Luxury Travel in Malaysia | Malaysia Luxury Travel and Tours (Langkawi)
“Luxury travel company Urbane Nomads makes an unforgettable Penang tour with a retreat into one of the city’s best kept secrets- a private hilltop estate. And where do you get to stay? In old rice barns that were beautifully converted into suites. After a day spent being chauffeured to different Chinese temples and enjoying the Straits Chinese shophouses, relax in your barn/suite’s outdoor bathtub which sits on the edge of a hill with stunning views- truly one-of-a-kind experience.”
Mabel David-Pilar, Inspire Magazine
The town that was doomed for ‘seven generations’ as local myths would have it, Langkawi is now an example of political will as it turns into a thriving resort town( one of ex-Prime Minister Mahathir’s brainchild, and coincidentally, marking the end of the period of ‘seven generations’ for which the curse was laid. The concept of luxury travel to Malaysia is making headway, with Langkawi beach having been voted by a Conde Nast contributing editor as one of the ‘most undiscovered’ beaches, Langkawi stands in stark contrast to the popular luxury tourist destinations like Bali or the resort towns of Thailand. Today the setting of luxury international resorts( one having won an earlier, prestigious Aga Khan Architectural Award), Langkawi is a top resort destination in Malaysia for its beautiful scenery and access to idyllic surrounding kampong (rural Malaysian) life. Driving in to your hotel from the airport would have provided you with an indication of the relatively untouched, pristine natural settings of Langkawi. The air smells clean, even disturbingly sweet and when you put it to your taxi driver, he’d attribute the smell to ‘bunga hutan’ (literally: ‘jungle flowers’). The best resort(also the newest) on the island has to be the Four Seasons. Fusing Arabic influences with a Malay aesthetic, the Four Seasons Resort with access to a private beach (and restaurants and a bar that fronts it) is a scenic, magnificent hotel. The lower Melaleuca rooms does a great interpretation of the outdoor-bath-in-a-rainforest with its rainforest shower, and granite jacuzzi within the privacy of your lush private garden. The original grand dame on the island however, is The Datai (the aforementioned Aga Khan Architectural Award winner) although if rustic chic is more your thing, then the Bon Ton resort, a conglomeration of restored ancient Malay houses with an on-site animal rescue operation, would be an excellent alternative. Enjoy the local Malay cuisine, the local spa treatments(you’d figure out very quickly that the number 7 strikes a particular resonance with the Malays as does the number 8 with the Chinese) or bathe in the Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls( ‘tujuh’ meaning ‘seven’ in Malay), a renowned fertility bathing rite amongst local women, in the natural, exotic surroundings of your luxury resort. Take a guided mangrove tour with a naturalist, visit Gua Cerita – caves with ancient Quranic writings inscribed on its walls or book a private yacht for a very scenic tour of the surroundings islands. Stop by the Ibrahim Hussein Museum, a museum built by a famous local artist, with eco-sensitivity and the idea of ‘living museum in a rainforest’ in mind. Popping by into The Loaf (simply ask the driver to bring you to ‘Mahathir’s bakery’. The ex- Malaysian premier is part owner of this cafe) to sample its excellent cheesecakes provides you with an insight into the rapid progression of this long-forgotten island. Overlooking the harbor where many luxury yachts are to be found, the stretch of developments surrounding The Loaf is a respite from the hermetic luxury resorts on the island yet the medley of luxury yachts and surrounding infrastructure is a world away from the kampongs and pristine natural surroundings you’d seen around the rest of the island. A luxury tour of Malaysia could include quick getaways from the main city of Kuala Lumpur to lush rainforest resorts, a do-nothing few days in Langkawi or unparalleled luxury in Malaysian Borneo, taking a heli-ride to the countryside, ending it with a private spa treatment against the lush countryside in Malaysian Borneo. Be it Peninsular Malaysia or Borneo, Urbane Nomads offers luxury private tours showcasing authentic royal homestays or resorts amidst the blessed natural surroundings that Malaysia offers. Combining insider knowledge of the latest goings-on as well as on-the-ground contacts, Urbane Nomads is able to deliver a trip to Malaysia in considerable style! Final photo courtesy of Elbrich E.