Temple Tree Heritage Resort

Pantai Cenang, Langkawi, Malaysia Book from Book from £72 per night

Stylish living history at this delightfully different heritage project on Malaysia's beautiful Langkawi island
Temple Tree Heritage Resort is a dream for architectural students; for the rest of us, a beautiful, living museum. The unique concept? A collection of classic Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasian houses from all over Malaysia, painstakingly reassembled, and divided into 20 rooms and suites. Owner Narelle is the brains behind neighbouring Bon Ton Antique Wooden Villas, and opened this sister property four years later.

Communal life centres around the handsome century-old Straits Clubhouse with its games room, library and bar, plus a shaded lap pool alongside. Most houses are arranged along a ‘main street’ – leading to the main swimming pool and adjacent sacred temple tree – where saplings sway in the breeze, and vivid and vociferous tropical birds fix you with a beady eye. Each house maintains its own character and Narelle’s eye for interiors is evident in bold colour schemes, which effortlessly blend antique pieces with contemporary flourishes. Double showers, with the water running through the wooden slats below, feel simultaneously luxurious and simple. Hit the beach for sunbathing or watersports; hire a car to set your own island agenda; take a tour of the mangroves. Or just stay put – this is a supremely relaxing haven.

Highs

  • Blissfully peaceful location, away from Langkawi's 'main strip'
  • Beautiful antique houses - spacious and colourful - ideal for groups of friends or families
  • Plenty of special touches: bright sarongs in your wardrobe, enticing Chinese wooden bathtubs, drinks and fruit served poolside
  • A fascinating insight to traditional Malaysian living, with the bonus of smiling service
  • The excellent Bon Ton restaurant is just next door for Malay specialities and European classics. And they have cooking classes

Lows

  • The beach is a 20-minute walk; you'll probably take a taxi
  • Breakfast, which is left in your fridge overnight, is not that imaginative
  • It's relatively expensive for the area, but truly one of a kind
  • On our most recent visit we felt that the resort could do with a bit of a spruce up
  • Wooden floors can mean noise carrying between rooms within the same house

Best time to go

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 although the official wet season is September to November. Even during the monsoon, the rains tend to come in sharp bursts, usually during the afternoon or at night, with sunshine for the rest of the day.

Our top tips

Stay 3-4 days here to just absorb the resort’s atmosphere, or use it as a base for a longer exploration of Langkawi. Consider hiring a moped (the hotel reception can arrange) to explore the island's best beaches or visit the Temurun Waterfall where you can swim in the clear water. Roads are easy to navigate.

Note that there's an animal shelter for dogs and cats on site - this is not the right spot for you if you have severe allergies.

Great for...

Family
Beach
Foodie
Great Outdoors
Romantic
  • Boutique Resort
  • 20
  • Restaurant + bar (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
  • Snooker Table
Room:

Rooms

Each of the houses has its own identity and together they tell quite a tale of Malaysian architectural history over the past century.

We loved the red and black luxe of the Chinese House (2 units), and the meditative greens and blues of the Penang House (2 units). The stately 1920s Colonial House (4 units) - where we stayed on our most recent visit - would be great for large gatherings, as would the Plantation House (6 units) with its generous living space. A former longhouse, Estate House (5 units) has high ceilings with thick wooden beams. Our favourite though was the Black and White House (1 unit), set on stilts, with stained-glass shutters that let in the breeze during the day and filter light in the evening.

The suites share common characteristics: lots of authentic antique objets - vases, lacquered boxes, intricately carved furniture and woven tapestries, sofas littered with bright throw cushions, wide firm beds in pristine white cotton and draped with mosquito nets, a large DVD-only television (satellite TV is available in the Clubhouse), double rainfall showers and a quirky wooden bathtub, some in atmospheric outdoor bathrooms.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Cots Available
  • DVD player
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Mosquito net
  • Safe box
  • TV
  • WiFi

Eating

Breakfast, the only meal provided, left in your fridge overnight, can be enjoyed at your leisure. Different homemade breads and cakes are offered daily, with butter and jam, yoghurt, bottled juices and fresh fruit. Each suite is equipped with a toaster and tea- and coffee-making facilities.

