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The Datai Langkawi

Known as the ‘Jewel of Kedah’, Langkawi has an intriguing heritage of myths and legends that feature ogres and gigantic birds, warriors and fairy princesses, battles and romance.

Langkawi comprises a group of 99 tropical islands lying off the northwestern coast of Peninsular Malaysia, about 30 km from Kuala Perlis and 50 km from Kuala Kedah on the mainland.

It is the perfect spot for those looking for a luxury getaway, lazing on golden beaches, swimming in emerald waters and enjoying relaxing spa treatments while staying at some of the world’s most glamorous hotels and resorts.

Here we look at six of the best options.

The St. Regis Langkawi

This luxurious five-star resort is nestled between centuries-old rainforest and the Andaman Sea and is just 20 minutes from the local airport.

It offers four private overwater villas and 85 luxuriously appointed rooms, each one distinct in design with bold accent hues and imaginative paintings by esteemed local artists.

All rooms offer expansive, unobstructed views of the sea and glorious sunsets from spacious terraces with direct access to the beach.

The resort’s bespoke guest experiences include the signature St. Regis Butler Service, six distinct restaurants and the award-winning Iridium Spa.

The property also has an oasis infinity pool, a boutique, hair salon and a host of recreational activities.

Nearby guests can visit Kuah’s weekly night market, enjoy go-karting, hiking and fishing or partake in extreme sports at Langkawi Adventure.

Four Seasons Resort Langkawi

Flanked by a kilometre-long beach and limestone cliffs, this secluded retreat is located within the Langkawi UNESCO Global Geopark.

The beachfront property offers 92 spacious villas and pavilions inspired by Malay and Moorish architecture, with each unit well-appointed with wooden furnishings and high ceilings.

Wake up with a morning swim in your plunge pool, then head out to explore mangrove forests, winding rivers and ancient sea stacks that make up the local landscape.

The resplendent grounds are home to several tropical bird species, including hornbills. Experience elemental well-being at The Geo Spa, then toast the jewel-tone sunset with a cocktail in hand.

Other activities and attractions include the Lesang Batu Cooking School where you’ll learn all about Malaysian cooking, an aromatic journey that combines flavours from Malaysia, China and India. Rock climbing, archery, fishing and nature walks are also available.

The Datai Langkawi 

Having opened its doors in 1993, The Datai Langkawi will this year celebrate its 30th anniversary.

Famed for its setting in the heart of a 10-million-year-old primordial rainforest, the resort has 121 rooms, suites and villas, all with views of the rainforest and some with a vista of the Andaman Sea and Tarutao Island on the horizon.

The resort’s private footpath leads to Datai Bay’s white sand beach, one of the top 10 beaches worldwide as awarded by National Geographic.

Home to a wealth of flora and fauna, the surrounding rainforest offers guests the chance to spot Dusky langurs, Tokay geckos and Sunda colugos during their stay by enjoying a tour of the surrounding mangroves.

Bespoke facilities include The Nature Centre, an educational facility and home to resident naturalists and marine biologists, and The Spa featuring Ramuan treatments, its own Akar retail range and VOYA facials.

Leisure facilities include three pools, a state-of-the-art fitness centre at The Health Club, an array of wellness activities including pilates and yoga, retail outlet The Boutique, a reserved space to showcase local arts and talents at The Atelier, as well as one of the most scenic golf courses in the world designed by golf legend Ernie Els, The Els Club Teluk Datai.

The resort embraces its rich natural and cultural heritage in every aspect of its operations – from Kerry Hill’s visionary architecture and interior design by Didier Lefort, to the Malaysian-inspired cuisine and wellness offering, to its ground-breaking conservation, sustainability and community support programme, The Datai Pledge.


The Ritz-Carlton, Langkawi

Set amid a 10-million-year-old rainforest, the resort has a tranquil private bay with a pristine beach that overlooks the emerald waters of The Andaman Sea.

The property has been built in harmony with the surrounding nature and designed in a contemporary style with intricate details inspired by local architecture and indigenous art.

Enveloped by dense jungle, the futuristic three-storey glass towers and the rainforest villas with floor-to-ceiling windows allow you to observe wildlife from a distance. The lavish beach and overwater villas offer panoramic ocean views and magnificent sunsets.

Enjoy fine dining at Hai Yan, which pairs Chinese cuisine with ocean views, curated wines and private dining. Or sample dishes from Malaysia, China and India at Langkawi Kitchen.

The Ritz-Carlton Spa provides an exquisite treatment from the hotel’s global collection or a ritual inspired by the indigenous healing and beauty ceremonies, practiced for thousands of years by local shamans and midwifes.

For young guests, the Ritz Kids program is specially designed to bring destinations to life with locally inspired environmental and cultural experiences.

Through hands-on cooking classes, kid-sized afternoon teas, nature exploration, scavenger hunts, arts and crafts, kids engage with the destination — and with each other.

Menus are tailored to kids’ tastes and there are destination-themed activity books, playgrounds, family pools and in-room “camping” experiences.

The Danna Langkawi

Showcasing Langkawi’s scenic beauty, the award-winning Danna Langkawi welcomes guests with genuine island hospitality.

The beach resort features private pool villas with direct access to the beach, colonial oceanfront rooms, seaside dining and a soothing spa nestled in a tropical enclave overlooking sea views.

All rooms are elegantly appointed and spacious with sizes ranging from 60 square metres to 600 square metres for the Marina 4-Bay Suite.

Each room comes with a private balcony, premium Laura Tonnato by La Bottega bath amenities and frames different angles of the Langkawi island view, be it the hills, courtyard, marina or the ocean.

Guests can enjoy complimentary Club Lounge access from 5pm to 7pm daily when booking any of the property’s suites.

Relax in the three-tiered infinity pool with a separate kids pool and Jacuzzi, work out in the gym or try kayaking, snorkelling, jet skiing and cycling.

PARKROYAL Langkawi Resort

A welcome addition to the island’s hotel scene, the PARKROYAL Langkawi Resort is set on the pristine Pantai Tengah beach and opened on February 15 this year.

Located on the longest stretch of beach in Langkawi, the resort is a collection of 301 modern guest rooms, suites and seven spacious villas, each equipped with a range of facilities and amenities.

Each villa features a private plunge pool with direct access to the beach. Dining options include Lancava, a speciality restaurant, an all-day dining, Cassia, an Ocean View Lounge, and a swim-up bar.

Take a swim at the infinity pool on level five overlooking the Straits of Malacca, keep in touch at the business centre, or hit the gym. The resort also has a kids’ club and a spa.


Visitors travelling by road must drive to Kuala Kedah or Kuala Perlis on the north-western coast of Peninsular Malaysia, the main take-off points by ferry to Langkawi.

The journey from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Kedah takes about six hours while Kuala Perlis is an additional hour away.

Express ferries provide regular services daily to Langkawi from both Kuala Kedah and Kuala Perlis. The journey to Langkawi from Kuala Kedah and Kuala Perlis takes about 90 minutes and 75 minutes respectively.

Langkawi International Airport at Padang Matsirat is about 20km from Kuah and 8km from the beach resort of Pantai Cenang.

Langkawi is easily accessible from Malaysia’s main gateway, Kuala Lumpur International Airport, via the national carrier Malaysia Airlines and various airlines like Batik Air and Air Asia.