CHECK IT OUT THE ST REGIS LANGKAWI RE­SORT, MALAYSIA

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - TRAVEL & INDULGENCE -

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.

CHRIS­TINE Mc­CABE

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