The diving community dominates the accommodation on the island and many bungalows and guesthouses work closely with dive shops to promote each other. Because the competition is so fierce for tourist dollars, many dive shops offer free or discounted hotel deals as part of multi-day packages; a great arrangement if you’re just here to find Nemo and his pals and don’t mind basic rooms. The resorts on the island lack the ultra-luxurious properties of nearby Ko Samui. In fact, a few of the nicer spots are starting to show their age. However, the rates for prime beachfront hotels are very reasonable, especially when compared to Ko Samui’s not-so-wallet-friendly prices.

Had Sai Ree and Mae Had Beach both have a huge range of budget options available to walk-in guests, but many are booked through budget scuba packages—popular with long-stay guests who want to get more extensive scuba certification. On Mae Had Beach, one popular all-inclusive scuba resort is Crystal Dive Resort (www.crystaldive.com; tel. 07745-6106); rooms with or without AC range from 600B to 1,500B. Crystal Dive is one of the more popular dive schools on the island and accommodation is free for two-nights of scuba and four-nights of PADI certification.

New Heaven Resort (www.newheavendiveschool.com; tel. 07745-6422) is a popular dive resort, with dorms from 300B. Deep discounts are given if you book dives with the resort (this is true for most dive-centric resorts across the island) and a beachfront bungalow with air-con is 1,800B for non-divers and 1,200B for divers. Simple Life (www.kohtaosimpleliferesort.com; tel. 07745-6142) is probably the most stylish of these cheap dive resorts. Comfy dorms and bungalows with fans or air-conditioning run from 300B and there are hotel-style rooms for 1,900B; the hotel has a popular bar.

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Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.