Zazen Boutique Resort & Spa
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Travel Blogs from Bophut
A quick aside on malls. I've always had a personal pet peeve with malls. Let's face it, they're not really designed for guys. They are designed for women, or many for teenagers. Most stores are clothing stores or jewelry stores, with a food court of course. You'll get a couple salons. Maybe if you're lucky a token tiny book shop or camera store, …
After escaping from India Christmas morning (12:05AM to be precise), we tiredly stumbled into our Bangkok airport at 5:30AM, not knowing what to expect next. Little did we know that our trip was about to give us a much needed rest. "Incredible India" was followed by "Amazing Thailand", and this time I could not agree more. It started out with a …
Silence. Sun. Sand. Surf. Sea. Swimming pool. Spa. Service. Samui. The beautiful island of Ko Samui in southern Thailand. I suppose it's like any beautiful tropical island, which is not at all a bad thing. But after two years working on "Bolt" and then two months traveling around the world from one place to another, having four days to lay around …
Enjoyed a beautiful setting for the perfect chill end of the trip. We had some tropical thunderstorms overnight with thunder and lightening, but the days were perfect for beachtime and poolside relaxation. Nice to just chill without any plans for a couple days. Did a fun thai cooking class...we learned how to make some yummy dishes!... our phad …
Day 16: Today we flew the short distance from Phuket to Koh Samui, and transferred to the Zazen resort for three nights. We had been warned by Kylie that Bangkok Airways fly really small propeller powered planes to Samui, so unlike some of the passengers we were not at all surprised when our bus from the terminal pulled up alongside a "banzai-plane …
How has this resort rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Zazen Boutique Resort & Spa Bophut
Nice but dull
Beautiful pool area and restaurant. Good breakfast. The most comfortable sun beds that I have ever used and the staff were also very nice as were the many nice touches such as the tropical fish in the bathroom.
The restaurant was of variable quality and very expensive. The biggest disappointment were the prices of the massage treatments as they were totally excessive, we used a place further down the beach with a blue roof where we got excellent service at a fraction of the cost at Zazen. Another irritation is that everything you buy including trips gets 17% added for service and tax. We stayed in several nice hotels during our trip to Thailand and this was the only place that did this.
The room it was very small and basic, the concrete floor gave it a very down market feel despite the nice artistic touches.
A nice place to stay but after a few days the constant irritating musak that gets played constantly all day was getting on my nerves.
Overall nice but expensive.
As we travel a lot, this hotel was for us the most complete place.
Everything was amazing, service, the food , the rooms and the location.
We had a very relaxing time. And we will repeat it again
Zazen is very zen like, lovely gardens, lots of running water, flowers, secluded areas for massage, etc.
The hotel is situated at the top quiet end of Boh Phut beach, which we found good. Nice & quiet. We stayed for 12 nights, so we saw the beach at different levels, due to the tides, but overall it was of good size.
There are lots of local sellers up & down the beach, but they aren't persistent and are lovely & friendly when you get chatting to them. A polite 'No' sends them on their way. One of the ice cream girls even tried to teach us some Thai whilst we were buying!
There are lots of cheaper massage areas up & down the beach, but to me the cleanliness & relaxation of the Zazen's massage areas were the best.
The beachfront room was of reasonable size, the raised bed seemed to take up lots of space! Lots of dark wood and Thai objects d'art (for sale at the Boutique, if you like them that much!) Lovely silk robes & slippers were available to lounge around in. Mosi repellent provided, both in the bathroom (burning coil) and the bedroom (electric plug-in). Tea & coffee provided in the room and two complimentary small bottles of water provided daily, and left in your fridge!
I think that the deluxe beachfront rooms have the view, but the newer garden deluxe have the space. Seemed much newer, with lovely furniture & seating areas outside etc.
The pool & surrounding area was small but perfectly formed, unless of course you want to practice for the next Olympics!
