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“Spectacular site, wonderful rooms and service but average food”

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Layana Resort and Spa
Ranked #1 of 84 Hotels in Ko Lanta
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 22, 2014

We plumped for the option of taking the speed boat directly on to the beach and what a great choice! Pricey but well worth it. Arriving through the open sea after a 20 minute ride gave a jaw-dropping view of the island and the resort, as well as a full scale welcome by the manager and staff. The hotel complex is very well situated on this wonderful island and extremely beautiful in conception and design. Rooms are spacious and tasteful, each one in a small four room block, set in tranquil beautiful grounds. (We had requested a room upstairs when booking nine months previously but this did not materialise, despite a reminder a few days before our arrival; there was never a clear explanation why.)

There is a real sense of space and greenery everywhere in the complex.The pool and restaurant face out to sea and the daily spectacular sunset. Staff were endlessly friendly, helpful and efficient. Nothing was too much trouble.

For a hotel that is wonderful in so many ways food was ho-hum. It was good without being outstanding (by contrast with everything else). Breakfast was included and we also ate in the hotel every evening. For a hotel that clearly aspires to be world class its food is behind many of its rivals in variety, sophistication and interest. Breakfast was most disappointing with a limited range and not enough variety from day to day. (This would not stop us returning, however. Everything else is so perfect.)

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Thank Joe L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 22, 2014

Adding to many of the reviews, this is a fantastic hotel. Having travelled all around the world the Layana is right up there with the best hotels in terms of room / service quality and location. The Layana is in a great location offering amazing food at very responsible prices, however within a 2-5 min walk along the beach, there are many different places to eat (all were less than £20 for two with a few drinks)

It is a big world out there and my wife and I have always said we would never go to the same place twice, however the Layana hotel, staff and location are that good we are about to book again for next year.

All staff are amazing and a big thank you and well done goes to the whole team, with a special thank you going to Wit, Man and Boy who really made a difference and went above and beyond to make our holiday special.

Keep up the great work

Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
Thank Carlos02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2014

We were lucky enough to stay here for 2 weeks in January after wanting to return after our stay here 4 years ago when we experienced awful weather! Luckily this time we had perfect weather and a wonderful holiday. The arrival by speedboat is so exciting and the welcome you receive on the beach is fantastic! We found that there were several members of staff who were still working at the hotel who were there on our first visit and some even remembered us!

The spa has been refurbished and is pure luxury, the staff there are so friendly and happy. You can now also have a beach massage and the girls there are lovely and friendly even though they speak hardly any English. They give WONDERFUL massages at a very reasonable price.

It was my husband's 60th birthday while we were there and a beautiful cake was given to him at Happy hour with the staff (and some guests!) singing Happy Birthday.I had also organised a bottle of fizz which we had whist watching another beautiful sunset which made it a very memorable occasion.

The food is excellent but there are so many other places to explore along the beach or in Saladan that we chose not to eat in much. I will agree with NikkiB that the Sands bar doesn't seem to be working. This is an ideal place for having lighter meals and snacks such as a simple Pad Thai or a nice salad but they don't seem to have sorted out the menu properly to have this. Also it seems ludicrous that if you sit on one of the lovely relaxing chairs there during Happy hour you have to pay full price for the drinks, but if you stay on your sun lounger on the beach 2 yards in front or wander 3 yards up to the Tides bar they are half price! I think this may need sorting out.

We returned home feeling more relaxed than I can remember and looking forward to our return next January which we have already booked! Thank you to everyone for a fabulous holiday!

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank RugBugs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2014

Last full day at this lovely resort, where you truly manage to make a pause in time (Layana), arriving after long travelling time, you are welcomed at the reception and immediately checked in and catered for, and being placed at the bar next to the beach, you already get a good picture of what to expect for the coming 7 days.

Thank you Layana we loved it, we needed it, and sitting here on the terasse enjoying the view to the garden and the birds playing their songs, we can only say the best for what we have experienced since our arrival.

Fantastic idea to have your own beach bar next door, allowing you to get some authentic sand snack bar experience for lunch or dinner, and then the nice Tides restaurant, with both a la carte and themes in a great mix, and in both places with your friendly, always smiling and super service minded people

Great room, bathroom, bed and as you can lay on the beach all day, and sit in the restaurants or bar all night, you really do not need a sea view from your room, it's actually nice with the marvellous garden as an alternative

Fantastic service minded people, you feel well serviced from the attending pool guys, the guards and to any other part of your great resort, Ned, Lion, "Gong" or any other are just adding to an already fantastic experience

We are relaxed, massaged and filled with great food and energy to go on to the next place

Suggestions:

1. perhaps a couple of thread mills, enabling an indoor run with your spouse (the 5 KM beach is great, but it's a little warm :-))

2. Decaf coffee and tea in the room would be nice (no complaints as there are plenty of both coffee and tea, so just for us not doing well with caffein)

3. Continue what you are doing, this is absolutely one of the best resorts we have ever stayed at


Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Peter S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2014

We have recently returned from a week long stay at the Layana, having stayed there for 2 weeks just over 3 years ago. It's important to say at the outset that the Layana is a beautiful resort, the location is outstanding and the design of the resort (and the fact it's adults only) is all conducive to a relaxing, romantic holiday. The new layout of the bar is much improved from the original giving more space for people to sit and enjoy the amazing sunsets.

So, why not give it 5 stars I hear you say? Well I suppose we just noticed some subtle differences from our original stay that added up over the week. We had the same great welcome and it was great to see a lot of the original staff who are absolutely lovely. One of the things that we first noticed was that the staff:guest ratio was less than previously. In fact this was one of the things that the previous owners had said was a unique selling point. This has changed, sometimes it was noticeable, sometimes it wasn't. Occasionally at breakfast it seemed like there weren't quite enough staff and it was often noticeable at lunchtimes when we would often walk round to the bar to order lunch and there was no one there.

