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Layang Layang Island Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Layang Layang
Reviewed 23 May 2016 via mobile

The diving here is all about Hammerhead Sharks and as with all things nature based you take your chances, we were there for 8 days early May and for the first 4 days we saw little but for the second 4, oh man was it good, we observed a number of individual sightings and two huge schools on separate days, upwards of 100 animals !! We were up close and personal (fantastic photos from very basic equipment ) that sort of encounter leaves a lasting impression.
Other than the hammers I wouldn't rate the reefs much compare to other coral reefs but then who cares when you have a chance of seeing hammers.
Some guys bring documentary type dive equipment and can be a bit of a pain (particularly the macro fanatics) standing your ground works for me, their equipment is far to expensive for them to risk damaging it.
I'd read a lot about dive masters prior to my travelling to Layang Layang and being one myself, here's my opinion for what its worth, diving here is all about in the blue looking for hammers, and with 10 or so divers to each dive master who is using his expertise to find shark not babysit you (within reason ) so if you are a resort only type diver and not comfortable at 30 - 35m potentially in a bit of current and possibly with limited visability or not capable of monitoring your own air consumtion, deco resquirements and personal assents then this is not the spot for you unless you want to book a private DM or take some other measures like a good competent dive buddy, you have got to intimately know your dive computer and the information being provided to you by it.
If however all of the above is you then take a chance, if you hit a school of hammers believe me you will discount everything else about the trip.
As with everything in life some DM's are better than others, we dived with Gavin for half our trip and found him to be an excellent and professional DM with good interpersonal skills, I again stress however you have to be competent in your own ability.
The resort? ? its a dive resort and if your not a diver there really is no reason for you to be there, I've read all the reports about thin walls on the accommodation, its true but who cares, after 3 dives a day starting at 07.30 everyone is in bed by 22.00 hrs anyway, the accommodation is perfectly adequate, clean and comfortable with a good ensuite (for the chance to see hammers I would have slept in the pool anyway ) the food is plentifully and there is something for everyone, be flexible the western visitor is not the islands main customer demographic, believe me you won't go hungry.
The staff are the jewel in the Layang Layang crown, they are so polite and pleasant always willing to look after you. I've read negotiate comments about staff attitude which I found totally unfounded, every morning they will greet you with a smile, if however you don't bother to interact with them, then you didn't get poor service !
After a week or so if you don't know at least a few of them by name ( Jerry the barman is a vital one) then what do you expect from them.
The only down point that I would definitely change if possibe is the very very early moring flight which results in an incredibly early check in at KK and results in a very long off day prior to depature, however I discussed this issue with the manager who agreed a lunchtime flight would offer a far better alternative, so here's hoping.
If your a competent diver comfortable in depth then give yourself a treat and book a trip, if you meet the hammers you will love yourself forever, I would return in a heartbeat.
Remember your uptime, engage with the staff, they will so enrich your stay. so good luck if your going I wish I was you.

Stayed: May 2016, travelled as a couple
8  Thank James O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 24 April 2016 via mobile

Hotel: Very friendly staff, but rooms are old and you can hear every little noise from your neighbors. The pool didn't seem very clean and the pool area was simply equiped with plastic chairs and not very pleasent to relax.

Food: buffet style and a bit repetitive. My feeling was the buffet is geared to please the predominantly Chinese clients.

Diving: good viz and nice wall dives but if the hammerheads are not around its not that exciting. the dive groups are too big with 10+ people and only one dive master per group. we had people going into deco or seperated by the group unnoticed by the dive master. So if you are not really experienced I wouldn't recommend to go there because of safety considerations.

Overall, i think for the price you pay there are better options to dive in Asia.

