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Pimalai Resort and Spa
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Reviewed January 24, 2013

We had high hopes for our last destination of our Thailand tour... Paying about £300 a night we had certain expectations and sadly these were not met in many important areas. During our trip in Thailand we stayed in some hotels costing £30 a night... Which had much better customer care and quality of food/drink than Pimalai. It was difficult making the choice between Layana or Pimalai - however for anyone who reads this I would NOT recommend this hotel. Definitely go with Layana in the hope that it is better than our Koh Lanta experience.

We has a transfer from Saladaan pier... We were picked up by a smart black 4x4 and we were impressed. Check in by Poon was very professional and again... We were impressed and happy with our choice. We got to the room... Which was the best of all the rooms on our trip... They had even made the effort in making a lovely cake, a bottle of sparkling wine and rose petals on the bed - as it was our 1st wedding anniversary celebrations. We were wowed by the hotel and couldn't see anything going wrong... Then the haze cleared.

For our first dinner we decided to go to the beachside restaurant. The guests seem very to them selves and the staff seem young and inexperienced. We hadn't had Indian food for 2 weeks and were glad to see a page in the menu so we thought the standard would be great. Our food arrived and in all honesty it was the worst food I have ever been served. I would have much rather enjoyed a greasy McDonalds meal to what we were served. The food lacked taste, the proper spices, was the wrong consistency and most upsetting - it was undercooked! The indian breads were more like greasy pancakes and the cucumber raita was a joke. For the first time in my life I was so shocked at the service and food I had no choice but to send the food back and reorder. I felt bad but this was unacceptable. We ended up going for some Thai and it was average as far as Thai food goes in Thailand. The bill comes - and they included the Indian! I explained I wouldn't be paying and they quickly omitted this... Then I see that they charge 10% service AND ask for a tip on top? Where I am from, you pay 10-15% service and that's it - or no service and you put a tip - very cheeky... Especially when you serve inedible food.

The day after we have breakfast and again service is average - unremarkable. The beach was beautiful... the clearest water and lovely sand. The water and fruit was a nice touch. The beach side activities are a good idea. The Koh Ha discovery trip was good fun... The boat was neat and refreshments were ok. The snorkeling equipment was poor however the setting made up for it and we saw some lovely sea-life. We got speaking to a lovely couple on the boat who also felt the service was average and the food "poor and overpriced", they too felt disappointment and agreed they wouldn't return - openly advising us of better local restaurants. We tried one of the recommendations on the beach and food was cheap and of good quality.

Our last day included a complimentary massage at their spa. One of the best spas we have experienced and the treatment was a joy. The evening was completed with a free 3 course meal at their "exclusive" seven seas restaurant - the best food and service we had from Pimalai. Maybe they focus all their care and attention on the high rollers?

Our last morning saw us have to fetch our own water as three failed attempts to ask a waiter for water didn't work. I was given a confused look by the manager of the restaurant - but what can I do? Half hour into breakfast and thirsty - I thought it best I help myself!?!

In summary - if you want to pay a lot of money for a nice beach, a stunning hotel, great spa... With poor/no service and terrible/overpriced food the resort "lower grade" end then either consider paying more for a pool villa in the posh end or stay elsewhere/another island. The manager seems to walk around aimlessly and talk to people who visibly show their wealth and the staff don't seem to have a clue at the best of the time. The service is inflexible and cold most of the time... And very little accommodation for my vegetarian wife. A great example of the "value" of this place is - 1 x virgin colada, 1 x diet coke, 1 x fattoush salad (small portion, not actually a fattoush salad, mosly lettuce of average taste and quality)... Total bill = £18... And for their "tips" box on the bill? I should've written "jog on"!!!

Good luck to anyone who wastes their money here. I won't be returning and the same goes for many others we spoke to at the resort!!! We are just lucky we had a free cake, sparkling wine, Koh Ha trip, 3 course meal and spa treatment to make up for their shortfalls.

Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
5  Thank Sajnil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2013

This hotel lives up to all the praise it has received. The resort is gorgeous - spread out and quiet with wonderful views and a great beach.
We found the Seven Seas restaurant well worth a second visit - the chef there is wonderful and we had a sensational grilled lobster dish one night. The staff are charming and friendly - they get to know you by name and are really hospitable.
Transfers from the airport are well managed with check in assistance. We needed a transfer from Phuket airport and I contacted the hotel who organised it at a very reasonable cost.
We also did the two snorkelling trips on offer and enjoyed both of them. The crew on the boat were great and in the water would snorkel with us and point out lots of fish.
Our pool villa was lovely - spacious especially the bathroom. Our bedroom had a very comfortable bed compared to some hotels we have stayed in.
I would really recommend Pimalai - it is a very special place and we were so relaxed at the end of our stay there.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Go55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2013

Amazing property, fantastic service, the best breakfast spread and lots of dining options across the resort grounds. The spa is wonderful as are the beach front pavillion rooms. The view from the top of the resort are equally amazing. Its a large property for an SLH category, but its so spread out you dont feel you are in a largish resort. They have their own pier and boat to pick and drop in Krabi or Pukhet.

Room Tip: Beachfront Pavillions or hilltop pool villas have the best views.
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank Rubysdes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2013

My husband and I stayed here for 3 nights in early January and completely fell in love with this hotel and Kantiang Bay. We had high expectations and were not disappointed – the website really does not do it justice.

We stayed in a deluxe room which was spacious, well designed and had a sea view.
The hotel is located in quiet but stunning Kantiang Bay. T

here is a little village centre about 10 minutes walk from the hotel and a few bars and restaurants a short walk along the beach, including Same Same but Different where the food was so good we ate there 3 times in 2 days.

The breakfast buffet was superb with some 5 star touches such as smoked salmon, freshly squeezed (not canned) juice and any type of coffee you want.

The only other restaurant we used in the hotel was the beach bar/restaurant and we thought the food was very good and reasonably priced.

You really must visit the upper pool as it has a real wow factor.

Ko Lanta is a beautiful island and can be easily explored by motorbike as it is so small and the roads are really quiet.

In my opinion, the only fault with this hotel is that children are allowed to use the upper pool. We used this pool a couple of times and there were children playing in it which spoiled the peace and quiet. Other than this, it was pure heaven!

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Shelley F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2013

Pimalai is simply a price of heaven on earth. The island is one of the untouched compared to the more tourist places such as Koh Samui. The speed boat journey to the resort was simply stunning. It's location breathtaking.

We stayed in a pool villa and I cannot fault this at all! You can see from the images that you have an amazing infinity pool overlooking the sea along with a huge bedroom en suite and lounge, kitchen and another ensure! You also have a delightful outdoor dining area and a sun deck by your bedroom. The seclusion was immense so much so that I have no tan lines ;-). You also get the occasional monkeys pooping along to say hello or more, to steal your food. But all harmless and quite fun!

The hotel surroundings, spa, things to do was sensational. You can sunbathe by the beach all day, by your own private pool if you have one, or you an take a tour snorkelling amongst other things. Each restaurant was excellent along with the breathtaking views. But what I really want to stress is what makes this the resort of the year. The staff. Absolutely AMAZING! It certainly puts other nationalities to SHAME when you come to Thailand!!! Each and everyone of them were gracious, polite and so helpful. Nothing was ever a problem and let's face it, we all haveben or are doing jobs whereby putting a smile on all the time for (sometimes) horrid customers, is hard. But at Pimalai, they all did this. Take time to speak to them and a small gesture for their help, wouldn't go a miss. You can get transfers to and from your villa to which we tipped every single time. Not a huge amount, but £2/3 each time. Don't forget, these staff work 6/7 days a week (we asked) and what is our luxury, is someone else's misery. Im suggesting they are necessarily miserable, but its a tough job in 35degree weather, awayfromyour family for long periods and keeping that smile on your face.

Book it!! You will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank bellamafiaLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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