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“Beautiful luxury resort”

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Pimalai Resort and Spa
Ranked #2 of 84 Hotels in Ko Lanta
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 28 October 2013

We've just spent a wonderful 6 nights at the Pimalai resort. The hotel was everything we expected and more.

The location and scenery were superb - even though it was still rainy season, we had some lovely weather - mainly in the mornings. The beach was pristine and much of the time was almost empty. We stayed in a deluxe (standard) room which was extremely comfortable and plenty spacious. During the green season the rate is very low and unless you want/need a villa, the room is perfectly fine and VERY good value.

Breakfast buffet is included and is generous - it doesn't change throughout the week, but it's all good quality. We ate lunch at both pool cafes - the one by the beach, and the one up at the pool villas. Both were good and reasonable value. The restaurant that we loved the most was Rak Talay - the beachside restaurant with a barbeque. Each night they have a selection of fresh fish on ice; you can choose your own fish and they barbeque it for you. Very fresh, and again, good value. I am aware that people have mentioned the food being expensive. Yes it is, compared to local street cafes, but compared to other 5 star resorts it's very reasonable.

I thoroughly recommend booking the hotel transfers. It is quite a long journey - 2 hours from Krabi, and like most of us, you've probably already had a long journey by then. Pimalai drive you down to the bottom of the mainland where they have a private jetty (next to the public ferry). From now until early May they transfer you on their own speedboat right down to the floating jetty by the hotel. About 40 mins on the Andaman Sea with stunning scenery. The rest of the year they transfer you on their private boat to the town on the East coast, then it's about 20 minutes further by car.

We both visited the spa several times. The massages were very good - and the spa location itself is absolutely beautiful. Again - people on here have stated that it is very expensive compared to a Thai massage on the beach. That's quite correct, but comparing the price to spa treatments - say - at an Anantara hotel, and once again the Pimalai is very good value. The girls themselves have very little English, so it's quite difficult to explain if you have any particular requirements. They have the 'required' English but if you go outside their script it becomes more difficult. My husband and I both finished off with a manicure. He was a little disappointed that his cost the same as mine, even though his took less than half the time (obviously no polish for him!). It might be nice if they had a separate price list for treatments such as these.

We also did yoga on the beach one early morning with the resort yoga instructor. This was quite magical!

The resort is beautiful and peaceful. The ONLY downside for us were the amount of children at the resort. We are aware that the resort is not adults only - we tried to book at the Sarojin (adults only) but it was already fully booked. Both pools have notices with age requirements - eg the beach pool says that children under 6 are to use the childrens pool. This was roundly ignored by the parents, and one afternoon the pool was filled with inflateable toys and several toddlers. Also it asks that under 12's are supervised by parents. Again - several children were regularly jumping in the pool with no apparent supervision. If rules ARE advertised, then they need to be enforced by staff, otherwise they're just an aggravation. We tried moving up to the hillside pool, but the families seemed to follow us! Would an adults only pool not be possible to maintain some of the tranquility found at the resort?

There is plenty of good food to be found outside the resort if you want to get out and about. We recommend 'Noon' bar for sundowners - on a Wednesday night they have a live band playing mellow music, and 20% off wine. 'Rock and Roll Pad Thai' in the nearby village does wonderfully cheap homecooked Thai food; 'The Drunken Sailor' does excellent coffee - and we enjoyed a lunch at 'Same Same But Different' - 50 yards down the beach from the hotel.

Superb service from the very attentive staff. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank 35Argyll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
franck d, General Manager at Pimalai Resort and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 23 November 2013

Thank you for the Review "35 Argyll - London" - much appreciated. Noted your comments on kids and yes indeed very difficult from to time to reinforce what we have in place in regards to kids; will see if we can improve, though i think it is also parents' responsibilities to control their kids; just in respect to other guests around ... Hope to see you back here sometimes in the future. Franck

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Reviewed 27 October 2013

We stayed here for 1 week during our honeymoon. I agree with most of the comments that this is a wonderful lovely place between the jungle and a great quite beach.

Rooms are big and confortable and there are some really nice complimentary activities like: library, dvds to borrow, fitness center, beach activities

Service is quite well trainned and kind.

