Bon Ton Resort

Pantai Cenang, Langkawi, Malaysia Book from Book from £88 per night

Eight antique Malay houses rebuilt in a century-old coconut plantation, on the breathtakingly beautiful island of Langkawi
Atmospheric, laidback and unusual (in a good way), Bon Ton is a careful blend of conservation principles and design savvy. The small resort - or 'Coconut Village' as it used to be called - comprises 8 rustic kampung houses on a former coconut plantation, just north of Langkawi's longest beach. Each house was acquired and painstakingly reassembled by Australian owner, Narelle McMurtrie, in a remarkable labour of love.

Overlooking a peaceful lily-strewn lagoon, the stilted wooden villas are individually styled with colourful fabrics, Malay songket weavings and striking antique furnishings. It's a far cry from the surrounding generic resort hotels, and what Bon Ton lacks in facilities, it more than makes up for in character and charm. Even so, there's an attractive swimming pool, a west-facing cocktail deck, a wonderful restaurant serving Asian fusion cuisine and a lounge-bar set in a heritage Chinese shophouse. All in all, it's a wonderfully romantic hideaway.

Highs

  • Exquisite, antique Malay architecture blended with chic, beautifully conceived interiors
  • Delicious Asian-Mediterranean cuisine in Nam - the restaurant is one of Langkawi's best and Rick Stein is said to be a fan
  • A couple of houses have private alfresco bathrooms for washing under the stars
  • A totally different type of resort - secluded, romantic and full of atmosphere. Note that families are welcomed but may prefer slightly larger sister property Temple Tree nearby which has a games room and animal sanctuary
  • The bar serves some irresistible cocktails - try the mango daiquiri

Lows

  • Mosquitoes can be an annoyance, but the hotel provides mozzie diffusers, sprays and nets
  • The nearest beach is a mile away along a sandy track; staff will drop you down on request
  • There are lots of cats around; they're very friendly, but those with allergies take note!
  • The continental breakfasts, delivered to your room, could get a bit samey if you stay for more than a few days
  • Some houses are quite close to one another and noise can carry

Best time to go

The hotel is open year-round. Peak season is December to March, when the weather is typically dry and sunny, though it is consistently warm (around 30C) all year. Rain is possible in any month but the official wet season is September to November. Even during the monsoon, it tends to pour for around two hours per day (usually during the late afternoon or at night).

Our top tips

A week is probably long enough to take in the main sights and attractions on Langkawi - though the island makes a great base for a relaxing 2-week holiday.

Great for...

Beach
Family
Foodie
Spa
  • Boutique Resort
  • 8 bungalows
  • Restaurant + bars (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room:

Rooms

Surrounded by mature coconut palms on the edge of the lagoon, each of the 8 century-old stilt houses is individually designed. As a general theme you can expect broad verandas, intricate carvings for natural ventilation, antique furniture and colourful Malay fabrics, as well as modern comforts such as fridges and air con.

The detailed window grilles of Black Coral hint at its origins as a nobleman's house, with plenty of dark wood contrasting with furnishings in white. White Frangipani is interesting for its layout, with a raised sleeping area (originally designed to sleep the whole family) and a separate kitchen. Yellow Orchid, an old fisherman's house with a bright summery theme, boasts a secluded sundeck and open-air bathroom for soaks beneath the stars. So does Blue Ginger, designed with "beach shack" in mind and built around a huge beam hewn from a single tree. The 120-year-old Silk Villa, which features plantation-style shutters, has 2 queen-sized beds and 2 singles in a separate room - ideal for families. Cahaya, formerly the residence of a head of the village, has one large bedroom and a separate living area with day beds that can be converted into a second bedroom.

Two further 120-year-old houses (which we’re yet to see) - Laguna and Palm - feature extra-large bedrooms and bathrooms. The former has an antique wooden bathtub for 2 and a huge balcony with sweeping views of the lagoon.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Cots Available
  • DVD player
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Toaster
  • TV
  • WiFi

Eating

The on-site restaurant, Nam, is regarded by some as the best place to eat on Langkawi. The cuisine is a fusion of West meets Spice, with dishes such as coriander and lemongrass pesto with cashews and penne; rock lobster tails with satay sauce and guava salad; or baked snapper on mango rice. Nyonya specialities (Malay-Chinese hybrids) include a tasting platter of 9 dishes served on a banana leaf. Desserts are to die for (chocaholics take note: "Chocolate Marquise Caramel Tart served with Chocolate Truffle and a Rich Chocolate Ice Cream"). The restaurant is set in an open-sided wooden pavilion overlooking the lagoon, with subdued lighting and bright, custom-made furnishings.

An excellent international wine-list (with duty-free prices) is featured both at the Nam and at Stilt House - a chic, lounge-bar set in a renovated Chinese shophouse, specialising in cocktails and sipping spirits.

