We stayed two nights because we could not find anything else between the 20th of December and Christmas on Langkawi. After our stay we were quite astonished about Zackry's positive rating on TA. Believe it or not, but in Cambodia or Vietnam an equivalent place would not be able to survive with such a negative attitude towards budget travelers in the long-term. One valid interpretation for this circumstance probably links to the fact that only a very few guest houses target the low-price segment on Langkawi. Zackry's guest house seems to be one of the first accommodations which focused solely on the backer packer segment. However, in our opinion their their lack of customer care, ignorance and absence of empathy sooner or later will put their competitive edge at stake because others definitely can do better.
The pro's of Zackry's:
+ Very cheap and good location, no doubt
+ Basic stuff is provided such as an old bed, an AC, a dusty room, a dusty bath room, and warm water
- Take a look on their website and you will notice a basic ungentle, if not arrogant attitude towards travelers with modern expectations. We experienced this attitude live on stage. For instance the only things Zackry (Jr.?) would say to us mostly involved how and where we should park our motorbike. Other than that we would not even hear one single "good morning" or "hi". Unless you belong to Zackry's "inner circle" you simply should not expect any friendliness or customer care. We have experienced such similar behavior already in other Asian countries and most of times we simply ignored that. However, we have never observed such an essential negative attitude towards their own guests such as in Zackry's case.
- They have a very disturbing view of how/what backpackers should behave/expect when they travel in a foreign country. Somewhere on TA you will find the following quote by Zackry (either among the "poor", or "terribel" comments): "When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.The fact that you think this is intimidating [is] just a perfect sign that you [do] not belong here". If all businesses in the hospitality sector would adopt this frame of reference, countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the U.S. would lose a major portion of their national income. Unfortunately, once you see Zackry walking through his own place you can clearly observe this questionable attitude. After all it is us travelers (no matter if we can afford a room for $7 or $20) who finance their flashy iPad, car, and LCD TV. Still, do not expect any gratitude for your money. I am quite sure sooner or later even Zackry's will painfully realize that if they do not change their attitude towards travelers, the later will more and more head to the new hostels/guest houses with real customer service/care, and a professional attitude for exactly the same "peanuts". This is mainly because Malaysia is slowly turning to a modern service industry. Even on Langkawi many hospitality businesses came to realize that it is quite possible to provide superior service and modern rooms for only few bucks. However, you need to have a "can-do" instead of a "I-don't care" mentality to realize such an opportunity.
One very good example in this regard is "the Box Chalet" which is currently No. 1 on TA for B&B. The owner learned from the bottom-up which uncontested factors are a basic requirement to run a guest house professionally and profitably in the low-price sector.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A family run guest house located on the same street of 3 to 4 star resorts. The white sandy 500meters beach is just 200 meters away. It has a common kitchen for light cooking, bar/lounge, satellite TV, internet services. Many choices of restaurants next door and along the same road. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Zackry Guest House Hotel Langkawi