Lots of comments previously about breakfast - all I can say is that we enjoyed every one of ours. The food is no longer served from the 'boat' as shown in one of the guest pictures, but undercover in a part of the restaurant. Lots of choice - the egg lady will do you them anyway you want, including pancakes and crepes. You can also have bacon, sausage etc. Choose from cereals, fruit, bread, jams etc, salad, cheeses and ham. Great pain du chocolate and crossaints!
Zazen has a lovely, intimate restaurant. People come from all over the island, including residents, who consider it to be one of the best. Sure it is slightly more expensive than other places, but you pay for the fantastic surroundings, service and great food. Quite a varied menu, something for everyone.
One night, on the beach they lit large paper balloons with fire for their guests - worth seeing! A couple of nights they also had Thai music and dancing.
For a change, Fisherman's Village - a 5 minute taxi, or bus ride away, had various selection of good restaurants. Starfish and Coffee had a nice intimate laid back Morrocan type atmosphere. The Shack, if you get tired of Thai food, did great steaks. There were several others, we liked the look of, but didn't get time to try!
In Chaweng, we recommend 'Rice' restaurant, again not one of the cheapest, but nice surroundings, music and good food.
The owners of Zazen certainly have an eye for detail, from the lush gardens, room fixtures & fittings, to the table dressings.
The staff were lovely, especially Somporn who looked after us on the beach. We found everyone helpful and friendly. It was great to have waiter service for those cooling drinks.
For me the only small downsides were the sandbags at the end of the resort, they maybe could have used something else a bit more creative and better looking and our bathroom, which could have done with updating. The stones on the floor, although zen like, weren't very easy to keep clean and there was mould on the walls - but hey - I don't spend a lot of time in the bathroom on holiday!
Overall, an enjoyable relaxing experience.
Bitter Thai Experience
LETTER OF COMPLAINT FOR GROSS MISTREATMENT OF HOTEL CUSTOMERS AND TOURISTS TO THAILAND AND FOR VIOLATION OF OUR BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS
Thitima Fathaveeporn -
Alexander Andries -
MANAGEMENT AND STAFF
ZAZEN Boutique Resort & Spa
We, a group of 13 Malaysian women, on holiday to celebrate the upcoming wedding of a good friend from 2-5 February 2006, wish to lodge a serious complaint against ZAZEN BOUTIQUE RESORT AND SPA, KOH SAMUI (henceforth referred to as "Zazen") for GROSS MISTREATMENT of ourselves as Hotel Customers and as Tourists to the island of Koh Samui, Thailand; and for what also amounted to a VIOLATION OF OUR BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS.
We write this letter and wish to publish it both to voice our extreme discontent and create awareness for fellow tourists so as to prevent similar experiences from occurring again. What was in fact a trivial hotel matter escalated into acts of malicious intent to our persons, and is most unbecoming of a hospitality business rooted in over 25 years of experience and managed by Belgian-trained hoteliers. It was simply an outrage.
In summary, we were checking out at 4:30pm on the last day, being Sunday 5th February and about to catch the 6:30pm direct flight home to Kuala Lumpur:
*We were wrongfully accused, despite the lack of compelling and concrete evidence, of a ridiculous and petty charge of "burning a cigarette hole in the corner of a carpet" in one of 5 rooms we were staying in.
*We were denied access to discussions with the hotel owners who had originally accused us and refused to be present even when police arrived
*We were left to negotiate with hotel reception staff who had no authority, and moreover, were extremely rude
*We were effectively held "hostage" for ransom of 15,000 Baht being the supposed cost of the entire carpet by:
*Threat of police arrest - in fact, the police came and left after dismissing the matter as being inconsequential and agreed with the lack of evidence.
*Collusion of hotel staff (under hotel owners orders) to detain us at the hotel and prevent us from catching our flight home by hostile delay tactics, failure to produce the hotel airport driver, putting hotel gate barriers down and threatening a second external taxi van driver with police action should he drive off with the first load of girls and luggage.
