Since moving to Singapore, we’ve heard from many people about how fantastic Langkawi, Malaysia is. “Don’t leave South East Asia without visiting Langkawi” we’ve been told over and over. The flight is just over an hour so when deciding our first trip of 2014 it was kind of a no brainer.
We usually save money throughout the year for one luxurious trip, which we take at the beginning of the year to celebrate Joey’s birthday. The rest of the year’s adventures are done on the cheap. After some research, we chose The Danna Resort, a destination that’s quickly becoming famous for it’s service almost more than its ideal location.
Alimed, the Danna’s Guest Experience Planner, personally met us at the airport. He is truly suited to his job. He’s service oriented, personable, and has a great sense of humor, which we always appreciate. Like all the staff at the Danna, Alimed is extremely thorough and accommodating. There was nothing that we asked for that wasn’t provided to us immediately.
The check-in process was taken care of quickly giving us a chance to enjoy the cool towels, fresh fruit drinks, and shoulder massages offered while listening to the history behind the resort. Although we arrived very late, Alimed gave us a complete tour.
We finally made our way to our room and were surprised with an upgrade to a sea view suite. Needless to say we were thrilled. Everything in the room was thought out with luxury in mind. The bedding was of the finest Egyptian cotton and the towels were big enough to wrap an elephant in! I love that; nothing bugs me more than having hand-sized towels to dry off with. We could have literally left everything behind but our clothes, as all toiletries were provided.
After a day of travel we were exhausted and, since the bed was like a dream, we both passed out as soon as our heads hit the pillows (something that is usually very difficult for me to do in a strange and often uncomfortable bed).
For us breakfast is breakfast; eggs, pastries, cereal, the usual. And when it’s included in the price experience tells us that it’s usually a limited selection. What awaited us at the poolside restaurant was simply unbelievable. Anything you can imagine served for breakfast was. From homemade waffles to expertly prepared eggs of every kind to a dozen different jams including a real honeycomb with fresh honey.
After stuffing ourselves silly, we waddled down to the concierge to have them organize some site seeing adventures. We were quite impressed to find out that the Danna not only uses local tour companies but doesn’t tack on additional booking fees. The staff happily calls, free of charge, a taxi service whenever needed. Conveniently, taxis throughout the island are a set price so there is no touting.
Our first adventure was the Langkawi Cable Car. The Cable Car system is a 2.2 km (1.4 mi) high tourist attraction in Langkawi. It’s located at the Oriental Village, a shopping center showcasing Malaysian and Oriental architecture. The 360° views of Langkawi at the peak of the Gunung Machinchang mountain were breathtaking and a must see when visiting the island. We’d definitely recommend going after lunch as wait times in the morning could be over two hours during peak season.
I’m a beach person so we spent the rest of our first full day on the beach. The white powdered sand and blue ocean always makes me feel like I’ve come home…I’m thinking in a former life I was some kind of sea animal!
The second day welcomed us with clear, blue skies and after eating again like Hyena’s we set off for a daylong snorkeling tour. We chose the East Marine Holiday’s tour group, which operates from their own marina located at the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club in Kuah Town. We decided to go for the popular Pulau Payar Marine Park snorkeling tour and were not disappointed. The resort provided towels and water and the tour company included a very nice lunch and fresh fruit.
It’s amazing what a genuine smile and honest interest in others can do for you. We quickly became fast friends with dive master, Badul. The boat was pretty full with both divers and snorkelers but we hardly noticed as, once we settled in at the Marine park, Badul treated us to a private snorkeling tour which included swimming with 5 foot black tip sharks.
For dinner we decided to go to the popular Pantai Cenang area. As with many tropical islands, there is an area for nightlife, shopping, and attractions. Langkawi is no different. There are literally hundreds of places to choose from; whether you want to eat, shop, or drink, Cenang has it all.
While exploring our surroundings we noticed a place called, “Little Mexican Cafe”. It was packed with both locals and tourists so we decided to stop in. Prices were very reasonable and the owners were onsite socializing with their customers, which is always a good indication of service. The food and staff were fantastic so much so that we ate there twice during our stay.
The next day, after again embarrassing ourselves with a massive breakfast, we explored the local street and food markets. The fresh fish and local vegetables and spices were a thrill to experience. The local’s were friendly and were happy to explain the merchandise that was unrecognizable to us.
On our last day we were informed that, after noticing that our outgoing flight was very late, Alimed took it upon himself to organize a hospitality room for our convenience, allowing us to enjoy the resort. All in all, as I mentioned, this was the best experience Joey and I have had so far in South East Asia in terms of service. From the second we landed to the second the taxi drove away from the Danna our experience was like none other. I can’t recommend The Danna Resort enough and most definitely if you decide to make reservations, ask for Alimed by name. We will absolutely return as the staff made us feel like family.