I LOVE HOTELS ❤ The Andaman, Langkawi
Langkawi is an Island off the mainland coast of northwestern Malaysia and part of the state of Kedah. With a population of under 65,000, it is a popular tourist destination less than an hour flight from the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur or 1.5 hours from Singapore.
The Andaman, a Luxury Collection Resort, itself is designed and built within a rainforest said to be 10 million years old. Surrounded by a 8,000 year old Coral Reef and the private Datai Bay exclusive to two resorts – The Andaman and The Datai nearby, one can describe the location as tranquil, hidden or to be honest, out in nowhere.
In fact, it takes almost 40mins (27km) by car through hilly, windy and dark (street lighting is virtually non-existent) roads to get to the resort from Langkawi International Airport. My recommendation is definitely to prearrange the hotel’s limousine airport transfer service which starts from RM110 (AU$40).
The hotel’s entrance is a further 3mins down-hill drive off the main road where you’ll arrive at an open-styled lobby and reception. Cold drinks and towel are served on arrival which I guess compensates for the lack of air-conditioning in tropical climate.
The lobby and main restaurant (where breakfast is served) is essentially the centre of the resort which then pans out horizontally to the South and North Wing, both covering four levels. The Garden Terrace, Pool Access rooms are located in the South Wing while the Jacuzzi and Executive Pool Suites are in the North Wing. Getting from one end to the other will take a good 15-20 minutes walk and easily work up a sweat. Perhaps that’s why luggage delivery took upwards of half an hour! My advice, drag your own luggage.
We opted for a Luxury Garden Terrace Room located at the very end of the South Wing which meant a 5-10 minute walk to/from the Lobby/Restaurant. At 43 square metres the room is undoubtedly spacious but the definition of “luxury” is rather questionable. Maintenance and cleanliness of the room is sub 5-Star standards but nonetheless the bed is comfortable, the water pressure for the rainshower is excellent and there’s free WiFi coverage throughout the resort.
Room service put nicely is careless, but frankly, lousy. Overall, the attention to detail which you’d expect from a 5-Star Resort charging 5-Star prices is simply lacking. Apart from price, the main difference between the Deluxe and Luxury Room is a 27 square metre private rainforest garden with outdoor seating where you can supposedly enjoy the sound of nature in “private” (only to have everyone staying above look down at you). At least with the Luxury Pool Access rooms you get direct access to a semi-private pool, whereas a spot to enjoy nature, there are plenty around that’s FOC.
For one, the exclusive Datai Beach is irrefutably stunning and calming. Plenty of beach chairs are available for sunbathing or catching up on some reading. Otherwise there’s the lagoon-style pool complete with a water slide for kids. Food and drinks are readily available and there’s even a kids buffet on offer. Irrespective of where you dine though, be prepared to pay resort prices which basically mean paying Australian prices in Malaysia. Don’t go expecting Michelin-star quality and you’ll be fine.
One highlight at The Andaman is its Spa – V Intergrated Wellness – a memorable experience mainly thanks to the magnificent views of Datai Bay and The Andaman Sea.
Again, expect to pay Australian prices for the Spa with treatments north of AU$100 but considering the environment, atmosphere and the relaxing sounds of waves, it’s well worth the experience.
Being a family friendly resort, The Andaman has a number of recreational activities on offer (some for a fee). From rainforest nature walks, coral nursery experiences, cooking classes to golf and kayaking. One big plus for parents is the Young Explorer’s Club which is essentially a day care service so parents can relax with a peace of mind.
If Budget allows, go for the Executive Pool Suite which offers partial sea view from a large outdoor patio equipped with a private plunge pool, cabana daybed, private garden and seating. The separate living, 1.5 bathrooms and bedroom comes to a total of 86 square metres, ensuring ample space.
Overall I can only rate our stay at the Andaman itself at best average, but for us the main purpose of visiting was to attend our dear friends Eve and Jimmy’s wedding which by the way was a perfect intimate celebration as planned. If it wasn’t for the wedding, having preference for city escapes, I doubt Langkawi would’ve even made it onto our list. Will we ever go back? Perhaps, but The Andaman Resort? Unlikely.
I’m sure they won’t mind me sharing their beautiful wedding video…