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“Lovely hotel but ...”

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Zazen Boutique Resort & Spa
Ranked #11 of 185 Hotels in Bophut
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 14, 2012

After staying at the Metropolitan the rooms at Zazen did not compare in any way, shape or form. The grounds of the hotel were absolutely amazing it must be said and I would recommend staying at Zazen but I must caveat it with a but...

The Rooms
We booked into a Garden Villa. Considering there are only c. 25 rooms at Zazen it felt like there were 100 guests when we arrived. We were in the worst positioned room in the hotel; everyone who needed to get anywhere walked past our room. We didn’t spend much time in our room but we were on honeymoon and sometimes you want to be a bit spontaneous, it’s hard to be spontaneous if you have to go around and close all the blinds to the multiple full length windows on 3 walls unless you want everyone to see!

The rooms were not well thought out; they were beautifully decorated but over decorated with nowhere to put your belongings without it looking messy. Some of the lamps/sockets in the room did not work and there was a crushed insect on the floor to the bathroom that was there the entire 10 days. The air conditioning was energy saving which meant it went off whenever you left your room so the room quickly heated up and when it was on it faced directly on to the bed, it wasn’t conducive to a good night’s sleep as you were either too hot or too cold. What also wasn’t conducive to a good night’s sleep was finding a 5cm long centipede crawling up my leg (under the covers) during our very first night! I mentioned it to reception the next day and they made a note of it and no more.

The outdoor bathroom is a lovely idea but the mosquito nets are not properly maintained with gaps at the sides which mean mosquitoes get in to the room very easily.

The beach/pool
On our first afternoon we went to the beach and all of the sun loungers were reserved with towels so we had to sit on the sand despite less than half of the loungers actually being used, it also appeared you had to have a lounger to get any form of proactive service from the staff (even a menu). For the remainder of the holiday we stayed by the pool where it was super relaxing the majority of the time, it was spoilt a little on only a couple of occasions when some delightful French speaking children spent the afternoon ‘bombing’ and splashing all the guests relaxing nearby, the staff didn’t stop them and the parents presumably didn’t care as they were on the beach not getting splashed.

The restaurant
The food was absolutely truly fantastic, the best food we had in Thailand by far. We are not normally the kind of people to eat in hotels, preferring to try local places but due to unforeseen circumstances we had to spend a lot of time at the hotel. The service in the restaurant was however hit and miss, it never once reached the standards of the Metropolitan in Bangkok where they broke your napkins for you even for breakfast (the Zazen had paper napkins with breakfast... sometimes... if they remembered... not necessarily a bad thing but noticeably different to the Metropolitan). We had lunch in the restaurant once and never again (we ate the food but not in the restaurant itself, by the pool instead) after we ordered and then 10 minutes later they came to take our order again and it took a full 40 minutes for our food to arrive from when we initially sat down for lunch, there were only 4 other people in the whole restaurant!

The spa
Absolutely fantastic but... I enjoyed my first massage so much I had a massage every day for 4 days until it was irrevocably spoilt. This is ultimately the incident at Zazen that left a bad taste in my mouth. The masseur was fantastic but on my 4th massage there was no music, there was building works happening at reception so after some time I asked them to put the music on to hide the noise, they put the music on but the sound system was broken, it kept skipping and getting louder and quieter. In addition for some reason on that occasion there was also a terrible smell. It was the most unrelaxing massage I have ever had. When I went to sign the bill at the end I told the receptionist for the spa I was not happy about paying for the massage at all after it had been so disrupted and so unrelaxing and so smelly, she asked me to fill out a comments form which I did but I still had to sign the bill, she told me the swamp next to the hotel sometimes gets smelly. No one contacted me afterwards. I did not return to the spa on principle despite having had a massage every day until then, I went to a place further down the beach instead. On check out I again complained about having to pay for the massage and again I was asked to fill a comments form but it was quite clear I wasn’t going to be let off from paying for it. I filled out a second form expecting to be contacted when I left but no one has ever contacted me and I had to pay for the massage. I would not recommend having a massage at Zazen despite having 3 of the most fantastic massages I have ever had, it’s not worth the risk of a bad experience for the price you pay.

This review sounds like we had a terrible time at Zazen, we didn’t, we had a fantastic time but it is not comparable to the Metropolitan which set unreasonably high standards and there were too many little things that were not ideal. The staff were so incredibly friendly, they really were, and the masseuse was truly fantastic, there were little touches such as fruit and iced towels by the pool that made it so special but there were so many little niggly things that let it down. In particular I find it most disappointing that the manager at Zazen is so keen to respond to negative feedback on trip advisor (I have noticed this on other reviews) but does not respond to comments cards left directly at the hotel when something can actually be done about it before it is too late, words are not as important as actions.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank harrisonerin
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 reviewResponded August 3, 2012

Dear valued guest,

Thank you for your review and your constructive comments. We are happy that on the overall you enjoyed your stay and we have taken good note about your remarks, which allow us to improve our services and products.

