Heading to Langkawi was exciting for us, and a little daunting as well. For such a famous island, we had no idea where to stay at Langkawi. When booking accommodation for the last leg of our Malaysia journey we knew it had to be perfect. With 4 kids and a budget, finding hotels in Asia has often been challenging. So here is the information I wish I had when planning our Langkawi holiday.
From Backpackers to Luxury Resorts
Langkawi Island accommodation caters to absolutely all levels. You can easily hang your hat for $10 a night if you are single and don’t mind sharing a dorm. At the other end of the scale, you can find those special hotels who offer double rooms for closer to $1000 a night.
Best Beach on Langkawi
This was our favourite place to stay on Langkawi. Pantai Cenang is a long flat white sandy beach which is lined with restaurants and water sports. At night time, the area really comes to life with bars and plenty of action. Along the street here you will find heaps of duty-free shopping opportunities, markets and a great selection of restaurants. Pantai Cenang is also the home of Langkawi’s excellent Underwater World.
Pros of staying at Pantai Cenang:
- Close to the airport (10 mins)
- Beautiful clean white sand beach
- Great dining and accommodation options
- Perfect sunsets
- Heaps of activities
- Great shopping
- Walk to everything
Cons of staying at Pantai Cenang:
- Can be really busy
- 30 minutes from the ferry terminal at Kuah
Best Places to Stay on Pantai Cenang
If you choose to stay here, then you have to go beachfront:
- Casa del Mar Langkawi for absolute beachfront style at the top of the stretch of sand – Check Prices and Book Here
- Temple Tree Heritage Resort which is a gorgeous boutique hotel offering rooms in antique Kampong houses – Check Prices and Book Here
- Sunset Beach Resort – A lovely quiet low key budget resort with its own private beach just off Pantai Cenang but within easy walking distance to everything in town. There was no pool, but you are just footsteps from the ocean. They even have Family Rooms that sleep 5 – Check Prices and Book Here
- Malibest Resort is another solid budget option in a great location – Check Prices and Book Here
Just to the south of Pantai Cenang you find Pantai Tengah. The beautiful beach here is small and quiet but you can still go parasailing if you need to! The area around offers a nice selection of restaurants and convenience stores and some big resort hotels.
Pros of Staying at Pantai Tengah
- Quiet and romantic
- Close to the airport
- 2 minutes by taxi to Pantai Cenang
- Beautiful cove with forested hills and monkeys
Cons of staying at Pantai Tengah
- Maybe a little too quiet, unless that is exactly what you are looking for!
- Need to catch taxis around unless you have your own transport
Best Places to Stay at Pantai Tengah
- Dash Resort Langkawi is one of our top picks on the island. They take up pride of place right on the sand here and offer a 2 bedroom villa that is just perfect for families. – Check Prices and Book Here
- Another favourite is Aloft Langkawi which perches on the hillside just behind Dash. Enjoy elevated views for days from your room balcony and the stunning infinity pool. Room rates include breakfast. – Check Prices and Book Here
- Royale Chenang Resort has a family room that can sleep up to 6, always a rarity in Asia – Check Prices and Book Here
- Holiday Villa Beach Resort & Spa Langkawi is a lovely beachfront resort offering 2 pools and a private beach – Check Prices and Book Here
This quiet and relaxing beach is set between beautiful forested hills only 15 minutes northwest of the airport. There is a closeby marina where you can find shops and restaurants.
