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“Quirky if you don't care about service or value”

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Temple Tree at Bon Ton
Ranked #6 of 157 Langkawi B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Malaysia
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Quirky if you don't care about service or value”
Reviewed July 4, 2013

We stayed at Temple Tree because it came highly recommended and, while it is a nice place with very pretty heritage rooms, it is certainly not at any level somewhere we would recommend. The service is less than average (surly and inattentive) and the place is badly kept up with pretty poor overall standards. The value for money is appalling - while we have no problem paying for good quality, paying RM40+ for a rocket and feta salad is ridiculous - and more expensive than any other five star hotel on the island. We own an island resort in malaysia ourselves and know exactly what the costs are so this level of pricing is frankly laughable. The staff are disinterested at best - at lunch the restaurant is filled with volunteers from the animal sanctuary next door (which while a lovely idea is less than ideal in practice) eating free food, and it is hard for paying guests to attract attention. At night they offer a free cocktail and snack between 7 and 8 but show up at 7.45 and the surly lady behind the bar will ignore you till 8.05 and then tell you you're too late. This is a lovely idea and the resort itself is beautiful but sadly, the execution leaves very much to be desired.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank lauriebug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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502 reviews from our community

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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
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kuala lumpur
Level 6 Contributor
242 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 196 helpful votes
Reviewed June 27, 2013

Have been to almost all the 4-5 star hotels on the island but this was a great change. Rating it excellent for the overall experience. Quirky and quaint, it has its style and charm. The owner must be commended for conserving Malaysian heritage and for giving shelter to all those cats and dogs.

Not wanting to repeat too much of previous reviews, just adding a few comments / observations here :

- Being near the airport, you would hear the occasional plane landing or taking off but it didn't really bother us.

- There are television sets and dvd players in the rooms but no local or cable tv stations. Dvds may be borrowed at the reception. (We managed to live without the tv or dvds while we were there though.) The internet at the reception was down too when we were there.

- Even if you don't make it to Bon Ton next door for the complimentary evening cocktails, it is still worth a visit to see the traditional architecture, its grounds and lovely shop - the cats are there too.

- The owner has other heritage properties in Georgetown, Penang such as China House (F&B) and similar-styled accommodation along Armenian Street known as the "Straits Collection".

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Malaysiantraveller68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
82 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed June 27, 2013

This is a place you got to if you would like to experience how most Msians of yesteryear lived (some still do so in similar houses found on property). The staff are accomodating and friendly and you are welcomed with a nice cold drink upon arrival. Some of the rooms are much hotter than others due to the material and galvanized roofing. All rooms I believe are equipped with an AC and ceiling fan, however, with some rooms, no matter how low the AC temp is, it fails to cool the room down sufficiently.
As for amenities offered, there is a small bar of lemongrass soap, a small bottle of body lotion and a complimentary balm made in Langkawi from sea cucumbers (gamat). If you are one who is afraid of insects/bugs, then the establishment does provide a natural insect repellent and 2 electric mosquito repellents which you are advised to plug in esp.at night.
In terms of facilities, there are 3 swimming pools and it a great way to cool off. It is not far from the famed Pantai Cenang and should only cost between RM8-10 each way. It is close to the airport and taxi fare is around RM18-20 but further from the ferry terminal (RM25). Taxi fares are set so don't let the driver gouge you!
Personally, being an ex-Msian who is now living overseas, this was an interesting experience for me and would recommend that you try it once.

Room Tip: Hire a car if planning on staying a few days as it is cheaper to get around (RM 60+) for a small car...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Alexis539
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Helsinki, Finland
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed June 26, 2013

I won't repeat all the info on the colonial houses located on Temple Tree, but focus on the important bits of info for mothers :-)
My family (4 and 6 year old boys) stayed at Plantation no5, it is a very large apartment with good beds for kids and parents. Two bathrooms ease the morning and evening hassle. The breakfast is brought to the room's fridge night before and it's plentiful. We could easily give a slice of bread for kids as a evening snack and still had more than enough for breakfast. My family loved the concept - no hurrying to noisy and crowded breakfast buffet. There's no TV channels is rooms, DVD-player was but we didn't manage to get it work (and actually enjoyed the no tv - no noice days). The animals are there but as we have no allergies they were just an added bonus and contributed even more to the relaxed feeling.
Temple Tree offers tasty lunch and supper choice of meals to be eaten on the veranda; our boys found several choices to be tasty. And if a more gourmet choices are requested Bon Ton is 200 meters away. The meals there are exquisite. The supermarket along the road to Penang Beach has a wide variety of all needed with the exception of fruits.
The swimming pool has a short section with about 500mm of water, good for shorter kids. Our's had swimming aids and used the whole of the pool. Toys are available for kids.
Laundry service was also available and the clothes were very clean and ironed to the perfection. The pricing was reasonable and the clothes were returned following day.
I would recommend Temple Tree for families wanting a short break (3-4 night optimal) from all the hassle. Back up plenty of sunscreen and swimming gear and let the wonderful people at Temple Tree take care of the rest.

