WHERE TO STAY
I stayed at three resorts: The newly renovated Four Seasons Langkawi is awash in azure, and spread along 1.8 kilometers of northern beach. Private seaside pool villas offer incredible real estate indoors and out, but do skip room service for an haute-rustic Malaysian dinner at Ikan-Ikan and a nightcap at Rhu Bar. Don’t miss the Ayurvedic spa. fourseasons.com; doubles from RM2,400.
The bright, hotel-style St. Regis Langkawi is the most unabashedly opulent property here, with a few overwater bungalows and daily champagne sabering. There’s a massive indoor spa, a mixologyminded beach bar, and beach house Kayu Puti, which offers excellent sunset seats and delicious degustation meals. stregislangkawi. com; doubles from RM1,700.
Opened last fall, The Ritz-Carlton Langkawi is tree-house chic, rolling down a hill to its private bay. The resort feels cozy—both spatially and with its emphasis on local artisans—but it boasts all the luxe amenities, such as a tennis court and ocean-front villas. In the stilted spa pods, waves below lull you into massage bliss. ritzcarlton. com; doubles from RM2,500. Another top-end option is rainforest-ensconced The Datai Langkawi, which has been closed for a 10-month renovation and is slated to reopen in July with new spa villas, a nature center and a beachfront fitness center. thedatai. com; doubles from RM2,100.