Where to stay in Langkawi to slip away to island life

Langkawi, or the Jewel of Kedah, is an archipelago of 99 islands off the Malaysian coast and an easy 90 minutes from Singapore.

Known for its white sand beaches, natural parks and dewy rainforests, Langkawi gives you an opportunity to lose yourself in nature while knowing shopping streets and Instagrammable eateries are still nearby. Brave the exhilarating Langkawi Sky Bridge for views of Gunung Mat Cincang Mountain and the Telaga Tujuh waterfalls, then take a sunset cruise past untouched islets.

And to make the most of your Langkawi holiday? Stay in hotels hand-picked for their welcoming vibes and attention to detail. We’re talking open-air spas with sea views, suites with bubbling Jacuzzis and private balconies for watching the sunrise over distant peaks.

Where to stay in Langkawi for all the five-star stops

You’ll find the luxurious Danna Langkawi Hotel at Telaga Harbour Park, home to a boardwalk lined with buzzing bars and restaurants (including Langkawi’s only Italian, Mare Blu). Order a prosecco and watch super-yachts bobbing on the sunlit water while you wait for your pizza to arrive.

After checking in, you’ll have a colonial-inspired room waiting. Expect sumptuous furnishings in burnished orange tones, intricately carved dark wood furniture and floor-to-ceiling windows that showcase the ocean beyond. In a suite, every day can end with a soak in your private outdoor Jacuzzi. And when it’s time for lights out? Roll onto your four-poster bed and disappear under freshly turned-down sheets.

In the morning, make sure to visit the serene Danna Spa on the top floor. After downing a zingy ginger welcome drink, try the Traditional Malay Urut treatment. This deep pressure massage uses traditional Malay techniques and calming blended oils to get you into a blissed-out state.

You’ll find three restaurants at the Danna Hotel come lunchtime. Grab a seat outside at Planter’s to look over the infinity pool as you sample British Malay fusion cuisine. You can begin with a fresh platter of local seafood, like succulent prawns and seared scallops, before moving onto a traditional dry beef curry slow-cooked in coconut cream and freshly ground Asian spices.

The Danna Langkawi - A Member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World

Top rated
Pantai Kok
9.8 Excellent (2153 reviews)

Stay near Langkawi's most idyllic beach


The everyday feels worlds away when you book a Langkawi trip to the Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort and Spa. Wake up to waves lapping the white sands of Cenang Beach just outside your window. Rooms here are designed to feel part of the island’s tropical landscape, with natural materials and balconies overlooking gardens, the lake or the pool.

Take your tastebuds on a journey inspired by ancient trading routes at the hotel restaurant, Spice Market. You’ll be surrounded by fragrant spices in traditional glass jars while you sample authentic Malaysian cuisine. Don’t leave without trying one of the country’s most famous dishes, Nasi Lemak–a fusion of salty anchovy, tender chicken and coconut rice cooked in pandan leaf.

Palm tree-lined Pantai Cenang–or Cenang Beach–is renowned as one of Langkawi’s best beaches. As well as its fine sand and clear waters, it’s home to plenty of duty-free shops and souvenir boutiques. If you’re bringing kids along, they’ll love Underwater World Langkawi, an aquarium with an immersive underwater tunnel. Active types can get involved in a multitude of water sports, from jet-skiing to parasailing.

Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa

Top rated
Pantai Cenang
8.7 Excellent (3127 reviews)

A Langkawi hotel set in a tropical rainforest

The Berjaya Langkawi Resort is steps away from a peaceful beach, plus surrounded by lush plant life so you’ll feel completely immersed in nature. There are many natural wonders within easy reach–from the Seven Wells Waterfall, just under 10 minutes’ drive away, to the Lake of the Pregnant Maiden, a freshwater lake on the island of Dayang Bunting.

