We love interspersing a little luxury throughout our long journey around the world. So when we found ourselves near the resort-laden island of Langkawi around our anniversary and were invited as guests of the resort, we jumped on the opportunity to discover what The Danna Langkawi was all about.
We were astonished from the moment we arrived when instead of queuing at the front desk to check-in, we sat in their grand lobby with high ceilings and were provided a cold towel and refreshing welcome drink. Impressive. Then before I could take my next sip of the revitalizing juice concoction, a masseuse came over to begin to do some work on our shoulders! Wow. This is luxury. This is The Danna Experience.
For anyone considering a luxury resort in or around Malaysia, we wanted to review what makes The Danna Langkawi so amazing. So here are our Top 10 Reasons The Danna Langkawi is a perfect luxury getaway in Malaysia!
1) The 3-Tiered Infinity Pool at The Danna Langkawi
The infinity pool at The Danna Langkawi is absolutely massive. In fact, we were told that it’s the largest infinity pool on the island. It’s so big that even on a busy day, you feel that you’re only one of only a few people enjoying a dip.
There are shallow waters to wade in and deeper sections to have a swim. We liked splashing around towards the edge of the pool to relax and enjoy the beach views!
The pool is also accented by jacuzzis with jets that are most welcomed as you unwind in this water-filled oasis. No hot water is needed in the toasty Malaysian sun, so the tepid water pumps through jets!
The poolside loungers were comfy if you fancy staying dry. Plop on down and one of the friendly pool staff will help you adjust the umbrella to your liking. Hang out long enough and you may be treated to complementary bottled water, small snacks, and even samples from the ice cream shop! Or if you really want to step the relax mode up a notch, flag down a server for an ice-cold adult beverage!
Its the perfect place to relax away a lazy sunny day!
2) The Restaurants and Food
The cuisine throughout The Danna Experience is all simply amazing.
Lets start with the complimentary breakfast spread. It’s enormous and has everything you could ever desire, from cereals & fruits to cooked-to-order local noodle dishes and everything in between. The daily changing made-to-order egg dishes were a nice touch, but for us the standouts at breakfast were the loads of delicate pastries!
The casual Strait’s & Co restaurant is the perfect place for lunch and offers everything from western staples like club sandwiches and burgers to local cuisine such as Penang char kway teow and seafood fried rice (ranging 32-55 MYR).
For a truly indulgent lunch, try the chef’s luncheon, which takes place in the Danna’s courtyard. Here you’ll learn exactly how some of the local specialties are whipped up. The chef may even ask you to give them a hand behind the grill to add a little fun. Ultimately you’ll be rewarded for your efforts with a most grand feast composed of four signature local dishes.
One dish we learned to cook was the chicken percik and the Danna’s rendition of it remains as one of our favorite local dishes during our month and a half in Malaysia! We’re trying to put the pieces together to figure out what magic Chef Dzahir did to the chicken to make it so succulent and delicious. Whether you indulge in the chef’s lunch or not, we’d highly recommend the chicken percik (also available for dinner, 60 MYR) as a must try!
Speaking of dinner, The Planters is where it’s at! A pianist provides a soft backdrop to the elegant colonial interior. The Planters also has a varied menu with Asian choices (30-70 MYR), Indian mains (30-60 MYR), decadent options from the grill (70-250 MYR), or simply opt for some pizza or pasta (40-55 MYR).
We were spoiled with the most excellent chateaubriand we’ve ever tasted and can highly recommend this steak, imported from Australia. In addition to the chateaubriand and chicken percek we can also highly recommend one of the tasting platters or trios, allowing you to try multiple local specialties in one dish.
For dessert, why not opt for the tableside flambé? The Planters is the only restaurant in Langkawi where you can find this sophisticated French tradition! In true style, the maître d’ expertly prepares the dessert putting on a tableside show.
3) The Rooms at The Danna Langkawi
Our Viceroy Room which overlooked the pool and beach was one of the nicest hotel rooms we’ve had the pleasure of staying in. The thick and fluffy comforters adorning the four-poster King sized beds truly make you feel like royalty.