But because we travel a lot along the year and we know so many hotels there are some important points to get improve that makes the place to lose value from my point of view. So I´ll focus on this aspect mainly

- Management: It´s quite clear that the manager is not asian and due to this reason probably this guy do no understand about asian luxury and extreme customer satisfaction. First day when we arrived we felt dissapointed because the room we were given did not match with the images we found in google images like "Bayfront Deluxe" with direct access to the beach. So because it was late in the evening we sent an email to the reception to show about this disapointment and we went to bed until next day. During breakfast we were called by the reception asking to go there to discuss about our email. We felt very happy to see a so quick response, but when we went there they explained us that the image we have sent was for a higher category room (pavillion suite, not very descriptive about direct access to the beach) and after showing us an empty one, they offered us to change just by paying the difference. I felt they were trying to make money with my dissapointment and to be honest that was not what I was expecting. I´d have understand a kind explanation about our misunderstanding with the pics but what we really felt like unnecesary was to make us waste our time just to show us an empty room we could pay more to get. Considering the size and qualities of the room was exactly the same and just 20 meters far one from the other we did not accepted the proposal. We were going to stay there for 1 week and a satisfaced customer always spend much more money on the place so considering the management tried to make more money with our dissapointment, from that moment we tried to save our money instead of using services from the hotel and we booked the transportation back to the airport outside of the hotel for half the money, we eat outside for 1/4 the cost in the hotel, etc... that´s what a greedy decision got in exchange. Keep an empty room and unsatisfied customers.

- Price: Everything in the hotel cost 4 times the cost of the same thing outside of the hotel. That makes that mainly for dinner the restaurants are almost empy because the guest look for alternative options.

- Maintenance: It´s a pity such a wonderful place that try to be magical do not keep rooms in well mantained conditions. In our room (402) we had humidity on the ceiling, some varnish up on the floor and some broken tile at the terrace. Not what someone is waiting for a 5* Luxury Hotel!

- Room Service: They did not refill the shower gel so we had to phone every 2-3 days to get some more. This is a so basic rule that we could not understand we should be calling a few times during our stay for the same topic.

If you already booked your stay at this resort. Don´t worry it´s not that bad. You´ll enjoy your stay and we strongly recommend to walk along the beach to find about the awesome great and cheap restaurant at the end of the bay and 7eleven. That´s one of the best discoveries we made and where we really enjoyed the place.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank Spain1978-2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
franck d, General Manager at Pimalai Resort and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 22 November 2013

Dear Sir/ Madam

Thank you for posting a recent review on the Trip advisor website. I am always open to suggestions, constructive comments as well as hearing about things that were not acceptable and need to be rectified, should we wish to justify our status.

So I shall first thank you for bringing to my attention your comments on:
1) Some defects found in your room; indeed, unfortunately not noticed by our Maid Supervisor at the time the room was checked…These have been fixed now, though you are correct, they should have been picked up before you were accommodated in that room…my apologies for that.
2) Same for the amenities products not being refilled; this may be due to an unfortunate lapse in service from the maid who was allocated to the cleaning of your room. This we will address by further reviewing our training and staff performance evaluations with the aim of avoiding such incidents in the future Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention and I offer you my sincere apologies.
3) Restaurants prices? Yes certainly, we are more expensive that the local eateries on the bay; I have had that comment on a few occasions and I wish to respond by explaining our pricing structure. Our prices are probably about 25 to 30% higher (not 400% higher as you stated – as you write 4 times higher????). Larger establishments are closely monitored and you should know that there is a 7% Tax that goes directly to the government and a 10% service fee that is totally passed on to each of the 350 employees working at Pimalai; our employees & their direct family members (about 8 average per family) benefit from this, and the local economy too. Finally, I believe that if you sit in a beautifully designed & equipped restaurant, you probably can expect to pay a little bit more than at a local eatery, where comfort, hygiene, food quality & level service are left to be desired. This said, we will always try to be as competitive as we can, though to a certain limit. Please keep in mind the local eateries you are referring to, do not pay tax of course, that these, rarely pay their employees even the minimum salary required by law and do not provide any social welfare benefits (such as health care) for their employees.
Thank you once again for these constructive comments; in particular points No1 & No2.

For the rest of your comments, and I am referring to the very first long paragraph in your submission, I would be straightforward and will reject your entire story of the event. I have to say that I was astonished to read your very own & totally misleading version of what happened the following day of your arrival; as a matter of fact it is probably easy to write such fiction on a public forum while being miles away from where the event occurred….Our Front office Manager Miss “PEN”, probably one of the sweetest and personable employees you will ever encounter in the hotel service industry, and who actually took both of you to visit a Pavilion Suite, was “flabbergasted” if not “outraged” – by your very own account of the way WE (she & I) handled both of you when we offered to view another type of accommodation. (A 110 square meter Pavilion Suite with separate living room & bedroom as opposed to the 70 square meter Bayfront De Luxe you were originally booked in).

