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“Fab place for a honeymoon”

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Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa, Langkawi
Ranked #2 of 16 Hotels in Pantai Cenang
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 21, 2010

We booked the Pelangi Beach Resort for the relaxing by the pool/sea part of our honeymoon after the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur having read some great reviews here of it. We loved it I have to say with its old world colonial, architectural charm to the amazingly friendly staff from the moment you walk in you feel wrapped in a warm, cosy feeling of relaxed pleasure. Some have commented here that it is stuck in a time warp and even one of the bar staff that has been there for 13 years said he hasn't seen many changes in that time and this is part of its charm and ability to let you relax without wifi laptops buzzing in the foyer.

We stayed some 11 night in total and were upgraded due to being in honeymoon to a superior lake view room which was great but I agree that the algae on the lake looks pretty thick and stagnant at times. Champagne and exotic fruit were in our room one day as a surprise. The 'fogging' team come round the outside of the dark, wooden Malay style houses you are in every Tuesday basically to kill off any insect nests and mossies that are hanging around. However despite this and using repellents and a plug-in one we still got bitten loads, Going to use tiger balm next time!

The breakfast is great a wonderful series of chefs cook up omlettes and other treats right for you to your specification and there is a fruit carving demonstration as well which is out of this world.

The 2 swimming pools are huge and both have waterfalls and fake boulders embedded around their outsides and are very clean and plenty of room for everyone to have a good dip. Sun loungers are nearly plentiful but sun shades a luxury if you can get one. You can alternatively use a lounger under on the amazing 'juniper' bushes that shade you by the sea all day. The resort is so big that each day we sat in a different location looking out to sea and had a different experience each day depending on where we sat.

Watersports abound on the beach with plenty of companies offering jet ski, para sailing, banana boat and the like. The beach however is about 3/5ths broken sea shell and not that easy to walk on in bare foot. Bit of a shame as the piccies of the beach make it look like pure white soft sand. Also the water wasn't clear at all and each night washes up quite a bit of rubbish but we saw several teams from the Pelangi out there in the heat of the day cleaning it all up - nice one!

The restaurants aren't the cheapest in town but the flavours and taste and service is just great but then we found that all over Malaysia. Putumayo down the street offers steamed rice at RM2 each which has to be about the cheapest food you could find apart from the night markets (Kuah town has a great food one each Saturday night) and has a great noodles and architecture to sit in. Jimmy's in the padi fields opposite the resort is just heavenly with the frogs croaking, the wonderful staff and exquisite food - get down there within your first few days to experience it. The lady owner even gave us a lift back to the Pelangi when a torrential rain storm came in.

It is the ambience and the staff that make the Pelangi though - we got to know one of the porters called Ismail Bakar and made our trip so special but he tippified the Malaysian welcome which is genuine and not fake. We tried to continue this vibe when arriving back in London but it was just met with a blank expression really.

There is a spa on site but is very expensive, better to go for the Massage Kiosk on the beach which is half the price and very romantic to get a couples massage together with the sounds of the waves and a light breeze. You could also get some amazing massages in the main high street for half as much again. We did see that the Casa del Mar next door is a boutique hotel with 34 rooms and has ipod docks in each room and hammocks on the balconies and looked very well designed with great lighting and maybe we'll try that next time if we go back but we are very happy we stayed at the Pelangi and have great honeymoon memories to look back on.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank tufty08WestSussex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 18, 2010

We stayed here 2 nights and stay at Bayview Hotel at Kuah town for 3 nights.
The room, swimming pools and service quite nice (my kids love the swimming pool so much) check in and check out very fast. walk distance about 10 minutes from resort, one seafood restaurant, Orchird Ria is strongly recommand, the food is so delicious,
next time come to Langkawi, sure must go Orchid Ria.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled with family
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Thank ling37singapore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2010

This hotel is lovely. It is in lush gardens and is just so nice and relaxing to stay at.

