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“Superb stay” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Pimalai Resort and Spa

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Pimalai Resort and Spa
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   99 Moo 5, Ba Kan Tiang Beach, Ko Lanta 81150, Thailand   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 79 hotels in Ko Lanta
Oxford, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Superb stay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2013

This is the second time we have visited Pimalai, the last time we came, 2 years, I also reviewed the resort afterwards, see my other review for more. Not much to add, except that the resort is still in excellent condition and that the service levels are still tip-top. This time, as last, we booked through Andaman Sky (who again got us a very low price, well, the price was not low, except when compared to other online sources we investigated) as part of a multiple destination holiday - this time we also went to Koh Yao Noi and to Ao Nang. Again our agent got us the best 2 bedroom pool villa at Pimalai, well it seems to be that way to us as it is pretty near the resort's upper breakfast room and upper pool, so no need to hang around waiting for buggy rides. The view from our villa was great too - not another building in sight, just jungle and sea, particularly great at sunset, which is magnificent here.

Room Tip: Book with Andaman Sky (you can find them on google easily enough), they are the experts on this reso...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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Manila, Philippines
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

My partner and I recently came from a 5-day, 4-night stay at the Pimalai, with a booking in one of the Pool Villas. Nestled on a hill, the Pool Villas are surrounded by lush greenery and offer a breathtaking view of the beach, the horizon and the sunset.
The spacious one-bedroom pool villa has two showers and toilets, a cozy living room, an impressive four-poster bed, its own saltwater pool,and even a small kitchen, if you fancy doing your own cooking (the resort will gladly go to the market for you for anything you might need). But cooking won't be really be necessary with the great choices offered in the resort's various restaurants. I'm vegetarian and found enough vegetarian dishes to my liking. The resort's executive chef even came up with a special salad dish for me one time for dinner at Rak Talay, the resort's beachside restaurant.
What probably made our stay at the Pimalai extra-special is their efficient staff. Everyone, from the representative at the airport to the driver to the restaurant wait staff to the chefs to the general manager were very friendly, attentive and attuned to the needs of their guests. I ordered room service one night and the operator noticed, over the phone, that I was coughing; she then sent up a pot of hot water, lemon and honey along with the food I ordered to help with my cough. For breakfast each morning we were there, I would always order a bowl of miso soup. By the third or fourth morning, the chefs already knew to bring a bowl to my table even without being asked. That kind of extra service, is what separates a great hotel/resort from a good one.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2013 via mobile

My wife and four children have just returned from a week at Pimalai and in a word, heaven! This was the 3rd time my wife and I have visited Pimalai, the first time 10 years ago, then 7.5 years ago for our honeymoon and now with our four children.

We weren't sure what to expect coming with small kids after only visiting as a couple. We stayed in a pool villa which sits high on the hill with stunning views out over jungle and the Andaman sea over the infinity edged private pool. The rooms very large and well furnished with excellent 4 poster beds, we highly recommend the pool villas.

Everything about Pimalai is amazing, the friendly service of all the staff intent on making your stay fabulous, the natural setting with the most spectacular views, excellent spa, beautiful pools and awesome food! I know it sounds like I'm raving, and that's because I am. We love everything about this resort, we will definitely be back for a forth visit.

Tip - make sure you organize the private transfer from krabi airport. It can be quite a trip to get to pimalai but the private transfer makes it enjoyable.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Bangkok, Thailand
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2013

Getting here takes quite some time for around 2 hours (1 hour something for a car ride and the rest on a boat ride), but it's worth it after I woke up in the next morning.

Took a pool villa on the hillside. The view is superb. The open bathroom with a partition from the pool is another remark. Feels like you are taking a shower up in the air when opening the window for the sea view.

Some drawback is on the restaurant on the higher level that they have a dress code. Explained to the manager that taking a long way to a resort so far away in Koh Lanta isn't easy and we should forget about something formal. Anyway, the Thai restaurant in the lower level is pretty good for dinner though.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2013

For us Pimalai was perfect in every way.

Following a pleasant private transfer (approximately 2 hours via road and 2 car ferries from the Krabi Airport), we arrived at the Pimalai Resort to be greeted with a heartfelt ‘Sawatdee’, warm smiles and the gorgeous perfume of an orchid lei placed around our necks. After a refreshing cool drink we were shown to our beautiful villa at the top of the mountain. The view from our private pool deck was amazing and the first thought that popped to mind was “yep, we can definitely get used to this”, and that we did. For the next two weeks we woke to this gorgeous view and at the end of each day enjoyed a cool relaxing drink while watching the most vibrant sunsets imaginable.

Our stay was in villa 810/811, a two bedroom private pool villa that we shared with our two teenage children and which we can definitely recommend. The design of the bedrooms and living areas of the villa are all separate dwellings with their own outside entrances from within your private courtyard. While this worked for us, is should be noted that it may not be the perfect sleeping arrangement if travelling with very young children. The villa was cleaned by lovely house-keeping staff every mid-morning and again tidied in the evening, when the beds were turned down. There were always fresh flowers in every room and complementary fresh fruit left in our living room. Complementary bottled water was also supplied in the villa for the duration of our stay.

