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“Layana vs La Laanta”

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Layana Resort and Spa
Ranked #1 of 85 Hotels in Ko Lanta
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 17, 2009

My family and I just returned from a vacation in Koh Lanta and had stayed 3 nights each in Layana and La Laanta which are currently ranked the 1st and 2nd resorts respectively by TripAdvisor. I think a comparison between the two resorts might provide some hints to holidays-seekers to choose one to suit their personal preferences.

The resort – Before arrival, I expected Layana to be a small to medium size 4-stars resort because it has only 50 rooms. However it did exceed my expectation and was a truly 5-stars resort. It was spacious, tastefully designed and provided the comfort of a luxury resort without compromising the privacy and quietness. La Laanta had 20 bungalows with totally different style. In contrast to the luxurious of a general 5-stars resort, it provided a peaceful ambience which made its guests feel free, ease and relaxing just like home.

Location – Layana was rather conveniently located and guests could walk to nearby shops though, in fact, there was not much to shop around. La Laanta was seclude and remotely located and it was quite unlikely for guests to access nearby shops or restaurants.

Facilities – There were only 1 pool and 1 restaurant available in Layana. Though their sizes are medium comparing to those of an average 5-stars resort, they are adequate for a boutique resort as in the case of Layana. It had spa facilities which we didn’t try. Its library was comfortable and well-organized. When comparing to those of La Laanta, the pool and library in Layana are obviously of a higher class despite Layana had only 2 PCs for internet access while La Laanta had 3. The restaurants were hard to compare. La Laanta had 2 small restaurants. The breakfast restaurant oversaw the pool and the beach and made people feel calm and relaxing – particularly with 2 dogs and 1 cat lying at your feet. The dinner restaurant had a sand floor but the sands were neither as white nor powdery as those of some top Asian beaches. We had mosquito bites in the 2 nights we dined there. Overall, I personally liked the breakfast restaurant in La Laanta above the others.

Room – We stayed in 2 Pavilion rooms which were standard rooms in Layana. The room was spacious, warm and cosy. It was definitely better than equivalent rooms in average 5-stars resorts. In La Laanta, we stayed in a Sand Castle room overseeing the small garden, the pool and the beach (We were lucky to be assigned probably the best room in the resort). It was clean and cosy. In brief, the room in Layana was much more luxurious though I personally prefer to stay in the Sand Castle room in La Laanta mainly because of its view.

Services – The services in Layana were excellent. They were subtle and attentive and were the best that I have experienced in a 5-stars resort. (We have stayed in 30-40 5-stars resorts in Asia in the last 10-12 years). In La Laanta, you won’t see any staff to serve you in uniform, and this fitted well to an ease environment as you won’t expect a uniformed staff to serve you at home. Nevertheless, its staff members were always available to attend to your requests and to offer assistances. And both Michael in Layana and Patrick in La Laanta were very friendly.

Beach – The beach in La Laanta was quiet and private and the water was comparatively calmer and clearer. It was in general better than that in Layana.

Food – The restaurant in Layana offered more varieties of food such as Thai, Mediterranean and western while that in La Laanta mainly offered Thai food with some choices of western food. Layana also had more food choices during breakfast while La Laanta’s breakfast was decent. The food prices in Layana were higher by around 10%-20% for the same Thai dishes and this was reasonable for a 5-stars resort. In general, the food prices in both restaurants were cheap. For example, Layana offered a barbecue buffet at 850 Baht which was excellent value for money when considering the food quality. The quality of Thai food in both restaurants was close, though we all agreed that the smoothies in La Laanta were much better.

Cleanliness – Absolutely no criticism for Layana. As for La Laanta, the cotton cushions on the beach chairs as well as on the seats in the dinner restaurant absorbed water during the rain and were either torn or shabby.

In brief, both resorts probably topped the rankings among the resorts of their particular styles in Koh Lanta. Holiday-seekers won’t disappoint to have chosen either one of them.

Keith Yeung keith.scout@yahoo.com.hk

Stayed: April 2009, traveled with family
13  Thank HKSunFish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 17, 2009

We stayed at the Layana on a whim. This was one of our highlights of Thailand. The owners are from South Africa and have built a beautiful plush property right on the ocean. The grounds are well manicured, the staff is knowledgeable and can speak and understand English very well, the rooms are beautiful and air conditioned and the chef of the restaurant is a Master Chef from Italy well trained in Thai and Italian cuisine.

The hotel is down the main road about 10 minutes from the pier and the property is beautiful. The hotel offers free wifi in the rooms, by the pool and on the beach. Each room has a patio and ocean villas are available at an extra cost. Flat screen tv, internet, air condition, bath tub and shower, in room safe and room service is available at all times.

The beach front is soft sand and plush chairs with exceptional service at all of the in/outlets of the hotel. Free DVD rental and a library with complimentary computer access is avaiable for hotel guest between 6am-8pm. There is an incredible beautiful spa on property and a small well equipped gym for guest to use.

We took a day trip on a mountain bike for 400 baht per person. There are many activities the hotel offers at an additonal fee: day trips, cooking classes and sunset cruises. The hotel had a complimentary wine tasting, water areobics and yoga for guest. The spa also offers daily specials. Breakfast was included everyday with our room rate. The buffet style breakfast was amazing. Lots of care was put into the menu and the service was unmatched.

