Before embarking on this tropical holiday to one of Malaysia’s most beautiful and jaw-dropping destinations, I had never actually heard of Langkawi before. When the opportunity presented itself to visit Langkawi on the way back from a crazy six weeks in Shanghai, I thought it offered the perfect occasion to relax and rejuvenate with an island holiday before returning to daily life in Sydney.Langkawi is a tropical island located in Malaysia, a short one-hour flight from Kuala Lumpur. The island is relatively small with a population consisting of around 100,000. To travel from one side of the island to the other takes just about an hour.
St Regis Hotels are apart of the Starwood Group (recently partnered with Marriott). The brand sits at the top of the line in the group’s portfolio, focusing on ultra luxurious experiences for its guests. If you love the finer things in life like I do, and then the St Regis is definitely for you, having absolutely mastered the art of this.
One can catch a Friday night flight from Sydney and arrive in Langkawi first thing on Saturday morning, making it a great extended weekend getaway to an exotic destination. It was lovely to jump off a long flight and have a St Regis driver waiting at the airport, ready to sweep me away in one of the hotel’s comfy BMW transfers. Lounging back with a packet of house-made cookies, I looked out the window taking in the picturesque surrounds. I’m not sure if it was because I had come from the hazy realm of Shanghai but the air was clean, the sun shone down beautifully, and the landscape was a splendid green decorated with palm trees. I was truly on holiday!From the moment I arrived on the island, the hotel proved it was an expert at perfecting a luxurious approach to life. It paved the way for a stay of excellence, with an exclusive and elegant feel to everything they did. Immediately welcomed to the hotel by the friendly staff I was shown to my room, the St Regis Suite. The room itself was so beautiful, that it was easy to see why other guests didn’t populate the main pool, instead remaining in the plush confines of their sumptuous rooms. Every single element of the interior was exquisite ranging from the furnishings, to the perfect positioning of the balcony overlooking the pool, the huge king bed, the decadent walk-in wardrobe, the large living room, the big bathroom with double basins, the well equipped mini bar and the inclusion of a Nespresso machine (perfect to satisfy one’s caffeine need!) The attention detail was meticulous. We loved our room so much, we didn’t want to leave, only visiting the main pool once and embarking on one trip to the outside world (which isn’t even really necessary!) On the first evening, we were treated to an indulgent dinner at the hotel’s signature dining venue Kayuputi. A short walk to a gorgeous overwater bungalow and we had arrived at the restaurant and adjoining bar. Along the way we saw a chef on his way to work, riding a bicycle full of produce to the restaurant — you can’t get more island life than that!Exquisitely decked out with island furnishings, it was a real pleasure to lye in the overwater hammocks, enjoy a few cocktails and some evening canapés whilst watching the sunset over the horizon. Seriously, I could have mistaken for thinking I was in heaven!The bartenders created for us their signature cocktail, shaken before our eyes, a mouth watering fruity mango concoction. In two martini glasses sat a fuchsia pink sphere of icy pureed raspberry, which paired alongside the mango swimmingly. Not long after the sun had retreated for the day, we made our way inside for a lovely dinner. Greeted by two ancient imported doors with giant peacocks guarding the doorway, we sat in a pair of huge specially created chairs. The restaurant interior was styled in a rustic island fashion fused with refined luxury finishes. The white and airy timber interior housed sweeping ceilings, lush furnishings such as quilted lounges, hanging lanterns, fashionable cowhide armchairs, with stunning table settings and floral decorations. Once again, the hotel revealed its attention to luxury and standards to be ultimately supreme.
Every element down to the chandelier lights which were handmade from shells, was skillfully conceived and thought out, leading our gaze upward to the sky high aquamarine ceilings. The various centerpieces of hand carved fish, locally made shell necklaces and wooden sculptures, decorated the room enriching its beach chic feel.The chef’s tasting menu was five courses for RM550 ($175 AUD). To begin we started with the Yellowfin Tuna Tatare. Layers of finely cubed tuna sat on a bed of velvety creamy avocado, with a fresh sweet mango salad crowning the top. This was served beside a sweet finger licking teriyaki sauce. The colours of the dish radiated off the plate, tantalising our tastebuds with the freshness of the produce.Following this, the signature dish of panko fried soft organic egg, spinach and white truffle foam was served. The outside of the egg was fried to a golden glory, which upon slicing open delivered a gooey egg yolk that erupted to deliver some magnificent yolk porn. On a bed of smooth mash, sautéed spinach and creamy truffle foam, the elements of the dish all unified to create the ultimate scrumptious mix.
The grilled wagyu beef tenderloin, shitake jam, king oyster mushroom, eggplant puree, braised onion jus was a lovely piece of meat, however the entire dish seemed rather meek and a little underwhelming in comparison to the earlier courses.
For dessert, the chef prepared a wonderful chocolate pudding decorated with a big fluffy bundle of cocoa dusted fairy floss. He has obviously heard about my indulgent sweet tooth to create this off the menu dish of deliciousness. Pouring over a richly luxurious caramel syrup, the floss dissolved revealing a moist gooey chocolaty pudding with vanilla ice-cream on top.
