Lodge Ranking: Pelangi Seaside Resort and Spa, Langkawi, Malaysia
The Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa with its more than one kilometer long white sandy beach is located on the coast of the Malacca Strait in the Malaysian province of Kedah, south of the border with Thailand.
This sophisticated five-star hotel is located on one of the 99 islands of the Langkawi Archipelago. Two recently created artificial islands – one of them a paradise for water sports enthusiasts – bring the archipelago to 101 islands over the century mark. It’s a prime location between Pelangi’s landscape paradise – even the casuarina trees on the beach are shaped like parasols – and the lively bars, restaurants, and shops of Cenang.
Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa showcases traditional Malaysian architecture
The Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa exudes a dignified Malaysian tradition and charmingly channels the architecture of a Malaysian Rumah Panggung house on stilts with airy rooms with high ceilings, gable roofs and long verandas.
Deceptively serene Pelangi, spread over 15 acres of immaculate tropical gardens and a wide beach, is an action-packed resort that will keep even the most active family busy. In addition to a spa made from natural materials, there is a gym with ocean views, a steam room, two lagoon-style pools, archery, mini golf, and tennis. For children there is a small water park with dinosaurs and a petting zoo. The Pelangi grounds are so extensive that some families rent bicycles to get around.
The Club Lounge, a deliciously air-conditioned hideaway for cucumber sandwiches, scones and strawberry jam, gin and tonic, has a civilized colonial aura.
The decor blends traditional local dark wood furniture with the colonial elegance of crisp, cream-colored bed linen
The rooms are grouped in low Malaysian style houses. Stairs lead to the rooms on the first floor. There are 355 rooms, but ask for one with idyllic sunset views over the ocean and islands of the Langkawi Archipelago.
The decor blends traditional local dark wood furniture with the colonial elegance of crisp, cream-colored bed linen. Whirring fans and a clinical air conditioner defeat Langkawi’s sticky tropical climate. Large-format photographic works of art with a natural palette of fertile green and brown tones give the spacious rooms a feeling of space.
In the en-suite bathroom, both the bathtub and rain shower are generously proportioned, the ideal relaxation area if your muscles ache after Indiana Jones’ heroic deeds under the flying snakes and prehistoric hornbills of the rainforest.
Guests at Cba can dine on the beach and enjoy a selection of Asian fusion specialties
In the heart of the resort, the huge Spice Market Restaurant exudes complex flavors of cinnamon, galangal, ginger, lemongrass, and at least a dozen other spices. Breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets feature a rainbow of Langkawi color. For centuries the spice route led through Langkawi and left behind a culinary tradition of curries, noodles, rendangs, rice and satays.
Beachside, Cba, pronounced C – Bar, unsurprisingly specializes in cocktails and wines to sip when the sun goes down and long after. Dining on the beach with the freshest Asian fusion seafood is popular with honeymooners. For breakfast, the Cba buffet offers eggs, bacon, muffins and pancakes for western tastes.
If you are interested in Malaysian cuisine, you can sign up for cooking classes at the Spice Market Restaurant.
A half-day guided jet ski safari with Mega Water Sports through the islands of the Langkawi peninsula is an exciting experience
A half-day guided jet ski safari with Mega Water Sports through the islands of the Langkawi peninsula is an exciting experience. The first stop is usually Pulau Dayang Bunting Island, known as the “Island of the Pregnant Maiden” due to the contour of its hills. Legend has it that swimming in the island’s lake increases fertility.
A sunset dinner cruise through the archipelago is a more leisurely way to get to know the rugged limestone islands with the trees growing dangerously from the cliffs. Wander some of Langkawi’s underground charms in caves where hanging bats devour up to 400 mosquitoes per hour on a mangrove river cruise that includes white-tailed eagles at dinner and snakes on branches.
Plus, it’s just a short drive to the Umgawa Legendary Adventures Zipline, which flies through the rainforest and wildlife: dark leaf monkeys, long-tailed macaques, giant squirrels and flying snakes can be spotted in the UNESCO-recognized geopark. A walk across the glass-bottomed SkyBridge, however, offers a slightly less hair-raising angle.
In a nutshell
This spacious beach resort is perfectly positioned for local attractions on land and at sea, yet quiet enough for great relaxation
A spacious beachfront resort perfectly positioned for Langkawi’s many land and sea attractions, but quiet enough for blissful relaxation. There is a calm Malaysian atmosphere created by authentic architecture, authentic cuisine and smiling service.
Qatar Air flies from the UK to Doha, then a short landing in Penang before the final leg (40 minutes) to Langkawi International Airport. The Pelangi Beach Resort and Spa is only 15 minutes by taxi.
The rooms can be booked from £ 110 pn.
Address: Pantai Cenang, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
Phone: +60 4-952 8888
All photos courtesy of Pelangi Beach Resort and Spa