Usually Pak Guards are the grumpy sort but not this guard on duty at the Ritz-Carlton Langkawi entrance. The guard greeted us cheerily in his relaxing polo-tee as he asked me what business I have with the resort. I told him that I would like to check-in and he started giving instructions to the Grab driver on how to get to the Welcome Lounge as if he cannot think of anything more cheery to do in his day. That was the tone of my entire trip, the staff and even the guests there will more than happily strike up a conversation with you at any part of the resort!
The Welcome Lounge
“This way please, our Ladies and Gentlemen will be with you shortly to check you in,” said a cheerful staff as he led me to a seating area that overlooks the entire resort. Ladies and Gentlemen? It took me a few ticks on the watch to finally realise that that is what the staff calls each other at the resort. The wait was rather long before the Gentlemen to check me in arrive, and I think it’s all a plan, because this had allowed me plenty of time to explore the balcony and snap about 50 pictures of the view there (I don’t do selfies). The sea in the distance and the resort around me, add to that I have the soft calming tunes that you usually hear in a yoga class blaring out of hidden speakers, and the only thought in my mind is just how Zen it is here.
We talk about rest and relaxation, we talk about needing a break from the stressful work days. The creators of the resort has locked down on those wants and needs and designed a totally Zen-like feel to cater to all our requirements to forget our lives and just live in the now. Everything was designed to immediately bring the word Zen to mind as you enjoy the facilities and activities that they have prepared for guests. There is even a free yoga session set in the dense rainforest of the resort! Map in hand (because the resort was huge) and armed with basic knowledge of where the beach is and where food can be found, I was driven to my room.
The Rainforest Deluxe is like a modern upscale apartment but with the exception of the view. The view as you enter the room is breathtaking and it is further highlighted by the motion sensor blinds that would retract as you open the door. The deluxe king size bed directly faces the view of the sea while furniture litter around the room to give you that same view everywhere you choose to sit. There is a full kitchenette complete with a wine fridge and a bathroom that features a large free standing tub. If there is anything to complain about the room is that the tub is so large that a short person like me gets sunk to the bottom and could barely see above the edge of the tub!
For the ultimate Zen experience, the resort has even prepared books for my perusal to encourage me to get off my phone!
Food at the resort is provided at four locations, the Beach Grill, Horizon, Langkawi Kitchen that serves breakfast only, and Hai Yan. My recommended itinerary led me to lunch at the Beach Grill where I have full view of the family pool and the beautiful beach. Jump of the buggy and the first thing you are offered is a wet scented towel and the use of sun-block. Yes, the beach offers sun-block for your skin just in case you’ve forgotten to bring yours, a small but nice gesture that warmed my heart.
But I digress, the food at the Beach Grill was not only delicious the portion was also big enough to feed two. The food is nothing to the view that you will never grow tired of taking it in. Take a bite and stare at the world as fisher men returned from sea, you’ll finish your huge dish in say, an hour or two!
Surprising there is quite a number of activities that Ritz-Carlton has to offer that are complimentary to your room. You can choose to go paddle-boarding and kayaking at anytime of the day, or if you’re brave enough you can jump on the Catamaran sail and let the instructor whisk you away into the horizon. There are also mixology classes where you can concoct your own alcohol, and tennis equipments that you can rent. Activities that would incur costs include kayaking in mangroves and a wildlife photography tour.
The more adventurous can choose to hike the rainforest after dark as well. I chose to go paddle-boarding and the Ladies and Gentlemen at the paddle boarding counter offered me a bottle of water while I wait as they set things up. It’s like the Ritz-Carlton hasn’t thought of anything that they even have a nice beach bag that you can bring around and wouldn’t collect any sand back to the room with you.
After cooling off at the adult only infinity pool, I sat back at the bar next door to enjoy the beautiful Langkawi sunset. The weather had been perfect since I arrived at the resort at 8am, and it was still a bright sunny day as the sun set in the horizon. Guests were littered around the pool as some enjoyed the view from inside the pool while some lounged on seats as they enjoyed the local inspired cocktails. There was no mistaking the smile of contentment on their faces, and the cheery and ready to chat approach was more than enough to tell me that Ritz-Carlton has done their job at bringing out the relaxing side of people.
Unfortunately for me, my short trip here wasn’t enough for me to experience everything at the resort, it would have taken me another day or two to explore what the resort has on offer in the spa menu. And I haven’t started listing down the many activities that requires a 24 hour advanced booking! My suggestion is that perhaps turning this into a weekday getaway would be a better choice to get the full experience and enjoy all the activities that are listed.
Image credit: Ritz-Carlton Malaysia