Stayed: April 2016, travelled with friends
2  Thank Onestar81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 October 2015

We were there in June and after reading reviews decided to go to Layang Layang rather than Sipadan. The diving was fantastic (we used to own a diving business so have plenty to compare with). The briefings were excellent with the divemaster and skipper being conscious of our extra needs - after my partners back operation we needed a slower more comfortable boat speed and donning gear in the water rather than fully kitted entries. Prior to entering the water the divemaster always checked currents and updated all on dive plan. On our trip we were lucky as there were 19 divers in total (I think) spread over 3 boats. Everybody dived conservatively rarely dropping below 35-40m range or getting into deco - yes you are responsible for your own actions and dive profiles so do not blame the divemaster if you go too deep - nowadays with computers there is no excuse or any one else to blame. It was late in the season (the next group after us I think only had 8 or 9 guests) but we still saw hammerheads on several dives and on the walls the macro life was excellent. The only downside on the dives were the photographers- if you found something interesting to show your partner these would barge through with their cameras or chase things away. This annoyance can be reduced by the divemaster briefing warning photographers to be more courteous of other divers or putting all the photographers on one boat to fight it out amongst themselves or as in our case if all else fails a blast of bubbles from below them!. We stayed in a deluxe room which was quiet and in a block of its own and found we had the block to ourselves as they were doing the other rooms up. Layang Layang has obviously had its hayday gone down and now picking itself up so you can see things are being improved - the extra cost of return flight to the remote island is probably a bit of a barrier to many compared with more accessible places but well worth while. The staff to guest ratio seemed to be high easily 2:1 as we were a small group. Nothing seemed to be a problem with all staff being courteous and friendly. The regional food was great with plenty of choice and quantity throughout the 5 daily feeds. Our group of 19 comprised 2 Australians, 1 Canadian 2 Italian, with the rest being Malaysian, Singaporean, Chinese - there was plenty of food for all and if something was wiped quickly by others all you needed to do was ask and it was replenished. Internet access and speed was a concern when we booked as some reviews were negative - although we went for the diving I did need to do daily bookings/enquiries emails for our Allambie Cottages back in Bright Victoria. We never had any internet or phone problems - you just have to remember you are in the middle of a huge ocean and do not need it in your room and not necessary to download big files. The Internet service works great down in the reception area and the speed was great for what we needed to do.
Finally would we go back/recommend this dive resort - you bet - unfortunately due to the weather conditions the resort is only open for a few months a year so we will have to wait until next year and cannot wait to go back - already counting down the days!

Room Tip: Deluxe rooms are great rooms but remember the rooms on the kitchen side do have compressor noise
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  • Stayed: June 2015, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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12  Thank Peter H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2015

80's style resort, looking a bit ragged around the edges, but who cares? the pool's fine, food's good enough, rooms have splits and anyway, as long as I got to see the hammerheads, I'd've been happy sleeping in a tent.

sure, its a bit pricey especially when you're paying for a family of 5 and they're all divers. but the staff were brilliant and we had some spectacular diving.

guides were excellent (my kids still talk about them) and even when it looked like our boat was going to miss out, they didn't lose their cool despite the mounting pressure they must have felt to track down the hammerheads. made it all the more sweeter when we did encounter them on the second to last and last day.

many thanks to all of you who made layang layang a most memorable dive experience, not just for me, but for my family as well and lighting the fire of passion to dive in the hearts of my children.

  • Stayed: May 2015, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank guy n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 July 2015

Layang Layang Island = School of hammerhead sharks!, I'm very sure that's what attract all divers from all over the world come to this tiny island. As most of the reviewers/divers have mentioned pretty much everything in detail, I couldn't have agree with them more except that I still have to give credit to the resort have keeping the place In well maintain shape (especially knowing this is a real remote island from the mainland and no flight in on daily basis). The friendly staffs at the resort is definitely one of the reason that make my stay the most memorable one. With the DM's good eye sight, our group spotted hammerhead and manta ray on most of our dives. Nothing is guarantee as nature is involved, sometime we have tons of surprise and someday we may ended our days with disappointment but that's how it supposed to be when we are dealing with nature. Beside that I want to give credit to the amazing housekeeping crews for taking the effort to give their guest a daily surprise towel displays on their bed...that little surprise really brighten our day when we didn't have a good dive day.

  • Stayed: May 2015, travelled solo
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Doris C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Layang Layang Island Resort

Address: Layang Layang 88005, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > West Coast Division > Kota Kinabalu District > Layang Layang
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Layang Layang
Price Range: RM998 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Layang Layang Island Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 86
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
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! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Avillion Layang Layang Island Hotel Layang Layang
Layang Island Hotel
Layang Layang Island Resort Sabah

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