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“Lovely hotel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Zazen Boutique Resort & Spa

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Zazen Boutique Resort & Spa
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   177 Moo 1, Bophut Beach | Koh Samui, Bophut, Ko Samui 84320, Thailand   |  
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35% off room rate
Ranked #6 of 53 hotels in Bophut
Brighton, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Lovely hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2014

Lovely small hotel right on the beach. Weather was a bit blustery when we were there so the sea was a bit churned up, so can't comment on the quality and colour of the water and the beach. But lovely hotel with very good staff.

10-15 minute walk along to Fishermans beach where there’s enough bars and restaurants to keep you going for a few nights.

But beware, we booked an upgraded garden view room that had an outdoor bathroom and there lots of streams and ponds everywhere around the hotel, so there was loads on mozzies about. Make sure you spray your room down a night or they will attack. 1st night I was there; I didn’t and got hammered by them! Would stay there again.

Room Tip: watch out for mozzies if you get a room with an outdoor bathroom, they get in!
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adrien G, Resident Manager at Zazen Boutique Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 15, 2014
Dear Jon,

Thank you for staying with us and for taking the time to review our Resort.

We are delighted to read that you enjoyed your holiday at Zazen, although the sea is not at its best in December.

We are looking forward to welcoming you back in our Resort during your net stay in Samui.

Sunny regards

Zazen Management
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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winchester
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2014

After a lot of research my sister and I stayed here in early January 2014 for one week. The resort front desk is spectacular, and we had that wonderful "we've arrived" feeling straight away as we were greeted by the warm, friendly staff. I never got tired of walking through the resort's wonderfully landscaped areas from the pool to the garden villas. There is so much attention to detail here, and the small size mean your walk from bed to beach is less than a minute even from the garden villas. These villas themselves are beautiful and a good size. No bath which was a shame and I'd probably sacrifice the trendy 'open air' bathroom for a boring indoor one if it meant less chance of a mosquito bite (not a big deal, but we did get a couple of bites each!).

We had room service on the first night and this was probably the best meal of our holiday - no other massaman curry came close to Zazen's own, and it was so quick to arrive too. We ate at the restaurant on our final evening and enjoyed that too (though don't forget to book!) as the service was great and the Thai dancers were performing.

We were a little disappointed at how coupley the hotel was, we seemed to be the only singles there. The bar didn't have much of a social atmosphere (bar the cocktail night - a nice touch) and most evenings we went to the Fisherman's Village or Chaweng CIty in an attempt to socialise a bit more and see a bit more 'life'. Bophut beach itself is relatively quiet with most hotels catering for couples or young families. It is quite a narrow beach and the water isn't as clear as in other areas of Thailand, but what you do get is an upmarket, quiet(ish) stretch of sand with plenty of massage, retail and food options in the day time and minimal 'sleaze'. Unfortunately the main road outside of the hotel is very busy all of the time. We rented a moped one day and it wasn't that enjoyable given the amount of traffic. We also used the hotel bikes which were in very poor condition; both of our chains slipped and gears didn't work - not much fun. (Surely it wouldn't cost the management much to get them serviced once a fortnight?!).

As you will have read elsewhere, the 'Zazen Sunbed-gate' scandal is ongoing and annoying. The fact is, I booked Zazen despite this as I'm not a big sunbather. However, there were a couple of occasions when we just wanted to read a book and have a cocktail by the sea, but there were never any beds free. Once I counted 8/18 beds were empty for 45mins+ but with towels left on them, *sigh*. In short, if you want to sunbathe you best be up early (0700) to stake a claim and have the nerve to be rude enough to leave your towel there all day should you wish to have some lunch etc. We were forced to sit around the pool, not too bad except the service there is non-existent; no complimentary fruit and no waiters to ask for drinks - this only adds to the frustration. Considering this is an Island resort this does seem pretty poor of the hotel management - there were room for a few more sunbeds, and they could enforce rules about reserving beds.

In general, the service was very, very friendly but not overly effective. I didn't feel as though the staff really knew us as I've had in other small resorts: We were referred to as Mr and Mrs on our nightly weather reports/invites up until the final day and one morning I walked into the resort from the beach in my crops and a t-shirt and was almost halted by a staff member at the steps who asked "can I help you?" .. cue my Pretty Women "Look, I got money to spend in here" response! When we wanted to take a short trip to Koh Phangan and needed ferry times the lady at the front desk got a little flustered and obviously didn't know them, instead of asking a colleague for help she tried to dissuade us by saying we should leave very early if we want to do this. We insisted we were happy to spend half a day there and ended up taking an info leaflet ourselves when, after some time, she still didn't have any information. It was only when we got to Koh Phangan we realised there are two ferry terminals and the latest departure is from the one we didn't have a return ticket with. Hmph.

We did the day snorkelling trip to Koh Tao which I would recommend; great boat journey and beautiful water. Don't expect it to be a private affair though, at least 30 other people were in each snorkel area with us (but it didn't feel too over-crowded).

In conclusion, I would recommend this resort to 35+ couples who are looking for a quiet retreat and aren't slaves to the beach (or, if they are, they should be early risers!). We enjoyed our stay and wonderful Thai hospitality.

Room Tip: Garden Villas are more than adequate and we rarely had people walking by our windows
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adrien G, Resident Manager at Zazen Boutique Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 13, 2014
Dear valued guest,

Thank you for taking the time of sharing your experience at Zazen with the online travelers’ community.

All comments, positive and negative help us to improve the service provided to our guests. We are sorry to hear that some aspects of our resort did not match your expectation. We will make sure to remind our guests that booking sun beds on the beach is not allowed. Regarding the ambiance of the resort, all advertisements show that Zazen is a quiet and relaxing boutique resort and spa of 26 rooms where guests come to rest and refresh themselves. Perhaps it just was not the kind of atmosphere you were looking for. We are however glad to see that you enjoyed the decoration and welcoming to Zazen.

We would be happy to welcome you once again.

Best Regards,

Zazen Management
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Crowthorne, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2014

This is a beautiful Spa resort. Very well laid out on the beach at Boput. The resort has beautiful landscaping with twisting paths, streams and pools. It has a great restaurant and small bathing pool, adequate for the size of resort. Rather disappointing was the advertised fine dining restaurant being closed during our stay due to "supplier issues"??? so can't comment on that.
We were surprised at the number of babies and children there. In my opinion Spas are for adults. Its a place you go to for peace and tranquillity. You don't get that when there are kids running around and playing in the pool. Seems some families see it as more of a holiday camp than a Spa I guess? For this reason I would probably not stay there again.
Service was ok but no more than that. Occasionally it was obvious that the staff were overworked and hence on occasion it took a while to serve tables. Also we noticed the room service tail off through the stay with some minor things like towels not being replaced as frequently and mosquito burners not being set. Which reminds me, the place was plagued by Mosquitoes. The staff did try to deal with them and did improve the situation on a couple of days, but otherwise we were eaten alive.

Room Tip: It depends if you want to be on the beach with people walking past or in the garden which is more pr...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adrien G, Resident Manager at Zazen Boutique Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 13, 2014
Dear valued guest,

Thank you for taking the time to write us a comment. Our Salon de Ti being a fine dining restaurant we must ensure to have quality products to maintain our standards. This is why we are momentously unable to welcome guests. We are sorry to hear that our resort did not reach some of your expectations. However, we are glad to note that you found the landscape and facilities pleasant.

We are looking forward to welcoming you again here at Zazen.

Best Regards,
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Monaco-Ville, Monaco
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2014

I stayed here for 7 nights in December and overall I was impressed. We arrived and were given an upgrade to one of the Garden Villas (at the back behind reception). I am really glad we got this as the other rooms looked quite small and as other people have stated below- the beachfront rooms offer very little privacy.

The gardens were very well looked after which I found wasn't always the case in some other hotels we stayed in whilst in Thailand. I have had to mark down 'cleanliness' due to the beach being quite messy. I know this is a tough one to keep on top of but maybe the beach should be swept a few times a day. The rooms however were spotless and the beds were very comfy.

