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A stay in Zazen is a luxurious, rejuvenating and thoroughly romantic experience, which I recommend to anyone! To put it in Zazen's own words: Escape to your inner self.
Location ----------- Zazen Boutique Resort & Spa is situated on the beautiful island of Ko Samui in Thailand. Although Ko Samui is known to be family-friendly, and some parts of the island are visited by loud partyseekers, Zazen is located at the laid-back town of Bo Phut. Right next to the resort, there is a quiet and clean beach, which is quite a far cry from the thumping bass you would find on other parts of the island. However, partyhub Hat Chaweng isn't too far away, so if you feel like going out for a party, you're well-catered for.
Facilities ------------- The entrance of the resort immediately gives a good impression of the high standards at Zazen. The car picking me up from the cute Samui Airport was a brand-new SUV with airconditioning. Greatly appreciated after a delayed flight from Chiang Mai!
The garden has been designed wonderfully, giving a modern Zen-look to the surroundings. Red obviously is the colour of choice here.
Similarly, the restaurant and the small swimming pool look like something straight from an advertisement, with comfortable chairs next to the pool and the bech. The pooltable can be used (and was used by me) for a couple of games whilst enjoying some of the many cocktails on offer. Some of these were a bit sweet for me, but overall, they were quite refreshing.
The outdoor spa seems to be of the same high standard, although I haven't used this myself.
Service ---------- As per usual, the level of service is very high. Upon arrival, I first get a welcome drink before we start to take care of all the paperwork- good way to get into the rhytm here! Patiently, I am shown to my room and am explained what other services are on over. Here, especially the option to have dinner (expertly cooked!) delivered at the room should be on the shortlist for romantic couples.
The room ------------ You see, despite the beautiful surroundings, the room itself takes the cake. It is simply stunning. The modern Asian design is very tastefully done with great attention to detail. It radiates a warm, serene feeling of home, which is often missing from hotels and resorts.
The living area offers room to 4 or more people and has all the amenities you could wish for, such as a 32 inch flatscreen TV and an iPod docking station. If you are one of the iPod-less, these can be borrowed at the reception.
In the back of the room, you can find the sleeping quarters. It contains a pretty huge and comfortable bed, which. The bed is nicely adorned with a collection of sheets and pillows, making me feel almost guilty to lie down on it!
The semi-open bathroom also sports a number of nice touches, with the Japanese fighting fish on the washbasin standing out in particular. If you have to use the restroom,you can remove the sheet of paper between the two bowls containing the fish. Upon seeing eachother, these fish will try to intimidate oneanother, making for a very amusing show.
Surroundings and activities ------------------------------- Ko Samui offers many possibilities. The island is quite large and well worth exploring. Zazen offers more than 15 different tours,but I didn't use these. Instead, I opted to rent a bike and head out by myself, which can be done easily. One word of warning, though: a considerable number of accidents involving tourists riding motorbikes happen here, so be careful!
The Angthong sea-reserve and the neighbouring islands of Ko Phangan and Ko Tao really shouldnot be missed. The island each have their own unique character, with Ko Tao being more of a laid-back, backpacker destination and Ko Phangan being famous for its legendary fullmoon (and half-moon and black-moon…) parties. So, no matter how beautiful the hotel, take the time toexplore the surroundings too!
Price -------- Quality comes at a price. Where accommodation inThailand in general is very affordable, a stay here might come close to 200 euro per night. However,the website offers many discounts, and internet rates are considerably (up to 40%!) lower than the published rates. Even at their normal rates, though, I think a stay here is worth it, given the exceptional quality.
Conclusion ---------------- Zazen is an experience. It offers a level of luxury and coziness rarely seen in Europe. The design of the rooms and the hotel grounds is impeccable. Obviously, this quality doesn't come cheap, but have a look on the internet and you might come accross some very tempting discounts.
I loved it, and I am sure you will too. As Zazen put it: go here to escape to your inner self.