CHECK IT OUT THE ST REGIS LANGKAWI RESORT, MALAYSIA
Next month St Regis opens a landmark resort on a private cove on the southern tip of Langkawi, the first five-star hotel to launch on the Malaysian island in almost a decade.
With input from San Francisco-based architectural firm Gensler and Bangkok-based landscape architect Bill Bensley, the St Regis Langkawi Resort overlooks a private white-sand beach fringing the Andaman Sea and features 85 suites, including 20 pool suites, and four overwater villas.
Wrapped in lush tropical plantings, the resort comprises a six-storey central mansion and two Lagoon Suite wings, nestled into rocky hills spilling towards the shoreline.
The mood is “Rainforest-meets-Riviera” with the resort buildings referencing European mansion architecture. Guest suites are light, bright, pared-back but deeply luxurious with LCD televisions, coffee machines and large bathrooms, plus signature St Regis 24-hour butler service. The Iridium Day Spa is set around a central court with water cascading down the windows of eight treatment rooms. There’s also a fitness centre, swimming pool, hair salon and beauty-cum-barber shop.
DON’T MISS: A private early morning guided birdwatching tour to observe some of the region’s 200 species.
DINING IN: Executive chef David Mottl comes to Langkawi from the W Hotel in St Petersburg. No stranger to this part of the world, Mottl has travelled extensively in Asia sampling local fare, especially street food. He will bring this experience to bear across a range of in-house restaurants including the overwater, Asianfusion Kayuputi; the signature L’Orangerie with open kitchen and rainforest views; and a deli and wine bar. Try the local lobster grilled and served with a citrus sabayon or the signature lemon tart with pandan leaves. The chilled cucumber wasabi ratatouille, and herb-crusted lamb loin with spicy merguez sausage ravioli are also recommended.
DINING OUT: Check out local street food at the night markets every Saturday and Wednesday in Kuah, a five-minute drive from the resort.
ASK THE CONCIERGE: Don’t miss the chance to explore the dramatic Kilim Geoforest Park, a spellbinding 55 million-year-old maze of limestone cliffs and mangroves, home to crabs, eagles and monkeys.
CHECKING IN: Opening rates from $US580 ($762) a night, valid from April 15 to September 30, include breakfast for two in L’Orangerie, Wi-Fi, butler service and limousine airport transfer. SPG loyalty program members receive double star points. More: starwoodhotels.com.
ALSO TRY: One & Only Hayman Island, Queensland; Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, French Polynesia; Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort, Antigua.