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“Thai Trip Act 3”

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Layana Resort and Spa
Ranked #1 of 84 Hotels in Ko Lanta
Certificate of Excellence
MK/UK
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Thai Trip Act 3”
Reviewed 23 October 2011

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!

Room Tip: Go for a Beach Suite - if you can afford it!
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Vickyvoyager
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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New York City, New York
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 October 2011

I read all the reviews here prior to booking a four night stay at Layana, and my wife and I can now both vouch for the top flight service, gorgeous rooms, and just about every other good thing written about the resort. Some tips--book a ride from Krabi airport with the hotel, since you have to ride two ferries to get there. We had a couples massage at the resort and it was definitely a step up from the massages we tried at other spots in Ko Lanta (if also a bit pricier). Food at resort restaurant is solid, but we preferred to venture out and try other places in town. Don't be afraid to book excursions through hotel, since they use the same companies you would be looking up online anyway (and there is no markup either). This was our first stay in a child-free resort and it definitely made for a nicer, more romantic setting. All in all, a fantastic stay and memorable for all the right reasons. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank dukeybootie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oslo, Norway
Level 6 Contributor
68 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1,606 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 October 2011

After staying two weeks at Layana Resort and Spa, I am trying to figure out how to write a review which is not just a copy of all the other "excellent" reviews. Because this hotel is without doubt excellent.

From the airport to Layana.
We booked our transport from the hotel. We paid 3200 bath for the two of us. The trip took us about two hours, and we had to use two ferries.

The welcome
We were welcomed by the very friendly general manager. He gave us a small lecture about the hotel and the area. Later during our stay we had many nice chats with him and he contributed greatly to make our stay even better. Job well done!

The lobby
I was in the lobby two times during our two weeks stay. There are two reasons for this. The first is that the lobby building is much like a gate to paradise. After passing through it there is no reason to go back.
The second reason is that everything at Layana functions like clockwork. I never felt the need to call the front desk to make any complaints.

The rooms
11 separate two-story units, each have four four guest rooms. We stayed at unit 11, room 54. It was beautiful! Very stylish and with all the amenities. Housekeeping was quick and very thorough.

Pool and restaurant
The pool area is fabulous. Quiet and very relaxing. We really enjoyed that this hotel is for adults only.
Value for money at the Tides restaurant is extremely good! Not to forget the quality of the food and drinks. Marvelous!
Breakfast was as good one can expect at a hotel of this standard. Just perfect!

I guess that my girlfriend and me are average consumers. As an example I can tell you that we ate all of our meals at the Tides restaurant; breakfast, lunch and dinner (three courses with one or two glasses of wine each). After 14 days our grand total was about 50 000 baths - included five spa treatments. Extremely good value for money compared to lots of other hotels.

The spa
Very cheap, but still professional treatments. For 1000-1500 baths you will get up to 90 minutes of treatment. But make sure that you are very specific about your needs. Due to some communication problems I got almost 90 minutes of foot massage when I really needed shoulder and neck massage.

Wi fi
Very good (and free of charge). Worked well all over the premises.

The gym
Small, but good enough. I missed a treadmill to run on.

The area outside of the hotel
Not worth a closer look. If I ever go back to Koh Lanta it would be because of Layana and not the scenery or the surroundings. I run a lot and on my 10 kilometer out and return runs I did not see one thing that made me heart jump of excitement. There are some shops and restaurants but many of them look rather shabby, some of them are not more than a tin shed.
If you appreciate the style and comforts of a hotel like Layana Resort and Spa, then you will not find one thing to like outside of the hotel premises.
The scenery of Koh Lanta is not much to see either. My advice is to hire a boat and concentrate about the surrounding islands.

What we will remember the most
The tuesday thai buffet and wine tasting. Free wine tasting before dinner. Most of the guests and the GM met by the pool. Really nice and a great opportunity to get to know each other.

The service
Very effective and always with a smile. Once I was given the wrong starter and main course. As an apology we were given the whole meal for free! I have never experienced anything like it. Fantastic!
The weather was not the best during our stay. One day it rained continuously. As a compensation the hotel gave us a 1000 bath discount! It made our day so much better, not for the money, but for the understanding. We really felt taken care of!

A tip
If you like to run as I do, you will maybe be disappointed to discover that there is no treadmill in the gym. However, the small road that goes around the premises, measures 400 meters (pluss minus a few feet). 25 passings and you will have your 10 K run:).

Conclusion
If you do not mind the price - which by all standards gives you extremely good value for your hard earned money - then you would be committing a huge mistake if you chose not to live at Layana resort and spa when visiting Koh Lanta. You will have the time of your life!

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Imedvindfranord
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 October 2011

My wife and I spent seven great nights in Layana. Of our three week holiday to Thailand comprising Phuket, Ko Lanta and Bangkok, Layana in Ko Lanta was easily the most warmly remembered.