The enormous bathrooms feature a rainfall shower. Or you can instead opt for the separate bath. There are both! And there’s even a sliding door to the tub, just in case you may want to watch TV as you or gaze out into at the ocean while relaxing.
I appreciated the minibar while Heather was happy with the oversized closet. The 42’ TV was nice but who needs that when you have an awesome balcony to look over? This was our favorite aspect of the room, as you could watch the world go by. The rooms were heavenly.
It was always difficult to make it past the inviting pool without stopping for a dip. But if you can muster up the will power to go a few steps further, you’re treated to a beautiful private white sand beach. Enclosed by a marina on one end and mountains at the other, both of which help to provide spectacular sunrises and sunsets, respectively.
Lounge chairs await you plopping right down in them. If you’ve had enough sun pick your option for shade: canopy tenting, beach umbrella, or go natural and choose a lounger right under one of the large trees which keeps those rays away.
Or take a different approach altogether and carelessly swing back and forth in a hammock and soak in the gentle sound of the incoming tide. Then let the bar staff know you’re thirsty and they’ll happily deliver you some drinks so you need not even move. Paradise.
5) The Danna Experience
Lots of things at The Danna Langkawi are big! There’s the enormous pool, the expansive high ceilings throughout the restaurants, the massive bathrooms, and the oversized balconies. Yet it’s actually the little things we found that really set The Danna Langkawi apart.
It was the welcome note and cookies we found in our room. It was the pleasant surprise of water and snacks while lounging poolside. It was the in-room espresso maker that helped get us out of that comfy bed each morning. It was the staff not only remembering your name but your agenda and drink choices. It was getting honey at breakfast from an actual honeycomb instead of squeezing it out of a bottle. It was the smile found in my cappuccino. It was both the welcome massage and the parting gift of chocolates we were given.
This is The Danna Experience. And it truly is an “experience.” It’s these little things and the extreme attention to detail that really makes The Danna Langkawi shine.
6) The Staff
One thing that really stands out to us about The Danna Langkawi is the incredible staff. Throughout our extensive travels we’ve stayed in our fair share of luxury properties and 5-star cruises yet we’ve never experienced such a well-trained, professional, and friendly staff as at The Danna Langkawi.
The service here is top notch. It was always professional and friendly. Their memory was amazing, as they not only remembered our names but even our drink choices! When we’d bump into staff members throughout the day, they would remember our agenda and ask us how certain events went. They were all so personable it often felt like we were having conversations with friends rather than staff members. We love this and it makes us feel very comfortable.
When we’re not traveling, Heather is a personnel recruiter and has recruited for resorts herself, so she knows too well the struggles involved in finding such excellent talent. And throughout our stay, she commented several times that whoever is doing the recruiting (and training) is doing a great job because they were all truly top notch.
The impeccable service that always came with a genuine smile really sets The Danna Langkawi apart.
7) The Bars and Drinks
The drinks at the Danna Langkawi definitely deserve some praise. I mean, your day begins with complimentary free flow sparkling wine!
Then there’s the varied list of cocktails ranging from the familiar to their own concoctions, each expertly crafted by well-trained bartenders. We tried over a half dozen drinks while there. For our palate, favorites were the gin-based Tall & Long and the classically tangy Singapore Sling.
There are two main bars to choose from: the Poolside Café bar and the Verandah.
The poolside cafe was pleasant to grab a drink at the bar and enjoy in a lounger by the pool. Yet it was also a fun and casual place to grab a stool and have a chat with fellow guests around happy hour time, which just happens to coincide with sunset. And what better way to enjoy The Danna Langkawi sunset than with drink in hand!
The Verandah bar was a far classier affair. It seemed like the perfect place to sip on a martini. Complimentary snack mix provided a nice touch that complimented the drinks’ bite. We found the live music here to be a perfect way to enjoy a nightcap before sinking in to the comfy beds that awaited us.
