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“Extraordinary resort”

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Layana Resort and Spa
Ranked #1 of 84 Hotels in Ko Lanta
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 November 2012

First time posting a review on Tripadvisor, but it's hard not to do so after a holiday as wonderful as the one we've just had at the Layana. Put simply, this may be the most beautiful and relaxing place I've ever stayed. We were there for 12 nights, but found ourselves slipping into a blissful unwinding very quickly. This is in no small part due to the particularly charming staff (even by Thai standards, the welcome and friendliness here did not cease to surprise and delight) and the consistently exquisite attention to detail. Something that really marks the Layana out is the sense of a personal touch. The general manager Stefan and his staff are frequently (though unobtrusively) ensuring that everything's in order and to your taste. We came to be very fond of numerous of the bar and restaurant staff, such as Mo and Su.

We stayed in a Garden Pavilion, which was spacious and scrupulously clean, with a view over the lush gardens. The pool and beach are similarly spotless, and whichever you choose to sunbathe on, you'll be regularly brought iced water, cool fruit skewers, and cold towels scented with lemongrass and ylang ylang. I realise I'm starting to sound like a travel brochure but it's hard not to shower this place with praise.

It's easy to do nothing but lounge in the sun, though there are some great excursions and activities if you're that way inclined. We did the Thai cookery lesson (highly recommended: it's fun and you end up making so much food you'll find you've cooked both lunch and dinner for that day); the vegetable carving lesson; and a snorkelling trip. We also availed ourselves fully of the spa, which is fantastic. There's also a somewhat cheaper Layana-run massage tent right on the beach if you fancy being pummelled looking out to sea.

Or of course there are plenty of shacks up and down the beach, along with bars and restaurants. We ate a good number of meals in the Layana itself - because the food is terrific, and though it's relatively expensive by general Thai standards it's still pretty reasonable considering the quality. For a change of scenery, and to save a few baht, we'd recommend Lym's Rice Bowl which is right next door if you head onto the beach and turn left. Great Thai standards and lovely staff. If you continue down the beach that way there are also some sweet little bars. Other local restaurants worth attention are Mr Green's (exit hotel onto the main road and turn left, then head straight and it's on the left hand side) and Three Mums (exit hotel onto road and turn right).

In the interests of balance I'll mention the one niggle to our trip. We booked through Destinology (whom I would also recommend unhesitatingly for their helpfulness and efficiency) and all the airport transfers etc were apparently arranged for us. When we landed at Krabi airport, however, after flying from London for about 15 hours, there was no sign of the Layana transfer. Exhausted and confused, we called the hotel - who claimed they had not been informed of our arrival time. I took this up with Destinology, who emphatically claim they DID make our arrival time very clear... so we'll just have to put this down to some wires getting crossed. In any case, the situation was made good very quickly; the Layana got a driver to us within about 15 minutes and off we went. The transfer back, by contrast, ran with almost absurd polish and precision: transfer by speedboat and car, and then a member of the Layana staff waited in the airport queue with us until we were checked in. I started thinking he was going to come home with us and help us unpack too.

Anyway. The upshot is that this is a glorious place, and everyone involved in its running should be proud of what they've achieved. It is a genuine oasis, and I hope we'll be back.

Room Tip: Garden pavilions are great but I had room-envy of the "Beach 1" bungalow for location righ...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Kowskazar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 17 November 2012

On our last day of a ten day stay and very sad to go, Resort is wonderful, staff are very attentive could not do enough for us (e.g. remembering coffee / tea preferences etc at breakfast). Resort is very relaxing and perfect to chill out and get away from it all (for those who can't switch off there is complementary Wi-Fi throughout the rooms / resort). Hotel is on a lovely white unspoilt beach (which you also arrive onto by "speed boat" weather / tide permitting). Lovely for a morning / late evening walk before it gets too hot!

The organised trips from the resort are excellent, we did the Phi Phi Island snorkelling trip (approx £55pp) which was fantastic and good value for money - lunch and drinks included. Jungle walk was interesting and not too hard! Few tree trunks to get over! Jimmy (Excursion Manager) was very helpful with advice.

Sunsets were lovely at the Sundowners bar - happy hour is mostly cocktails and beer. (would really like to see wine included which would be the only small criticism of the resort) We ate in the hotel (Tides Restaurant) quite a few nights food was excellent, you get what you pay for! There are also other beach style restaurants along the beach of a good standard and worth a try.

My husband and I had some Spa treatments while here, which were very relaxing and we enjoyed them, however the experience will be better once the new Spa opens (approx late Nov 12) currently the Spa is operating out of a temporary location.

Housekeeping of a very high standard - even putting away clothes / shopping etc and thoroughly cleaning the room each day.

Pool area was lovely to cool off in and pool attendants and service was very good.
For some fun take a Tuk Tuk (50 Baht pp) into nearby Ban Saladan for some shopping at the tourist markets (haggle hard!)

