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Check-in: Temple Tree Resort is where you need to be for a restful, culture-rich escape

Are you stuck in a rut? Can’t sleep without thinking about what’s on your to-do list? It would help if you had a break, and you know you deserve one. Malaysia may be embracing the wet and rainy seasons. Still, there’s nothing like planning an island getaway once the monsoon season is over (it usually occurs in September and between March and April) and on our list is Langkawi’s finest Temple Tree Resort.

Malaysia offers myriad nurturing experiences for any nature lover and adventurer. To think about it, we’re spoiled for choices. However, the top holiday destination for many locals and tourists is none other than the famed Langkawi island. Known for its breathtaking landscapes and cultural heritage, Langkawi is located 30km off the northwest of the Malaysian mainland and is home to the most beautiful pristine beaches.

What is the Temple Tree Resort, Langkawi?

A charming destination that evokes history and character, Temple Tree Resort is situated a short 10-minute drive from the airport. Temple Tree Resort Langkawi Malaysia is a magnificent holiday destination for any traveller and honeymooner that seeks adventure, peace and ultimate relaxation. Ideal for families, friends and couples, the resort breathes a sense of tranquillity with its breathtaking ambience amidst the lush greenery.

Apart from the usual villas and hotel rooms, the resort offers eight heritage houses to book. Valued for their architectural style and features, heritage homes are historic buildings that include significance and research value and are preserved for generations to come. Once owned by families from the 18th and 19th century, these heritage houses – hailing from Johor, Penang, Ipoh and more – were mostly marked for demolition before Temple Tree’s owners discovered them to be restored, preserved and turned into the luxury resort you see today.

When we spoke to resort manager Irene Vairo, she explained that before Temple Tree Resort was born, it took two years for the owners to source, dismantle, transport and assemble these beautiful homes in Langkawi.

Temple Tree Resort
Beautiful sunsets in Langkawi

Each heritage home is around 80 to 100 years old, and what makes them so unique from each other are the experiences and how each room is never the same. There are eight homes to explore: Estate House, Plantation House, Negeri Sembilan House, Johor House, Penang House, Ipoh House, Colonial House and the latest on the block, Straits House. These heritage residences are furnished with 21 suites in total. If you’re travelling in a large group, you can consider booking out the entire Straits House, Penang House, Negeri Sembilan House or Colonial House for a more exclusive experience.

Although it’s not available as accommodation, the Yellow House, originating from Penang, that oversees the pool area is turned into a games room equipped with a pool table and board games. If you think the ambience looks particularly familiar, you might have seen pictures from when Asia’s Next Top Model season six finalist Shikin Gomez held her wedding at the Temple Tree Resort.

Don’t be fooled by these heritage homes, as each House is fully air-conditioned and equipped with internet access plus streaming services. Yes, you’re not entirely off the grid, so you can still post your reels on Instagram and indulge in the latest season of Bling Empire.

Alright, let’s get to it. If you’re curious, here’s a closer look at the Houses that make Temple Tree Resort a historical yet fun-filled stay.

Let’s dive deep into the eight heritage houses that make Temple Tree Resort a unique experience:

Estate House

Hailing from Pasir Puteh, Ipoh, Perak, Estate House is a long single-storey building that was built in the 1940s and once housed migrant workers on a rubber plantation estate. Our experience staying in the Estate was a memorable one. The spacious residence is furnished with high ceilings, terracotta floors and thick wooden beams. Our suite, the Estate 2, provides abundant space for two, and is equipped with a king-size bed.

When you’re on an island and surrounded by lush greenery, it is common to find bugs flying into your suite and claiming to be your roommate. But don’t fret; each room includes insect-repellent spray and a mosquito coil. The beds are covered with mosquito nets too. As someone who has a fear of creepy crawlies, this was a life saviour.

If you ask us, the best type of vacation is one where we can truly slow down and disconnect from the daily grind. Our stay at Estate 2 provided all these and more. We relished spending lazy afternoons unwinding on the veranda, listening to Frank Ocean — cold drink in hand — and admiring the verdant scenery around us. We also managed to soak up some sun rays in our suite’s private garden, which is tucked away at the back and accessible via the bathroom.

As a first-time guest staying in a heritage home, I loved admiring the intricate features such as the wooden furniture, etched walls and the resort’s signature wooden bathtub in the House. If you’re planning to stay at the Estate, opt for Estate 1 and Estate 2, as each suite is equipped with a king-size bed, while Estate 3 comes with twin single beds. All three suites feature a spacious living space, a jack and jill bathroom and a private garden at the rear.

To explore each suite, check it out here.

Straits House

The latest House to make its stunning debut among the rest is Straits House. If this isn’t your first rendezvous at Temple Tree Resort, you may find this Eurasian-themed House oddly familiar. Yes, it was the reception area before relocating to Ipoh House. Today, the newly-renovated Straits House has been refurbished into a private living space for families and friends. Just like any modern yet charming kampung home, the Straits House caught our eye for its eye-catching hues in sky blue and yellow. Ideal for eight guests, the House offers a sense of privacy with its private pool and garden. In fact, take your dining experience on the private veranda for a memorable time. Imagine hosting a bachelorette or a birthday party at the Straits House.

To explore each suite, check it out here.

Plantation House

Originating from Penang, the Plantation House offers six beautiful suites that can sleep up to 18 guests. Built in the early 1900s, the House was sold to a Chinese Haka family, who were rubber and durian farmers.

If you’re planning a big family trip, be sure to book the suites from the Plantation House, as the first floor offers a spacious and comfortable lounging area with an open-air courtyard. If you’re looking for a suite that sleeps two or four guests, Plantation House is the best place to book, especially when you’re yearning for all your loved ones to be under one roof.

To explore each suite, check it out here.

Negeri Sembilan House

For that balik kampung (“return to village”) vibe, the Negeri Sembilan House is calling your name. This 1920 house once belonged to a family in Mantin, Negeri Sembilan and is adored for its awe-inspiring features that complete the whole experience. Decorated with original beautiful stained-glass windows and a comfortable front veranda, the House is ideal for a cute family of four. The spacious suite has a master bedroom and an adjoining bedroom with twin single beds. Our favourite part of the House? The living room area. It easily transports us to our grandparents’ home during Hari Raya.

To explore each suite, check it out here.

Johor House

As the third biggest home, Johor House was originally a Chinese farmhouse where you can easily spot Taiwanese influences in every corner. The two-bedroom suites were built around 100 years ago and are filled with a rich history. If you look closer, you will spot writings and original exterior accessories from the original owners. Take note of the door knobs, red wooden planks and paint. Measuring 968 square feet, each suite can house up to five guests while offering a unique experience. Johor 1 includes a king-bedded room and a queen-bedded room, while Johor 2 provides the same ambience, replacing the queen bed with a twin-bedded room. The living space between the rooms offers a spacious lounge area and a study room. For privacy, the upper veranda oversees the breathtaking swimming pool, and if you’re lucky, you will get a first-class view of the Langkawi sunset.

To explore each suite, check it out here.

Ipoh House

The first thing you will see is the stunning Ipoh House as soon as you arrive. Originally from Ipoh, this House was built between 1900 and 1903. Today, it has been converted into a restaurant and bar run by Chef Fairuz and his team, along with the reception lounge. As you enter, you will notice a sense of modern-meets-retro touches with its 70s-inspired interior and brass fittings. To unwind after a day of ultimate relaxation, head to the bar and enjoy cocktails with a stunning 360-degree view of the resort.

Penang House

Here’s another kampung house worth mentioning. Penang House is the only House among the rest that is designed with Chinese, Indian and Islamic influences. Once situated along Gurney Drive, Penang, this stunning House was built in the early 1930s with beautiful splashes of turquoise and white. Ideal for families and groups, the House includes two-bedroom suites and can also be turned into one house by opening the connecting double door. However, each suite does have its own entrance and living spaces. To fit a group of four, book the Penang 1 as it includes a one king-bedded room and one twin-bedded room.

To explore each suite, check it out here.

Colonial House

Also originating from Penang, the Colonial House is designed with East and West influences. If you take a closer look, you will notice the beauty of the Peranakan floor tiles and European touches. If you’re planning to travel with a family of 10, go ahead and book the whole Colonial House. Upon entering, the bottom level features a shared living room area where you can order the Temple Tree’s hi-tea in the dining room with your loved ones. Priced at RM52+ and catered for two, the afternoon tea menu includes local favourites such as potato samosa, mee goreng, curry puff, chicken satay, sago gula Melaka (our favourite, by the way) and more – you can even add their signature OTT Nasi Lemak to your hi-tea session.

In total, there are four Colonial Suites, with two located on the bottom level and two located on the upper level. Our favourite is the Colonial 4, which comfortably sleeps up to five guests and comes with a king and twin single beds. It also has a separate lounge, a dining area and a shuttered wooden veranda for some downtime.

To explore each suite, check it out here.

Dine at the Temple Tree Resort, Langkawi

On days when you feel too lazy to venture out for a meal, head to Temple Tree Bar and Restaurant, located at the Ipoh House. Led by Chef Fairuz, the menu features Asian and Western favourites comprising signatures such as Ayam Percik (grilled chicken with coconut, lemongrass sauce), Temple Tree Nyonya Laksa, Salmon Curry and the Temple Tree Fried Rice. In the morning, their breakfast buffet includes buttery pastries and the classic breakfast staples such as an omelette station, sausages and potatoes. Asian dishes consisting of nasi lemak, porridge, noodles and beyond, are constantly on rotation, so you will have an opportunity to try something new every day.

If you’re planning to treat your loved one to a memorable dining experience, go for the ‘Dining Under The Stars’ menu. Priced at RM388+ per couple, the five-course meal includes hearty starters such as mushroom egg crepe and prawn mango tartare, along with a creamy pumpkin soup. For appetisers, a delicious plate of salmon nicoise salad will be served. As for the mains, you will have a choice to pick between grilled chicken breast in the signature percik sauce (trust us, it’s delicious) served with truffle mashed potato and vegetable legume or a grilled barramundi with seafood tomato stew. To end the journey, you can never go wrong with a warm chocolate brownie to seal the deal.

Interested? Head over to their website and book your stay today.



Check-in: Temple Tree Resort is where you need to be for a restful, culture-rich escape

Amalina Anuar

Senior Writer

Amalina seeks joy in writing the ins and outs of the fashion, dining and beauty world. When she’s not stalking for her next handbag purchase, you can find her binge-watching the latest tv series, testing out beauty products or singing her heart out at concerts. As a part-time spin instructor, she uses music as a quick escape, which explains why she’s always bopping her head to a good tune, no matter where she is. Amalina is a fashion journalism graduate from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco and has always loved exploring big cities.

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