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Reviewed 1 April 2018

Zeavola was clean and beautiful but not geared toward making the customer's stay memorable in a good way. Our recent stay at Zeavola (3/26 & 3/27) in Room 41 was not user friendly and quite frustrating at every turn. The indoor bathroom was a complete safety hazard; using the indoor shower left the entire tiled bathroom floor soaked out, with the towel bar on opposite side of room and the only thing to grab onto to get there was a sharp edged, cube sink jutting out of the wall, waiting for someone to fall and crack their skull open on it. While soaking out the bathroom trying to take a Luke warm shower... the only options were boiling hot or freezing cold water. The indoor shower was useless. Using the toilet came with choice A) sweating to death in the sauna like bathroom with the door closed or B) open the shutters and door and turn off the light so you don't get eaten alive by the mosquitoes.

Using the enclosed bedroom was just, if not more frustrating. The door handle almost took my finger off when opening the door from the inside and I warned my husband not to use it. His automatic brain didn't heed the advice and he too used the handle to open the door and it almost took his finger off too. The bed's mosquito netting was lowered during Turn down Service, but It's too thick to see the t.v. through, so it was useless. The desk top is slanted so you couldn't sit anything on it without it falling off. The luggage area in the room was completely blocked from getting any light so we couldn't use it if we wanted to see what we were looking for. We had to use the chase lounge as the luggage rack. The shades were a must from dusk to dawn to keep the mosquitoes at bay, but they blocked air flow and entry or exit. Our clothing got dirty many times at the shoulders trying to duck under them 1/3rd raised to let air flow through the living space, have some sort of entry/exit point and hinder mosquitoes.
Enough about the room that we made no complaint about to anyone except each other.
We went to sit on a lounge chair on the beach, directly in front of the beach bar to unwind, swim and decompress. From 11 am til 4 pm we tried to do just that. With a temperature in the 90’s outside, not once, did any server come ask us if we would like something to drink, much less to eat. We were baffled as we watched serving staff standing around doing nothing or delivering food and drinks to other guests on the beach. As a test, two hours in, my husband walked back to our room and returned with glassware and our complimentary bottle of water and we purposefully faced the bar on our loungers drinking them while holding the menus up and putting them down numerous times to queue the staff that we wanted to order. We could have said something, or flagged someone over or walked up to the bar and ordered our own drinks, but instead we chose walk down the beach and spend our hard earned money at a place that wanted our business and provided a professional service. There simply is no excuse that could be given to warrant staff leaving their parched, hungry guests sitting out in the sun for hours, in front of their beach bar and not offering to bring them a drink, that they will pay for and tip well for.

Our number 1 reason for choosing Zeavola besides the eco friendly concept was the fabulous beaches and water outside the resort. Unfortunately, a steady stream of boats dropping off and picking up passengers as well as tractors hauling people up and down the beach and the ensuing toxic fuel odors from the engines only further encroached on our ability to enjoy the beauty that is Koh Phi Phi. While we cannot blame Zeavola for the boat traffic from other resorts, there were a few occasions when boats, bringing passengers to other resorts, crossed over into Zeavola's roped off swim area, disembarked all their passengers and parked for extended periods. Not once did a Zeavola rep enforce their boundary.

We decided to go to the pool for some peace and relaxation, but there was no service, no towels, no one to be seen on their blistering hot pool decking. This, after burning our feet with the blistering hot foot wash water in the cistern we were to use prior to entering the deck. Barefoot friendly? If you tout it... you better provide it with the safety of your guests as the main focus. Your guests getting burned is not eco friendly, it's negligence! Just as the styrofoam balls all over the sand are.

Thailand was an amazing experience for my wife and I but Zeavola was a huge disappointment in multiple ways and it would definitely not be on our return to list. It was not worth the price paid to be nothing more than roughing it and frustrated. The only positives we encountered were Nico, the Rak Talay server, and being glad we only stayed for two nights.

Zeavola can either up its game or continue to make excuses for the negative feedback they get over and over in their reviews by stating they are rustic and eco friendly. The truth is... they don't care about their guests experience, period. If they did... all these details would be acknowledged and addressed. If you are considering going here, know that all the negatives are not coming from hard to please people, rather Zeavola simply isn't meeting their obligation of providing what IS advertised. Zeavola isn't what it claims to be but they definitely could be if they wanted to. Being mediocre isn't the norm in Thailand. We had an exceptional experience at every other place we stayed.

