Life often demands a lot out of us and as full-time working parents, our schedules can get even more hectic, which is why my husband and I are always looking for reasons to do quick getaways––sans kids. We’ve had the privilege of enjoying a few speedy respites, our last one being at Anantara Desaru Coast Resort in Johor, Malaysia, and this time, we’re heading to the jewel of Kedah: Langkawi.

Having lived in Malaysia almost all my life, I’m amazed at the fact that I’ve only ever been to this beautiful island once, so when the chance to visit presented itself once more, I jumped at the opportunity. On this trip, we chose Temple Tree Resort as our home for the next four days and three nights, and we couldn’t have made a better decision.

Getting here is pretty easy. If you’re coming from Kuala Lumpur like I was, you have the choice of getting on a flight: take your pick between taking off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport or Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, more affectionately known as Subang Airport.

Once you’ve arrived at Langkawi International Airport, getting to Temple Tree Resort is easy; through a hired car or Grab, you can get there in less than 10 minutes––nine to be precise. Traffic in Langkawi is almost non-existent, and I was unsure whether it was due to the off-season but I loved it.

Located quite literally in the heart of Langkawi, and lucky for me, not too far away from the airport, Temple Tree Resort seemed to be a mythical location I’ve scrolled upon on TikTok; what I saw on the small screen seemed to be a unique retreat.

Upon arrival, I was greeted by so much more. Truly charming in every aspect, I was captivated from the moment I stepped through its colourful wooden doors. I’ve had the immense privilege of staying at some of the best resorts in the world, but none quite struck me like this one.

See, I’m a homebody––the minute I take my shoes off and enter my front door, I feel at ease. And this is what I felt upon arrival at Temple Tree – not quite my house but sure did feel like a home away from home. Not a lot of hotels succeed in giving guests that comfort.

Besides its homelike ambience, Temple Tree is truly one-of-a-kind thanks to its perfectly executed fusion of colonial and Malaysian architecture – a blend of elegance within the beautiful confines of tropical warmth. If you’re unfamiliar, Temple Tree Resort boasts 21 unique rooms and suites, each one with its own charming personality, set within eight Malaysian heritage houses––all found across Peninsular Malaysia and carefully transported to the coconut tree plantation, piece by piece. Evoking the nostalgia of days of the past, the stilts each house stands on, the large open verandas and high ceilings, wooden floors, colourful tiles, and wooden carvings all tell a story.

Temple Tree Resort, enveloped by lush greenery, is made up of eight unique houses: Straits, Johor, Colonial, Estate, Plantation, Penang, Negeri Sembilan, and Ipoh House, that are between 80 to 120 years old.

Straits House: The latest addition and rented as a whole unit, the Straits House is perfect for large groups and gatherings. Featuring four beautifully decorated rooms, each with its en suite bathrooms, this particular abode can house up to eight people. It also comes with its own private pool, and outdoor dining is encouraged and available upon request.

Johor House: Originally a Chinese farmhouse with Taiwanese influence dotted in its design, this pink house is one of the first houses you’ll see upon entering the estate. Made up of two floors and divided into two sections – Johor 1 and Johor 2, each comes with two bedrooms and a shared bathroom. The heritage of this home is evident in every corner, and the portrait of the family that once owned this home still hangs on the wall of Johor 2. Some say creepy; I say charm.

Colonial House: Quite literally my favourite in terms of layout and style, the Colonial House was once a home in Penang, and oozes the perfect blend of East and West. Here, guests can choose from one of three one-bedroom suites or a two-bedroom suite. This house can also be rented as a whole, and thanks to the shared space – a living room with a bar, lounge space, and a 10-seater dining table, it’s perfect for celebrating special occasions.

Estate House: There are five terracotta-tiled guestrooms available at the Estate house, a long single-story building. Estate 1 and Estate 2 come with a king-sized bed, private bathroom with walk-in rainshower and wooden bathtub. Estate 3 on the other hand offers twin single beds and an ensuite bathroom with both a walk-in shower and bathtub, perfect for friends or family that prefer sleeping on separate beds. Finally, there’s Estate 4 and Estate 5, which boasts its own little gardens.

