We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Lovely Pimalai”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 8 more sites!
Pimalai Resort and Spa
Ranked #2 of 84 Hotels in Ko Lanta
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Lovely Pimalai”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 20, 2009

Pimalai is a lovely resort and a very relaxing retreat from the world. The resort is divided into villas and resort accomodation and we were staying in the resort. The rooms were lovely just look on the website and you'll see. The staff were friendly and genuine and nothing seemed too much trouble. The Spa is fabulous and well worth a visit even if just to see the Koi Carp in the fish pond. I have stayed at several 5* hotels before and I can say that this is a relaxing 5*. Not stuffy and formal so for those who want to kick off their shoes, stay in a lovely resort on a beautiful and quiet island then this is for you. Even thought it is a quiet resort there is the option of joining in the backpacker scene if you fancy straying from your 5* resort. There are a few bars and restaurants within easy walking distance which gives you a bit of variety and I have to mention Same Same but Different as we ate there 3 nights out of 7 and the food was great. I would even recommend booking it was that popular. Overall a brilliant experience.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Bracky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

2,022 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    1,693
    236
    52
    34
    7
See reviews for
354
1,273
37
13
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (377)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Czech first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
San Diego
Level Contributor
39 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 17, 2009

We had an 8 day package at Pimalai that included 5 days of diving and it was fabulous. It is upscale while retaining that "Thai" ambience. The reception desk manager, Ms. Pukky, was able to track down an expensive pair of headphones that I had left on a Thai airways flight 10 days prior to our arrival in Koh Lanta. She had them delivered to the resort the day after our arrival! We found all the service at the resort to be much the same.
The spa is beautiful and I would recommend "Elle" for any treatments, though I'm sure they are all good. We had an aromatherapy massage that was included in our package and also a thai herbal ball massage.
The dive shop is very professional and the boats are fast and very comfortable. We were especially impressed that the ratio of divers to dive guide was no more than 4:1.
This resort was our "indulgence" after being in Thailand for 5 weeks and staying in much less expensive accommodations, and it was well worth it!

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MichelleSanDiego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LONDON
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 10, 2009

The resort is in a great location if you want to go diving and snorkling.
The view from the hill side is amazing, the diving and sknorkling around is amazing...but that's where it's stops.

How people can give this place 5 stars is beyond me and makes me think that perhaps these people have not been anywhere else and don’t have anything else to compare it too. At best this is a 4 stars resort...and not even. Service is terrible, the staff very few and unfriendly They don't understand one english word and can't speak in english. A few of them try very hard but all in all they need to go on a english intensive training to get the basics, and over all a customer service course, starting with the resort manager.

We have travelled in many 5 stars hotels in the world and especilly in Asia: Aman resort/Banyan Tree in Phuket, Datai and 4 Seasons in Langkawi, the 4 Seasons/The Legian in Bali, George V/Hyatt Vendome//Ritz Carlton/Plazza Athenee in Paris, Raffles/Mandarin Oriental/Ritz Carlton in Singapour, Landmark Oriental/ Mandarin Oriental/Shangrilla in HK, Mandarin Oriental in KL, Burg Al Arab/Jumeirah Beach Club/JBH/Royal Mirage in Dubai, Ritz Carlton/JEH/ Le Pierre..in New York, Saint-Geran in Mauritius..............Sorry for the name dropping but it's just to say that we experienced many differents 5 stars and that is why I decided to right a review about the Pimalai.

