Whenever a quick weekend island getaway is needed with minimal fuss, the first place that comes to mind is Langkawi. It takes only a little more than an hour to get to the island via plane from Kuala Lumpur, and is generally an easy flight that requires no hassle of passports and immigration.
The island itself is beautiful and is teeming with a multitude of flora and fauna — even a million-year-old rainforest and mangrove. Eagles, hornbills, and other rare species of wildlife also call Langkawi home, which just goes to show how well preserved nature is in the island despite having tourists around.
Yet, Langkawi has no shortage of luxury beach resorts to idle the weekend (or more) away. One new addition to the lineup of luxury beach resorts is The Ritz-Carlton Langkawi, that has finally opened its doors after seven years of careful construction. We say it’s worth the wait, because the resort is gorgeous.
The Ritz-Carlton Langkawi places a large emphasis on traditional Malay elements, which can be seen throughout the architectural and decor within the resort. Rooftops take after the Minangkabau design, while rooms and villas sport traditional kampung design influences. Even the welcome macarons take on local flavours like banana and pandan, rather than the usual caramel and vanilla.
The resort is located in Pantai Kok and is merely 7.3 kilometres away from Langkawi International Airport, a 10-minute drive. Despite its proximity to the airport, the location is still well-hidden from the main town area of Langkawi and guests can enjoy privacy and enter a whole different world upon checking in to The Ritz-Carlton Langkawi.
There are 75 guest rooms, 15 suites, and 29 villas in the sprawling resort to pick from with views of either the surrounding rainforest or Andaman sea. We stayed in the Rainforest Junior Suite, a one-bedroom suite that is perfect for couples with a separate living area if the need to entertain other guests arise.
The junior suite boasts a sprawling 1,076 square feet of space and has floor-to-ceiling windows that allow plenty of natural light into the room as well as views of the surrounding lush greenery. The use of wood in the living area and bedroom is prevalent with hints of Malay decor, while the bathroom is luxurious and tasteful with plenty of marble, and a minimalist bathtub to top it off.
Although The Ritz-Carlton Langkawi is a resort getaway, they understand the need for modern-day gadgets, which is why there are plug points hidden throughout the suite in perfect areas: on both sides of the bed, by the day bed, and even by the day bed on the balcony. Your gadgets will be guaranteed unlimited juice.
The four dining venues within the resort are distinct, yet each are outstanding in their own ways. First, start your day at Langkawi Kitchen where the breakfast buffet with champagne will be held. The variety of food ranges from classic Asian to Western, and there will be something for everyone.
In the afternoon, make your way to The Beach Grill, where you can enjoy lunch and refreshing cocktails with a view of the infinity pool and the sea. We recommend getting the Daily Catch, so you can get the freshest pick of the seafood of the day.
At night, it will be a difficult choice between Horizon and Hai Yan. The former presents a laid back Thai dining experience with more emphasis on cocktails. Should the weather permit, sit outdoors and enjoy a cocktail or two (may we suggest The Hornbill?) with the sunset view and wind in your hair. Inside is equally as grand, with the red-hued bar being the standout area. The Thai-based menu is small but punchy, offering only the best necessities.
Over at Hai Yan, enjoy elaborate Chinese cuisine in a formal, sit-down setting and let the knowledgeable waiters help you out with the menu. Otherwise, there are also several tasting menus available for you to pick from, with a choice of wine pairing.
Beach resorts and spas are synonymous, hence The Ritz-Carlton Spa is definitely worth checking out. Upon rolling up to the spa village in the resort’s buggy, one can’t help but feel entranced by the unique architecture of the spa, which has been influenced by the Malay bubu, woven fish traps used by local fishermen for centuries. We also learnt that The Ritz-Carlton Spa in Langkawi is the only one on the island that is home to a hammam. So yes, you have the choice of picking the Indulgence Hammam Ritual to deep cleanse your skin and revitalise your body. Other spa treatments are also available, and the ladies at The Ritz-Carlton Spa will be more than happy to help you pick a suitable one.
Fitness enthusiasts will be happy to know that there is also a fully-equipped, 24-hour gym available in the resort, as well as a tennis court, infinity pool, and yoga classes. Guests with kids can keep the small ones entertained over at Ritz Kids and their variety of curated activities.
If you’re looking for a quiet, luxurious retreat filled with nature, yet not too far away from the outside world, The Ritz-Carlton Langkawi is the place to be. It may be new and modern, but the resort still pays homage to its traditional Malay heritage on the island and respects the rainforest by building around rather than over it. It’s perfect for couples looking for a romantic getaway or big families looking to spend a relaxing beach holiday not too far away from home in KL. One thing’s for sure, you’ll emerge after your holiday feeling refreshed and recharged.