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.
- 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