The resort sits on a 300-acre private island of postcard-ready beaches and undulating rainforest, a 15-minute boat ride from the mainland. It’s a hefty 173-mile (280 km) transfer from Kuala Lumpur international airport, but you’re rewarded with all the beauty and peace you’d expect from a private island, plus it’s still close enough to hop over to Pangkor and explore its fish markets and Taoist temples.
Address: Pangkor Laut Island, 32200 Lumut, Perak, Malaysia.
Style & character
The resort stays true to traditional Malay design, with rich timber structures and peaked vernacular roofs, but maintains a contemporary feel with elegant yet simple interiors. Guest villas are for the most part elevated on stilts, either sitting atop the water or set back in the hillside, all facing out onto the Malacca Straits.
Service & facilities
Service at Pangkor Laut stays on the right side of attentive and sincere, with staff always ready to greet guests by name and with a smile. This resort begs to be enjoyed lying prone on a sun lounger beside one of its two pools or palm-fringed beach. However, the excellent range of activities, such as guided forest walks, morning yoga, fishing excursions and chef-led cooking lessons, offer plenty to keep you occupied.
- Fitness centre
- Room service
- Tennis court
The spa is the resort’s finest draw, with serene treatment villas and a meticulously planned menu fusing local and international wellness traditions. Here, it’s about the full experience, not just sampling a single treatment. All therapies begin with the signature Bath House Ritual, combining elements of Japanese, Chinese and Malay bathing.
Services range from traditional styles of massage such as Swedish or Shiatsu, to speciality treatments like the Campur-Campur which blends Thai massage with aromatherapy, as well as facials and skin treatments like herbal scrubs and milk baths. There are also practitioners of Ayurvedic, Chinese and Malay traditional medicine offering services.
Guest villas maintain the classic Malay design complemented with sumptuous soft furnishings. All have high ceilings, space enough for an extra bed for children, and sea-facing balconies with sun loungers. The bathrooms are particularly impressive, featuring wide stone bathtubs, and generous towels and toiletries. The slightly smaller Forest and Garden Villas have TVs, while the sea-top villas have premium touches like espresso machines, and a more secluded feel.
Food & drink
Across the seven restaurants there’s a good mix of western favourites and local specialities on offer. Breakfast is a sprawling affair of classic British, American and Asian dishes, and occasional daily specials; if it’s available, do try the roti canai (flatbread). For a romantic dinner, tables on the deck at fine dining Fisherman’s Cove are some of the best in the house, but the most lively choice is laid back Uncle Lim’s. Its namesake, the octogenarian chef who was the hotel’s first employee when it opened in 1985, still works in the kitchen to prepare his authentic Chinese-Malay-style home-cooking.
Access for guests with disabilities?
This does let the hotel down somewhat. While villas are generally on one level throughout, steep inclines, small sets of steps, and floating paving on footpaths around the resort would be challenging for wheelchair users.
While not family-unfriendly, there’s not much to entertain little ones here. However this is something the management is planning to address, and activities such as kayaking and snorkelling will keep older kids occupied. Note that the Spa Village is out of bounds to under 16s, and the hotel won’t accommodate families with under-12s in the Sea Villas for safety reasons.
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