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“Tropical Getaway”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Zeavola Resort

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Zeavola Resort
Ranked #1 of 38 Hotels in Ko Phi Phi Don
Certificate of Excellence
Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Tropical Getaway”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 28, 2013

We had an amazing stay at Zeavola. Only two nights, and we didn't want to leave. I cannot understand the complaints that others have posted. Some people just want to be disappointed I guess.

Where to start? We got super lucky and they upgraded us from a Garden Suite to the Poole Villa. Baller! Amazing, amazing room. Situated up on a hill, so a great sky and ocean view, but also surrounded by jungle vegetation, complete with chirping birds everywhere. The view from our pool was so beautiful that I decided to propose to my fiance right there! I'll never forget it. Perfect setting.

I love the way they blended the resort into the tropical surroundings. Walking around the resort you pass through a maze of sandy tracks, lined by gorgeous green jungle plants. Very quiet, relaxed feeling.

The rooms are a dream. Teak wood everywhere, everything. The room had plenty of windows to take in the jungle/beach views. At night, it's super romantic with the gold mosquito net over the bed, accented by the great lighting in the rooms, teak wood all around.

We booked the Mayan Adventure day trip, from 8-12, which was a perfect amount of time. We got to visit the Phi Phi Ley beach, which was amazing, straight out of Jurassic Park. Then went to two different snorkeling spots, with a trip to Monkey Beach in between. Highly recommend. Our guide was really nice and fun to hang out with. The activity desk people are great.

The restaurant was excellent. We loved everything we had, especially the drinks.

Don't listen to the complainers. This place rocks.

Room Tip: Go ahead and splurge for the Pool Villa, you won't regret it.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mike O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (235)
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Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
32 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 25, 2013

My wife and I stayed here in the middle of March for a total of 2 nights. We booked our travel through Expedia for around the same price as it is on Zeavola's website - but we get points through Expedia. We booked the cheapest room possible which is a village suite. I am going to break down each step of this resort with paragraphs,

Getting there
We took the public ferry from Phuket that we booked online and costed us approx. $47.00 USD for both of us (Andaman Wavemaster was the company). If you have a large budget and want to save some time it would be well worth to pay for the private pick up that Zeavola offers - its around 2400 Baht (approx 90.00 USD) per person though. The ferry took about 3.5 hours in total, where the private pick up takes about 1 hour and you avoid the mass of tourists. The one disadvantage of taking the private pick up would be that you don't get to see Phi Phi Leh which is the smaller island where The Beach was filmed. The Ferry makes a close pass on its way to the resort. The ferry cannot dock at Zeavola, so it just floats in the Sea while the nearby hotels send long tail boats to pick up the people and their luggage.

Checking in
When you get off the Long tail boat you are greeted by a receptionist who offers you a ice cold cloth to cool/wipe your face and hands with, which was very nice and refreshing. She then lead us to the check in area where you then get cold drink that really hits the spot. Ruby checked us in and she was very efficient, professional and spoke decent English.

The Grounds
This is a true beach/sand resort. Everywhere you go in the resort is sand, so your constantly taking off your sandals and washing your feet at water dishes they have outside of your room, breakfast area, basically anywhere they don't want sand getting in. They have kept the grounds looking very natural and jungle-ish. Hanging vines, large over hanging trees and small paths leading to each villa.

The Rooms
Amazing. When we booked the village suite we were worried it would be in a high traffic area as we had read in other reviews. We were wrong though, the villa we got was very private (villa 19) and right on the hill side. Its probably one of the most private villas there. As you can see from pictures, the rooms are nothing short of awesome. Very modern with a feeling of antique. Outdoor sitting area with power operated bamboo blinds, key pad at the bed to control a/c, lights and even room service. I could go on and on but we felt that the room met our 5 star expectations and were very pleased. The only bone I had to pick was with the hot water - it was impossible to get a constant temperature in the shower. Its either cold or burning hot. So we opted just to have cold showers since it was so hot out anyway. We also received turn down service one of the two nights. Not too sure why we only got it one night. They closed our blinds and lowered our mosquito net.

The Beach
This is the down fall of the resort. Its not necessarily all of Zeavola doing things wrong, some of it is just what they have to work with. The sand is very rough and full of sharp broken sea shells and lots of general debris including garbage in the water and on the beach. The water front that is in front of the resort is not all that impressive for a 5 star resort. There is a small swimming area roped off with all the boats docking right beside it which makes for a noisy atmosphere, since there's constantly boats coming and going and long tail boats are LOUD. Our other complaint with the beach is that we seemed to constantly have people from neighbouring resorts coming over and swimming in our swimming area and then having the audacity to go and lay out on our bean bag chairs. We saw this happen several times and it doesn't seem like Zeavola staff is on top of it. It made us feel like we were paying 5* prices just for a room and sharing all the other benefits of the resort with people paying half the price of us - enjoying our beach, our chairs, our restaurants and even our spa if they chose to. We understand that the beach is public, but when people from other resorts come and use our already limited beach chairs, they should be asked to leave by the staff.