Your whole story is totally misleading; the language used is most insulting, if not defamatory, vis-à-vis my very own person. I stand by my experience of 26 years spent in the hotel/tourism trade in Asia only and, contrary to your borderline racist statement, this includes more than 20 years in Thailand and 13 years at the helm of this resort, during which the resort has received many prestigious awards. I have learned enough to control myself, and that dealing with such dubious criticism is generally not worthy of my time and comment.

Thank you once again for posting a review on Trip advisor website from which the resort has just received back-to-back Certificates of Excellence. We take all the feedbacks – positive or negative ones (I am of course referring to your points No1 & No2) – very seriously, and will use these to praise our team for a job that has been well done but with an eye to achieving service excellence in the future. Should you wish to expand on your review or bring to my attention some additional suggestions that could be useful for our improvement, you may do so and email directly to my attention at generalmanager@pimalai.com. Yours sincerely. Franck.

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Reviewed 27 October 2013

We have just returned from a truly wonderful 7 nights in this exceptional hotel celebrating our 25 wedding anniversary. We have been to many luxury resorts but this is an outstanding and special place. It is everything it says on Trips advisor a luxury paradise resort in one of the most beautiful settings in the world. The fairly long transfer from Krabi airport began with a car ride, then speed boad, then another car, which run like clockwork, we were given water and towels and the efficiency was a taste of our week ahead. We have never come across such delightful staff, without exception they were all efficient, always wanting to look after our every need with a genuine smile and the whole place is run to perfection by the very personable French GM Franck. The room was delightfully furnished with all the trimmings of a five star resort and a huge very comfortable bed! The beach was so beautiful, a long stretch of soft sand under your feet, a few sun loungers along the edge but it was quiet and peaceful. The sea was quite rough when we arrived and we borrowed body boards which was huge fun. Towards the end of our stay we took the hobby cat out when the sea became calmer. The infinity swimming pools were both absolutely stunning, hard to know which one to go to! Complimentary fresh fruit and water was brought to us throughout the day, a welcome touch. We ate in all the restaurants which were all very good, buffet breakfast outside a choice of delicious light lunches by the pool or on the beach. We absolutely loved the Seven Seas restaurant where we had outstanding meals in the open air with magnificent view of the bay below and the most treasured smiley waitresses of all. I had a very unfortunate accident (my fault) getting out of the swimming pool, this could have completely ruined my holiday as I dislocated my shoulder (yes it was agony), the staff acted quickly and I was driven immediately by the lovely, calm and reassuring hotel nurse to the local Koh Lanta hospital where I received very good treatment by a professional medical team. It was a very scary experience but I cannot fault the treatment I received, the hotel nurse translated for me and reassured me at all times. My husband and I were very relieved to return to our paradise resort where I was looked after amazingly, know one could do enough for me they were so caring and kind. The nurse reassured me he was on duty 24hours a day should I need anything. We continued our holiday and were not going to let an injury spoil it. We went to the 'Why Not Bar' on several occasions, it is a great contrast to Pimalai and great to be able to walk along the beach to a cool bar playing all our favourite music and welcoming friendly staff, my Glastonbury attending husband was in heaven! We also went to 'Moon' a restaurant along the coast where the Thai food was also very good. Hopefully we will be back next year but wont be allowed to get away without taking our university aged kids, Skype gave the secret away! Wish I was still there!

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank philippa q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
franck d, General Manager at Pimalai Resort and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 5 December 2013

Dear Philippa Q - with delay ! sorry! thank you for posting your nice review. You have highlighted a lot of things which other will find very interesting to reas - e.g.: we are not isolated and plenty to explore. The Nurse will be very pleased to read about your praises. I trust the should is now fixed!! and you are fit with festive season coming up! Hope to see you back soon here with the kids as you said! Franck

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Reviewed 27 October 2013

Pimalai was the first spot of our two week honeymoon trip in October. We only intended on spending a couple nights and continually extended night after night (lucky because it was the off season). The front desk would just laugh when we would call begging to extend.

The service was great and the staff were very helpful. We came in one day with a bottle of champagne and flowers all over our bed to congratulate us with our honeymoon. We had mimosas on the beach next morning. The location was amazing. It's a tropical paradise where we would love to "stay forever."

The breakfast is amazing with so many great options. Get there early to get a great table, enjoy a cup of coffee with the daily newsletter from the resort in tranquility.

