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Reviews (127)
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Reviewed 24 April 2012

Only place to stay on the island and mine was during the end of March 2012 for 4 nights. Rooms are somewhat clean but very very old. Door handles were rusty, toilet..well..if you are not too fussed then it should be alright. Ammeneties are very basic and I did not use it at all except to clean my mask, so bring your own. Quality of sleep is quite bad actually as walls are paper thin and you can hear the TV or next door people chatting and this could be extremely irritating when you are trying to sleep to wake up early for the dive the next day. I was surprised that the resort even had TVs in the room with ESPN, a movie channel and 1-2 local channels to begin with.

They overfeed you (5x a day - light breakfast before first dive at 8-9am, heavy breakfast after first dive, lunch, tea time and dinner ) with both western and asian dishes so dont worry about food and the bar has happy hour prices(pretty decent I think it was RM8 for a can of beer) and other then eating, sleeping and drinking there is pretty much nothing to do here if you do not dive. Hotel doesnt organize any other activites other then a trip to the nearby bird island(recommended as I never seen so many birds on such a small island before) and other then that you could try playing volleyball or football with the staff next to the airfield near their quarters in the evening, jogs on the airfield, walks on the airfield to check out the sunset, take photos, sun tanning. At this point in time when you are bored in between dives, a deck of cards or a Jenga set does wonders.

Room Tip: i would think all rooms are the same
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank woot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2012

Diving ... having dived quite a lot in Indonesia and the Coral Sea (Australia) we were intitally disappointed by the coral which lacks colour and can be in poor condition in places. HOWEVER as we continued to dive we went to some great walls with excellent underwater vistas and some great healthy coral. We did 12 dives and saw reef sharks on pretty much every single one. We also saw turtles on almost every dive as well as a wide variety of large fish and balling Jacks etc - there are a lot of pretty big fish here. You do 3 dives a day in Layang Layang and it's really only the first dive that you are likley to see the Hammerheads - we saw them on 2 out of 4 mornings, firsly about 10 quite close up and this morning (yes there is internet here) a large group of 50+ but they were not really close ... still very worth it. We have also seen mantas along with lots of macro stuff (nudibranches, pygmy sea horses etc). In the mornings you will spend quite a lot of time a hanging around in the blue trying to sight the hammerheads which my 'twitcher' husband found slightly irritating but he's rather be rummaging around for the macro stuff. However pretty much all dives end with some time on the reef. Afternoon dives are generally wall dives with some great life to be seen. In summary, after our first couple of dives we thought we had a made a terrible mistake but now 12 dives later we are considering coming back! Everyone in the resort at the moment has seen hammerheads at least once and most people almost every day .... having said that, it's a big, deep ocean out there and you take your chances. Our dive guide, Faris, was great - friendly, caring and relaxed yet conscientious.

Resort ... free wifi (an unexpected bonus) a well stocked and reasonably priced bar (why does no-one ever mention this important stuff in their reviews;) They have a selection of reasonable wine (mostly Australian) in proper wine fridges for around $20-30 a bottle and Remy, the barman, makes some mean cocktails. Happy hour is 4 hours long and 30% off of everything ... you can't really argue with that. The food is ok (certainly not fine dining) but there is always a good variety and plenty of it. The rooms are ok in a 3* motel from the 1970's kind of way but since you'll hardly be in them it doesn't really matter. The pool is decent and the whole place is pretty relaxed. The staff are ALL really excellent ... incredibly friendly and helpful, they can't do enough for you and seem to really enjoy working here.

We have had a great time and had some really good diving .. I guess if we hadn't seen hammerheads it would have been incredibly disappointing but you take your chances with wildlife and the rest of the diving was, for the most part, really very good.

Would we come back? We're already trying to persuade our friends to join us on a trip next year :)

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank RiyadhAlfi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2012

The resort is, in essence, an air strip with a naval base at one end and a dive hotel at the other. I say dive hotel because it is a hotel whose facilities are designed for experienced divers - slightly better than you would experience on an average live aboard dive holiday but nothing special. For a non-diver the rooms and the food would appear below average, but if you are visiting somewhere just for the diving, frankly the quality of the showers or variety of food is low down on your priority list.

Therefore the resort lives or dies by its diving, and here I was not impressed. Whilst about 50% of people at the resort in the week I was there saw hammerheads, 50% didn't. I am told that hammerheads used to be pretty much guaranteed, but the relentless plundering of the area to satisfy the rapacious Chinese appetite for shark fin soup has diminished the population to a fraction of its previous level. However, where the diving really falls short of other areas in South East Asia, such as Sipadan or Komodo is the quality of the diving other than or hammerheads. The reefs are generally healthy but the amount of fish, shrimp, nudibranchs, turtles etc. are well below other places.

If you're a diver whose not been to Komodo, Sipadan, Palau or other out of the way places in Asia, go there first. If you want to then tick off Layang Layang afterwards, come with modest expectations and you'll have a reasonable time.

On the plus side, the staff were excellent, both in the hotel and the dive staff, and the dive equipment was very new and of a good standard.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank millergeoff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2012

All here is obviously suited for divers - 3 dives a day (8am, 11am and 3pm). All organised and flawless in execution of all related to your diving...
Home of hammersharks, it also hosts from pygmee seahorses to nudibranches, scorpion fishes, shrimps and lobsters if you re into micro, but also mantas, barracudas, mantas, mobulas, dogtooth, etc if you re into bigger ones. Self sufficient ecosystem basically.
Dive masters are very experienced (highly recommend Christy if you can have him) - but still only come here if you re an experienced diver as several dives go to 30-40m to spot hammerheads.
Second trip here for us in 9 months, we ll prob come back again to swim with hammerheads...

  • Stayed: April 2012
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Thank Hypersphere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2012

Given that there is only one place to stay on Layang Layang, and the resort is certainly over 15 years old, and everything has to be shipped or flown in as it is in the middle of nowhere, Avillon can certainly not be accused of being complacent in any way and is much better than I could have expected. Sure, things are a bit dated and the bathrooms are basic, but the place is clean. This is a dive resort, and there certainly are many which are not as clean and comfortable in this category. Part of the charm for me is that this place does not pretend to be more than it is. Housekeeping provides a nice touch by folding towels into the shape of mantas and hammerheads and leave handwritten notes! Food is excellent and varied, given the limitations of supplies - not a place for those who are very fussy. The staff are all extremely cheerful and helpful and really make the place. The restaurant staff spent much of Saturday afternoon setting up and preparing a fantastic barbecue dinner. The dive center is well run and the dive masters are excellent. The two dive masters who accompanied our group, Band and Rozlan, and boatman Saiful were knowledgable, pointed out interesting fish and other creatures and were quick to help or check if we were ok if they perceived a problem. They were also good at finding dolphins on the way to or from the dive sites. The pool was a big hit with our children between dives. My only suggestion for improvement would be to get rid of the carpet in the rooms as it is not practical and difficult to keep clean and dry. It should also be noted that there are no beaches on Layang Layang and little to do for non divers - just pool and bird sanctuary and maybe some snorkeling. This place was built as a dive resort and it serves that purpose very well. We will definitely be returning to try our luck at spotting
hammerheads! Thanks to all the staff who made us feel so welcome and at home, starting from the man who met us at KK airport and guided us through check in.

  • Stayed: March 2012
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1  Thank hawksbill2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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