Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah, stands a verdant, mountainous green surrounded by the azure Andaman Sea. The island is home to the beautiful beaches of Pantai Cenang and Tanjung Rhu and the striking landscape of the Kilim Karst Geopark.
Get active on your Langkawi vacation and go for a horse ride around remote kampongs from Perdana Stables or get a bird’s eye view of the island from the Langkawi Panorama Cable Car before setting out to enjoy the great duty-free bargains available on the island.
The island boasts hotels to suit all budgets and tastes from quirky backpacker favourites to elegant black and white houses, so join Skyscanner as we show you the best places to stay in Langkawi for your idyllic vacation.
Where to stay in Langkawi on a small budget
1. Tubotel Langkawi: best for quirky rooms and buzzing social scenes
If you are in the mood for something a bit different during your Langkawi vacation, then look no further than quirky Tubotel. This funky hotel takes its inspiration from Dasparkhotel in Austria, which has rooms like a Hobbit Hole from Lord of the Rings, but made of huge industrial concrete drain pipes. These circular spaces are minimalist, surprisingly cosy and brightly painted, and many are blessed with awesome sea views. The hotel has an abundance of comfortable cushions, day beds and chairs to laze on and is perfectly located for spectacular sunset views with an icy drink from the Lepak Lounge, which is a sociable spot in the evenings to meet new friends.
Attractions in Langkawi around Tubotel:
The hotel is located on a man-made spit of land a short walk from Pantai Cenang. Borrow one of their rock n’ roll bikes to explore the beach area and join in the beach activities or do a spot of bargain duty-free shopping. If all that sounds a bit much, you can plonk yourself down on a quiet patch of sand and enjoy the relaxed beach scene.
Rooms from: RM88
Address: Kuala Cenang, 07000 Pantai Cenang, Malaysia
Website: Tubotel Langkawi
2. Malibest Resort: best for social beach bums
The Malibest may not be the most luxurious or modern of hotels on the island, but makes up for it with a prime beachside location and sociable atmosphere. There are a variety of rooms to choose from, but we recommend you opt for one of the Tree House rooms, which are accessed via steep stairs and offer perfect sea views. There’s a pool with a couple of slides to keep the kids entertained and a spa to cater for all your holiday pampering needs.
Attractions in Langkawi around the Malibest:
Take a breather from the pounding midday sun by heading for the deliciously cool interior of Underwater World Langkawi, Malaysia’s largest aquarium. It’s divided into three sections – Temperate, Rainforest and Antarctic – and you will be able to see sharks, penguins and the world’s largest river fish, the Amazonian Araipamas. To get even closer to the Andaman Sea marine life, join one of the many snorkelling tours on offer around Pantai Cenang to some of Langkawi’s beautiful offshore islands.
Rooms from: RM131
Address: Pantai Cenang, Mukim Kedawang, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah Darul Aman
Website: Malibest Resort
Where to stay in Langkawi with a mid-range budget
3. Gemalai Village: best for traditional rural tranquility
Gemalai means gentle breeze in Malay and brings to mind the chilled ambience you’ll feel when you stay at this peaceful and intimate resort. Gemalai Village comprises six stilted and beautifully restored traditional kampong huts. You can be sure you won’t get lost among crowds of squawking tourists here, but it’s not deathly quiet too; the hotel is located near fields with plowing buffalo and early rising roosters, so if the sounds of nature make you break out in a cold sweat, then this is not the place for you. Rooms are beautifully open, have breezy balconies and you’ll be brought a delicious Malay breakfast to your hut each morning.
Attractions in Langkawi around Gemalai Village:
Beach bums can take a short stroll to the delights of Pantai Cenang and any budding agricultural scientists will want to make a beeline for the Laman Padi Rice Garden, which has tranquil gardens and guided tours where you can learn all about the history and process of cultivating rice.
Rooms from: RM200
Address: Laman Padi, Jalan Pantai Cenang, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah, Kampung Lubuk Buaya, Malaysia
Website: Gemalai Village
4. Bon Ton Resort: best for romance in atmospheric heritage villas
Those seeking a bit of intimacy and romance on their Langkawi vacation won’t be disappointed with a stay at Bon Ton. The resort has eight different Malay villas that you can choose from, and each one has been reconstructed from authentic parts dating between 80 to 100 years old. The villas are spacious and cool and are set in a 100-year-old coconut grove with access to an outdoor pool. There’s a sunset terrace perfect for sundowner gin and tonics before heading to Bon Ton’s restaurant, Nam, which serves up some of the finest fares on Pantai Cenang.
