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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Property amenities
Free internet
Internet
Pool
Outdoor pool
Free breakfast
Bar / lounge
Restaurant
Beach
Breakfast available
Breakfast buffet
Good to know
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
Mid-range

Location

Layang Layang 88005 Malaysia
147Reviews9Q+A30Room tips
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Detailed Reviews
GirneGirl wrote a review Aug 2012
Nicosia, Cyprus2 contributions5 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
We did 42 dives here during the last part of May 12, and saw an impressive selection of both big stuff and critters, including a few hammerheads. The trouble with hammerhead sitings is the tendency of those with cameras to swim straight at them the moment they are spotted, which results in them disappearing rapidly before anybody can see them well. The only time we saw one close was when we were on our own with the guide, the rest of the group having gone off in pointless pursuit of a shadow in about 40m. There are some spectacular walls, and in some areas the variety of reef fish is astounding. Some areas are, typically of Asian sites, damaged by dynamite fishing and a recent plague of crown of thorns, but who cares when a couple of mantas, a shoal of bumpheads, a turtle, grey reef sharks, +,+,+, all pass by on that dive!

We found the food OK. There was plenty of it, the quality and variation was acceptable, with a chance to sample proper Asian food, there being many Asian guests.

The big problem for us was the rooms. We don't care too much about luxury, as we go to dive, and the beds were comfortable enough, the cleanliness adequate and the towel sculptures most inventive, even if the bathrooms are a bit tatty and the furnishings unattractive. But the paper thin walls are awful. You can hear every word from your neighbours, and much more besides! We were unfortunate enough to get loud-mouthed ones that stayed up late next door, it can be a real torment when you are trying to sleep after a busy day's diving with an early start in the morning, or even if you are having a quiet read in bed. Come on Avillion, lots of complaints about this, so put up some soundproofing, even cork tiles would help.

A pleasant ambience, varied diving and great staff would certainly draw us back for another holiday there, but ONLY if they do something about those dividing walls. With the effort and cost involved in getting there, one really doesn't need the irritation.
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Date of stay: May 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.
Live2travel_10 wrote a review Jul 2011
Melbourne, Australia69 contributions58 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
This was our second trip to Layang Layang - and the diving was even better than our first trip! We had hammerhead sightings on 6 of our 8 days of diving, some days we saw them on both of our morning dives. The absolute pinnacle was being surrounded by a school of about 50 hammerheads eddying up from the depths like a tornado - best dive I've ever done in my life. Then on our last day of diving we saw a wall of hammerheads - about 100 as far as you could focus deep and wide. It truly was a magical experience. The resort hasn't had much done to it since we were there 5 years ago, and is pretty average, but the service from the staff from making me whatever vegetarian meals I requested to the fabulous towel arrangements on our bed (hammerheads, manta rays, turtles) make up for the state of the resort. For the Aussies out there, the resort charges in $US and is all inclusive (except alcohol!) which makes it exceptional value. In addition to three dives a day, the price includes as much shore and night diving as you desire (although 3 dives a day - with the hammers only in the morning is enough for me). We also saw manta rays this time on three of our days, and lots of other stuff. If you're not a diver, it would be pretty tough, but there is a very large swimming pool but not much of a beach. For those divers out there it's a must go place!
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Date of stay: April 2011
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.
Jessica wrote a review Aug 2023
5 contributions3 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
SCAMMER??
LLIR offered discounted package if paid in full in 2022 but never got to go until today. Sally the sales person kept lamenting it's out of their control and by forwarding a letter issued by Mys defence ministry saying airport upgrading work still in progress. Why LLIR didn't get clearance before selling their package to open public? Seems element of deceiving is in present?

I also found out some Dive Instructors were in the same shoe as mine.

This operator knows very well the airport is shut since 2019 and they kept selling dive package year in year out until today. Scamming people by selling hope that the resort will reopen 'SOON'??
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Date of stay: July 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.
Devil198 wrote a review Apr 2017
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia83 contributions45 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
This is a place for divers who wanna look for school of hammers.

Pros:
1. Good customer service from all staff.
2. Clean and spacious room. Daily housekeeping.
3. Dive equipment in good condition
4. Love the horizon here due to the calm lagoon.
5. The place is properly maintained.
6. Comfy bed and pillows.