Pros of staying at Pantai Kok
- Super quiet
- Very scenic
- Close to waterfalls, horseriding, Langkawi Cable Car, and Oriental Village
- Very safe swimming beach
Cons of staying at Pantai Kok
- Limited dining options
- Far from the rest of Langkawi
- 5-Star resorts only
Best Places to Stay at Pantai Kok
- Berjaya Hotel Langkawi is an amazing 5-star hotel on a private bay fringed with lush rainforest. They offer both family chalets and premium overwater chalets too. It is just a beautiful hotel and staying here is absolute bliss – Check Prices and Book Here
- The Danna Langkawi provides phenomenal 5-star service and facilities with a private beach and luxurious infinity pool – Check Prices and Book Here
- The Ritz-Carlton Langkawi is also found at Pantai Kok and is another ridiculously awesome 5-star hotel with stunning overwater suites – Check Prices and Book Here
Kuah is a bustling town with the main ferry terminal. While you won’t find any decent beaches here, the town is alive with great duty-free shopping and nightlife. As such, there is a wonderful variety of mid-range and budget accommodation options.
Pros of staying in Kuah
- Ferry terminal with regular arrivals and departures to Penang, and Kuala Perlis
- Great shopping and nightlife
- Attractions such as Al-Hana Mosque and Dataran Lang (Eagle Square)
- Wide range of accommodation and dining options
Cons of staying in Kuah
- A busy large town with plenty of traffic
- 40 minutes from the airport
- At least 30 minutes from the rest of Langkawi attractions
Best Places to Stay at Kuah
- De Baron Resort has a great kids splash play area with 2 pools and waterslides making this one a family favourite in Kuah – Check Prices and Book Here
- Bayview Hotel Langkawi is centrally located with great facilities, 2 pools and panoramic views – Check Prices and Book Here
Pros of staying at Datai Bay
This stunning setting is home to Langkawi’s swankiest resorts. Perfect for the rich and famous, or for splashing out on the ultimate honeymoon. Datai Bay is perfect for those who do not need to leave their hotel, and with accommodation like this, you will never want to leave!
- 5-Star opulent hotels in a spectacular setting
- Perfect for a very relaxing all-inclusive holiday
Cons of staying at Datai Bay
- At least 40 minutes from Langkawi’s usual attractions
Best Places to Stay at Datai Bay
- The Datai Langkawi – This is Langkawi’s best (and most expensive) exclusive 5-star resort. What can I say, it’s truly astonishing – Check Prices and Book Here
- The Andaman, a Luxury Collection Resort, Langkawi – A beautiful hotel on an adjacent private beach in Datai Bay, all rooms at the Andaman have panoramic ocean views. Dine at 6 different restaurants and with many different room types available here, you may just find one that is quite affordable – Check Prices and Book Here
Best Place to Stay at Langkawi with Family
We loved staying at Pantai Cenang. Our hotel was super central and everything was within easy walking distance. The vibe here was lovely and friendly and fun. The drone from the parasailing and jetskis could get annoying, but that was much quieter on weekdays. Here everything was available at our fingertips. We could relax on the beach, enjoy watersports and duty-free shopping, choose from so many different cuisines, walk to Underwater World and even visit a classic amusement park.
It was only 10 minutes to get here from the airport (Book your airport transfer online here) and all of the island attractions including the Langkawi Cable Car and Oriental Village was only a 20-minute taxi or scooter ride away.
We fully recommend Pantai Cenang as the best place to stay when considering where to stay at Langkawi for first-timers, families and for those who like a bit of action with their cocktails.
Getting to Langkawi
We chose to fly from George Town to Langkawi. The short flight only took around 40 minutes! See all the options including ferry details and find out how to book here.
Getting Around Langkawi
It is possible to rent your own car and drive around the island. The roads here are safe and quiet. Car rentals are available from the airport arrivals hall. You can bring your own car over from the mainland on the car ferry. You will need an International Driver’s Permit to drive in Malaysia. Car seats for babies are not compulsory yet, but they are planning on bringing this rule in for 2020. Carseats are available for hire with the car.
Rent a scooter for only a few dollars per day. Bear in mind that you need to have a motorbike licence in your home country to be fully covered under travel insurance when riding motorised scooters.
Taxis are cheap and super easy to flag down. Make sure they turn on the meter or negotiate a daily rate with the guys in the taxi booth.
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