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“Hidden Away...” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of LaLaanta Hideaway Resort

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LaLaanta Hideaway Resort
Ranked #20 of 84 Hotels in Ko Lanta
Certificate of Excellence
sydney
Level Contributor
176 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 140 helpful votes
“Hidden Away...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 March 2009

La Laanta was the third destination from my wife and I during our three week Thai holiday. When we booked in early November, there were approximately 35 reviews on Trip Advisor. It’s the end of March now and that number has risen to 82 (with more to come I’m sure), the majority of which are 5 stars. That kind of popularity makes La Laanta the envy of all resorts, and with good reason. But the numbers don’t lie, and there’s a reason why so many guests are rushing to exhort the experiences had far away down the southern end of Koh Lanta.

We were on the very quiet island of Koh Jum before heading to Lanta. I was chatting to a very well travelled Swedish lady in her 60’s just before we departed. “Where are you going next?”, she asked. “Lanta” was my reply. Her face turned quite sullen. Her response was brief and to the point, punctuated as if to make a point – “busy”. Had I not known about the geographical whereabouts of La Laanta, I’d have been worried at that point.

There appear to be 2 Koh Lanta’s (in actuality, you could say the same about any well-known Thai island – Phi Phi, Phang-Ngan, Samui etc). There is the hustle and bustle of the main resort beach areas that seem to define the whole island, or there are the secluded beaches far away from the madness sought out by those looking for something else. La Laanta definitely falls into the latter category, the knowledge of which protected me from the misguided barb of my Scandinavian travel guide.

As so many guests seemed to admit whilst we were there, the rave reviews on Trip Advisor were the reason they had booked their La Laanta holiday. We were the same. If the photos didn’t hook you, the glowing reports surely did. We had hoped to secure ourselves a Sunset Splendour Villa when booking in early November. But four months away, they were already booked out. We were happy to settle for a Horizon Gaze, whilst secretly holding out for a cancellation in that time. No such luck.

So what’s the secret? There’s nothing we could tell you about this resort that you haven’t read already. A beautiful beach with only three resorts. There were some mornings we’d be the only two people in the water. The bungalows are very nice and comfortable. The food was great. The cocktails were potent. The pool was a nice alternative to the beach at times. And so on… But any of these things can be found at other resorts.

The real difference is simply those who run La Laanta. None of them had operated in resorts before they opened La Laanta, but their collective goodwill drives it forward. Patrick, June, Tony and Kung (correct spelling I hope) are omnipresent. They don’t tend to guest’s needs, they look after friends. It might sound like a cliché, but it’s just the way it is. They make an effort to engage you personally, and hope to wave good-bye to you as a new friend.

It’s fair to say that a lot of couples were staying at La Laanta when we were there. And couples tend to like their privacy. But at night, Patrick manages to weave a spell on the beach bar aided by Mackey’s infectious personality and cocktails. And under that spell, people of all ages from around the world would introduce themselves and talk into the small hours. I honestly cannot remember a feeling like that generated at any resort I’ve ever stayed in anywhere around the world.

Previous to La Laanta, we stayed at Koh Jum Lodge on Koh Jum. It too was paradise. I have raved about it in my review. A great deal of that success was due to the manager’s personal touches. And whilst those touches made a difference, they were nevertheless polite and kept at arms reach - almost a professional politeness. The managers at La Laanta genuinely reached out to you and engaged you personally. They welcomed you into their world, and tried to get to know you – however briefly. When we left, we left with new friends and we look forward to the day when we can laugh again with them.

If my memory serves me well, we were told that the record stay for a guest was 45 nights. You’ve got to be doing something right for someone to want to stay that long with you.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Capt_Funkelicious
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (65)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Czech first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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English first
Edinburgh, UK
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 March 2009

We stayed at La Laanta in November 2008 for 6 nights, and were very disappointed to leave. From the moment we were picked up at Krabi airport, we were shown nothing but courtesy and excellent service. The journey from airport to resort is a long one and well worth booking the Laanta transfer (both ways!) The resort is tucked away at the end of the island beside the national park, which in itself provides nightly entertainment in the form of noisy insects, frogs and monkeys!