Room Tip: These are old houses, the walls are thin. If you know, you or your kids can't sleep if neighbors...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank SueEllen_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed June 24, 2013

i spent a lovely long weekend here early june 2013. others have written plenty about the cats and dogs; i'd rather rave about the food and bev. this place is so much better than most, it makes the rest of southeast asia look like wannabees. in my experience, even the very good resorts in this part of the world achieve only about 80% of what they strive for -- the bon ton and temple tree folks go all the way. i found pantai cenang itself a bit underwhelming, but honestly with the bon ton/temple tree compound's stylish rooms, selection of pools, killer sunsets over the lagoon and -- have to say it again -- outstanding F&B, who needs a mediocre beach? ps: much has also been written about the mosquito issue. i'm usually a bug magnet, but had zero problems during my stay.

Room Tip: i stayed in "plantation 5" but doubt there is really a bad room in the place.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank jlabarthe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level 6 Contributor
115 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed June 23, 2013

The resort consists of a collection of restored heritage homes, transplanted from different parts of the country. It's a lovely place, with nice open space and rustic charm. And it's location just outside Pantai Cenang means you're close to the bars and beach, yet far enough to enjoy a bit of isolation. The pool (actually, there are two lap pools in there) looked dodgy at first glance as it wasn't the typical clear blue water one might expect, but the water's nice.

I'm all for the heritage feel and closeness to nature, so this place is just great for me. Some people might find it lacking in posh trimmings, or that the night noises from the bugs outside might be a bit much, or all the birdsong in the morning may irritate the latesleeper. I slept with the air-conditioning off, so it was quite humid, but if you mind that, all you need to do is turn on the AC. Wifi's spotty, as is the 3G signal, which one might consider a little push to help the holiday-er disconnect - instead, I found it frustrating since I was trying to Instagram my love for the place.

And the cats! Cats are the true owners of this place, parking themselves wherever they like. I think all or most of them were rescues - there's actually animal shelter place just outside. Apparently every villa had two cats lording over it. Fair warning to anyone who detests/fears/loathes/have allergies to cats. Absolutely do not stay here if you're such a person (nor should you stay in the neighbouring main resort, Bon Ton). I for one absolutely loved having them around. They can be quite affectionate, while pretending to be aloof, as cats do.

All in all, it was a lovely getaway. Loved the uniqueness and warm character of the place, which was a welcome change from the usual hotel (even the many-starred ones).

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank chiselstone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed June 15, 2013

The main draw of the place is the historic buildings. These were painstakingly transported and reassembled here from different parts of Malaysia so there are various styles to choose from.
However I can think of reasons why some people would not like it. If you are expecting modern perfection, it will not be for you. As with all old buildings, the place has a raw and rustic quality. The floorboards are not completely sealed and the doors and windows may be a little hard to lock. Also, if you dislike cats, and are squeamish about lizards and the occasional bug, then don't go there. There are also mosquitoes there (they must be all around Langkawi anyway) and there isn't a panoramic sea view or a huge swimming pool. One thing they could probably improve on is the breakfast. The staff would leave cakes, bread, milk, yoghurt and fruit in the fridge the evening before but we got tired of eating those.
Despite all these, my children and I loved it because this is so different from the run-of-the-mill luxury hotel. My daughter and I relished the experience of staying in a living museum and we call the building our grand kampung house. The interior of each house is decorated with its own unique style. For young kids, I will recommend Penang House because it is bright and airy. There are also two arched staircase railings that the kids can slide on, and rest on while counting lizards on the porch at night. We also stayed at Chinese Hall which was dark and atmospheric, but the children tripped on the thresholds dividing the rooms several times.
All in all, staying at Temple Tree was definitely a highlight of our trip to Langkawi and we will not hesitate to recommend to anyone who loves history and architecture.

Room Tip: Penang 1 is bright and airy and good for children.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Ang L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Temple Tree at Bon Ton

Property: Temple Tree at Bon Ton
Address: Jalan Pantai Cenang, Langkawi 07000, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Kedah > Langkawi District > Langkawi
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 157 B&Bs / Inns in Langkawi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Temple Tree at Bon Ton 4*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Though classified as B&B/Inn, Temple Tree is actually more of a boutique resort of many cultures, an eclectic mix of heritage chic...Antique buildings of Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasian origin, make up this 8 villa hotel, with 8 rooms & 6 suites now open. Each building has, over its 70-110 year old history, created its own heart and soul. Hopefully we have given due respect to each of these family homes with the restoration process. These houses are now the continuing the story of people who live in them, our guests. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Temple Tree At Bon Ton Hotel Langkawi

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