Location, location, location is a time-worn saying, yet one whose message continues to hold true. Four Seasons offers two incomparable experiences and locations in Malaysia that showcase the best of each destination on their doorsteps.
Named for the Malay words for red-brown eagle, Langkawi is an archipelago of 99 islands in the Andaman Sea near the border with Thailand. The main island of Langkawi, sometimes referred to as the Jewel of Kedah (the state where it resides), justifies its reputation as an island paradise, with lushly forested interiors, clear seas, and stunning beaches. It is a UNESCO Global Geopark (the first in Southeast Asia), rich in nature like the 550-million-year-old rock formations of the Machinchang mountain range and vibrant marine life that includes whale sharks and turtles.
Four Seasons Resort Langkawi unfurls along a 1.8 kilometre remote, private beach on the island’s north coast, just 25 minutes from the international airport. Modelled on a Malay-inspired kampung, or village, the resort has 68 pavilions and 23 villas sprinkled over 48 acres of beachfront gardens of palms and ponds, its design showcasing the Arabic and Asian influences that have shaped Malaysia. The resort flourishes with wild natural beauty and striking outdoor spaces, and guests can experience strolls along the sand, cycle rides among the gardens, rock climbing, and moonlit beach barbeques all onsite. Within the property, guests can luxuriate at the Geo Spa inspired by the island’s healing energy or get an in-room therapy, unwind in accommodations with garden or sea views, savour Malaysian, Asian, and Mediterranean dishes at the restaurants, and try a host of water sports including X-jet blading, Hobie catamaran sailing, and sea kayaks. Those yearning for more of the outdoors can take a short boat ride or car transfer to the Kilim Karst Geoforest Park and wander among the pinnacles, cliffs, and mangroves to spy eagles, macaques, otters, fiddler crabs, and giant hornbills. Boat trips from the resort’s beach also visit Pulau Langgun, where a pristine rainforest encircles a karst lake. Two outstanding golf clubs, including one designed by Ernie Els, are just minutes away.
Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur is set in a 65-story mixed-use complex in the Golden Triangle, the heart of the country’s bustling capital. Options abound for those who wish to seclude themselves within the hotel: The 209 spacious rooms and suites come in sophisticated tones of white and grey while six restaurants and lounges include a bespoke chocolaterie and gelato shop, a rooftop pool deck with grill, and a stylish bar with creative cocktails. The spa and wellness centre features indigenous treatments and gym goers can enjoy striking skyline views during their workouts. The mall below at Four Seasons Place promises the top luxury retail space in the city. But the city begs to be explored and just beyond the hotel’s front door, KL’s prime destinations are close at hand. The glass-sheathed Petronas Towers, modelled on symmetry and symbolism found in Islamic design and one of the world’s truly iconic urban landmarks, and the fine shopping at Suria KLCC, are directly across from the hotel. The 20-hectare KLCC Park offers green spaces and jogging tracks and sits 100 metres south of the property, while the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre and Aquarium are located within the park. Green spaces like the KL Forest Eco Park and Royal Selangor Golf Club are quick taxi rides away, as is the dining and entertainment district of Bukit Bintang. The ease of access to these city highlights is a testimony to Four Seasons’ unrivalled location, three times over.
© This article was first published in June-July 2018 edition of World Travel Magazine.