If the Villas have been recently redecorated, it is absolutly not the case for the rooms. They are pretty small for Asia standard and so outdated. Our room smells cat wee and I asked them to clean it deeply but that has never been done. You can find anti-mosquitos plug in the room, but no spray. When I requested it (4 times!) I have been told that they don't have it but I can buy the over priced one at the very poor hotel shop (Where you can buy a Boots Soltan sunscream protection for £25, not even beeing sure with what it has been refill!). Our room has not been clean for 3 days in spite of the "please clean the room" sign, not even after our complaints. Sheets not changed everytime requested in spite of the proper sign. Anyway, they can't even notice that you are complaining since they don't understand what you are saying. And as people usually stay no more that couple of days , they won't bother trying to do anything....There is absolutly NO MANAGEMENT, NO REPONSABILITY OF ANYONE FOR ANYTHING (the so call managers have NO service training, no hospitality training, and don't speak english.) The General Manager who speaks english (he is french) doesn't give any care to his guests....or maybe a little bite if you booked the most expensive villa (villas which by the way benefit for an amazing view, but are VERY FAR AWAY from the beach). Anyway, Villas and rooms share the same unkills staff.
In five stars hotel, you can't see any outside difference between the guests. At the Pimalai, you can recognize the Villas guests by the Pimalai beach bags that the other guests doesn't deserve even for having the worth service ever for a very expensive price.

Almost all the guests we meet were complaining about the very poor and so overpriced quality we get from the Pimalai, either staying in the Villas or in the rooms. Many of them left before the end of their stay even if few have been offered upgrades.

It took them one week to come back to me after I've ask them everyday what they had for Chistmas Eve and Christmas Day. Then they gave me only the price of a buffet diner. I had to figure out where, what... And the buffet diner was not even in the best restaurant on top of the Hill side pool, but next to the tennis: no beach, no view at all. But the Price was 2 times more expensive than the Christmas Eve Foie Gras Diner at the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok!!! Santa Claus was expected around 10pm for the kids (all the kids presents at this time were under 9 years old, the majority being under 5 and obviously sleeping at that time!). But that is not the worth for this night: They shut down all the other restaurant but the most expensive one already fully booked with many outside guests, AND SHUT DOWN THE ROOM SERVICE ON CHISTMAS EVE. My daughter fell asleep at 7.30pm after an exhausting day on the beach, and our only choice was to get take away food from the nearby restaurant (only 3 beach restaurants on the beach) and snacks at the nearby 7/11. 5 stars hotel?????????

We booked a boat trip, but while we where supposed to come back at 4/4.30pm at the hotel, we were back at 2.30Pm in spite of a wonderful weather that day! I requested to talk to the manager on duty who didn't call me back as promised. I went to front desk to hear that they will investigate the matter! I had to waste on my holidays precious time to fight with the staff to receive a compensation. As our check out date was very near, I believe they were expecting me to give up....as for everything they've been are asked for by us or guest we meet and share our experience with. Btw, the lunch on the boat was spoiled by the little cockcroach running on the food in the boat...

When booking I asked about the existence of a kids club. I received an email telling me about a kids corner witth member of the staff, which was not really a kids club but was good enough for our need. Arriving at the hotel, nobody seemd to understand when I was asking where is the kids corner, and when bumping into the General Manager I asked him about it, I've been told that the playground was the beach, and the the Pimalai was not The Club Med! Of course they have toys on the beach, the ones the family bought for their kids and left behind.

The beach towels are the smallest and the worth we ever experienced. There is no staff to clean the Day bed (I had to ask for a sponge and to clean it myself to get ride of the Monkey or Birds or whatever wee and pooh on it!). The beach staff is seating all day long not even giving you a towel when needed, Playing with paddles between each other. Obviously they are not here for any guest, any help and not even to take care of the canoes and small boats as those were in so poor shapes we were not sure about their security.

I injured myself on the leg. I have asked them for at least a disinfectant spray of lotion. Of course they didn't understand. after more than 15 min disappearance, one came back but wasn't looking for anything to help me since he forgot I asked him for something! He wanted to offer me then a pill from a small box with Thai handwriting on it! Take your first aid kit on the beach in case....

And I am not even talking about the poor beach restaurant service, food and choice. The 2 other restaurant a ok but not outstanding. They share the very poor service and far over priced choice. The breakfast is ok, but compare to 5 stars Asain Hotel, it can be qualifying as poor. You can easily get apples and banana for fruit choice but don't count on eating the so exotic and faboulous Asian seasona fruits you were coming that far for...they don't buy it and they even tell you that it's not the season....6 years we are travelling in Asia on all seasons...but you can buy it at nearby markets!

Diving and snorkling is great, Elephant riding nice, but you can do the same at even a better quality for 1 third of the price asking by the hotel through the very nearby tourist/diving office.

At the end of the day, if your expectations are not that high, and if you are paying a huge discount on the published rate, then this resort is fin. But if you have experienced true service at comparably priced resorts and hotels then you will feel not only let down by the Pimalai but ripped off. When I compare the service to that we received at many other real 5 stars hotel we have been, the Pimalai can not compete.


The good points:

- Nice view from the hill side
- 7/11 nearby
- beach restaurants outside the hotel with fresh BBQ fish
- amazinf diving ans snorkling
- The sunsets.
- The hill side pool for laps (even if they don't clean the stains of dropping fruits but rather put a large sheet on the floor)

The bad points

- Terrible customer service
-the staff in guest facing positions have poor English skills, or no english skills at all
- Rooms are far outdated
- 2 power cut outs in our 6 days there
- No aircon in the room when you are not in since they locked the key on the card to slip to get aircon...when you live, aircon is cut.
- The resort restaurants are terribly overpriced
- Spa: ablolutly not outstanding and terribly overpriced
- Did I mention the customer service? This starts with the resort manager, I guess the staff take their lessons from him.

We were happy to leave this place to head back to Bangkok to stay at the Mandarin Oriental and at the 4 Seasons to to experience true ThaiHospitality.

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
30 Thank sandrainuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England
Level Contributor
22 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 3, 2009

My husband and I like visiting smaller less touristy locations and both Ko Lanta and and Pimalai were exactly what we were looking for. We spent 5 nights at Pimalai and would have stayed longer had we not had arrangements to travel to another part of Thailand.

POOLS and BEACH
The resort is perfect - quiet and beautiful and even at full capacity it never felt crowded. The infinity pools are gorgeous and the beach while not white sand is nice. As others mentioned, we were always able to get loungers at the pool or the beach.

ACCOMMODATIONS
We had found a great deal through asiatravel.com that gave us 2 nights free, plus upon arrival, we were upgraded from a regular room to a Beach Pavilion Suite. Having now stayed in the Pavilion, if we return I would gladly dig into my pockets for this room.

The Pavilion is right on the beach with our own access and loungers. We had a separate reception room which was a huge bonus and a great place to watch a movie or have dinner . Note that Beach Deluxe rooms do not have the large deck or reception room. Sliding doors open all the way, turning it into an open air living room. Our large deck had 2 loungers, a set of chairs and small table. Absolutely amazing, we really felt no need to hang out anywhere else at night especially since our fridge was big enough to hold all the singha's we needed (courtesy of the 7/11 down the road).

Towels on our deck were replenished daily as was bottled water in our fridges. We occasionally received fruit and cookies, but not regularly (in fact it was quite random).

MEALS
Breakfast is a delicious buffet with every nationality's cuisine covered. Being there for 5 nights, we did eat at the hotel's thai restaurant, Spice and Rice, one night which was good. It's Western prices, so expect mains around $10 or 350 baht but alcohol was ridiculously expensive. If you stay in the beach pavilion, I'd suggest ordering room service and using your own alcohol. Same price and just as beautiful a setting.

Other nights we ate at Same Same but Different and Baan Pimalai's restaurant. Both were good and inexpensive, but take note that service seems to stop by 9:30 PM.

AMENITIES
The library is small but has free DVDs and books for you to borrow and 2 computers with internet to use. However, the library for the pool villa resort is much larger and a place you'd want to lounge in.

There is a fitness center which I looked at but didn't use. You can also borrow bikes from the resort in addition to swimming gear.