To start: We had a wonderful entrance from the front gate along a beautifully maintained landscaped area, followed by a warm and memorable greeting from staff at reception, complete with flowers, cold wraps and delicious drinks, then a tour of facilities.

Our room: Great set up with flowers and folded towels that looked fantastic.

The food: Great food in restaurant, we ate in town a fair bit, but the food in the restaurant when we did eat there was second to none.

The staff: Beautiful and very friendly.

Our highlight: We hired a scooter and really get to see the island. We did this every day and visited restaurants, elephant tours, caves, secluded beaches, waterfalls, rainforest all around the island. The safest place to hire a scooter - much safer than Phuket.

Telling event: My wife needed a vaccination from Rabies after being bitten by a monkey at monkey beach on Phi Phi Island, prior to our arrival (women especially should be wary of these monkeys - they seem to be more aggressive to women than men). Upon arrival, we were greatly helped by staff immediately to travel to multiple local clinics (who didn't speak english) to find one that could provide a vaccination. Once there, hotel staff acted as interpreters for us, as we did not speak the local language. They did this multiple times throughout our stay, without extra charge, throughout the duration of our stay, as multiple vaccinations were required.

A massive thanks to Kanin especially.

The one downfall - Coming from the Gold Coast in Australia, we have pristine beaches. The beaches and creeks in Ko Lanta generally are littered with significant debris and rubbish. I feel the hotels on Ko Lanta should join forces to improve this collective problem.

In all, I completely recommend Layana Resort in Ko Lanta.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Luke R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St Helier, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 October 2011

my freinds stay there and love the place even going so far as to name their lovely daughter after it and were granted special permiton for her to stay all though children arent allowed otherwise .i stay up the beach at diamond sand 800 to a 1000 bht a nite we used to meet on the beach as visits arent top of their agenda preferring quite rightly privacey for their clients but you are allowed in to see your freinds if you have a meal or drinks at sky high prices this also was a burden to the grand parents on a simaler budget to myself so we used to dine at an amazeing restaront ten minutes up the beach called the funky fish which served amazeing indian and thai food so if you have freinds staying there be prepaired to meet elsewhere

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank dobin_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
135 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 238 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 September 2011

We've become very wary of TA reviews these days. There is so much corruption of the ratings, mostly by people with just one or two reviews (ie owners writing their own reports), so digging deep and studying the reviews left by people with 10 or more reviews, this hotel has a big thumbs up. We booked it in August and got a great package rate through their own website.

Despite it being low season, every day of the week we stayed the weather was perfect. The hotel running around 50-60% occupancy, it wasn't too crowded either. Within a day or two we got to know the staff and they remembered our names, drinks choices etc and became real friends.

We could find nothing wrong. This really is a delightful place and the perfect place to enjoy a romantic break with a significant other. The food, the staff, the location, the acitivities, the spa, the pool, the rooms, the service, the prices .. everything, perfect! Thank you Layana!

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank SphereHopper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Blenheim, New Zealand
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 September 2011

We have just return from 8 days staying at this wonderful hotel and Island. We stay during what was regarded as the low season, as the weather was suppost to be not the best, but during our stay we only have 20mins of rain during the day. The rest of the time was perfect, sunny, hot, nice cooling brezze, about 5-10knts. And there were not many people around..yes a few of the tourist attractions may not have been operating, but that only made things better for us as there was no badagering to buy producst/services. The service from staff was outstanding, the bed fold down service at night with nice little baskets with a biscut on pillows and a bottle of water on the nightstand, just capped of fantastic days. We did go out a couple of nights to try other restaurants, and wished that we hadn't as none could compair with the standard and low cost of the in house dinning. Happy hour (2hours) was great as it was timed with sunset and then lasted to the start of dinner. Cocktails watching a great Thai sunset over the ocean, while enjoying the free snaxs was great. Althought the onshore brezze resulted in a wee bit of rubbish being washed up on the beach, the staff were out everyday doing the best to keep the beach spotless.
The pool was long enough to swim laps if you wanted, and the gym facilities were good. The Tuesday wine tasting and canapes was a bonus, (free drinks and fantactic tasteing canapes)
The standard of this resort was set from the start with the Managering personally greeting all guests and both him and the other senior management being visable during the day (not in your face) but once a day checking that everything was goig well. Then again personally checking that you enjoyed you stay when departing.
As with all the other reviews of Layana only re-inforce why this hotel is rated #1, And I would say better than any other resort/hotel I have stayed out in thed last four trips to Thailand, normally staying at two/three areas each trip. We will be back.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Martyn B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Layana Resort and Spa

Property: Layana Resort and Spa
Address: 272 Moo 3 Phra-Ae Beach | Saladan, Ko Lanta 81150, Thailand
Phone Number:
Region: Thailand > Krabi Province > Ko Lanta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Ko Lanta
#1 Spa Hotel in Ko Lanta
#1 Romantic Hotel in Ko Lanta
#1 Luxury Hotel in Ko Lanta
#6 Family Hotel in Ko Lanta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Layana Resort and Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 57
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

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