Nestled well on the edge of Telaga Harbour – a gateway and destination for many yachts plying the region – is the beautiful Malaysian hotel called The Danna Langkawi, a luxury retreat for honeymooners, retirees, writers and sophisticated fellow travellers. Its southwest location of the island brings more serenity since it is away from the madding crowd in Kuah, yet not too distant from Langkawi’s main attractions: nature, adrenaline-pumping activities and of course, shopping! For these reasons, and then some, The Danna Langkawi makes an ideal getaway for ladies, and let me tell you why…
I’ve had the pleasure of visiting The Danna Langkawi with my friend, Maya, for a brief weekend. Our ‘The Danna Experience’ began as soon as we stepped out of the Langkawi International Airport arrival hall and spotted the hotel’s representatives waiting for us smilingly with a small yet strikingly beautiful wooden sign that says ‘The Danna’. Our luggage was swiftly put into a sedan, and each of us received a cold towel and chilled mineral water to cool ourselves from the island’s sweltering weather.
Once we were at The Danna Langkawi, the check-in process was appreciatively smooth and quick, done at an area different than the check-out desks. We also received complimentary signature welcome drinks concocted from lime, clove and apple juice. And when we thought that was the only welcome treatment that we would receive, Maya and I were pleasantly surprised by the complimentary 15-minute back massage given to us by the hotel’s expert masseuses, turning on our holiday mood.
The Danna Langkawi scores high when it comes first impressions. The opulent and elegant lobby impresses guests when they first set their eyes on it. Between the marble floors, high ceilings, towering columns and antique furnishings, space seems the perfect place to hold Downton Abbey’s Crawley Family ball. I personally love the huge wall art with traditional motifs hanging proudly behind the check-out desks. Space is distinctively colonial and palatial in design. There is also a wide centre courtyard near the lobby too.
The accommodation units at The Danna Langkawi are given high attention to details inspired by Langkawi’s rich history. There are 125 spacious rooms and suites, all elegantly bedecked with warm hues and a hint of maroon. They also come with floor-to-ceiling glass panels and private balconies to let guests admire the different views that the hotel faces: the crystal clear ocean with sandy beach; stunning marina; lush forest; or the courtyard garden. Mine was the Viceroy room with the view of the beach plus the massive three-tiered infinity pool.
Guests at the hotel can expect the amenities of a five-star accommodation: tea- and coffee-making facilities, safe, LCD television, DVD player, complimentary Wi-Fi, custom-designed pillow-top mattress and oversized feathered pillow and duvet. The bathroom is equally superb, lavishly designed with marble floor and rich warm wood finishing. There is also a separate shower and bathtub, French Connection toiletries and His & Hers vanity – which in our case, Hers & Hers – that provide ample space for our long list of vanity items.
The breakfast spread here is also lavish, ranging from Malay, Chinese and Indian to the Western menu. The complimentary ‘Eye Opener’ shot that the hotel gives to all guests every morning made from pineapple juice, yoghurt and lime are fantastic in beating away my morning blues. Besides breakfast, The Danna Langkawi also offers outstanding offerings for lunch and dinner. We suggest that readers try out the Tiffin set at the restaurant called The Planter’s for an authentic Malaysian gastronomic experience, featuring chicken curry, stir-fried vegetables, sweet-sour prawns and daging masak lemak cili padi (braised beef with chilli and coconut milk) served in traditional tiffin style. Should guests prefer Western cuisine instead, The Planter’s also serves the chef’s signature lamb and beef tenderloin, both properly marinated, tender and oh so juicy.
Another vibrant food and beverage outlet called Straits & Co offers quintessential British-Malayan cuisine in a more casual ambience, decorated with colourful Peranakan tiles and ceramic vases. It also has an outdoor dining area with wooden patio, daybeds and low-slung tables shaded by curtained gazebos. If guests are not sure of what to order, trust the staff and go along with their recommendations. In my case, I was attended by an amicable staff named Fuad, who recommended me the lip-smacking Pumpkin Ravioli Marina after learning that I love pasta.
Relating to Fuad, what struck me the most about The Danna Langkawi is the staff’s impeccable service, many of whom have worked at the hotel for many years. They account for much of the hotel’s appeal: charmingly attentive, dedicated and even witty. I was a bit sceptical at first when they remembered our names, thinking that it might be specifically because we are from the media. When Fuad was asked about this, he simply said “Ini kan hotel Malaysia, layanan harus penuh mesra dan tertib untuk mencerminkan nilai-nilai Malaysia yang melayan tetamu seperti keluarga (Since this is a Malaysian hotel, our service needs to reflect the Malaysian values, which is to treat guests like family)” – I couldn’t agree more.
In terms of other facilities, The Danna Langkawi boasts a cosy library, a billiard room with board games, a gym with state-of-the-art equipment and the largest three-tiered infinity pool on the island, measuring 51.2 by 15 metres, including an outdoor Jacuzzi and children’s area. Since Maya and I are the type of people who enjoy lounging by the pool with good books, we spent a significant amount of time there. We felt touched when the staff handed us complimentary iced water and light snacks without being asked whenever we were there.
Another thing that we loved was the spa; after all, a ladies’ getaway wouldn’t be complete without a proper self-pampering session. There are expert therapists at The Danna Spa who provide various treatments from massages to body wraps, facials for Him or Her, eyes treatment, scrub, hands and feet care, romantic rituals for couples and even children-friendly treatments, all using pure and natural products such as Tanamera and Pevonia. Prior to treatment, guests will be asked to choose a selection of signature blended oils such as Serenity (a blend of safflower seed, grapeseed and lavender essential oils to instantly alleviate stress and promote relaxation); Recovery (safflower seed, grapeseed and eucalyptus essential oils for warming and healing benefits); Vitality (safflower seed, grapeseed and rosemary essential oil for energising and revitalising effects); and finally Clarity (safflower seed and grapeseed oils for unscented massage experience).
Maya and I opted for The Danna’s signature massage, Traditional Malay Urut (RM290 for 60 minutes per person/RM390 for 90 minutes per person), in one of the couple rooms overlooking the postcard-perfect view of the marina. The massage was effective and left us feeling more limber and relaxed; they were so good that Maya ended booking another slot for the next day! Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to experience another ladies-friendly activity here: the private yoga session that can be personalised to suit all levels, from introductory exploration to advanced practice. Fees are RM200 per person per hour or RM280 per couple per hour.
While such extraordinary facilities might make guests prefer to be sequestered at the hotel throughout their stay, The Danna Langkawi also offers an extensive list of activities for guests to explore the surrounding areas and beyond. The island is home to 230 species of birds, of which one third are migrants, which should delight bird-watchers. Other activities include jungle-trekking, nature-cycling, island tour (shopping included!), island-hopping, scuba-diving, snorkelling, fishing, cruising, sailing, jet-ski touring, mangrove touring and golfing. Overwhelmed by the choices? Then simply proceed to the excursion desk and let the experts help you with the planning!
As a parting gift, all guests receive a small box of handmade chocolates to remind them of all the sweet memories made in The Danna Langkawi. All things considered, The Danna Langkawi is undoubtedly irresistible and sensuous, just like that box of chocolates, which appeals to the discerning career ladies (and also gentlemen) seeking memorably sweet weekend getaway amidst lush greenery and picturesque landscape.
Check the hotel’s website to find the best deals on promotion.
The Danna Langkawi
PO Box 236, Telaga Harbour Park
07000 Langkawi, Kedah
T: +6 04 959 3288