Packages offered through the resort
We opted to do one of the packages they offered called "One day in Paradise". It costs 10,000 Baht plus 10% service charge, plus 7% VAT so in total its 11,170.00 Baht. Which we felt was reasonable considering everything that's included and of course the fact its a luxury resort. If you have the budget for this we highly recommend it. They take you snorkelling at some popular spots, then to monkey beach where monkeys are often seen and you can feed if you'd like. Then to another private beach for a gourmet picnic lunch. Then you head back to resort and clean up a bit and head to the spa for your choice of a one hour treatment. The spa was very well done and had excellent masseuses. After your done there they set up a private candle lit dinner on the beach. You get several courses and include a bottle of wine. It really was a day in paradise and we felt so pampered by the end of the day.
The only problem we had with this was getting new beach towels first thing in the morning. We got told to go to one spot to exchange towels, then they told us to go to the restaurant, then I just said I didn't want to do any more running around, I just want new beach towels. At that point the man at the dive centre took care of it, but it seems very disorganised for some thing as simple as getting new beach towels.

The Restaurants
Breakfast in the morning was included. They have a buffet style set-up for all the fruits, breads, cereal ect. For your main course you get a menu at your table where they have around 10 things to choose from (eggs Benedict are no good).
Lunch and dinner are located at the beach restaurant. Menus for lunch and dinner are similar in price and in options. Your basic dishes will range from 250 - 500 Baht. Some of the nicer options go well above that ( steak, lobster..ect) Beer will cost you around 150 Baht per regular sized bottle. The waiters have a very limited English vocabulary, so if you like to complicate your order be prepared to be explaining for a while. We were happy with the quality of food and had no issues with any of our meals. Getting the bill at the end of the meal always seems difficult, but this goes for everywhere in Thailand - I think its just a cultural thing. You're able to charge to your room if that suits you.

Getting off the resort
The ferry that dropped us off at the resort doesn't offer a pick-up at the same spot. You need to arrange for a long tail boat to take you to Tonsai. Zeavola charges 1,100.00 Baht for a private ride. It seemed like you may be able to hire the locals down the beach to do it a little cheaper but when you hire Zeavola they take care of your luggage right from your room and its just all around easier.

Overall we loved the resort and the staff really works hard to keep you pleased. They will even stop working as you pass them with-in the resort and greet you. The only real issues we had were with the beach environment and this for us knocked down the experience to a 4 star.

Room Tip: Beach villas did not seem all that private.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank i3urt0n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lisbon, Portugal
Level Contributor
124 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 22, 2013

The staff, location, facilities, beach, view, sea, sand, sky, green.... Paradise on Earth! For sure. It's on the end of Phi Phi Don (big phi phi), with a bay shared by Holiday Inn, and some restaurants. The views around Phi Phi are outstanding, and Zeavola is the perfect place to rest after a day snorkling or diving! The manager is 5 stars, since he will do everything to make your stay conf. :)

Drawbacks: mosquitos (TONS!) and the are no roads, so the transportation is by boat (that finish the service around 6 pm...), so be prepared with repelant and to spend lots of money on boats.

Room Tip: Choose rooms facing the oceans or the suites in the jungle, upper decked.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank João F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lisbon, Portugal
Level Contributor
113 reviews
76 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 21, 2013

It is a beautiful property and extremely well disguised into the landscape.. There are different types of rooms, but they are all nice.. You have many choices for you daily activities at your disposal. The hotel beach is nice and comfortable.. The staff makes an effort to be as communicative as they can and make your stay a pleasant one.. This is nature as you imagine it!
One bad thing of the place.. mosquitos will bite you....

Room Tip: The upper rooms , i think called garden view, are better
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ZeBanaco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 20, 2013

An amazing place would be an understatement. The rooms are something you have to experience as they are in a jungle setting but only steps from the beach. There are plenty of adventures to embark upon and the staff will make sure everything you need is taken care of. A must stay!

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Iaienfuego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
187 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 19, 2013

We so wanted to like this resort which had a number of good point but .....

Whilst villas are large the only bit of a/c is the sleeping area. This does not include the toilet so if you need to go in the night you are stifled and are a ready meal for Mosquitos. The sitting and outside washing area have rattan blinds which you can lower. However, as villas cluster around gardens it was a surprise to see a guest in another room removing his swimming shorts - not a pretty sight. The villas have little spare charging points.

The resort does not have a wide beach frontage or sole access so there is a constant traffic in front including tractors pedestrians and motorbikes. Trip boats from Phuket arrive from mid morning to mid afternoon disgorging a horde of people for the local restaurants.

The barefoot experience among the trees is lovely but the Mosquitos do bite (not the hotel's fault). Whilst we found the food excellent and competitively priced wine is about 40percent higher than in the other bars. The resort is lacking a place to sit comfortably with a drink in the evening as the only choice is the restaurant or bean bags on the beach. Unlike other beach resorts we found staff didn't offer the level of supervision at beach or pool to ensure guests had everything.

So overall we were disappointed and will not be visiting again.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Castleman073
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
18 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 18, 2013

Stayed in this SLH hotel for 4 nights, but i do not think it meets SLH standards. What I found is, that when something was good, it was really good. But when something was bad, it was really bad which all adds up to my average opinion.

The plusses:
- location
- jungle simplicity atmosphere
- quality of food
- turndown service with a surprise
- reception and transport arrangement
- Some staff very friendly

The minusses:
- MOSQUITOS: they are everywhere and you will feel the bites days after. The hotel provides blue light, an electrical handkiller and some anti-mosquito napkins (but only 2 small ones a day) and half of your accommodation is outside! During morning and evening we could not sit outside without being bitten, which was a great knock-off, as it is kind of jungle style villa; ofcourse it is a consequence of being on PhiPhi, but insect screens and environmental friendly sprays could be an option.
- privacy: we were at villa no. 20. It is on the way to the spa and mountain villa's. When you are in your room, people constantly walk by and see you, unless you want to tear down the bamboo curtains, which makes you sit in a kind of bamboo, hot box;
- somehow this 'luxury' hotel does not manage to provide a constant flow of hot water, which is very annoying if you just shampood your hair and your water turns cold. Again, it is an island, but it is hardly 'luxury' to ask for constant flow;
- the hotel boasts fast speed internet facilities; half of the time this is not available or the signal is too low; especially if you want to look something up on the internet this can be really annoying and can hardly be called 'luxury'.
- the trust: as we were leaving early in the morning, the hotel wanted us to settle the bill the night before. During check out the receptionist asked at least 3 times if we did take something out of the minibar, as we answered 'no' and were not planning to. Somehow this seemed real important, even if you did not use it at all, not even the days before. It is not a very trustfull experience, even if the next morning at 6 a.m. somebody knocks on your door to check your minibar again!
- There are not enough sunbeds!!! So even in a luxury resort as this one, people get up early and 'occupy' a sunbed with their towel! Such childish behaviour, which you are obliged to follow to get your own! This should not be the case in such a hotel.
- Prices: ofcourse you can expect this to be upmarket, but prices for food and travelling (even the shuttle service) which are up to 5 times the alternative price, makes your hotel 'dead'. A lot of guests go to the nearby gypsy village to have dinner for 20% of the price of Zeavola or use the public ferry/ a local fisherman for transport.
- They forgot housekeeping service one day and turndown service the last evening, not really exemplary for a 'luxurý' hotel.

In total: a very nice stay on a beautiful island, but not worth a SLH rating.

Room Tip: Do not have room 20; it has no privacy. There are 3 beach front row villas.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank w_hakse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florian H, General Manager at Zeavola Resort, responded to this review, May 15, 2013
Dear W_hakse,
Than you for your comments and your observations. thank you also for mentioning all the good things you enjoyed in our resort.

Mosquitos, Yes we have them as it is impossible to kill only mosquitos while the butterflies, beetles and the 18 different bird species which are living in our resort we keep. The resort is actively fighting Mosquitoes by fumegating 3 times per week. we also apply other methods.

yes our prices are higher than the surrounding places, but please note that the standards and services provided do differ greatly from the Sea gypsies. Also eating in their places basically includes a view on the can collection and there is a very different ambience in their place. It is a bit of a tossup between a cheap price and the experience. By the way the Sea gypsies did increase their prices so that its just not true that its 20% from our prices.

Still thank you for your comments, we wish you a successful year 2013.
Florian and the Zeavola Family.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Zeavola Resort

Property: Zeavola Resort
Address: 11 Moo 8 Laem Tong, Koh Phi Phi | Ao Nang, Muang, Ko Phi Phi Don 81000, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Krabi Province > Ko Phi Phi Don
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Ko Phi Phi Don
#1 Luxury Hotel in Ko Phi Phi Don
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Ko Phi Phi Don
#1 Spa Hotel in Ko Phi Phi Don
#3 Family Hotel in Ko Phi Phi Don
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Zeavola Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 53
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Also Known As:
Zeavola Hotel Ko Phi Phi Don
Zeavola Hotel Krabi
Zeavola Resort Krabi

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