Layang Layang Resort was a run-down, old resort, which I felt far over-charged for their rooms. The room I had was quite basic, quite terrible and in a bad state. The floor of my room was uneven and had a large stain on the cheap, office carpet by the door. The water in the shower smelled of rust and the toilet bowl took 10 minutes to fill and very noisily too. There was no hair dryer. There was a TV with 3 grainy channels and there was no remote control. The walls of my room were made of lacquered, plywood panels and so I could hear every cough from the room next door and every vibration and footsteps from the corridor outside. There was Wifi in the lobby and common areas but most of the time, it did not work.
The room price included 3 meals a day, but the quality of food was really quite basic. Even with food included, the resort was over-priced.
I feel that the reason they can over-charge is because there is no other place to stay in order to dive in Layang Layang, which is a real pity. I believe that healthy competition would do some good and could maybe improve service.
There were only 3 days of flights in and out of Layang Layang a week: Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays. I booked my flights and trip to Layang Layang many months in advance with a diving agent (Asia Diving Vacation, Operated and owned by Duis Dive Sdn Bhd.) and was confirmed morning flights to and from the island from Kota Kinabalu. The agent then confirmed my flights again when I arrived in KK. But when I was at the resort in Layang Layang, I found out one day before I left that I was bumped off my morning flight because I had no connecting flight when arriving in KK. No one asked me if I had already made plans in KK, which I did and which I had even already paid for. And my local agent who booked my flights and confirmed them could do nothing to help me get back on my originally confirmed flight.
The general manager of Layang Layang Resort, Eugene Foo, then tried to explain to me that they gave priority to people with connecting flights but when I explained that despite no connecting flight, I already had made and paid for plans in KK and had work to do there, he did not listen nor cared, which I found unacceptable.
He told me that MAS no longer flew large planes onto the island and only had the small 16-seaters. What I did not understand was why they had not informed me of this days or even weeks before I arrived on Layang Layang? They already knew in advance that they would have small aircrafts instead of the large one and hence there was no way everyone could fit into one flight. Had they informed me in advance before I arrived, I could weigh all options and decide whether or not to go to Layang Layang in the first place. I feel cheated, robbed of my day and time wasted. They put me on the third flight out although I was originally confirmed on the first flight and then promised to be in the second flight. No compensation for my plans being changed and money wasted in KK.
As a Resort, I believe that it is their duty to inform me of all changes in flights before I arrived or at least even on my first day of arrival because they had my confirmed flight departure in their records. I felt that that they were not transparent in their communications with me because I only found out the late afternoon before the morning of my flight that I was bumped off my morning flight. And I found out only because I asked, not because I was informed, which was unacceptable.
I find the Layang Layang resort very unprofessional, badly managed and is only concerned about taking as much money as possible without really focussing on real service.
Admittedly, the diving was not all bad. The resort staff, with the exception of the front office managers and the general manager, Eugene Foo, were friendly. The problem lies clearly with the head office, the booking office and the operations management. It is disgraceful that a Resort that charges so much money cares so little about service.
I would definitely not recommend anyone to go to Layang Layang Island Resort. I personally would never return there unless I can find a liveaboard to dive there or if there is another completely different resort, preferably not run by Avillion, like this one, and run by people who really know what service is and what resort management is.
I feel that there are better places in the world to see hammerheads. I personally did not see the migrating school of hammerheads even though I dived 12 dives there. It is really a question of luck and skill of the dive master to find the correct areas. And a word on the dive centre: I was happy that I am naturally comfortable underwater and am an advanced diver because from my experience, it was important to be self sufficient and to have managed my own bottom time and depth. I had 11 people to one dive master in my group. And more often than not, the dive master could not always look out for everyone in the group because he was busy looking for hammerheads for us. I did not feel that safety was a huge concern, although we were told you so in the arrival briefing. My experience was that there was a lot there that was said, written and confirmed that was not true and not enforced.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Layang Layang Island Resort Sdn Bhd is an exclusive resort that dominates the Layang Layang island - an oceanic atoll of Spratly Islands situated approximately 300km northwest of Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia. Fondly known as "The Jewel of the Borneo Banks," it is truly a diver's paradise. As many as 14 coral reefs have formed here, creating a breathtaking underwater scenery. The dive sites are well known for the intriguing hammerhead sharks and pygmy seahorses among other rare creatures. An hour's flight north of Kota Kinabalu, the island on which Layang Layang Island Resort Sdn Bhd nestles lies in 2,000 m of ocean and, due partly to the depth, this atoll has become famous for sightings of large pelagic species and for wall diving. Layang Layang Island Resort Sdn Bhd is the only resort on the island besides a Royal Malaysia Navy base. The resort, designed to look like the traditional Long House, comprises 86 cosy rooms, restaurant and bar, outdoor swimming pool, dive center with certified diving instructors and a variety of diving courses among other facilities for modern comforts. Come for the exclusive and intriguing diving experience at this remote destination out of the world, where rare and uncommon underwater creatures await you! ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Avillion Layang Layang Island Hotel Layang Layang
- Layang Island Hotel