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“Perfect Honeymoon, Perfect Relaxation!”

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Pimalai Resort and Spa
Ranked #2 of 84 Hotels in Ko Lanta
Certificate of Excellence
Melbourne
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Perfect Honeymoon, Perfect Relaxation!”
Reviewed 21 April 2009

We looked at many beachside Thai resorts which all looked lovely and varied a lot in prices. Some reviews critized Pimalai's service however we could not think of a more perfect place to begin our honeymoon. We spent 4 nights in a Deluxe ROom ('basic' option) and were delighted - these rooms are much closer to the beach than the pool villas and suits. A two minute walk leads to the bottom infinity pool, 3 minutes to the beach and bar. At all times the staff were friendly and helpful. Our room was turned down daily, and plenty of free drinking water daily. The room was spotless, spacious, extremely comfortable, tv, divine bathroom, private balcony, and the air conditioning brought relief without being too strong or drying us out.

We ate each night at Same Same but Different, a beachside restaurant about 100m to the left of the resort. This was much much cheaper and better food than offered by the resort - not that it was bad, but just overpriced and quite westernized. Much more traditional and fun at Same Same. Walk 15 mins down the island road to the left to find Drunken Sailors - noodles for $3 Australian and amazing fruit shakes!

We had a couples massage which, at around 7000 baht was pretty pricey, however it was an amazing one-off experience and we would definitely recommend it. Half an hour in a private spa in the jungle followed by a sea salt rub and an hours massage is a divine way to spend a morning! Both pools were incredible although we only visited the top pool once as it was further from our room. Half price cocktails each day on the beach bar are definitely good value.

We would return to Pimalai without hesitation and recommend it to couples, families with young children, and anyone wanted pampering and relaxation without having to think too hard (swim or read a book??). Obviously a five-star experience but we didn't feel the pressure or overbearing presence of some other places. We went to many other beach resorts after this that didn't have the cleanliness or uncrowded beaches - Pimalai is literally on its own with no beach hawkers or salesmen as are found on Samui, Phuket, Phi Phi etc. Pimalai transfered us from Krabi airport which was a sightseeing tour on its own!

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank fretsy_penguin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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UK
Level 3 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 April 2009

A stunning hotel with fantastic service.The staff were lovely and very helpful. We had a Beach Villa with shared pool and it was fantastic as 2 of the other villas we were sharing with were empty. Great facilities and right on the beach. Food was expensive and there are not many places around there to eat unless you walk down the beach to the restuarant end.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank bramblehurst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
phillip island
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 April 2009

We stayed here for our honeymoon and it was fantastic. The pool and the bar up the top of the resort is just beautiful. And if you stay here you must have a treatment at the spa. Took my husband for his first day spa adventure and he loved it. Eating there does get a bit pricey but right next door there is a restaurant "Same Same but Different" the food is amazing.
Enjoy!!!!!

Stayed May 2007, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank hatcreek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Surrey
Level 6 Contributor
91 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 April 2009

We stayed at the Pimalai for nine nights at the start of April. it was our first trip to Koh Lanta and we decided to stay at the South end of the island as its less developed and we really liked the idea of staying on a secluded bay surrounded by rainforest. We were transferred from Krabi airport by mini bus and then boat. The 2hr Transfer was swift and comfortable. Water provided on the minibus but not the boat. Arriving at the Pimalai by boat was a great experience- the views of the bay and rainforest are fantastic.

The resort itself is beautifully laid out- rooms and villas are peppered amongst beautiful trees, gardens, streams and lattern strewn pathways. The grounds are beautifully maintained and feel like an extension of the surrounding forest, which is great if like me you like the feeling of nature.

CHECK IN- charming and effortless- flower garlands, taken to reception by golf buggy, refreshing drink, cool towels etc.

ROOM- our deluxe twin was of a good size and of reasonable standard, however I suspect it might dissapoint those who equate 5 star with the latest high tech amenities and modern decor. What you are paying for here is the location and seclusion- all rooms have a terrace or balcony with fantastic views and are surrounded by trees and plants. Our room, like others had tasteful timeless teak furniture, pleasant art work, DVD and TV (old style, not flatscreen) and comfortable beds with light weight duvets. Aircon only works when the key is inserted into the slot by the door, which might annoy some, but is in keeping with the hotel's eco philosophy. Unfortunately the sliding doors in our room (204) didn't slide that smoothly but other than that everything was in good working order. The bathroom had a good shower and seperate toliet cubicle. The rubber curtains previously mentioned by reviewers were not present in our room- think they have since been replaced with glass doors. I actually liked the yellow tiling in the bathroom- its earthy and in keeping with the rainforest setting, but can see why others would prefer a more contemporary look. The bath tub wasn't great- not that deep so no chance of a luxurious soak.