The hotel’s rooms make the most of the idyllic landscape. Chalets built on stilts stand tall in tranquil waters, so you can drift off to the lullaby of gentle waves each night. If you book a rainforest chalet, welcome the evening with a tipple on your spacious balcony sheltered by tropical vegetation. All rooms use genuine Malay wood for interiors that balance a rustic feel with simple elegance.

There are eight bars and restaurants to choose from here. Make a late afternoon swim in the outdoor pool even more refreshing by swimming up to the Sunken Bar for a coconut cocktail. In the evening, dine in the open air at the Pahn-Thai restaurant. You’ll feast on fragrant Thai cuisine while the sun sets over the Mat Cincang mountain range.

Berjaya Langkawi Resort

Top rated
Pantai Kok
8.7 Excellent (3002 reviews)

An adults-only intimate setting

There are only 22 rooms and four suites at the Telaga Terrace Boutique Resort, so it’s an ideal spot if you’re looking for places to stay in Langkawi for some intimacy. Choose whether to spend your days in the pretty outdoor pool area at this adults-only hotel, or take the easy 10-minute stroll to Cenang Beach to soak up the sun. Rooms are fresh and bright, with luxe king-size beds just waiting for indulgent afternoon naps. Celebrating a special occasion? Splash out on the Telaga Suite for your own private Jacuzzi.

Here you’re in the popular Pantai Cenang area, so you can dip into the local culture with a 10-minute walk to Laman Padi Langkawi. This open-air museum is dedicated to Langkawi’s history of rice harvesting, which you’ll learn about as you wander through naturally perfumed herb gardens, immersive galleries and a network of rice fields.

Once the hotel’s complimentary breakfast starts to wear off, you’ll find plenty of restaurants nearby for Malay and international cuisine. Try Orkid Ria Seafood, where you can tuck into the catch of the day, or Cenang Thai Food Corner for hearty local cuisine, a minute’s walk from the hotel.

Telaga Terrace Boutique Resort

Pantai Cenang
8.8 Excellent (620 reviews)

Where to stay in Langkawi for that luxury villa experience


Bon Ton Resort comprises eight decadent villas, each one individually styled to make your stay extra unique. You might choose the Blue Ginger, an 80-year-old traditional Malay house built on a tree trunk and surrounded by the jewel tones of the rainforest. Every morning, you’ll find a breakfast of fresh bread, spreads and yogurt in your fridge–take the goodies out to your outdoor terrace, where you’ll also find your own freestanding tub.

When it comes to dining beyond your villa, the hotel’s Nam Restaurant combines a mouthwatering spectrum of influences. Graze on seafood tapas like calamari with tangy lemon aioli at lunchtime. For dinner, indulge in barbecued rock lobster tails with satay sauce and guava salad. You won’t want to leave without trying dessert–you can share a chocolate tasting plate complete with nutty truffle and gooey caramel tart.

The beach here is photogenic and lively, but if you’re craving a bit of quiet time, drive 20 minutes to Burau Bay. The secluded sands of Pantai Kok remain a low-key spot thanks to a border of limestone hills. It’s also a prime location for spotting migratory birds–pack a picnic and while the afternoon away.

Bon Ton Antique Wooden Villas

Pantai Cenang
8.8 Excellent (345 reviews)

A nature-inspired island hotel in Langkawi


You’ll find The Andaman, a Luxury Collection Resort, right by the beach and against a backdrop of lush rainforest. You’re on the island of Pulau Langkawi here, which means plenty of opportunities to enjoy the tropical landscape. Drive 30 minutes to Langkawi SkyCab, which will take you soaring over the hidden world of the jungle canopy.

When you feel like taking it easy, get yourself to the spa–V Botanical Spa. Traditional open-air villas look out across the hills and peaceful waters of Datai Bay. You can treat your skin to an energising coconut sugar scrub, or let your muscles relax as you slip into a bath of velvety rose petals. Skewers of juicy fruits make a sweet accompaniment to a glass of chilled sparkling wine when you emerge, and keen yogis can start the day with a flowing yoga class at sunrise.

