HFP in Malaysia: the beach resort of Four Seasons Langkawi reviewed (Part 1)

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

This is my review of the Four Seasons Langkawi beach resort in Malaysia.

It is not often that we write about Four Seasons here at Head for Points. This is because Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts does not run a loyalty scheme and our focus is on properties where you are rewarded for your loyalty.

However, many of our readers do stay with Four Seasons – we know this from your use of our luxury hotel booking service.  My recent trip to Malaysia seemed like the perfect opportunity to see why Four Seasons is generally regarded as the best hotel chain in the world.

Malaysia Airlines works closely with Four Seasons and helped arrange a substantially reduced (but not free!) rate for my stay.  When I landed in Kuala Lumpur, I immediately connected to a Malaysia Airlines domestic flight for the short hop to Langkawi.  I did not have time to use the lounge and the flight itself was unremarkable so there will not be a review of that segment.

Four Seasons Langkawi

Langkawi

We pick up my story in Langkawi, a small tropical archipelago with 99 islands off the west coast of Malaysia, of which four are inhabited. It is a 50 minute flight from Kuala Lumpur to the international airport on the main island, Pulau Langkawi. As a travel destination, Langkawi is primarily known for its beaches, luxury hotels, mangrove forests and tropical rain forests.

For many years The Datai was the sole luxury hotel on the island.  Four Seasons arrived almost 15 years ago and, in the last couple of years, a surge of activity has seen various launches including – for anyone with Marriott Bonvoy points or status – a St Regis (website here).

In 2007, the entire archipelago of Langkawi became the first UNESCO Geopark in Southeast Asia thanks to its ancient geological diversity and significance.

Four Seasons Langkawi review beach

The Resort

Four Seasons Langkawi has been established on the main island since 2005. It is situated on the north western cape of the island, approximately 20 minutes from the airport by taxi. Given the small size of the airport, you can step off the aircraft with hand baggage and arrive at the hotel within thirty minutes or so.

The resort itself is spread across a large site with a private beach over 1km long. The property is divided into two sections, north and south, with the shared amenities such as reception, concierge and several bars and restaurants situated centrally. The north side is more family friendly and includes a family pool.  The south side is oriented towards couples and adults, with a quiet adult pool (more on this later).

The 91 rooms at Four Seasons Langkawi are spread across various groups of villas and pavilions, with ground floor and first floor suites, as well as a number of villas with direct beach access.  There is no ‘big main building’ full of rooms, which is a definite plus point.

Arrival

I took a 20 minute ride via Grab (the Asian equivalent of Uber) from the airport which cost £4. Upon arrival I was greeted by name and, having dropped off my bag, was escorted via a series of astonishing open-air atria inspired by Moroccan and local Malaysian styles, to the check-in lounge, which overlooks a beautifully landscaped pond:

Four Seasons Langkawi review check in

It is difficult not to be impressed by such an entrance. I was offered a cold towel as well as a signature mixed (soft) drink whilst I completed the check-in paperwork. This was quickly done and I was whisked away in a golf buggy to my suite and my bag delivered.

Although the entrance amenities are presented in this grand style, the rest of the resort is more naturally styled, with lawns, terraces, water features and an abundance of tropical landscaping.

My suite

I was given a ground-floor suite with a garden view, on the south side of the resort opposite the adult pool:

Four Seasons Langkawi review pavillion

You enter via the bedroom, which faces the landscaped gardens on two sides with floor-to-ceiling french doors. Upon entering I was immediately greeted by a bottle of champagne on ice, a selection of fruit and some savoury canapés, which I believe is standard for guests celebrating special occasions (anniversaries etc):

Four Seasons Langkawi review welcome amenity

The suite itself is, frankly, palatial. A large king bed greets you:

Four Seasons Langkawi review bed

….. with a huge TV in the corner opposite.

Four Seasons Langkawi review TV

To the left of the bed is a writing desk/bedside table combo whilst on the right is a bedside table. Both sides have multiple plug sockets (with British 3 pin plugs) so connectivity is not a problem.

In one alcove are complimentary amenities:

Four Seasons Langkawi review

With a chargeable mini-fridge beneath:

Four Seasons Langkawi review minibar

To the right of the bed is the bathroom, which is clad in this beautiful marble:

Four Seasons Langkawi review bathroom

Two basins are separated by a large mirror. To the right of the vanity is a separate toilet and shower, and to the left is luggage storage, a wardrobe and safe, iron/ironing board and more amenities including mosquito repellent coils and spray. I did not suffer any problems with mosquitoes and only got bitten once or twice, since I prefer not to use repellent.

Four Seasons Langkawi review room amenities

It was excellent to see Four Seasons Langkawi provide eco-friendly branded shower gel, shampoo and conditioner dispensers rather than single-use products. They came in a range of scents. Other bathroom amenities included hand soap and lotion, mini cotton bud kits, aloe vera aftersun gel, exfoliating bath salts, an exfoliating pad and a bar of soap.

