Before commencing on my review, let me add the disclaimer that my spouse and I stayed at one of the Rainforest Studios. Based on our experience with this particular room type, we are immensely satisfied with Berjaya Langkawi. In short, the Rainforest Studios are worth every single penny!
For the uninitiated, Rainforest Studios are refurbished Deluxe Chalet units. They knocked down the wall separating two Deluxe Chalets and turned it into one mega unit. In the process, they have rebuilt everything, resulting in essentially brand new rooms. These rooms are about 25 feet long by 20 feet wide and are classified as studios. They do not have kitchenettes, although you are probably not expecting this in a leisure resort anyway. Plus, there would be nothing for you to cook with in the immediate area.
The studio decor is pretty impressive, modern yet not garish. Simple and elegant. There is a king size bed, a small sitting area with coffee table and rattan weave sofas. Also worth mentioning is the standard mini safe for your passport and currency. There is a flat screen TV with local channels and a good selection of western ones (National Geographic, CNN, HBO, etc.) For those complaining about the lack of good channels, remember you are there to stay away from TV and spend some time outdoors.
The bathroom is impressive with a large bath tub, glass encased standing shower with two shower heads (a "waterfall" type that rains straight down on you and a normal multimode shower head that pivots). There is a central sink with a large mirror and a toilet bowl in the corner. Nowhere in the bathroom did we even seen a hint of mildew.
The room is cooled by a single air conditioning unit. When we first entered the room, the AC was off and the room was damp. After the AC has been on for a whole day, the room became less humid and the temperature maintained at a very comfortable 62 Fahrenheit. For some reason, our AC did not respond very well to temperature adjustments when powered on and we had to warm the room up by opening the windows. The window design is very well thought out with a mosquito screen that can be opened and shut when necessary. There are two central sliding doors to the balcony.
Overall, my spouse and I had a very comfortable time in the studio, blissfully shielded away from the jungle immediately outside. Speaking of outside, please be aware that you are in a jungle. Expect insects, monkeys and lizards. Anything less would be unnatural.
As the resort is pretty large, to get from the studio to the lobby, we typically would call for the complimentary 24 hour shuttle service. The shuttle responds pretty well to our summons and takes about 5 minutes after calling for them to get to the room. The ride is a mini adventure in itself as the drivers are pretty daring in navigating the narrow hilly resort roads. Walking will take about 5 minutes to get to the lobby.
The resort staff are all very friendly. The busboys and receptionists speak a decent amount of English; they can comprehend our American accents if we spoke slowly enough for them to process it. We got complimentary wine and cake as it was our honeymoon. Room service also left us little gifts and surprises to commemorate the occasion. We were very impressed by the hospitality.
The resort is very clean with a nice beach. Food is expensive, especially the all you can eat buffet Dayang Cafe. The buffet selection is very nice, with a nice mix of local ethnic and international foods. They had a different theme for every day of the night. Of particular note are the seafood BBQ and Malaysian food nights. The food is fresh and overall tasty.
Alcohol is expensive in the resort area. The Rimba Lounge charges about three times more than the nominal amount for alcohol. It is pretty quiet and a nice place to spend a relaxing evening though. If you want cheap alcohol to-go, get it from the Oriental Village (5 minute walk from resort front gate) or from Kuah town.
Anywhere else outside the resort is not really worth spending time in. Kuah was clean and had three shopping areas (Jetty Point, Langkawi Fair, Langkawi Parade). All three malls are pretty crappy when compared to what is offered in Singapore. On the other hand, goods are relatively cheap and duty free. Magnets, for some reason are extremely expensive. Key chains are much cheaper and fancier.
Pantai Cenang is -somewhat- not worth the effort. For some reason, trash is strewn everywhere along the main thoroughfare and the entire place smelled like sewage during daytime. There are lots of smallish stores selling the same wares and you can spend a good couple of hours bargain hunting. This is on the town side, the beach is an entirely different story. The sand is relatively clean, water is nice and lots of touristy things to do.
Once back at the Rainforest Studio in Berjaya though, you will be in a different world. The rainforest all around you with friendly smiling staff catering to your needs. The only thing to worry about will be that 15 Ringgit daily wireless internet fee for a "barely there" network. But who needs that when you are out on vacation to get away from it all?
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Home to Unesco's World GeoPark, discover the island said to have inspired love and miracles. Cocooned within a rainforest sanctuary, Berjaya Langkawi Resort embraces boundless views of emerald waters and green-cushioned mountains. With an array of convention facilities and inspired spa treatments complemented with heartfelt services, moments are filled with a sense of natural connection and harmonious retreat. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Berjaya Langkawi Resort - Malaysia Hotel Langkawi
- Berjaya Langkawi Beach Hotel
- Resort Langkawi
- Berjaya Langkawi Beach Spa Resort