It’s the striking natural beauty of Langkawi that first catches your eye as you circle to land. Brilliant emerald waters lap at white sandy beaches, dotted with palms, while beautiful rainforest covers much of the island, home to its native fauna. The 500 million year-old Langkawi rainforest is also where you’ll find the Berjaya Langkawi Resort. The Berjaya property covers more than 80 acres of the Langkawi UNESCO ‘World Geopark’ site. From the steep jungle slopes to the calm waters of its coves, the resort caters for guests ranging from Flashpackers to honeymooners with their luxurious Langkawi overwater bungalows.
Berjaya Langkawi Resort
The popularity of the Berjaya Langkawi Resort is evident on arrival with the reception area abuzz. The main building welcomes guests from Australia to the Middle East and even Finland with its warm wooden exposed beam roof, chandeliers and fountain. Reception sits off to one side and the Lobby Bar (where you’ll enjoy a welcome drink) is perched with a view down to the hotel gardens towards the sand.
Luxury Langkawi Overwater Bungalows
With 424 rooms, the Berjaya resort offers a number of different accommodation options. For those who want to sleep among the centuries-old jackfruit trees and do some monkey spotting, the Rainforest Chalets offer a tree-scape with water glimpses.
If you’re happier on the water, you should pay a little more for a Premier Chalets on the water. The overwater bungalows are unique to the Berjaya in Langkawi. Our overwater chalet felt like a real island home for the few days we stayed. Each individual chalet sits on stilts over the water. The small wooden luxury huts are connected by a series of board walks. Stepping into our chalet on the night we arrived, we were treated to our first breathtaking Berjaya sunset. Taking a moment to relax on our balcony, drinking in the colours was just a magical way to begin our stay. The privacy and position on the coupled with little luxury touches like the nightly turn down service makes it easy to see why the chalets are so popular with couples seeking an indulgent, romantic escape.
However, it’s the Premier Suite on water that’s really been designed for honeymooners. It’s pretty special. The resort has almost completed upgrades of a number of their chalets, including these suites on the water. They have kept the bones not the buildings and transformed the internal layouts. The result is modern, high-grade finishes and in my eyes the biggest draw card – a jacuzzi in prime position to take in the 180 degree water views as the sun rises and sets.
What to do at the Berjaya Langkawi
What the Berjaya does really well is to cater for different demands around the resort. It really is a resort where you can come, try something new each day on site and you really don’t have to leave, if you don’t want to stray to far on your vacation.
We were guests while the resort was at 95% capacity. With more than 400 rooms occupied, that’s a lot of people staying on site. But it never felt that way. The design of the resort appeared to be the reason. The central pool area is broken up into the main pool and kids’ pool among others. There’s also the busy sunken walk-in pool bar, which is a great spot to people watch, even if you aren’t partaking in an afternoon tipple. Down on the beach, there are more beach chairs with a chilled-out vibe and the beach bar where you can sink you toes in the sand while sipping on a margarita.
The Taaras Spa
An afternoon spent at the spa is one of the most indulgent ways to spend your time at the Berjaya. Entering the gorgeous tropical gardens of the Taaras Spa Langkawi you feel miles away from the rest of the resort. It’s a world of relaxation all its own and it was easy to see why this could be considered by many as the best spa in Langkawi The private oasis is nestled among tropical gardens in a quiet corner of the Berjaya Resort Langkawi.
The Hubby and I chose the couple’s massage. On arrival we were shown through our change rooms, supplied with plush robes, slippers and lockers for our valuables with ample time to settle in to pamper mode. The 50 minute oil massage was in a room just for the two of us with a window looking out to the gardens. The faint frangipani aroma of the oil carried me back to home while the therapist’s hands worked their magic on my tired muscles.
After the massage, we were ushered into a relaxation room and offered a cup of sweet, fresh ginger tea. I took a few minutes to observe the surrounds while sipping on the delicious brew. But I couldn’t resist the empty pool for too long.
There’s something to be said for spas like the Taaras that create an spa experience and don’t simply offer spa treatments. Taaras does that by providing a space for clients to relax after their treatment, to unwind and reflect. We were encouraged to use the sauna or steam rooms inside or take a dip in the pool or recline on the sun loungers at its edges, with a view back to the ocean, in the garden. We swam, soaked up the sun and enjoyed a deliciously healthy lunch in the garden together. Those extra touches really transform a great spa into a five-star spa.
Dining at the Berjaya Langkawi
Malaysians love their food and that translates at the Berjaya with nine restaurants on site, cooking up cuisine from a number of different regions; from Chinese to Western. We tried a few during our stay and we were impressed.
The only floating restaurant in Langkawi, Pahn-Thai Restaurant is the perfect spot for a date with your partner. At the far end of the resort, you’ll stroll the board walks to the restaurant or get the shuttle to drop you at the pier. We were fortunate to have the restaurant a stones’ throw from our chalet, so it was a no-brainer for our first night. The food delicious, produced with locally sourced ingredients like fresh seafood and spices. I highly recommend you try the seafood dishes , in particular the steamed squid and prawns served with a fresh coconut with coconut mousse. It was my dish of the night. Make sure you book a table as Pahn Thai is a popular spot and with tables carefully spaced, not everyone will grab a seat.
Dayang Cafe is the main resort restaurant where you will enjoy the buffet breakfast with views over the pool area and gardens. The morning buffet includes everything from eggs to fresh fruit, curries, cereal and pancakes – both western and Asian options – so there’s something for everyone.
Each night of the week the restaurant plates up to a theme – from Malay to Chinese. We chose the Barbecue night to dine there so we could make the most of the huge selection of fresh, grilled seafood, meats and salads. The food was plentiful and we walked away full (because we kept going back for more). A buffet is the perfect way to try a range of dishes.
If you prefer to take advantage of eating on the sand, Beach Restaurant is the one to try. The menu is a mix of Western and Indian cuisine, so you’ll find something for the kids if you are on a family holiday. We enjoyed a special of Indian style grilled chicken, grilled Cajun Salmon and bouillabaisse.
Berjaya Langkawi Resort
Karung Berkunci 200, Burau Bay, 07000 Langkawi, Malaysia
Berjaya Langkawi Resort is about 20-30 minutes drive from Langkawi International Airport. A local taxi costs about 26 RM or you can pre-arrange a transfer with the resort.
Skye is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Fit Traveller.
She is a journalist, writer, photographer, intrepid traveller and a former personal trainer with a passion for helping others reach optimal health.
As a TV journalist and producer, Skye has worked for household names such as 60 Minutes, Sunrise, TODAY and Nine News. She has also written for Women’s Health, Fodor’s Travel and Yahoo7 Travel, among many others.
Equally comfortable in a 5-star resort or hiking a far-off mountain, Skye loves the unexpected and enriching life experiences that each trip brings and can often be found in a backstreet chatting to locals with her camera in hand.
Skye is based in Sydney, working to master the balance between motherhood and her appetite for adventure.
Read more about Skye’s story here.