DIVING
We chose not to go diving with Pimalai, which was more expensive and instead went with Lanta Diver. They picked us up from the hotel (albeit early) and dropped you back at the end of the day. I can not praise them enough, they were friendly, laid back and completely professional. We had our own instructor and did 4 open water dives to complete our open water certification over 2 days. A terrific time!

STAFF
Staff are lovely, polite and courteous, always stopping and saying hello whenever you pass them - they are part of what makes the resort special. In fact, Pimalai makes a point of hiring local staff and providing them with training (such as English) in order to better and broaden their skills

OVERALL
We had an amazing time at Pimalai and never got bored. In fact, at our next resort (Indigo Pearl in Nai Yang) we were bored in 3 days and keep comparing our stay to Pimalai. Go, you won't regret it.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Londoner_from_IS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Level Contributor
29 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 20, 2009

We stayed in Pimalai for 5 days in a Deluxe apartment. I rejected their offer to take the transfer from Krabi airport for 1,900 THB (USD55) per person, I (over) paid THB 3,200 (USD90) for the whole car by booking my transfer independently at Bangkok airport near domestic departures, if I had waited until I got off the plane in Krabi it would have cost me only 2,500 THB (USD 70). So be warned.
So I got to the resort at around 9pm. I was not impressed when they put me in room 217 the first night. Avoid at all costs, it is behind the kitchen and you won't be able to sleep due to the constant vibration from the generator only meters away from your bend. It took a lot of negotiating to finally be moved to another apartment, reception were being difficult due to "all other apartments already fully booked". Which translated in my language into "we are not upgrading you for free despite the noise because we don't really care as you are staying only 5 days and got a special deal anyway".
I also learned on the first day you should avoid the restaurant. I arrived the first night at 2225 and I nearly didn't get served as "last orders are at 2230", ie they wanted to bunk off home early. The pad thai I got was minuscule, lukewarm and tasteless and cost 3x what you would pay just down the road (but it was late and I wanted to eat there and then). The drinks were distinctively lacking alcohol (try the shroom bar and the aqua bar instead for a proper cocktail with decent alcohol content!) and cost double anywhere else.
After this initial hiccup, I have to say everything else went splendidly. The new room was perfect in all respects. The aircon did not point to your head at night, the shower had good pressure, the internet worked (!). The infinity pools of the resort are magnificent, the breakfast buffet sumptuous, the staff bring you food and water to the beach during the day, there are always plenty of deckchairs, parasols, kayaks and towels, anything you could possibly need at a beach apart from the banana boats (thank goodness!!) and other stuff you find in naff resort that you don't really want here. One last criticism: why close the gym at 7pm? After sunset is probably the time I need a little pre-dinner stretch.
Therefore, fully confirm other reviews. The resort is great, Ko Lanta is lovely, Kantiang is quaint, quiet, relaxing and full of really friendly people. Service at Pimalai is OK, food, drink and activities (including transport to the resort) are overpriced. Do it outside and yourself, you'll save money and be much happier.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank gianni0567
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
65 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 19, 2009

We stayed in a beach suite (not a "Beach Pavillon" but basically a deluxe room closer to the beach). The hotel is absolutely amazing. The pictures at the hotel's website are, if anything, understating just how beautiful this resort is. It is an 8 star hotel, in our opinion. Our room was one row back from the beach, with a super comfy bed, gorgeous bathroom, a deck, and high speed Internet (ethernet). The beach was gorgeous, the infinity pool was amazing, the staff was wonderful and the free breakfast buffet was incredibly good! On the beach, to the right of the hotel is the Why Not Bar, a "must visit" chill spot. The alley next to the Why Not Bar leads to the "village" where there is a 7-11, and where you can get a great (and significantly cheaper than the hotel) massage (500 baht vs. 3200 baht), rent cars (we paid 800 baht for the day) and arrange for tours. Doing those things through the hotel is more expensive. I highly recommend getting a car one day and exploring Koh Lanta. Its beautiful and a blast. Pimalai is much more expensive than other hotels on the island, but it was worth it. Very secluded, quiet and undeveloped, but you can easily find hotels not far away for less than 2,000 baht/night probably. I would not stay anywhere but the Pimalai, though -- it was that beautiful. A warning though: The hotel property is split into two areas. We stayed in the lower beach area, which was perfect for us, since we would walk on the beach at night etc. But the other half is built up the side of a mountain, and has all of the Pool Villas (which were spectacular) and is a long walk to the beach. Of course, they will pick you up in a golf cart up there and take you down to the beach, so its not that big a deal, but just be warned. Don't think you are going to stay in the Pool Villas or upper property and just hope down to the beach. The infinity pool there is also spectacular, with a magnificent view, but we preferred to be close to the beach, so we didn't have too far to stagger from the Why Not Bar! :)

