11 Island resorts to check out for a luxurious getaway in Malaysia


By Ronn Tan

11 Island resorts to check out for a luxurious getaway in Malaysia

There are a myriad of things to do in KL despite the RMCO but if you’re thinking of heading out of the city for some vitamin sea, we’ve compiled a list of luxury resorts for your kind consideration. From Kedah to Terengganu to Sabah, these extraordinary beach and island resorts are perfect for your next getaway.

Note: All information listed below is correct at the time of publication.

1. The Andaman Langkawi, Kedah

Photo by The Andaman

Tucked away between a 10 million-year-old rainforest and the Datai Bay, The Andaman Langkawi is as idyllic as it gets. Not to mention, its “front yard” houses an 8,000-year-old coral reef. The interior and amenities are just as attractive, with modern dark wood details complemented by locally painted works of art depicting nature at its best on the walls, it’s a home away from home you’ll adore; and in the bathrooms, you’ll find a full range of The Luxury Collection’s exclusive Byredo by Le Chemin products.

As for dining options, there are four restaurants at The Andaman, each with its own unique characteristics: Jala, Tepian Laut, The Restaurant, and The Japanese Restaurant. For a bit of rejuvenation, head over to V Botanical Spa—the first spa in Southeast Asia to offer 100 per cent certified-organic food-grade products. We highly recommend the signature V Song of The Malay Rainforest Ritual.

Rates: From RM530 per night

Contact: 04 959 1088


2. The Westin Desaru Coast Resort, Johor

Photo by The Westin Desaru Coast Resort

Set along the beautiful South China Sea, The Westin Desaru Coast Resort is a refreshing sanctuary in the southern state of Malaysia that is Johor. Rooms here are complete with the signature Westin Heavenly Bed, intuitive amenities, and scenic private balconies.

There is a wide variety of dining options while you’re at The Westin Desaru Coast Resort—Seasonal Tastes, Prego, Splash, Mix Lounge, and Beach Bar. While you’re here, treat yourself to tantalising treatments at the Heavenly Spa or go for a refreshing dip in the pool.

Rates: RM1,256 per night

Contact: 07 838 3333


3. Anantara Desaru Coast Resort, Johor

Photo by Anantara Desaru Coast Resort

Not too far off is Anantara Desaru Coast Resort with its lush tropical gardens and stand-alone villas that overlook said gardens, lagoon or the ocean. The luxury seaside resort is fitted with two pools but the gorgeous beachfront infinity pool is surely the popular choice.

There are a few interesting F&B establishments here such as Turmeric and Sea.Fire.Salt but if you’re looking to relax and unwind, the Observatory Bar is the place to go. However, for that, the Anantara Spa would be even better with its one-of-a-kind experiences such as the 24-carat gold facial and the nourishing organic treatment.

Rates: From RM994 per night

Contact: 07 828 0888


4. Tanjong Jara Resort, Terengganu

Photo by Tanjong Jara Resort

Located in Kuala Dungun on the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia, Tanjong Jara Resort is a secluded paradise filled with serenity and age-old Sucimurni philosophies. Fun fact: It was designed to reflect 17th century Malay palaces.

In addition to a plethora of dining options—such as Di Atas Sungei and Nelayan—there are also many fun and engaging activities to do at Tanjong Jara Resort. You can visit a Malay herb garden, dive at Tenggol Island, attend traditional handicraft classes, and trek to Chemerung Waterfall, among others.

Rates: From RM1,120 per night

Contact: 03 2783 1000


5. Gayana Marine Resort, Sabah

Photo by Gayana Marine Resort

Situated on Gaya Island’s Malohom Bay off the coast of Sabah, Gayana Marine Resort comprises of 45 overwater tropical villas boasting gorgeous views of the aquamarine sea, mangrove forest or tropical jungle. An interesting element of the resort is the on-site Marine Ecology Research Centre that propagates endangered giant clams and coral reefs. For a taste of local seafood, head over to Alu-Alu Seafood Restaurant. For Western fusion food with a distinctly Malaysian twist, Macac is your go-to.

Rates: From RM1,099 per night

Contact: [email protected]


6. The Datai Langkawi, Kedah

Photo by The Datai Langkawi

The destination resort blends into its natural surroundings—the 10-million-year-old rainforest. Rooms and villas here embrace the resort’s lush tropical rainforest and the Datai Bay (one of the most beautiful beaches around). Accommodations here include the likes of the Canopy Collection, the Rainforest Collection, and the Beach Collection.

