Overlooking a mile-long expanse of the beautiful Tanjung Rhu beach, the Four Seasons Resort, Langkawi is fringed by silvery sands, lush rainforests, mountain landscapes and emerald waters. 91 villas and pavilions are scattered throughout the Resort’s exquisitely landscaped gardens, built in the style of anative village. Seamlessly blending Asian, Indian and Arabic influences to create a uniquely Malaysian milieu, each pavilion offers timber floors, soaring ceilings, open-air verandas and views of either the Andaman Sea or the tropical gardens. Separated from the far northwest coast of peninsula Malaysia by the Straits of Malacca, Langkawi is an archipelago of 99 islands, an idyllic hideaway, embraced by Nature’s wonders and all framed within a breathtaking backdrop of dramatic mountain landscapes, ancient rainforests, jade-hued lakes, powdery beaches, mysterious mangroves, rice fields of patchwork green and spectacular jewel-toned sunsets. water is to healing as love is to your heart Water is a great necessity – without it nothing can live. At Four Seasons Langkawi water is all around you – whether you feel like going for a sail, kayak, wind or kite surf on the Andaman sea, for a swim in one of the resort’s two irresistible pools, or simply sit and reflect on the journey that brought you to this magical land in one of the numerous reflective ponds that dot the property. My favourite water feature was the oversized outdoor Jacuzzi, which was bubbling away every single evening under the starry sky while I watched the full moon rise.
The Mangroves are a unique habitat, rich in peculiar forms of wildlife. Much of Langkawi is covered in mangrove forests, which expose their tangled root formations at low tide. With their efficient filter systems, mangroves are the only trees that flourish in salt water. Many species of fish, including barracuda, grouper, snapper and bass, lay eggs here. The twisted roots afford protection for the fry and crab eggs provide ample food. Explore the waterways by kayak or small boat, but be careful not to get lost! Heidi, our naturalist and guide, described the Mangroves as “a rather lunatic forest” and gave us few words of advice, “if it moves, let it go.” An extraordinary sight to witness, especially at the break of dawn, is the magnificent flight of soaring kites and eagles above these weird and watery woods.
love at first touch
Breathing in the fresh, clean air while practicing asanas and meditation clears the mind, reinvigorates the spirit and helps develop a profound sense of inner peace. Four Seasons Resort Langkawi, with its impressive yoga facilities, is the perfect venue for this, whilst the spa, truly a haven of calm and serenity, enables guests to take their rejuvenation to the next level. I recommend the Urut Melaya massage, delivered with long rhythmic strokes and gentle (ish) kneading accompanied by a range of delectable oils. The spa offers a team of highly skilled therapists, one of whom was recently indicted into the Massage Hall of Fame as one of the top 10 masseurs/healers in the world. He comes froma long line of natural healers and I counted my lucky stars that I was able to experience his hands-on healing. I left the spa feeling the way I imagined a new-born baby must feel – full of life, pure, without a care in the world. I floated down to the beach feeling remarkably lighter. It was love at first touch.
feeding both body and soul
One of the best things about staying at such a luxurious place is of course the fabulous food, and here at the Four Seasons there is truly a mood, a menu and a vista to suit everyone. First up is Serai, which means “lemongrass” in Malay, serving vibrant, innovative Euro-Asian cuisine at its indoor dining room and adjacent patio. Serai is also the venue for the property’s sumptuous daily breakfast buffet, which only the foolish would miss. Next is Ikan Ikan, meaning “fish”, which focuses on fresh seafood inspirations from the Andaman Sea. The décor is based on that of the limas (the traditional Malaysian residence), and the restaurant offers wonderful views of the ocean. Drop into Kafe Kelapa for a cocktail from their sunken bar and a tasty bite fromthe kitchen. The café has a thatched roof, a coconut chandelier and is within earshot of the ocean. Finally, there’s Rhu Bar where the elaborate tapestry of rich colours and textures accentuates the tangible Moorish ambience. Surrounded by intricately carved screens, Turkish water pipes, Indian Moghul hanging swings, glowing candles and fire lamps, guests can lounge the night away on wicker sofas piled high with brightly coloured cushions. Finally, guests looking for a more one-on-one, romantic affair might try one the Tangier tents right on the beach. Elegant white-tablecloth dining with the sand between your toes, it doesn’t get much better than this.
Linking the pavilions, the spa, the beach,, restaurants, gym, pools, and gardens together is the incredible Ha Ha wall. Weaving throughout the property, the wall took six whole years to build, each and every little river stone placed by the hands of hundreds of Malay workers. It’s a stunning piece of art. Meanwhile, fire pots surround the pools and ponds – romantic, fire-lit walks around the property at night are without a doubt where the perfect evening ends. The Four Seasons Resport Langkawi gets six gold stars from me, one each for its service, staff, serenity, style, seclusion and surroundings. Now I just need to figure out when I can go back…
Jalan Tanjung Rhu, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah Darul Aman, Malaysia Tel 604 950 8888
Review by AK