Thailand is full of gorgeous islands. Perhaps the most mellow spot to chill out, party, or go diving is Koh Tao; a true slice of paradise.

The vibes on Koh Tao are far less rowdy then the neighboring full-moon party having islands. The diving is world-class and the beaches sublime.

Backpackers flock here from all over the world for the epic scuba diving opportunities and the legendary chill on offer here.

A lot of backpackers means alot of hostels. The best hostels in Koh Tao are a well-kept secret. That is until now…

Welcome to my insider guide to the best hostels in Koh Tao for 2021!

This hostel guide gives you a detailed run-down of all of the best accommodation options in Koh Tao so that picking the right spot for yourself is about as easy as enjoying an ice cold coconut water.

I want you to be able to focus more on diving and less on figuring out where the hell to stay on Koh Tao.

No matter what type of backpacker you are, I am more than sure there is awesome place for you somewhere on my list of the best hostels in Koh Tao.

Let’s have a look…

Quick Answer: The Best Hostels in Koh Tao

Chalok Baan Koa, Koh Tao
Welcome to my no-stress guide to the best hostels in Koh Tao
Photo: Fabio Achilli (Flickr)

The 15 Best Hostels in Koh Tao

If you are backpacking Thailand then you will probably run the full gauntlet of hostel standards. From sublime to shitty, accommodation in Thailand cater to every taste and budget. To spare your suffering though, we have chosen some of the best hostels in Koh Tao for you.

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    Overall Best Hostel in Koh Tao – The Dearly Koh Tao Hostel

    The Dearly Koh Tao Hostel best hostels in Koh Tao
    The Dearly Koh Tao is a truly fantastic place and clearly the best hostel in Koh Tao.
    • $$$
    • Free Breakfast
    • Swimming Pool
    • Bicycle Hire

    Soooooooo nice! Really! This is the sort of hostel you’d find in heaven, if such a place existed. It’s all white paint, and white fabric, and neutral colours, seaworn wood and bright airiness that you’d expect more from a boutique upscale spa resort than a Koh Tao backpackers hostel. But here we are. And that’s what makes it the overall best hostel in Koh Tao. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s pricey, but only relatively – truly, this place remains a STEAL. The staff are amazing. You’ll never want to leave. Really. Since this is the best hostel in Koh Tao, 2021’s gonna get booked up pretty quick, we reckon!

    Best Hostel for Solo Travellers in Koh Tao – Summer of ’69

    Summer of '69 best hostels in Koh Tao
    Meet diving friends or just chill out in a comfortable environment. Summer of ’69 is the best hostel for solo travelers in Koh Tao.
    • $$
    • Live Music
    • Free Breakfast
    • 24-Hour Reception

    Despite being named after *shudder* that song, this place is genuinely lovely. The staff are very, very nice – friendly, helpful, and generally help cultivate a decent, chilled atmosphere. However, aside from the staff that vibe mainly comes from the live music nights that they put on pretty much every evening. It’s a great chance to come together, drink, meet, socialise, make friends, and that is invaluable time for someone travelling on their own, otherwise, you’re just, well, on your own. Yep, social and chill-wise, this is the best hostel for solo travellers in Koh Tao. It’s also away from the parties of Koh Tao, making it nice and quiet, too.

    Best Cheap Hostel in Koh Tao #1 – Sleep Inn Hostel

    Sleep Inn Hostel best hostels in Koh Tao
    Sleep Inn Hostel is budget friendly, fun-loving, and well-located making it the best cheap hostel in Koh Tao.
    • $
    • Tour Desk
    • Towels Included
    • 24-Hour Security

    Even for a budget hostel in Koh Tao, Sleep Inn Hostel’s name takes a brutally real approach in terms of what we actually use a hostel for. You sleep in it. Sleep in hostel. Um…  The no-holds-barred punning of this Koh Tao backpackers hostel aside, we can confirm that it’s cheap, that it’s pretty basic, that the private rooms are actually quite nice, and that the dorms with curtained beds and personal light and plug sockets give you a nice little slice of privacy in what is a sorta cramped space. As for location, right near the pier. NO TAXI REQUIRED, as they say. Nice enough, and for the price, easily the best cheap hostel in Koh Tao.