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
1 Thank motoman4540
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warrington, England
Level Contributor
14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 18, 2009

I have been meaning to write a review about this hotel for over a year now, our visit there still seems like yesterday. I often find myself driving to work and wishing I was back there...it's only since my return from there that I have realised how lucky I am to have been somewhere so amazing.

The hotel is beautiful, we went out of season and it was quiet. We were also lucky with the weather during the rainy season and most days found ourselves as the only sunbathers around the hotels stunning infinity pools. We didn't find the food to be the best here for the price that we paid. Instead, we opted for a bit of adventure and went down to the Why Not Bar along the beach most nights and also visited the restaurant that is on the hillside (I can't remember the name). The atmosphere here is what I imagine to be the real Thailand that so many travellers have been seeking for many decades now. The staff at the Why Not Bar look like something straight out of a tribal painting...they sit cross legged, sing and just generally resemble a Thai Red Hot Chilli Peppers tribute band. We had many a good night at the bar and felt like travellers but had the luxury of a comfortable bed and great breakfast the next day - cheating I know but I don't mind. The wildlife is amazing also and we were lucky enough to see the giant lizard in the tree on the way up to the bar, it was fantastic.

The speed boat was a great touch and I would recommend paying the extra for a return, we did the ferry on the way back to go to Koh Phi Phi and wished that we were flying through the sea on a nice boat!

Something for everyone and enjoy every minute of it.

  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LeylaM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Ko Lanta hotels
8.5 mi away
Layana Resort and Spa
Layana Resort and Spa
#1 of 84 in Ko Lanta
5.0 of 5 bubbles 1,401 reviews
0.6 mi away
The Houben Hotel
The Houben Hotel
#3 of 84 in Ko Lanta
4.5 of 5 bubbles 668 reviews
10.6 mi away
Twin Lotus Resort & Spa
Twin Lotus Resort & Spa
#6 of 84 in Ko Lanta
4.5 of 5 bubbles 696 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.6 mi away
Baan KanTiang See Villa Resort (2 bedroom villas)
8.3 mi away
Long Beach Chalet
Long Beach Chalet
#8 of 84 in Ko Lanta
4.5 of 5 bubbles 521 reviews
11.0 mi away
Crown Lanta Resort & Spa
Crown Lanta Resort & Spa
#12 of 84 in Ko Lanta
4.5 of 5 bubbles 1,335 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Pimalai Resort and Spa? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Pimalai Resort and Spa

Property: Pimalai Resort and Spa
Address: 99 Moo 5, Ba Kan Tiang Beach, Ko Lanta 81150, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Krabi Province > Ko Lanta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Ko Lanta
#2 Luxury Hotel in Ko Lanta
#2 Spa Hotel in Ko Lanta
#2 Family Hotel in Ko Lanta
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Ko Lanta
#4 Romantic Hotel in Ko Lanta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, Orbitz, Hotwire, Travelocity, Agoda, Priceline, TripOnline SA and HotelQuickly so you can book your Pimalai Resort and Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Pimalai Hotel Ko Lanta
Pimalai Resort Ko Lanta

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing