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“A second visit but a little dissapointing”

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Layang Layang Island Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Layang Layang
Reviewed 3 October 2016

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

Room Tip: The deluxe room is worth the extra money. Good internet by sitting on the table closest to the main...
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  • Stayed: June 2016, travelled with friends
    • Value
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2  Thank Peter H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lawrence L, General Manager at Layang Layang Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 5 October 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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12 - 16 of 120 reviews

Reviewed 8 July 2016

Lets get the negative stuff out of the way first:
1) The island & the resort are remote - Don't expect a 5 Star resort experience.
2) The only reason you should be here is to dive (or be with someone who dives) - don't expect anything more than the diving!
3) The island is small - and I mean small! Don't expect lots of scenery & things to do other than diving.
4) Yes the rooms might be noisy, but they are comfortable & have everything you need - the housekeeping staff do a great job.
5) Some of the facilities might be ageing - but you are 300 kilometres from everywhere & you are here for the diving.
6) Yes the Wi-Fi is slow, but see points above - you are hundreds of kilometres from anywhere - not in a major urban environment.

Thanks all at Layang Layang for a great stay - As other reviewers have said, the staff are terrific!!
1) Resort staff are fantastic. My partner & I are Vegan & we had some issues with communicating our requirements for the first day or so, but after we found common ground with the kitchen staff we were treated like royalty - THANK YOU!
2) Dive staff & boat crew are terrific. We had Ching Ching & Cyril, different but both excellent. I'm sure Cyril has ultra good eyesight - spots sharks in the blue & then is finding cray feelers on the reef wall. Alsham & Azuzul gave us great service on the boat, were always there when you needed them.
3) Diving was excellent. Apart from the never ending search for hammerheads the walls & reef were rich with healthy corals & vibrant aquatic life. Every dive had something different, even when the visibility was down a bit because of big swell the reef had something to capture your attention.
4) We were too late in the season to see schooling hammerheads, but found Mantas on few dives & schools of Jacks & Trevally. Would definitely comeback again, but next time earlier in the season to catch the hammerheads
3) The divin

Room Tip: You are here for the diving - enjoy it.
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  • Stayed: June 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Location
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7  Thank Steve L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 June 2016

Nice and professional diving guides, bring us to meet with hammerheads sharks in every dives in the morning!

Rooms are comfortable but easily to hear noise from neighbors due to the wooden structure; would be better to retouch the toilet washbasin as cockroaches always come out from gaps.

Meals are good and delicious, but seems similar every day; if can provide more variety in dishes would be perfect.

Network is quite weak here, only Celcom is available on this Island but still hard to connect; so don't expect you can keep working and co-ordinate with your company during your trip here.

Return charter flight by MASWing (Malaysia Airline) delay for one day due to aircraft technical problem

Room Tip: choose those rooms near the diving centre
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  • Stayed: June 2016, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Tanamishu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2016 via mobile

I stayed here with my wife for a week in May and everything was great. The stage were very friendly and there was always plenty of food in the buffet to choose from. The rooms etc are a bit basic but given the remoteness of the location that really isn't a surprise. The diving was truly amazing in the area and I would definitely go again

Thanks to all the staff there

Stayed: May 2016, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Mike S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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Additional Information about Layang Layang Island Resort

Address: Layang Layang 88005, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > West Coast Division > Kota Kinabalu District > Layang Layang
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: RM1,014 (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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