As dusk approaches, head for the Sunset Deck, where cocktails are served alongside a tapas/mezze menu featuring the likes of deep-fried calamari.

Breakfast (included) is left in your fridge overnight so you can enjoy it on your terrace whenever you wake up! It consists of a simple continental affair, expect cakes, fruits, breads, jams and honeys, yogurts and juices.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Children's meals
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Lunch by arrangement
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Toaster
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Nearby Pantai Cenang and Pantai Tengah converge to form Langkawi's longest beach, complete with watersports facilities, beach bars and restaurants
  • Arrange a guided nature walk in the Machinchang Forest Reserve, near Datai Bay, home to great hornbills and the rare colugo
  • Ascend one of the highest peaks by cable car for magnificent views over the Langkawi archipelago
  • Visit the Laman Padi Rice Museum (very close by)
  • Hire a car and head for the tomb of Mahsuri and the pretty rice fields of the interior
  • Book some spa treatments at the Datai or the Andaman, both on gorgeous Datai Bay
  • Visit the Ibrahim Hussein Museum & Cultural Foundation (IHMCF), the home and art gallery of one of Malaysia’s best-known artists
  • Batik painting classes held at the Batik Village about 10 minutes drive away
  • PADI courses can be arranged through East Marine - located at the Yacht Club - 30 minutes’ drive away
  • The Datai Golf Course is the best course on the island and is about a 40-minute drive
  • A horse riding centre is about 20 minutes away
  • Bicycles can be rented just down the road

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Art classes
  • Birdwatching
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Horse riding
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Sailing
  • Scuba diving
  • Scuba diving courses
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Well being
  • Windsurfing

Kids

The resort has a quiet, romantic feel though children are welcome. No charge for baby cots or children sleeping in their parents' bed. There is an additional charge for extra beds

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

Black Coral and White Frangipani would be perfect for a couple and 1 child, as both have a queen and single bed. Silk and Cahaya are the best options for larger families. The former features 2 queens and 2 singles, while the latter has a king and 3 single daybeds - both can sleep 2 adults and 3 kids comfortably

Babysitting:

Babysitting available by arrangement

Baby equipment:

Baby cots available on request

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

Kids menu available in Nam restaurant

Kids Activities nearby:

  • The beach is 20 minutes' walk away
  • Watersports
  • Nature walks
  • Cable car ride to highest peak
  • Horse riding (20 minutes away)

  • Distances:

    • Airport: 10 minutes
    • Shops: 25 minutes (Kuah)
    Kid Friendly:

    Location

    Bon Ton Resort is located 7-10 minutes from Langkawi airport and 20 minutes' walk from the main beach of Pantai Cenang on Pulau Langkawi, which is the main island of the Langkawi archipelago (about 100 islands lying off the north-western coast of Peninsula Malaysia).

    By Air:
    Langkawi International at Padang Mat Sirat (7km from Pantai Cenang). Click on the links below for a list of airlines.

    From the Airport
    Bon Ton is less than a 10-minute drive from the airport. Guests all arrive by taxi (see Rates) or rental car which can be arranged on arrival at the airport. Bon Ton can also arrange hire cars for you.

    By Rail:
    KTM Berhad (KTMB) provides a comfortable and economical rail service from Kuala Lumpur to Alor Setar and Arau. From Alor Setar / Arau you can take a taxi or bus to Kuala Kedah/Kuala Perlis and from there by express ferry to Langkawi.

    By Ferry:
    Journey times to Langkawi range from 45 minutes to 3 hours by sea, depending on point of embarkation. Departure points are from Kuala Perlis, Kuala Kedah, and Georgetown on Penang Island. Visitors from Thailand depart from Satun.

    Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.

    More on getting to Malaysia and getting around.

    Airports:

    • Langkawi 7.0 km LGK

    Other:

    • Beach 1.0 km
    • Shops 1.0 km
    • Restaurant 1.0 km

    Our guests' ratings...

    Based on 3 independent reviews from i-escape guests

    7/10
    Room
    9/10
    Food
    9/10
    Service
    7/10
    Value
    8/10
    Overall

    Bon Ton is a nice boutique hotel with a great restaurant and wonderful staff. However, what really turned us off were the cats roaming around the property. They sit on the lounge chairs by the pool. There is a cat and dog shelter next door to the hotel. It is nice that hotel guests can take dogs from the shelter for a walk, but not if this means there is dog poo all over the hotel entrance area. This is not great for families with children. If it weren't for the cats, Bon Ton would be such a great and unique place.

    8/10,

    A nice setting of old Malay houses but unfortunately the property is situated too close to the airport and main road.
    The lunch and diner served in the restaurant are delicious but it is incomprehensible that they do not serve breakfast. The breakfast is put in your minibar the night before. In my opinion, the price is too high for what you get.

    8/10,

    Overall fantastic place to stay. The only negative point is the breakfast, which is very basic.

    10/10,

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    Rates for Bon Ton Resort

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