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“A five-star match”

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Pimalai Resort and Spa
Ranked #2 of 84 Hotels in Ko Lanta
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 16, 2013

We were a little bit skeptical when finally going to Pimalai but it was unnecessary. This place is wonderful in all aspects. Some minor issues though.

Once arriving to Krabi Airport from Bangkok, we were greeted by our chauffeur in arrival hall. He escorted us to our car for an hour drive to Pimalai's private jetty. Then we had a speed boat drive for a good hour. It took a little bit longer than usually because of a windy weather conditions. The boat was a minor disappointment because it was open in sides and not so comfortable otherwise.

At the resort they have a floating jetty which is uncomfortable but ecological. That is a good point really. The manager met us very briefly on the jetty. On the beach one lady gave us traditional garlands made of flowers. Then a diver drove us to our hillside villa...

And what a villa it was! Maybe not the best we've experienced but wonderfully located and very private. We don't especially like very traditional, rustic, dark decor but it worked here. This was the issue we were afraid of. Some people have said that they did not like the (huge) yellow bathroom but we think it was really refreshing. The tub looked very new. It is not a new resort but nothing was worn out really. It has been very well taken care of.

There are two separate buildings consisting a villa. We had one bedroom. One building for bedroom, dressing area and bathroom (tub, walk-in shower, toilet). There is a window in every part of the bathroom. They have wonderful products for bathing and showering. Especially their body lotion feels so good. There should be a toilet door but for privacy there are sliding doors to separate bedroom and bathroom. The other building consists of a living room, kitchen and another, smaller bathroom.

The villa has not that luxurious feeling but it is really, really good. We think that by replacing cotton cushions with silk cushions would easily increase more luxurious feeling. Maybe they just want to be more rustic in style. It is not bad at all. Our villa was in very good condition and spotless.

Infinity pool is smallish but great for refreshing during a hot day. Water feels nicely cool. It is not suitable for small children. Some villas have bigger pools but we did not like their location. One can see to those pools from a restaurant. That for privacy... We had a great unobstructed view of the sea and wonderful sunsets. Beware of monkeys, snakes (we had a green one by our pool) and all kind of insects if you stay up hills. The jungle starts right from your doorstep. So, you may have all kinds of visitors. It is exiting though. The area for sunbathing is very limited and so you must move (heavy) sun chairs a couple of times during the day. We did not try the beach on day time at all.

Villa guests have their breakfast at The Seven Seas Restaurant. They have a very good offering but if you stay ten nights like us you might get bored. Smoothies are made to order and wonderful every morning! They have very good oatmeal. We yearned for fresh berries but tasteless strawberries were the only one to have. Fruit selection was good and mangoes were wonderfully sweet and ripe. The service was kind and so attentive. Every morning we were greeted by many lovely waitresses but Kaew was most wonderful. Unfortunately we missed her the last morning and did not have an opportunity thanking her. The chef, sous-chefs and the whole staff were wonderful.

We had some beautiful dinners at resort restaurants (Spice N' Rice, Rak Talay and Seven Seas) and enjoyed room service dinners for many times. Well, we went to the village 7-Eleven for inexpensive wine... Meals from room service were always hot and nicely presented. There is a wonderful beach restaurant 'Same Same But Different' next to the resort. It was packed with Pimalai guests every night we were there. The food is fresh and tasty. And the price, well, very cheap. Everything we tried was good except Phad Thai which was bland.

Pimalai Spa may be the most beautiful we've visited. The massage we had was wonderfully firm and effective. You may have too 'sensual' massages in Thailand with no effect. We also had a Luxury Nail Care but it was a little bit disappointing because facilities for that were uncomfortable too plain. They did a good job though.

The resort area is beautiful and service attentive, kind and polite everywhere. Since we had a pool villa, we did not try common pools at all. It is very hot down the beach but cooler up hills. Moving around the area on foot was not an issue for us even if distances may be long and hills very steep. You may call a car to pick you up if you want.

When we left Pimalai we had a nicer speed boat for that ride. A good end for a lovely holiday.

