Have you ever been to a place that seemed so ridiculously beautiful that you had to pinch yourself to make sure you were not dreaming? I have. And sometimes, when I sit at home on my sofa, back in everyday life, I have a hard time realizing that those vacation pictures (check them out below) actually show the not-digitally-enhanced truth; that it was really this beautiful and overwhelming. So: for all those planning a secret wedding abroad or looking for the ultimate beach holiday or those of you who just don’t want to fly to Bali, since everybody seems to go there these days, I think I might have the perfect recommendation.
Langkawi and especially The Andaman hotel have set my new standard for a dream-beach-vacation (although I am not a dream-beach-vacation kind of girl, as you might know). Langkawi is an island at the north-west coast of Malaysia and it was our last stop in this amazing country before we headed back to Singapore. We took the ferry from Penang (the article about Penang is coming up soon) which, by the way, featured muted Japanese vampire movies on an outdated TV screen whose image faltered all the time (this is my way of saying: bring a good book if you want to be entertained, for example The Children Act by Ian McEwan). The ride took about three hours and we were dropped off in the south of the island. Since The Andaman is located at the north of the island “cosily tucked away between a 10 million-year-old rainforest, the tranquil Datai Bay and an 8,000-year-old fringing coral reef” – to quote from their website – we had to grab a cab that drove us across the island for an hour until we finally reached our paradise-like resort. And from then on I kept being paralyzed by the sheer beauty and perfection of this very recommendable resort that will leave none of your wishes unfulfilled.
I would probably be better off in telling you what The Andaman does not offer, instead of telling you all the stuff that it actually offers. For the fun of it, let’s write down a well-structured list of bullet points for those of you who are keen on the naked facts:
- They have a private beach, which is very clean and not overcrowded.
- They have private fishermen, who will bring fresh seafood to the hotel (and onto your plate) every day.
- The hotel is surrounded by a practically “private” rainforest with, so to say, private animals that you can watch any time.
- The hotel offers two guided rainforest walks each day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, where you will be told everything about the amazing flora and fauna of the area.
- The resort has six restaurants of which we tried out three. The food in each of them was delicious, but also very pricy for Malaysia. I liked the restaurant called “Jala” best since they offered the fresh seafood caught by the private fishermen (you can see a picture below).
- There is also a nice air-conditioned gym that offers free daily classes of various sports. I did a core workout and yoga and enjoyed both classes very much.
- The breakfast is insane. I have never seen a breakfast buffet as extensive as this – you can choose between all kinds of continental breakfast options (bread, toast, eggs, pastries, fruit, yoghurt, smoothies), American and British breakfast treats (sausages, baked tomatoes, beans, porridge, roasted potatoes, donuts, pancakes), salads, freshly made omelets or scrambled eggs from a dedicated counter, vegetable soup with Ramen and several Malay or Indian dished like Nasi Lemak or Mee Goreng.
- There is of course a Spa, a guy that will help you plan trips across the island, entertainment for children (there were actually quite some families with little children), a fancy bar with live music at night, a game room with a foosball and a ping-pong table and a huge swimming pool (for when you have had enough of the tub-warm sea water).
So what’s the catch?
There is none. I have actually nothing to criticize. This place gets five stars on each and every scale and is absolutely worth the money. Go there and enjoy.