We arrived to the small island of Koh Tao by Lomprayah ferry from Koh Samui – the journey is quite painless (even though I do get sea sick, the vessel was quite large and glided through the water seamlessly). We were picked up by our hotel (most hotels on the island provide free transport to and from the ferry – there is no airport). The Aminjirah hotel is quite funky and set on the side of a cliff overlooking the stunning northwest coast line and Nang Yuan Island. The rooms are quite basic, but have all the necessities – I highly recommend upgrading (a few dollars) to the ocean view rooms as the view from the balcony and the room is beautiful. The infinity pool is a lot of fun with its colorful floating beanbags that 20 somethings sunbathe on (as did I shamelessly). Very fun young vibe in this hotel. I would highly recommend getting the short boat ride to Nang Yuan Island for snorkeling and sunbathing.
Our next hotel on the island was the Jamahkiri resort situated at the other end of the island on Shark Bay. This resort built by Belgians about 15 years ago is truly stunning. We booked it by searching for the best portal by going on www.cashbackmonitor.com which ended up being www.topcashback.com (5% back) and entered hotels.com through it (10th night is free). We paid for the hotel using our Citi Prestige Mastercard (which gives you the 4th night free). Using all of these tools this 5 star resort with an ocean view room, free wifi and free breakfast broke down to being $61/night. The private beach offers snorkeling with reef sharks and huge turtles as well as many beautiful and colorful fish. The pool overlooking the ocean, the fitness room and other amenities were fabulous. You are a bit isolated in Shark Bay – the free hotel shuttle to the ferry dock allows a quick resupply of staples. And if you want to avoid the hotel restaurant prices, the Eagle View is a lovely family run restaurant a mere 3 minute walk (all up hill) from the hotel. The prices are reasonable and the view is spectacular – if you are willing to wait awhile for your meal.
As we sipped champagne from our balcony we knew that we would be back to this gorgeous and friendly island and more specifically to this resort.