Looking for a luxury escape in Malaysia for your next holiday? Here are a list of luxurious beach resorts and rainforest resorts in Malaysia that are worth a visit.
Kota Kinabalu - Gaya Island Resort
Set within a marine park, Gaya Island Resort is a luxury resort in Malaysia located in an area where human activities have already been restricted. Gaya Island Resort has always aspired to embrace a proactive role in embarking on conservation programmes to preserve the beauty of its natural environment, to better protect the local wildlife and raise awareness for sustainable seafood choices.
Gaya Island Resort has several eco-friendly initiatives in place that range from conservation through education to rescue programmes such as turtle rescue, coral reef restoration, conservation through education. What we love about Gaya Island Resort is its commitment to ecologically-sustainable practises to minimise carbon footprints within the resort hence, it is a walking resort in Malaysia with minimal motorised vehicles used.
There are several tailored experiences for guests to choose from at Gaya Island Resort but what stands out the most for us in the “7 Wonders of Gaya” which includes the sightseeing of Proboscis Monkeys, Red Giant Flying Squirrels, Twilight Fireflies, Elephant Foot Yam, Mangrove Kayak, Bearded Pigs and Nocturnal Wonder.
Promising an experience that honours the healing traditions of the region, each Spa Village at Gaya Island Resort delivers an individual and authentic encounter combining the therapeutic properties of natural local ingredients and the healing practices of the area.
How to get there: Flight to Kota Kinabalu International Airport and a 10-minute speedboat journey from Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal to the resort
Johor - One&Only Desaru Coast
Nestled on the south-eastern shoreline of Malaysia, between lush rainforests and the South China Sea, One&Only Desaru Coast is a spectacular tropical retreat that embodies the essence of her location, known as the ‘village of palms’. Spread across 128 acres of unspoilt wild flora and flanked by a secluded coastline of pristine golden sands, the first One&Only resort in Asia will begin welcoming guests on 23 March 2020.
Ambara embraces the ethos of field-to-fork, serving guests cuisine from Mediterranean coasts prepared with produce from local farmers and the Chef’s garden. Hoshi is One&Only Desaru’s signature Japanese restaurant, offering a contemporary take on the art of tempura with an open bar allowing guests to watch the master chefs prepared dishes right in front of their eyes.
At Essential, guests can enjoy the diverse and vibrant flavours of Malaysia explored in the local specialities they offer while taking in the acoustics of the surrounding rainforest and ocean in the open-air.
The Ember Beach Club is all set to be the region’s one-stop destination for dining, live music and watersports. Conceptualised by a celebrity chef in Singapore, The Ember Beach Club, will serve guests an expertly prepared selection of prime meats and freshly caught seafood grilled over an open fire.
Young ones can also dive into a range of fun-filled and action-packed activities at KidsOnly; they can learn about the local ecosystem at the EcoLab, or discover the aquatic life at The Fisherman Hut and even get creative at the Art Studio.
This best part is that this resort in Malaysia is easily accessible from Singapore for a quick beach vacation.
How to get there: 2.5-hour luxury car ride from Singapore's Changi Airport to the resort or a flight to Senai International Airport, Johor Bahru
Perak - Pangkor Laut Resort
Located on a privately owned island in Malaysia, Pangkor Laut Resort is nestled between the lush greenery of the rainforest and the pristine waters of the ocean. Pangkor Laut Resort boasts the serenity and beauty of the rainforest, where guests can indulge and relax at this luxury resort in Malaysia.
Guests can choose to dine in any of the seven restaurants at Pangkor Laut Resort. At Pangkor Laut Resort, these masters of the culinary arts are well versed in the creation of both Western and Asian cuisine. They do all they can to ensure that the path from nature to their tables is as short and as carefully managed as possible.
Fisherman's Cove features a unique symphony of seafood themed dishes crafted by Chef Wai, the pioneer of this locally and internationally acclaimed restaurant, which focuses on sustainable fishing practices and the freshest ingredients.
Uncle Lim’s Kitchen at the Pangkor Laut Resort specialises in Nyonya and Hockchew Chinese-style home cooking. Chapman's Bar sits on a white sandy beach with views of the bay and serves Asian and Western specialities. Relax and unwind on the terrace of the Royal Bay Beach Club, overlooking the infinity pool with views of the sea beyond.
The Spa Village at Pangkor Laut Resort is a unique retreat that extols the healing cultures of the region. Malaysia, with its diverse history of people and cultures, and vast abundance of natural resources, provides the backdrop for health rituals that are amongst the oldest in the world. An extensive range of treatments from China, Japan, India, Thailand, Bali and Malaysia are available at this resort in Malaysia.
How to get there: Flight to Sultan Azlan Shah Airport in Ipoh, proceeded by a 90-minute car ride to Marina Island Pangkor
Kuching - Cove 55
Cove 55 is a private resort and is the perfect luxury escape for vacationers who want a luxury escape and prefer to travel closer to home. Just situated 90 minutes away in Kuching, Malaysia- the beach resort has a spectacular view of the mountains and the crystal clear waters of the South China Sea.
The Kechala is a great place located in Cove 55 to try a fusion of Sarawakian cuisine, prepared with modern techniques. A casual yet sophisticated atmosphere, the Kechala aims to excite your taste buds with the freshest produce, harvested from the Chef’s garden and the surrounding rainforest. Get ready to indulge in a fine dining experience like no other at Cove 55, complete with a seasonal menu that reinvents itself according to the products available.
Take full advantage of the natural beauty of the rainforest surrounding the beach resort, by booking a guided tour to explore the depths of the Sarawakian island. Perhaps a hike to Mount Santubong or search for crocodiles on a boat tour, or even venture out to the nearby national parks and fishing villages. Whichever option you prefer- this beach resort in Malaysia can make it happen.
How to get there: Flight to Kuching International Airport and a 50 min car ride to the resort
Langkawi - The Datai Langkawi
Located in an ancient rainforest rich in wildlife and overlooking the tranquil Datai Bay is rated as one of the Top 10 Beaches in the world, the Datai Langkawi Resort enchants with mesmerising nature, visionary architecture, understated elegance and Malaysian hospitality.
At the Gulai House experience a local authentic amalgamation of Malaysia’s influences consisting of Malay, Chinese and Indian cuisines with a pairing of an exclusive selection of wines. The Beach Club and the Beach Bar consisting of a lounge bar by the beach and a casual-dining restaurant. Here you can enjoy the slices of hand-tossed pizza or the seafood catch of the day. The Beach Bar is a great place to sip on signature cocktails and munch on light snacks while watching the sunset.
There is no shortage of activities to experience at the Datai, for the sports-enthusiasts, play a leisure game of golf at the resort's award-winning facility. Embark on a journey to explore the hidden beauty of Langkawi onboard a selection of bespoke and exclusive cruises. Join bespoke guided tours exploring the flora and fauna thriving at this resort in Malaysia lead by the Resident Naturalist and his team and discover the beauty of the rainforest that surrounds the resort.
Offering uniquely delivered treatments in a natural environment, The Spa at the Datai Langkawi induces a true luxury escape in the form of a sensory journey of overall well-being through relaxation and rejuvenation. The Spa’s signature treatments adopt age-old traditions and philosophies of the Malay culture known as Ramuan. In addition to 5 spa treatment villas offering Ramuan-based treatments, the philosophy of beauty through health is complemented by the international expertise of Bastien Gonzalez and Phyto5.
How to get there: Flight to Langkawi International Airport and a 40-minute drive to the resort