I’m usually quite fussy when it comes to accommodation. When I know something is basic I can take it in my stride, but when I know a property is meant to be super luxurious, it can be hard not to have really high expectations.
This week, I stayed in a resort that far outperformed all my expectations.
The Andaman is a luxury property situated in Datai Bay, which is about a 40-minute drive North-West of Langkawi Airport. The Bay is secluded and surrounded by the 10 million-year-old rainforest and mountains of the Machincang Cambrian Geoforest, a protected part of the island with a rich geological history (so, right up my alley!). From here the resort looks out onto the Andaman Sea.
The rainforest provides constant opportunity to encounter flying lemurs, monkeys, squirrels, bats, geckos and even monitor lizards up close. Look out into the water and you’re almost guaranteed to spot an otter at some point (such a delight!).
But onto the resort. My new-found happy place.
Facilities at The Andaman
Like any luxury resort worth its salt, we walked into an impressive lobby and enjoyed a cool signature drink while checking in. We were given a quick orientation tour on the way to our rooms and our bags were already there waiting for us. Easy peasy.
I can’t go any further without mentioning the beach. It is, after all, why you would stay here and not anywhere else. Beautiful, clean, soft sand (that staff sweep morning and night!) and blue-green water that reflects the surrounding mountains. It’s just perfect. The temperature is just cool enough to refresh you without getting a single goosebump; warm enough to be super relaxing without it being weird (you know what I mean…).
And the sunsets, oh the sunsets.
Enjoy the beach from under a tree, on a swing, a beanbag, or one of the restaurants: the amazing sand-floor seafood restaurant Jala, or the delicious Malay option Tepian Laut. The Restaurant, The Andaman’s breakfast spot and a la carte dinner option, sits in the resort building itself on the ground floor, but is elevated to overlook both the huge free-form pool and the beach itself.
The Andaman’s gym, featured in this CNN list of the best gyms with a view, is the kind of place that makes you want to visit a gym on your holiday. You might already feel like that without the view, but I sure don’t.
The first room is a standard cardio and weights room, but off to the left is a spin studio and a yoga studio. Clean, spacious, modern – the gym is everything you need to keep fit. I didn’t use it much but I wish I had since I ate so much amazing food here.
On the southern end of the beach is The Andaman’s water sports hire hut. Motorised water sports are banned as the resort works really hard to maintain the pristine beach environment (and the coral reef) but Hobie cats, stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, windsurfers and snorkel sets can all be hired. We tried our hand at stand-up paddleboarding (something I’ve wanted to do for ages) and it was so much fun! Let’s just say, I’m not a natural… but my husband is. Typical.
At the very southern end of the resort is the V Botanical wellness spa. A buggy transfer will be arranged when you book as it’s up quite a steep hill. The idea behind the spa is that, since you’re somewhere so relaxing, music and other artificial relaxation isn’t needed. It’s all open-air and you listen to the sound of the waves crashing into shore as you receive your treatment. It’s bliss.
Room types at The Andaman
The lead-in category at The Andaman is the Deluxe Rainforest View room. These rooms are in the South wing right in the jungle. For a lead-in, it’s extremely spacious, with a king or two king singles and a sofa that can be made up into a single bed for a child. A baby cot easily fits in too. It also features french doors that open onto a very small balcony – not one you can sit on but it provides lovely views and fresh air. The room is quite dark, which is done on purpose to give it that rainforest vibe.
On the ground floor of this wing you’ll find the Pool Access rooms. These rooms open out onto a long private pool only for use by guests in these rooms.
On the other side of the resort is the Seaview wing, where we stayed (on the 4th floor). The rooms are the same size as the Deluxe Rainforest rooms, but the balcony has seating. It’s the perfect place to watch the sunset, and if you’re lucky you can watch otters swim in the sea below! This was one of the most beautiful moments for us.
On the ground floor of the North wing, right by the beach, are the Executive Pool Suites.
There are also Jacuzzi Suites, Executive Seaview Suites and a Presidential Suite, however because they were all booked I wasn’t able to pop in and take photos on my site inspection. You can have a little look-see on The Andaman’s website.
All rooms are kitted out with safes, bathrobes, slippers and full amenities in the bathroom. The shampoo, conditioner, body wash and face bars were all delightful to use after a dip in the pool and just added another luxurious touch to the overall stay.
Conservation at The Andaman
So one thing I think is really cool is The Andaman’s efforts to conserve the surrounding environment.
When the Boxing Day tsunami came through in 2004 over 60% of the coral reef in Datai Bay was destroyed. The Andaman hires a team to grow and nurture new corals and transplant them back onto the reef.
You can see this process in action at the Coral Nursery. Daia and her team work tirelessly to teach guests, young and old, about the reef ecosystem. You can actually snorkel in the nursery (without sunscreen, as it can kill the corals) and experience the beauty of the corals, anemone, and various marine fish species that make the reef their home.
Pros and Cons of The Andaman, Langkawi
So, would I stay here again? Yes, in a heartbeat!
The setting is unbeatable. I travelled all over Langkawi and I didn’t find another spot that came close to the beauty of Datai Bay. And I certainly noticed that The Andaman is designed for guests to be able to experience this beauty constantly.
The service is fantastic, and in particular very child-friendly (though it’s still a wonderful option for weddings and honeymoons). Twice my youngest lost his dummy – once he threw it onto the roof four stories below! – and the staff went out of their way to retrieve it for him.
However, it’s not cheap. It’s affordable in terms of value-for-money, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a room going for under AUD$400/night. I’m sure it happens in low-season but certainly not in high season, like when we travelled. I do have to stress though, what you get for that money is phenomenal.
The location in Datai Bay is pretty out of the way. We hired a car and the drive is about 40 minutes from the airport. Parking was free and there’s a valet service. When we were checking out, the staff took our keys, loaded our luggage into the car, pulled it up to the front entrance and stocked it with chilled water bottles for our journey. It’s these little touches that just put the cherry on top of the whole experience.
If you like to be in the thick of all the action though, The Andaman isn’t for you. That said, the nicer resorts in Langkawi are all secluded, because that’s where the nicer beaches are. And Langkawi, as a destination, is best experienced by hiring a car (in my opinion). If you do, you’ll be able to go where you please and enjoy the freedom and the solitude.
So summing up, there’s a couple of things to be mindful of but I really, really recommend The Andaman Langkawi for your next getaway. You definitely won’t regret it.
If you’re interested, you can book The Andaman here. (Affiliate link)
I traveled to Langkawi at my own expense but received an upgrade from The Andaman from a Rainforest Deluxe room to a Seaview Deluxe room. This review is 100% my own opinion and I wouldn’t recommend The Andaman unless I absolutely loved it (which I did!)
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