There is a bar in the Clubhouse, where you can ask for drinks. Although there's no restaurant, it's only a relaxing two minute amble to the widely acclaimed Nam restaurant at neighbouring Bon Ton Antique Wooden Villas for lunch and dinner. The dining area is extremely atmospheric in the evenings, with soft lighting and the sunsets to the west over the lagoon can be spectacular. The food is utterly delicious, you can take a cooking class while you're here and buy their cook book on departure.

If out and about you can also try incredible street food in one of the island's many markets.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Children's meals
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Hire a car or moped or book an organised tour to explore the north of the island - the beautiful and UNESCO-listed Geoforest Kilim Park of mangrove swamps and karst formations are an unmissable ecological highlight and you can see them by boat or up close by kayak
  • Drive up to Gunung Raya, the highest peak on the island, to hang out with the hornbills and enjoy great views over the rice fields and Kuah Town
  • Ride the Langkawi Cable Car up to the impressive SkyBridge and take in the Telaga Tujuh waterfall - particularly spectacular during the wet season
  • Go island hopping across the 99-island archipelago on an organised tour or charter your own boat
  • Walk (or take a taxi) to the beach at Pantai Cenang for jet-skiing, waterskiing, windsurfing, parasailing, snorkelling or kayaking; fishing trips and diving can also be arranged
  • At Temple Tree relax by one of the 2 pools, spot wildlife including giant squirrels, monkeys and monitor lizards in the trees, identify the birds around the lagoon at Bon Ton, or book a yoga class or spa treatment through the hotel
  • Animal-lovers can visit the on-site animal sanctuary

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Historical sites
  • Kayaking
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Sailing
  • Scuba diving
  • Shopping / markets
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures
  • Well being
  • Wildlife
  • Windsurfing
  • Yoga

Kids

Children are more than welcome and will love the tropical gardens (look out for the giant squirrels and brightly coloured birds), pools and the animal sanctuary (Langkawi Animal Sanctuary and Shelter Foundation - LASSie - which provides veterinary care for strays). Conveniently you're really close to the airport. We think teens may not be as enchanted by the set-up as their younger cohorts and parents.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

Plantation 1 has a double and a single room, while Black and White House, Penang 1, Colonial 4 and Plantation 3 & 6 have a double and a twin bedroom, Plantation 5 has two double beds. Chinese 1 has two single beds, and Chinese 2 can also take an additional child on an extra bed. Penang 1 and 2 can interconnect to make a 3-bedroom, 3 bathroom house

Babysitting:

Babysitting is available by arrangement

Baby listening:

Baby monitors are available on request

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots
  • High chair
  • Baby bath

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

Children's meals:

A kids menu is available

Kids Activities on site:

  • Swimming (the pools each have a shallow end and are not that deep)
  • Visiting LASSie and dog walking (for older kids only)
  • Games and second-hand book library in the Straits Club
  • Wildlife spotting: monkeys, giant squirrels and monitor lizards can all be seen easily
  • Birding

Kids Activities nearby:

  • The beach is a 20-minute walk
  • Nature walks
  • Cable car ride to the island's peak
  • Watersports
  • Boat tours

Families Should Know:

Neither pool is supervised

Distances:

  • Airport: 10 minutes
  • Hospital: 20 minutes
  • Shops: 25 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Location

Temple Tree Heritage Resort is located 7-10 minutes from Langkawi airport and 2 minutes by car from the main beach of Pantai Cenang on Pulau Langkawi. This is the main island of the Langkawi archipelago (about 100 islands lying off the northwestern coast of Peninsula Malaysia).

By Air:
Fly to Langkawi International (8km) at Padang Mat Sirat; most flights will go via Singapore or Kuala Lumpur. Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving this airport.

From the Airport
Temple Tree is a 7-10-minute drive from the airport. Guests all arrive by taxi (see Rates), or rental car, which can be arranged on arrival at the airport. Temple Tree can arrange hire cars for you during your stay.

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.com.

More on getting to Malaysia and getting around

Airports:

  • Langkawi 7.0 km LGK

Other:

  • Beach 10.0 km
  • Shops 1.0 km
  • Restaurant 1.0 km

Rates for Temple Tree Heritage Resort

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