Cons:
1. Lack of food variety. Proposed to cook variety styles from other countries depending on the crowd you're getting. Some brought own canned food and alcohol.
2. Aged rooms
3. Noise from next door or people walking at the corridor is easily heard.
4. WiFi is available from 4pm daily. But as there are many ppl trying to connect, one needs to be patient to get the connection.
5. Only Celcom line is available. Not even Maxis or Digi.
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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.
Response from Lawrence L, Manager at Layang Layang Island Resort
Responded 1 May 2017
Dear Sir, Thank you for your feedback and we have taken note of your comments especially on food. This matter has been highlighted with our chef and we will make improvements on this. We have already refurbished the rooms with new linens, mattresses and the bathroom has all been refurbished. Meanwhile we will continue to make improvements. Thank you for diving with us.
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Peter H wrote a review Oct 2016
Bright, Australia11 contributions18 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Yes I wrote a great review for Layang Layang last time but this time was not quite as good.. We still found the staff friendly and amenities sufficient for an island so far out from civilization. Yes the internet is slow but if you pick the time of day and position yourself at the correct spot it is acceptable ( I managed to do all our business emails without a problem). We met a great group of divers that were on our boat - these were chinese like most of the other visitors at that time but so friendly and will now have to visit china - but which part!!! Back to Layang and Diving unfortunately our group kept missing out on seeing hammerheads which meant our divemaster kept taking us out into the blue and deep. In fact one day not only did they an the photographer have to spend a long time in Deco (>30mins) through spending too much time searching for hammerheads but one of the divers overstayed and missed her deco of a longer duration so missed later dives. Enough of the deep blue there is plenty to see on the walls and you do not have to spend every dive looking for hammerheads as it ruins the trip!! The room was great as again we were the only ones that had paid the extra for a deluxe room - well worth it and quiet.
The food was good and plenty of it - their did not seem to be the mad rush for food this year with people piling their plates up.
The only downside at the end was the plane arrived and broke down meaning a days delay as they had to get a spare part from France that was flown in the next day. This meant a double up of guests in a small resort but they managed ok except when we and others went for afternoon tea and were told that we were not allowed to eat the food even making one poor guy put his food back - I am sure the airline was paying Layang well for causing the delay so the mean attitude was unnecessary.
Would we return - No - mainly as we like small stuff and wall dives and do not need to spend MOST dives wasted in the blue
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Date of stay: June 2016
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, General Manager at Layang Layang Island Resort
Responded 4 Oct 2016
Hi! Peter, Thank you for your feedback at Trip Advisor. I have taken note of your feedback and will review this matter with my team. I apologised your trip to Layang Layang didnt meet your expectation. Yes the MASWING chartered aircraft broke down and the airline does not pay as it is usually covered by the passengers insurance hence we always recommend all our guest to purchase a dive and travel insurance when coming to Layang Layang or when travel. Therefore additional night stay and cost at the resort is chargeable and therafter to be claim thru the passengers insurance. Besides we charged very minimal to cover our cost only. Nevertheless we sincerely apologised for all the inconvenienced caused. Thank you.
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60helene2015 wrote a review Jul 2015
Bright, Australia7 contributions6 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Read all the reviews before going so were well prepared for standard of rooms and facilities. No complaints from us as we went for the diving and comfortable beds and tasty food were the bonus. Beautiful diving.
The only negative was the pushiness of the divers with cameras. It would be great if the dive brief included some strong emphasis on respect of each other when diving. Just because a diver has a fancy camera does not mean they can push in front of other divers and often scare the fish away. It's a big ocean!!!
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Date of stay: June 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.
Dikiwi wrote a review Jun 2015
Auckland Central, New Zealand351 contributions189 helpful votes
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Ok I don't really want to write this review as I don't want Layang Layang to get overdone like Sipadan. But if you want to have great diving this is the place. I have dived in 30 countries and with Tofo, Mozambique and Beqa, Fiji shark dive - this is the best. Every dive of the 10 we saw sharks except the night dive. All 3 mornings we saw the 30+ school of hammerheads. Last dive came within 8 meters. School of jacks insane. 3 mantas. Up to 8 large white tips in Shark Cave.
I would be booking a trip back but worried as I think we had incredible luck, conditions and a small group (only 7 divers on our boat and 20 in the resort in total). Dive masters were even freaking out taking video of themselves w the hammerheads - so you know it was good. Last day the vis got murky with plankton and jellyfish but up until then 30m.
I thought the dive staff were great (Albin, Gavin and Ricky really good). However our group was experienced and chilled out. I can imagine that it would be too relaxed for some but I don't think its a place for beginners. The currents are not that challenging but they are deep dives (30-35m in AM then 20-25m in PM). We were lucky to have a good group of confident divers, although we did have one beginner doing open water and he got great 1:1 treatment (plus school of hammerheads on his 1st dive?!).
Rooms are super basic and the resort knows it needs more activities for non dive time (they are getting standup paddle boards - also table tennis would be great). You can also run around the airfield at dusk which is fun as the navy is out training and the dive masters play soccer and skateboard.
Surprisingly we never got bored. It's kind of like a liveaboard but better as you at least can do some stuff on land and have space
Staff are super friendly as are the management. Really nice touch - they give you a hard copy coffee table book when you check out!
Will probably tempt fate and go back again as we can't resist ;)
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Date of stay: June 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.
Barbara L wrote a review May 2015
Adelaide, Australia44 contributions27 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
This place is all about the diving, especially the schooling hammerheads and we were not disappointed. The diving was well organised and our dive master Alvin was great. The reef is not as colourful as some we have seen but the underwater life is very good and yes the Hammerheads were there on 4 of our 18 dives - one was a mass sighting of 50+ & was worth the trip.

