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“Perfect Honeymoon - January 2011”

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Pimalai Resort and Spa
Ranked #2 of 84 Hotels in Ko Lanta
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 23, 2012

My now husband was in charge of organising our honeymoon & kept it a surprise until the day of our wedding. WOW! He did such an amazing job!

We stayed at the Sukhothai in Bangkok for 3 nights before arriving at the Pimalai, where we stayed for a further 11 nights.

We visited January 2011, it's just taken a little while to get the review on! Sorry!

We were picked up by a private car at Krabi airport & whisked off to the Pimalai's very own jetty & speed boats on the coast! The transfer was around 45 minutes from the airport to the jetty. A few other couples arrived separately in a mini bus, but we would definitely recommend the private car if it's for a special occasion, or you prefer traveling that way! ;)

The boat left the jetty just before sunset & the transfer to Koh Lanta & the Pimalai Resort was around 50 minutes. The views were absolutely stunning! We saw lots of limestone stacks & little villages / homes on the coasts edge. It was a great way to travel! We arrived at dusk & the view of the resort itself is mindblowing! The rooms are all built in to the hillside which is so green & the beach is beautiful & white! It looked like paradise! We were greeted on the floating jetty by the Pimalai's staff. They gave each of us a beautiful lei around our necks & our luggage was put onto little golf carts.

Check in was quick & smooth & we were greeted with a cooling face flannel & a lovely cool drink (much needed after all the traveling).

We stayed in one of the basic rooms, but it had everything we needed - the bed was comfortable, the bathroom was lovely & we had a balcony overlooking some of the 'jungle' gardens.

The restaurant where you have breakfast is one of the most beautiful places I have ever eaten! You can see the infinity pool, the beach / sea & the beautiful trees / flowers & wildlife. The restaurant is a decked area & is open all the way around.

The food here is amazing! The breakfast is like nothing we've had anywhere else, they catered for absolutely everything! Cereal, fruit, a selection of juices, different fish, rice, vegetables, toast, jams etc... The honey is still the best honey we've had anywhere in the world; they have a slab of honeycomb dripping honey down constantly & you can just put a little dish underneath to capture as much as you want. I ended up having seabass & rice every morning, which was a little odd at first, but I soon got in to the swing! ;) Plus it kept me full until lunchtime...

We also tried the seafood bar, which we ate at most lunchtimes - I loved the fresh seafood & noodle soup, delicious!

The restaurant down on the beach is beautiful! It's lovely listening to the sea lapping & looking at the beautiful views - the beach really is stunning & the staff work so hard everyday to keep it that way, raking it every morning before we all get up!

We also ate in the Thai main restaurant & again the food was beautiful.

We can't really fault any of the food at all, including room service too! It was all delicious!

The only criticism we would have is the pricing at the resort. Thailand is very cheap, but the prices at the resort were pretty high! It would be comparable to London prices for a lot of things & it's quite pricey getting there & staying there as it is.

We had a couples massage for 1.5 hours which really was relaxing & luxurious - the spa is very beautiful & we would definitely recommend visiting at least once. Again, the prices are quite high.

We went elephant trekking which the hotel arranged for us. We met a couple & their two boys on our trip who had traveled around 40 minutes in the 4X4 to collect us before heading to the sanctuary. They told us how much they paid for their trip & it was A LOT cheaper than what we paid; so this was a little disappointing. The resort seems to take advantage of the location (not near anything!) & it's luxurious status to charge guests a lot more than is maybe necessary. But it was a great experience meeting the elephants & seeing some of the jungle too.

It's not an adults only resort, so you have to be prepared that there are families there & we did come across some annoying screaming children occasionally. But there are plenty of beds along the beach & if you want piece & quiet, you can head off a little from the main part & it can just be the two of you with your beds. The benefit of staying on the main beds is that you get butler service & the big 4 poster beds are the best! They are not always available, but we got one most days & didn't have to get up at the crack of dawn.

There's a great little local restaurant called Same Same But Different just up the beach from the resort (if you have the resort behind you, turn left & head up the beach until you come to it). It's a very authentic setting & the food was delicious! It was extremely cheap too! Exactly what we had been expecting from Thailand. Definitely get along to here if you can - beautiful! We also tried a couple of local places at the other end of the beach, which were ok, but not quite as good as SSBD. We had a couple of very cheap massages outside of the resort too which were great!

We would love to visit again at some point for a wedding anniversary, but I think we'd upgrade to a room with it's own swimming pool & make the most of those beautiful views! :)

We had an amazing time & would highly recommend this resort for somewhere particularly special! It's romantic, the location is stunning, the beach is quiet, clean & very perfect looking! The staff are very attentive & cannot do enough for you!

