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AndrewBrittain
Southampton, United Kingdom

A superb experience in a stunning location

Review of Elephant Hills
5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 17 Apr 2024
Elephant Hills is a brilliant place to stay and we loved our time here.

An Elephant Hills driver collected us from our previous hotel and drove us directly to the camp - a journey of 3-hours, which is a pretty big thing to be included in the price (and a very smooth and comfortable journey it was).

As soon as you arrive at Elephant Hills it feels like a special place. You're immediately greeted by friendly, enthusiastic guides who make the check-in process quick and easy.

The feel of the camp, in the main reception area which has a huge under-cover space for dining, drinking and meeting for activities is very high quality and comfortable. There's a great atmosphere to the camp and it's an enjoyable place to be from the moment you arrive.

I personally hate camping and was actually quite mad at my wife when she told me she'd booked for us to stay in "tents" but I had no reason to worry as the tents are more like permanently-constructed buildings than the sort of tent you might pitch up yourself.

They have solid concrete foundations, wood floors, proper beds, fully-functional toilets and showers with hot running water inside each tent.

Ours was a two-storey tent with the children sleeping downstairs and us upstairs - and both levels had their own toilet / shower / sink.

There are canvas doors and sides and a canvas roof, but above that is a solid roof that completely covers the "tent" so you're 100% protected from the elements.

It was intensely hot when we stayed here in April and it was certainly very warm in the tents (no air-con) but numerous large fans are provided which were adequate for keeping us cool and we slept well (we were glad we brought ear plugs with us, as you hear the noise of the jungle insects all night long, which is cool - but they are loud!)

Our guide was Deen - and what a great guy he is. He was so enthusiastic and friendly, he really is a superb guide and Elephant Hills are very lucky to have him!

You do a variety of jungle activities, which include an elephant encounter, a river canoeing trip, a visit to a separate lake camp (some have an overnight stay there), a jungle trek and also a mangrove exploration (which we didn't do as we only had 2-nights).

The activities were enjoyable, especially the elephant encounter which was probably the highlight of our entire 16-night holiday in Thailand and I wished it was longer or that you had more chances to see them. But I do also realise they are trying to give the elephants as natural as possible an existence, unlike some places which make the elephants work for the benefit of entertaining tourists, which Elephant Hills definitely isn't doing - we were simply giving them food and then they're left to their own devices to live in the park naturally, which is good to know.

It's exceptionally well organised and ran like clockwork for us. I don't know how many people were staying here but I think it was certainly multiple hundreds, but when you do your activities you're in very small groups and you never feel like you're part of a massive holiday camp with loads of people - it's very personal and intimate.

An all-you-can-eat buffet breakfast and dinner are included each day - and the food was first-rate in my opinion. A great range of options whether you like Thai or English food and every meal we had was delicious and filling.

What I would say is that Elephant Hills describe themselves as a "soft adventure" tour, so the reality of the jungle experience is that it's actually quite civilised and tame, which is ideal for families - but perhaps not ideal if you're expecting a real jungle adventure / wildlife encounter experience.

For example the 'jungle trek' was about 45-mins walking through the undergrowth around the camp and, although there was mention of monkeys, snakes, spiders, etc, we didn't actually see any such animals - probably because we followed a well-trodden path that's walked by multiple groups of tourists every day.

That might be a shame if you're hoping to get up close to jungle wildlife - but also if you were genuinely deep in a jungle, you wouldn't have a shower, toilet, double bed and full buffet meals served up twice a day!

So it's perfect for families wanting a bit of a different experience and to be closer to Thailand's nature, but don't expect to see a lot of jungle wildlife (we did see a family of monkeys on our canoe trip though, which was absolutely brilliant).

I think Elephant Hills has created a superb tourist experience in an unbelievably beautiful location. Such a well-organised, high quality, clean place with brilliant staff which all combine to make a holiday experience to remember - I loved it there and was sad to leave!
Date of stay: April 2024
Trip type: Travelled with family
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
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Resident Manager Elephant Hills, Other at Elephant Hills, responded to this review
Responded 4 weeks ago
Dear Khun AndrewBrittain,

Thank you very much for taking your time to write a wonderful long review of the Elephant Hills Tented Camp.

We are delighted to learn that you enjoyed the overall experiences with us at both both camps; from the tents, activities, camp settings, facilities, foods to the elephant meetings.

We will surely pass on your kind words to the team whom I’m sure that they will be pleased to know that their service is well recognized by you and that will highly encourage them to continue their hard work and dedication, especially the tour guide, Deen whom were mentioned here.