SERVICE- all staff were exceptionally friendly and helpful, always smiling, greeting you and offering help. However, it was a bit hit and miss- we only got offered a turndown service 4 nights out of 9, we had to enquire about check out/transfer arrangements ourselves- the final bill and leaving instructions were put under our door sometime after 10pm on our final night even though we were departing at 7am the following morning- bit late by then! We bumped into the General Manager twice during our stay. Whilst he seemed a friendly fellow, we were somewhat surprised that neither time did he bother to ask us how our stay was or for any feedback.

FACILITIES- here the Pimalai excels- the two infinity swimming pools are fantastic, especially the one in the upper resort. The beach is glorious, relatively quiet and the best on the island compared with the others we saw. Lots of watersports available, most complementary- enjoyed snorkling and there were kayaks, sailing boats etc available for (free) use. Free internet access was available in the two libraries and bedrooms- the library by the Pool Villas is superb, the one in the main resort less so. We enjoyed a treatment programme in the Spa which whilst expensive, was worth it- very luxurious, beautiful surroundings etc. Rented a four wheel drive car one day from the hotel for 1,400 baht which compared to inflated prices for pretty much everything else seemed a bit of a bargain!

FOOD AND DRINK- the price and quality of food and drink at the Pimalai really lets the place down. Our breakfast was inclusive and fine, if a little tedious after nine days, but was definetely more 4 star than 5- for example when ordering coffee you are given a cup of coffee rather than a cafetiere. Quality of some of the hot food was variable- felt like mass catering. We ate lunch several times by the upper pool. Prices are very steep- around 350 baht for a sandwich and chips, 430 baht for a green curry or stir fry or salad plus 10% service and 7% Government tax on everything. This basically meant each dish cost around ten pounds sterling, and at those prices you expect something special and unfortunately the food wasn't. The homemade pimalai burger tasted more of bread filler than beef. The chicken and lemongrass salad was ok but really needed more chicken. The thai food was pretty good, but no better than thai food at a third of the price in other restaurants around the bay. We booked a table and ate one night at the hotel's Thai restaurant- Rice and Spice- which was a dissapointing experience. On arrival we were taken to a table at the adjacent restaurant- Baan Pimalai where breakfast and other meals were served, and just given a different menu! Spice and Rice was closed for the evening but no mention of this was made when we made the booking. We suspected this was due to lack of bookings. Food was passable other than an awful pudding- red kidney beans and jelly in a syrup- but hugely overpriced and not a patch on 'Same Same but different' along the beach. We also ate at the Seven Seas restaurant, which is touted as a 'Gourmet' experience. The food was better here- and so it should be with starters at 400-500 baht and mains at 550-1000 baht plus service and tax. Wine starts at 1400 baht a bottle (just about drinkable Chilean Sauvingon Blanc) again plus services and tax. The quality of the food and wine was nowhere close to justifying these prices. 2 starters, 2 mains, 1 desert and a bottle of their cheapest wine came to 4,400 baht, which given the current sterling exchange rate is close to a 100 GBP! - serious money! The food was bistro quality at best- scallops and sea bass were pretty good, the chocolate mousse which was meant to involve three different flavours but were all the same- less so. You could eat at any number of restaurants in Tokyo, New York or London far better for much less. Whilst I accept the costs of getting ingredients to remote locations and the inevitable premium 5 star resorts will charge, the Pimalai is just pushing it too far. To make matters worse, service whilst friendly and charming was a bit hit and miss and the restaurant was crawling with children (bit odd given the Seven Sea's billing as a gourmet, romantic destination).

We enjoyed cocktails at the beach bar during happy hour- buy one get one free. Despite the beach restaurant having a fantastic location and pleasant atmosphere no one seemed to eat there- not surprising when its BBQ night weighs in at 2,050 Baht plus service and tax (or 50 GBP) per person!

OVERALL- if the Pimalai improved its food, reduced its food and drink prices and ironed out service issues it would be a great 5 star resort. As is, its still worth going to due to its great location, facilities and fantastic beach, and represents reasonable value as long as you eat out (as a lot of Pimalai guests seemed to be doing!). Will I be going again? No, because being able to eat well at acceptable prices on resort is something I expect, but I will certainly remember the beautiful views and beach!