Four Seasons Langkawi review bath salts

You are also provided with two dressing gowns and a plenitude of towels, as well as a hairdryer.

But there is more …..

From the bathroom, two sliding French doors open onto a private walled garden with an outdoor shower. It is completely private and cannot be overlooked, even from the suite above. After my two flights from London I was glad to enjoy a shower to cool off and was surprised by a stunning butterfly as I did so!

Four Seasons Langkawi outdoor shower review

The resort

After my shower and a brief nap to recover from the jet lag, I made my way to the quiet adult pool which was directly opposite my suite:

Four Seasons Langkawi adult pool review

It is a large infinity pool with beach views. There is a central section with a bar, or you can choose to use one of the cabanas which straddle either side of the main entrance. The cabanas are separated by low stone-clad walls and each feature their own steps into the pool:

Four Seasons Langkawi adult pool cabana review

and:

Four Seasons Langkawi adult pool review

You are immediately brought a glass of ice-water and are offered a variety of complimentary poolside snacks every hour during the day. I had a divine coconut ice cream which I am told is a Malaysian favourite, and is now a favourite of mine too! There is also a pool side menu with all sorts of large and small dishes.

The beach recliners are extended the same amenities as those poolside.

If you have children, there is a child-friendly pool on the north side, which is also where you are likely to be staying as this is the unofficial family side. Again with beach-side views, this pool is spread across a range of terraces and and individual and connected pools zoned into area that children and adults are more likely to congregate in:

Four Seasons Langkawi review family pool

andFour Seasons Langkawi review family pool

Directly behind the family pool is the children’s activity centre, which I didn’t see.

This is end of Part 1.  Part 2 of our Four Seasons Langkawi review, which looks at the spa, restaurants and the best ways to book the resort, can be found here.

The official hotel website is here.

An excellent Etihad Business Class flight deal to Singapore - for the committed!
HFP in Malaysia: the beach resort of Four Seasons Langkawi reviewed (Part 2)

Click here to join the 14,500 people on our email list and receive the latest Avios, miles and points news by 6am.

Amazon ad
AMEX Gold 20,000 bonus points
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.

Comments

  1. “…the flight itself was unremarkable so there will not be a review of that segment.”

    (With tongue planted firmly in cheek) would that have had anything to do with you having sampled so much of the wine and champagne on the ex-London flight that you were too “tired and emotional” to remember it? 😉

    • It’s only a 50 minute flight! By the time you are at altitude it’s time to come back down…

      • My recent experience on MH J flying KUL-LGK was unremarkable enough that I actually prefer BA Club Europe! Sure, the MH seat was bigger and provided better legroom but it almost doesn’t matter for a 50 minute flight and it also came with semi-inedible food, unremarkable drinks (including no alcohol) and slightly indifferent service.

  2. NigelthePensioner says:

    “Four Seasons is generally regarded as the best hotel chain in the world.” Reference required! This is way off the mark – unless you need full day kids clubs to get the little luvvies out of your hair whilst you do your own thing! The St Regis and The Peninsula groups would knock the socks off 4 Seasons for the HfP titled awarded in this article, for starters, and what about the Mandarin Oriental group?
    Ironically just a few miles away from this 4 seasons, IS one of the very best hotels in the world for its rooms – the Beach Villas at the Datai. OK it’s not a chain, but it is just s few miles away.

    • That is subjective, in my experience all of them have good hotels and unremarkable hotels. Generally I find the St. Regis service to be aloof and snobbish. Mandarin Oriental has its service highs and lows. Overall the Four Seasons hotels I’ve stayed at have been the best despite one terrible experience for a milestone birthday celebration.

    • St Regis is a joke, in general. Doha, see our old review, is a disaster. I only ever loved Istanbul. Ritz Carlton is definitely picking up but still has too many hotels from the days when Marriott just stuck the name on anything vaguely five star.

      Mandarin suffers from portfolio churn. I was very fond of Chiang Mail before it went. London is a mess, albeit more the fault of the building. The new Lake Como one looks cool. They are only 20% the size of FS though.

      Park Hyatt is underrated in my view and does have a good footprint.

      Peninsula is good but there are so few of them. Tokyo is excellent.

      • Spurs Debs says:

        I’m toying between Conrad Hilton or MO for one night in Tokyo ? We are going to stay at the Station hotel for last night I’m just dithering on first night.

        • For one night, unless you have a guaranteed late check out, is it worth it? The time taken in switching could be better spent sightseeing.

    • Alasdair says:

      Aman aren’t bad either for a ‘chain’

    • I realize this isn’t the BBC and there’s no promise of editorial independence / factual accuracy, but agree this is a bit of a sweeping statement. There are some truly wonderful Four Seasons properties, but looking across the whole chain I’m not sure I wouldn’t even put them in the top 5 ‘best’ hotel chains and to state they are ‘generally regarded’ as the best chain in the world is a bit of a jump!

