travel

The Andaman Langkawi

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The view from our room

We had a very lovely getaway to Langkawi late last month. I have only been to Langkawi once, and that might have been 15 years ago.

As mentioned in my previous post of tips for planning a regional holiday, it was a toss-up between the Westin Langkawi (which looks equally divine) and The Andaman because both are under the Starwood group. I also checked a few other resorts, The Danna, The Datai, Berjaya, etc. but figured that there are many Westins but only one Andaman.

Photo courtesy of The Andaman
Photo courtesy of The Andaman

We arrived just before lunch on a Saturday, and after settling the check-in, we had lunch by the pool while waiting for our room. Luckily I packed the swim gear in a part of the luggage that would be easy to reach, so the kids dove right in. After lunch the kids refused to nap so off we went to the Young Explorers Club. I feel it could be a little brighter, but other than that it’s certainly well equipped for kids of any age from crawlers up. On our first visit they were in the midst of some shell craft, so Mittens came away with a whole mountain of shells. For the rest of the stay we dropped by now and then, especially when it was so hot outside, but our kids were more interested in swimming and playing in the very fine and lovely sand.

When we arrived we bought the SPG Kids Pass for Mittens, so for RM60 a day he could choose 2 mains (or a main and an appetiser?) and a drink and a dessert from the kids menu. We figured we weren’t going out of the resort, so it would be worth it. Kids under 4 eat for free – they get one main and one drink from the kids menu. I only have 1 decent photo of the food, but let me tell you that the kids menu is VERY GOOD, even though the dishes weren’t consistent, perhaps it was left up to the chefs to make their own interpretations of the dishes, but it was still very good. The kids loved the pizzas and pastas, and I was more than happy for them to have really good quality food. For us, we usually filled up during breakfast, had a light bite at lunch, and then followed by an early dinner. Actually the first day we got the kids an early dinner, and since we were still full from lunch, we ordered in after the kids had gone to sleep at 8pm. I do love not having to worry about kids in a restaurant sometimes, don’t you??

The rest of our itinerary was more or less the same from day to day, wake, stuff myself on the lovely freshly baked croissants at breakfast (I was always keeping an eye on the open kitchen to see when they’d be ready), pool/beach, lunch, nap/pool/beach, dinner.

On Sunday night, we had dinner at Jala Restaurant, a restaurant by the beach. An a la carte meal there cost us less than the buffet dinner at The Restaurant, and was very impressive. Even the kids menu was very impressive.

Prior to the trip I’d read about the diversity of nature in the 60 million year old rainforest, but I didn’t know that Langkawi is a UNESCO Geopark which is 550 million years old. And I certainly didn’t expect that we’d be able to see so much wildlife right in the resort. On Saturday we watched the National Geographic documentary “Gliding Wonders” partially filmed at The Andaman about flying snakes and lemurs otherwise known as the colugo, at the beach “cinema”. Over the following days, and during the complimentary Rainforest Awakening walk, we spotted two colugos one in the tree by the pool, right next to the kids’ slide who apparently lives there! We also had a crab-eating macaque come through our balcony and head for the mini bar, downing the milk for the coffee and opening a can of Pringles. Apparently they can open soda cans too – they’ve certainly evolved from just eating crabs eh? And don’t miss the complimentary snorkelling tour of man-made the coral nursery in the resort!

If I sound excited, that’s because I still am – I am so not the backpacking sort, so I love how there was so much nature but still had all the creature comforts (heh). There are so many nature activities and excursions offered by the resort which I would have loved to do without kids – jungle trekking, bird watching, wildlife photography, mangrove cruise. Ah well, maybe I’ll put this on my retirement bucket list.

The Deluxe Treetop rooms are rustic, and I liked it a lot more than my husband, who preferred the modern Luxury Sea View rooms, although I had to agree that the sea view in those rooms is really something. We left home bright and early on Saturday morning (840am!) and returned on a Tuesday night (1030pm!) so we stayed for four full days and never left the resort nor had any desire to; we could have stayed here for a week without venturing out, or 1-2 weeks resort hopping and going on excursions if we wanted to see the rest of the island. I do feel that all the Langkawi hotels are a little over-priced, but I do like that Langkawi is large enough to have regional carriers service the airport, yet doesn’t feel overpopulated or sleazy like some of the popular Thai islands, and a little more developed than some of the other Malaysia islands (Penang not included).

Highly recommended 🙂

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3 thoughts on “The Andaman Langkawi

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