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Temple Tree at Bon Ton
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Reviewed June 11, 2013

All the good reviews pretty much sum up Temple Tree to a tea - if you're bored with 5* resorts and resort prices and 'everything in one location' living then try Temple Tree, it's a trip off the beaten track and a journey back in time. I love the old-fashioned, rustic nature of Temple Tree - the owner has done an excellent job of sourcing the old buildings from around Malaysia and bringing them to Langkawi and then furnishing them in a style of a bygone era with just enough modern comforts.

Just be aware the property (like Bon Ton) is very outdoors-sy, with rough paved paths between buildings so disabled access is limited at best and wheelie bags are best carried. There's a lot of short flight steps (owing to many buildings being elevated in original style), some rooms are upper floor and some rooms are upstairs/downstairs. I think all rooms/houses, while having air conditioning, are naturally ventillated (be it window shutters, doors or wall vents) so it's not perfectly dust free and it's not insect proof - expect the odd mosquito - kits are supplied to help keep them at bay (I noticed Bon Ton has nets for the beds). We traveled with a portable UV mozzie trap which did very well over the 4 days, only ever saw 1 mozzie in the room and it was probably one of the victims I emptied out on the last day. Didn't have to use the supplied sprays or repellant devices. These are old, original wooden buildings and while dressed up dust/debris does fall from crevices occasionally - if you're an OC clean freak you might be in for a tough stay, but I'll grant you this, no mold/mildew in the bathrooms like you find in many hotels, probably due to all the natural ventilation (and good housekeeping). And like any house in SE Asia, if you leave something sugary around you're bound to attract tiny ants.

If you like dogs there's several "house dogs" on the two properties and many more in the shelter, most of which will take you for a walk. If you like cats there's even more of them - like Shirley, Alec, Fat-Fat et al all spend their time lazing around the property and mewing at the guests.

Temple Tree has two pools, Bon Ton has one - didn't get to try them. Bon Ton's is probably the best of the three in appearance and up-keep. Temple's are probably safe for a dip on a hot day but while neat in design the locations leave them prone to collecting leaves and ground debris and they're not your typical swimming centre/hotel pool with high flow filtration - this is a bit more Zen. There's also a neat small library of books and DVDs, a pool table in the room next door and WiFi is available throughout the property.

Food at Temple Tree was well prepared and lovely - Bon Ton's restaurant is very highly regarded and Temple Tree is no slouch either. Breakfast, which is popped in your room fridge the afternoon before, is a simple affair of fresh sliced bread, jams, yoghurt, milk, fresh fruit and cakes - toaster, kettle, plunger and tea-pot is provided with ground coffee and loose leaf teas. Guess you have to go for a short walk if you want something cooked.

Staff, in a nutshell, superb. Will go out of their way to ensure you have a pleasant stay on Pulau Langkawi.

Go back again? Most definitely.

Room Tip: The rooms (or in some cases houses) available are all unique with their own layouts of sleeping, bathing and living space so it's just a matter of finding what fits your need. We were a family of three (traveling with a 3yo) in Plantation 1 (two rooms plus a bathroom) and it was great having the space - the deep wooden bathtubs are definitely a plus. Some of the buildings suit groups of 4-5 couples (or 2-3 families) with yesteryear dining rooms and lounges which gives you a more intimate stay vs hotels or resorts.
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Jamie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 9, 2013

We stayed here for four nights and loved it. The staff is friendly. The houses and rooms are original.
The food was great at both the Bon Ton and the temple tree.
The only thing you need to keep in mind is that there are cats everywhere and a dog by the reception. If you are not a big pet lover it is maybe not the place for you.
The breakfast I was first a bit sceptical to but it is a nice solution you get to have it at what ever time you want and in your own pace. And if you want anything added or taken out that will easily be arranged.
Overall we enjoyed our stay and were even a bit sad to be leaving, we could absolutely stayed a few days longer.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jsfn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 3, 2013

My travel companions and I loved the design concept of Temple Tree. Each building were beautifully assembled and decorated with antique ornaments. The environment was very different from that of hotel/resort which we are used to, but the friendly staff provided us the same, if not more, courteous services.
The cats around the property were very chilled and relaxed, and sort of blended in with their surroundings. We even had a couple of them sleeping in our room on the first night. Being a dog person, I was surprised to find myself feeling so at ease in their presence.
Food wise, additional to the daily breakfast that was sent to our room the night before (consisted of slices of toasts, cakes, fresh fruits, yogurts etc.), we also dined at the restaurant in Temple Tree on our first night for its wine pairing 3-course dinner. The food was impressive and reasonably priced. Again, the staffs were extremely friendly and helpful, which really enhanced our experience in Temple Tree.
The only downside I could think of was the occasional bugs attack in the evening due to Temple Tree’s environmental setting and the building’s loose window seals. But it really didn’t affect our stay. Overall, I give Temple Tree a big thumbs-up.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank ShirleyC751
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2013

