Idyllic Paradise at St Regis Langkawi
- 25th March 2020
- Luxury Travel
For the last part of our trip to Malaysia, I couldn’t have made a better choice than the St Regis Langkawi. This hotel opened in April 2016, making it the first St Regis in the country.
The St Regis brand is renowned internationally for its classic sophistication and contemporary sensitivity; and the St Regis Langkawi is no different: a paradise offering unique experiences!
I will describe below the exceptional moments we had there.
Architecture & Interior Design Highlights
The architecture of this sublime hotel was designed by Gensler, the interior by GA Design; and Bill Bensley planned the exterior… giving the whole resort its classic but contemporary luxurious aesthetic.
As we arrive we are stunned by the majestic and theatrical entrance: on one hand, we find hanging gardens resembling a fortress built on a hill, and on the other, a ‘Beringin’ tree, also known as banyan tree. In the Malaysian and Indonesian cultures it is considered as a symbol of power and a tree of life. For me it is the main focus of the entrance!
We can also notice a superb great eagle, about to take flight, sculpted in granite. At dusk, two flaming torches light the eagle to produce a truly beautiful picture. I must mention that the eagle is the symbol of the island of Langkawi
Two other strong points of the outside decoration are the handsome statues of Balinese women, welcoming guests at the St Regis Langkawi; and a magnificent central chandelier with no less than 77 lights.
In the evening, this entrance has a mystical and magical feel, thanks to the burning torches and the blue lights cleverly dispersed. This picture gives the St Regis Langkawi a real mystical art signature
Because I just loved all the interior design of the St Regis Langkawi, a real design and inspiration gem, I will describe some of the aspects that particularly caught my eye.
Firstly, I cannot help but notice the subtle palette of soft blue and beige colours and the elegant mix of influences from Europe and the Middle-East. The colonial style, which appears in the lobby, and the many references to Moorish design, with the arcades and motifs, give the St Regis Langkawi Langkawi a strong and undeniable character… Guests are invited to experience a luxurious stay, full of spirit and mystery.
Like many other guests, I enjoyed wandering around the many public spaces of the St Regis Langkawi, admiring the many elements with historical influence and traditional architectural details.
While walking around, it is impossible not to notice the gentle scent of a perfume. This is the ‘Caroline 400’ created and named by Caroline Astor, mother of the creator of the St Regis brand, John Jacob Astor IV.
Secondly, the majestic lobby has particularly caught my eye. It shows its colonial inspiration, with its high ceiling and lovely lighting day and night, and leads us to the many living rooms where guests can relax. These in turn, take us through attractive corridors to terraces with breath-taking panoramic views.
We can also see the sculptural St Regis signature stairs, seen in all St Regis resorts, under a magnificent sparkling chandelier, made locally from ceramic seashells.
The last, but not the least, is the incredible collection of Artworks at the St Regis Langkawi. I must admit, I have never seen so many beautiful pieces in a hotel. I knew that world-wide the St Regis hotels showed their appreciation for Art, and the St Regis Langkawi is no exception with its 584 artworks, cleverly displayed in the public areas and suites. Whereas in the lobby we can admire abstract pictures in their vibrant colours; and in the different livings rooms, corridors and suites we can see traditional Malaysian artwork representing the Langkawi life. In fact it is like an amazing tropical museum
The St Regis Langkawi has 4 overwater villas and 85 suites. 20 suites have private pools and terraces. All of them luxurious and bright, are offering stunning views on the sea and the tropical forest.
We stayed in one of the suites with a private pool
The design of our place was contemporary but with a hint of Eastern influence. We immediately felt at ease in its beautiful layout. Comfort and tranquillity was also imparted by the palette of beige colours. The entrance hall was nicely decorated and led to a living room with a lovely view on the outside, also to a bathroom, well-proportioned and decorated with marble, and finally to a bedroom. I must mention the beautiful embossed brass light suspensions either side of the bed, and a pretty office space in the living room, with a wooden bureau and beautiful artworks on the wall.
