Layang Layang Island Resort

Layang Layang Island Resort

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3.5
#1 of 1 hotels in Layang Layang
4.3 of 5 bubbles
Location
3.7 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Service
3.5 of 5 bubbles
Value
Layang Layang Island Resort Sdn Bhd is an exclusive resort that dominates the Layang Layang island - an oceanic atoll of Spratly Islands situated approximately 300km northwest of Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia. Fondly known as "The Jewel of the Borneo Banks", it is truly a diver's paradise. As many as 14 coral reefs have formed here, creating a breathtaking underwater scenery. The dive sites are well known for the intriguing hammerhead sharks and pygmy seahorses among other rare creatures. An hour's flight north of Kota Kinabalu, the island on which Layang Layang Island Resort Sdn Bhd nestled lies in 2,000m of ocean and due partly to the depth, this atoll has become famous for sightings of large pelagic species and for wall diving. Layang Layang Island Resort Sdn Bhd is the only resort on the island besides a Royal Malaysia Navy base. The resort, designed to look like the traditional Long House comprises 86 cosy rooms, restaurant and bar, outdoor swimming pool, Dive Center with certified diving instructors and a variety of diving courses among other facilities for modern comforts. Come for the exclusive and intriguing diving experience at this remote destination out of the world, where rare and uncommon underwater creature awaits you!
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Free internet
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Pool
Outdoor pool
Free breakfast
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Beach
Breakfast available
Breakfast buffet
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HOTEL CLASS
Star ratings are intended to indicate the general level of features, amenities, and services to expect. This property is classified according to Giata.
3.0 of 5 stars
HOTEL STYLE
Great View

Location

Layang Layang 88005 Malaysia
147Reviews9Q+A30Room tips
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Detailed Reviews
Ronald M wrote a review Jun 2015
Bristol, United Kingdom3 contributions18 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Tired and so-so resort and staff. Dive masters were good, but they had to be: more divers than sharks. Not our best experience. A bit like staying on a land-based liveaboard in terms of facilities, food and drink and privacy.
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Date of stay: May 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Lawrence L, Manager at Layang Layang Island Resort
Responded 28 Jun 2015
HI! Ronald, Thank you for your feedback. We are currently refurbishing our rooms and we hope you can visit us again to experience some changes by next season. Happy and Safe Diving! Regards Avillion Layang Layang Team
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wajen wrote a review Apr 2014
Perth, Australia365 contributions32 helpful votes
3.0 of 5 bubbles
I stayed here April 22-27 2014. Having read the previous posts regarding cancellation of flights, I was very relieved when flights resumed on April 8. However, rather than one flight a day, MAS now runs 3-4 flights a day on Twin Otter planes, with only 10-15 people per flight (Due to the small size of the planes, luggage restrictions are fairly tight). So on arrival day, instead of reaching Layang Layang at 730am, if you are unlucky and on the last flight you may not get there until lunchtime.
Firstly, the good points:
Diving was excellent. Our dive guide ( Barry) was very safety conscious, and our boatman (Saiful) was excellent. I never had any concerns about safety diving with them. Having said that, we were doing three deep dives a day ( first dive to 40m, second dive to 35m, third dive to 30-35m) and it is really up to the individual diver to ensure they don't exceed their NDL time on any dive. In the group of 10 experienced divers I was with, one diver had to sit out 2 days with early DCS, another missed two dives, and a third had to do an hour of deco at the end of one dive. Hammerheads - yes, they are around, however the large school was only seen the last couple of days I was there- they seem to have arrived late this year. It is also a battle to convince the dive guides to leave the dive centre early enough in the morning to actually find the hammerheads at a reasonable depth. The only time we saw a school of 25-30 hammerheads was when we were in the water by 7am; we saw them at a depth of about 30m. As it gets later ( and more daylight) the sharks descend deeper, so if you are not leaving the dive centre until 730am, your chances of finding the sharks are not great.
Resort staff were very friendly and helpful, from check -in to check out. No problem was too big or small for them to deal with. Rooms were cleaned daily. Food was plentiful, and variety was pretty good given they rely on frozen and tinned food for the most part.
During my stay, the resort was probably only half to 3/4 full. So I'm not sure if any of the above would be affected if the resort was operating at full capacity.
Now the not-so good stuff:
The resort is quite dated, with the rooms definitely showing a bit of wear and tear. The partitions between rooms are very thin, so if you are a light sleeper you will likely be kept awake by your neighbour snoring or watching their TV. While there is wi-fi on offer, it is extremely slow and frequently it was not possible to get a connection.
While the team I dived with were excellent, I was lucky - I heard reports from numerous other divers about safety lapses eg open water divers descending to 50m; dive guides going into deco b/c they had gone too deep for too long in search of hammerheads; dive guides running out of air; divers being allowed to continue diving after being "locked out" by their computers for missing deco stops. Remember that You are responsible for your own safety, diving within the limits of your computer and diving in line with your experience. I'm surprised that divers with only an open water certification are even allowed to dive here, as every dive is at least 30m.
The bottom line is, the only reason to come to Layang Layang is to dive - and the diving is excellent. If you are expecting a 5star resort, you will be disappointed. If you just want to enjoy some diving, relax and unwind, then you will enjoy your stay.
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Date of stay: April 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
talltaff wrote a review Aug 2012
Singapore, Singapore1,101 contribution245 helpful votes
+1
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Since Avillon is the only hotel on Layang Layang there seems to be no incentive for the business to make any effort to provide anything that resembles a decent resort. People will still come to dive and pay the extortionate rates.