*Strong possibility of missing our flight home - delay tactics were clearly deployed to put pressure on us to settle as we had to leave the hotel by 5:45pm or miss our flight. The next direct flight on our ticket was 4 days later.
*We were basically forced to pay a final "discounted" amount of 10,000 Baht for the carpet, in order to be "allowed" to leave the hotel premises and catch our flight.
A full account of the above events is attached as Appendix 1.
We would like to stress that we are PAYING HOTEL CUSTOMERS and TOURISTS to Thailand. We are not a bunch of teenagers, but a group of highly educated, professional and affluent thirty-somethings. We are property developers, bankers, consultants; and hold high positions in multi-national corporations in Malaysia.
All of us are members of very prominent Malaysian families and one is in fact, a member of the Malaysian royal family. Being mature adults we would have admitted to having burnt the carpet, but the simple fact is we did not do it.
It is not that we cannot pay the amount for the alleged damage (10,000 Baht), which was really quite measly compared to our TOTAL HOTEL BILL OF OVER 125,000 BAHT but rather this argument is a MATTER OF PRINCIPLE. Keeping us "hostage" at the hotel and pressuring us to pay is unjust and unethical.
We simply stood our ground that we were not going to be held accountable for something we did not do. For this, we were bullied into payment.
Our wonderful memories of what had been up until then, a fun and idyllic long weekend to celebrate the upcoming wedding of a beloved girlfriend has been SERIOUSLY MARRED by our BITTER EXPERIENCE WITH ZAZEN.
We were treated no less than like common criminals and private prisoners by the hotel and their staff!!! Not only is this APPALLING CUSTOMER SERVICE, it actually amounts to a VIOLATION OF OUR BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS by the calculated prevention of our group leaving the premises, without so much as the authorities being aware or present!!!
This is not at all exemplary of the kind of hospitality that Thailand is so renowned for and is a grave disappointment to us, who are frequent tourists to Thailand.
We are all world travelers and have stayed in some of best and finest hotels. Never have we experienced such appalling service and treatment, not to mention being hurled false accusations!!!
Also we would like to highlight that three in the group come from families who are major players in the hotel industry worldwide, specifically known for the AMAN resorts and GHM Hotels and Resorts. Whilst others have families who are active members of several travel and trade associations worldwide, such as Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), ASEAN Tourism and East Asian Travel Association (EATA) to name a few. You can be assured these bodies will hear of this atrocity.
We hope that there will be deserved and severe admonishment of Zazen's conduct by relevant Koh Samui and Thai hotel and tourist associations and by fellow hotel customers and tourists to Koh Samui.
2.IDA NERINA HUSSAIN
3.IDA M RAHIM
4.YM TUNKU MIRATUN MADIHAH MUDZAFFAR
11.DR. HARTINI ZAINUDIN
FULL ACCOUNT OF ALLEGED INCIDENT
5th February 2006
*Owner Thitima Fathaveeporn approached Ida Rahim, one of 3 girls (the other two were Tania Khan and Ida Nerina Hussein) sharing Room 27 (Garden Villa) and accused them of burning a cigarette hole in the room carpet. She required payment of 15,000 Baht to replace the entire carpet!
*Owner claims hotel staff check the rooms everyday for cleaning and any sign of damage (such thoroughness is realistically highly unlikely) and that hotel staff are supposedly so trustworthy that the implication must be any damage is the hotel guests' fault.
*Ida Rahim, who is not a smoker, asked the owner to discuss the matter when the other girls, who were smokers, had returned from their last shopping trip but requested to inspect the carpet in the room.
*The owner informed her that the carpet had already been REMOVED from the room, supposedly having been replaced for the next set of guests even PRIOR to our checking out and being able to verify the "alleged" placement of carpet and damage!! This certainly was NOT in good light.
*We had 5 rooms at this resort, 2 high-end Garden Villas (Room 21 and 27) and 2 Family Deluxe (Rooms 9 and 10) as well as a Standard (Room 8). Whilst some of us do smoke, we mostly did so in the public areas of the resort and certainly did not congregate en masse in any of the rooms, and certainly not room 27, which for the record was the furthest away from any amenities.
