The resort’s name is more than a good omen – “Layana”, derived from Sanskrit, means “A pause in time”. Which is just what you find there, with seemingly endless Prah-Ae beach before you, a fine spa behind and an upstairs-downstairs Ocean Deluxe Suite to laze about in. Layana Resort & Spa on Thailand’s tranquil Koh Lanta island has 51 luxurious guestrooms and suites, plus an opulent mansion, La Maison. Throughout, the contemporary Thai-style design features large balconies and a decor rich with hardwoods, silks, colour and texture. In an industry that’s chokka with soon-forgotten “awards”, Layana recently scored a memorable one: “Top Hotel in Thailand” in the TripAdvisor 2015 Travellers Choice poll.
“Simplicity is our ideal” is the philosophy. Keeping it simple includes “no children under 18 years” and “no groups” policies. Add 200 metres of absolute beachfront plus extensive grounds and, even with full occupancy, you almost feel you have exclusive use of the resort. Tides Restaurant lays on a breakfast of such scope that your first challenge of the day is “How much of ‘an elegant sufficiency’ can I resist?” Much later, Tides transforms into an indoors-outdoors platform for dining very finely on freshly barbecued seafoods and much more. As the Andaman sun drops into Phangnga Bay, you’ve snagged for a while a pause in time, if not a slice of infinity.