The resort itself is beautifully laid out. The hillside private pool villas besides having fantastic views are very private. Yes it is true it is an uphill/downhill walk but we did not find this a bother (when all you’re doing is eating and lazing, a little walk is a positive) – if you are feeling particularly lazy however, you may always ask for a car to take you to your resort destination.

Many people warn of travelling to Thailand in the low or monsoon season, but in all honesty, during our two week stay we only had three partially overcast days with one night and a couple of daytime hours of rain. The temperatures were mostly around 32C with pleasant sea breezes. The bonus of travelling at this time, besides cheaper accommodation, are the lack of crowds; there were times we felt like Pimalai was our own private resort :) which also made for very prompt service – which was at all times impeccable.

All the restaurants at the resort were lovely. ‘The Seven Seas’ with its perfect view, the beach restaurant ‘Rak Talay’, ‘The Banyan Tree’ or by night the ‘Spice and Rice’ (our favourite for authentic Thai) were all serviced by very hospitable staff. Reading ‘The Tide Post’ (Pimalai’s Blog) every morning over breakfast was very enjoyable, with its wealth of local information and laid-back humour. Other nice gestures were the frequent complementary water refills and fruit platters offered around the two main pools and the beach (the little things that count).

When not lazing, we enjoyed a snorkelling day trip around the islands with a lovely onboard BBQ, an Elephant Safari ride (both booked through Pimalai) and frequent free beach activities such as volleyball, kayaking and bodyboarding. The tennis, badminton and basketball courts, croquet, table-tennis and a gym were other activities which kept the family amused.

We immensely enjoyed the occasional visit from the very cheeky monkeys – great photo opportunity, as well as the occasional and very relaxing massage at the Pimalai Spa - also an activity not to be missed :)

We had a fantastic holiday and recommend Pimalai wholeheartedly. Thank you to all the Pimalai staff for the happy memories and an especially big thank you for the surprise birthday cake to celebrate a very special and memorable birthday.

Room Tip: Hilltop Private pool Villas have great views.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2013

Like marcsanderson below we also went and booked through andaman sky adventures after our son found them for us on the internet, we didn't have the luxury of a pool villa, but we were well pleased with our Deluxe, especially seeing as we got an upstairs one with a view of the sea, nice one to our agent, who also got us a low price (well, it wasn't as if it was exactly cheap, but what do you expect if you want to lap up the luxury in a posh resort)? Room had all mod cons too and was very comfy, though I could say that I thought the toned-down paint colours everywhere were a bit boring, I like a more modern hotel room with more colourful walls and more of a steel and chrome up-to-the-minute feel, I don't like to get behind the times. But I don't want to sound like I'm moaning 'cos i ain't, this is a great resort and spa and we would go back in a jiffy.

Favourite thing about this hotel and spa was the location, to the south end of Kantiang beach, in the middle of the beach there's wasn't most of the time at least anybody else there aside from us and nobody at all in the evenings when we went for our evening walk, and there aren't any buildings on it either, very beautiful and scenically imposing beach, maybe the best one i've stayed at if you take into account the luxurious atmosphere and top-of-the-line luxury about staying at a top 5 star resort like Pimalai.

Management were nice and friendly too, not stuck up like some places I've been, expecting you to dress up when on holiday and paying through the nose. Staff were just lovely, couldn't say as I've ever been treated better anywhere else, made us feel like royalty they did. This resort and spa stay was a present from our eldest lad Gary, thanks to him too for a great stay.

Room Tip: Get a Deluxe with a view, for more about which are the best see my description above.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2013