The hotel van picked us up from the airport and took us to the resort . We took 2 ferries to get there. The ride from the airport was 2 hours but the van was very comfortable. The property was so nice I would return to Koh Lanta just to stay there again.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Bakesie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2009

We stayed at Layana for 2 weeks in March 2009, and we loved it!
Very warm and friendly welcome with drinks and cold towels.
We stayed in the pavillion room and they are very nice and have all you need. The housekeeping staff are brilliant and kept the rooms very clean.
The food is great and reasonable priced, but try the resturants in Saladan as well!
At breakfast you sit right next to the beach and you have almost everything you need.
The beach is very nice, comfy sunbeds, lots of towels, staff comes with cold water just when you need it and it`s peaceful.
I used the gym and it´s a little oldfashioned and small but it works OK. You have the beach where you could run, swim or walk at.
We booked the 4 island trip with the hotel and it was great. We went with our swedish travel agent to koh rook and was not good at all. Next time we will book everything trough Layana because of the service.
Overall the staff at this hotel is faboulous and very friendly and helpful. They makes this hotel a 5 star!!
Can´t wait to go back!!
/Hulda & Anders
Sweden

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank hbacke77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2009

The location is perfect - very quiet and luxurious on lovely beach, but a short walk up the beach to great value bars and restaurants (our favourites for food were Thai Cat and Suza Hut) so best of both worlds. There is also scope to see other parts of the beautiful island by scooter (rent from resort) or tuk-tuk and access to ATMs, pharmacies, etc etc so you are not isolated.

Service is friendly (loads of smiles and greetings), unobtrusive and efficient and Michael seems to be a first class manager. Nothing is too much trouble

Plus points:-
Pool voted by my wife as the prettiest she had swum in.
Excellent breakfast with loads of fresh fruit. All kinds of other tastes catered for as well.
Great cocktails in beach front bar and 2 hour happy hour to enjoy them!
Terrific rooms (we had the "cheapest" type - Garden View) - big, clean and nice balconies.
Speedboat/minibus transfer
Brilliant dive shop with staff (Alex particularly good) who are refreshingly focused on safety as well as giving you a great dive
Beautiful spa - also don't miss their own beach massage spot which is only slightly more expensive than the others on the beach but well worth the extra 10 baht!

Minus points (only small ones!):-
The aircon in the room has a minimum setting of 20 degrees which was a bit warm for us Scots!
The beach BBQ was a disappointment - coals probably not hot enough so food overcooked/rubbery and no fresh fish - apparently all the fish caught off Koh Lanta goes to Koh Phi Phi, but doesn't seem to stop all the other restaurants up the beach having fresh barracuda, bass, grouper, etc on their barbecues ...
The buzzer system for the pool and beach beds is a great idea for when you need something, but SOME (not all) of the staff are a bit slow to respond or, dare I say, sometimes even ignore/forget the buzz!
Beware the fuel gauges on the resort's scooters - we ran out of fuel with the gauge still showing "full"!

All in all a lovely place to stay - thoroughly recommended!

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Jimmy_Superscot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2009

Me and my girlfriend stayed there in october and we found the whole wonderful.
Hotel, rooms, restaurant, bar, swimming pool were almost perfect.
We had a Garden pavillion, that it is supposed to be the easyest room and it was beautiful with a great view on that marvellous garden.
Spa was great, we had our best massages in Thailand, and we travelled a lot round the country.
Staff was the best ever met in Thailand, and , you know if you've ever been to this country, how can they be....
They were kind and helpful every time, and they can even read our mind to satisfy all our needs.
Everyday activities are available even in low season, and we had the "honour" to make the first Phi Phi tour of the season, that it was just amazing.
Restaurant is gorgeous, it is such a pleasure to have breakfast on the seaside and taste everyday that lovely food. It has one of the best Thai food ever had.
We wish to thank all the spa, reception, restaurant and swimming pool staff for making our stay the most pleasant of all our journeys round the world.
We would recomend this hotel to all our friends and we'll surely come back.
....We hope soon....Thank you Layana!!!!!

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank AndreaStefania
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2009

Overall the hotel is very clean and well appointed if a little sterile and souless.
Fine if you do not wish to leave the hotel complex but step outside and there are problems getting back. The security staff are very heavy handed, I went through an interragation process when trying to return. After complaining, the security staff went to the other extreme of saluting me!!
Also beware the hotels scandalous exchange rates for foreign currency, expect less than half!!

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled solo
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1  Thank medwayRochester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2009

Just done 7 days at layana and cant praise it enough! To arrive by the hotels speedboat is fantastic and worth booking (not to show off or be flash, you just feel special).
The rooms were very modern and clean, bed comfy and nice view over gardens.
The staff were as friendly as the Thai people normally are, nothing is a problem and the pool boys were worth their weight in gold, setting up your beds promptly and efficiently and bringing glasses of ice cold water (free!) as if by magic, just when you needed them.
Food in the restaurant was good and breakfast had a mix of everything you could want. Happy hour is fab watching the sun go down, then get a tuc tuc to the great sea food restaurants at the front in Saladan.
Go for a drink and some food at the Corner Bar, take a right heading down towards the front and walk to the end. Lovely, friendly owners and a very chilled atmosphere.
Great place to watch the footy just before it on your right (cockney lad that owns it), very friendly and strong Long Island Teas!!!
Funky Fish beach bar and Thai Cat both great food on a lunchtime, also Time For Lime (which is the next beach along but nowt in a tuc tuc) is great. Also superb massages on the beach for peanuts (or should that be coconuts?!)
Dont be afraid to go the other way out of the hotel, nice bars and restaurants up that way as well.
All in all a fantastic stay, and wed just been to the Darai Dhiva in Chiang Mai before that so it would have been easy to have been disappointed having been there!!

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Kindo1908
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 On the Beach Hotel in Ko Lanta
#1 Romantic Hotel in Ko Lanta
#1 Luxury Hotel in Ko Lanta
#1 Spa Hotel in Ko Lanta
Price Range: $177 - $549 (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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