Attractions in Langkawi around Bon Ton Resort:
Take yourself on a mountain adventure with a trip on the Panorama Langkawi Cable Car which leaves from the 708m peak of Gunung Machinchang. The views from the car down to the beach at Pantai Cenang are awesome and there are numerous other vertigo-inducing activities here such as walking along the Skybridge and watching immersive movies in the Skydome.
Rooms from: RM364
Address: Jalan Pantai Cenang Lot 1047 Langkawi, Pantai Cenang, 07000 Pantai Cenang, Kedah, Malaysia
Website: Bon Ton Resort
5. The Frangipani Resort and Spa: best for affordable pampering
Located on the gorgeous beach of Pantai Tengah, a short stroll from the delights of Pantai Cenang, The Frangipani Resort and Spa offers gorgeous sunset views from its pool and bar area and loads of pampering options including the anti-oxidant sauna and gym and the fitness centre. Grab a hot stone massage or traditional Malay massage at the Frangipani Spa before taking your pick from one of three different pools; salt water, adult and kids’ pool. Check out the hotel’s green credentials by taking a stroll along the Frangipani Eco-walk which highlights more than 300 steps that the hotel has taken to make itself more environmentally sustainable.
Attractions in Langkawi around The Frangipani Resort and Spa:
Pantai Tengah is a much quieter option than Pantai Cenang, so you won’t as find many water sports available here. Hire a boat or kayak for some water frolics or enjoy an island hopping tour which takes you to Pulau Beras Besar and Pregnant Maiden Island. The lake on Pregnant Maiden Island is gorgeous and a dive into its cool depths is one of Langkawi’s most refreshing experiences.
Rooms from: RM400
Address: Jalan Pantai Tengah, Pantai Tengah, 07100 Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
Website: The Frangipani Resort and Spa
6. Vivanta by Taj – Rebak Island: best for romancing on a private island
The Vivanta is located on Rebak Island, a short boat ride from Langkawi, and offers a dash of peace and quiet with a hint of exclusivity ensuring that your Langkawi stay will feel truly special. The resort is the only hotel on Rebak Island, which is blanketed in thick jungle and surrounded by clean beaches and inviting waters. If that doesn’t get your travel glands salivating, you can also stay in a sea view chalet and be treated with beautiful views of the sun rising over the mountains of Langkawi. There’s nowhere better for an evening of sweet romance than the private Moon Deck; surrounded by the sea and under the rising moon, this could be the perfect location to pop the question.
Attractions in Langkawi around the Vivanta by Taj – Rebak Island:
When you come to Vivanta, it’ll be to revel in the exclusivity of your private island resort and to bliss-out on the retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life. The hotel offers a number of activities from nature walks through the island’s thickly forested interior to daily yoga sessions and cooking classes so that by the time you are back on the mainland, you’ll feel rejuvenated and refreshed and ready to take on the world again.
Rooms from: RM400
Address: Kuah Darul Aman, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
Website: Vivanta by Taj – Rebak Island
7. Temple Tree Resort: best for a taste of Malaysia’s beautiful architecture
If you harbour even the remotest of fantasies about having a Colonial-era villa or a Straits Chinese house all to yourself, then Temple Tree is the place for you to live out your dream. The resort consists of 8 reconstructed villas with histories going back between 70 to 110 years. Choose to stay in the Plantation House or the Penang House or enjoy a gin and tonic from the verandah of your Black and White House. The villas come with authentic furniture including wooden bathtubs and antique dressers and wardrobes. There is access to a pool and restaurant serving scrumptious regional cuisine.