The next morning, breakfast was served in L’Orangerie Signature Restaurant. Just when I thought life couldn’t get any better, it did. They always say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and you may as well begin everyday the best way you can. How better than with some Champagne, I say! The free flow Champagne at breakfast offered the best opportunity to do this, giving me a nice buzzing start to the day with the choice of some amazing French Tattinger or Italian sparkling.The light filled room had a comprehensive spread of food from different cultures and it was great to be adventurous and try some different dishes that are not common staples in the conventional Western breakfast.Beyond Western classics such as eggs, bacon, hash, toast, pastries, cereal and fruit, there was also an impressive assortment of fresh sushi, cold meats and sashimi that lay on a bed of ice. Big juicy roasted chickens sat waiting to be attacked, little bamboo baskets of dumplings, Indian sweets, Malaysian dishes such as Nasi Goreng, curries such as Beef Rendang and a self-service ice-cream bar, all left us stuffed like a turkey each morning.
The made-to-order menu had a selection of amazing breakfast dishes prepared by the chefs and delivered to your table. It featured favourites such as pancakes, croissant French toast, deep-fried banana dumplings with hot chocolate foam, egg custard and toast, and incredible shakshouka baked eggs with flatbread. The most decadent of all was a caviar blini that paired perfectly with a glass of French Champagne. My favourite however, was the lobster omelet, which consisted of a creamy soft egg mix filled with meaty chunks of lobster, served in a rich seafood bisque.L’Orangerie, the breakfast and dinner eatery sits beside the lobby and foyer. This grand space is jaw dropping in its own right, with huge floor to ceiling windows, illuminating the room with natural light. Big comfy couches invite you to sit and lounge around, perhaps enjoying a delicious signature St Regis afternoon tea.Beside the lobby is the St Regis Bar, featuring a well-equipped mantle packed with some of the finest spirits to make any cocktail you desire. There is also a Champagne wine room, with hand picked wines from some of the best suppliers in the world. This bar is perfect for enjoying some after-dinner drinks and shisha, sitting on the lounges with a few cocktails or bottle of wine, in the tepid evening climate. (Just make sure you ask for insect repellent to avoid getting bitten alive like me!) The resort wouldn’t be complete without a luxurious spa, perfect for pampering yourself with a soothing massage or spa treatment. It also features a hair salon, well-equipped gym, and a grand ballroom — proving great for business conferences or a luxe wedding perhaps. The beach bar by the pool and on the edge of the beach offers the perfect place to lounge back and build on your tan whilst sipping on some yummy drinks. There is also a light menu of snacks if you’re feeling a little peckish!If you’re adventurous enough to venture out of the hotel, the concierge will be sure to help you out with whatever escapade or voyage you hope to embark on. Special mention must go to our concierge who we nicknamed “The Charger” as he managed to rustle up a phone charger in a desperate hour of need. He is more than willing to help organise a rental car, or call you a taxi into the nearby town where you can do some exploring.One morning with the help of The Charger, we travelled into the town and rented a car for the day at around AU$30. Navigating the island, we had fun driving around to visit the highest cable car in the world. After a long queue, we stepped on and ventured up the mountain to some of the most breathtaking 360-degree panorama view. The sight was amazing, the air was clear and we were able to see as far as Thailand. Just watch out for some very friendly monkeys!
I recommend checking out the local township for tax free shopping! One great thing about Langkawi is that it is a completely Duty Free island for goods. I advise taking advantage of this, because a 1L of Grey Goose will only set you back around AU$30 (compared to $80 in Australia).
On our final day, we visited Kayuputi for a concluding lunch before embarking on the flight home to Sydney. The restaurant was deserted (everyone was obviously still full from the extravagant breakfast buffet spread) but it was the perfect way to spend our last hour in paradise.
We settled on sharing the Seafood Paella for two RM320 ($104 AUD) titled ‘Our Version of Andaman Sea Paella infused with Asian herbs and spices’ and a generous jug of freshly made red sangria.
The sangria was a fruity mix of red wine, loaded with finely chopped fruit, it went perfectly with the seafood paella. The paella itself was absolutely breathtaking. Despite being wetter than typical paellas the dish consisted of a rich tomato sugo sauce filled with an abundance of seafood. Perfectly cooked scallops, juicy prawns, little bits of octopus, tender rings of squid united with the delicious tomato sauce to create an amazing dish.
To finish off the perfect trip, the St Regis goes that extra mile for its guests with a beautiful airport lounge. Guests can remain in the luxe confines of the lounge room with access to a delicious array of self serve snacks in the fridge (and complimentary wifi). Delicious little finger sandwiches and rich indulgent cakes from the hotel’s patisserie will keep your hunger at bay before the flight home!
Langkawi is definitely as its nickname describes ‘the Jewel of Kedah’! In my eyes, this exotic lush getaway proves to be one of many jewels in the St Regis crown and the Starwood collection! If you’re after a luxury holiday with all the trimmings, at a hotel that will exceed your expectations, do visit!
St Regis Hotel Langkawi
Jalan Pantai Beringin, Langkawi, Malaysia
Phone: +60 4 960 6666
I Ate My Way Through stayed as guests of St Regis Hotel Langkawi