All in all would definitely recommend a stay here and we would seriously consider a return visit.

Room Tip: Request Garden View Room
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  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank nataliejwalsh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 November 2012

We spent a wonderful time in a very private place. Thanks to the friendly staff, making our honeymoon to the best holidays ever. Especially the organized trips were very exiting. Food and room perfect. Spa - for the moment being rebuild - was wonderful.

Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
5  Thank reisefux1408
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 November 2012

Fanatastic staff, allbriefed on clients before you arrive. Numbers of excellent staff ensure tip top service. I timed them when pressing the button by my lounger by the pool for service and never more than 40 seconds before somebody appeared. Restaurant excellent and trips very professinaly organised. A must stay in this part of the world

Room Tip: Very good value out of season, rained one day out of nine.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Guinness047
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 November 2012

We stayed at this resort because of a deal while they were renovating and got an extremely good deal. The island itself is a little out of the way making it difficult to travel to and from. This is a luxury resort I am often surprised when reviewers complain about price for food. If you are want to go cheap than go somewhere cheap or stay within the city where there are a lot of choices.

The resort stay was a wonderful stop over for our honeymoon. The staff was wonderful and made us feel very welcome. They pool and beach area is also very picturesque. The restaurant which overlooks the beach making a romantic eating experience. The restaurant also has good selections of thai food and other cuisines. We signed up for a private cooking class where we were able to work with the executive chef in making a couple of our favourite thai dishes. I recommend you to sign up if you have some cooking experience. if you do not, have cooking experience, you will find it difficult.

We highly recommend using the spa during your stay. This resort is a great place to relax, get tanned, and experience romance.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Doris L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 November 2012

We stayed here for 5 days as part of a 4,week break travelling around Thailand as a couple in March 2012. The service and rooms here are superb and you will be treated like special guests where nothing is too much trouble .

The restaurant overlooks the beach and we ate every meal in the hotel and all were of an excellent standard. The setting for a romantic break is second to none and we would rate this hotel as one of the finest on our tour of 11 4 or 5 star hotels around Thailand.

Don't miss the hotels Buffet evenings which are superb and although expensive for Thailand , they are still great value and simply delicious with unlimited seafood and steaks as well as a stunning selection of other dishes.

This was a hotel we will definitely be returning to and would have no hesitation in offering our highest recommendation ...only 1 tip ..the beds are hard but we didn't find out until the last night that you can request a topper and this made all the difference !!

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank YUMMYZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 November 2012

our two weeks spent at layana were very relaxing which was the sole objective of the trip. it was quite a long trip to get there, flying into krabi airport before being picked up by the resort bus which I had booked a few days before arrival. The journey was a couple of hours including two short ferry crossings.

the resort itself is beautiful. it didn't possess the same 'wow' factor that we were expecting given the topspot enjoyed when selecting our holiday destination on tripadvisor, or other places I have visited for similar holidays gave us. however, everything functions well enough and the layout and setting is beautiful.

the room is very clean and modern. no real frills to it. it all works well and is pleasantly designed with simple clean interiors and a comfortable, large bed (complete with pillow menu).

there is restaurant at the resort with a decent variety of dishes. price wise, we felt was ok for a 5 star resort. we had most meals at the hotel mainly because there didn't seem to be a great deal going on in close proximity (we were there at the end of the off-season so, I don't think many places hadn't opened for business). one evening, we did go to another luxury hotel on a hillside for dinner and were glad that we were staying at Layana.

Staff were generally very lovely people. We were served quite often by a young lady called Mo who is an absolute star! Some of the staff seemed slightly nervous - perhaps about their English or doing things wrong, but I think this is likely to have been caused by some guests being a bit intolerant and rude which we witnessed. The day staff certainly seemed a lot friendlier and willing to help than the evening crew. Not sure why that was the case.

We had a cooking class with and learned to make a few thai dishes (salad, tom-yum soup, curries...) which was a lot of fun and informative. This included a certificate and cookbook which will be put to good use.

We went for the two-for-one spa treatment which is available on fridays. my full body massage was very relaxing, but my partners facial was below par.

the beach and the sea are lovely to sunbathe and the sea is a great temperature to swim. there weren't many people when we went (end oct) which is quite nice. and even when there was a sudden burst of guests, it still doesn't feel any fuller.

i'd definitely go during the non-rainy season. when it chucks it down, there's not a lot you can do but sit it out - albeit in lovely surroundings.

overall, this is a great resort and you can't really go too wrong apart from the weather - in which case you just avoid the rainy season.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank ForeverHoliday123
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

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 Romantic Hotel in Ko Lanta
#1 Spa Hotel in Ko Lanta
#1 Luxury Hotel in Ko Lanta
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Ko Lanta
#6 Family Hotel in Ko Lanta
Price Range: £141 - £408 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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