We arrived at the Layana slightly unsure of what to expect. The last time we were there was less than a year ago, and it was then under the ownership of the very special Bob and Maggie who had made the Layana the special place it is.
There was again someone to great us on arrival, but it wasn't the owner/ general manager of the hotel as before. The experience of being greeted by the main man does make you feel special, and Bob was brilliant at making every single guest feel that way. Bob would tell you that nothing would be a problem, and just go and see him if you ever had any. It could not have been more different with the new general manager who walked around as if he was the only one with the problem.
Besides that slight irritation, the vast majority of the staff are the same as when Bob and Maggie where there and they are absolutely brilliant. What makes the Layana so special is the experience created by the people who work there. If the new managers ignore this and think that they know how to run a hotel better than the multi-award winning Bob and Maggie did they may end up with a problem. If they change it any more than they already have then it will cease to be the Layana as the previous quests know it. The hotel being so special ensured quest returned year after year. If these new managers think they can operate it like the other hotels they own in Bangkok and Phuket then it will turn into them and become just 'an ordinary' hotel.
On the plus side the new owners are starting a complete refurbishment program which some areas of the hotel are starting to need.
When speaking to other quests who were there for the first time they still all loved it, with the most important factor being the service everytime. The Layana is still a quality hotel but it just isn't as special as it was before.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Layana Resort & Spa is nestled on Koh Lanta Yai Island in Mu Koh Lanta National Park. The park is a marine archipelago, home to verdant tropical rainforests and undersea kingdoms of colourful coral rich in natural marine diversity. The resort enjoys a spectacular beachfront location on a 3-kilometer long white sand beach, situated about 2 hours south of Krabi International Airport. Environmentally-conscious design throughout the property results in a simple and elegant Thai atmosphere; alfresco architecture combining with contemporary design to provide an open, cool and natural feel. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Layana Hotel Ko Lanta
- Layana Ko Lanta