The "resort"
-The New Year's party consisted on a band on stage and some lovely Thai dances that we could not see, too low staged, and a lousy firework! Food was great, really great but what a lousy party that was! Boring! no atmosphere, the main manager introduced the Thai dancers and that was that!
-The beach was a huge disappointment, the sand did not feel nice at all, at low tide there is a smell and at high tide it is not pleasant to swim because of the rocks it has. The shops and restaurants nearby have something resembling of shabby shacks where people sip a beer in the dark hiding from the sun during the day, not my cup of tea! There is a Seven Eleven that only takes cash, would not accept credit cards but at a cash point right outside, what they sell are beers, eventually one bottle of wine, snacks, biscuits and crisp, and beers again!
-Serious lack of entertainment and communication at the Pimalai, we were left pretty much on our own during our whole stay. To our experience 5* resorts organise drinks on new arrivals, cooking lessons, video/lectures of educational aim e.g nature, animals living there etc..-.we had none of those and it was Christmas seasons after all! So as the days went by we got bored and bored and more bored and you could see that on other people faces too, young and older! The weather was not that great at times and there was nothing to do in surrounding areas of the hotel and nothing organised by the resort either, even trying to rent a dvd was not easy, there was no one in the library the 2 mornings we went there, when asking something there we were swiftly directed to upstairs reception! One day we tried to hire a car, at reception, and were told that the hotel had no cars to rent, only to hear that the couple seating right next to us, had just rented one the very same minute with another hostess standing right beside our hostess...speechless the 4 of us were and so was our hostess! Lost in translation can be ridiculously funny! So we went to the village and rented some motorbikes ourselves.
-Catering in all was absolutely great, despite we had paid for half board (they simply run out of the most expensive food on the menu presented to never get it ever again...), best was the restaurant on on the top of the hill with its nice pool with splendid views of the bay/beach. Buffets in general are fresh, very nice indeed, good choice, the catering staff are the only decent english speaking people in the resort with the eventual cute mistakes they make like you ask for some water and you get the bill or some bread, I find it sweet and lovely, we had good laugh with some catering staff members.
-The resort has 3 levels and the downstairs swimming pool was nice and the upstairs one was superb, amazing sunsets from it.
-The gym was ok, nothing amazing a few dated machines, not good for a 5*, located at the top of the resort so be prepared to make time for going up and down with the buggies otherwise you'll miss breakfast.
-No refill of our toiletries shampoo, soap during our whole stay (yes we asked and we got a bar of soap days after days so we gave up on that one).
-Balconies lights are kept to a strict minimum so you cannot enjoy a nice drink in the evening with friends on them because you can't see anything on them.
-Massage was not to a professional level at all, expensive skin friction I'd say, quite appalling but I felt bad for my masseuse, she was trying hard.
-No toilet near by the beach so it is quite steep and far to get up the stairs,
-No music on the beach, felt like a retirement home!
-The Pimalai is built on a hill so you need a have a buggy (not electric so not that green/ecology friendly) to go up and down.
-You can use their bikes, that is great.
-2 nice and spacious tennis courts.
-The gardens are greatly looked after, it is most likely to be the most prestigious resort in the island.

The Island
-We visited the island with our rented motorbikes for a day, this took us just a few hours in the afternoon. We saw some rubber forests, water fall but we did not get to it due to the unappealing road that was leading to it, then we saw a lovely group of monkeys crossing the road, and that was the ones and only highlights of the whole island during our day, the rest is countryside and houses in quite poor condition.
The nicest areas of the island with views or nice beach have been used by resorts or houses built around them so you can see them better I guess from a boat but you wont be able to access it by road. On our way we also saw some outdoor muslim clothes markets with praying chants in the back ground that I could hear sometime during the day from the hotel. The island seems to be mixed with muslims and buddhists, in other places we have been in Thailand, there were mostly predominant Buddhists.
-You can hire a boat in the village nearby and go to Phi Phi island etc...but their time table did not match with ours and the weather, we've done all that before in a previous trip anyway.

-Kraby was not an island for us, not much to see, too run down for us, no shops or proper infrastructure nearby the hotel, or even in the island, as the result we ended up relying on the Pimalai for entertainment but we feel to have been let down by them, we have paid plenty thou and The Pimalai made sure that everything was fully duly paid for...the update room we had was not due to them but to our lovely tour operator Trailfinder/london, they even called us on the 1st of Jan to check if all was then okay, we have been using them for many years. (Our tour operator had to step in to sort out the New Year meal party and they also managed to get us a lovely room with great views of the bay, thanks to Trailfinder London, we had previously refused 2 rooms, one was facing a tree the other one a drive way. We did not fly from London to be starring at a tree my whole holiday, especially when the resort was not full at all!)
-I now have cancelled our membership with Small Luxury Hotel as Pimalai did not accept it for an upgrade as we did not book with them!

Before our trip we spend a week in Cambodia and we will always remember fondly our 2012 Christmas there, the food, the people, it was a great experience. However we will remember the most boring New Year Eve we had in our life. We should have stayed in Cambodia for the all duration of our asian trip! Not worth the miles for us!

In all The Pimalai was too expensive for what we got, we flew from London then Bangkok and we expected 5* if we were being charged 5*, it felt like a 4* hotel thou but not a 5*resort, I know the main manager will argue that the Pimalai is a place to rest, yes that's fine but this does not excuse him for providing activities for the guests so they can decide whether or not they will participate. Resorts are social places, it is a place where we can meet new people from all background and classes and this can only enrich our life. You seriously need to send your resort manager to creative workshops or to other 5* resort to show him how it's done. The Maldives resort like the Kurumba (4*) is a great example, the manager there is a french girl Delphine and knows how to get people together, one year we met people from the ONU and we had a ball there, great conversations, I also got the greatest massage i've ever had there, also Conrad Rangali are the best for customers service we have found so far.. We won't return to Kraby and the Pimalai!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Pimalai Resort and Spa

Address: 99 Moo 5, Ba Kan Tiang Beach, Ko Lanta 81150, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Krabi Province > Ko Lanta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Ko Lanta
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Ko Lanta
#2 Family Hotel in Ko Lanta
#2 Spa 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*
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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