded in nature and there’s not much distractions, and even during the day, Tanote bay remains fairly quiet.

Budget Option
Mid Range Option

What part of Koh Tao is the best?

The most popular area on Koh tao island is Sairee Beach. This is where most tourists, travelers and anyone wanting to get a scuba diving certificate will stay. Sairee beach is a 2 km palm fringed beach dotted with beach bars, restaurants, diving shops and various accommodations and a walking street crosses direct through. It’s a lively area but don’t expect anything too over the top, Sairee still delivers a typical laid back island vibe.

Is Koh Tao Expensive?

Koh Tao isn’t necessarily expensive. You can rent a scooter for around ฿175 ($5) a day and eat a local meal for ฿60 ($1.60). However, if you’re on a tight budget, accommodation in Koh Tao can be a bit expensive. A double room with fan (no A/C) will generally cost at least ฿700 ($20) per night in Sairee Beach. Maehaad (near the port) is usually cheaper and within walking distance of lots of places to drink, eat and entertain.

How many days do you need in Koh Tao?

The truth is, it seems like no amount of days is ever enough for Koh Tao. It happens to us, it happens to a lot of others, a lot of visitors dread the moment they have to step foot back onto the ferry out of Koh Tao!! If you’re on a short Thailand vacation and want to experience the main highlights in Koh Tao, then 3 or 4 days is generally enough.

Koh Tao quick links

Things to do

Things to do in Koh Tao

Weather in Koh Tao

HEY, just so you know…

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