The service is terrible, all the time. The room was old and shabby, the aircon struggles, the shower is little more than a dribble. There was no safe deposit box.

The food at the resort was incredibly poor. Since there are no other food options on the island you’re stuck with buffet-after-buffet of tasteless, low quality and unhealthy food. I have never been to any hotel in southeast Asia that didn’t serve fresh fruit.

The dive centre was acceptable. Our dive master was very good and the equipment seemed to be OK. The diving was decent but not as spectacular as advertised.
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Date of stay: April 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
PJ-Scuba wrote a review Jun 2010
Adelaide122 contributions178 helpful votes
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Layang Layang
Remote dive only location. The dive centre is organised and well run. Three dives a day with the first two dives focused on looking for hammerheads. This involves swimming into the blue at around 35mts for 20 minutes. Sightings are very much based on luck we dived twelve time and only saw the once others saw them six times for the same amount of dives. We did have three Manta sightings that made up for our lack of sharks. The reefs around Layang Layang are average with some sites infested with crown of thorns starfish to the point that large patches have been eaten away.
The accommodation is in three large blocks with basic rooms and paper thin walls. Whilst they say the rooms have balconies they are too small to use and there is no outdoor furniture. Food is good and plentiful and the staff are friendly. While this is a dive only destination some divers feel compelled to bring there children which become an irritance as they are left to run wild whilst the parents dive.
If you see hammerheads then this is a great dive location if they are not there then it is an expensive remote holiday. One problem is that divers tend to chase the sharks when they are sited driving them away.
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Date of stay: April 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Zuzanna N wrote a review Nov 2023
Sydney, Australia22 contributions6 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
FRAUD! Myself and 6 other people booked directly with Layang Layang resort in June, we have paid 8700 Singaporean dollars worth of deposit for 7 people, have received an email today with a letter telling us they they don't have a licence to operate, based on the letter they already knew in June that the licence is suspended. We have paid the deposit and been told today that we will not get it back. Absolute scam!
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Date of stay: November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
DrifterTina wrote a review Jul 2018
1 contribution5 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
飯店經理及潛導非常專業,每天在水面上下身心靈都得到滿足,員工很細心體貼,在飲食住宿不時有驚喜,用心旅行,遵守飯店的規定,您一定能玩得愉快!

The magic manager Mark not only fed us well with carefully designed menu of diversified food that met everyone's need, but also took good care of his fellow staff so they all served quickly with initiative. Each day we were given delightful surprises by either catering or housekeeping team.

The diving was awesome! With "radar-geared" DM Oliver and lucky 7 Boatman Arif, we greedily explored as much as we can. Internet was not important anymore as we were greatly connected and entertained by the majestic nature.

The following is dedicated to the creatures we met in the journey, as we were treated so well by the known and unknown, above and under water, mortal and indefinite:

I LEFT MY HEART IN LAYANG LAYANG

On the horizontal blue lies a gem
Sparkly shiny as Neverland,
Smiles and laughters all around,
Can't wait to visit again.

Upon and beneath the deep blue
Merges infinite colors vividly true.
Follow the bubbles and flying man,
Ocean big guys will go through.

Ancient fleet marching by,
Newborn seagulls trembling thigh.
Waters embrace anything in,
People never wondering why.

I left my heart in Layang Layang,
May we all forever young,
With unforgettable memory,
I left my love in Layang Layang.

Layang Layang left us what money can't buy, wish you enjoy your stay as well.
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Date of stay: April 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Reservation T, General Manager at Layang Layang Island Resort
Responded 25 Jul 2018
Dear Drifter Tina, Thank you for your review and poem. Glad you had an unforgettable experience and memories at Layang Layang. Hope to see you again soon. Happy and Safe Diving!
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Lena90 wrote a review Jun 2018
Singapore, Singapore7 contributions11 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
It has been my lifelong dream to see hammerheads and was told to go to Layang-Layang. I’m glad I did as can now tick it off my bucket list. We saw hammerhead twice, once about 5 swirling around and another time a school of 9-10. Aside from the diving, the staffs at the resort make me feel like home. They are super friendly and helpful. Room is comfortable and cleaned daily with surprises each day (I won’t ruin it here :)). The even include a Malaysian style dinner and karaoke night. Othet days, the buffet meals serve great food too. There isn’t much to do on the island so do bring books, board games etc. A day after I left the group saw a school of 40 hammers so I am super jealous and will be back next year. Thanks to everyone at Layang- Layang resort! Hope to see you all again next year.
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Date of stay: May 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Azzman67 wrote a review Apr 2017
Melbourne, Australia185 contributions136 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
this is a two part review- the diving and secondly the resort.

the diving - Breath taking( no pun intended) the staff were fantastic to say the least, the visibility was great with one day producing about 40 meters of vis. The wildlife? well WOW WOW WOW! we had hoped to see hammerheads and anything else would be a bonus, but the Hammers were just the start. we had loads of white tip Sharks, Black tips,
and grey reef Sharks on most dives. We had Big Dogtooth Tuna on most dives, with one site( the Point) providing many interactions, we had a visit from a Whale shark whilst we cruised the Wall near the Point, another Whale Shark appeared at the boat to greet us on the surface. Most dives also presented Manta rays - Schools of Trevally(jacks) and Barracuda, loads of reef fish and the occasional turtle showed up.

