Langkawi is often forgotten as the crowds head North to the beaches of Thailand. But for no reason at all, the sand is white and sea is pretty in Langkawi, too. We needed and easy and stress free beach getaway (read: avoid KLIA) so we booked a flight from Subang to Langkawi.
Long weekends tend to push up the hotel prices especially in the high-end family resorts. After weeks of desperate refreshing booking sites we ended up at Berjaya Langkawi Resort, the old family favourite many keep returning to. It is close to the airport and within an hour of landing we were on our way to our rooms.
We had the most economical Rainforest Rooms, that were recently refurbished and spacious. We chose the family option with two interconnecting rooms, which was great and ensured everyone had ample space. These rooms are nestled in the forest (and not just any random trees, but ancient rainforest, we are told) so there is little natural light and the balcony is overlooking more trees. If you are planning to spend a lot of time in the room, the other room types might be worth the money – the ones by the water looked gorgeous.
The resort is massive and if you are not into trekking up and down on the windy paths, you can hop on one of the shuttles that zoom around. We never had to wait more than a few minutes for a shuttle. The kids thought it was exciting to move around like this and we enjoyed the company of monkeys, squirrels and bugs while waiting outside for the buggy.
The highlights of Berjaya resort are no doubt the beach and pool facilities. The white sandy beach is completely private and there are ample sunbeds to lounge on. We waded in the sea without being stung by the dreaded jellyfish, but the resort takes their existence seriously and provides information and first aid at the beach.
We hardly moved from the swimming pool all weekend: kids loved the waterfall and the possibility to swim around the sunken bar. There are also two shallow kids’ pools on the top-level with beautiful views down to the sea. The youngsters were too busy to check into the kids’ club, but it looked like they had standard activities like batik painting for an extra fee.
There is a lot of wildlife around, and if you want to see more than the shameless monkeys by the pool (watch your belongings and do not feed these beasts!) you can book a mangrove cruise from the activities counter. We didn’t but friends have recommended it. Instead we hobbled on the short mangrove walk on pontoons just off the beach. They also have bikes for rent, as well as an affordable car rental service on-site for exploring the island.
We hired kayaks and paddle boats from the water sports centre for a bit of exercise. There is also a little playground by the pool area for those traveling with toddlers. The grandparents took advantage of the sports bar on a F1 weekend as well as live music in the lobby bar, while we enjoyed the quiet in our family room.
While the beach and the pool are the highlights of Berjaya Resort Langkawi, the food was a bit hit and miss. The breakfast spread is more geared towards Asian customers and the restaurants in the main building (the beach restaurant was under renovation when we were there) serve rather average and pretty expensive hotel food.
They have coffee machines with espresso option, but it’s not quite KL hipster coffee standards. However, there is a Starbucks cart at the lobby so your iced-coffee drink cravings can be fulfilled. The Thai restaurant has a beautiful outdoor setting with sunset views and decent food:
All in all we found that at the current rates (around MYR500/night/double room) Berjaya is good value. The setting is absolutely beautiful and the rooms are of good standard. It is a big resort hence you won’t get much personal attention, but it offers a very comfortable break on the beach and has loads to do for the kids.
The location is inconvenient for going anywhere but the Oriental Village – to eat elsewhere you need to take a taxi so those looking to be in the heart of action with lots of dining options may want to stay somewhere nearer Pantai Cenang.
Booking.com lets you make bookings that can be changed at no cost, so you can book well in advance, just remember to cancel in case you change your plans or it will get a bit pricey (I may have some experience of this, ehem). If you do book through them, do use one of our links and our small commission (at no extra cost to you) will help us get more resources to make Happy Go KL even better!
*We enjoyed a slight discount at the hotel. The opinions are our own and always honest.