Plantation House: Originally a spacious wooden Malay artisan’s dwelling, Plantation House at Temple Tree Resort is a historical two-storey bungalow showcasing colonial-style window shutters, high ceilings, and sturdy wooden beams. Dating back to 1900 in Penang, it was expanded by a Chinese Hakka family in 1920, earning the moniker ‘Tua Chua’, or big house. Now housing 6 suites, it offers accommodation for up to 18 guests, with common areas including lounge spaces and a semi-open-air courtyard. Each suite varies in size and amenities, accommodating different group sizes with options for extra beds. From luxury wooden bathtubs to walk-in rain showers, Plantation House preserves its heritage while providing modern comfort.

Penang House: Penang House blends 131 years of British influence with local, Chinese, Indian, and Islamic architectural styles. Originally near Gurney Drive, this 1930s house retains its original colour and two entrances. Inside, white interiors with turquoise shutters and pops of raspberry and lime green create an inviting atmosphere. Ideal for smaller families, it offers two two-bedroom suites with private entrances and shared en-suite bathrooms featuring luxury wooden bathtubs and separate walk-in rain showers.

Negeri Sembilan House: Originally a family residence in Mantin, Negri Sembilan, this raised single-storey house has been transformed into a luxurious suite boasting exquisite stained-glass windows and a spacious front veranda. Dating back to the 1920s, this 120 sqm abode has two bedrooms, a living/dining area, and an outdoor porch. Its standout feature lies in the vibrant coloured glass windows, adding a lively touch to the house’s black-and-white colour scheme. The master bedroom comes with a king bed and an in-room luxury wooden bathtub, while the adjacent bedroom features twin single beds. The shared en-suite bathroom includes twin basins and a separate walk-in rain shower.

Ipoh House: Perhaps my actual favourite amongst them all and one that truly brings the essence of home away from home is Ipoh House. It is the Grand Dame of the resort and as its name suggests comes from the renowned town of Perak. Here is where the resort comes alive, thanks to the comfortable reception lounge and its retro-chic restaurant. Guests are seen in their most relaxed state and children that run around the area also seem to be their best holiday selves. The Bar located in the middle of the restaurant is a true beauty and the perfect spot for an all-day tipple. The star of Paloh? Its unique centrepiece – a long dining table made from a 150-year-old barn door and former sewing machine legs as the base.

Besides indulging in breakfast offerings, which often come included in hotel or resort stays, most travellers tend to look beyond the confines of their chosen accommodation. This is mostly due to steeper price points or simply that hotel foods often taste how they should, somewhat bland and catered to most travellers.

At Paloh Restaurant & Bar, one of Temple Tree Resorts’ many pride and joy, it is not the case. Sticking true to its heritage values, items on the menu here deliver the best of Malaysian cuisine––each dish packs a punch in flavour and representation. Open for all-day dining, its new and exciting menu promises to satisfy not just guests, but those who appreciate the kind of island dining experience the restaurant offers. Besides the truly unique accommodation and setting that Temple Tree Resort offered during our stay, another highlight has got to be the food. So much so that I went home and raved about it to loved ones.

While we had the chance to try many things on the menu, some that really stood out were the classic Ox-tail soup, which was a perfect medley of herbs and spices, served with grilled bread on the side; Nyonya Laksa – yellow noodles drowned in rich, spicy coconut milk soup, and has got the right amount of bite to it; Char Kway Teow, a tribute to the classic Penang dish that’s done right and well; how can we forget the ever so memorable Lontong, which were generous in condiments and portion.

If you’re a family with little ones in tow, which we weren’t at the time but often usually are, you’ll appreciate the kid-friendly options available. We’re not talking about one or two things that are bland and boring but quite an extensive choice for your kids to choose from. If you’re vegetarian, give one of the staff a heads up, and they’re more than willing to accommodate.

Whether you choose to dine al fresco amidst the lush gardens or opt for an intimate indoor setting, Paloh captures the essence of a romantic meal. The attentive staff, coupled with the charming ambience, elevates the dining experience, making it well-suited for couples or even best friends catching up on some quality time.

Dining at Paloh Restaurant & Bar is a true treat for the tastebuds, and I personally recommend it whether or not you’re staying at Temple Tree Resort.

It comes as no surprise that this lush resort is fast becoming a favourite wedding destination, so it’s only natural they have activities on offer that couples can get into together. Besides spending the day lounging by the stunning and serene pool at the resort, one thing couples can treat themselves to is an intimate ‘Dining under the Stars’, where polluted city air is non-existent and clear views of the night sky accompany your delicious meals. Thanks to the team at Temple Tree Resort, we were afforded this ultimate experience and it’s definitely something to tick off with a loved one.