    Best Cheap Hostel in Koh Tao #2 – Carabao Diving Resort

    Carabao Diving Resort best hostels in Koh Tao
    Carabao Diving Resort is another one of the best cheap hostels in Koh Tao. If you’re looking for a fun diving community, you’ll find it here.
    • $
    • Restaurant
    • Diving Stuff
    • Common Room

    This Koh Tao backpackers hostel is pretty unique since it’s a) pretty chill and quiet and b) a two-bird-one-stone kinda situation in that here it’s all about diving. So if you were planning to go diving, here’s where it’s at. And moreover, if you want to be around like-minded people who also like diving, then staying here will be a good opportunity to swap stories about lionfish and reef sharks the bends and other stuff about the salty depths. A highly recommended hostel in Koh Tao, there’s also an on-site but relatively pricey restaurant for your food and drink needs.

    Best Cheap Hostel in Koh Tao #3 – Koh Tao Loft Hostel

    Koh Tao Loft Hostel best hostels in Koh Tao
    Koh Tao Loft Hostel has got some seriously cool vibes in addition to being another one of the best cheap hostels in Koh Tao.
    • $
    • Bar & Cafe
    • 24-Hour Security
    • Air Conditioning

    Polished grey plaster, plywood, painted white breezeblocks – yes, it’s a hipster haven in the form of a Koh Tao backpackers hostel. But really though it does look cool, we can’t argue with that. We can’t admit that we like this minimalist style. We rate it. Another heavyweight in the coolest hostel in Koh Tao category, for sure. Aside from aesthetics, the place is clean, clearly newly renovated or constructed or whatever, and features a great little bar area where you can talk and drink and drink and talk some more. Location-wise, it’s just off Mae Haad, making finding this place after arriving at the pier a breeze.

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    Best Hostel for Couples in Koh Tao – White Jail

    White Jail best hostels in Koh Tao
    The name aside, White Jail offers up nice rooms and a decent rate making it the best hsotel for couples in Koh Tao.
    • $$
    • Bar & Cafe
    • Air Conditioning
    • Late Check-Out

    The name. It’s a bit. Yeah. But it’s called White Jail since it’s in an area of Koh Tao that was used as a political prison from 1932 to 1943. Ouch. But, um, yeah! The polished plaster, wood floor and white furnishings game of this youth hostel in Koh Tao is STRONG. So strong that it also might be the coolest hostel in Koh Tao, too. The private rooms are amazing, literally like something you’d stare at for, oh, a good 10 seconds on Instagram. Properly nice. That little bit of stylish YET affordable luxury makes it the best hostel for couples in Koh Tao, we’d say – plus it’s also just a paltry 1 min stroll to Mae Haad.

    Best Party Hostel in Koh Tao – Taco Shack Hostel Koh Tao

    Taco Shack Hostel Koh Tao best hostels in Koh Tao
    Looking for a good time? Taco Shack is by far the best party hostel in Koh Tao.
    • $$
    • The Name
    • The Bar
    • The Outdoor Terrace

    Talk about attracting a party crowd, talk about Taco Shack. I mean, let’s just let that sink in… Taco Shack. Why wouldn’t the party crowd be attracted to a place that calls itself Taco Shack? To be fair, it’s probably also got something to do with the fact that it’s also a well above average hostel – nay! a highly recommended hostel in Koh Tao, in fact. Oh, and also that it’s located in the party area of Sairee Beach. Serves Mexican food, check. Huge rooftop for sunset views, check. Movie night, check. Comfy dorms, check. Surprisingly clean, check. Bar (duh), check. Best party hostel in Koh Tao, check.