      Entertaining review by Rhys, but I feel it’s sadly a broader issue with HfP lately that it could often use some editing / toning down of strong opinions (which usually have little evidence to back them up). Still enjoying most of the articles but often come away feeling there are too many unsubstantiated statements trying to sell whatever it is you’re covering a bit too strongly lately.

      • In that case I’m most interested to know which 5 chains, with as many properties as the 4S, are better in your opinion.

      • I doubt there is anyone in the business who would say that FS is not the best chain of those with 25+ properties.

        Aman is not a fair comparison and Pen / MO are too small (and also have their fair share of misses).

        Feel free to show me anywhere in Europe on the sea better than FS Athens or FS Hotel du Cap (Sveti Stefan potentially …)

        Quick read at Gallivanters Guide (the hotel newsletter for the super rich) annual awards will confirm this.

        • Not sure where the whole 25 hotels minimum point came from – the claim made above which I contested is that they are the best hotel chain in the world, full stop.

          I realise there’s an element of personal opinion at play here, but given the challenge – Aman has 34 properties, Oberoi has 35 properties, MO has 32, all I would rate more highly. Without the new 25 property criteria I would also add O&O, Bulgari and Peninsula.

          Have not been to either FS Athens or FS Hotel du Cap to comment, but I’m not sure how pertinent that really is to the argument as I acknowledge there are some fabulous FS properties, it doesn’t mean the chain overall is the best, though.

          • I dug out the 2018 Gallivanters Guide awards issue, which is effectively voted on by those wealthy enough to pay £170 per year for an 8-page monthly magazine.

            Best Hotel Group Worldwide:
            Four Seasons 21%
            Aman 15.5%

            No-one else hits the (unstated) cut-off.

        • barnaby100 says:

          They are patchy. They dumped some worn out hotels a couple of year ago but they still have too many dodgy ones especially in the USA- Dallas and Houston for example.

      • I question as to the unbiased and factually correct nature of the BBC

  3. David Thompson says:

    I am amazed that you failed to note
    that the view from the beach is of a concrete factory!

    The Datai is still the only true luxury hotel on Langkawi (which incidentally has 104 islands in total and not 99).

    • Only on one side! Rob did mention this to me before I went but frankly, it didn’t really disturb my stay so didn’t seem worth mentioning…

    • The Andaman next door to the Datai is my pick

    • Datai is totally different though, effectively being built in the jungle on a massive slope. For a lot of people it simply isn’t a runner.

      • Spurs Debs says:

        Now that’s good info for me with mobility problems I would struggle with hotel on a slope.

  4. Your reference to eco-friendly toiletries made me laugh. C’mon you’ve just taken a first class flight to Malaysia on its own emitting probably more Co2 than the average UK household’s annual footprint!!!

    • Carbon can be offset, plastic is forever!

      • Touché

      • Crafty says:

        I hope this is a joke, considering we are almost certainly now beyond the tipping point for catastrophic warming…

        Surprised nobody’s mentioned RC Langkawi in these comments yet. Best hotel I’ve ever stayed at.

        • It’s only been open 18 months, not sure many have been.

        • Crafty my point is if you were concerned about global warming you wouldn’t be flying to langkawi for a holiday!!!

        • Not that the whole climate thing is a joke, but our hobby is hardly eco-friendly to begin with…

      • Plenty of single use plastic in that room. Not sure FS is going to win awards here but they do have some token eco soap.

  5. Shoestring says:

    So is there a stunning butterfly in that pic?

    • There is no stunning butterfly in that particular picture because I didn’t have my phone on my when it blessed me with its presence!

    • Alex M says:

      Enjoy stunning legs, Harry! 😉

      • illuminatus says:

        I think posting ‘leg photos’ should be made a criminal offence

  6. “It was excellent to see Four Seasons Langkawi provide eco-friendly branded shower gel, shampoo and conditioner dispensers rather than single-use products. They came in a range of scents. Other bathroom amenities included hand soap and lotion, mini cotton bud kits, aloe vera aftersun gel, exfoliating bath salts, an exfoliating pad and a bar of soap.”

    Not so with the tiny plastic water bottles. Why not have a water dispenser?

  7. AndyGWP says:

    Anyone want to share a Grab referral code? (if they do them!)

  8. barnaby100 says:

    So unless it has changed a lot that isn’t the usual room welcome at this FS. Did they know that you were from Head for Points?

    • This is the usual welcome for anyone celebrating special occasions – anniversaries, birthdays etc etc.

  9. barnaby100 says:

    No shots of the concrete works or the plastic floating in the sea (or the people out clearing the plastic from the beach). It isn’t a proper beach but artificial and so very sterile, no wildlife etc.

    • Didn’t see plastic in the sea. The beach was very clean, and beaches everywhere are almost always cleaned, so that’s not particularly unique to FS Langkawi! I remember seeing tractors trawl Miami Beach when I went to watch the sunrise.

      • We stayed at the boutique hotel Casa Del Mar in 2010, which was excellent but the only things were saw in the sea was a plethora of jelly fish.

Please click here to read our data protection policy before submitting your comment.