Not for the inexperienced diver with regular currents that had a tendency to switch directions or turn into a washing machine current.
Our guide Cyril was fantastic and knowledgable and safety was always his first concern.

we dived five days here and are definitely going back for the diving.

the Resort - firstly this is a remote place - 400kms from the mainland with flights in only 3 times a week so this has to be a consideration. it caters heavily for the Chinese market and we struggled to find out anything about it (details etc) in Australia. there are no designated non smoking areas ( if there are the smokers did not care) and this was actually an issue as most of the people on our trip smoked and we struggled to find an area where eating and smoking were not combined. the staff are extremely friendly and certainly go out of their way for you. The housekeeping staff put a smile on our face every day and the wait staff became like family very quickly indeed.

the resort is in need of a freshen up but given the remoteness of the location this is easily forgiven.

IMO more needs to be done soon in relation to the accomodation as the rooms are small and also need the freshen up. would I stay again? you bet as the satff make up for it and so does the diving.
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Date of stay: April 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Jellybean29928 wrote a review Apr 2014
Glasgow, Scotland257 contributions150 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
I have given this resort the lowest rating possible, if I could have given it no rating at all I would have. I would have liked to have given a review, but our trip was cancelled less than 24 hours before we were due to fly. The reason given was that the plane had broken down and they didn't know when it would be fixed. Fortunately our travel company managed to get us a room at Lankayan Resort (reviewed also) where we met another couple who had been due to holiday on LL at the same time, but they were told that it was cancelled because of work being done on the runway!!! We also saw stories in the Borneo press questioning whether LL was still trading. Whatever the reason for us being unable to holiday on LL, giving less than 24 hour notice was unacceptable. At best I feel that the owners of the resort were being disingenuous and at worst were using the deposit and money paid to them for the holiday as cash flow. If this is how they do business I wouldn't recommend going, no matter how good the diving is (and I'm a very keen diver).
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Date of stay: March 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
jameskenglim wrote a review May 2013
Singapore120 contributions108 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
This is a resort for 2 types of travellers: divers and sun-worshipers. If you are looking for anything else, you can stop reading now.

Still have your attention? Let's begin.

If I can be honest, my group of divers arrived into Avillion with some trepidation. From past reviews and personal encounters from friends, we came prepared: instant noodles, instant oat, coffee sachets, chips, water...we almost bought out the mom-and-pop shop in Kota Kinabalu. And all in vain!

The truth is, this place surpassed all of our expectations. The arrival onto the island on a twin-propeller plane was the start of many discoveries. Reception was efficient and staff were always friendly. Rooms were spick and span. Beds were firm and large enough to have a slumber party, sort of. There was hot shower and cool air con. For all divers out there, you know that's pure bliss after a day of diving. Kudos to the housekeeping crew too for always surprising us with imaginative bath towel art pieces! Sting ray, barracuda, whale shark, manta, hammerhead...you name it. No one can leave without saying they haven't seen anything!

The chef and his team certainly outdid themselves. Every day, without fail, was a smorgasbord of sumptuous delights. Full course International and Asian buffet spread that no sane person can say no to. And on Friday night, there was an amazing BBQ spread by the pool side. Lovely touch! I am certainly not kidding when I say that all we did was dive, sleep, and dive again; quite literally. I am pretty sure we all packed some additional luggage on the return flight.

The main attraction here is diving of course, and the waters certainly didn't disappoint. Inquisitive school of Scallop Hammerhead shark peering from the deep, pack of Barracuda patrolling the shallow, Tuna, Giant Trevally and Jack always in a hurry, languid Hawksbill Turtle gnawing at corals, shy Octopus peeping from dark crevices, Giant Moray perpetually yawning at us, Reef Shark playing hide and seek; there was never a dull moment. The highlight was us free-diving and frolicking with a pod of wild Spinner Dolphin!

The only downside of the entire paradise experience was the wi-fi connection. It kept dropping off. But considering that the resort only had mobile connection a few years ago and is still reliant on satellite signals, they have certainly made progress.

The only thing I wish will remain the status quo is the pristine waters and the amazing underwater palaces and its inhabitants. May it long stay that way.

I will be back.
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Date of stay: May 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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ALSO KNOWN AS
avillion layang layang island hotel layang layang, layang island hotel
LOCATION
MalaysiaSabahWest Coast DivisionKota Kinabalu DistrictLayang Layang
NUMBER OF ROOMS
86
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