Situated on the north-western tip of the island of Langkawi, the Datai is an idyllic natural retreat set in the heart of virgin rainforest.
Looking down over a beautiful bay, the hotel has its own white sand beach with views across the Andaman Sea. Accommodation is in a collection of stylish guestrooms, many offering stunning ocean views.
Alternatively, luxurious villas made from local materials are dotted throughout the forest to enhance the sense of being completely alone and surrounded by wildlife - in a good way. Finally, the opulent beach villas offer direct access to the pristine sandy bay.
The villas are connected to the resort's central areas by a series of pathways, and the lobby, courtyard and area around the two swimming pools are suitably elegant.
Facilities at the hotel include an 18-hole golf course, an excellent spa set in among the trees next to a stream, and various restaurants including the atmospheric Gulai House, in the heart of the rainforest.
Activities include diving and snorkelling and boat trips around the islands. The retreat also boasts its own vessel which offers a new expedition-experience to guests. The Naga Pelangi, a traditional schooner, is available for exclusive charter to explore Langkawi's captivating coastline. With fine dining, beverages and massage facilities on-board guest can experience Langkawi's beauty from a maritime vantage point.
Why We Love It
A nature lover's dream, the islands are home to tropical flora and fauna and surrounded by the crystal clear waters of the Andaman Sea. Resident naturalist Irshad Mobarak offers morning and evening nature walks - a must do during your stay.
Four Seasons Langkawi
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.
Why We Love It
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.
Pangkor Laut is a privately owned 300-acre island fronted by white sand beaches and fringed by rain forest.
The luxurious villas are sumptuously private; either hidden among the forest on the hillsides, on stilts over the sea, or dotted around the tropical gardens. The resort offers total luxury and seclusion with everything dedicated to pampering and relaxation.
If you can tear yourself away from the beach and the Spa Village, the hotel offers a wide range of water sports, sailing, jungle trekking, and there are two swimming pools, a gym and tennis courts.
Food is high on the agenda; choose from a range of restaurants and dining options, including fresh seafood, Chinese cuisine, private dining on the beach, or Asian and Western lunches overlooking the infinity pool.
Why We Love It
As the island is only accessible to the guests of the hotel and the eight private rental houses that form part of the estate, it makes the perfect private holiday getaway.
Eastern & Oriental
A magnificent hotel woven into the very fabric of Penang's colonial era. For generations, this property has been viewed as a pioneer of luxury in the East, serving generations through two wars and multiple cultural advancements. Today it remains true to its heritage and presents the traveller with a classic modern luxury, whilst singing in tune with its magnificent past.
The hotel has 232 classic suites, styled with hints of the colonial-era yet oozing luxury and comfort. Guests can enjoy sea views or courtyard views from their suites, located in either the Victory Annexe or Heritage Wing.
With four restaurants to choose from, including a poolside terrace, guests can enjoy delicious local and international cuisine in a variety of environments. Sundowners can head to Farquhar's bar for an elegant English-style atmosphere, or relax in the Planter's lounge, exclusive to guests staying in the Victory Annexe.
Immerse yourself in an experiential narrative of the hotel's past within the E&O Gallery and learn more about the history of Penang in conjuncture with the hotel's own journey, or find sanctuary in the hotel spa and fitness centre.
Why We Love It
The perfect base from which to experience a Penang Heritage Trail. Both trails begin at the Eastern & Oriental, a landmark in Penang's own history.