Room Tip: The Manager has the best villa but you can not have that =)
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank TravelManiaxxx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 15, 2013

This hotel was lovely, its location in Kantiang Bay is fab, it dominates the beach area. Our Deluxe room was immaculate with lots of nice little touches. i.e pretty floor tap outside so you dont tread sand into your room. The resort is very spread out over the hillside so you need to get a buggy from the lobby or the beach up to the top pool, which is breathtaking. I went with my 2yr old and my husband......its not geared up for children at all. It defo deserves its 5 stars, the service is attentive and the staff LOVED my blonde daughter....she was the main attraction. Its Defo a hotel for Adults I would say, the pool areas were silent as was the whole hotel. The main downsides for us I would say was the beer was never ice cold and it was so quiet....I like a certain buzz and this hotel certainly doent have it, it may have a lot to do with how spread out the hotel is. From top to bottom is not walkable....its way to steep! But the buggy's are regular, we never waited more than 5 minutes.

Room Tip: To be able to walk to the beach....ask for a room "Below the Lobby"
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Donsville1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 12, 2013

My husband and I went to Pimalai Resort & Spa for our 2nd anniversary trip. We spent 3 blissful nights in a pool villa no. 809. Our on-the-hill villa was excellent and equipped with all amenities needed. We liked the fact that there were 2 salas separated by a pool and the fact that there were two toilets and two showers was very thoughtful. The views from every angle of our villa were breathtaking. The small sala behind our pool was absolutely my favourite reading and relaxing spot. It was nice and breezy and ever so peaceful.

We have been to other 5 star hotels such as Six Senses, the Four Seasons and the likes and I must say we were really impressed with this property. The villa at Pimalai in our opinion was better than other hotels' villas we have stayed in. I think we were also very lucky to be allocated to this villa (no. 809) as the views were simply amazing. Every day, we woke up to the crystal clear ocean and beautiful blue skies.

The journey from Krabi Airport was also a very impressive one. A male staff who had been waiting for us at the exit was ever so helpful and polite. He was also armed with knowledge and tidbits about the province, the island and the hotel and gave us useful and precise information regarding the road trip from the airport to the pier and from the pier to the hotel. Our driver, the boat people and everyone else along the journey were also very nice and friendly.

The rest of our stay went very smoothly. The spa was simply relaxing - we both went for Pimalai Signature massage, which was a strong massage my husband and I needed. The spa itself was very charming with nice and relaxing atmosphere. We dined at the hotel's different restaurants every night. The seafood restaurant offered great fresh seafood. While the food was great, we were not completely pleased with the service from the staff. However, the staff over at the main restaurant, Seven Seas, were a different story. They were the most attentive, extremely friendly but not overbearing, and responded to our every need. One lady staff also remembered our names and greeted by by first names every morning at the breakfast table, which we, of course, more than appreciated. We had breakfast there every morning and one dinner on our anniversary night - the food was great.

We also went on a Sunset Cruise one day in the afternoon (you need to pay extra for this). It was a great choice as the trip was so much fun. The boat men took us to an island and let us either relax, swim or snorkel around there. The water was crystal clear and the sand was heavenly white and soft. The boat men, I must say, were the best boat men we ever got to meet. They were polite, friendly, and knew what they were doing. One man even took me and my husband to the spot where they saw some amazing fish and other underwater creatures. On the way back on the boat, they prepared a variety of drinks (soft drinks, beer, wine, water, fresh orange juice) and some tapas for us to snack on as we watched in awe at the beautiful sunset behind us.

I would not say that our stay was without a glitch. The waiting for the buggy sometimes took more than 10 minutes but the hotel did send the letter to warn us about this when we arrived. If our villa had not been so far and high up in the hill, we would have walked. The staff at the seafood restaurant were not as well trained as those in the main restaurant. However, it was overall a very impressive stay. At the end we found that 3 nights was way too short and envied those who chose to stay for a week. On day three, we simply did not want to leave for Bangkok.

I highly recommend this hotel for basically anyone - travelling those with partners, kids or friends. We had an amazingly stay there and will definitely go back once we have a long break from work!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank micky_siva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2013

We have just returned from a 12 night stay at the Pimalai. From the moment we arrived at the airport we were met with staff from the Pimalai who transported us to the jetty where our boat was waiting and then on to the hotel. What an amazing way to start the holiday.

