Extra Photo Gallery: Room | The Spa | F&B Outlets
The Andaman graces an isolated section on the beach of Teluk Datai to the north of Pulau Langkawi. It is located some 40 minutes from Langkawi International Airport (LGK) or about an hour from Kuah town.
The Andaman is a five-star resort owned by the Landmarks Group and it is operated by General Hotel Management Ltd (GHM) which is headquartered in the United Kingdom. The resort takes on the most exclusive beach location in Pulau Langkawi at the isolated beach of Teluk Datai. Its compound is embellished by the ancient rainforest on the northern foothills of Gunung Mat Chinchang. With much of the rainforest left in its original state, The Andaman prides itself as being a proverbial "nature at your doorstep" kind of resort. Here, one can attempt to spot different wildlife species such as monkeys, lizards, eagles, and hornbills in the surrounding forests.
The resort boasts 186 rooms in total, inclusive of one Malaysian Suite, one Japanese Suite, two Executive Suites, two Executive Seaview Suites and one Presidential Suite. The majority of the rooms is of the Deluxe type, which is the lowest room category in the resort. This room category can be further segregated into 126 Deluxe Rooms, twenty-five Lanai Deluxe Rooms and twenty-eight Seaview Deluxe Rooms, all of which are equally sized at 43m² in built-up space. The assorted suite categories are definitely bigger in sizes; each of the Malaysian, Japanese and Executive Seaview Suites has a built-up space of 86m², while the Presidential Suite measures at 171m².
During my visit, the resort was undergoing block-by-block renovation to freshen up its room offering. To me, the renovation programme was somewhat overdue as the older rooms did look fairly unappealing, what more for such an exclusive resort operating in a competitive leisure and tourism market in Pulau Langkawi.
A new Seaview Deluxe Room was somewhat impressive. Yet, truth be told, the room was slightly below my expectation. Don't get me wrong though. The newly-renovated room has all the expected modern trappings of a five-star resort, but I was expecting a wee bit more wow factor for a deluxe room category that easily goes for more than RM400 a night. Enough of the slight sidetrack. The Seaview Deluxe Room features a king-size bed that looks adequately comfortable and elegant. An L-shaped day bed is neatly positioned at the balcony corner to create a sufficient homely character. I did like the polished timber flooring which screams tropical feel with the room verandah opens out to a great view of Teluk Datai. Overall, the new room arrangement emanates warmth to the Deluxe Seaview Room.
The new Seaview Deluxe Room is also equipped with an LCD screen TV which is fast becoming a common feature in many luxury-class hotels and resorts around the country. The LCD screen TV and the other contemporary frills are definitely envisaged as a fashionable statement that the resort is trying to emulate from its renovation program. One thing that was peculiar enough though: the bathroom was not refurbished together with the bedroom area and was still intact in its original state. I managed to get a clarification from the resort management that the bathroom would be remodeled separately. From my experience, room renovation is normally done at one go, hence such finding was rather baffling. Not to mention the old bathroom was utterly outdated and unappealing, unlike the new and impressive bedroom area.
The lobby area spots a unique structure which is modeled after an altar of a Sultan's Palace. Overall, the lobby and reception areas are of acceptable design arrangement. I reckon the original intention for the altar placement was to inspire the newly incoming guests, yet somehow, I felt that the whole lobby concept was somewhat lacking in certain aspects.
The Andaman hosts a number of good F&B outlets throughout its sprawling compound. At the main lobby, the Lobby Lounge serves quick beverages and snacks with partial views of the rainforest. On the ground floor of the main building, The Restaurant offers mostly Western fares with choices of either indoor and outdoor dining. Next door is The Japanese Restaurant which serves choices of a la cartè food items which are concocted fresh, with additional seating options at teppanyaki counter-top bars and in secluded tatami rooms for a personalised ambience. Smacked close the beach is The Gulai House amidst the lush forest. It serves exquisite traditional Malay village cooking-style menus apart from South Indian fares. The Gulai House is only open for dinner.
Before I continue with the rest of the review, I noted that the resort management seems to prefer to assign generic names for its various facilities. Otherwise, how else could one explain the unoriginal names like "The Restaurant", "The Pool Bar", "The Japanese Restaurant", and "The Spa", which I further elaborate about in a short while.
The Spa complex is majestically perched on top of a hill some distance away from the main building. The distance, not to mention the considerable steep gradient, can be a daunting challenge for those with sore muscles. Hence, it is recommended that you arrive fashionably on a buggy cart which is a complimentary service for the resort guests. The reception centre is built in an open-air terrace overlooking the bay and the gentle ocean breeze of the Andaman Sea acts as a much-welcome preview of what is in store at The Spa. Within the complex are four individual spa villas tiered along the steep hill slopes. Two massage beds are neatly arranged to face the ocean from the open-air terrace. Here, the view is regarded as the best in Teluk Datai.
I am not exactly saving the best for last, but I found the most impressive feature at the resort is the swimming pool. Probably the best free-formed pool that I have seen in a while, it loops around an adequately spacious area amidst the rainforest. There are a number of man-made islands featuring tropical trees generously interspersed in the pool design. A handsome amount of sunning beds are arranged on the pool deck together with The Pool Bar that serves delightful outdoor snacks such as wood-fired pizzas, fresh sandwiches and cocktails. Extending from the pool area is a beach deck just a few yards away from the ocean. The beach deck features The Beach Bar which is probably one of the best spots to watch the sunset.
A good nature-themed resort for those seeking the ultimate seclusion. Nonetheless, the room prices are a tad too high for what the resort has to offer.