Langkawi is lovely also, hired a car for a week and went exploring. People lovely and nothing hidden behind the smile. A pretty close to unique feature when travelling etc.... They really were happy to see you, serve you, talk to you. no pressure to sell you anything. Just genuine and fun and full of smiles.

Book hotel Room only, dont worry there is everything you want to eat and drink just outside the hotel and on a road to the right as you come out of the main gate. Main food, Malay, Chinese and Southern Indian. Never had a bad meal and you can eat at a never ending row of restaurants, cafes etc... for as little as £5 for a lunch for 2 to £35 for a very very good meal. Do not worry about food if you are room only. If you want to have a lunch at hotel the noodle bar is fab and very reasonable.

Only one Negative

The Sea - all the brochures talk about chrystal clear water and a natural marine park. Firstly you are held in by nets at the hotel beach because of jelly fish and the water is cloudy and it is not good for swimming at all. No fish and no snorkelling.

Trip to the Marine park was a good day out and the fish were lovely and plentiful. But you have to go on a mini bus for 30 mins, herded into catamarran for a further 60 mins + then you are there. It appears that the coral is dead and there are no pretty coral reef. I think the fish have been imported. It is a good day out. But we love snorkelling and swimming and we could not do this at our hotel at all.

All in all the Hotel was lovely and traditional, albeit in need of a littel tlc but it is older and it has character. This is not a problem . We really enjoyed it there and would recommend for a lovely romantic break. We had our 15th Wedding A dinner on the beach and it was fab. Food good and Service Excellent. You can not go far wrong going to both Langkawi and this Hotel Enjoy

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Roesmetravel E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2010

We already visited this beautiful resort 6 times (2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009). This year we are going to visit Pelangi again in October. We always stay for 3 weeks. The rooms are clean, the employees are very friendly and helpful and hospitable. The food in the restaurants is excellence. They are two swimmingpools and a very big and clean beach. This is the resort to be in Langkawi. There are a lot of shops and restaurants just outside the resort.
Geert and Manja Kragt.
The Netherlands

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank mkragt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 16, 2010

I stayed at the Meritus Pelangi on 13 to 16 June 2010 with my wife and a three year old child. I have been to Langkawi several times before; the last one was about ten years ago.

I had mixed feelings on my stay here. However, I will be as objective on my review here. I knew this resort from my many visits to Langkawi before. I have booked this hotel without checking out the reviews in Tripadvisor and was a bit apprehensive when I saw some bad reviews here. I told my wife that there were some reviews where the guest rooms have bats and she looked at me with disbelief. I tried to cancel the booking only to see the fine prints that there I will incur a 100% of the hotel room charges on top of a possible penalty. I told my wife, if she is not happy with the room, we could use the internet at the hotel to book for another resort, though it would cost me about 2400 Malaysian Ringgit (about 1000 Singapore Dollars).

Check-in was prompt and after entering the beach-front room, I was disappointed that there was no king-sized bed as I have indicated in my internet request. A change of room followed soon but now there was no bath-tub as my child was looking forward to one. However, we had our room on the second floor that overlooks the ocean. At night, we could hear the waves pounding on the shoreline.

The room was cosy with high ceilings, though some of the table tops were stained. However, everything was working fine. I would appreciate if there was a flat screen. The verandah opened up to the ocean with wooden table and chairs. However, there was hardly any privacy at the verandah has no high walls.

This resort, I believe, is one of the first few 5-star resorts on the island as it opened up as a destination for tourists by then Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr Mohathir Mohamed, after its long dubious curse by the legendary Mahsuri. (You can read this ancient curse in the small brown brochure at the guest room). The resort's architectural style is distinctively Malay, with the use of tilted ceiling and heavy meranti and teak wood. Such style would definitely favours those who wants to re-live the old granduer of the 1970s, where I believe this resort owed its style and prestige.

However, I find the resort is trapped in its old charm. Much of the fittings in the room have not changed much to keep up with the times. Though there are still in good condition and function well, it might not suit the taste of the young who are more into style and refinements. The bed is heavenly with soft pillows but the style is a bit out-dated with large bronze-like rolls at the sides.

Another facet of the resort that I have mixed feelings on is the local inhabitants that make the resort their home too. Here I mean, the small insects and mammals like house lizards, spiders, moths, birds, bats and domesticated cats. The resort makes no apologies for this intrusion, which I feel is correct as they too have the right to inhabit the island, even the resort. The resort actually encourages its guests to be accommodative. The resort has a brochure that informs the guests of such animals and insects. Honestly they are all harmless and are more afraid of you that you are afraid of them. The domesticated cats may also visit you and sit quietly next to you when you are eating your dinner, hoping for some food from you. I am a cat-lover and I welcome such encounter, however, I dare say, some Europeans guests might be flabbergasted by what they see. On one occasion, one European couple told me that I should refrain my child from playing in a small grass field as they saw one of the cat drops its pooh on it. I smile and gracefully acknowledge their concern, even though I had a pet cat at home where I clean it’s pooh and urine daily.

I tried the Spice Market restaurant for my dinner on two occasions and find the food a little bit pricey. However, I remind myself that this is a resort and its food should be about three to four times the price of the same food outside. To me, paying a bit more for food is not an issue. It will be an issue if the food is not prepared well. I guess the food passed the strictest test as my wife has no complain on it.

I did not try the massages and spa treatments at the Teratai Spa or watch any of the ‘live’ World Cup 2010 football matches from South Africa at one of the restaurant. However, there was an updates of all the scores from the matches.

The resort has nice pools, with a baby pool for my child. However, there is no infinity pool. Probably when the resort was constructed, the idea of an infinity pool has not been discovered yet.

I also find the cable car ride to be a welcome addition to the attractions in Langkawi. The views from the suspension bridge are thankfully awesome and worth the entrance fees after the one-hour of waiting to board the cable car. During the excursion to Payar Island, I find that that many of the corals are bleached and the number of fishes to be much less that what I remember from my last snorkel about ten years ago.

On the last note, I find the resort has its plus points. I would have rated this resort highly a couple of years ago, when my salary was much lower and my taste was not so refine yet. As I grew older, with little time for recreation and family-time, I would have preferred a more sophisticated resort with some trappings of luxury. One very plus point of this resort is its laid-back atmosphere in its old grandeur of yesteryears. I like the slow walk to my room, passing by coconut trees and the morning sound of waves. The ocean is just a stone throw away, a small luxury to me as I hardly find such proximity to the beach in a prime beach-front resort that I have been to recently.

My check-out was as prompt as my check-in, with the buggy arriving within minutes. Probably, the resort was not as packed as some of the unhappy guests have commented on in the past reviews in this website.

Thank you, Meritus Pelangi.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled with family
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3  Thank raihan472
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 14, 2010

