Sarah Rodrigues explored this stunning group of islands in Malaysia, perfect for your honeymoon destination!
From beautiful beaches to bustling street markets and pure indulgence to intrepid adventure, Langkawi has everything to offer newlyweds looking to experience the ultimate getaway! And all of it set amidst tropical flora, gently arching palm trees and vast expanses of water and sky. One of the best things about this fantastic diversity is that you can stay in the lap of enviable luxury yet, within just a short stroll, gaze upon water buffalo in rice paddies, locals navigating the streets three-generations-to-a-bike and ramshackle houses in a wash of colour.
Where to stay
Only the best will do for your honeymoon, so head for the colonial splendour of the 5-star Danna, where you are made to feel like royalty from the moment you arrive, with a seated check-in process and refreshing cold towels and welcome drinks. The look of the hotel is pure elegance and grandeur – high white walls surround a lushly-planted central courtyard, sweeping corridors are ornately tiled and the sound of running water provides a soothing background. Guest rooms are spacious and sumptuous, offering views of the rainforest, marina, or three-tier infinity pool. Ah, the pool, what utter bliss! Bluer than blue water and semi-submerged deckchairs, attentive staff and tropical flowers abound. If you can drag yourself away from here – and admittedly, we found it difficult – then inside, you can relax in the billiard & games room, chill out in the library or sink blissfully into the cocooning environment of the spa.
Fancy a cocktail before dinner? Head to the Verandah and try the wonderful signature Matahari from the comfort of a decadently plush armchair before feasting on local and international offerings at The Planter’s. This is also where the buffet breakfast is served from 6.30am each day – and although we wouldn’t usually advocate getting out of bed too early, the free-flowing champagne and vast range of edible delights makes setting the alarm well worth it. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day after all, right?
Enjoy a cocktail watching the sunset…
The Meritus Pelangi is also a 5-star resort but is based on the style of a traditional Malaysian village – think low-rise, dark wood buildings set among pretty landscaped gardens, through which endlessly friendly staff pedal around by bicycle. Staying in a sea-facing room means you’ll be helplessly lured by the sight of the palms and white sand – not that you’ll mind, or we’re complaining, especially once you take in the wealth of facilities available on-site. Pamper yourself in the heavenly spa, where every treatment room is named after a different herb, or relax in the sparkling blue pool, complete with swim-up bar. Alternatively, head to the beach itself, where native trees have been carefully trimmed into umbrella shapes, in keeping with the Pelangi’s commitment to maintaining a seamless flow between the resort and the environment. And then there’s the eating and drinking – enjoy beach-front cocktails and tapas, buffet breakfasts and tantalising dinners, featuring locally sourced produce wherever possible.
What is there to do?
Langkawi is an archipelago of 99 islands, and ways of exploring all of its unique features come in every imaginable form. Don’t miss the SkyCab cable car, which soars steeply up to 708 metres above sea level and, on a clear day, provides breathtaking views in every direction. No head for heights? Take to the water on a sunset cruise with local company Naam, or arrange to be dropped off on a remote beach for a couple of hours to enjoy a romantic interlude before being picked up and returned to the mainland.
Several companies offer tours of the Mangroves, where you’ll venture through bat caves, have close encounters with monkeys, spot snakes on low-lying branches and observe majestic eagles swooping over the water. Island hopping is also popular! Admire the burgeoning belly of ‘Pregnant Maiden Island’ – it looks like an expectant mother in repose – and take a dip in its freshwater lake, which, according to local belief, has a positive effect on fertility! From there, sail to a remote beach to paddle, beachcomb or simply leave your footprints in the sand.
If this mental image of romantic togetherness has set you a-swooning, the Danna Spa can tailor-make packages for honeymooning couples looking for sensory indulgence à deux. Afterwards, head to your own gazebo on the beach to end the day with a private meal served to you with a side of warm breeze, sunset, cocktails and candlelight – so romantic!
And since you’ll surely want to recreate some of the sensational tastes and flavours you experience during your stay in Langkawi, be sure to ask about private cooking demonstrations. These are available at both the Pelangi and The Danna and are as enjoyable as they are informative. Eating delicious food is quite one marvellous thing, but seeing the ingredients laid out in all their colourful glory, learning about the fusion of flavours and being actively involved in the creation of your own lunch, is quite another. Oh, and of course you get to eat it once you’ve cooked it! Expect to leave with a full tummy, new skills and a printout of each of the recipes you’ve tried out to take home with you.
Can you get married there?
If you have a yen for balmy air, endless sand and golden light, then Langkawi is the perfect place for your big day. Dedicated staff at both The Danna and The Pelangi are on hand to make the whole process of wedding planning stress-free and enjoyable, being not only open to discussing your ideas but also adept at making them a reality. For the ultimate in dreamy settings, walk down an aisle of petal-strewn sand and take your vows on the beach front, in front of a gathering as intimate or as large as you desire.
For more information head to The Danna Hotel website