Isle Of Paradise: Where To Stay And Play In Langkawi, Malaysia

Isle Of Paradise: Where To Stay And Play In Langkawi, Malaysia

From sandy white beaches to ancient rainforest and dramatic mountain formations, Langkawi is a vibrant microcosm of natural wonders and luxury, spread across 104 islands. Don’t miss our essential guide to the best things to do when you get there

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its centuries of history, Langkawi has attracted
travellers and explorers from all over the world. This astonishing
blend of white sands, mangroves, ancient rainforest and incredible
mountain formations has historically been the backdrop to many a
mythic tale – these days, that same blend makes it a holiday
destination like no other.

Though commonly thought of as just one island, Langkawi is in
fact an archipelago of 104 islands clustered in the Andaman Sea,
just off the north-west coast of Malaysia. Resorts, restaurants and
activities are largely located on the main island of Langkawi, with
the smaller islands accessible by boat for day trips or guided

Teluk Kok, Langwai, Malaysia
The Datai Langkawi, Malaysia

The Datai Langkawi, right.

Head up to the north of the main island to fully appreciate what
Langkawi does best – sprawling private resorts. The Datai Langkawi,
named for the private bay it sits in, is regularly voted one of the
best resorts in Asia and approaching its 30th birthday this year,
though you wouldn’t guess it from the bold, contemporary (and
recently refurbished) Kerry Hill-designed architecture and
ambitious landscaping. The Datai makes the most of Langkawi’s
unique geography, set against the rainforest, looking out to a
private beach, and with mangroves and waterfalls on either side.
Immerse yourself in the famous on-site spa that draws from
traditional Malay wellness practices or explore the natural
surroundings with a private tour.

Further along the coastline is relative newcomer Four
Seasons Resort Langkawi
, a favourite with families. If you’d
rather be closer to Langkawi’s main town, Kuah, The St Regis Langkawi offers a great balance
between accessibility and seclusion.

Each of Langkawi’s geographical extremes begs to be explored.
Start with a swinging, breathtaking cable car ride up Mount
Machinchang to truly take in the breadth of Langkawi’s natural
wonders. Be sure to look out for the brahminy kites that the island
is (purportedly) named for, as well as the waterfalls that streak
across the face of the mountain. Then, head out on a tour of the
archipelago’s mangrove forests at the Kilim Geoforest
, where you’ll glide through cave formations by boat,
spotting sea eagles, hornbills, kingfishers and more. And don’t
leave without experiencing a sunset cruise around the archipelago’s
islands, taking in the sunset over the Andaman Sea.

Brahminy Kite, Langkawi, Malaysia
Forest Park, Langkawi, Malaysia

Brahminy kites, left, and the Kilim Geoforest Park.

Langkawi’s food scene is an endearing mix of local favourites
and high-end establishments, mainly located within the hotels and
resorts. (Though there’s also Scarborough Fish & Chips, a
Brit-style chippie on Tanjung Rhu beach.) For a truly special meal
that combines ambience, sea views and excellent food, book yourself
a table at Kayuputi at the St Regis. Here, you’ll find modern haute
cuisine that’s informed by Malaysian produce and flavours, served
with an expansive view of the sea. For more distinctively Malay
dishes, try The Gulai House at The Datai. The restaurant is set in
a traditional wooden village house, guests are seated on the floor,
and the menu is a journey through authentic Malaysian cuisine. Of
course, you can’t visit Langkawi without enjoying its abundance of
fresh seafood. Try Langkawi Fish Farm Restaurant for its local
recipes, or Gallo Nero, the Italian establishment with an
ever-changing menu.

How to get there

Langkawi is just a one-hour flight from Malaysia’s capital Kuala
Lumpur. Book your trip to Langkawi with Qatar Airways, the World’s Best Airline and
winner of Skytrax Airline of the Year 2022 – the only airline
awarded for a record seventh time (World’s Best Best Business
Class, World’s Best Business Class Lounge Dining and Best Airline
in the Middle East).

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The Lowdown

Ready to explore Langkawi? Visit Qatar Airways to book your trip.

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