Upon arrival we were shown to the bar area and given a refreshing drink whilst we watched the most glorious sunset. We stayed in one of the Horizon Gaze villas, which was exactly as shown on the website - quite basic but pretty and comfortable. Yes the beds are quite hard but that is the case across Thailand and we liked it. To be honest, we were rarely in our room anyway.

One of the things we liked most about Laanta was the fact that it is not in the middle of a busy resort. It is quite secluded and for that reason, you can completely relax and not be bothered by people from other hotels or those trying to sell you things on the beach. We spent our time during the day by the pool, walking on the beach or attempting to kayak! I believe if you wanted to, you could arrange to go elephant trekking or snorkelling but as we were on the 2nd half of our holiday, we just wanted pure relaxation.

Another thing we enjoyed very much was the food. We didnt ever make it to breakfast so cant comment on that. But there were some very tasty dishes on the menu and we sampled most of the main courses. There are also a couple of other places further along the beach you can try which are also good for lunch/dinner. Plus one evening a group of us were kindly taken by Patrick to a restaurant called Same Same But Different where we were told the food was amazing. It was very good, but no better that at Laanta :)

Without doubt, the thing we liked most about Laanta was the hospitality. It may be a relaxing resort by day, but if you choose to venture down to the bar at night you may be there for a long time! On our first evening down at the beach having dinner under the stars, Patrick came over and introduced himself and invited us to have some drinks at the bar. For some reason my boyfriend thought his name was Simon so we had a good laugh about that and Patrick became Simon for the duration of our stay! Needless to say, we spent every evening at the bar meeting a great bunch of people and having a fantastic time. The cocktails were the best I've tasted, and huge! And we played countless games of liars dice which can prove very entertaining after a few of Mackey's cocktails.

Overall, our stay at Laanta was brilliant. If choosing to come here, you should bear in mind that it is not a polished 5 star resort. It is far more rustic but with 5 star service. If you go with these realistic expectations and make the effort to get involved a little with the staff, you will have an extremely memorable holiday (and friends for life).

We very much hope to meet up with Simon and the team again someday and I would definately recommend this resort to friends (although not too many people as dont want it to get spoiled).

  • Stayed November 2008, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank PopsyEdinburgh_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 March 2009

If you are up for relaxing in the most perfect resort where everything has been thought of and nothing forgotten by the very hospitable hosts at LaLaanta!
June (we can't thank enough) was the best host she looked after us in her resort catering to our needs, the room was gorgeous, spacious and clean.
We really enjoyed spending time in the pool and on the beach, the water was perfectly clear and the water warm.
The food in the resturant was probably the best that we had in Thailand when staying in resorts, there was an abundance of choice for breakfast, yummy cocktails at the bar and a spectacular view from almost everywhere you are.
Hidden well towards the end of Ko Lanta you will enjoy being away from the crowds in the main strips, however LaLaanta is more than happy to organise for you to head up there and come home which makes it easy to plan a day away from the resort (not sure why you would want too!)
This was the perfect end to our holiday...
We will definiately be back to visit as soon as we can.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank R_and_J_Adventures
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cologne, Germany
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 March 2009

We spent 5 nights last november at the LaLaanta Hideaway Resort and these days were unforgetable. Really nice place, excellent food, best staff and beautiful accomodation. We stayed in a sand castle villa. Beach is long and lonely and you can see wonderfull sundowns every day. We definately will come back!

  • Stayed November 2008
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank 123koeln321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cochabamba, Bolivia
Level Contributor
21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 March 2009

We came to Lalaanta for two reasons: 1) To do something more upscale and relaxing after backpacking through China for 2 months, and 2) To get married. We absolutely loved our stay at Lalaanta. It's very quiet and secluded, so you can have as much romantic time with your partner as you want. At the same time though, the resort is small enough that, if you want, you have the opportunity to get to the know the owners well, as well as other guests. We usually spent the days just the two of us...on the beach, taking a moto around the island, taking cooking classes, snorkeling (Lalaanta will organize this for you)...and nights after dinner we'd usually hang out at the bar with the owners and guests.

