There's Something About Layana...
Arriving by speedboat transfer, then whisked through a world of white sandy beaches and lush tropical greenery, I felt terribly glamorous - like I'd arrived on the set of a Bond film. I know I have a wild imagination, but it sure beats a taxi...
Greeted by hotel manager Stefan and his team, who personally greet all of their guests, I was given a tour of the resort. It was clear that everything is designed to promote relaxation and wellbeing - from the adjustable head rests on the pool loungers, the button to call attentive staff for pool side drinks, to the extensive in room pillow menu and health shots at breakfast.
With only 50 rooms in the resort it is small enough to allow all of its guests to experience the ultimate in Thai hospitality. It's no surprise that Layana has won numerous awards including first place in last year's Trip Advisor Travellers' Choice Award.
Luxury, tranquility and service is at the heart of the Layana Resort and Spa. A comforting sense of serenity engulfed me as soon as I arrived. It's understated luxury and hospitality at its absolute best!
A garden pavilion room with a spacious terrace or balcony. The decor combines the perfect use of natural materials and luxurious comfy furnishings. There's a goose down duvet and a huge choice of pillows to ensure complete r&r. Facilities include a dvd player, sunken bath and Layana spa products which have a uplifting lemongrass scent.
The spa is a calm oasis set in a tropical walled garden. There are six treatment rooms, including three doubles with outdoor showers or bath tubs, so you can enjoy a treatment with your partner. Facilities include an outdoor Jacuzzi, hydrobath, sauna, shock shower (it's cold!) and a salt room. You can book private complimentary use of the Jacuzzi and sauna area, so you really can benefit from uninterrupted escapism.
I enjoyed a Layana signature massage which is a relaxing, warm oil massage, combining the techniques of aromatherapy, Swedish massage, Ayurveda and shiatsu. The treatment starts with a consultation so the massage can be customised to your specific need - and you can choose from a selection of aromatherapy oils. I chose a relaxing blend of lavender and ylang ylang blend and drifted off within minutes... When I was gently awoken I could feel that my knots and shoulder tension had dispersed.
Other treatments include the Face Lifting Bliss, the Layana Sea Caramel Mud Wrap, Healing Stone Therapy, the Golden Dust Body Cleansing, Beach Massages and the Anti Jet Lag Treatment.
Look out for regular special two for one and honeymoon offers.
The Tides is a laid back beachfront restaurant which serves an a la carte selection of international dishes, as well as Asian fusion and seafood specialities. The Thai buffet was divine with a great selection of local dishes. I absolutely loved the themed evenings with entertainment - which included a curry night, BBQ and tapas night.
Tip: Try the Thai red wine that is served in the Tides restaurant. It's really very good.
The Sundowner Beach Bar for relaxing 'toes in sand' cocktails - is a great way to finish off another perfect day.
Ko lanta is still one of the least developed of all Thailand's southern island so it's great to explore. The resort offers a range of activities including a morning bicycle tour - which allows you to see village life, the sundowner cruise (we spotted monkeys popping for a swim whilst we watched the sunset!), the four island snorkelling trip - a day trip to Phi Phi and private Thai cooking classes (add Thai food to your dinner party repertoire!)
Words: Amanda Camilleri
Kuoni (01306 747008 or www.kuoni.co.uk) offers eight nights with breakfast at the 5-star Layana Resort & Spa, Koh Lanta in a garden pavilion room including flights with Eva Air from Heathrow and private transfers in resort.
Prices for 2014 are from £1,463 per person, based on two sharing.
Quote: FE9091 (price includes four bonus nights)