*CHECK-OUT TIME: All other girls settle their room and hotel bills. All in all we had 5 rooms and spent over 125,000 Baht.
*We are scheduled to leave the hotel at 5:15pm, having booked, through the hotel, one external van to transport the girls and one hotel pick-up truck for the luggage
*Carpet was brought out to reveal a small round hole near a corner, which looks too perfect and far too large (more like a small cigar size, about 1.5cm in diameter) for a cigarette burn (which could only be 0.8cm in diameter). Further, there are no scorched marks around the hole, and it looked more like it had been cut.
*Even if it had been a burn, it would require someone to place and hold the cigarette in a vertical upright position for quite a while to create a hole like that.
*We demonstrated this in front of the Zazen staff at the reception area, using a double folded paper and a lit cigarette. As it is, it took more than 10 seconds for it to burn through paper. Imagine how long it would take to burn through a carpet. And it was more than 1cm deep!!!
*And really the carpet was at least 10 feet by 6 feet (estimate only) and the hole was tiny in comparison. All that trauma for that and for something WE DID NOT DO!!!
*Moreover, the hole in the carpet's placement was too close to the TV for someone, even if smoking, to sit and watch TV. What more to be sat at that proximity for so long that such a hole could be made. In any case the girls would watch TV from the bed or the living room sofas, not sat on the carpet.
*The smokers only smoked near the bed or in the bathroom, as clearly evidence by the ashtrays placed there by the girls themselves throughout the stay
*We said we had to talk to the owners as we need to clarify and justify our innocence in this matter, as it was effectively our words against the hotel staff
*Discussions were ONLY held with the reception staff, Nong who said the owner refused to be present and talk to us herself. Further her orders were to make us pay or call the police and we should not be allowed to leave without paying.
*2 policemen arrived, listened to both sides and clearly agreed with us and dismissed the matter, and left soon after! The point being that the hotel had the GALL to call the police in the first place with the owners refusing to be present!!!
*Needless to say, language was also a problem as the staff are not fluent in English and no impartial translator was on hand even when the police were present!
*The Belgian Chef at Zazen later tried to be a mediator and translator but only after the police left, and it seemed that all were resolved and we did not have to pay after all so we made preparations to leave. At this point one of us did take a video clip of the carpet for posterity's sake. Unfortunately, because we thought it was all over, no camera photos were taken.
*Time was of the essence as our flight was at 6:30pm and we had to check in at the very latest half an hour before the flight.
*Unbeknownst to us, this was when the collusion between the hotel staff and delay tactics set in to force us to settle the carpet payment.
*We loaded up the pick-up truck with luggage and the van with the rest of the girls.
*The plan was for 4 of the girls to go first with the luggage, tickets and passports so we could check-in first seeing as we were already running so late.
*However, the staff then told us that NONE of us could leave as the police were returning and that one of the girl's credit card on her hotel bills was having problems. Both claims were fabricated.
*Further the bell boy told us the pick-up truck driver could not be found and the other driver told us that he had been threatened with police action if he drove the first batch of our group to the airport! The hotel gate barriers were also still down as if we were locked in and being held hostage!!! They would not even give us the telephone number to the airport to call and tell them that the flight seats were still confirmed
*By this time, of course panic set in as, if we miss this flight, the next direct flight home would be four days later! And it would mean having to spend another night in Koh Samui and sorting out more expensive one-way tickets transiting to Bangkok in order to get home.
*Naturally, screaming matches ensued as we demanded to know where the driver was and why one load couldn't leave first just to check in at the airport.
*After much distress and coercion caused by the management of Zazen, we paid for the carpet (at an apparently "discounted" amount of 10,000 Baht).
*Then to our horror and disgust, it turns out that the bell boy WAS the driver the entire time and was told by the staff at reception not to say anything.
*Only then were we allowed to leave with half the ladies already in tears from the anger and shock at the way we were being treated, like criminals for something we hadn't even done!
