Head back in time and stay in a typical historic home, that has been completely refurbished and well-decorated, on the peaceful island of Langkawi.
When we first pulled up to Temple Tree I was a bit convinced we had come to the wrong place. Everything seemed run down, dogs barked in the distance and everything was quiet, really quiet. Where was my glorious boutique hotel that we were supposed to be staying at?
Somewhat confused, we paid our cab, stepped out and walked up the steps to what appeared as the main house. What I then saw was beautiful. It was like walking into one of those antique concept type stores, where everything is artistic, old and beautiful. Heaps of colourful pillows lined the couch, antique fans stood tall in decoration and a friendly cat started purring at my feet. After a few minutes we were greeted by the manager who greeted us by name and offered us cold drinks to sip on, as we waited for the keys.
You see, Temple Tree is an extraordinary example of creativity, imagination and comfort, all meant to give guests a highly relaxing and private experience. Each house on the property (there are 8) are either Chinese, Malay, Indian or European in origin. Once purchased by the owners of Temple Tree, each home was completely disassembled and transported to this little piece of land in Langkawi to be fully restored to their former glory…yes they actually moved the houses across countries. The result is a beautiful collection of historic homes, full of stories and the glamour of another decade.
I’ve never fallen in love with a hotel, the way I did with Temple Tree in Langkawi. When you stay at Temple Tree, you become part of an experience. You’re immersed into a peaceful and quiet area, where it’s up to you to entertain yourself.
Organized actives are replaced with long walks around the property or just catching up on that book under an umbrella. White table cloth meals are replaced by delicious, well thought outdishes, served under the light of the most magnificent sunsets. Trendy designs and cohesive furniture are replaced by quirky style elements and comfortable lounge areas. Knocks on the door from a concierge team are replaced by the soft purrs of a cat begging to lounge on your balcony. The sounds of loud groups of children or bachelorette parties are replaced by the quiet sway of trees and the cooing of nature. At Temple Tree, everything is in reverse and time just seems to stand still.
Sitting on the balcony, with the breeze blowing through the stained glass windows, casting colorful shadows on the old walls, the cat at my feet playing with my toes and the smell of strong expresso brewing in the pot, is how every morning should start. Waking up to the quietness of nature is a feeling so relaxing, that even the freshness of high thread count sheets can’t compete. This is what you can expect at Temple Tree.
We stayed in the Black and White House and let’s just say our expectations were completely blown away. We had a large house to ourselves complete with three separate sitting areas, two bedrooms, one of which had a wooden tub, a breakfast nook and the most unique bathroom I’ve ever been in. There was something completely rustic and charming about our home for the next week and I loved it!
Get Off the Grid
The modern day perks are there: WiFi, cell service, fantastic restaurants and more, but the feeling when you stay at Temple Tree is that you truly are off the grid. You won’t find many neighbours around, except for a few dogs and plenty of cats. Although there is a main road nearby, I think we only heard one car go by the entire time. There isn’t much to do at the property, except to relax, work on your tan and in our case catch up on life. When we weren’t sitting on our sun deck, we were lazily lounging by the pool planning our next few months of travel.
For the most part, it was just us, plenty of cats, a few other guests and the beautiful sounds of nature. In a sense, it’s a no frills, you’re on your own type of mentality. You won’t have people following you around with cold toilettes to freshen up and a dedicated staff to meet your every whim. Yet even without overly eager concierges, often found in hotels, we felt completely taken care of and loved being left alone.
What to Eat
Although the hotel is close to a nearby town, you won’t want to leave and you don’t have to. Temple Tree has their own restaurant serving delicious Mediterranean cuisine and their sister property Bon Ton is only steps away, where other options await.
Breakfast was left in our refrigerator the night before, which always included an assortment of tropical fruit, homemade bread and perhaps the most amazing pastries we’ve had. When the team found out it was going to be Chris’s birthday, they quickly (and sneakily) whipped up home made chocolate cake and hid it with breakfast.
Usually for lunch we would order take away from the restaurant and just sit by the pool or on our balcony. Our dinners were spent rotating between the restaurant at our hotel and walking the few steps over to Bon Ton. Every meal we had was incredibly fresh, full of flavour and delicious! Happy hour is a must at either property. For a few hours a night make sure to take advantage of the buy one get one free cocktails. The lime margaritas were my favorite!
And If You Like Cats...
The owners of Bon Ton and Temple Tree have also created a very special animal sanctuary on the island that happens to be right next to the hotels. The cats are free to roam, so don’t be surprised if a cat jumps on your lap or starts napping beside you at the pool.
If you’re allergic to cats, I would recommend bringing your allergy medication or perhaps staying somewhere else. There are many cats wandering around and they aren’t shy.
For more information about Temple Tree make sure to visit their website: