Ask me my top-of-mind island destination in Asia and these would most likely come up: Bali, Boracay or Phuket. The three has beautiful natural allures, remarkable hotels and distinct culinary appeal. So let me set the record straight, Langkawi actually never crossed my travel wish list. But there I was on my perfect island getaway at the brand new St. Regis Langkawi, which turned out to be the best days of the year so far.
As it was my maiden trip to the 99-island destination, every bit of the experience felt new to me. Don’t expect flashy airport Dubai-like disembarkation experience as, well, the airport looks like it needs some catching up to do. Quick fact, there is no airbridge at all but I guess I was lucky to have landed on a dry afternoon weather. The rest of the arrival was simply effortless. It took slightly more than 30 mins on the airport transfer. The luxury MPV ride was filled with cold towel, delightful cookies in nicely-wrapped boxes and knowledgeable chauffeur.
The lobby is nothing short of opulent. I simply adore the lush greeneries at the entrance, just like what St. Regis Bali boasts at their entrance gate. On one afternoon I was coming back from a walk outside and found that the ‘forest’ has a mist session. It’s such a treat for the eyes you cannot miss this when you stay here. The first thing I noticed from the moment the doors were opened, the gorgeous chandelier. The resort has hundreds of them to complement the spacious and high-ceiling lobby decorated with immense vases. Immediately it came to my senses, the whole concept of luxurious Riviera chic. Looking straight from the doors, I jumped a little when I saw a glance of the beach and the smaller Langkawi islands at afar. Looking to the right and left, those sights were equally inviting as I took another glance of the L’Orangerie restaurant and The St. Regis Bar. The welcome concoction of tamarind, kiwi and cranberry cooler was all I ever needed at the time. My butler took time to explain a bit of everything when he walked with me to the suite, my cave for the coming two nights.
St. Regis Langkawi Pool Suite
Space is not a luxury at any St. Regis properties around the world, it’s basic necessity. I looked at my watch and notice I only had short time to freshen up before dinner. However, to my surprise, the butlers prepared a surprise birthday celebration in my suite. To say that I was thrilled is an understatement. The entrance makes way for a spacious living room with plush sofa, large TV and the ceiling-to-floor glass window peeking to the tempting pool. The bedroom is on another room with sliding doors giving guests privacy, adjacent to the en-suite closet and white-marbled bathroom. The whole scene was charming, I wanted more. The butler intuitively picked it up and opened the curtains only for me to see the private garden pool. At this point, I know it’s not a typical birthday trip anymore. Two blows to the candles after, I rushed a bit to Kayuputi for dinner. It wouldn’t hurt to burn some calories before any great dinner, right?
Situated at Pantai Beringin with private beach, the resort pays homage to the true nature of the island and benefit from the idyllic waters to create a truly exquisite dining experience that is Kayuputi. It is beautifully perched on an overwater deck with uninterrupted views of the Andaman Sea. Come here in the afternoon, head to the outdoor terrace that comes with oversized hammocks. This, and the barmen prepping your drinks make up for the perfect island getaway.
What makes a splendid dinner? Some of us may say, it’s the companion. Others say it’s the food of course. That evening, I experienced the best of both worlds. The culinary talents at the open kitchen center around Asian-inspired dishes. The maître d was kind enough to recommend a dinner set for the evening. Service was butler-styled, pretty much like elsewhere at St. Regis Langkawi which let us enjoy the laughs and wine glass clinging throughout the night. I can’t recommend it enough for couples and lovers to embark on romantic culinary sojourn.
Breakfast at L’Orangerie
Inspirations are everywhere in this resort and the restaurant is no exception. Each morning I adored L’Orangerie not only for its exceptional breakfast choices, but also its spacious feel that comes with ground-to-ceiling glass window, the citrus tree and direct view of the beach. Before deciding on what to eat on my first morning here, I jumped a little inside when the kind hosts offered champagne -Taittinger bottles on sight- to go along with my Andaman Sea Lobster Omelette. The choices vary and it has everything one can dream of when it comes to breakfast. The whole scene is the kind of ambiance that exudes leisurely breakfast, the kind that makes you stick to your seat. I literally sticked to sitting as the service includes a la carte breakfast orders. The restaurant was almost full at the time but the whole ambiance was soothing and calm.
Walking in to Iridium Spa at St. Regis Langkawi, I marveled at the, again, the beautiful chandelier. One would notice this overhead centerpiece before everything else. Built according to a precise formula for zen in the nautical riviera aura, the spa features eight all-suite treatment experiences. My therapist walked me in to one of those suites and I again stared at a spacious relaxation area, The Iridium Room. Each treatment begins with Detoxifying Foot Bath followed by refreshing infusion of Tomatoes and Sea Salt foot ritual. These are designed to cleanse, calming and relax, completed with a touch of foot power massage, the whole refined ritual in preparation for the main course which ends with me never wanting to leave. I had the Urut Melayu as recommended by the therapist and it was exactly what I needed. The whole massage session features long kneading strokes, palm pressure and thumb pressure points to de-stress muscles based on indigenous Malay Massage believed to maintain good health and prosperity. I lethargically left the treatment bed. I only left because the therapist convinced me that they serve Iridium Healthy Hi-Tea and Spa Cuisines afterwards.
Why You Should Stay Longer at St. Regis Langkawi
Because I stayed at the brand new hotel for only two nights, and I did not have a chance to experience everything. So add those to the 8 popular beach spots of Langkawi and the famous cable car ride, I know I have to come back. The concierge came to my rescue. On my last morning before departing from St. Regis Langkawi, he arranged a Nature Walk with the hotel’s Naturalist, John. He is one of the most passionate gentlemen I have ever come across with and no kidding, he knows the in and out of the bountiful rainforest in Langkawi. John is an avid walker himself so he began the session by teaching us how to breathe. He would stop occasionally during the 2-hour walk to remind us to breathe. This activity comes recommended for anyone. It worked best for me because I simply had too much to eat at St. Regis Langkawi.
St. Regis Langkawi
Jalan Pantai Beringin
Langkawi, 07000, Malaysia
Tel: +60 4 960 6666