There was something spectacularly Biblical in front of us as we opened the door. This was the absolute top suite at the St Regis Hotel in Langkawi, Malaysia and while it wasn’t ours for the night, it was unoccupied for a couple of hours.
I’d asked for a tour of the property because of all the resorts I’ve stayed at, if one could pass itself off as being 6-star, then the St Regis would be it. We couldn’t imagine anything much fancier than the suite we were in, which only made a peek inside the 504-square metre (yes, 504) Sunset Royal Villa more intriguing.
With four bedrooms and space for seven guests, the enormous entrance door to the Sunset Royal Villa was opened to reveal a see-through glass floor down to the water below. Perched on stilts, the central hallway to this mini-palace very much gives the feeling of walking on water. The Jesus-comparisons probably end there though because with multiple chandeliers, a grand piano, five 49-inch televisions, a formal dining room for 14, a private swimming pool, a full gourmet kitchen and access to a personal butler, this wasn’t exactly humble carpenter territory.
Rather, this was the crown jewel of one of Langkawi’s newest luxury resorts; a property that virtually cries out “exclusive escape for the rich and famous”. Or in our case, a honeymooning couple from New Zealand who felt very, very lucky.
Having taken its first guests in April of 2016, the St Regis Langkawi consists of 85 suites and four over-water villas on stilts. There’s a fairy-tale fantastical vibe about much of the hotel’s design, from the sculptures in the gardens to the main restaurant’s high-backed chairs with their mardi-gras style feathers, to the blue and white striped marquees that give shade in the exclusive pool suites.
Our accommodation was in one of those pool suites (90-square metres) and we did our best to do as little as possible. Or perhaps more accurately, we did our best to not leave (except for pressing matters like tours of the Sunset Royal Villa) because when a suite is this stunning, it’s not the time for day trips. On one of the occasions we did pop out we came back to a prepared bubble bath with a sweet wee note from our butler Shin Yee. Shin Yee, you shouldn’t have! Shin Yee’s note told us she thought we might like a bubble bath and what do you know, she was right.
Shin Yee was also on hand to sort out the lunch we had on our patio and the breakfast we had in our living room. The living room came with beautiful artwork of traditional Malaysian kampung (village) life and with the same standard of opulence as the Sunset Royal Villa, only on a smaller scale. There were lavish overhead lights, a large cream couch and the rich woods of the desk and the TV cabinet. We could lie back and look through the floor-to-ceiling windows to our secluded swimming pool and garden.
Entirely fenced-off, the outdoor areas of the St Regis Pool Suites are really the stuff of honeymoon dreams. To have your own private pool, surrounded by lush, manicured gardens, with a four-poster day bed for two, with a gate that opens out to the beach and a view over some of Langkawi’s 104 islands, we had to keep pinching ourselves.
For our final night Shin Yee organised a golf buggy to drive us to the other side of the resort to one of the property’s six areas for dining, the on-stilts Kaya Puti restaurant. Here we had a sea breeze as we sat over the water with a sliced-open bottle of champagne and watched the sun set into the Andaman Sea.
Then it was inside for fine-dining at a restaurant that already has a reputation as one of the best in Langkawi. Describing itself as “Asian influenced haute cuisine”, the executive chef Gaetan Biesuz and his team treated us like royalty and my mains of the ‘Chicken Rani’ was as delicious as any meal I had on the entire three-week honeymoon.
It’s cliché to say we didn’t want to leave, but it was so true of having to check out of the St Regis. To ease the pain we had a brand new BMW limousine provided by the hotel to take us to the airport, plus access to the airport’s exclusive St Regis lounge. As we departed my wife and I made an agreement to recreate the Langkawi leg of our honeymoon for a special anniversary some years down the line. Maybe wedding anniversary number 10 might have us walking on water, we’ll see.
This article was originally published in Let’s Travel Magazine in 2017 and is reprinted with kind permission. Please see letstravelmag.com for more.