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“One of best dive resort in Malaysia”

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Layang Layang Island Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Layang Layang
Reviewed 4 May 2012

We spent almost two weeks in this resort and I did not miss even one dive. This island is one of best place for dive holidays. May be rooms are not very new but it was not important for us there. Diving is excellent there. All dive sites are not far from island (from 10 to 25 minuts) and we had 3 - 4 dives each day. There is very reach underwater life even without hammerheads.
Restaurant has good selection between asian and european food. Resort has enough big pool and friendly staff.
Dive shop has very good management and diving was organized very punctual. There are no Nitrox but we had very often dives with deep about 40 meters.
But if you are going to spend you holidays in Layang Layang then it's necessary to remember that this resort is good for divers but it's not interesting for non-divers. There even no any entrance to water except pool. Snoorkling is also possible from boat only. Big part of island is closed for walking.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Igor N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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79 - 83 of 120 reviews

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
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  • 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

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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: $316 (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

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