We had read the rave reviews of Layana on TA and also had it highly recommended by friends, so intended it to be the final glorious highlight of a three centre holiday to Thailand. But we found it vaguely disappointing - maybe our expectations were too high! There's nothing wrong with Layana except for its blandness and lack of any real 'wow' factor. It's reached by an unprepossessing tree-lined alleyway. The Reception area is pleasant and being greeted with cool drinks and flower garlands, a personal welcome from the (new) Manager and being given a tour of the grounds before going to our room was good. Apart from six (very expensive) suites all the rooms are in 'cell blocks' of four. Although spotlessly clean the decor was 'corporate cream' with no particular indication that it was Thailand - which is odd as the resort was privately owned until about five months ago. The walls are so thin you can hear the next door neighbours breathing and woe betide if you have heavy footed residents on the floor above you - as we did - who clumped around, dragged chairs about and slammed drawers open and shut at all hours! The rooms aren't particularly big, though adequate; the shower cubicle is small and the shower not particularly powerful; the sunken bath was cute but as it didn't 'bubble' seemed a bit pointless; there's no outside sala - just a small balcony area with two modernistic, uncomfortable chairs and no outlook - the only view being what appeared to be a golf club fairway with a few haphazardly planted palm trees - the illusion being compounded by the fact that the staff drive around in golf buggies. The Beach Suites are lovely (we were given one as our 'courtesy room' on our last day) but the supplement makes them very pricey; there are only three and they would be considered 'starter level' in many other resorts. The beach is superb - two kilometers of glorious sand although the sea can be rough and not advisable for those who aren't reasonably good swimmers. We were surprised that there were no sun loungers there when we arrived although they were put out in readiness for the high season two days before we left. The pool is 'saline', perfect temperature and lovely to swim in but again is unimaginative - just an oblong with a few palm trees around the edge. We liked the pristine towels on the sun loungers; the frequently replenished cold water; chilled towels and iced pineapple; the 'call button' to summon a waiter if we wanted a drink and the 'child free' ambiance. The staff, without exception, were superb, friendly and professional and a credit to the resort. The Breakfast Buffet had wide choice and the service was prompt - although the dirty plates weren't always cleared away very quickly.The restaurant menu has a variety of Thai and European dishes the food was quite good and not too expensive. However, if you want a table by the beach remember to book it or you'll find yourself relegated to the 'poor relations' table next to the kitchen! The local village, Saladan, is only five km away (50 baht per person in a taxi) and has a lot of romantic fish restaurants built on piers over the water with the day's catch displayed on ice outside. We tried the Black Pearl which was inexpensive and friendly with excellent food! To sum up - it was fine, nice place, wonderful staff, we enjoyed our stay but felt there was no real character or heart in this resort - it was all too 'manicured' and artificial - we have stayed in places which gave us much more of a thrill!
- 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