The entrance is small and nondescript — from the main road, you must go through a small alley, tucked between a tailoring shop and a small restaurant — but the moment you step onto its foyer, you find yourself in the oasis called Layalina Hotel in Kamala Beach, Phuket, Thailand.
The reception is small and intimate. You sit on the couch, savouring the cool airconditioned comfort — a welcome respite from the searing heat outside — sipping your welcome drink, while they check you in. You browse through a stack of novels on the coffee tables (surprise, surprise, a lot of them in German, but there are a few in English) and wonder if you’ll ever have time to read one of these during your stay.
See that long table on the left? That’s where you can find the breakfast spread in the mornings — tropical fruits, an assortment of muesli and cereals, white bread and croissants, a Thai dish that changes everyday, some Thai desserts, milk and fruit juice. You have the option of having your continental breakfast served to you in your room…but we chose to have ours al fresco, beside the pool, facing the beach.
|Breakfast with a view
|Food tastes better al fresco
You have a choice between rooms in the ground floor or the upper floor. The ground floor rooms offer immediate access to the pool through a sliding door from your room (you don’t even have to go through the front door!). The layout of the rooms in the upper floor is exactly the same as that of those in the ground floor, with the exception of a flight of winding stairs…that lead up to your own personal rooftop terrace, complete with shower and daybed, perfect for working on that tan or perhaps to have a massage.
|The stairs from the top
|Personal rooftop terrace
|Fancy a rooftop shower?
You can request for a double bed…
Or a room with twin beds.
A 3rd, folding bed is also an option, although not shown in the photo.
You can also request for an adjoining room, like what we did recently — one room with the a double bed and the other room with 2 twin beds.
All rooms feature flat-screen TVs, as well as a master remote control for turning on/off the lights, aircon and ceiling fan.
Each room has a jacuzzi, big enough for 2 adults or 5 small children (chaos, I tell you, total chaos!!!). So in between the sea, the pool and the jacuzzi, this is one place where I don’t have to yell at the kids to go and have a bath/shower, but I actually had to tell them to stop having yet another bath!
The bathroom has a huge window that gives you unparalleled views of the sea, as you soak your tiredness and worries away in the jacuzzi. For some privacy, you can draw down the blinds and, in my case, give very strict instructions to the children to not even attempt to take a peek inside if someone’s inside the bathroom.
The bathroom also has a shower, if you don’t fancy the jacuzzi.
Above the counter is a small cabinet, with a couple of mugs, teaspoons and some wine glasses.
There is a huge wardrobe for your clothes, with some hangers and two bath robes for your use during your stay.
There is also a small electronic safe inside the wardrobe — enough for keeping your passports, cash and other small valuables. There are no instructions though on how to reset the combination, but the staff is more than happy to assist you on this.
This is how the hotel looks like from the beach:
And this is how the beach looks like from the hotel:
The beach is facing the Andaman sea and is along the same row as Laem Sing Beach (a private beach only accessible through a steep path down a hill), the ultra-posh Laguna Phuket and the charming boutique hotel, Bangtao Beach Chalet, hence the water is clear and you don’t need to go far if you wish to go snorkelling. It’s very easy to get a boat for a short snorkelling trip and the boatmen know where the nice spots are for snorkelling and also for catching squid.
The hotel is a haven, an oasis of calm, being away from the hub of activity that is Patong. This hotel is for you if you want to get away from it all. But if you long for nightlife, perhaps Patong would be more suitable for you.
The hotel is not isolated though. Just outside the hotel, there is a good number of restaurants (both Thai and Western), tailoring shops and some small retail shops selling souvenirs, slippers, swimwear, etc. A 7-Eleven outlet is located less than 3 minutes away by foot.
The hotel is also a stone’s throw from FantaSea, a cultural theme complex which “promises to be the ultimate in nighttime entertainment on Phuket.” But tickets are not cheap — when we were there, they cost USD160 apiece. So we skipped it.
Kamala Beach is also a great spot for enjoying the sunset, as I mentioned in a previous post.
A word of caution to parents with children: it’s quite common to see topless women sunbathing by the beach. And once in a while (twice in our case!), you might even come across someone walking around topless in broad daylight. Thank goodness the kids were busy at the pool at those ‘encounters’, thereby saving me the explanation :P
The hotel staff are very friendly and helpful and would bend over backwards to make your stay most pleasant indeed. Most of them speak English, with some of them even conversant in Malay.
For an unforgettable stay in Phuket, I would highly recommend Layalina Hotel.
You can find more info about the hotel at their website.