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Jay78uk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bedford, UK
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 April 2009

We'd been looking forward to coming here for a long time and to be honest it didn't disappoint.
The rooms were fantastic with a lovely bathroom. (Room 115). We were in the resort part of the hotel which was only a minute's walk from the white sand beach.
All the usual complimentary services were available - Pimalai lemongrass showergel being a highlight. The bit we didn't expect was the private boat ride around the island after being picked up from the airport to be welcomed on the floating jetty with flower garlands and drinks!
The breakfast was great - unlimited buffet with wide range of selection.
Two infinity pools (saltwater) - the upper one with an amazing view of the bay. Plenty of room - the resort certainly didn't feel crowded. There are plenty of sunbeds on the beach and by the pools.
Food, and particulalry wine in the resort is incredibly expensive, and to be honest you'd be better off going to the local 'Same Same' restaurant down the beach. The food is excellent, friendly staff and the price is about a quarter of that in the resort.
The cocktails at happy hour in the beachside restaurant/bar were excellent though and good value.
The Why Not bar down the other end of the beach is also good for a sunset drink right on the beach.
Overall an amazing holiday. Again, no problem for same-sex couples to share a double room.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank bedforddoctors
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 April 2009

We just returned from a four night stay at the Pimalai, and overall we thought it was OK, but not great. We upgraded to a Pavilion suite from the dismal looking Deluxe room we had originally booked on line. The suite was fine, but could use a little updating. We looked at the pool villas as well, but they felt very disconnected from the main resort and would be a bit of a production if you wanted to go to the beach during the day or go off the property at night for dinner as you need their car service to drive you back up the hill at night.The service was our biggest disappointment, very slow and not very attentive.There were several occasions where I got up from the table and went to them to ask for what we needed- more cream for our coffee, a menu, the check,etc..because we could not get the attention of any of the wait staff. The staff needs to improve their English as well.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KevinandMelanie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 April 2009

My husband and I spent 5 nights at this amazing resort. I can't say anything bad about it, and I am very surprised that some people did!

Everything was simply perfect...
Location: set in a bay that faces West, unlike many Thai resorts that have a lot of long tail boats, the Pimalai is set in a wonderful and quiet bay. I can't think of a better way of ending the day with a sunset in front of you and sipping the delicious Pimalai Sunset cocktail on the beach. Or you could take a walk up the villas and take some great pictures from the infinity pool, which again faces West. The whole resort is set in the jungle and you really feel the contact with nature. Part of the resort is on the beach, part of it on the hill, where the villas are. A bit of a pain to reach but you can ask for a lift and anyway, it's a nice walk and good exercise. What a wonderful view from the top as well!

Service: everyone is extremely kind and if their English is not great, they will try their best. Someone (who seems to complain a lot about the Pimalai for some weird reason) said they don't have many staff, not true at all. And on the beach they accompany you to the sunbeds and lay the towels for you. In the main restaurant, thanks so much to the wonderful Aom, a student on her internship. Never have I met a kinder waitress. At the beach bar

Beach: Every so often, a waitress will go around the beach with some free mini drinks (only two mouthfuls but delicious and refreshing) or pieces of fruit. You can also use the water facilities for free, including catamarans and wind surfs.

Restaurants: you have a choice of 5 different restaurants which serve delicious food, whether Thai or Western. Great choice for breakfast and again, very attentive staff. And I am a very fussy eater! The top part of the resort has its own restaurant and the view from here is breathtaking.

Rooms: good size, clean, nice bathroom with quality toiletries and in the evening they come to empty the bins and prepare your bed and leave an orchid too.

Spa: this has to be tried. Ok, it's not cheap at all, but what an experience! it's set in the jungle and it feels like a maize. You turn one corner and you find something wonderful. Excellent massage and extremely clean too. They also have a well equipped gym.

The only downside, if you can say so, is the fact that if you're looking for a crazy nightlife, then this is not the place. This place is for relaxation and romance. It's not cheap either, so people who made negative comments are probably used to all inclusive holidays. This is definitely not for that crowd, but quality and luxury come at a price.

I cannot recommend this place enough! I can only imagine that if someone had a bad experience here is because they are miserable and rude people who even the mostly kind Thais don't have time for!

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sabrina70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pimalai Resort and Spa

Property: 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 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 Spa Hotel in Ko Lanta
#2 Family Hotel in Ko Lanta
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Ko Lanta
#2 Luxury Hotel in Ko Lanta
#4 Romantic Hotel in Ko Lanta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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