So when we first started our business of renting apartments and our villa on Koh Tao 7 years ago there was only a couple of other similar places on the island. Now-a-days there are dozens of such places – mostly westerners who have come to Koh Tao, fell in love with it and have dreamed of staying here. So they built a nice house for themselves and then, usually after a period of time, thought about renting it out whilst they are not on the island to generate a little bit of cash. That is all well and good and it does work to some extent but as we have seen so, so many times they fail to hit the targets of professionalism and service that are needed to make their guest’s stay outstanding and memorable.
Firstly Star Villa has been designed with the rental market in mind. We spent loads of time and energy thinking and planning out the villa and as our guests agree, this really shines though in the layout and ‘look and feel’ of the place. In short – Designed for the job.
You will also get what you expect. We do our utmost to communicate to our potential guest what is on offer at Star Villa – where we are, what the accommodation is; what the sleeping arrangements are; the fact that there are many stairs around the property; etc. We want you to want to stay here – we don’t want guests to turn up and find out that Star Villa is not on the beach (yes this does still happen despite our efforts – but some people just refuse to read about what they are buying – strange but true). So we are honest to a fault about the villa and I am sure it costs us bookings but we want our guests to enjoy their stay, we don’t want people to feel duped or conned. That said, we offer our accommodation through many different channels (Booking.com, Agoda, Hotes.com, etc.) and we do have to work within their site restrictions so we always contact the guest and ask them check out our website for the full story about Star Villa. In short – Honesty.
It is sad to say, but it is very true that you need to be a little OCD to run a good place. Everything needs to be right. Everything needs to be thought out beforehand. Everything needs to be in the right place at the right time. Everything needs to be clean. So yes, I would say that both Heidi and I are a little bit OCD, but this means that you, as a guest, get a better experience. You can rely on the fact that you are not going to be double booked (or if you are then we will notify you within hours of your booking – not at the point of check-in); your accommodation will be ready for you when you arrive and it will have the facilities that we say it has; your accommodation will be clean (not as common in South East Asia as you would expect); and things will work (well 98% of the time they will anyway – there are always the odd exception). In short – Quality and Professionalism.
We (Heidi and I) are there to ‘look after you’ and answer your questions. We will meet you at the pier when you arrive (provided you have told us your travel details) and we will take you back to the pier when you leave; we can suggest restaurants to sample, things to do, places to see, and if you want to rent a scooter or ATV, we can take you to reliable rental shops. Also if something does go wrong we are there to put it right (or at least find a way around the problem until it can be put right). And we provide a free taxi service to Sairee town up to 10.30pm. In short – Customer Service.
I know that these things sound simple and obvious, but it is amazing how many places fall down on one or more of these points. We have had a 5 star rating on Tripadvisor for the past 5 years (4.5 stars the year before that) and we intend to keep up this top ranking. Can the other accommodation you are considering say that?