Fond of foie gras? Love lobster on the beach, toe twirling in the sand and Champagne breakfasts under swaying palms? OK you are a candidate, so keep reading. What if you could combine all of the above plus snorkelling, infinity pools, first class spa treatments, sailing, fishing and solitary beaches? I’ll let you in a secret: you can have it all at the Layana Resort and Spa in Koh Lanta, Thailand.
Where is it?
Nestled in the middle of Mu Koh Lanta National Park, on the island of Koh Lanta Yai about two hours South of Krabi International Airport, Thailand.
The Layana Resort sits on 3km of white sandy beach surrounded by rainforests and a marine archipelago that provides a rich under the sea world of coral reef and marine life.
Who lives there?
The so-called sea-gypsies are the original inhabitants of the area. They still maintain some of their attractive ceremonies, such as setting a boat adrift to chase evil spirits on the Full Moon of June and November.
Varied communities have now set up shops and attractive restaurants and eateries, souvenir shops and diving and fishing businesses for visitors.
There are rubber plantations, cashews and coconuts are harvested regularly and fishing still continues supplying the hotels and resorts of the island.
Ready for feasting?
As heavy dark clouds gather in the sky at sunset many photographers get ready to capture the moment.
Others idly linger at the open air bar and the rest of us wonder if a storm is brewing to ruin our very anticipated beach barbecue night.
The colourful lanterns begin to sway in the breeze and the linen clad tables start to flutter. But not to worry, the staff seems oblivious to the possibility of rain as delicious smells fill the air on the beach This is no ordinary beach barbecue.
The Layana is far from other inhabited places on the island and this is a private dinner for Layana guests.
The spread is mind-boggling: from freshly caught seafood to grilled to perfection foie gras.
The clouds are inky black but no rain, so we all take our seats at the tables.
It is a feast indeed with a special flare imparted by the debonair General Manager Stefan Heintze. The foie gras is absolutely delicious and I combine it with the lobster and oysters, my own version of Surf and Turf.
While on the topic of food, the Tides Restaurant has Champagne breakfasts on Sundays. French Champagne flow freely through the morning…and there is afternoon tea everyday as well…
What is the accommodation like at the Layana Resort and Spa?
From beach villas to rooms the size of modern urban apartments, the setting is peaceful and green. Lush vegetation provides shade and privacy.
My favourite area is around the Wellness area with its own pool.
My Garden Pavilion has three well-defined areas: a sitting area with quality sound surround system, the bedroom and the luxurious bathroom with a spa tub in it.
During an ensuing storm after dinner I draw back the shades to admire the lightening show from my bed.
To keep the intimate atmosphere there are a total of 57 rooms available in the whole resort.
What about the Spa?
Ahhhhh, now you got me talking. The Linger Longer Spa – winner of the 2016 Conde Nast Award for Excellence – is the place to try something different.
From their award winning Spa Menu, I choose the Silk Rope Massage with a history spanning thousands of years, literally translated as ‘massage by foot pressure.’
The form originated in South India alongside the Kalari martial arts, Kathakali dancers and practitioners of yoga. It then travelled to Tibet and Northern Thailand.
Inspired by this old India tradition, the masseuse walks on you but always holding on to a double silk rope tied to the rafters in the room in order to control the pressure.
She can then apply as much or as little pressure as you require. Exotic? Yes. Effective? Certainly. I can’t wait to return to the Spa.
What about the rest of the island?
Koh Lanta was originally a fishing village that decided to take advantage of the seclusion its beaches provided.
The old core of the village with its wooden houses is still in full swing and a visit is a must. Trendy, green restaurants cater to sophisticated travellers of all ages while the fishermen still tend to their metier.
Fulfil all your dreams and head to the Layana Resort and Spa, you’ll never regret it…
Maria Visconti travelled courtesy of TAT and was a guest at the Layana Resort.