Rooms at the Andaman are inspired by Langkawi’s postcard-perfect landscapes. Warm orange accents stand out against gleaming dark woods and fresh white walls. In a Deluxe Treetop Room, you’ll be treated to sweeping views of the sea, plus your own grassy outdoor area to soak up the sun while you sip your morning coffee.

The Andaman, a Luxury Collection Resort, Langkawi

Top rated
Datai Bay
8.7 Excellent (160 reviews)

Where to stay in Langkawi for spa services on the beach


Every aspect of the Hotel Four Seasons Resort Langkawi has been hand-crafted for an unforgettable experience, from the flame-grilled steaks poolside at the Kelapa Grill to family villas with their own private pools tucked away among the trees. Every room has been thoughtfully designed with solid teak floors, colourful works of art and woven accents for a rustic finish. Living spaces sprawl into the outdoors in the form of private rainfall showers and hammam bathtubs.

You can restore both body and mind with a visit to on-site Geo Spa. Surrounded by a network of koi-filled pools, the spa offers sensory rituals such as soothing massages using warm oils, curated herb bundles to relieve muscle tension and nourishing wraps to pamper the skin.

The tranquillity doesn’t stop there, either–the hotel sits on a curved stretch of quiet beach called Tanjung Rhu. Go swimming in the clear waters, lie back on the sand with a good book or find your balance with a paddleboard yoga session. Should you want to explore more natural wonders, the hotel organises boat trips through the mangroves to look out for rare bird species.

Four Seasons Resort Langkawi

Tanjung Rhu
9.6 Excellent (576 reviews)

Mediterranean bliss at this Langkawi hotel


The laidback, beachfront Hotel Casa del Mar Langkawi perches over the Strait of Malacca. The sea plays a vital part in the hotel experience–sliding French doors lead into each room, letting in the fresh sea breeze. Book the Beachfront Studio Suite for doors opening right onto the beach and a private courtyard where you can admire the view from your own sun-drenched sofa bed.

Sunset meals don’t get much more romantic than at La Luna Restaurant, which plates up traditional Malaysian cuisine. You’ll have your own intimate table on the sand, accessed by a candlelit walkway. For fusion creations and alfresco dining by day, grab a seat on the bright terrace at La Sal Restaurant.

Pamper yourself with a Satkara Signature Massage at the hotel’s Satkara Spa. Using traditional massage techniques from around the world, it will loosen muscles and re-energise the body. If you’d rather get your adrenaline fix, you can go banana boating or jet-skiing on Pantai Cenang beach, explore the islands by boat or go for a hike in Langkawi’s lush rainforest.

Hotel Casa Del Mar Langkawi

Top rated
Pantai Cenang
9.7 Excellent (434 reviews)

Authentic Malay vibes by the sea

Experience Langkawi from the luxury of Ombak Villa Langkawi. Located on the peaceful western coast, the hotel is also only three kilometres from the airport and Langkawi Cable Car, where you’ll glide high over beaches and rainforest. The hotel’s design takes its inspiration from historic Malay architecture, with details of carved dark wood and deep jewel tones. On your lanai (traditional balcony), feel the sun’s rays while you take in views of the Andaman Sea. If you’re celebrating an anniversary or honeymoon, request the Seroja Suite so you can share a sparkling drink of choice in your own spacious garden or private Jacuzzi.

When it comes to dining, Ombak Villa has four restaurants to choose from. Dig into Middle Eastern dishes amid the flowerbeds of open-air Al Shallal Restaurant. Alternatively, The Amai Bistro is your destination for late afternoon coffee and cake or an evening mocktail while you watch the sun set over the fishing village. Floor-to-ceiling windows let natural light come flooding in, helping you feel part of the landscaped surrounds. Your last spot of the night will be the cosy Mentari Lounge, where you can unwind with a chilled beer or glass of wine.

Ombak Villa Langkawi

Padang Matsirat
7.6 Good (651 reviews)

Feature image courtesy of maudanros / Fotolia