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Asia’s Hidden Secret

Clare, one of our Asia specialists, recently travelled to Langkawi in Malaysia and now gives her tops tips on where to stay when visiting this gorgeous archipelago.

When you think of where to go for a beach holiday in the Far East, you probably think Thailand, perhaps the Philippines or maybe Vietnam. But what does not cross most people’s mind is Malaysia and more importantly the Langkawi archipelago in northern Peninsular Malaysia. This forgotten gem is not just an idyllic beach destination but you can also enjoy a bit of a wildlife experience with its dense rainforest and mangroves. This in my opinion makes a beach holiday just that little bit more interesting; I was certainly quite taken and will be spreading the word. However, let’s not spread it too much as we want to keep it special.

With BA now operating a flight between London and Kuala Lumpur and then a short internal flight, it couldn’t be easier to reach Langkawi. And even better is that the rainy season here doesn’t actually produce that much rain! Even though our summer time is considered to be their rainy season, you may experience the odd shower or two but the rest of the time you can be catching those rays and more importantly enjoy low season rates – win-win situation in my opinion!

Children and parents alike will fall for Langkawi. The Andaman and Four Seasons Langkawi are renowned for being family-friendly and children can spend hours discovering the island and its wildlife, splashing around in child-friendly pools, playing on the beach and making friends at the kids clubs. At the Four Seasons they can even enjoy activities such as yoga!

Honeymooners – think sandy beaches, clear waters, views to die for and romantic waterfall picnics. For me, the Datai would make for the perfect place to spend  your honeymoon. A bit more boutique than other properties on offer, more Malay in style and of course, it is the area’s most iconic hotel. They even have their own boat, so book a private sunset charter for something really special.

If you’re looking for value for money, look no further than the Andaman. A 10-night stay here wouldn’t break the bank and you’d be staying on one of the nicest beaches in Langkawi. Rooms have recently undergone a refurbishment so are fresh and airy. The spa has a wonderful cliff top position so even if you don’t go for a massage, go for the views!

If you’re after something a bit more boutique in style, then again, book the Datai. Located on the same beach as the Andaman, the Datai too has a prime position on the island. Stay in a Superior Villa for lots of space or upgrade to the Beach Villa for the ultimate experience with your own pool, direct beach access and the all-important personal butler, which you can get scarily used to having. I would say out of the three hotels, the dining experience here is my favourite – they have Thai, Indian, Malay and Western and all are done so well and have exceptional venues.

Four Seasons Lankgawi has the wow factor. This place, for use of better words, really took my breath away. Admittedly the location isn’t quite as good as the others; the sea here is a bit murky and the tide goes quite far out. But the property itself really took me by surprise; I had high expectations with it being a Four Seasons property but they were quickly exceeded.  The style of the resort is so impressive with its grand terracotta-like entrance, luxurious and spacious rooms and the staff feel like your new best friends by the time you leave. The adult pool here was a particular highlight for me with its private cabanas looking out to the sea, quite unlike any other poolside experience I’ve ever had! The hotel also offers a wonderful mangrove safari where you can spot eagles, monkeys, walking fish (yes they exist) amongst other wildlife.

So there we have it, Langkawi in a nutshell and I’ll certainly be going back as I feel there is still more to explore!

For more information on Langkawi, give one of our Travel Consultants a call on 0203 603 3555 or visit scottdunn.com

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