Date of stay: March 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Service
2  Thank PhillyRick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FlorianPhiPhiIsland, General Manager at Zeavola Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 9 April 2018

Dear Philly Rick,
I have thought about your very long and detailed review on trip advisor and how to answer it. I understand that you are unfamiliar with the Asian Lifestyle and expect the same standards as on vacation in the USA.

I understand and honestly feel very sorry that you perceived our hotel functionality, our services and our staff so negatively. Please allow me to suggest a solution.

Communication
If you would have talked to us we could have explained to you the functionality of our villas and explain you the difference between Western and Asian life styles. There are so many ways of avoiding all those villa mishaps by adjusting a little bit to the Asian way of life. If you still would not have been comfortable with Villa 41 we would have found another room with the bathroom attached to the Bed room. This would have solved about 90% of your perceived issues.

Communication would also have solved the restaurant issue. You could have walked the 5 meters to the restaurant to get our attention instead of the 100 meters back to your villa to get a free bottle of water. Western body language is not Asian body language, so that my staff did not recognize your pleas for service. I agree that our staff should have spotted you and come to take your order, you are absolutely right. We will address this with them and retrain them. But how you choose to handle this short coming is up to you. You can be stubborn and suffer or you could just have waved to the staff.

After researching with other senior management I found out that our Executive Assistant Manager talked with you briefly creating a chance for you to voice your issues. You made a choice to not resolve them, to later blame the resort and write a long negative comment on Tripadvisor. This netted a bad experience for you and for us a situation which we can’t change anymore.
Some of your points in the villa are valid points and I’ll will look into them on how to make our product better. We will have a 6 month renovation coming up and what we can improve we will do during this time.

We are not hiding behind our concept, but it is a fact that our concept does define the experience and if guests come with expectations which don’t match our product the result will be an unhappy guest.

We do care about our guests on a daily base. We get to know them, talk to them and give them a chance to voice their ideas. That is why the resort has currently a world wide guest satisfaction of 93%.

We wish you a healthy and successful year 2018.
Florian Hallermann
General Manager

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Reviewed 31 March 2018 via mobile

This hotel is listed in the top 100 boutique hotels of the world and I can completely see why. The quality of service is amongst the best I have ever experienced. The staff were friendly and we were never wanting for anything. The beach is totally beautiful. And the accommodation was truly unique and well appointed. It is one of the best places I have ever stayed and well worth the price. We stayed as a family of four in one of their villas and it was truly amazing. And if you are a diver. Having a dive operation right on site is so convenient - the divemasters Eduardo and Lauren were really great as well. We got to dive with leopard sharks which was a once in a lifetime experience.

Date of stay: March 2018
Trip type: Travelled with family
Thank Geoff M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FlorianPhiPhiIsland, General Manager at Zeavola Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 2 April 2018

Dear Geoff M,
Thank you for your glowing review with so much praise for our staff team, the divers and our barefoot luxury setting. It seems that our product matched and maybe even exceeded your expectation. Thank you for doing the correct research prior to arrival. This put your expectations on the right level and my team delivered what we promise.
Most importantly: You had an excellent vacation and that is what we are here for.We truly appreciate the fact that you enjoyed your stay with us and hope that you have a healthy and successful year 2018.
We look forward to welcome you back.
Thank you
Florian and the Zeavola Team

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Reviewed 29 March 2018

We stayed in the beachfront apartments as we enjoy exclusive and comfortable holiday locations and from the minute we arrived, it was just awful. The cabin was underwhelming and bathroom was run down. Upkeep to the place doesn’t seem to be a priority. They don’t tell you the Zeovola is directly across from mosquito island and the mosquitoes are not relegated to the island. The food was terrible and I love Thai food but there isn’t much authentic Thai food in the area, and we tried everywhere. I wouldn’t stay there again, ever and couldn’t wait to leave.

Date of stay: March 2018
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
3  Thank Bellab F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FlorianPhiPhiIsland, General Manager at Zeavola Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 30 March 2018

Dear Bellab F,
We truly appreciate a really bad review, since everybody reads it. Like this we have a chance to explain what our product is all about.
The concept of our resort is a Thai Village from 30 years ago. So our resort is not run down but reflects the feel of rustic rural Thai village. We renovate each year as the climate, with all the salt and sand around us, is very aggressive for our 100% hard wood villas. This year we are renovating in tune of AUS.$ 450,000 in order to upkeep the resort within the concept of being a rural village.