Attractions in Langkawi around Temple Tree Resort:
Explore Langkawi’s beautiful interior by hiring a motorbike and heading inland. Reptile fans will want to take a peek at Langkawi Snake Sanctuary and get up close and personal with the many pythons, cobras and other snakes indigenous to Malaysia. A short ride inland from here brings you to Makam Mahsuri, the tomb of a Malay princess wrongfully accused and executed for adultery over 200 years ago. She cursed the island to seven generations of bad luck and bled white blood as she died. Shortly after, the island was invaded by the Siamese and suffered terrible crop failures. In more recent times, the island has prospered and the curse is thought to have lifted. Come and see her tomb, the knife that was used to execute her and explore a traditional Malay house and learn more about the legends and myths of beautiful Langkawi.
Rooms from: RM576
Address: Jalan Pantai Cenang Lot 1047, Pantai Cenang, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
Website: Temple Tree Resort
Luxury resorts to stay in Langkawi
8. Tanjung Rhu Resort: best for romantic beach walks and exploring Kilim Karst Geoforest Park
Sitting on a long, white 2.5km curve of beach with clear blue waters and striking limestone karst formations jutting out of the sea, Tanjung Rhu Resort is undoubtedly in one of the island’s most beautiful locations. Take advantage of the shallow waters and walk over to nearby islands at low tide, or enjoy dusk beach walks to find the best places to watch the superlative sunsets. The resort offers plenty of pampering options with a wide range of spa treatments at Mandara Spa, along with three pools and five restaurants to keep your mind and soul in peak holiday condition.
Langkawi attractions around Tanjung Rhu Resort
The Kilim Karist Geoforest Park is a minute’s walk from the resort and is one of the highlights of a visit to Langkawi. Hop on a boat for a tour of the mangroves, keep your eyes peeled for beautiful birds and be led deep into a bat-infested cave before having lunch at a floating restaurant. We recommend taking a tour organised by Dev’s Adventure Tours, with options for jungle hikes, bird-watching and kayaking around this otherworldly karst landscape.
Rooms from: RM573
Address: Mukim Ayer Hangat, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
Website: Tanjung Rhu Resort
9. The Danna Langkawi: best for families
Heavily influenced by colonial design, the Danna sits next to a beautiful stretch of beach. Each room has a balcony and you can choose to wake up to views of the striking green rainforest or the deep blue of the Andaman Sea. There is a kids’ club with play area and movie screenings for little ones, or parents can avail themselves of the babysitting services and fit in a bit of holiday romance for a few hours. Kids will also enjoy the three-tier infinity pool, with deliciously cool water stretching to the horizon.
Attractions in Langkawi around The Danna Langkawi:
Pantai Kok is one of Langkawi’s more beautiful beaches. Sip a cup of coffee at the Telaga Harbour Park and go for a swim in the sea. The view back inland of the jungle backed bay and limestone outcrops is stunning. For an adventurous afternoon put on your best outdoors shoes and head down the road towards the Oriental Village. Once you reach the car park, turn right into the jungle and follow the path up through the rocky rainforest and you’ll see the magnificent Telaga Tujuh Waterfall. Take a bath in the cool rock pools at the top of the falls and enjoy postcard-perfect views of Langkawi.
Rooms from: RM1,287
Address: The Danna Telaga Harbour Park, Pantai Kok, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
Website: The Danna Langkawi
10. The Datai Langkawi: best for combing high luxury with exploration of pristine rainforest
Located in the rural northwest of Langkawi and surrounded by stunning pockets of virgin rainforest, the Datai provides high levels of luxury in a pristine tropical environment. Choose to stay in a rainforest villa and fall asleep to the energetic chirping of lizards and insects, or sleep in a seafront villa and be lulled by the lapping of waves on the beach. Free morning and evening nature hikes into the rainforest are offered alongside customised treks deep into the forest. Keep your eyes out for colugo, flying lemur and majestic hornbills in the forest canopy above.
Attractions in Langkawi around The Datai Langkawi:
Have an equine day out and see Langkawi from the back of a majestic steed with daily horse rides offered by Perdana Stables. Ride alongside tropical streams and rivers, through rural kampongs or along jungle trails on their beautiful and gentle Argentinian Criollos. For those who are less used to horse riding, the stables offered rides on a lead so you don’t need to worry about your horse taking you off for a run and depositing you gracelessly on your bottom on a stony riverbank.
Rooms from: RM1,200
Address: Jalan Teluk Datai, 7000 Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
Website: The Datai Langkawi