Temple Tree (TT) is only a short 15 minutes drive from the airport on a scenic road of paddy fields & shore lines. The hotel is not located on the beach but an estate plantation. Pantai Cenang is a short walk away 10 minutes or 5 minutes by car. When we arrived, James (an Australian intern at TT) welcomed us with a smile and re-parked the car to make space for more guests while we were treated to iced cold welcome drinks of pineapple & mint tea at the reception, maned by Clementine (also an intern, from France). Checking in was a breeze and James showed us to our room, carrying our luggage for us (tipping in Malaysia is not expected but it is welcomed without obligations)

Our room is inside a house along with other rooms, meaning that you're not the only one in the house. The other guests share the common room but hardly ever that you will bump into any of them. Our room was upstairs with a separate entrance doorway which you can lock up when you go out. The room is big and spacious, has its own little hall with TV and DVD player, two japanese wooden bath tubs, two separate shower heads, one toilet, mini fridge, toaster, water heater jug and the usual complimentary water bottles, coffee, tea and sugar. Bath salts, body milk lotion, gamat (traditional topical balm made from sea cucumbers) & lemongrass soap is provided. There is also a hairdryer, empty pool basket, towels & two sarongs (its a 3-4 meter traditional malay cloth used to wrap around your body) for your convenience.

We didn't manage to see the turn down service in motion because we were out exploring the island for a bit but came back to a room with the mosquito nets drawn around the bed, mosquito coil plugged in with new mats and breakfast in already in the fridge! Breakfast here is simple and healthy without the usual fried noodles, sausages etc. We got 2 slices of apricot bread, 2 slices of butter cake, 2 plums, 2 green apples, a small pitcher of milk, 2 bottles of orange juice, 2 small jars of jam, 2 yoghurt cups & 2 small butters. The bed is nice and firm with ample pillows. Points to note is that there is only 1 air conditioning unit in this room and with the weather in Langkawi scorching to a 32 celsius which feels like a 40, it could be rather warm; which explains why there are no blankets in the room, only a sheet to cover up just in case it rains and you suddenly feel chilly. To make up with the lack of air-cond, you'll find 3 ceiling fans in the room.

The next day was a nice warm morning, windows opened out for some sunshine and fresh air. A resident cat jumped in through the window and took a twirl around our ankles and dozed off too. Spent the rest of the morning exploring the pool at the back of TT which overlooks the fields. The pool is not an olympic sized one but a rather longish type of pool that will give you at least a good swim from one end to the other. TT staff are very observant as they also bring you some cool water to hydrate yourself while you're out there in the sun. Beach towels are provided at the back, so you can use them yourself. The other resident cats will come around and laze on your deck chair if you don't mind them, they are not a bother just lazing around thats all.

Bon Ton (beside TT) serves pre dinner cocktails for TT guests as well and this is complimentary but unfortunate for us because we didn't manage to be in time to try. Too busy shopping! The drinks are served only from 6-7pm nightly. You may just walk across from TT to Bon Ton about 2-3 mins away. If you are there at TT please try this out. Nevertheless, TT's bartender Mr Dee serves up a wicked iced latte, and the pineapple mint tea welcome drinks are also a hit here with the guests.

Right, so we were off homebound after spending 2 nights at TT and did some last minute exploring the grounds. We found that there is a Chinese alter at the back against a big shady tree within an exclosure. Guessing the reason for TT's name is very much supported by this. A Temple at the Tree.

For pictures of Temple Tree, visit http://www.tripsurvivor.net

Room Tip: All rooms are tastefully decorated.
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank globesurvivor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2013

We did a weekend trip to get away from Singapore. We read about the Temple Tree and thought it would be an interesting alternative to the big brand hotels. The hotel is a collection of antique buildings which have been converted to hotel rooms. The layout of the property is charming, the cats are numerous (and very friendly), and they have an animal rescue for dogs. The food and beverage team was amazing...great food, great service and very friendly.

As noted the rooms have paper thin walls...we had a party crowd staying in our building and the paper thin walls left no privacy for anybody staying in the building. They really need to find a way to put in some sound proofing. The only other downside was that the pool is rather narrow...it's a bit more like a pond then a pool.

Overall it was a good stay, I would certainly consider staying again but only if the sound proofing has been taken care of...

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Tsubasa99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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