It has been a week since I last posted on my blog. Needless to say, the excuse for the break was a good one; discovering the jewel in Kedah province, Langkawi. For our first anniversary, my husband decided to take me away from the hustle bustle of Kuala Lumpur to the serene island of Langkawi, albeit a few days earlier as our anniversary falls on Christmas day. An early morning flight on Air Asia, which if booked in advance can be quite cheap, transported us to Langkawi within 45 minutes. Looking out of the window, as far as the eye could see there was only water, only when the pilot instructed the cabin crew to take their seats for landing could we see the white sand beneath us. A truly spectacular landing at the edge of the sea and an fabulous portent for the rest of our stay.
Two questions popped up in our mind when choosing a hotel, whether we wanted to be amidst the action or simply enjoy the serenity of our surroundings. The answer, well we wanted both. Hence we opted for a resort on the quieter end of Langkawi’s most popular strip so that we could relax in the day and be part of Langkawi’s nightlife after sunset. We booked the Frangipani Resort and Spa on Pantai Tengah, walking distance from Pantai Cenang (a strip which hosts the most happening restaurants, bars and beach bars in Langkawi) through Asiarooms.com. The best part about booking through this website was that it did not charge your credit card unless you cancel 2 weeks before your arrival date. All payments were to be made directly to the hotel upon arrival, not to mention the fabulous rates it gave us.
The resort was situated in the ideal location, walking distance from all the famous restaurants and clubs and also with new development there were some nice spots (restaurants, bars and spas) opposite the resort too, not to mention a duty free shop (Langkawi is a duty free island where alcohol, cigarettes, electronics and perfumes are available at very low prices). The Frangipani prides itself in being an eco-hotel, that is they employ green practices, from using recycled wood to construct door and landmark signs to growing their own herbs and vegetables and installing solar panels on roofs for heating, to name a few.
A refreshing lemongrass drink was presented to us while we waited for our check-in. The whole resort had an old-school feel to it with its wooden architecture and low ceilings. A pathway dotted with greenery led us to their stunning pool area filled with deck chairs, a wooden bar, azure blue water, stone statues and towering palm trees. A faint sound of Frank Sinatra played to the movements of the palms in the wind. The best part was the quite private beach that lay ahead, giving us the option of lying facing the pool or on the sand by the sea.
Not to be missed is the famous Frangipani fishing boat turned hotspot of the resort. Upon inquiry we were told that this fishing boat was destroyed in the tsunami of 2004, but was refurbished and turned into a seating spot for hotel guests.
At night it was adorned with lights for guests to sip their cocktails by the moonlight. The light holders were made from recycled glass bottles.
The Frangipani resort can be termed a boutique hotel, consisting of detached villas and two storey houses that have been turned into 4 standard rooms. We opted for the room on the first floor with a balcony. The room was clean and simple with all the basic amenities, such as hairdryer, iron, television, slippers, bathrobes and complimentary tea and coffee making facilities. Since most of the adornments in the room were made of wood, the wear and tear seemed to be visible, however the comfort level provided helped us to ignore such maintenance issues. The bathroom too looked slightly old and under maintained, but had a fabulous shower. We did have a leak in the bathroom when we arrived, but upon complaining it was fixed before we came back to the room in the evening. Given the amount of time we spent in the room, such small problems did not come in the way of our comfortable and enjoyable stay.
Our day began with breakfast at the Mentari restaurant. You can choose to sit indoors or outdoors on their wooden deck with views that would wake anyone out of their slumber. The buffet was extensive with eggs of your choice, baked beans, hash browns, grilled tomatoes, pancakes, Malaysian rice or noodles, fruits, different breads, cereals, sausages, muesli, cheeses, cold cuts, juices, tea and coffee to name a few.
One day it was a cheese omelet and the other day I opted for scrambled eggs. All while basking in the glorious sunlight and winds of Langkawi.
Not to forget the pancakes and fruits
The rest of the day was spent relaxing on their deckchairs watching the day go by and enjoying the serenity of our surrounding. The sound of waves crashing against the shore was like a symphony to the ears. They do have a spa too but I could not get out of my relaxing stupor to go check it out.
Between relaxing and sunbathing, there was always time to take a dip in their pool. One could either swim in the main pool or their other lap pool.
The turquoise waters were enough of an invitation
or have your pressure points massaged in their Balinese style jacuzzi
or have a drink at their bar. My favorite were the bar stools made of recycled wood.
or laze around among the wonderfully carved stone statues. If you want to get some respite from the sun, they also have cabanas with deckchairs and hammocks, which can also be used for private dinners and massages.
All while the courteous staff attended to our every need. Being the holidays, the resort was packed with people trying to escape the cold winter season. Even though the resort was bustling with activity, there was a certain degree of calmness in the air, one that makes you want to stay on longer. Dotted with Frangipani trees throughout the resort, the duo of nature and the beach makes this resort a must stay for any visitor.
The location of this resort made us venture out into the heart of Langkawi with ease. It gave us the option of visiting other restaurants and beach bars rather than being stranded on a resort. Having read some negative reviews about the resort, I can safely say that it is not perfect, it has some maintenance problems, but due to the comfort and excellent service they provide, those can easily be overlooked. Secondly, for the price, it is definitely worth every penny. They do not profess to be some five star resort but they live up to their four star grade. The Frangipani Resort and Spa have found a follower in me, it is definitely my pick for my next trip to Langkawi. It is the perfect blend of calmness and serenity while at the same time helping you enjoy your beach vacation to the fullest. No visit to Langkawi would be complete without a private beach, your own space to swim, watch the sunset or indulge in water sports. The Frangipani is one the few four star resorts in Langkawi that allows you such luxury. It is strategically placed at a point where the Straits of Malacca meets the Andaman Sean, hence can be termed as one of Langkawi’s best kept secrets.
Watch this space for more reviews of Langkawi’s restaurants and beach bars.
- Helicopter tours of Langkawi can be found right before the entrance of the resort
- A great place to eat just opposite the resort is Sun Cafe. If you do go there, do check out their bathrooms, they are fabulous
- Shop at AW Duty Free Store opposite the resort
- Spend your evenings at Cenang Beach as Pantai Tengah becomes very quiet at night.