I've traveled all my life, this is not only the worst "resort" I have stayed at, but, outside of the filing cabinets around airports they stick you in when your flight is canceled and they have to provide a room or a crash-pad while driving down the interstate, the worst hotel I have ever stayed at. There is nothing relaxing or luxury about this "resort."
Zeavola is about a one hour boat ride from Phuket by their speedboat. Check in is 2pm, unfortunately our room wasn't ready until much later. No one apologized or told us why. We opted to wait on the beach. First, the beach is dirty, lots of trash washes up continuously and no one seems to pick it up. Second, this is no peaceful beach. There are very few roads on this island, so most transportation is done by 4-5 loud, fossil-fuel powered tractors that drive up and down the beach, day and night (see the pictures I added). Further, the establishment next to Zeavola serves lunch and dinner to charter tours out of Phuket, which arrive throughout the afternoon and evening. These charter tours are loud speedboats that often blast rap music, techno music, or a mix of the two while you try and relax on the beach. Finally, a series of longboats with loud motors leave constantly from the gypsy village (which is a filthy eyesore) down the beach.
We were able to go to our room much after the check-in time. We went to the bar/restaurant for a quick bite and drink, which unfortunately plays elevator-style covers of about 6 american pop songs on repeat. You will know these songs word-for-word by the time you leave, as they play constantly and are interrupted only by the motor boats, long boats, and tractors.
We decided to take a stroll on the beach after dinner once things had died down. Unfortunately, we were swarmed by mosquitoes and forced to retreat to our room. Peaceful enough, minus the mosquitoes that had somehow snuck in (they are so bad the "resort" provides a mosquito net over your bed and an electrified mosquito swatter). Anxious to enjoy our peace and quiet, the establishment next door that hosted a smorgasbord of loud speedboats (both engines and music) throughout the day has some sort of techno concert that carries on late into the night. There is no peace and quiet here.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention how bad the service was as well. This is a beach, so either our initial sheets had sand in them or we got sand in them. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt, but I'm fairly certain they were sandy when we got them. Regardless, we requested they be changed when the room was serviced the next day. Unfortunately, they were not changed or all their sheets are incredibly sandy, it was like someone dumped a sand bucket in the bed.
Another ding on the service, when we went and sat on the beach not one of the many employees approached us and offered us a towel or drink. Finally I gave up and when and asked for each, you'd have thought I ask them to move heaven and earth. When our cups were empty, no one offered us another drink and it was another trip back to the bar. This "resort" has a large number of employees but as far as I can tell the vast majority of them are gainfully employed at avoiding work, and do a great job of it.
The final ding on the service is only two employees at reception and the activities director speak english. By no means do I expect every person on the planet to speak english, but if you advertise in English, take bookings in english, and reply to emails in english, then I expect most of your employees to be able to communicate in english, or at least the outside facing ones at your bars, restaurants and other service-type positions. And by not speaking english I mean this in the most literal sense, when we ordered drinks at dinner I (i) requested sauvignon blanc for my wife, (ii) pointed at it on the menu and (iii) said it was white wine. Of course, we received a glass of red wine and my mixed drink (which I also pointed at on the menu) was also wrong. My favorite was when I asked the gentleman refilling my water glass for a desert menu and he earnestly replied with the brand of water he was pouring. It is important if you do for some crazy reason go to this place that you know the employees will always respond to a yes or no question with "yes" if they don't know the answer, if you don't phrase the question in a way they have to respond and demonstrate they knew it (i.e. say "how do arrange my transportation to leave you resort" and not "is my transportation set up"), or you will be in for many nasty surprises.
One other note on the villas, they aren't really private at all as you can see in 2-3 of your neighbor's villas from the porch or any room and vice-versa, unless you seal it up like a lunch box. People are constantly walking by.
Also a note on the included brunch, we found it quite good the first day but we ate right after they opened, about 7:00 a.m. We spoke with another couple that was saying how bad it was, but they had eaten later than us. We ate much later the next day (about 1 hour before the breakfast ended) and saw why, none of the buffet items were refreshed, replaced or replenished. Once they are out they are out for good, even for simple items like fruit.
The final insult is on checkout, when they give you a bill in USD but with a hidden 3% "convenience" fee you have to squint to find, along with a horrible exchange rate. Luckily I was on guard at this point and noticed it and was able to pay in Baht, the local currency (with my credit card I received a better exchange rate and paid no transaction/convenience fee).
Never before have I been so glad to leave a hotel/resort/motel. We stayed at Amanpuri in Phuket after this, which was both easier to get to and much nicer, although it was higher in price (Zeavola's total was $1,500 USD for two nights, about $1,200 of which was the room and associated expenses). I think it also worth noting I think the problems here likely consistent across most the other resorts on the island (particularly the beach traffic), so I'd think twice before visiting at all.
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- Also Known As:
- Zeavola Hotel Ko Phi Phi Don
- Zeavola Hotel Krabi
- Zeavola Resort Krabi