Myself, husband and daughter stayed in a deluxe room (204), on the upper floor which had beautiful views over Kantiang Bay. The room was spacious and comfortable for the three of us. We had secured a half board basis with our travel company at a good rate. I would recommend trying to do as it gives you the flexibility to eat at all the restaurants and themed buffets. Had we only been B&B we may have been more selective where we ate as prices were quite high. We did go out at lunch and eat at the Same Same but Different restaurant and the Why Not Bar. Both restaurants are considerably cheaper than the hotel and both offer a good choice of food and beverages. We did eat out of the resort on one evening. We went to a restaurant call NOON, if you ask at reception they will call and book a table for you. The Noon provides transport and will pick you up from your hotel and drop you back off when you are ready to leave. The views here are amazing and if you book your table for about 6 o'clock you will be able to sit and watch the sunset. Lovely evening and food, just be aware this restaurant may not have service as fast as you would expect in the resort. Staff here are working on Thai Time - at a leisurely pace to them.

We did various activities during our stay on Koh Lanta. I want people to be aware that the resort is not as remote as some of the other reviews have made it seem. If you are willing to go outside the hotel there is a wide range of things on offer. The local town is only a 10 minute walk which can be accessed via the road or beach. There is a tourist information office next to the Why Not Bar, i would recommend going in there and asking for a Koh Lanta Pocket Guide, this is packed full of recommended bars, restaurants and activities. This was like our bible during our stay it went everywhere with us.

We booked a private longboat trip through Raiee at this tourist office to go and see the famous "Beach". He is flexible and is willing to book your trip to your requirements. We left before 8 o'clock and got to the emerald cave before the rush of tourists arrived. Go early before the crowds arrive otherwise you will be queuing to get in the cave and out again.

We hired a car for 2 days from the Pimalai. If you want to drive around the island yourself, they offer a very competitive price for a good car. This could not be matched in the nearby town. We travelled around the whole island. We did shopping at Ban Saladan, Koh Lanta Old Town, Sea Gypsy Village and finished off with a trip to the national park.There is an entrance fee approx £4 per adult, you could spend the day here as there's a lovely sandy beach. There is a walk you can do in the jungle, recommended time is approx 2 hours. Not much to see on this walk but at a leisurely pace can be quite enjoyable. There is a lighthouse here and the views are spectacular. Just be careful you don't get caught in the rain. Not much shelter to be had here as we found out.

Finally i would recommend one last trip. A hidden gem right next to the Pimalai. Take out a canoe, head left past the same same restaurant and past the rocks and go into the next bay and find Robinsons Bar. Absolute paradise and offering the best coconut shake on the island. White sandy beach, a bar built out of driftwood and the sound of music in the background. This is what i expect of paradise. I'm only gutted that we discovered it late in our stay here so only got to go there once.

To sum the holiday up, it was fantastic from start to finish, staff were so friendly and helpful, nothing was too much trouble. Our final boat transfer back to the pimalai jetty was breathtaking. We went around the east of the island and the staff showed us some amazing landmarks along the way. To put the icing on the cake we even did some dolphin watching, this was so unexpected and enjoyable, a real treat and our holiday finished on a high. I would recommend asking the staff on the boat if you can sit on the upper deck, on our return journey the boat was full but as we were on the upper deck we felt like we had our own private experience.

We shall be returning, the sooner the better.

Missing the Pimalai already.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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6  Thank Sonic451
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2013

Nice hotel and lovely views but with that comes the climb to your 'allotted' room. We arrived on NYE and had a lovely meal on the beach (which did cost an arm and a leg - but it was New Year's Eve, after all).

We found the system of checking in to be a bit of a problem, in that you had no idea where your room was going to be until you actually got to it (the rooms are spread across the hillside). It would have been much better if we'd had a choice and we may have been able to select a room which didn't involve as much climbing up and down (there are many steps). It didn't help when we found that the buggy 'service' was really only meant for people arriving and departing - even though, before we booked, we specifically asked about the hilly position and was told there were buggies to get you around).