First of all, we are sorry that you did not enjoy our room arrangement. The wide windows in our Garden Villas are normally praised as it allows natural lights to enter the room. Moreover, the terraces in front of each room are protected by plants, which block the view from passing by guests. As you were located in room 26, only guests from the three following villas needed to walk past your room. We are therefore quite surprised that you felt that everyone was intruding your privacy.

Please note that our hotel is committed to protect the island environment and that we have been awarded the Green Gold Award. Therefore we encourage our guests to save power when they leave their room, but should they need the Air Conditioning to run all day, we provide an extra key which allow power to stay on.

Regarding the insects, as we are located in a tropical island, it is most likely that you would encounter some. However, we are taking every possible measure to reduce their nuisance while respecting the ecosystem of our garden.

Your comments about the noise at the pool are understandable, and we are sorry to hear that French speaking children spoilt your experience. Note as well that we have more or less 30 sunbeds on the beach which is enough to accommodate our in house guests, as the access is restricted for outside guests.
We have taken good note about your comments regarding service in the restaurant and we already have taken corrective actions to improve our lunch service and speed of delivery.
Your experience at the Spa was indeed unacceptable and the management has not been informed about your case, which is a pity as we obviously would not have charged you for this treatment. Our Spa management has recently been changed and we guarantee that the situation has drastically improved, thanks to your feedback.

Finally, note that our management not only replies to negative comments on Trip Advisor but good one as well, which represents 90% of the reviews. The card you left at the spa reception has unfortunately not been brought up to the management. Usually, guests raise their concerns directly with one of our managers who are always present in the restaurant, at the reception, around the pool and during our management cocktail which you obviously did not attend.

We are glad that those points did not completely ruin your stay at Zazen, although we are extremely sorry that we did not reach your expectations. Nevertheless, thanks to your feedback, we have highlighted some areas of improvement and actions have already been taken to improve our standards.

We sincerely hope to welcome you soon in Zazen Boutique Resort and Spa, in the meantime, feel free to contact us should you have any further comments.

Sunny Regards,


Zazen Management Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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513 - 519 of 1,325 reviews

Reviewed July 8, 2012

We stayed in about 10 hotels on Koh Sumui over a 7 week period. Ranging from 3* to 5*.
This was our favorite by far and is the only one we will go back to when we return next year.
The accommodation is fantastic try and get a beach side villa if you can but be aware there is only 3. Once there you really wont want to leave. And when you do go exploring the island you will be happy to be back.
The staff are incredibly friendly, from the reception to the garden maintenance.
The hotel is intimate and omg wait until you see it at night. The lighting in the tree's the little streams by the footpaths the small bridges over ponds and more streams a real jewel.
You must go to the spar also top notch.

Breakfast is a pretty complete affair with most things a western or eastern pallet would expect.
My only really small glitch is the bathrooms are outdoors but i was informed by the owner this was going to be looked at.
This is not really a child friendly hotel although some kids were there but if i had any i wouldn’t stay here. Perfect for couples, its like the cherry on top of the paradise island.

Room Tip: go for the beach front bungalow with its own beach hammock
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  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank Nigel S
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 reviewResponded July 26, 2012

Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for your review. We are honoured to read that you find Zazen to be the best resort in Koh Samui, and your comments have been shared with the team.

The outside Balinese stye bathroom is often praised by our guests but it is true that it may not be convenient for everybody. As explained to you by Alex, this is something we are looking at for future renovation.

Thank you for choosing Zazen as a place for your holidays and we look forward to welcoming you back with us again soon.

With best regards,

The Zazen team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2012

We arrived late at night and as soon as we entered the driveway and saw the gardens so beautifully lit up, we knew we were at a very special place. This experience continued throughout our 11 night stay. The accommodation, the staff, the food and the attention to detail was amazing. It was also good to meet Alex and Thi, the owners, who circulate much of the time overseeing their team. For us, as a retired couple, the only small negative was the number of babies and young children staying at the same time. However our holiday did coincide with the school holidays so I'm sure this was the reason. Every member of staff goes out of their way to make each guest feel as comfortable as possible. I loved the attractive pool area and spent many an hour reading as I sat in the loungers alongside it.
Should you wish to wander out to the shops and other restaurants, Fisherman's Village is about a 15 minute walk either along the beach or the adjacent road.

Room Tip: Garden de Luxe rooms are near the beach and very comfortable for 2 people. The Garden Villa's ar...
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Thank stillhil
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 reviewResponded July 26, 2012

Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for your review. We are glad to read that you enjoyed your stay with us, and your comments have been shared with the team.

Your remarks regarding the children are understandable. Indeed, during school holidays we welcome more families which is normally not a problem although our Resort is probably more suited for couples.

Thank you for choosing Zazen as a place for your holidays and we look forward to welcoming you back with us again soon.