We really appreciated that the drink prices were fairly reasonable for a luxury resort and not gauged to ridiculous price levels as is typical among resorts of this caliber. And their excellent two-for-one happy hour from 5:00-7:00 really sweetens the deal, providing a perfect excuse for some pre-dinner drinks.
8) The Location
At first we weren’t quite sure of the location because on a map, it seems a bit removed from everything else at Cenang Beach. We now understand, that’s part of what makes The Danna Langkawi’s location so perfect.
The Danna Langkawi is located on the southwest side of the island, right next to the marina. It’s a more serene beach than the Cenang area and lies within some of Langkawi’s highest mountains in its backdrop. In fact, its less than 5 minutes away from the SkyCab, Langkawi’s famous cable car that soars up the mountainside, which is a must-do activity when visiting Langkawi.
There are some little shops right outside the front doors, should you need anything. There are also some restaurants nearby but with all the reasonably priced and consistently delicious food at The Danna’s restaurants, we didn’t find much need to venture out.
And while the resort faces mostly towards the South, it still makes for some absolutely incredible sunsets from either the pool, beach, or your room balcony.
It’s still only about a 20-minute taxi ride to Cenang if you wanted to do some shopping and only about 15 minutes to the airport, where there’s many low cost domestic flights quickly connecting you to Penang and Kuala Lumpur.
Most of all, we liked the serenity of The Danna Langkawi’s location. You have the beach virtually all to yourself instead of sharing it with hundreds of others in Cenang. We also appreciated not being hassled to go on paragliding trips and the noise of motorboats towing tubers.
At the Danna, its only you and the sea!
9) The Danna Spa
The Danna Spa provides the ultimate way to unwind with a huge selection of treatments ranging from reflexology, hot stone massage, body scrubs, beauty treatments, specialty baths, and dozens more. Your session is performed in a tranquil private massage room complete with soothing background.
With so much to choose from we opted with the Traditional Malay Urut, being in Malaysia. The Malay Urut treatment is described as
Experience deep pressure massage using special traditional Malay techniques which is passed down over generations with the application of our signature blended oils. It is designed to help enhance your physical well being.”
You’re given your choice of four oils before the rubbing commences. The masseuses are expertly trained in a number of techniques and Heather thoroughly enjoyed the unique Malay Urut oil massage. It’s all topped off with a cup of your choice of four herbal teas. Talk about relaxation!
10) The Value
While a bit pricey on the surface, we found The Danna Langkawi to be of excellent value!
The included amazing champagne breakfast alone helps justify the cost. Complimentary in-room high-speed wifi is increasingly a rarity at high end resorts. Yet its standard at The Danna Langkawi and speeds were blazing fast with a router directly in our room.
With many dinner options starting around 30 ringgit (~$8), it is truly affordable luxury in such a swanky environment. And being on duty-free Langkawi, drink prices were less than most places on the mainland and basically cut in half during the buy-one-get-one happy hour offered at both bars.
But best of all, room prices at the Danna seemed to be the most reasonable among the true five-star resorts on the island. Rooms at the Danna start at the low $200’s. Tip: Be sure to check their promotion page to see what discounts or deals may apply.
While we’re sure the Four Seasons Langkawi is absolutely lovely, we could never recommend a stay there with their rooms starting in the $500’s on a good day (typically even higher). When we come back to Langkawi, for our ringgit, we’ll enjoy our luxury at The Danna at more than half the cost!
If You Go to The Danna Langkawi:
- For more information about The Danna Langkawi, visit their website.
- Fly into Kuala Lumpur where you can quickly and easily connect to Langkawi.
- Order the chicken percek, the chateaubriand, or a tasting platter.
- Don’t miss happy hour at the pool cafe bar or the sunset!
- Be sure to take a ride up the mountain on the nearby SkyCab.
- Don’t just take our recommendation. Look at the overwhelming stellar Danna Langkawi reviews on tripadvisor.
- Enjoy this amazing luxury experience!
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