The five-star experience continues with the dining establishments at The Datai—from Malaysian restaurant The Gulai House to Thai restaurant The Pavilion. Down for a drink? The Beach Club is the spot to be. In addition to the spa, kayaking, snorkelling, and windsurfing, you can also sail out to the farther reaches of the Datai Bay.

Rates: From RM2,500 per night

Contact: 04 9500 500


7. Pangkor Laut Resort, Perak

Photo by Pangkor Last Resort

Nestled in a two million-year-old rainforest, immerse yourself in a private island sanctuary surrounded by mesmerising emerald waters and sandy beaches that face the Straits of Malacca. The majority of the island is still untouched as only a fraction of the island’s 300 acres has been developed.

Whether you’re staying in the villas or at the Estates, expect warmth and comfort at its finest. Dine at Uncle Lim’s Kitchen and Fisherman’s Cove or get a tipple or two at the Royal Bay Beach Club. Treat yourself to rejuvenating experiences at the Spa Village, with treatments such as the Ayurvedic Rejuvenation.

Rates: From RM1,470 per night

Contact: 03 2783 1000


8. The Ritz-Carlton Langkawi, Kedah

Photo by The Ritz-Carlton Langkawi

Steeped in ancient natural beauty, the five-star luxury resort on the edge of the Andaman Sea is the ideal spot for your next getaway. The resort—combining contemporary style with elements of nature and tradition—consists of Langkawi’s only overwater spa, private pools in the villas, and accommodation with rainforest views.

Head over to Langkawi Kitchen to feast on an array of Malay, Chinese, and Indian cuisines or Hai Yan for traditional Chinese seafood, aged teas, and boutique wines. Some of the signature spa treatments to go for at The Ritz-Carlton Langkawi include Lulur Hammam Experience and Mandi Bunga Ritual.

Rates: From RM1,350 per night

Contact: +04 952 4888


9. Cove 55, Sarawak

Photo by Cove 55

Originally built as a holiday home for an Iban family, Cove 55 is a luxury boutique resort situated at the foot of Mount Santubong. Comprising of one villa, two suites, and 13 rooms, this is the ideal hideaway for those who prefer privacy and relaxation.

Tee off at an Arnold Palmer-designed golf course, check out crocodiles on a boat tour, or hike up Mount Santubong. You can also dine at Kechala for a modern take on Sarawakian flavours and Cove Bar for an extensive drinks menu.

Rates: From RM580 per night

Contact: 082 846 068


10. The St. Regis Langkawi, Kedah

Photo by The St. Regis Langkawi

The five-star luxury resort in Langkawi—located between a centuries-old rainforest and the Andaman Sea—features top-notch suites and overwater villas. Transporting you to a world of pure resort luxury is the signature St. Regis Butler Service as well as the wide variety of dining options such as L’Orangerie for breakfast, and Kayuputi for pan-Asian-inspired cuisine. For a tipple or two, visit The St. Regis Bar.

The 800-square-metre Iridium Spa, 24-hour athletic club, and outdoor infinity pool are some of the spa and fitness facilities you need to check out when you’re there.

Rates: From RM1,316 per night

Contact: 04 960 6666


11. One&Only Desaru Coast, Johor

Officially opened on 6 September 2020, this is One&Only’s first-ever resort in Asia. Spreading across 128 acres, the Kerry Hill Architects-designed resort consists of 43 Junior Suites, two two-bedroom Grand Suites, and the exclusive four-bedroom Villa One (that has 1,500 square metres of living space, a private spa treatment room, a home office, a central courtyard garden, and a 27-metre swimming pool). All guest rooms have private plunge pools.

For dining, Chef Andrew Walsh helms Ember Beach Club with a menu inspired by the age-old tradition of open-fire cooking. Other culinary spots include Ambara, Essential, Dusky Monkey, and Hoshi. In addition to Chenot Spa, the resort also houses bespoke nail care by Pedi:Mani:Cure Studio by Bastien Gonzalez.

Rates: From RM2,100 per suite per night

Contact: 07 878 3400


Where will you be going for a holiday in Malaysia? The options above are perfect whether you’re planning a solo trip or a holiday with loved ones. Unwind and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Most importantly, enjoy yourself while you’re on an island getaway in Malaysia. A well-deserved holiday, after all!

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