My description would not be complete if I didn’t mention the outside area.
Our suite opened up on a nice terrace, which had, on one side, a dining table and, on another, a lounge leading to the private pool. Above the pool, the vegetation offered a pleasant dappled shade, and also a high daybed, our favourite place, where we enjoyed the sun in private.
At the other end of this beautiful space, a blue door (blue being a reference to the Moorish influence and visible all around the St Regis Langkawi) opened onto the sea, only a few steps away.
The Stunning Royal Villa
I was very lucky to have a private visit of the Royal Villa. Spread over 700 square metres, it is on stilts, with a contemporary but warm and elegant design, with particular attention to details. It has 4 bedrooms, each with a private terrace, a gastronomy kitchen, a main dining room and a majestic lounge, offering stunning views over the green emerald Andaman Sea.
A screen made of tempered glass, which allows us to enjoy the underwater world and its teeming aquatic life, adds a touch of nature to this fantastic overwater retreat!
Now let’s talk about the facilities of the St Regis Langkawi
The lobby corridors lead us to terraces, each with incredible views showcasing the landscape gardens, designed by Bill Bensley. The hotel’s lush gardens have been transformed from wilderness to a sophisticated and mystical space.
The St Regis Langkawi Langkawi is set in the middle of the fauna and flora from an ancient tropical forest, magnified by the Andaman Sea in its sparkling turquoise colour.
I loved going for walks with my daughter through this real luxuriant tropical oasis, with over 400 date palm trees imported from Dubai, frangipani and coconut trees scattered around the gardens of the resort.
Every evening at 6.30, the ‘Witness Sabering’ ceremony takes place, where Champagne bottles are opened with a sabre. This is the signature ceremony of the resort and it is definitely one you cannot miss ☺ After this and until 10 pm, follows a dazzling show of burning torches.
The pool of the St Regis Langkawi, with its deep blue colour, good proportions and slightly raised position, is set in the middle of the resort overlooking the sea. It illustrates perfectly the artistic and mystical spirit of the resort with its superb giant eagle statues all around.
The resort’s bay has a beautiful white sandy beach, which is ideal for swimming, as there is very little current.
The Beach Club, with its fabulous bar, is the perfect place to enjoy the sea and the sun. I must mention the staffs there, who make sure that we have everything we want, particularly Kaatik and Nizal
We can also have activities such as windsurfing, kayaking or playing boules. Daily, different art and craft workshops are organised for children. My daughter Ayla was delighted to try them, especially with Budi
I totally loved the outdoor chapel made of wrought iron, inspired by Moorish drawings. It stands majestically looking out to sea, and constitutes an enchanted setting for weddings and other celebrations at the St Regis Langkawi. Out in the open air, it creates immediately a magical atmosphere!
As I love spas, I will describe the Spa Iridium of the St Regis Langkawi. It is a real refined and peaceful well-being centre, spreading over 800 square meters. Created in the same luxuriant vibes as the rest of the resort, it offers moderns treatment techniques, complemented by healing essential oils from tropical plants. The treatments, carried out by professional practitioners, use the healing powers of water. An amazing fountain stands in the centre of the spa! The treatment rooms are spacious, bright and perfect to feel totally disconnected. I took full advantage, for an afternoon, of personalised treatments in this haven of tranquillity, at the hands of Linna. My daughter Ayla meanwhile, was enjoying some colourful nail art
Exclusive Dining at St Regis Langkawi
The St Regis Langkawi offers exceptional culinary experiences in its different restaurants. The Pantai Grill is a relaxed place, where we had lunch almost every day, and it is ideally situated on the seaside. We had fresh fish cooked on the barbecue or in a wood fire oven. It was so fresh and delicious!