V & J Thompson x

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank VJThompson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 20, 2012

I don't think we realised just how perfect Pimalai was until we left…

What an amazing place, in a beautiful setting. Staff were amazing, from bringing towels, ice water and fresh fruit to your sun lounger to remember your drinks order at breakfast.

Breakfast has to be the best I have ever seen. I huge array of fresh choices, beautifully cut fruit, baked breads and my favourite - homemade Birchers muesli!

Pimalai is situated on probably one of the best beaches on Koh Lanta, Kantiang Bay - with some amazing views. There is a 7-11 within walking distance (closer if you walk on the beach instead of the road) but we hired a scooter to get around the island.

The downside for us was the price at the restaurants, but this is a common occurrence at resorts. At the end of the day, although some guests may be more than happy to never leave the resort, it was just obscene to pay the prices they were asking when you could get something just as delicious for half the price (if not more). We had some delicious meals at neighbouring restaurants that were far more realistically priced.

One night we decided to try the Thai set dinner at Spice n Rice. The choices were lovely and the presentation was stunning. Unfortunately we had an excruciatingly long wait between our starters and mains, we were ready for bed by the time it arrived. The food was authentic thai spiced, which was great - we love spicy food. I found it absurd that they charged us a fair amount for a bottle of 'Pimalai' water with our meal, especially considering that at breakfast or at the pool they would be constantly refilling our glasses with fresh (free) drinking water.

The transfer to the island with the resort was so well organised and a welcome relief for a jetlagged brains, but for our departure we decided to book an air-con minibus transfer with a local instead. It cost us 300Bpp as opposed to 1900Bpp.

As for wildlife in the stunning gardens, we were woken up in the wee hours a few times by what sounded like creatures scrambling across the roof. Not sure if it was a troop of monkeys or rats?
Also look out for the 'flying' lizards in the trees around the villas, really cool!

I would definitely go back if I had the chance…

Room Tip: We were more than happy with our Garden Villa, close to the beach. I don't know if anyone from t...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank noodle12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 12, 2012

OK, we are returners. My wife and I have been in this beautiful resort 2010 and recently in October 2012. The management remembered us and welcomed us with a bottle of Champagne and the same room - nice and lovely gesture... Thanks again.

The resort didn't change very much since 2010. OK, some more villas, more boats in the bay, but this didn't become negatively noticeable. The guys in the service are pretty much the same than 2010, it was good to see this extremly friendly people again (like friends).

What do we like at the Pimalai ? The beach, I think it is the most beautiful beach on Koh Lanta island. The service, there is always a "certainly" or a "for sure", words like issue or problem are not existing at the Pimalai. The restaurants, in 2010 we felt, that most of the guests go outside for dinner due to the very exclusive prices compared to many local restaurants just around the corner. They changed it. The prices are reasonable now and the guests appreciate this and show up in the several bars and restaurants - thats good and you do not feel alone during dinner. Good job, Mirko (if it was your decision).

What do we like MOST at the Pimalai ? As I said, the friendly people in the service. They do not just treat you as "paying" guests, it's more like a true friendship. I appreciate this very much. Especially the guys in the Rak Talai are wonderful... a lovely place with very lovely people.
And... and... not to forget... - - - the Why Not Bar, close to the resort. Live music every night, not too professional but real, a must to call the day of. We have been there every night, every night. In Germany we would say it is our "Stammkneipe". You will laugh, but one of the very good reasons to book the Pimalai again was the Why Not Bar. If we come back in 2013, we will be able to sing the whole song... the famous Why Not Song... in English AND in Thai. And we will jam with you guys, promised.

The band organized a beach party during our next to last evening - the high season welcome party. Many people of the Pimalai staff joined us, and we really had amazing and unforgetable hours together with our friends (not staff!). That was GREAT!

Overall: The Pimalai is a true 5-star resort with a 6-star bonus, the Why Not Bar.
We definitely will come back, please arrange room 209 again. Thanks for great holidays. Looking forward to seeing all of you again.

Thomas & Iris Rita

Room Tip: We prefer a "normal" room, a pool villa might be too "snobby"
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Thomas R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 10, 2012

My wife Annie and I have just spend 14 blissed-out days at this wonderful resort. Pimalai is probably the best resort on the island of Koh Lanta and the beach it is located on, Ba Kantiang, is probably the nicest beach on the island. Ba Kantiang is a fantastic community inhabited by great beach front bars/restaurants including Noon, Sunset Bar, Aqua Bar, Same Same but Different, and the inimitable, and under no circumstances to be missed, Why Not Bar (recalling the Why Not Band's amazing cover of Rage against the Machine's "Killing in the Name" still makes me smile). It reminded us of Koh Samui 20 years ago, but it seems that a genuine effort is being made to avoid the sort of "development" that has blighted Koh Samui and turned it into "big rave party with brothels".

