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Designed with Moorish influences throughout, the property doesn't feel like part of a chain, and sits comfortably in its environment.
Langkawi, the archipelago of 99 islands off the west coast of Malaysia, was something of an insiders' secret until Four Seasons opened there in 2005.
The 91 guest villas and pavilions are dotted around the landscaped gardens or along the beachfront. Appropriately enough in a trading country that has always embraced different cultures, the spacious rooms blend Asian, Indian and Arabic influences to create a distinctly Malaysian feel. Features include timber floors, high ceilings and open-air verandas. All the lower pavilions and some villas offer secluded outdoor terrazzo soaking baths and rainforest style showers.
The beachside restaurants take advantage of the region's melting-pot cuisine with Ikan-Ikan (which specialises in fish) replicating local dishes, and Serai looking further afield to Thailand and China, while the luxurious spa borrows treatments from Bali and India.
Nonetheless, the surrounding landscapes are indigenous to Langkawi and they are the destination's main draws: tranquil mangrove swamps where you can tour caves and navigate lagoons; pristine rainforest for birding and nature walks; and islands where you can eat lunch on deserted beaches.
You can make a reservation in one of the Moroccan tents set up for private dinners on the beach; even the most jaded guests will feel the romance.
Holly, Original Traveller