I do have admit that your comment about the mosquito island supplying millions of those terrible mosquitoes to our resort made me smile. Please allow me to explain that the Mosquito island is 4 km away from us and a Mosquito has a flight range of 100 meters in its lifetime. So we file this comment under " fake news". We do have mosquitoes but they originate in our jungle setting. We fumigate 3 times per week, we supply mosquito repellent in each villa for free and have protection in the restaurant. It is really manageable.

The Food& Beverage department has currently a guest satisfaction of 92%. Our Chef is cooking for up to 20 different nationalities on one day. So we need to find a fine line between " original" Thai cuisine and Thai food that guests can actually stomach. If you can enjoy Original Thai, you could have talked to my staff to ensure that you get a meal to your liking. Through communication you can find a solution.

I would like to invite future guests to research our resort. We are a jungle based beach resort, which is offering barefoot luxury in a rustic romantic setting. The resort was awarded for being the most romantic in South East Asia. It was also voted the " "Worlds most sustainable boutique resort". Our tag line is " Back to simplicity". We want to create a casual setting in which guests can find back to their roots, re-energize and re-invigorate themselves to be ready to conquer their world upon return. PLEASE learn about our resort before booking.

Once again thank you for the opportunity to explain our concept.
Florian and the Zeavola Family

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Reviewed 29 March 2018

We spent a wonderful 4 nights at Zeavola this past week.The airport and speedboat transfer was great. We had the opportunity to stay in one of their villas and it was absolutely worth the extra $$. We loved having our own private pool, and being able to sit outside our room and watch the sunrise over the ocean. The beach was beautiful and well maintained. The breakfast had a great selection. We participated in their Maya Speedboat experience and would highly recommend it. We stopped to snorkel in 2 place and got to see sea turtles. The guide on the trip made it a lot of fun.

While we loved the rustic feel of the resort (the outdoor showers, barefoot vibe) for a luxury resort it would have been nice to have updated/upgraded linens and bath towels. Small details like this would go a long way in really enhancing the luxury rustic experience.

Make sure to bring sunscreen with you! They charge ~$20 for a small bottle of sunscreen which we found to be extremely expensive!

Overall, we had a great stay and will definitely recommend this resort to friends and family.

Dinner at Chili & Pepper is a must!! It's a small 'treehouse' restaurant about a 15 min walk down the beach. There are ~6 tables, and the couple the runs it cooks the most amazing fresh food in a kitchen off the dining room.

Date of stay: March 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank kerripeters16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FlorianPhiPhiIsland, General Manager at Zeavola Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 30 July 2018

Dear Kerripeters,
Thank you for your detailed explanations and your endorsement for our rustic concept, the staff and the restaurants. Looks like you had an excellent time.
In regards to the Suntain lotion, YES buy it in Europe or US or in Tokyo for that matter. Unfortunately this stuff is seriously expensive, where ever you go in Thailand. They must have noticed that it is absolutely necessary and made it extra expensive. I just brought my yearly supplies from Europe.
Wishing you an excellent year end, stay healthy and think of us.
Florian and the Zeavola Family

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Reviewed 27 March 2018

What a stunning boutique hotel in it's own little paradise.
So so different from other hotels in every way and such a lovely experience.
Such an unusual and beautiful layout especially the 'outdoor shower'.
So many little foibles too many to report. Staff lovely and smiling all the time.
Breakfast better than most. I cannot think of a bad point about this hotel and we would go back tomorrow to experience it again

Date of stay: March 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank MrsMacara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FlorianPhiPhiIsland, General Manager at Zeavola Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 28 March 2018

Dear Mrs Macara,
Thank you so much for your glowing review. Our Job is done when our guests leave this resort with a positive impression such as yours. That is the purpose why we are on the island and work in the hospitality business. We would love to have you back in a blink. I know this is difficult, so we would invited you to spread the word to your friends and family, that maybe some of them come and visit us as well.
We are so happy that you had such a great time.
Thank you for supporting the hotel.
Stay healthy and successful, come again soon.
Florian

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