We including the elephants look forward to the opportunity of welcoming you and your family back to our jungle at Khao Sok again in the not too distant future.

Warmest regards,

Elephant Hills Team
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Reviewed 18 April 2024

We done the three day two night package

Can’t fault it

Staff amazingly attentive.
Food was gorgeous.

Highlight for us was the lake camp!
We skipped the hike into the rainforest and stayed at the camp. We took kayaks out onto the lake. There were only 6 of us out at the time and we watched the wild monkeys at the edge of the water. One trip we will never forget.

Date of stay: January 2024
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank Lblox
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Resident Manager Elephant Hills, Other at Elephant Hills, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Dear Khun Lizb,

Thank you very much for your wonderful review of the Elephant HillsTented Camp.

We are excited to learn that you enjoyed your overall visit with us here and that has left you the ‘once in a life time experience’. Your kind words will be passed on to our team members whom we are sure will be pleased to know that their service has been recognized by you and that will highly motivate them on continuing their hard work.

We all including the gentle giants look forward to welcoming you back to our camp again already.

Warmest regards,

Elephant Hills Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2024 via mobile

We had a great experience with our kids age 6 and 8. Kids under 7 are not allowed to stay at the lake camp so bear that in mind if considering.

When you arrive you feel like you've entered a Disney property! Theming is classical safari even if that is perhaps not Thailand!

The tents are clean and comfortable. We had 2 roll out beds so it was a bit of a squeeze but better than one child sharing our bed. There is a standing fan in the main part of the tent, one on the deck and one in the bathroom. Tent has electricity for phone charging and running water/flushing toilet. It was 35 degrees when we were there and yes it was hot, but a good experience not to have air con and we all did sleep.

Be aware that the jungle camp is not where the elephants are. When I first started looking into elephant hills I wrongly believed that the elephants roamed near to the tents. This is not the case. They are 10 mimutes drive up the road.

The programme is action packed and it all runs as a well oiled machine. The downside is everything is a drive away whereas I, again wrongly, believed that many activities would start from the camp. So we had to drive in a van to the elephants. Were there a out 2hrs including preparing an elephant snack and feeding them, then driven back to main camp. Then driven to the river for canoe float (the river is by the camp so shame they can't just do something from the camp). We did see some monkeys and a frog. At end of canoe float driven back to camp. Day 2 we were driven 1hr to lake. We had 45 minutes at a park above the lake, this was way too long. Then driven to the dock and boarded a long tail, your drive around the lake before getting to the floating resort. Arrived there around 12pm and had until 2.30 for lunch/swimming/self guided kayaking. Was enough time. Lake was lovely to swim in. I saw a sign about puffer fish and needing to keep moving but noone mentioned this at the time. Day 3 we did a jungle "trek" (more a stroll) which did start from the camp to an outside cooking demonstration. All the activities were well organised an enjoyable.

Food was all tasty and included (buffets). There is some western foods (chips, chicken nuggets, the most disgusting macaroni cheese) available in the jungle camp, but not at lunch in the lake camp or the jungle trek so bear in mind if you have fussy people who won't eat Thai style food. But it's delicious, so just try it anyway.

There's a small swimming pool. It seemed heavily chlorinated/chemicals.

Transfers around area included.

Seems expensive at first glance, but given everything included (transfers, accommodation, food, activities) I don't think it's bad value.

We stayed during Easter holidays and had kids. There was lots of kids there. There was no attempt to separate the families form the adult-only groups. Activities are done in groups so I'd suggest if you don't want to have the experience with lots of kids, avoid school holidays.

Date of stay: April 2024
Trip type: Travelled with family
Thank MoonsterUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Resident Manager Elephant Hills, Other at Elephant Hills, responded to this reviewResponded 16 April 2024

Dear Khun MoonsterUK,

Warm greetings from the Elephant Hills Tented Camp! We appreciate your feedback and thank you for writing in. Our tropical-surrounded destination is a unique experience in the heart of the Southern Thai Jungles, and we’re delighted to see that your getaway was beautifully met.

We are truly grateful for your wonderful feedback about the activities and our service. We are committed to consistently delivering a memorable experience for our guests, and your comments and appreciation are the greatest motivation and reward for all of us.

We are offering the best experiences in Khao Sok area and some depends on the weather and natural resource matters, like the amount of water in the river next to our camp. Most of the part of the river nearby the camp is very shallow and canoes are not possible to get through easily, and rocky as well. Anyway what we have for you is most stunning view in the area already ^_^

Thank you once again for your valuable feedback. We look forward to welcoming you back to the camp in the future for another memorable experience.

