Located in an idyllic tropical setting on Malaysia’s Langkawi Island, The Andaman is cozily tucked away between a 10 million-year-old rainforest and postcard-perfect Datai Bay which features an 8,000-year-old fringing coral reef. With an abundance of rare wildlife and exotic flora, The Andaman’s inspiring locale enables guests to partake in a wide range of activities that integrate the surrounding nature, while still enjoying the luxurious trimmings of a five-star resort.
The Andaman is a member of The Luxury Collection family, a unique Starwood portfolio designed to be the world’s most renowned assemblage of hotels and resorts. The exclusive group features more than 95 of the world’s finest hotels and resorts in more than 35 countries. All are noteworthy for their history, architecture, art, furnishings and amenities, highlighting the rich culture of each property’s fabulous surroundings.
For the global explorer, The Luxury Collection offers a gateway to the world’s most exciting and desirable destinations. Each hotel and resort is a distinct and cherished expression of its location; a peak into the destination’s indigenous charms and treasures. The Andaman would be my third stay at a Luxury Collection property, after memorable jaunts to Honolulu’s historic Royal Hawaiian and The Laguna in Bali’s Nusa Dua.
If you’re looking to make a splash in Langkawi book one of The Andaman’s luxurious Executive Pool Suites which boast sea views from a spacious private patio, which comprises a private plunge pool, a cabana daybed, and a private garden with a dining table and two chairs.
Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors lead inside to the living room and allow ample daylight to stream in. Dark wooden floorboards add a grounding earthiness to the open and airy rooms, featuring both indigenous and contemporary design details, such as original photography of local butterflies. Timber shingles have been reclaimed in a randomly stacked, textured feature wall.
Two plush daybed sofas are complemented by solid teak furnishings. A king-size Luxury Collection pillow-top bed beckons from the separate bedroom, which is framed by floor-to-ceiling windows and includes a 42-inch LCD TV. In the master bathroom, soft, neutral tones are illuminated by dimmable overhead lights. Contemporary fixtures include a separate rainforest shower, a free-standing bathtub, a separate water closet, dual vanities, and a dressing table with a mirror.
…And the ocean is but a stones throw away from your private pool. Slide through your suites back door, tip toe through a lush garden and you’ll find yourself standing on the soft sand of picturesque Datai Bay. A perfect spot for tan fans to laze the day away.
V Botanical Spa sits perched on the resort’s rainforest hillside and features open-air villas that offer breathtaking views overlooking Datai Bay. If you’re keen to treat yourself to a spa day be sure to book the V Signature “Song of the Malay Rainforest” Ritual which won the Harper’s Bazaar Spa Awards in 2012. The decadent 3 hour treatment begins with a spicy foot bath, followed by regenerating gamat body envelopment, cleansing lime and floral bath, traditional malay massage and a refreshing finish via Mahsuri’s glow facial.
Active guests can easily take advantage of The Andaman’s magnificent locale, enjoying a myriad of activities from guided nature walks, non-motorized water sports, golf (the island’s top course is just down the road), biking and snorkeling.
During the afternoon when the heat hits its peak you’re best bet is to take a plunge in the resort’s meandering lagoon. If romantic sunsets are more your thing book a sailing trip in the early evening and let the wind whisk you past a pink and purple splashed horizon.
The Andaman’s unique Coral Nursery plays home to many beautiful species of coral, fish, sea cucumbers, crabs and more. It is a microcosm of the main fringing reef in front of the hotel and a great way to learn more about what life is like under the sea. Each guest who enters the nursery is fitted with a life jacket and then floats around the pool with a friendly guide who offers a running commentary of all you can see.
The Andaman Beach Bar is the perfect place to quench your thirst on craft cocktails, an ice cold beer or if in a celebratory mood pop a bottle of champagne. Happy Hour begins at 5pm, and you’ll just love how they offer up their special price – drinks are discounted by the temperature at that very moment. Heaven forbid it’s 50 degrees out but hey, 50% off sounds nice right? Highlights from the Beach Bar’s mixologist extraordinaire include The Radiant Maiden and Magic Mojito.
Visit Tepian Laut in the evening and you’ll enjoy a culinary journey through Malaysia’s finest dishes. At lunch the al fresco restaurant caters to the pool and beach crowd looking for a quick bite featuring classics like Nasi Lamak and Satay as well as playful dishes such as tandoori chicken topped pizza and juicy watermelon and feta salad.
The award winning beachfront Jala (translated as Fisherman’s Cast Net) is the Andaman’s exclusive seafood dining venue. This posh restaurant takes haute cuisine on the beach to new extremes as guests are encouraged to walk barefoot to their table and nestle their toes in the soft sand. Each morning Jala’s chef buys fresh seafood from local fishermen and lays them to rest on crushed ice. Guests are greeted by this jaw-dropping display, a parade of frozen fish appearing as a wet lipped choir. Once you’ve pointed out to your server the fish you fancy frying you’ll be offered a selection of sauces (from spicy local curries to simple lemon butter) as well as a collection of side dishes featuring fried rice with scallions, spicy bok choy and sweet barbecued corn.