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If you’re considering a luxury trip to Malaysia, you simply can’t overlook Langkawi. Well, not unless you hate serene tropical island getaways. It’s Malaysia’s ultimate beach destination, filled with gorgeous resorts, immaculate coastline and plenty of wildlife. Keep on reading this Langkawi luxury travel guide to discover the best hotels, finest restaurants and most fun things to do on the Jewel of Kedah…
Although it’s often referred to as an island, Langkawi is technically an archipelago of 99 islands, though only four are inhabited. The main island is Pulau Langkawi, which is probably where you’ll spend most of your time. It’s located in the Kedah region of Malaysia and is famed for its amazing beaches.
One cool thing to note about Langkawi is that it’s a tax-free island. This means that alcohol is significantly cheaper here than in other parts of the country, where it’s heavily taxed. However, Langkawi is not a party destination – far from it. Relaxed cocktail bars along the bustling Cenang beach are about as crazy as the nightlife gets. Langkawi is 100% a chilled out, luxurious tropical getaway.
The ideal time of year to visit Langkawi would be in the dry season, which lasts from November-March. January and February are especially dry, so Langkawi could be a perfect New Year getaway.
The wet season lasts from April to October, with September and October seeing the most rainfall. Usually, it doesn’t rain for more than 1-2 hours per day. The wet season has added benefits of greener landscapes and lower accommodation prices, so all is not lost if this is your only window to visit.
The most popular way to travel to Langkawi is to fly from Kuala Lumpur, the capital. However, it’s also possible to get a ferry to the island from Penang or Koh Lipe in Thailand, which is just 25 miles away.
Taxi, rental car and motorbike are the most common ways to travel around Langkawi. Renting a motorbike can actually be a lot of fun. The island’s quite safe to drive around as there’s not much traffic – but only if you’re an experienced rider, of course.
Now we’re getting to my favorite part of my luxury travel guides – the best luxury accommodation options. Langkawi is home to some exceptional hotels where you’ll enjoy five star service as you lounge on a pristine private beach… really, does it get any better than that?
The Four Seasons Langkawi is the ultimate luxury haven. It’s set on the absolutely stunning Tanjung Rhu beach, which is, in my opinion, the island’s best. Just before sunset, the tide goes out revealing a natural sandbar. It extends far out to sea and you can walk almost to the craggy limestone islands in the distance.
As for the resort itself, the traditional Malay pavilions are spread across 48 acres. There are also several nods to Moorish architectural style, such as Moroccan Hammam style bathtubs. The Four Seasons Langkawi is also home to many excellent bars and restaurants including my personal favorite, the Rhu Bar.
There’s a definite atmosphere of grandeur at the elegant Danna Langkawi luxury resort. Its colonial Mediterranean architecture and classic, dark wood furniture are decidedly regal, whilst the exclusive Verandah lounge restaurant will take you back to the roaring 20s. It’s located in quiet Pantai Kok, which is known for its clean beaches and untouched greenery.
Nestled in Langkawi’s lush green rainforest and just steps away from a beautiful private cove, the Datai Langkawi is a gorgeous getaway. It’s a tranquil resort with amazing service and excellent facilities. This one is a wonderful choice for anyone looking to chill out, switch off and get back to nature.
Last but not least, this one’s a little different. If a private beach isn’t enough for you, how about a private island instead? Vivanta is set on Rebak, one of Langkawi’s four inhabited islands and it’s secluded, to say the least. With traditional Malay architecture and comfortable rooms and suites, Vivanta Rebak is the perfect place to get away from it all.
The Planter’s is a gorgeous colonial-style restaurant with a wonderful menu of Mediterranean and Malaysian cuisine. The restaurant overlooks The Danna’s infinity pool and a live pianist provides entertainment each evening.
This modern restaurant is atop a cliff – no prizes for guessing that one – at Pantai Cenang, Langkawi’s busiest beach. It’s a wonderful sunset dinner spot with a combination of Malay and western dishes on offer.
The Gulai House is the place to enjoy authentic Malay-Indian cuisine in Langkawi. The restaurant is a traditional Malay kampung house, with a thatched roof and floor seating. Cultural shows take place nightly between 8-9pm, as costumed local dancers perform traditional routines.
You can take a cable car from the Oriental Village to the top of Mat Cincang Mountain to experience some incredible views of the beautiful island. It’s around a 15 minute ride to the top and once you reach the summit, you can walk along the 125-metre sky bridge.
A luxury cruise is one of the best ways to explore the Langkawi archipelago, especially if you do so at sunset. There are plenty of great options available, such as this one.
Climb, swing and zip wire through the rainforest as you conquer this 30-metre high obstacle course. It’s not easy and will certainly get your heart rate up, but it’s a lot of fun and a must for adrenaline junkies.
Durian Perangin is arguably Langkawi’s best waterfall. It’s quite a steep hike but it’s definitely worth it for the pretty scenery. You can cool off in the rock pool at the base of the waterfall once you’ve made it back down.
This hippie-themed bar on Pantai Cenang is a prime spot for watching the sunset – particularly from the upstairs open-air cocktail lounge, which has comfortable booths and a hot tub.
A Langkawi luxury trip just wouldn’t be complete without a tipple at the opulent Rhu Bar. Enjoy experimental cocktails at this classy, Middle Eastern inspired spot inside the beautiful Four Seasons resort. It’s a sleek spot for an after-dinner drink and the bartenders really know their stuff.
The St. Regis Langkawi bar is an idyllic spot for a cocktail or two. The bar boasts a pretty amazing view of the Andaman sea and there’s also live music from 9pm onwards. I recommend trying the Lang Mary, which is a Malay twist on a classic Bloody Mary cocktail which – fun fact – was actually invented at the maiden St. Regis property in New York City.
That’s a wrap on Langkawi luxury travel! For more on Malaysia, why not check out my travel guide to Penang?
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Your Luxe Lifestyle was founded by luxury world traveler Isabella Garofanelli bringing you the very best the globe has to offer in travel, lifestyle, and wellness.
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