Where to stay in Malaysia
Bunga Raya, Borneo
As sensual and exotic as the hibiscus flower from which it takes its name, Bunga Raya is a hidden paradise just off the coast of Borneo. A secluded retreat that we think is a real hidden gem, this beautiful boutique resort is a cross between jungle-chic and being ‘at one with nature’. With the dense green jungle canopy and divine white beaches, you feel a million miles away from civilization – the reality is you are only 30 minutes from the airport making this an easily accessible island hideaway.
Gaya Island Resort, Borneo
This beautiful luxury resort is set on Pulau Gaya, the largest of a cluster of five idyllic tropical islets that make up the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, just a 15 minute speedboat from Kota Kinabalu. Part of the prestigious YTL Hotels group, Gaya Island Resort is a peaceful place with a truly lovely vibe – the perfect ending to a Borneo jungle safari.
Abai Jungle Lodge, Borneo
The simple but charming Abai Jungle Lodge, located on the banks of the Kinabatangan River is only accessible by a one hour boat journey from Sandakan (a short flight from Kota Kinabalu). The 24 chalets are simple wooden structures with twin beds, ensuite bathrooms and ceiling fans and due to its remote location the power is provided by solar panels and water collected in water tanks. The restaurant is located on the banks of the river offering simple but tasty local produce. The highlight of this lodge is not its accommodation, but more the experience it provides, which is second to none and well worth the journey.
Ranee Boutique Suites, Borneo
Set in a 200-year-old colonial shop-front, turned into 24 boutique suite rooms, The Ranee Boutique Suites is one of the few beautiful Boutique Hotels found in Kuching. You’ll find it in the heart of the city’s Old Town. Ideal for those who love adventure and authenticity by day, but like to come home to something a bit more decadent at night.
Shangri-La Rasa Ria
Just 40 minutes from Kota Kinabalu airport, Shangri La Rasa Ria boasts a stunning location on Pantai Dalit beach. Surrounded by 400 acres of lush tropical vegetation, the resort offers 420 elegantly appointed guestrooms and suites housed in two wings. All feature satellite TV, complimentary Wi-Fi and even a pillow menu.
Sukau Rainforest Lodge, Borneo
Situated on the banks of the Kinabatangan River, Sukau Rainforest Lodge pits you right in the heart of one of the greatest concentrations of wildlife in Borneo. Orangutan, proboscis monkeys, pygmy elephants, crocodiles and silver leaf langurs are just some of the animals you can see here.
Sepilok Nature Resort, Borneo
Sepilok Nature Resort lies next door to the well-known Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre, where semi-wild orangutans roam freely. That makes it ultra-convenient for visiting the centre but the lack of physical barrier between the centre and the resort means it’s very possible you’ll spot orangutans swinging through the trees while you’re lolling in your hammock on your veranda.
Gracefully lounging in the emerald green waters of the South China Sea, the tiny island of Tioman is home to a blissfully unspoilt boutique retreat – the JapaMala. Boutique in every sense of the word – just 13 suites; this tropical hideaway is for those who crave solitude and immersion in their natural environment. If you prefer marble bathrooms and sleek, sophisticated surroundings, this is possibly not for you, however, if you want to wake each morning to the sound of the jungle, swim in the warm waters of the sparkling ocean and kick back and relax without a care in the world, JapaMala is made for you.
Tanjong Jara Resort
Peace, solitude and oodles of charm sum up the beautiful Tanjong Jara Resort, located on the unspoilt East Coast of the Malay Peninsula. Fronted by the sparking emerald waters of the South China Sea and shaded by the soaring palms which rustle gently in the breeze, this beautiful resort has long been a favourite with Turquoise. For us it encapsulates all you would anticipate a beautiful Malay resort to be. Think of it as a natural sanctuary designed around the intricate grandeur and elegance of the long-ago palaces, where the staff, chosen from local villages, display a genuine warmth and that irrepressible and uncontrived gentle Asian charm.
Traders Kuala Lumpur
This contemporary chic hotel (part of the renowned Shangri-La Hotel group) is wonderfully located in the heart of KL, just opposite the Petronas Twin Towers. It boasts stylishly appointed rooms and suites - and its excellent facilities include a rooftop indoor swimming pool, a fully equipped gymnasium and a fabulous Spa where you can relax and be pampered.
Banyan Tree, Kuala Lumpur
Located in the slap-bang in the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s Golden Triangle. With excellent facilities including the highest rooftop bar in Kuala Lumpur, a fully equipped gymnasium and a fabulous Spa where you can relax and be pampered, enjoy your relaxing stay at the Banyan Tree.
Pangkor Laut Resort, Malaysia
Over 2 million years in the making, this renowned resort sits within a landscape of ancient forests where the trees are as old as the land itself, where sweeping bays are deserted and quiet but for the cry of the macaque monkeys. It is home to Emerald Bay, an unspoilt crescent of sand hugged by the tangle of tropical jungle. This beach is regularly voted as one of the best in the world and it is easy to see why. Only a tiny fraction of the island’s 300 acres has been developed and the resort blends effortlessly into its jungle surrounds – Mother Nature herself could have been the architect! The resort is expansive, however, the clever design means it’s not difficult to find your own perfect piece of paradise.
The Datai, Langkawi
For those who crave a destination with a real sense of place when travelling, yet still seek superb luxury and all the creature comforts it entails, The Datai is the place for you. Set on the pristine isle of Langkawi, this renowned resort, regarded as one of the world’s finest hideaway retreats, sets a benchmark for all things jungle-chic! Think ‘back to nature’ where the natural environment and stunning design complement each other perfectly.
The Ritz Carlton, Langkawi
Langkawi is a perfect choice for those who seek a pristine natural jungle setting, powder soft sand and a laid back vibe. Ritz Carlton offers all this with added luxury and, after a recent visit, is top of our list for a relaxing and intimate stay with or without your family.
The E & O, Penang
Penang’s Eastern and Oriental is one of Asia’s truly iconic colonial hotels, along with Raffles in Singapore or the Oriental in Bangkok. Built in 1885, the hotel’s historic guests include Noel Coward, Rudyard Kipling and Somerset Maugham. Smartly dressed doormen greet you on arrival, making you feel as if you have stepped back in time.
Cameron Highlands Resort, Malaysia
Set amidst rolling hills, mountain peaks and verdant jungle, Cameron Highlands Resort rests on a plateau along the main mountain range of Peninsular Malaysia and has excellent views which overlook a neighbouring golf course. Once a traditional English colonial hill retreat, the Resort has maintained much of its natural elegance.
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