I was a little bit gutted that there wasn't a gym but I only have myself to blame for not looking beforehand. Although I don't think it would be too difficult to put some weights etc in (maybe where the ping pong table is).

The location was fine (maybe a tad far out) but it is within walking distance to fisherman's village (around 15-20 mins). Taxis are cheap though.

In terms of value I would say it is pretty good. There are plenty of other hotels on Samui which would be quite a bit dearer for probably a lot less. I would add that the cocktails and wine is pretty expensive though. You certainly won't be getting a glass of house wine for 3 quid.

Now to the less positive. The service wasn't quite what I'd hoped for due to the lack of English and understanding. I was under the impression that there was a concierge service but the reception didn't speak great English and asking for ideas such as things to do and places to eat was a real chore. I would end up asking somebody something and most of the time they would just nod and agree which is not always what you are looking for when you want tips and advice etc.

The breakfast is pretty good but nothing to write home about. The french toast is nice and they have a good selection of fruit but the made to order hot breakfast can take some time to arrive and actually turned up completely wrong a couple of times. My girlfriend ordered scrambled eggs and they forgot the sausage, we asked for a new one and as they were walking to the table dropped the sausage on the floor so they took it back but by the time she finally got it it was freezing cold. Now I wouldn't usually have mentioned something like this but the waitress simply laughed and walked off without a hint of a 'sorry'. Maybe it's just me :s

Anyway, overall we enjoyed our experience and would go back but would hope for a few changes.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adrien G, Resident Manager at Zazen Boutique Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 13, 2014
Dear Harold,

Thank you for taking the time to give us a feedback about your experience at Zazen. All comments, positive and negative help us to improve our service and provide better experience for our guests.

We apologize that the service has not been at our usual standard. Your comments have been noted and will be discussed during our future staff trainings. On the other hand, we are glad to hear that you enjoyed our Garden Villas.

Do not hesitate to let us know if you come back to Samui, we would be happy to welcome you again.

Best Regards,

Zazen Management
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Chicago, Illinois
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2014

There is a lot of good to be said about Zazen. The grounds are beautifully kept and the pool and beach area are charming. The staff was polite and accommodating, often circulating the pool and beach area with samples of snacks and drinks, even a 5 minute shoulder massage. The resort is located in a quieter part of the island. You could probably spend a few days relaxing here without leaving the grounds, but Fisherman's Village is only a 15 minute walk and convenience stores, pharmacies and restaurants are even closer. It's easy to get a taxi to other parts of the island, or the resort offers a driving service that's comparable in price.

The Zazen restaurant was exceptional. We had a beautiful seafood dinner there one night, and we ended most of our evenings with a drink in the lounge area. We also took advantage of the wonderful complimentary breakfast each morning - which included a buffet, hot made-to-order items (both Thai and western), even bubbles to start your day.

Now for the things I didn't love...

The bed. It's a mattress on the floor without a box spring, which I found to be tremendously uncomfortable. Our mattress also had giant dents in it and was probably due to be replaced. We requested an extra duvet, which we put underneath us to provide an extra layer of cushion. This helped somewhat, but I still had a lot of difficulty sleeping.

The mosquitos. I don't think there's much to be done about this, as Zazen is located in a little tropical haven. A service sprayed the grounds several times while we were there, and Zazen provided us with spray in our room. We spent a lot of time spraying down the inside of our bungalow as well as ourselves, but there were always bugs inside the bungalow and bites all over our bodies. I think that might just be a part of bungalow living, and the semi-enclosed bathroom.

The semi-enclosed bathroom. Just as pretty in person as in the pictures, but I didn't really think through the worst-case-scenario logistics. When I got food poisoning and spent an entire day sick, I hated being exposed to the elements. I could hear people running around poolside and assumed they could also hear me. It was an extra layer of awful on top of a horrible experience.

The children. We went for our delayed honeymoon (just before Christmas) and selected the hotel based on reviews as a romantic getaway. There were SO many (really poorly behaved) children. Again, not Zazen's fault but if you're looking for something more couple-centric, you might want to look elsewhere.

