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 email@example.com
- 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