L’Orangeraie restaurant refers to the opulent winter gardens of the Orangerie at the French Château of Versailles. The place reminds us of the Garden of Eden. It is spacious, light and airy; its high windows offer a fantastic panoramic view on the tropical forest on one side, and on the emerald green Andaman Sea on the other. In the entrance, a stunning copper sculpture of an orange tree welcomes us, and we cannot fail to notice the gorgeous marble desk of the open kitchen. We loved taking our breakfast there and cannot omit to mention their exceptional nature, in the choice as much as in the quality of the dishes offered. In the evening, l’Orangeraie restaurant offers international a la carte menus, as well as the inevitable local specialities. We had some excellent evenings there, with a panoramic view of the resort and its bay. I must mention the immense professionalism of the whole team, namely Molly, Hakim, Leen and Danial!
The Kayuputi, or white wood in Indonesian, is the overwater restaurant at the St Regis Langkawi. It was an incredible experience to discover this out of the ordinary place!! Designed by the talented Bill Bensley as the house of an art collector, with superb views over the Andaman Sea, it constitutes a real sanctuary, offering a unique culinary experience, in an idyllic, refined and romantic setting.
Built with very high ceilings, it shows us an impressive collection of antics, cleverly displayed: over a century old wooden doors, windows upcycled from the Netherland’s embassy in Yangon, two white peacocks from India in the entrance, 60 teak columns with camel bones imbedded, and the amazing 250kg chandelier made of seashells. I also loved the kitchen. Totally open plan, it is decorated with 89 tablespoons, representing the 89 suites and villas of the St Regis Langkawi. And a big crush was for the very different and comfortable armchairs, some very quirky and fabulous looking with feathers above, resembling a throne
For the food, the chef Mandy Goh, the first woman chef at the St Regis Langkawi, and her team are in charge. The dishes offered, original and revamped tapas, are prepared with fresh and regional ingredients, in order to highlight Asian culinary traditions, complemented with sophisticated and contemporary modern techniques.
Kayuputi is really unique… It made me think of a gigantic curiosity shop! It is so full of decorative items everywhere, that we discover new things every time! It is also the ideal spot to sip on cocktails, while admiring the spectacular sunsets
The St Regis Langkawi Langkawi Bar immerses us in a soft, warm and welcoming atmosphere. In the entrance, we can see a wooden hand-made sculpted fresco, with an amazing amount of details: bark, trunk and leaves are all delicately engraved by Indonesian artists. It is in homage to the Banyan tree I mentioned earlier when describing the majestic entrance of the resort.
The decoration of the St Regis Langkawi Bar looks like an enchanting tropical forest. The dark wooden floor, side tables and a Swarovski crystal chandelier in the middle, impart calm, serenity and extreme sophistication.
We can taste a large variety of cocktails, especially the local interpretation of the unique Bloody Mary, which was invented by the legendary King Cole Bar in the first St Regis hotel in New York. The Lang Mary, inspired by the reddy-brown colours of the eagle, symbol of Langkawi, mixes tropical flavours from pine, tamarin and lemongrass foliage, to give a summery and refreshing cocktail
Worldwide wine aficionados are lucky to be able to taste wines from the thousands of bottles the St Regis Langkawi keeps in its cellar. The decoration is worth a mention, with its superb large table made of onyx, under a sculptural chandelier; the latter is made of thirteen light spheres, linked with brass branches, giving the place a masculine, chic and contemporary feel!
Finally, the last restaurant I am going to describe is the Gourmand Deli. We just loved this place. It is cosy and pleasant. It proposes homemade succulent patisseries, a selection of fine teas and coffees, sushi and even a varied selection of warm snacks such as pizzas, quiches and sandwiches. We went back several times there to treat ourselves, especially with the homemade ice cream and the chocolate fountain that my daughter Ayla absolutely loved
What are you waiting for… ?
Our stay at the St Regis Langkawi was simply fabulous!! We were given the most delicate attentions and were pampered from start to finish. I must thank the whole team for their kindness and great professionalism, especially Aisha at the reception, our incredible butler Farhana, and Effendi the General Manager.
I would recommend the St Regis Langkawi to anyone who is looking for a peaceful haven unlike any other… Offering luxury, sophistication and outstanding service, the resort really is the art of living on the magical island of Langkawi