Top 5 Luxury Resorts and Spas in Malaysia
Photo by Wil Banks via Flickr
1. Borneo Rainforest Lodge, Sabah
If palling around with monkeys and myna birds among luxury accommodations sounds like a perfect Malaysian getaway, then head to the Borneo Rainforest Lodge. Nestled in the lowlands of the Danum Valley Conservation Area in Sabah, the lodge offers 31 personal chalets for up to 60 hotel guests. The resort has won a fistful of awards for exceptional service and – perhaps most impressively – is strongly committed to fusing guest comfort with best green practices to leave the sanctity of its natural surroundings undisturbed. Be sure to take a walk along their Tree Top Canopy Walkway, an almost 1000-foot span that rises 85 feet above the ground at its highest point through the lush Borneo rainforest.
2. Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
The Shangri-La chain is renown for its five-star excellence throughout Asia, and their premier luxury hotel in Malaysia's capital city is in firm accord with that reputation. The resort has three elegant restaurants, a coffee bar, and a cafe, serving up everything from sushi to Cantonese canapes, but they're most well-known for their sumptuous buffet breakfast, which features Indian, Chinese, and Japanese creations in addition to local Malay delicacies. Located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, the Shangri-La is also just a short walk away from the heart of downtown and has an excellent view of one the world's architectural wonders, the Petronas Twin Towers.
3. Sheraton Imperial Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
The Sheraton Imperial Hotel bills itself as an "urban oasis" in downtown Kuala Lumpur, and doesn't disappoint that description. The theme here is relaxed elegance, as evidenced by its spacious but decadent rooms set in warm chocolate, cherrywood, and cream tones, and the graceful curves of its outdoor pool, cosseted by terraced palms. You'll want to get out and explore Kuala Lumpur on your Malaysian holiday, but be forewarned: Spend an hour being lavished on at the resort's Mandara Spa and you might not ever want to leave the hotel.
4. Bunga Raya Island Resort and Spa, Kota Kinabalu
Surrounded by hundreds of acres of virgin tropical rainforest, the Bunga Raya Island Resort on Gaya island, just off the coast of Kota Kinabalu, is the apotheosis of sumptuous seclusion. Guests stay in one of 47 teakwood villas dotted among the green hills leading to a pristine private half-moon beach. Take a two-hour guided hike in into the jungle (which the resort claims is home to 40 percent of Malaysia's flora and fauna), then swim with the angelfish in warm waters of Malohom Bay. If you're looking for a little quiet luxury in Malaysia, the Bunga Raya Resort simply can't be beat –
5. Pangkor Laut Resort, Pangkor
– That is, unless you travel to Pangkor Laut, the private island home of the Pangkor Laut Resort. The all-villa accommodations range from hillside cabins to garden bungalows, but for more the most original experience, try one of the property's 21 "Sea Villas," stilted one-bedroom huts standing over the water and connected by wooden walkways on the margin of the shore. The resort has six bars and restaurants but also offers private dining on the beach, at the spa gazebo, or courtyard with personalized menus from their executive chef.