Diving ... having dived quite a lot in Indonesia and the Coral Sea (Australia) we were intitally disappointed by the coral which lacks colour and can be in poor condition in places. HOWEVER as we continued to dive we went to some great walls with excellent underwater vistas and some great healthy coral. We did 12 dives and saw reef sharks on pretty much every single one. We also saw turtles on almost every dive as well as a wide variety of large fish and balling Jacks etc - there are a lot of pretty big fish here. You do 3 dives a day in Layang Layang and it's really only the first dive that you are likley to see the Hammerheads - we saw them on 2 out of 4 mornings, firsly about 10 quite close up and this morning (yes there is internet here) a large group of 50+ but they were not really close ... still very worth it. We have also seen mantas along with lots of macro stuff (nudibranches, pygmy sea horses etc). In the mornings you will spend quite a lot of time a hanging around in the blue trying to sight the hammerheads which my 'twitcher' husband found slightly irritating but he's rather be rummaging around for the macro stuff. However pretty much all dives end with some time on the reef. Afternoon dives are generally wall dives with some great life to be seen. In summary, after our first couple of dives we thought we had a made a terrible mistake but now 12 dives later we are considering coming back! Everyone in the resort at the moment has seen hammerheads at least once and most people almost every day .... having said that, it's a big, deep ocean out there and you take your chances. Our dive guide, Faris, was great - friendly, caring and relaxed yet conscientious.
Resort ... free wifi (an unexpected bonus) a well stocked and reasonably priced bar (why does no-one ever mention this important stuff in their reviews;) They have a selection of reasonable wine (mostly Australian) in proper wine fridges for around $20-30 a bottle and Remy, the barman, makes some mean cocktails. Happy hour is 4 hours long and 30% off of everything ... you can't really argue with that. The food is ok (certainly not fine dining) but there is always a good variety and plenty of it. The rooms are ok in a 3* motel from the 1970's kind of way but since you'll hardly be in them it doesn't really matter. The pool is decent and the whole place is pretty relaxed. The staff are ALL really excellent ... incredibly friendly and helpful, they can't do enough for you and seem to really enjoy working here.
We have had a great time and had some really good diving .. I guess if we hadn't seen hammerheads it would have been incredibly disappointing but you take your chances with wildlife and the rest of the diving was, for the most part, really very good.
Would we come back? We're already trying to persuade our friends to join us on a trip next year :)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Layang Layang Island Resort Sdn Bhd is an exclusive resort that dominates the Layang Layang island - an oceanic atoll of Spratly Islands situated approximately 300km northwest of Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia. Fondly known as "The Jewel of the Borneo Banks," it is truly a diver's paradise. As many as 14 coral reefs have formed here, creating a breathtaking underwater scenery. The dive sites are well known for the intriguing hammerhead sharks and pygmy seahorses among other rare creatures. An hour's flight north of Kota Kinabalu, the island on which Layang Layang Island Resort Sdn Bhd nestles lies in 2,000 m of ocean and, due partly to the depth, this atoll has become famous for sightings of large pelagic species and for wall diving. Layang Layang Island Resort Sdn Bhd is the only resort on the island besides a Royal Malaysia Navy base. The resort, designed to look like the traditional Long House, comprises 86 cosy rooms, restaurant and bar, outdoor swimming pool, dive center with certified diving instructors and a variety of diving courses among other facilities for modern comforts. Come for the exclusive and intriguing diving experience at this remote destination out of the world, where rare and uncommon underwater creatures await you! ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Avillion Layang Layang Island Hotel Layang Layang
- Layang Island Hotel