We had a couple's massage at the spa. It was just ok, and fairly expensive compared to other amenities on the island. We were in a tent in the middle of the grounds, and the "quiet area" signs were not enforced. It was difficult to relax with people having an in depth conversation 15 feet away.

At the end of the day, most of this is just personal preference and is not Zazen's fault. I don't think I would stay in another bungalow, period. I prefer a hotel room with a fully indoor bathroom and a traditional bed.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adrien G, Resident Manager at Zazen Boutique Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 13, 2014
Dear Hannah,

Greetings from Zazen Boutique Resort and Spa! Thank you for taking the time of sharing your experience with the online travelers’ community.

Your compliments regarding our restaurant have been shared and thanked by the staff. We are sorry to hear that the room style did not match your expectations. However, we are glad to note that you found our Resort relaxing and that you enjoyed the personalized service at the beach.

We would be happy to welcome you again here at Zazen.

Best Regards,

The Zazen Restaurant Team
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Sydney, Australia
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

we stayed here for 4-5 days and I'd have to say it was a great experience. What really stood out was the friendly and helpful staff members.

All of the staff members were very friendly and helpful whenever we had questions or needed advice on the local area. They definitely made our stay a trouble free and enjoyable one.

location wise, it is in a quieter area and beach so if you want to go and visit/ eat at the main tourist area for bophut beach, it will be a short taxi ride (5 mins) or a 15 min walk. You can also borrow a push bike for the day to ride to these areas which is pretty cool.

The room was really nice and comfortable and the facilities of the resort provide more of a forest vibe that really makes it feel like a get away.

Room Tip: best suited to those looking for a quiet beach
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adrien G, Resident Manager at Zazen Boutique Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 8, 2014
Dear Eric,

Thank you for sharing your experience on TripAdvisor.
We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us.

We are looking forward to welcoming you again in Zazen.

Sunny regards

Zazen Management
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Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

The service here was the standout and couldn't have asked for anything more - in fact we didn't have to ask for anything at all.
The real attraction of this hotel is that it's a beautiful little hotel away from the madness of chaweng and central BoPhut, but still easily within a 200 Baht taxi to fishermans village where other bars/clubs/restaurants await. The grounds are excellent and really give a serene feeling to the place.
We attended over the NYE period and given the size of the hotel (at capacity) it didn't feel at all like the place was busy. There were always adequate sun-beds on the beach or by the pool, making it a great place to relax and unwind.

Room Tip: Room 7 is a great option - to be 10 meters from the beach without being a beachfront bungalow, but...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adrien G, Resident Manager at Zazen Boutique Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 6, 2014
Dear Chris,

Thank you for your great feedback on Trip Advisor.

We are delighted to read that you enjoyed our Resort and more specifically the quality of our service.
Indeed, our team takes pride in delivering a great experience and they are delighted to read that appreciated it.

We are looking forward to welcoming you soon in Zazen, in the meantime we wish you a very Happy New Year.

Sunny regards

Zazen Management
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Additional Information about Zazen Boutique Resort & Spa

Address: 177 Moo 1, Bophut Beach | Koh Samui, Bophut, Ko Samui 84320, Thailand
Phone Number:
Location: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Ko Samui > Bophut
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Bophut
#4 Romantic Hotel in Bophut
#4 Spa Hotel in Bophut
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Bophut
#5 Luxury Hotel in Bophut
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Bophut
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Zazen Boutique Resort & Spa 4.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Zazen is a stylish true Boutique Resort located on the beautiful Bophut Beach. Perfect for a relaxing holiday and a romantic honeymoon. Zazen offers 26 stylish villas, and 2 of the most popular restaurants on the island with traditional Thai cuisine and fine French / Mediterranean dining. Le Spa Zen will help you find the deepest levels of relaxation. Welcome to Zazen! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Zazen Boutique Hotel Bophut
Zazen Boutique Resort And Spa
Zazen Boutique Resort & Spa Ko Samui/Bophut

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