Not a dining-under-the-stars kind of couple? Why not opt for something during the day like their extravagant Floating Breakfast option? As if we hadn’t done enough indulging during this trip, we also took complete advantage of the trip by signing up for the experience. We would rate this 9 out of 10, each dish (and there are many!) satisfying our tastebuds and served with teapots of tea and coffee; there’s also freshly squeezed juice included.

If what you’re looking for is to spend quality time together that doesn’t involve food, ask the team at Temple Tree about batik painting, which was something we had never done before so doing it together was a special treat. Because we stayed at the Colonial House, the staff arranged for a local artisan to set up at the shared lounge area within the house and it was such a relaxing experience––before we knew it, a few hours had flown by. A must-do during your stay at the resort.

Beyond the confines of the resort, plenty of adventures await eager explorers, and if you’re not the kind to stay cooped up in the resort, there’s plenty to do outside that will complement your stay.

Image from depositphotos.

1. Cenang Beach: A short drive away, Cenang Beach offers the kind of island atmosphere you’d imagine it to with shops, restaurants, and water sports activities. Couples can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the sandy shores, sample fresh seafood at beachfront eateries, or try their hand at jet skiing or parasailing.

Image from depositphotos.

2. Langkawi Cable Car and Sky Bridge: Venture to the Oriental Village, where you can go on a journey via the Langkawi Cable Car. Ascend to the peak of Mount Mat Cincang for panoramic views of the island and its breathtaking landscapes. Don’t forget to stroll across the famous Sky Bridge.

3. Island-hopping tour: Explore Langkawi’s pristine marine environment with an island-hopping tour. Visit islets like Pulau Dayang Bunting, known for its mythical freshwater lake, or Pulau Beras Basah, where you sunbathe on powdery white beaches and swim in crystal-clear waters.

4. Mangrove tour: Sign up for a mangrove tour through the Kilim Karst Geoforest Park, where you can navigate through winding waterways flanked by towering limestone cliffs and verdant mangrove forests. If you’re lucky you’ll catch a glimpse of plenty of wildlife, including eagles, monkeys, and even otters.

Image from depositphotos.

5. Waterfall exploration: Discover the natural beauty of Langkawi‘s waterfalls by jungle trekking. Check out places like Seven Wells Waterfall (Telaga Tujuh) or Temurun Waterfall, where you can cool off in refreshing natural pools.

6. Sunset cruise: Go on a romantic sunset cruise around Langkawi’s coastline, where you can sip on cocktails and nibble on canapés while watching the sky ablaze with vibrant hues. Many cruises also offer options for swimming or snorkelling in secluded bays.

All in all, our stay at the Temple Tree Resort transcends the ordinary. It truly does offer travellers, whether it be couples, friends, or family, a haven that’s romantic and tranquil. The appeal is heightened even further thanks to the natural splendour of Langkawi. While it was relaxing to have gone on a quick escapade without our kids, I couldn’t help but feel this longing to bring them with us on a future trip, so they can experience the heritage living that Temple Tree so proudly succeeded in creating. It’s been such a pleasure Temple Tree Resort, until next time, and with little ones in tow.

Address: Lot 1053, Jalan Pantai Chenang, Pantai Cenang, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah
Contact: +6017 599 5935

Website Icon Facebook Icon Instagram Icon
Temple Tree Giveaway

Terms & conditions:

  • Applicable for residents in Malaysia aged 18 and above.
  • Spam/giveaway accounts will be disqualified from the giveaway.
  • The giveaway ends on 27 March 2024 at 23:59.
  • One (1) winner will be announced on 29 March 2024 in the comments section of the giveaway post and on Instagram Stories.
  • The winner will be selected by Zafigo and all decisions are final.
  • Winners will need to DM their full name, phone number, address, and email to Zafigo.
  • Zafigo will arrange shipping of this giveaway’s voucher to the winner.
  • Prizes are not exchangeable for cash/credit/other items or vouchers, in part or in full.
  • The voucher cannot be sold.
  • By participating in the giveaway and being selected as the winner, you consent that your name, content, and any photos or videos related to this giveaway be published on Zafigo’s social media channels and any other publications.
  • Zafigo reserves the right to cancel and/or change the terms and conditions, prizes, and plans at their discretion without any prior notice.
  • Zafigo is not responsible for any claims incurred by the winner due to the cancellation/changes of the giveaway.

*All images by author unless stated otherwise.