We also noticed a lot of inconsistencies and this is definitely down to staff training. We would have lunch at the bar each day and each day the format of whether we got bread, whether we got butter with the bread, whether we got water etc etc was different. There was only one day out of 8 that we got everything that we should have had.

The food at lunchtime and off the main menu in the evenings was very good. We didn't really rate the BBQ on the Saturday night or the Thai night - when we looked at what we'd eaten for the cost it didn't stack up to the value and quality offered from the A la carte menu. (To be fair we hadn't been overkeen on the BBQ the last time we went).

The Sands Bar has recently opened at the Layana and this just didn't work at all. In theory it should work but it just doesn't. There is no atmosphere and seems to have no identity of it's own. The toilets are awful and the bar area is only half filled as most of the food etc is brought from the main kitchens. We went to the Tapas night which was a disaster. It wasn't a tapas night at all, it was a choice of 8 dishes that were miniscule and pretty awful. How they had come out of the same kitchen that produces the other food was baffling to us. The other issue was the 'live' music. A guitarist who took forever to get set up then when he did you could see everybody looking at one another saying 'is this it?'. The second time we tried the Sands Bar the guitarist got going (eventually) but then stopped after 30 seconds to file his nails - this happened four times by which times the guests were in hysterics as it definitely had a faulty towers feel to it. It's a shame as it could be a great area but the identity, food and music have got to be improved.

I think it's fair to say the whole dynamics of the place has changed and whilst most of the managers were just fab the manager responsible for 'drinks and beverages' seemed to find dealing with customers difficult. He was defensive when any comments were made, even when we (and other guests) were trying to give some useful ideas of how to get the Sands bar to work well. Also, we (amongst others) complained about the Tapas night and he just said, 'it was meant to be an introduction to Tapas as a starter'. Well no where was this stated and it was obvious he was making up an excuse on the spot. He said he wouldn't charge us plus another couple but then when we got the bill it hadn't been taken off, so we had to then go and sort it out.

We did have some fab massages whilst at the Layana but think the changes to the Spa have meant that some nice aspects have been lost. Originally there was a lounge area where you would be greeted and have your feet washed with a cup of tea. Now there are just two chairs in the reception (one is really hard to get out of it's so low), no feet washing and the rooms are nice but there is an odd set up with the bathroom being outside which I can imagine some people find a bit unnerving. Lovely staff though and the massages were excellent. I'd just make better use of the space in the reception area to put the original greet and ritual back in place.

I suppose we can tell the difference between a resort that has been built and run by a couple who have put their heart and soul into it (when we went 3 years ago) to it now being purely a business.

They whole dynamics of the place has changed and we talked to a lot of people who are 'returners' and we didn't come across anyone who thought it was as good. Everyone commented on the small detail that they had noticed.

As I said, it's still a fabulous place and perhaps we were spoilt the first time we went but we know we won't go back. Just hope they get the detail put right, as a customer the devil is the detail and we notice everything!

Room Tip: We've had a room away from the pool on both occasions only because we think that it's a bit...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank Nikki B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Layana_Resort, General Manager at Layana Resort and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded March 17, 2014

Dear NikkiB,
Thank you very much for your review, mentioning the great staff, management, location, overall very good food quality and improvements after the Grand Renovation in 2013. However, we will work very hard on the ‘not so exceptional” issues and thank you very much for pointing it out. Only with comments such as yours, we can continue to strive for “Perfection” and “The Same Dream Again” for our many returning guests.
Sunny greetings from Koh Lanta,
Your Layana Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2014 via mobile

We are on holiday right now at the Layana. We have stayed in some amazing hotels but this really is exceptional. The location right on the beach, the pool, the beautiful, spotless rooms! But what truly makes this hotel is the staff and the impeccable service. Stefan and his team have it spot on. They have thought of absolutely everything, and it leads to a very relaxing and friendly environment. We are also really pleasantly surprised at how reasonably priced things like spa treatments, minibar and food and drink are. As a result we have taken full advantage. Finally, breakfast is awesome. This really is a perfect hotel.

Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Scottie1975
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2014

We have been 4weeks again at the Layana . It was the same great time as last year, we have meet again very nice comingbackguests and new guests. It is always the same feeling coming back to the Layana after 1 year and nothing seems to have changed.

Room Tip: The rooms are all very nice, we have always the garden pavilion and it is very nice, to get one bea...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank jemtland38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Layana Resort and Spa

Address: 272 Moo 3 Phra-Ae Beach | Saladan, Ko Lanta 81150, Thailand
Phone Number:
Location: Thailand > Krabi Province > Ko Lanta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Ko Lanta
#1 Romantic Hotel in Ko Lanta
#1 Luxury Hotel in Ko Lanta
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Ko Lanta
#6 Family Hotel in Ko Lanta
Price Range: $160 - $500 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Layana Resort and Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 57
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Layana Resort & Spa is nestled on Koh Lanta Yai Island in Mu Koh Lanta National Park. The park is a marine archipelago, home to verdant tropical rainforests and undersea kingdoms of colourful coral rich in natural marine diversity. The resort enjoys a spectacular beachfront location on a 3-kilometer long white sand beach, situated about 2 hours south of Krabi International Airport. Environmentally-conscious design throughout the property results in a simple and elegant Thai atmosphere; alfresco architecture combining with contemporary design to provide an open, cool and natural feel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Layana Hotel Ko Lanta
Layana Ko Lanta

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