    Best Hostel for Digital Nomads in Koh Tao – Bed and Ink Hostel Koh Tao

    Bed and Ink Hostel Koh Tao best hostels in Koh Tao
    Bed and Ink Hostel is the best hostel for digital nomads in Koh Tao. That is if you are actually capable of getting any work done on this island. Good luck.
    • $$
    • Bar
    • BBQ
    • Also Tattoo Parlour

    Can’t really think of a nicer place we’d wanna do work than this very cool place. Bed and Ink (nice) is the coolest hostel in Koh Tao, well, possibly – it IS attached to a tattoo parlour, and it DOES look the part, too – sorta industrial-minimal feel to the place. And lots of desk space, which is why we’ve selected it as the best hostel for digital nomads – nice to do work in nice settings, isn’t it? Pop the laptop down, crack open a beer – or a coffee, don’t panic – and get typing. And it’s also a decent place to meet people too since the vibe is friendly in the bar area.

    Best Hostel with a Private Room in Koh Tao – Summer Hostel Koh Tao

    Summer Hostel Koh Tao best hostels in Koh Tao
    Summer Hostel’s spacious, a/c rooms make them the best hostel with a private room in Koh tao.
    • $$
    • 24-Hour Reception
    • Common Room
    • Air Conditioning

    Wow, talk about best hostel with a private room in Koh Tao – the rooms here are massively spacious. They’re also neat and tidy. And carefully decorated. Well, actually let’s go through those private room highlights: fridge (for snacks and beer, duh), AC, kettle, free tea and coffee and water, en-suite bathrooms, private balconies, extra comfy extra large beds. Pfft, I mean, what’s not to like here? Plus the atmosphere is amazing, it’s well-cultivated by Dan (the host). 24-hour convenience store right across the street is great for, well, it’s just great. Easily a top hostel in Koh Tao.

    More Best Hostels in Koh Tao

    Green Shelter

    Green Shelter best hostels in Koh Tao
    Green Shelter is a fine budget option as well. The a/c really works well.
    • $
    • Free Tours
    • Vegetarian Restaurant
    • Outdoor Terrace

    The aircon is strong, there’s a pool table, and probably the most unique thing is that Green Shelter is an eco-hostel, meaning that… well, amongst other things, it serves vegetarian food in its very cute restaurant. And that’s good! Especially if you’re a veggie. This recommended hostel in Koh Tao also offers free tours and discounted activities, like diving, Thai boxing lessons, yoga classes, nice wholesome things like that. It’s smack in the middle of Mae Haad, and just a 2 min walk from the pier. Prime location. And it’s cheap, too.

    U&I Place

    U&I Place best hostels in Koh Tao
    Basic. Efficient Classic. U&I Place is also one of the best cheap hostels in Koh Tao.
    • $
    • Bar & Cafe
    • 24-Hour Security
    • Late Check-Out

    Pretty basic, but nicely done, this is a classic sorta Koh Tao backpackers hostel. The dorms are done in the ubiquitous polished plaster thing that everywhere seems to be doing nowadays, which is cool, though possibly a bit much here. It’s on all surfaces – almost. The private rooms are cute, kinda like an update on the standard Thai guesthouse but with a bit nicer furniture and some cuteness added in the form of stickers and decals on the walls, which is a nice touch. It’s right in Sairee, which is good for partying, but there’s no social area to speak of at this budget hostel in Koh Tao.

    Good Dream Hostel

    Good Dream Hostel best hostels in Koh Tao
    Good Dream Hostel has received numerous fine reviews and should definitely be considered as a solid option.
    • $$
    • Bar & Restaurant
    • Common Room
    • Tour Desk

    Actually pretty cool, and pretty big, it’s all centred around a courtyard sorta area that has a climbing frame – for socialising? Maybe? We don’t know really but it’s a fun idea. Elsewhere there’s a ping pong table for a spot of table tennis (or beer pong) which is always fun. There are loads of types of room at this top hostel in Koh Tao, various private rooms and a few different dorms. All of it’s nicely decorated and furnished since it’s pretty new, so here would be a good bet. Not the cheapest, but deffo good for space and facilities. And staff (they’re nice!).

    Spicytao Backpackers

    Spicytao Backpackers best hostels in Koh Tao
    Spicytao Backpackers is considered one of the best hostels in Koh Tao for socializing.
    • $
    • BBQ
    • Bar
    • Self Catering Facilities

    Seriously what is up with that name? Spicytao? We have no idea either. Name aside, this is a recommended hostel in Koh Tao for socialising – and we think that probably has something to do with the cheap beer on sale here. The atmosphere is great, since it gets lively when it wants to rather than constantly being on it, like some places in Sairee; but Spicytao is 10 mins from there, and 15 mins from the main beach, allowing you to chill and have fun in relative privacy and see Koh Tao’s sights at your own pace. One for socialites, not beer monsters.

    Neptune Hostel

    Neptune Hostel best hostels in Koh Tao
    Check out Neptune Hostel if you want a nice spot right next to the pier.
    • $
    • Restaurant & Cafe
    • Luggage Storage
    • Towels Included

    Neptune Hostel is very very close to the pier, which is good if you want to switch a few nights before your ferry takes off for another Thai island or the mainland. Location aside, the hostel itself is clean, cool, minimalist (maybe we just mean ‘bare’ but it LOOKS cool so we say minimalist) and the staff are friendly too. But really it does have quite a boutique-y feel, which we like, so there. Neptune’s Mediterranean restaurant/cafe is a decent place to hang out in the day if you haven’t got much to do – or if you’ve already done too much. A nice hostel in Koh Tao. However, be warned: beds are a lil’ hard.

    CK Hostel

    CK Hostel best hostels in Koh Tao
    Last but definitely not least, CK Hostel rounds off my list of the best hostels in Koh Tao. Cheers!
    • $$
    • Bar
    • Dive Centre
    • Air Conditioning

    The hostel that’s also a restaurant that’s also a mini-mart that’s got a dive centre, CK Hostel is a great place to chill and relax after the trauma of the Full Moon Party. There’s a nice atmosphere here, and – whoa, the private rooms, the beds in there are suuuper comfy. But at night they play music till about 11pm so, well, it’s not that quiet but hey – it’s a Koh Tao backpackers hostel near Sairee, after all. The restaurant/bar downstairs is a nice place to hang out. Oh, and the staff are nice too. Decent laundry service as well, comes back the same day!

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      What to Pack for your Koh Tao Hostel

      Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from us, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straight forward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art we have perfected over many years.

      Check out our definitive Hostel Packing list for our top packing tips!

      Why you should travel to Koh Tao

      Well there you have it guys, alas, the sun is setting on my ultimate guide to the best hostels in Koh Tao.

      You are now in full possession of my top hostel picks for this beautiful Thai Island. Be sure to check out our in-depth breakdown on the best areas in Koh Tao for more fantastic places to stay!

      As you have gathered there are some awesome hostels in Koh Tao and some clearly over-priced, lame ones (not featured on this list of course).

      This hostel guide organizes all of the absolute best hostels in Koh Tao, so that every backpacker can find the one. Booking the right hostel for yourself should be super easy now that you know what your options are.

      Clearly where you stay matters. In the paradise of Koh Tao, that couldn’t be more true.

      The last thing I want is for any traveler to end up in a awful hostel when some many great ones are on offer.

      All of the best hostel in Koh Tao are now like water in your cupped palm; don’t let them slip through your fingers… Before heading to Koh Tao, book the hostel that caught your eye to ensure that you score the one you’re after.

      These hostels book out fast. This is Thailand after all!

      Still having trouble deciding? Feeling overwhelmed? No worries…

      When in doubt, I typically recommend that you just book my top overall pick for best hostel in Koh Tao:The Dearly Koh Tao HostelHappy diving and happy travels!

      The Dearly Koh Tao Hostel best hostels in Koh Tao
      The Dearly Koh Tao is a truly fantastic place and clearly the best hostel in Koh Tao.

      FAQ about Hostels in Koh Tao

      Here are some questions backpackers ask about hostels in Koh Tao.

      Travel Safety Tips for Koh Tao

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      More Epic Hostels in Thailand and Southeast Asia

      Hopefully by now you’ve found the perfect hostel for your upcoming trip to Koh Tao.

      Planning an epic trip all across Thailand or even Southeast Asia itself?

      Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered!

      For more cool hostel guides around Southeast Asia, check out:

      Over to you

      By now I hope our epic guide to the best hostels in Koh Tao has helped you choose the perfect hostel for your adventure!

      If you think we’ve missed anything or have any further thoughts, hit us up in the comments!

      Thanks for reading – that was fun! 😀

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