Kind regards,

Elephant Hills Team

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Reviewed 14 April 2024

We had the best time at elephant hills. Not going to lie but the thought of staying in a tent in the jungle was very daunting at first but when we got there the tents were immaculate and we were very well catered for. Not one snake in sight! Just frogs and lizards which I was more than happy to encounter. The bathrooms were amazing and the food was plentiful. Great dining facilities with great food choices, including early dining times for children and cooking demonstrations from the locals to encourage keen chefs to dabble at Thai cooking. The excursions were fantastic and a huge shout out to our guide Ya Ya who was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!
The only downside for me was not enough time spent with the elephants. We got a good 2 1/2 hours which was great but I’d like to have gone back and spent more time because the whole experience was magical.

Room tip: Lots and lots of bug spray! Cash-elephant hills is a cash only site Elephant hills will provide you with a water bottle and waterproof bag
Date of stay: March 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank TammyP1301
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Resident Manager Elephant Hills, Other at Elephant Hills, responded to this reviewResponded 15 April 2024

Dear Khun Tammy P,

Warmest greetings from the Elephant Hills Tented Camp team!

We appreciate your feedback and thank you for sharing. It's been a pleasure to welcome you back here. Our tropical-surrounded tent is a unique experience indeed, and we’re delighted to see that your getaway exceeded your expectations again.

We are truly grateful for your wonderful feedback about the activities and team. Guide Yaya is going to be extrememly thrilled for being recognized indeed. We are proud that our staffs always receive great reviews for being real good at Thai hospitality. We are committed to consistently delivering a memorable experience for our guests, and your comments and appreciation are the greatest motivation and reward for all of us.

Thank you once again for your valuable feedback. We look forward to welcoming you back to the camp in the future for another memorable experience, again and again ^_^

Best regards,

Elephant Hills Team

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Reviewed 13 April 2024

We had a 3 day, 2 night stay at Elephant Hills. One night at jungle camp and one at lake camp. I would be hard pressed to say which I loved the most. The tents are luxurious and the setting is magical. We loved every minute of it - our kayaking down the river and in the lake, the elephant experience and the jungle hike. The food was delicious. We did not want to leave! Waking up at Lake camp to the cheeky gibbons playing on the bank and my early morning swim in the lake may just been my favourite memory. The staff are so so kind. Our guide, Pearl, went out of her way to make us feel welcome, to keep us informed and to share her knowledge with us.

Room tip: Expect jungle camp to be a little noisy as the birds and the insects like to ‘chat’ just when you want to sleep 🤣
Date of stay: April 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Curiosity80470
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Resident Manager Elephant Hills, Other at Elephant Hills, responded to this reviewResponded 15 April 2024

Dear Khun Curiosity80470,

Thank you very much for taking your time to write a wonderful review of the Elephant Hills Tented Camp.

We are pleased to learn that you enjoyed your overall experience with us, especially the elephant interactions.

We believe our staffs, in particular Guide Pearl, who will be very happy to know that their service has been recognized by you and that will highly encourage them to continue their hard work and dedication to ensure we deliver the best experiences to our guests.

We all are very much looking forward to welcoming you back to our camp again soon.

Warmest regards,

Elephant Hills Team

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Reviewed 13 April 2024

Our 2 night stay at the Elephant Hills Camp (including the lake camp) was amazing and a memorable one that we won’t ever forget! The activities in the itinerary/schedule was well thought out and organised. The itinerary also allowed us enough time to relax in the peaceful surroundings of the jungle and to take in the beautiful views.
Our guide was Tam, who was very informative, telling us lots of facts about the jungle and the animals within it. Tam was very friendly and easily approachable, always happy to help and answer questions. She also remembered our names which made it more personal.
There was a good variety of food served on the camp, which was all tasty! Accommodation was clean, tidy and comfortable.
Thank you for such a wonderful and unforgettable experience! Emma & Tom

Date of stay: April 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Emma D
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Resident Manager Elephant Hills, Other at Elephant Hills, responded to this reviewResponded 15 April 2024

Dear Khun Emma and Khun Tom,

Thank you very much for your wonderful review of the Elephant HillsTented Camp.

We are excited to learn that you enjoyed your overall visit with us here and that has left you the ‘once in a life time experience’. Your kind words will be passed on to our team members whom we are sure will be pleased to know that their service has been recognized by you and that will highly motivate them on continuing their hard work. Guide Tam is certainlly grateful when he knows your feedback indeed.

We all including the gentle giants look forward to welcoming you back to our camp again already.

Warmest regards,

Elephant Hills Team

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