From grand gestures like sunshine guarantees to extra touches like free canapes, the Layana Resort & Spa in Koh Lanta puts guest satisfaction first. Tucked away on a long stretch of white beach that oozes Thai tranquillity, this tropical hideaway inspires total escapism. Read on for a personal guide to discovering Thailand with our Facebook competition winner and travel blogger, Gemma Thompson.
Arrive in style
The hotel manager was there to greet me with a flower garland necklace as soon as I stepped down from the speedboat onto the soft sand. A very warm welcome indeed. After a complimentary cocktail I was taken on an introductory tour of the beautiful resort grounds before being escorted to my garden pavilion room.
Room with a view
The garden pavilion room is a bright, airy space featuring a large comfy bed, seating area and a spacious balcony with tranquil garden views. The bathroom comprises a sunken bath, waterfall-style shower, bathrobes and a selection of Layana spa toiletries. Plus, you know your hotel is serious about luxury when there’s a pillow menu…
My holiday at Layana Resort & Spa was made even more magical because I got engaged! My fiancé Connor planned a romantic spa day at Linger Longer Spa where we were both pampered with facials and massages, followed by a delicious meal at Tides restaurant. We then went for a romantic sunset walk along Long Beach where he got down on one knee in the sand and popped the question! Of course I said yes!
Pool & beach
If you’re looking to cool off in the Thai sun, you’ll find an infinity pool, outdoor jacuzzi and the latest addition: a half-size Olympic wellness pool. You can also kick back on Long Beach – even for a spontaneous visit with no ‘beach’ equipment because flip flops, beach towels and beach bags are all provided. Throughout the day guests are served with cold water, cold towels and fresh fruit which is a thoughtful touch, and really sets The Layana Resort apart.
There’s a state-of-the-art-gym onsite for those wishing to maintain – or begin – fitness regimes. You’re also free to attend one of the morning yoga classes or explore the local area via complimentary cycle hire. Keep the health kick going with a fresh smoothie from the juice bar next to the wellness pool.
The Linger Longer Spa provides a wide-ranging menu of wellness treatments in a seriously soothing environment. I went for the Romancing Layana signature package – four hours of pure bliss, pampered from head to toe – which included a full body massage and fruit facial, a Dead Sea caramel wrap, salt scrub and floral bath. I loved it so much I went back to take advantage of Friday’s two-for-one offer and experienced the new salt therapy spa. The sauna and steam room are free to use for hotel guests but spa treatments must be paid for.
The breakfast service takes place at Tides Restaurant between 6:30am and 10:30 daily, and showcases sweeping views of the beach and Andaman Sea. The buffet selection is amazing, with something to satisfy every taste, from local curries and cured meats to cheese and pastries. There are also noodle dishes, bacon and sausage cooked breakfasts, waffles, juices and fruit. You can customise your ingredients at the omelette station and watch while it’s prepared fresh by the chef, or order something a la carte. I really enjoyed the poached eggs, which were perfectly cooked, and I had them with avocado pudding, fresh mango and juice shots. Top tip: Don’t miss the free champagne breakfast every Sunday.
Thailand holidays should be about chilling out and enjoying a relaxing drink or two. Come evening, Sundowners Bar is the best spot to admire the sunset with a drink. It’s happy hour between 5pm and 7pm, so grab a half-price cocktail (the Coco Loco was my favourite) and take in the view.
There’s a dive centre on site at Layana Resort & Spa, plus motorbikes which you can rent as well as complimentary use of bicycles, so you can explore your locale by water and land. The resort can also arrange day trips around the island, alongside boat trips and snorkelling excursions to neighbouring islands.
The little things
Experiencing this fantastic resort first hand, it’s clear to see why Layana Resort and Spa has won so many awards in the luxurious hotels category. Little touches like complimentary canapes during happy hour and free wine tasting classes on Tuesdays show their commitment to providing a memorable experience for their guests. What’s even more impressive is their offer of a sunshine guarantee in wet season, whereby guests unlucky enough to be met with inclement weather will be credited 1000THB for each rainy day.
Gemma won her trip to Layana Resort & Spa in one of our popular Facebook competitions, and visited in December 2017.