*We barely made it to check-in, with the officer about to give our seats up to waitlisted passengers but thankfully made it safely home
In the chaos no actual photos were taken but we do have a video clip of the carpet, which is currently being processed to still photos and will be made available.
When the carpet was brought out, there was a small round hole near a corner, which looks too perfect and far too large (more like a small cigar size, about 1.5cm in diameter) for a cigarette burn (which is only 0.8cm in diameter). And it was more than 1cm deep!!!
Further, there are no scorched marks around the hole, and it looked more like it had been cut.
Even if it had been a burn, it would require someone to place and hold the cigarette in a vertical upright position for quite a while to create a hole like that.
We demonstrated this in front of the Zazen staff at the reception area, using a double folded paper and a lit cigarette. As it is, it took more than 10 seconds for it to burn through paper. Imagine how long it would take to burn through a carpet. And it was more than 1cm deep!!!
Moreover, the hole in the carpet's placement was too close to the TV for someone, even if smoking, to sit and watch TV. What more to be sat at that proximity for so long that such a hole could be made. In any case the girls would watch TV from the bed or the living room sofas, not sat on the carpet.
And really the carpet was at least 10 feet by 6 feet (estimate only) and the hole was tiny in comparison. All that trauma for that and for something WE DID NOT DO!!!
This place is excellent, don't mind the room size in the other review if your staying in your room than something is wrong..
Service Excellent.. our arrival was delayed to a point that we arrived midnight.. two people greeted us with juice and the bed had a love hart made from flower petals (orchids)..
People we're friendly although communication might be a difficult at times as the level of english is basic for most of the staff but a smile goes a long way.. Nevertheless new years eve was special we had a great party with the staff..
Prices, yes it is more expensive and yes there are "cheaper" massage thrills we found them on the beach as well and had great fun. Be smart about it ..
The surroundings of the resort are great.. not really suited for kids as there is only one pool and a pool table. So kids could get bored. The Decor is modern thai..terracotta.. restaurant an bar are good excellent standard..
Beach can be tiny (depending on the tide and wind direction) you have to be fast as there can be "towel reservations" on the chairs. But the beach further up has more space..
The island itself can be a mixed bag .. if your in the High season expect a bit of a costa del... atmosphere on some of the beaches.
Not all is lost.
There are little places of interest .. waterfalls .. big budda.. Granddad and grandma rocks..excellent places. Visit the food markets in the capital..eye opener for sure. Don't buy electronis on the island as it is seriously expensive
Cool restaurants.. Bethelnut restaurant. poppy's Zazen..(there are guides in the airport and on the island bring them with you as you probably discover more)
Bars plenty.. drinks are cheap. wine is expensive. Cocktails are brilliant..
Driving on the island
Scooters /moped's - island is covered with it, mind your toe's ( flip flops everywhere)
Motor's - if don't drive @ home leave it.. roads are pretty bad
Cars - get a jeep with airco and mind all above and the pedesdtrians and have a great drive
discover the rest,,, enjoy
Dennis & Geraldine
My boyfriend and I stayed for a romantic week at Zazen and wish it could have been longer. We picked Bophut as a destination on Samui in order to try and avoid the noise and brashness which Chaweng now attracts - I'd thoroughly recommend the area for that purpose, its quiet and picturesque.
On arrival we were appropriately wowed by our room (exactly as shown on the website) and then walked the length of the beach. We agreed that as Zazen came into view on our way back, had we not been staying there already we would certainly have wished we were!
Its a really beautiful resort, with just the right number of wonderfully designed bungalows a nice (not huge) pool area and a superb restaurant. The service was excellent and friendly without being intrusive.
Please don't be put off by reading the couple of negative reviews below. I can say that any of the points raised have certainly been resolved now - the breakfasts for example are fabulously fresh and every dish is covered with a pretty net cage to protect from flies.
I know it can be a bit of a lottery deciding on accommodation from a distance/over the internet but rest assured if you book a stay at Zazen you will not be disappointed. I really do recommend it unequivocally.