The resort is well run but slightly tired - it would be a good thing to get rid of the stained carpets (why would you haved carpets in the tropics??) and utilise timber as in the public areas. The customer service was excellent and the food pretty good.
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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.
Jaime K wrote a review Apr 2015
Puchong, Malaysia120 contributions93 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Stay there recently on our 5D/4N trip. The island is very private and peaceful. Good hospitality, spacious and clean room, food is yummy and diving is so much fun. We saw a school off bumpheads, Napoleon fish, a school of hammerheads at Wrasser Strip, white tip sharks every dives, Mantas every dives, lobsters, huge tuna fish, jack fish and etc etc etc. Did 2 times night dive near the jetty and surprisingly there's alot of thing to see especially micro stuff, shrimps, crabs, sword fish, nudi and more. The dive masters and boat man are more then helpful and friendly and they treat everyone equal.

Although the internet/coverage is weak or sometimes no service at all but we had a pleasant stay here and met alot of new friends.
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Date of stay: April 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.
Michelle T wrote a review Apr 2014
Hong Kong, China22 contributions12 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Layang Layang Resort was a run-down, old resort, which I felt far over-charged for their rooms. The room I had was quite basic, quite terrible and in a bad state. The floor of my room was uneven and had a large stain on the cheap, office carpet by the door. The water in the shower smelled of rust and the toilet bowl took 10 minutes to fill and very noisily too. There was no hair dryer. There was a TV with 3 grainy channels and there was no remote control. The walls of my room were made of lacquered, plywood panels and so I could hear every cough from the room next door and every vibration and footsteps from the corridor outside. There was Wifi in the lobby and common areas but most of the time, it did not work.

The room price included 3 meals a day, but the quality of food was really quite basic. Even with food included, the resort was over-priced.

I feel that the reason they can over-charge is because there is no other place to stay in order to dive in Layang Layang, which is a real pity. I believe that healthy competition would do some good and could maybe improve service.

There were only 3 days of flights in and out of Layang Layang a week: Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays. I booked my flights and trip to Layang Layang many months in advance with a diving agent (Asia Diving Vacation, Operated and owned by Duis Dive Sdn Bhd.) and was confirmed morning flights to and from the island from Kota Kinabalu. The agent then confirmed my flights again when I arrived in KK. But when I was at the resort in Layang Layang, I found out one day before I left that I was bumped off my morning flight because I had no connecting flight when arriving in KK. No one asked me if I had already made plans in KK, which I did and which I had even already paid for. And my local agent who booked my flights and confirmed them could do nothing to help me get back on my originally confirmed flight.

The general manager of Layang Layang Resort, Eugene Foo, then tried to explain to me that they gave priority to people with connecting flights but when I explained that despite no connecting flight, I already had made and paid for plans in KK and had work to do there, he did not listen nor cared, which I found unacceptable.

He told me that MAS no longer flew large planes onto the island and only had the small 16-seaters. What I did not understand was why they had not informed me of this days or even weeks before I arrived on Layang Layang? They already knew in advance that they would have small aircrafts instead of the large one and hence there was no way everyone could fit into one flight. Had they informed me in advance before I arrived, I could weigh all options and decide whether or not to go to Layang Layang in the first place. I feel cheated, robbed of my day and time wasted. They put me on the third flight out although I was originally confirmed on the first flight and then promised to be in the second flight. No compensation for my plans being changed and money wasted in KK.

As a Resort, I believe that it is their duty to inform me of all changes in flights before I arrived or at least even on my first day of arrival because they had my confirmed flight departure in their records. I felt that that they were not transparent in their communications with me because I only found out the late afternoon before the morning of my flight that I was bumped off my morning flight. And I found out only because I asked, not because I was informed, which was unacceptable.

I find the Layang Layang resort very unprofessional, badly managed and is only concerned about taking as much money as possible without really focussing on real service.

Admittedly, the diving was not all bad. The resort staff, with the exception of the front office managers and the general manager, Eugene Foo, were friendly. The problem lies clearly with the head office, the booking office and the operations management. It is disgraceful that a Resort that charges so much money cares so little about service.

I would definitely not recommend anyone to go to Layang Layang Island Resort. I personally would never return there unless I can find a liveaboard to dive there or if there is another completely different resort, preferably not run by Avillion, like this one, and run by people who really know what service is and what resort management is.

I feel that there are better places in the world to see hammerheads. I personally did not see the migrating school of hammerheads even though I dived 12 dives there. It is really a question of luck and skill of the dive master to find the correct areas. And a word on the dive centre: I was happy that I am naturally comfortable underwater and am an advanced diver because from my experience, it was important to be self sufficient and to have managed my own bottom time and depth. I had 11 people to one dive master in my group. And more often than not, the dive master could not always look out for everyone in the group because he was busy looking for hammerheads for us. I did not feel that safety was a huge concern, although we were told you so in the arrival briefing. My experience was that there was a lot there that was said, written and confirmed that was not true and not enforced.
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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.
sim0na75 asked a question Feb 2024
Marmore, Italy344 contributions40 helpful votes
Siete sempre aperti?
Lodicat asked a question May 2018
Edwards21 contributions13 helpful votes
Great review! Thanks for taking the time to write it up.
Answer from Lizzie S
Brighton, United Kingdom12 contributions12 helpful votes
Delighted to help!
Answer from LLIR KLSO
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Dear Zeal, For convenience please email us and we will get back to your enquiry via your direct email. Thank you.
Answer from LLIR KLSO
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Hi! Usually it is from 25-45 meters and basically it is when you find thermoclines as like to be at such temperature. Please do email us at our reservation email and my reservation team will revert back to you on the rates and information. Thank you.
willyhay asked a question Dec 2014
6 contributions3 helpful votes
Do you have free wi-fi ?
Answer from LLIR KLSO
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Dear Sir, Yes we do have free Wi-Fi at the lounge area only. Thank you. From, Avillion Layang Layang
Belcuzco wrote a tip May 2019
Singapore15 contributions11 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
"In serious need of a renovation. Rooms are old & dated, 1 star."
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Roy Chai wrote a tip Mar 2019
Singapore, Singapore13 contributions3 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Ask for rooms overlooking the pool for the best sunset view"
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Lizzie S wrote a tip Apr 2018
Brighton, United Kingdom12 contributions12 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Ask for Deluxe room if you want a bit more comfort and quiet."
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deblee wrote a tip Apr 2018
Sunshine Coast, Australia105 contributions57 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
"All very close to the pool, dining and diving."
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Fruchle wrote a tip Apr 2018
Perth, Australia41 contributions52 helpful votes
3.0 of 5 bubbles
"Room 1102 and 1101 were very close to the diveshop and pool!"
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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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LAYANG LAYANG ISLAND RESORT: UPDATED 2024 Hotel Reviews and 251 Photos - Tripadvisor