Tony, June, Kong, and Patrick put together the most perfect wedding for us. We didn't have a lot of requirements, as it was just my husband and me, and we just wanted it to be simple and romantic. The thought and care they all put into it, however, is indicative of the kind of service you would get at any time at Lalaanta. Patrick officiated the sunset ceremony, Tony made the beautiful archway under which we got married, June did all the flowers and baked a cake, and Kong arranged for an incredible meal. And someone ordered the most beautiful sunset that Koh Lanta has probably ever seen. The best part was that we had already spent some time with the staff before the wedding and they all truly cared to be a part of our wedding.
I think it probably takes alot to make a wedding, especially one where there are no family or friends (expect new ones), feel personable and special, and the Lalaanta staff did this wonderfully. They did so much more than we ever imagined or expected and created this beautiful, amazing, perfect night for us.

We, obviously, loved our stay at Lalaanta. For us, the place was perfect, we loved the quiet beautiful beach, the food was great, the company was unparalleled, and we loved the bungalows (yes, the bed is hard, but we love hard beds and found it very comfortable and in line with what you'd expect to find in Thailand).

Our one complaint is that only one of the Sand Castle bungalows is really on the beach. There are views from the porches of the other Sand Castle bungalows, but to us this view wasn't worth the extra money. It really isn't a big deal though, because no matter where you are in the resort you are very close to the beach.

We would recommend Lalaanta to everyone except people who:

1. Want to go to a night club every night.
2. Are completely, totally opposed to seeing insects. The rooms are very clean, but the resort is in the middle of the jungle, so you can't expect it to be sterile.
3. Don't want to stay at the resort every day but are not comfortable riding a motorcycle on a bumpy dirt road.

I'll end by saying that this is a really special place. We'll definitely go back, and I highly recommend Lalaanta.

  • Stayed November 2008, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TogoGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
norfolk england
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 February 2009

I agree with previous reviewers. A lovely (remote!) setting with a shabby chic feel. The emphasis very much on shabby – the Sand Castle room was basic and in need of redecoration. The bed was very hard and the aircon uncontrollable and noisy. The bathroom was ok with a dribbly shower and separate bath, although you would need a ladder to get in and out.
The food was excellent and the smoothies superb. All the staff very friendly and helpful, especially Jun.
Tony and Mackeys late night drinking club – by invitation only it seemed – was noisy and disruptive for other guests.
Overall a lovely resort but with very limited facilities, and way over priced for the quality of accommodation.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank GrahamsNorfolkUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, MA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 February 2009

On our first trip to Thailand, our stay at LaLaanta was one of the best vacations of our lives. We visited the resort for two weeks at the end of November 2008 and we cannot lavish enough praise on the staff, the owners, the beach, the setting and the experience that was LaLaanta. To the owners Patrick, Tony, Kong and June, our deepest thanks for sharing their welcoming resort and also for the memories and friendship we will cherish forever.

It is worth noting up front that LaLaanta is not a place that caters to everyone. If you are looking for a luxury 5 star mega-resort with lots of nightlife options, you will not like it here. Also, because LaLaanta is such a small and quiet resort, I would strongly suggest families look elsewhere unless they have extremely well behaved children.

Thankfully, 95 percent of the people who choose LaLaanta are like-minded people who wanted a quiet, laid back, small resort to unwind at. We were surprised to find out that everyone we talked to, no matter what country they were from, found the resort on TripAdvisor and chose it based on the reviews.

LaLaanta is a small (20 room) resort with well appointed, clean and comfortable bungalows. Free Wifi is available for guests and we had no problem using our laptop or Skype from our room. There is also a shared computer in the common area. LaLaanta is for the travelers looking for a unique experience in a remote location away from the crowded scene in Klong Dao Beach. There are no night clubs, no shops, no hair braiders, and in general no hassles. Instead silence, serenity and peace rule supreme at Bamboo beach. The place is perfect for couples looking for a romantic getaway. Most guests stay a few days as part of a longer trip exploring Thailand or Asia. We were looking forward to two solid weeks in one place and highly recommend extending your visit if you can.

Because LaLaanta is right in the middle of a remote forest and next to the National Park, there will be bugs, lizards, monkeys and sounds of the forest all around. We expected this and took it all in stride as part of the adventure. The maids spray your bungalow every day when they clean and this keeps a lot of the bugs out. There is also a bug net over the bed but we never needed to use it.

If you are coming in via Krabi airport, I highly recommend getting the private transfer through the resort for the 3.5 hour ride. It is not expensive and the peace of mind it gave us was huge. Our driver met us at baggage claim with a warm smile and had water waiting for us in the car—this was very welcoming after over 20 hours of travel to get to Krabi from the US.

The resort is set in forest that runs all the way up to the beach and is one of only three small establishments on Bamboo beach and the only resort in directly on the sand. The other two are located further up towards the cliff on the north side. The location is breath-taking. The sand is fine and soft, the water calm and warm, and the rainforest covered hills offer a lush backdrop to complement the scenery.

The four owners of LaLaanta are very warm and friendly, and make it a point to be present and to engage with all the guests—a very different feeling from the hotel chain experience elsewhere. I personally spent many a late night sharing beers, laughs, travel stories and having a great time with Patrick and Tony as well as many of the other guests.

The staff goes out of their way so you have a great experience. We were lucky enough to enjoy a few of Kong’s famous fish BBQ’s and on our last day, he was able to get fresh tiger prawns and snapper. It was easily one of the best meals of my life. One night we saw June cook a wonderful Vietnamese banquet for two of our friends who were celebrating their honeymoon at LaLaanta and on another she showed me how to make her dipping sauce she heard I loved.

We highly recommend taking a Thai cooking class at the resort next door, Baan Phu Lae. The kitchen is as rustic as you can get but the food, instruction and recipes they shared with us were one of the highlights of our trip (and much better than the more expensive and more tourist oriented classes at Time for Lime cooking school at the northern part of the island). We also had lunch at Baan Phu Lae a few time and loved every meal we ate there.

You should definitely take the twenty minute hike up the road to Koh Lanta National Marine Park - well worth the effort. We were escorted by Nau-Nau, one of LaLaanta's resident dogs, who wanted to keep us company. Entrance into the park is 200 baht per person. It is a solid uphill hike so bring a bottle of water. Once you make it to the park entrance, it is all downhill to get to the lighthouse and secluded beach. We chose to wind our way back through the paved/marked forest trail. This was a bit of a difficult hike for a non-athletic person, but go slow and you can make it ok.

We took a day trip to Koh Rok to snorkel and loved the experience. June will set it up for you and the boat picks you up and drops you off right in front of the resort. They provide lunch and have snorkel gear and life jackets if you require them. This was by far the most spectacular snorkeling I have ever experienced.

We happened to be in Thailand during the protests that closed down the airports in Bangkok. The LaLaanta staff was so helpful in trying to find solutions for their stranded guests but there were limits in how much they could do with the flight options being so limited out of the country. After a day of stress trying to find ways to get home and being worried about missing extra days of work, we got a flight for two days later and settled down to enjoy our time left. If you are going to be trapped in a country, there are worse places to be trapped! If you do find yourself in a similar situation where Bangkok airport is closed, get on the internet and book the first flight you can out of the country, either from Phuket or Krabi and worry about your transfer flights later. If you can just get to Kuala Lumpur or Singapore, you have many more options.

Regarding tipping: We are from the US and are used to tipping for services rendered, especially for excellent service. I read in several guide books that in Thailand, tipping isn’t required and if you do tip, just give a few coins. We ignored this advice and tipped as we deemed appropriate. If we had lunch outside our resort, we’d leave 100-200 Baht ($3-$6 US dollars). At the end of our stay, we also left money in the general tip box for the restaurant staff, with our bartender, in our room for the maids and with our driver after he took us back to the airport. Thailand is very poor and the money we left for tips was never expected but highly appreciated.

If you are lucky enough to go to Thailand and are stay at LaLaanta, you will never stop raving about the experience.

  • Stayed November 2008, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank T_P_Boston_MA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about LaLaanta Hideaway Resort

Property: LaLaanta Hideaway Resort
Address: 188 Moo 5, Bamboo Bay Beach | (Ao Mai Phai), Ko Lanta 81150, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Krabi Province > Ko Lanta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Ko Lanta
#5 Family Hotel in Ko Lanta
#7 Spa Hotel in Ko Lanta
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Ko Lanta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — LaLaanta Hideaway Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Artistically inspired living on the most private beach for that castaway experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lalaanta Hideaway Hotel Ko Lanta
Lalaanta Hideaway Ko Lanta

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