Absolutely lovely & charming
We stayed 4 nights at Zazen early december 05. Absolutely unforgetable! That's why I am very surprised with the rather negative comments of the Australian gentleman who went there in september. On the contrary, everything was extra in Zazen: lovely room and surroundings, intimate atmosphere, great food in a beautiful restaurant(I am pretty sure that it ranks amongst the best on the island), swift, helpful and friedly staff,not to forget the most niciest managers Alex and Thi etc etc..;
Just two words to summarize: "Pure Paradise". To recommend without any doubt.
Zazen - Something Missing
We stayed at Zazen for five nights of our month long honeymoon and while a pleasant looking hotel I wouldn't choose to stay again.
The hotel had apparently changed the names of the rooms during the six days between booking and arriving so we were downgraded and NOT told of this. We were shown to our room and it was only on the second day that I queried why the room was not as shown on the internet and had noted that what is known as the Deluxe Garden Bungalow we were meant to be staying in did not seem in line with our accommodation.
After some discussion with the hotel they admitted we were now in another room and that they had decided to change the room names - apparently room pricing would still be the same between what we had booked and what we were given but I find this hard to believe as the room we had booked was substantially more spacious! As a result we were offered a complimentary dinner but having eaten in the restaurant once we gave that a miss.
This aside, the rooms are nicely decorated and quite pleasant although not the most spacious that I have come across.
The hotel beach was one of the worst on the island - seriously would not recommend for beach lovers! Mae Nam or Taling Ngam are much better choices. The hotel pool was green and closed for around 25% of our visit.
The staff at the restaurant were the worst we encountered in all of Asia - one girl actually walked away in the middle of taking my order to chat to a friend. The restaurant food was average and vastly overpriced. When my order was finally taken it arrived incorrect after an extremely long wait and without the rice I had ordered. Breakfast was fairly diverse but had been left on counter for hours with no protection from flies and bugs so we tried to arrive as early as possible!
Other hotel staff were the one redeeming feature of our stay - the luggage collectors and groundspeople were friendly and made us feel welcome. Front desk staff were fairly friendly also.
All said and done, a very ordinary stay and with such a great selection of hotels in Thailand I wouldn't recommend Zazen. It is a fairly clean and quite pretty hotel but there are just too many better options around.
Boh Put - Zazen - relaxing and not loud
who stays inside a room during holiday on Samui !!! probably just hoonymooners...
30.03-11.03. Beach-Bungalow Nr5 , which was very quite. The room is not the biggest -(the other ones are a bit larger) but very comfortable, nicely decorated and bed is good (which is important for my boyfriend, having backproblems). It is a nice relaxing boutique hotel with restaurant. The breakfast is good (lot´s of fresh fruite and exotic juices) there is a cook making fresh scrambled eggs, Pancakes etc á la carte. The lush garden and plants..use an eye for details.......and you will find lots of things. The Cocktails are very good as well as the food for dinner. Our Friend had a Gardenvilla which is simpler as the Beachvillas (but the price is also cheaper). I recommend Zazen for those who want privacy and peace. The "high-life" as a shot walk along the beach to the Fishermenns Village Boh Put.
TIP: just aroung the corner of the hotel, past the massage-lady - at the endof the pond AND we only paid 100 per person from the airport.....
Zazen - too expensive, terrible service.
We booked Zazen for the second part of our honeymoon in kohsamui, the website looked amazing and we felt sure we were in for a lovely relaxing time. Unfortunately the resort did not meet the standards that were advertised, the delux beach front room was nice but very small, it was a task to have the room cleaned before 3oclock in the afternoon, the beach was very dirty, the spa was over priced, while you can get a massage on the beach from a thai masseur for much cheaper. The food was ok but the service in the restaurant was very slow and unfriendly.
For the price you pay it is definetly not worth it, we have stayed in kohsamui several times at much cheaper accommodation with a much friendlier service.