Langkawi, which is an offshore administrative district of Kedah state of Malaysia, is an archipelago of 99 islands (another five temporary islands are revealed at low tide!) in the Andaman Sea. Pulau Langkawi is the main and the largest island of the eponymous archipelago which is famous for comprising some of the best beaches of Malaysia and the world. It is also known as the land of myths and legends, since many legends are intricately woven into its history. Kuah, the largest town on the island, is the district capital of Langkawi.
Langkawi used to be a sleepy backwater until 1987, whilst it was granted tax-free status with the aim of promoting tourism. Consequently, its airport was upgraded and ferry links were improved. By 1990s, Langkawi contended with nearby Penang for the title of the largest tourist draw of Malaysia. In 2007, Langkawi was bestowed a World Geopark status by UNESCO. Its main Geopark constituents are Mount Machincang Cambrian Geoforest Park, Kilim Geoforest Park and Pulau Tasik Dayang Bunting (Island of the Pregnant Maiden Lake).
Langkawi has been geared towards tourism, yet many of its islanders are into farming, fishing and business. Once the Pulau Langkawi was touted as ‘the best-kept secret of Malaysia’ together with natural white sand beaches, verdant jungle foliage and rocky mountain peaks, however, hindered by inaccessibility. Today, Langkawi boasts of world-class infrastructure and a rich variety of vegetation and fauna. Being a duty-free island, it is a paradise of shopalcoholics with a wide variety of goods to choose from.
Occupying an enviable stretch of beachfront with views out to neighboring islands, Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa offers breathtaking natural beauty. The nearby harbor of Langkawi and famous shopping of Kuah town add further temptation. The 202 guest rooms and suites range in size from 38 to 369 square meters. all rooms support European electrical and telephone equipment.
Set within 42 hectares of tropical gardens and surrounded by hillside jungles, Westin Langkawi contains 202 rooms and suites ranging in size from 38 to 369 square metres, with an additional 20 pool villas looking out to the Andaman Sea. Tastefully designed with a
contemporary decor, all rooms feature the Westin’s signature products such as the Heavenly Bed and Heavenly Rain shower/Bath, as well as a 42-inch plasma TV, DVD player with surround sound system and high speed internet. Dark wood used in door frames and headboards provides a striking contrast against a relaxing palette of white, cream, brown and pale green, with clean and contemporary furnishings to match. Bathrooms include his and hers vanities in which a freestanding oval bathtub has views out to the garden.
The Westin was created on the site that used to house the Sheraton with Manila-based Manny Sampson & Associates designing the general areas, residential villas and meeting facilities, while Taste, the all-day dining restaurant, and Breeze, the signature bar, were designed by Singapore-based Poole Associates.
For Taste, Ed Poole enclosed the former open-air space and added verandahs to its side to increase the floor area to 882 square meters. The kitchen was opened up with a sequence of stations for hot buffet, cold buffet and juices. The design is essentially a crossover of Malay and Thai, with the ceiling tiles featuring a Malay motif made from recycled aluminum. A glass artist in Langkawi made a curtain of beads, to look like raindrops. A driftwood finish is used on the furniture to make it look like it was found on the beach. Being a resort, there’s a lot of natural materials used whilst fabric colours lean towards tropical green with leaf patterns, and dyed cement flooring makes for a natural aesthetic. Different seating clusters include eight round booths that act like a room within the restaurant; these are each oriented out to the sea.
Upstairs, guests cross a black tiled reflecting pool to get to Breeze, the 690 square meter bar and lounge off the main reception area. Here, old railway tiles from Malaysia are used for the flooring and stone for the bar. Overhead fans pick up the tropical theme and continue beyond into the main lobby area.
Tide, the beach cafe and Splash, the poolside bar, round out the F+B options at Westin Langkawi. Recreational facilities include Westin’s Heavenly Spa, an infinity swimming pool and an ocean pool, ocean front jacuzzi and sauna, and squash and tennis courts