Posted on Friday, 24th July 2015
FOUR SEASONS HOTEL LANGKAWI
During my recent trip to Langkawi, I also visited The Four Seasons Langkawi, one of the most preeminent luxury resorts on the island. The Four Seasons is located on one of Langkawi’s most spectacular beaches in the North Eastern corner, right on the Andaman Sea, and is a breathtaking study in nature. The resort is set within a rainforest and is surrounded by lush greenery and cliffs that give it a wonderful eco tropical island feel. The Four Seasons Langkawi integrates beautifully with its natural surroundings by making use of features such as reflecting ponds and secluded thatched-roof pavilions. The resort also stays true to its Malay origins as it follows the layout of a traditional Malay village. To get around the resort you can use the bikes supplied by the resort, walk or call for a buggy.
The accommodation categories are divided between pavilions and villas. There are four rooms within each pavilion whereas each villa (effectively a stand-alone suite) is for the use of an individual guest booking. The pavilion rooms are designed for maximum comfort and also reflect the sense of nature surrounding the resort. A particularly pleasing feature specific to the pavilion rooms on the ground floor is the outdoor bathing area with a bathtub for two and a rain shower that that gives you the sense that you are bathing in a tropical rainforest.
A highlight of my visit to The Four Seasons Langkawi was the Spa where I enjoyed a traditional Malay spa treatment. My treatment was fabulous, not least of all because the treatment was great, but because the spa facilities themselves were incredible. Beautifully designed, the spa was a temple of tranquility. Each treatment room was in itself a mini-spa area. Attached to each individualised treatment room was a private steam room, a private shower and toilet, as well as a private dressing room. In other words you never had to share with any other guests other than if you chose to have a couple’s treatment. It was a truly incredible experience. There was also a yoga pavilion at the spa centre and three ‘floating’ relaxation beds perched on reflecting ponds designed for use by guests as part of their after-treatment relaxation.
The resort also offers a varied array of on-site activities such as tennis, beach volleyball, sailing, snorkeling and other water sports, as well as a daily schedule of yoga sessions. For those travelling as a family, there’s a supervised dedicated facility for children with all-day activities. The resort has it’s own private stretch of beach, but it also has two pool areas, one for use by adults and one for families. A wonderful feature of the adults-only pool is that there are private cabanas for two with a curtain for added privacy. From the cabana you have direct access to the pool. Here you are also given a buzzer should you require service.
The resort has three restaurants, with breakfast being served at Serai Restaurant. For breakfast, there is a wide buffet selection including pastries and local delicacies.
For dinner we dined at Ikan-Ikan Restaurant which serves traditional Malaysian cuisine. The restaurant is styled as an open-air pavilion with both indoor and outdoor seating. We tried the mixed starter (MYR80 – £13.50) which contained a variety of delights and the Langkawi crab meat salad (MYR74 – £12.50). The mixed starter consisted of (from left to right) a Malay pancake with chicken salad which was wonderfully tasty, especially with the sweet chili sauce; a chicken satay with a deliciously nutty and sweet peanut satay sauce; a kataifi prawn, superbly crunchy and served on a bed of sweet and tangy guava salad that contrasted well with the prawn; and a prawn curry and potato spring roll, the flavours of which combined wonderfully together.
The crab salad was also delicious and came with sweet crab and a mixture of fresh papaya, pomelo, mixed island greens, and a sweet and zingy salad dressing.
Two of the waiters told me that this dish, the wok-fried spicy tiger prawns (MYR154 – £25.90), was their favourite item on the menu and I could see why for I absolutely loved this dish. Cooked with chili paste, cashew nuts, curry leaves and finished with condensed milk, this dish was outstanding. There was a hint of nuttiness from the cashews and a gentle heat coming through from the chillis. And finally, the condensed milk gave the sauce a lovely creamy texture as well as providing a touch of sweetness. The flavours were extraordinary. This was a great Asian dish and one I hope that I will get to taste again.
The crispy fried red snapper fillet with a tamarind, honey and chilli sauce (MYR150 – £25.30) is the signature at Ikan-Ikan and this was also another fabulous dish. The sauce was thick and sticky, and the use of tamarind, honey, chilli and lots of garlic was not only delicious, but had been skillfully balanced. The snapper had a crispy coating which also gave the fish a great texture.
Also really great was the char keoy teow (MYR46 – £7.80), a specialty of neigbouring island Penang. The version here was excellent. The noodles had a good bouncy texture to them, were neither too wet nor too dry, and had a good browning to them from a high wok heat. The noodles were well flavoured and came with a nice amount of prawns.
For dessert we tried the deep-fried banana with a palm sugar glaze and tek tarik ice cream (MYR40 – £6.70). The banana was tasty, soft in the middle and with a good crunchy batter. But it was the ice cream that made me smile as it tasted exactly like teh tarik. Teh tarik is the national drink of Malaysia, and is a ‘pulled’ black tea with condensed milk poured back and forth from a height to ensure that the flavour of the tea has blended consistently with the milk. It has a really distinct flavour and I found it to be delicious as an ice cream.
Also enjoyable was the sago gula melaka, a sago (tropical pearls) pudding with a palm sugar syrup and coconut and hazelnut ice cream (MYR40 – £6.70). This was refreshing and comforting with the sweetness of the syrup being well judged. The ice cream was also lovely and with a fragrant coconut flavour.
The Four Seasons Langkawi is unique for its tropical rainforest setting and offers guests an all-encompassing sense of comfort, serenity and calm. What I especially liked about the resort was that although it was at almost full occupancy, it didn’t feel busy at all. There was a great range of facilities and the spa was world class. Dinner at Ikan-Ikan was also fabulous. Four Seasons Langkawi is quite a sprawling property, and so it can take time to get from one facility to another. If there was one drawback, I would say that buggy delays when there is peak demand.
1. The Spa.
2. Dinner at Ikan-Ikan.
3. The wok-fried spicy tiger prawn dish at Ikan-Ikan.
4. The private cabanas at the adult pool.
5. The sense that you’re at one with nature.
6. The privacy of the private beach.
1. Buggy delays.
Overall rating: 4.75/5
Overall service rating: 4.5/5
The spa facilities rating: 5/5
Food at Ikan-Ikan rating: 4.5/5
The wok-fried spicy tiger prawn dish: 5/5
Prices for a 3-course meal at Ikan-Ikan – about MYR195 to MYR282 (about £33 to £48). Excludes drinks and service.