My family and I stayed 3 nights here in June 2010. It is a very nice place, and the staff is friendly, but as others have noted it really needs a refurbishment.
The resort is sprawling and the rooms in the style of traditional kampong houses. They are of wooden construction, and range from 4 to 8 rooms per unit. The room that I had (triple sharing) was spacious. Three beds could fit in comfortably. A side door led to a big walk in wardrobe and the toilet & shower which was small in comparison to the room size. There is an in-room safe & minifridge. But here was the first disappointment – I had specified in my booking form for a double & a single (there were 3 of us to a room). The double came in the form of 2 single beds pushed together!
Another disappointment was the air-conditioning. During the first night it developed a leak which we discovered the next morning. Maintenance came down & fixed it, but we later discovered the remote control didn’t work anymore. This was fixed the next day, when it was found that the sensor on the air-con was spoilt.
Selection of TV channels was also disappointing. Just an Arabic channel, 2 local channels, BBC, NHK, Nat Geo, ESPN, Disney channel and two or three channels of Vision Four, which was showing assorted English programmes. And there was no change of programmes – everyday it seemed that the same programmes would be airing at the same time. Although there was an Astro (Malaysian satellite TV) guide in the room, apparently there is no Astro available.
Housekeeping was always late in the day by the time it reached our room. Don’t know the cause of this but it didn’t really matter much anyway. A nice touch was that the room was set up with three of everything including towels, robes, slippers, complimentary water.
In general service was done with a smile, staff always friendly and asking how we were etc. Calls to maintenance were answered quickly as was a request to housekeeping for extra pillows.
The hotel comes with 2 pools and loungers were always easy to get. Pools are clean (I’ve seen swimming pools with very murky water in Malaysia). The beach is nearby with good sand, watersports and so on. The hotel has a leisure centre with a steam room, sauna (different genders go at different times), gym looks decent but hardly used when I had a look! There are also a couple of squash courts, table tennis and some board games.
Near our room were an animal farm (just poultry), archery, tennis courts and mini golf. Sounds fine on paper, but doesn’t look well implemented. The mini golf wasn’t a proper course, just mats laid out on the grass and some obstacles constructed along the way.
There are 2 lakes which looked decidedly overgrown with algae to me!
Breakfast buffet at the Spice Market Restaurant was alright but there were no changes to the menu the 3 breakfasts I ate there.
To sum up, as this resort is a premium label I expected more. I can’t fault the people, who were almost all friendly but the facilities need upgrading and improvement. Would I stay here again? Probably not. There are other hotels and resorts in the same price range I can stay at. Did I enjoy my stay here? Despite the disappointments, yes, I did enjoy my stay. But it was the people that made my holiday.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled with family
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Thank Wanderer09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2010

We stayed 6 Nights in Langkawi and could easierly have stayed more. The hotel grounds were beautiful to walk through and had a great atmosphere. Our room overlooked one of the two lakes in the centre of of the resort, a beautiful view. The room was really nice, very spacious and comfortable and clean. The only issue we had was that the ceiling fan wasnt working, but the air con did the trick.

The pools are beautiful, there are two of them both with swim up bar s and plenty of deck chairs and places to relax. You could spend the whole holiday just relaxing by the pool or over looking the ocean. Happy hour was between 4 and 7pm where nearly every drink was half price, was great relaxing in the sunshine by the pool with a cocktail or beer in hand

We hired a car from the hotel one day,more expensive then what you can get along the street, but it is fully covered by insurance and was a nice new comfy car. Highly recommend driving around the island to see the other attractions the isalnd has to offer.

We ate some meals at the resort Spice Market which were really nice and the menu had a great variety of asian and western foods. But we also ate at other places outside the resort. Recommend the Red Tomato Cafe and the Beach Garden Resort Restaurant as other places to eat outside the hotel.

The staff at the hotel and restaurant very friendly and helpful. Highly recommend this resort

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank RelaxationTravelBug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa, Langkawi

Address: Pantai Cenang, Langkawi 07000, Malaysia
Phone Number:
Location: Malaysia > Kedah > Langkawi District > Langkawi > Pantai Cenang
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 16 Hotels in Pantai Cenang
Price Range: $178 - $616 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa, Langkawi 5*
Number of rooms: 355
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Designed in the style of a traditional Malay village, Meritus Pelangi's 355 guestrooms and suites are housed in wooden chalets that are spread across 35 acres of lush landscaped gardens along a stretch of white sandy shores. Be ushered into a world of ethnic charm and tropical tranquility at this award-winning resort! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort And Spa, Langkawi
Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa, Langkawi Hotel Pantai Cenang
Meritus Pelangi Beach Langkawi
Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort Langkawi
Pelangi Beach Resort Langkawi
Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa, Langkawi Pantai Cenang

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