Couldn't say more great things about the resort.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Eric S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
franck d, General Manager at Pimalai Resort and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 4 December 2013

Sawasdee krup ERIC S from Idaho -
thks for nice review; indeed some would love to stay for ever..... i have here 13 years now...
The hotel will be still here when u return & the while bay will have not changed much neither!
See you soon back here . Franck

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Reviewed 26 October 2013

I asked a Thai friend which was the best hotel that she had stayed in in Thailand and she did not hesitate to name Pimalai. On that recommendation I booked a weeks vacation there and I couldn't be more pleased that I did. Transfer to the hotel from Krabi airport was quick and painless as was the return. The hotel itself is more than a hotel, it is an architectural success story and the location is stunning. Staff all have very good English and Wai you every time they pass by. That's great but even more appealing is the quality of service that you receive from every member of staff in every part of the resort. As an example lets take relaxing on the beach where every thirty minutes or so the staff member checks your water and pours fresh iced water into your glass. The quality of breakfast, lunch and dinner is excellent with amazing variety of choice. I went on both Island excursions and thoroughly enjoyed them. Green season prices are a bargain.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled solo
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Thank RobertB10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
franck d, General Manager at Pimalai Resort and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 3 December 2013

Thank you BenTheChef from Oxford ; for your very nice review Great to read enjoy not only here but outside as well and truly said, very friendly atmosphere all around. See you again back here soon hopefully. Franck

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Reviewed 25 October 2013 via mobile

From the moment we arrived at the airport, where we had arranged to be met, Pimalai and its staff made us feel relaxed and special.
Overall: excellent breakfasts; situated on the beach, with lots of (free) things to do - surfboards, boats, netball..; several great restaurants and bars in the resort; two pools; really friendly and accommodating staff.
The resort sits really comfortably within the small town, with no apparent sense of 'them & us' - everywhere here is open and friendly, and with FABULOUS food both in the hotel and town.
A wonderful, memorable, perfectly relaxing stay.
Thank you, Pimalai!

Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
Thank benthechef
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
franck d, General Manager at Pimalai Resort and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 3 December 2013

Thks for nice review - No worries - Glad we could be of some help - especially the nurse - and great to hear of the happing ending! . Look forward seeing you back in Lanta! Franck

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Reviewed 25 October 2013

As we live in Phuket , Koh Lanta is a great place to visit. Last week was our third visit to Pimalai Resort and Spa and we took our 1 year old son.We was to stay 4 days , but on our first evening of arrival our son started to cry the whole night. So the next morning we phoned reception and asked for a local clinic, and was told not to worry as the resort has a nurse. The nurse came to our villa and diagnosed Intussusception and suggested we get our son to the hospital asap. Within 1 hour of getting to the hospital our son was in surgery or would have died. The nurse with his diagnosis , the staff helping us get to the hospital quickly saved our sons life. Pimalai has not only become one of our best paradise getaways it has become embedded within our hearts.
Even after a few days back whilst we where still in hospital the G.M. and the nurse called to ask about the progress of our Son. If have have never been here you will regret the opportunity to see the service and care you receive here. Again Pimalai is a fantastic resort that we will be back to again and again. Pimalai is an awesome resort with excellent facilities with fantastic staff , fantastic rooms and villas with views that are incredible.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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Thank travelapps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
franck d, General Manager at Pimalai Resort and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 3 December 2013

Dear Baylovers - Brisbane
Thank you for your great review - much appreciated. & thks for very well describing the location where we are & the great service provided by the employees. Trust we will see you back here sometimes in the near future. Franck

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Additional Information about Pimalai Resort and Spa

Address: 99 Moo 5, Ba Kan Tiang Beach, Ko Lanta 81150, Thailand
Phone Number:
Region: Thailand > Krabi Province > Ko Lanta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Ko Lanta
#2 Luxury Hotel in Ko Lanta
#2 Family Hotel in Ko Lanta
#2 Spa Hotel in Ko Lanta
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Ko Lanta
#4 Romantic Hotel in Ko Lanta
Price Range: £153 - £782 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Pimalai Resort and Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 121
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pimalai, nestled in a lush tropical forest with direct access to 900 meters of pristine sandy beach, is the Andaman destination to set your sights on. The beach resort combines all the right ingredients - subtle five star comforts, natural beauty, far from the crowds, with no noise except the sound of the waves sliding in and out and slowly breaking onto the sand. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pimalai Hotel Ko Lanta
Pimalai Resort Ko Lanta

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