We arrived for our 8 night stay at Layana Resort & Spa only to find the driver was late for the airport pickup. The arrivals hall had cleared out and no sign of the driver, we went to the information counter and they paged him over the intercom. About 30 minutes later the driver appeared and said sorry I was waiting downstairs – why would you wait downstairs and not at the arrivals area where all the other drivers were waiting. Anyhow apart from that it was a comfortable ride to the hotel – approx. 2 hours. We were picked up in a black luxury minivan that was very comfortable. It had a pop up TV and a glove box with some old DVD movies in it. We were also provided with a cold face towel and water.
We had read on other reviews that you go on 2 ferries, however we didn’t realize that they were car transport ferries, you don’t actually leave the minivan, the driver just drives the van on and off a couple of barges as you hop between a couple of islands.
For check in our special request was ‘on a high floor as I am a light sleeper’ so we are put on a high floor right next to the pool (block 7) – not exactly a quiet area for a light sleeper, we are told this is the best positioned garden view room. Needless to say we were constantly woken in the morning by the gardeners sweeping the pathways, the phone ringing at the dive and leisure center and worst of all the cleaners coming to clean the room next door – bang, clank, chatter, giggle giggle they were so loud as we were sleeping. Our room should not have been called a garden view room it should have been called a pool view room – we could see everyone at the pool along with ocean glimpses. We raised the issue of the noisy gardeners with Ned halfway through our stay and he assured us that it would be taken care of, yet it continued to occur. On the 2nd last night we enjoyed a complimentary dinner because of the inconvenience, thinking the next morning was going to be a nice big sleep in, only to find 07:50 the gardeners were at it again! Ned came to see us at breakfast and asked how our morning was and we said it occurred again, he said he was going to make it his personal commitment to ensure that it didn’t happen on our last morning here – of course this infuriated us, why didn’t he do that half way through our stay?
Despite there only being 17 rooms out of the 50 occupied while we were there, they still put everyone in the units up close to the pool next to each other – why not spread everyone out so that we have peace and quiet – I never get this with hotels, maybe it’s easier for the cleaning staff!
The bed was very hard, we spoke to Ned and he arranged for a soft top to be added to the bed which made a big difference.
We were disappointed that we were not able to enjoy crayfish at this seaside resort. It got to the 6th night of our stay and they had ran out of fresh coconuts and peanuts, no mango or bananas for the first 4 days – not bad for a tropical island.
We agree with other reviewers that breakfast is uninspiring and you soon get bored with the same old, same old. I enjoyed the omelets and a cappuccino (they make a good coffee). After several days you start to see the inconsistencies of the staff – cocktails are not the same, water isn’t offered around the pool during the day every day and general level of attentiveness changes. The 2 guys in the bar worked like Trojan horses, yet the 5-6 pool attendants stand around watching them work.
The majority of times the curries served from Tides Restaurant were cold. A couple of times I had the green chicken curry and it came out cold. It was nice and the next time I ordered it I asked if it could be served hot (temperature wise) and it was lovely. The chef provides a complimentary starter – no matter what it is – it’s always served cold.
We found the pool area to be like a bikini contest - it’s interesting to watch those that think they are better than others prance around the pool – then when someone of a different shape, size etc walks around the pool all eyes are on them and the whispers start.. We didn’t find the guests friendly at all – we have made lifelong friends during our travels around the world – but this place isn’t the place to make them!
We encountered several days of rain while we were there, one day we even got the ‘sunshine guarantee’ because of the rain the resort put on complimentary cocktail making classes, Thai language classes and a massage class – this was a nice touch and needed for some entertainment during the bad weather.
The staff were very friendly and the majority of the staff we spoke to had a reasonable level of English that they could understand your requests.
We stayed in a garden room, it was a good size room and was well appointed with a nice big balcony and comfortable chairs. One thing that is lacking is a somewhere to eat dinner when you get room service at night, you can’t eat outside because of the mosquitoes.
Happy Hour 5-7pm where you get 50% off was good, we enjoyed most nights trying the cocktail menu – our favorites were Coco Loco, Tom Yam, Long Island Iced Tea and Espresso Martini.
The internet connection in the lounge and our room was touch and go during the day – I found it drops out a lot which is very frustrating.
A lovely touch at the airport as we were leaving, we have not experienced this anywhere in the world. The van arrives at Krabi airport to drop you off, out came a young gentleman whom we thought was an airport porter, he then identified himself as a staff member from Layana Resort. He put our suitcases on a trolley, pushed them through to the x-ray machine, put them on and off the x-ray belt then walked us through to checkout and even put our bags on the scales. He stayed there with us until we were checked in, the queue wasn’t long as we were flying business class – nice personal touch and a lovely way to end someone’s holiday – thank you!
It’s a lovely resort, very isolated with not a lot to do – we stayed 8 nights and were ready to leave by this time – not somewhere we will rush back to and not somewhere we will recommend anyone to come for rest and relaxation. We have stayed in many resorts in Thailand and do not rate this as the best. Thai people in general are friendly happy people and you get this at most high end resorts. The main draw card is the fact that no under 18’s are allowed, no screaming kids is a huge draw card.
- 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