With best regards,

The Zazen Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2012

Zazen is a little paradise: very nice rooms, great assorted breakfast in an outstanding restaurant (especially dinner!), friendly staff, excellent spa. So why don't I give 5 points...? The sea is disgusting, walking into the water during summer makes some mud coming up (we've been told it's algae, but not so sure about that) - so swimming was not a big deal during our stay at Zazen because the pool is a wit... means super-petite. The second negative point are the moskitos... Okay you can't avoid them while travelling in the tropics. And the hotel staff really tries a lot (spray and other), but I expect a hotel like Zazen to have a comfortable fix installed mosquito net. We asked for one and the staff brought it, no problem. But it was not really a good feeling sleeping in this net because it was half lying on us... And an outside shower might be nice, but in this area I think it would be better to have the rest of the bathroom inside: Beating mosquitos while sitting on the toilet is not such a nice experience...

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Thank writinggirl
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 reviewResponded July 26, 2012

Dear Valued Guest,

We are glad to read that you enjoyed your stay with us, and your constructive comments have been shared with the team.

In regards to your remark about the sea, it is true that swimming in Bophut Beach is not comparable with wild beaches which you can find on Koh Phangan or Koh Tao, however it offers an idyllic setting in a fishermen bay, and the beach is extremely quiet and safe in comparison to Chaweng or Lamai where the waves are strong and where you can find many boats and jet-skis.

Concerning the mosquitoes, it is true that they can not be avoided on a tropical island. However, we do our utmost to solve this problem by lighting mosquito repellent candles around the resort and providing our guests with mosquito repellent plugs. We are sorry that you did not appreciate our outdoor Balinese style bathroom which is a feature well appreciated by our guests. We will on the other hand consider your comments for our future refurbishments.

Thank you for choosing Zazen as a place for your holidays and we look forward to welcoming you again soon.

With best regards,


The Zazen Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2012

Only stayed for the 1 night as I was moving to another island, but loved this hotel. The gardens and building design feels authentic and I could get lost in the grounds. I had a garden room that was next to the pool, super convenient but a little noisy in the morning when they staff were setting up for the day. The room was thoughtfully designed, lost of steps so be careful if your not mobile. Loved the outdoor bathroom concept. The rooms are a little over furnished and some furniture looks a bit tired but has everything you'd expect for a hotel of this calibre. Great breakfast, my favorite was the fresh Kiwi juice and sitting seaside having a cup of coffee. Well done team and an enjoyable stay, will be back again soon I hope.

Stayed: June 2012, traveled solo
1  Thank TraveMate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded July 10, 2012

Dear Valued Guest,

We are glad to read that you enjoyed your stay with us, and your comments have been shared with the team.

Thank you for your valuable comments regarding the room layout, we will take this into consideration when we will proceed to the room renovation.

Thank you for choosing Zazen as a place for your holidays and we look forward to welcoming you again soon.

With best regards,

The Zazen Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2012

We stayed here last year, and are still dreaming about the place. The best we stayed in, during a 4-week trip to Thailand. Wonderful boutique resort atmosphere, with a great, sensitive staff and much care for the natural surroundings, which are a pleasure to walk through. Stay in one of the bungalows and, whether the sun is shining (most of the time) of the rain is pouring down (briefly), you'll feel like you're in heaven.

Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
3  Thank Sjoerdd d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded July 10, 2012

Dear Valued Guest,

We are glad to read that you enjoyed your stay with us, and your comments have been shared with the team.
Thank you for choosing Zazen as a place for your holidays and we look forward to welcoming you again soon.

With best regards,

The Zazen Team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2012

From the moment we arrived at Zazen we knew we were in paradise. This small boutique hotel ticked all the boxes, from the greeting and welcome of the staff members, the beautifully appointed room, the complimentary daily bottled water to the every helpful staff. The hotel is located on the beachfront and they had many lounge chairs available and the sensational pool and the little things like cold refereshing towels during the day to cool down and chilled fruit which the staff walk around and hand out to all guest!!!! Im going to miss the cold towels!!!! Breakfast on the balcony looking over the ocean!!!! Amazing!!! The Food was outstanding from Breakfast, lunch and dinner. WOW what a menu fresh, tasty and spectular meals presented. The restaurant with amazing its amazing setting and lovely ambience and atmosphere. The waitresses are always smiling and are willing to help you for anything you need. The day spa was amazing and we had a massage every day whilst our stay!!! The extra special touch having my birthday whilst at Zazen. Breakfast our table had a beautiful arrangement of flowers along with a birthday message such a lovely way to start my birthday only to return to my room to find more flowers from the staff wishing me a happy birthday!!!! Every staff member wished me a happy birthday which so touching.....it continued until dinner when I was preseneted with cake and had the staff sing me a happy birthday song. Zazen is amazing in everyway.... I would recommend to all...... Its a credit to management and staff on such a wonderful establishment. I look forward to sharing my experience with my friend and look forward to my next visit to Zazen.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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1  Thank Sonia D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded July 10, 2012

Dear Valued Guest,

We are glad to read that you enjoyed your stay with us, and your comments have been shared with the team.

Thank you for choosing Zazen as a place for your holidays and we look forward to welcoming you again soon.

With best regards,

The Zazen Team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Bophut
#6 Romantic Hotel in Bophut
#9 Spa Hotel in Bophut
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Bophut
#11 Luxury Hotel in Bophut
Price Range: $127 - $383 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Zazen Boutique Resort & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 26
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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