Pimalai has great rooms, great (many free) activities (including a decent gym, the use of canoes, bikes, Hobie cat and Laser yachts), great food, an absolutely unsurpassed spa (the best I've ever visited) and awesome views. But the very very best thing about this resort is it's absolutely wonderful staff. Manager Franck and his F&B Lieutenant Mirko (who are great guys themselves and who have a genuine interest in getting to know their guests) have assembled an amazing local Thai staff. I know I'm probably going to miss some names here, but I'll try to name a few....Mos, F, Ying, Gun, Rut, Bling, Brew and the fantastic Pan :-) We will miss you wai's and smiles.

If you are looking for a laid back, chilled out beach holiday, this IS the place. Look no further. We will definitely be heading back.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Richard H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2012 via mobile

The resort is amazing...everything about it is fabulous and its certainly the nicest resort on the island by a long shot... The only gripe is that the restaurants are so expensive for Thailand. With the exception of 7 seas ( which deserves to be expensive) all other restaurants are no better than other excellent options you can walk to 3-8 mins away and in general about 5 -8 times cheaper.

2 sandwiches 2 beers and a juice were close to 45 usd which is fine for anywhere else on earth but when you can get superb local and western food for a few dollars in any direction it seems slightly ridiculous. What is the shame about this is that the local restaurants are packed with guests from pimalai with a great vibe while the restaurants at the resort are much emptier.

Just 2 mins walk to the left on the beach is "same same but different" which is great. A short free ride up the hill is "noon bar" which has amazing sunset views and wonderful food.

Walk right along the beach 5 mins to town and there are 10-15 options most of which are excellent and are sooo cheap.

The same sadly applies to the spa which is exactly 10 times the price of all the massages in the village. Although the surroundings are incomparable if you want a truly excellent massage and don't need the spa experience go to the unlikely sounding mini mouse massage which is about 9 dollars an hour compared to close to 90

On the 3rd nite of our stay there was a line of pimalai guests outside mini mouse all wondering why the resort massage was so expensive. I understand the experience is very different but
Its just not worth 10 times the price.

Anyhow....don't let this put you off.. the resort is fantastic, staff lovely, rooms service and location all first class.

I feel a little bit bad writing this since we had such a great stay but I do think if the resort prices were slightly more in line with the surroundings it would be a much better experience.

Simon Painter

  • Stayed: November 2012
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4  Thank SPainter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 2, 2012

This is a beautiful part of the world made even better by a well managed resort and fabulous service. The spa is out of this world. The food and service are amazing. I have actually just strongly recommended this hotel as a honeymoon destination for my best friend.

The thing that made me hesitate about booking this hotel was the bus/boat transfer from Krabi airport to the hotel. So... anyone concerned about this should be assured that the hotel have this 100% in hand and it is super-slick! Plus... how cool is it to show up at your hotel on a speedboat??

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Beebbb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 1, 2012

From the view, to the service, this resort is spot on and deservedly 5 stars. Since we were a family of five, this was very suitable. We had booked our two bedroom villa though Andaman Sky, who in turn upgraded us to half board! So we got a 5 star resort at quite an amazing rate. Our kids loved the fact that we had our own private pool. One thing we regret about Pimalai is that we should have never brought the kids with us. It seems like this place was built for romance and seduction. It is just too stunning to bring your children for. Sure we saw a few families there as well. But this place would seem more enjoyable if you came as a couple. We met a couple of honeymooners while staying there. We learnt from them about how well they have been treated throughout their stay as they were there for their honeymoon. That said, the kids loved every minute of it, it just seemed a shame to keep on taking them out on daytrips when we had paid good money for a top quality resort to enjoy, if the kids hadn’t been along I would not have left the resort for more than an evening stroll down the beach to the Why Not bar.

Room Tip: If travelling with kids, book a half board deal with Andaman Adventures and save a packet.
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank lovebeaches80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pimalai Resort and Spa

Address: 99 Moo 5, Ba Kan Tiang Beach, Ko Lanta 81150, Thailand
Phone Number:
Location: Thailand > Krabi Province > Ko Lanta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Ko Lanta
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Ko Lanta
#2 Luxury Hotel in Ko Lanta
#2 Family Hotel in Ko Lanta
#2 Spa Hotel in Ko Lanta
#4 Romantic Hotel in Ko Lanta
Price Range: $177 - $803 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Pimalai Resort and Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 121
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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