The room itself was very nice and it was clean. Room service was OK. We found the reception staff to be a less helpful/customer focused than some hotels we've stayed in, in Thailand.

In summary, it was OK but I don't think we'll be checking in again, in the future.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank AlanJones142
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2013

Pimalai in Koh Lanta is a real 5 star hotel. The rooms are fantastic, the enviroment is relaxing, the service superior and the restaurants are all great. The bay where the resort is located is spectacular. If you are looking for a good, relaxing holiday then try Pimalai...:-)

Fam. kammer

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank morkam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2013

Our visit to the Pimalai had been in the planning for over a year, to celebrate our ruby wedding.
In that time we read many of the reviews and had our own dreams of what to expect.
After a long and tiring journey via KL, Phuket and finally the Pimalai jetty at Krabi, we rounded the headland into Kantiang Bay and our first view of the resort.
We could feel the tiredness start to drain from our bodies as we had our first view of the Pimalai set in the hillside amongst the lush vegetation.
Frank (General Manager) along with some of his attentive staff was there to greet us and following the drive up to the reception we knew we had made the right choice to come here.
We were located in a Bay Fronted Deluxe Villa (403) which was expansive with a large balcony and had wonderful views of the beach and across the bay, where during our stay, magnificent sailing yachts would anchor for a couple of days. Out on the horizon were the islands of Phi Phi, and although we did not always see the spectacular sunsets frequently written about due to the climatic conditions affecting the whole of the South East Asia region at this time, the ones we did see, were wonderful, with the sun at times setting the sky on fire in what seemed an effort to hold back the night.
We ate in all the restaurants and never had a reason to complain. One tip would be to secure half-board before coming. This still gives you access to all areas and menu choices, (excepting lobster in the Seven Seas) but will save you plenty against pay as you go. Don’t miss the buffet in Rice & Spice, but book early if the resort is full like it was during our stay.
We did trips offshore, but our advice would be to book with Ray down at the Why Not Bar for a private excursion. This gives you some control over what you do and how long for, against those trips carrying tourists from different hotels where they stick to the itinerary. The difference in cost is marginal and it can get hot out on the water and you may wish to shorten your excursion.
One of our trips was to the Emerald Cave onboard the Kantiang 2 a long tailed fishing boat. Love them or loathe them it’s something worth experiencing. We set off before eight to get there early.
This rewarded us on arrival at the cave with one boat ahead of us and once inside and at “The Beach” we were afforded the privilege of about 5 minutes alone at this unique spot, as the others had made their exit. On our exit we could not believe the amount of boats and people that were arriving outside. I heard from the skipper of K2 the day after that he had been there again and he estimated over 300 people there.
If you make use of the canoes, take a short trip past the ‘Same Same’ to the next bay and call in at Robinson’s Bar, have a beer or as my wife and daughter remarked the best coconut shake that they had anywhere, a true Crusoe type of experience set in a beautiful secluded small bay. Maybe I am giving a secret away here, as I have not seen this place mentioned on any previous reviews.
Alas our departure day arrived, and Frank with some of his staff waved us off from the Pimalai jetty. But to our surprise the boat turned left and down the coast, past the ‘Same Same’ and on past the old lighthouse and out into open sea. I had not seen the boat take this route before and were we glad it did. We cruised past and between those mighty rock formations that rise up out of the sea that are synonymous with Thailand’s coastal areas. We saw the ‘Lion’ guarding one entrance followed by ‘Monkey Island’ and just as we thought our journey was over we were rewarded with a bit of dolphin watching. What an amazing conclusion.
I believe the Pimalai should reward all its’ guests with this trip in or out of the resort.
The crew seemed to take delight in our own and fellow passenger’s enjoyment of what they had shown us. I was truly sad to wave these beautiful people farewell at Krabi.
Our dream is over, will we come back? Tomorrow if we could.

Room Tip: Rooms in the lower half give easier access to restaurants, lower infinity pool and beach. We stayed...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank kleekey
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 Spa Hotel in Ko Lanta
#2 Luxury Hotel in Ko Lanta
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Ko Lanta
#2 Family Hotel in Ko Lanta
#4 Romantic Hotel in Ko Lanta
Price Range: $204 - $1,055 (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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