If you’re looking for a luxurious getaway to paradise, yet you care about the trace you leave behind, then you need to stay at Zeavola Resort. This is hands down the most luxurious resort in Koh Phi Phi, and of the most sustainable hotels in all of Thailand.
Our stay at Zeavola was just perfect. Well, except for the weather – that could have been better. But even over a cloudy and stormy weekend, Zeavola was the perfect place to relax and breathe, and let go.
Zeavola Resort might not be for everyone though. Don’t come here expecting butlers and red carpets. Yes, the hotel is 5 star, but here you’ll find something way more special than your usual, corporate 5-star hotel. Here you’ll find barefoot luxury – the resort is designed for you to take off your shoes when you arrive and relax until the minute you leave the island.
Are you sold yet? Let’s talk in detail about our stay at Zeavola Resort.
THE LOCATION & TRANSFER
Zeavola is on Laem Tong Beach, at the north end of Koh Phi Phi. There are no roads that connect this beach to Tonsai Bay, but you can easily rent a longtail boat to get there. The resort mostly caters to couples and families – if you want to party or visit Tonsai Village every day, this resort is probably not for you.
Zeavola offers a speedboat transfer directly to the resort from Phuket, which is how we got to the island. If you get seasick, make sure you take some Dramamine – the sea can be very rough!
The transfer also includes pick up from the airport or your hotel in Phuket, as well as drop-off when you return. While there’s only one speedboat per day each way at fixed timings (14 PM to Zeavola, 11 AM to Phuket), if your flight doesn’t fit the schedule you can arrange a private speedboat to make it in time.
⚠️ The speedboat is not recommended for pregnant women; if you are, you’re better off taking the public ferry that departs from Rassada Pier in Phuket. The ferry station in Phi Phi is only a 2-minute walk from the resort.
We were welcomed personally by the general manager and the staff that brought us wet towels and a glass of butterfly pea flower tea.
Zeavola features 4 categories of rooms, with most of the rooms being 60-meters Garden Suites. The other categories are Beachfront Suites, Village Suites and Pool Villa Suites.
Our Garden Suite was beautifully simple and luxurious. We had a king size bed with full length windows with stunning garden views.
But the magic was outside. There was a large outdoor living space to relax and unwind while feeling in the middle of the jungle. You want privacy? Just roll down the bamboo blinds, the feeling won’t change since you’re still gonna listen to nature sounds all around you.
Don’t forget to wash your feet before entering the living area, you don’t want it to get full of sand!
The room features a spacious indoor bathroom, but most of the time we chose to use the outdoor shower to feel closer to nature. First-class sustainable products, fresh coffee and refreshments complete the perfect stay.
The staff left us a beautiful souvenir and elephant-shaped towels every day.
If you’re looking for something even more special, you can stay in one of the 4 pool villas with incredible views over the bay and your own private infinity pool.
Unfortunately, during our stay the sun was shy, and we never had good weather except for the half day we went on our tour of Maya Bay and Pileh Bay Lagoon. However, Zeavola features its own private beach with plenty of bean bags and sun loungers for guests.
The breakfast was great, beachfront, and with a combination of buffet delights and made to order hot dishes. Asian, European, American, you got it all.
We also had the chance to have an all-you-can-eat barbecue at Zeavola restaurant that was great. But don’t worry, you won’t be stuck in the middle of anywhere and with the resort restaurant as the only option. It will take you 5 minutes to reach other local restaurants at the beach if you’d like to go for a change. We tried a couple of other places and they were all good.
Within 100 meters from the resort you’ll find two restaurants, La Casetta della Pizza, specialized in Italian cuisine, and Beach Bar Restaurant, situated right on the beach and offering an amazing ambiance, besides the tasty food. Jasmine Restaurant, Chilli and Pepper, Oasis Bar, and Phi Phi Bakery are other top-rated eateries in the area, all within a mile from the resort.
THINGS TO DO AROUND THE HOTEL
I’ve already written about all the things to do in Phi Phi Island. But another good thing about Zeavola Resort is that you won’t need anything else besides the services provided by the resort. You’ll have access to plenty of activities, ranging from excursions in the islands to a wonderful and relaxing day at the spa and PADI certification courses.
Among the activities that the resort offers are scuba diving experiences, as well as PADI diving courses and specialties, excursions to nearby islands, snorkel and fishing trips, jungle trekking and a tour to Tonsai, the main point of nightlife on the island., among others.
If you’d rather stay in and enjoy the luxuries of the spa, you can opt for different types of body scrubs & wraps, massages that can go from a full-body massage to aromatherapy, sport or Swedish massages, facial care or manicure & pedicure. There are also spa packages with different treatments combined.
We personally went on the Maya Adventure Tour, a 4-hour excursion that took us to marine park’s beaches, lagoons and uninhabited islands.
We snorkeled in front of the renowned Maya Bay and visited the gorgeous Pileh Bay Lagoon, my favorite place in all of Phi Phi and one of the best places to go for a swim.
We also went to Monkey Island, a small cove that takes its name for the monkeys that live in the cliffs surrounding the beach and that come down to greet the visitors. We weren’t able to go down to the beach because it was mating season and the monkeys become aggressive at this time of the year, but we saw it from the boat.
SUSTAINABILITY AT ZEAVOLA RESORT
We first heard of Zeavola Resort from Green Pearls, which is the leading source for sustainable hotels in the world. They are a communication and information platform for green, hand-picked and truly unique places around the world.
With ecotourism becoming somewhat of a trendy concept, lots of hotels have started promoting themselves as sustainable, where in reality all they do is not change towels every day.
This is not the case with Zeavola, which as one of the most sustainable hotels in Thailand and Southeast Asia, has all sorts of sustainable business practices in place.
We had the pleasure to have a meeting with Florian Hallermann, the (former) general manager of Zeavola, who showed us around the resort and explained us about their Corporate Social Responsibility.
At Zeavola, they have guidelines for sustainability in 3 areas, regarding their impact with the local community, with the environment, and within themselves – and for each of them a bunch of initiatives in place. Let’ take a look at some of the main ones.
Zeavola fosters the local community and respects the way of life of the Sea Gypsies who live in the area, chooses to buy local products like fish from the local fishermen, and organizes activities in schools, festivals, etc for the community. They also have a very cool project to support Laem Tong School with Friday lunch sessions.
When it comes to being green, Zeavola has systems in place to reduce energy and water consumption, biodegradable practices to give back to nature, and the recycling process is handled by the staff that then sells the recyclable items and keep the profits in the staff’s fund.
Other initiatives include the daily cleaning of Laem Tong Beach (not just in front of the resort), a complicated laundry system designed to save chemicals and energy, a rainwater collection system, and a reverse osmosis treatment that treats used water which is then utilized to watering the garden.
There are also guidelines regarding the staff. Zeavola celebrates the diversity of their workforce, has initiatives to improve the staff member’s safety, and promotes fairness in compensation and during the hiring process.
Rates at Zeavola start at $225 for a Village Suite and $248 for a Garden Suite.
⇒ Check out RATES AND AVAILABILITY at Zeavola Resort
Disclaimer. We were kindly hosted by Zeavola Resort through Green Pearls in Phi Phi. All opinions are my own and cannot be influenced – I truly had a fantastic time at Zeavola!