Backed by lush jungles and overlooking the pristine Datai Bay of Langkawi, Malaysia, The Andaman is a modern family resort, yet perfect for couples seeking privacy.
Sitting in the back seat of our private car and perusing pictures of our soon to be new home for the next few days, The Andaman, it was impossible not to be distracted by the passing scenery. Lush tropical jungle lined the streets and as far as you could see was dense greenery broken up by the bright blue sky. We had already been in Langkawi for a few days, but I still looked around like a star struck little girl. Seemingly remote, the roads are pretty bare and except for the large hotel and resort signs every now and then, it feels like you’re in the middle of nowhere…and it’s beautiful.
After our twenty minute drive from the harbor, our driver pulled up to our hotel, which can only be described as a lavish tree house, hidden amongst the trees. You would never know that a 178 room hotel was hiding below. The property itself is completely open and meant to blend in with the surrounding trees and jungle life. We were greeted by a spectacular grand lobby and the design was a bit “treehouse chic.” Dark wood floors and accents filled the area with pops of green from the trees peaking through. Sounds of exotic birds and other animals echoed throughout .
The hotel is situated on the shores of Datai Bay and because it’s a bay, it’s rather enclosed and private. You won’t find party boats cruising by and except for the occasional local fishermen slowly gliding by, the water is extremely calm. This would be our home for the next few days and we were more than ready .
Modern Accommodations on the Beach
In keeping with the impressive natural beauty of the surrounding area, our suite seemed to blend in perfectly. We had large floor to ceiling windows that looked out to the pool with even further views of trees and the calm water of Datai Bay. Every so often monkeys would scoot past our terrace looking for an open door and sometimes they would just sit and hang out with us. Directly in front of our suite was a small walkway that led directly to the bay - talk about water front access!
At 86 square meters, our suite was spacious and the open floor plan and simple decor, gave it a modern yet comfortable feeling. We had a large living room with a powder room and almost full size bar right off the bedroom. The bedroom itself was backed against a giant bathroom, with 2 person bathtub, his and her vanity and great amenities including bath salts. Of course the bed itself was extremely comfortable and waking up to the soft sounds of the waves was heaven. Our days were spent rotating between the pool, the lounge chairs, eating and then repeating.
Yes the hotel itself is a big resort type property but the design is expansive and our suite was tucked away in a little corner of the bay. With our small infinity pool, our perfect beach access and monkeys as neighbors, it felt like we were all alone, despite the family friendly resort we were staying in. Of course room options range from sea views, pool access and family suites, yet if you’re going to spend the money and time to come to this side of the world, you might as well spend a little extra and indulge in some privacy with beach front monkey access.
Dinning at The Andaman
Langkawi in general isn’t a very touristic place and The Andaman is literally built into the jungle. So don’t expect to walk outside and find street food, or a variety of restaurants to try. Instead the resort does an incredible job of offering very creative, delicious and fun menu options. With 4 restaurants & 2 bars to to choose from, it’s safe to say you can have whatever you're craving.
For breakfast we would keep things simple and healthy and head to, The Restaurant, overlooking the main pool. Although I might have stolen a few bites of fried noodles and hash browns, our breakfast pretty much consisted of fresh fruit, yogurt with granola and toast. For lunch we would usually order room service (you try leaving a room that has a private pool) or head to the beach front casual cafe, Tepian Laut, for salads and sandwiches.
During the day we kept it simple and saved ourselves for the delicious restaurants serving things like roasted chicken, local dishes or fresh sushi from their Japanese Restaurant. One night we ventured to Jala where we picked out fresh fish, that was caught in the morning and feasted on delectable king prawns, white asparagus and pumpkin puree. The ambiance was hip, totally barefoot luxury (literally you have to take off your shoes) and we got to feel the sand in between our toes as we wined and dined.
Another more “romantic” dining option is to organize a beach front BBQ at sunset. Okay maybe it's a bit cheesy, but there is something to be said about being all alone on the waters edge, watching the sun set, drinking champagne, listening to the waves, all while be served a delicious meal. I think next time we’ll skip the dinner and instead have drinks on the beach and then head to one of the other restaurants on the property.
Relax at an Award Winning Spa
Perched on the hills of the property is the award-winning V Integrated Spa, a well regarded spa facility nestled amongst the trees of the forest. Chris and I decided to partake in a traditional Malay massage in the privacy of our own treatment room. With views of the rainforest and the bay it was pretty easy to fall into a deep relaxation slumber, as all our knots were effortlessly worked out.
Our massage was a deep tissue massage that focused on cleansing the body and riding it of toxins. The massage was heavenly, the smells were invigorating and the views made the entire experience worthwhile! How often can you say, you had a massage in the middle of a jungle?
Explore the Coral Nursery
I wasn’t sure what to expect when we were told that we would be snorkeling around The Andaman’s in house Coral Nursery, but it ended up being one of the most fascinating experiences we did. Hesitant, mostly because a guided snorkel tour around a small pool didn't seem that exciting, but I have never been so wrong! Once you go underwater the amount of life and beauty is so expansive, it felt like we were snorkeling some of the greatest reefs. One by one we each floated above the nursery, while one of the Marine Biologists working on site, guided us around the water. She pointed out the various species of corals and we were able to get close to the fish and other marine life that call the corals home.
You see, the 2004 Tsunami resulted in the destruction of thousands of coral-colonies on the Andaman Reef, which lines Datai Bay. Even today the destruction is still being felt as dead and detached corals move around with the waves, causing damage to new and existing coral. So The Andaman implemented a one of a kind program to help. A few times a month guests and volunteers are invited to clear away the dead corals which are then re-cycled to help with the growth of new corals in the Coral Nursery. Guests can also swim around the Nursery like we did and learn about this fascinating eco-system. Definitely make a reservation for the tour, as it’s probably the most informative and interesting hour you’ll spend.
Early Morning Jungle Walks
You won’t find any shopping malls nearby, or large touristy establishments to entertain you. Instead you get to indulge in the surrounding area of the beauty that is Langkawi and take advantage of the perks that come with staying at The Andaman. When we weren’t lounging in our private pool or sipping cocktails to live music overlooking the jungle, we did manage to get out a few times and learn a bit about the surrounding area.
If you’re an early riser and can get out of bed before 9:00 AM, then you definitely need to take advantage of the morning jungle walk. Lead by an expert guide, you'll be taken on trails throughout the resort, as they point out all the flora and fauna and show you how to spot the local wildlife. We saw flying lemurs, flying squirrels, monkeys galore and a variety of birds hidden right in front of us. If anything, it’s a bit of exercise and you get to see the surrounding area in a whole new light….and if you’re lucky you just might see a few animals!
For more information about The Andaman make sure to visit their website: