Singaporebrides | Editors' Notes

January 2018

6 Reasons To Have Your Destination Wedding at The Andaman Langkawi

If you’re a nature lover, you have to visit The Andaman Langkawi. Or even better, have your destination wedding right there on the beach! Read on to find out why.

Before I visited Langkawi last year, I asked my Malaysian friends what I should expect from the island. They all said they visited Langkawi for school excursions when they were still children, and that there was nothing much to see there. Perhaps school children and adults have different ideas of a vacation should be like, or maybe Langkawi has grown up since then. It is now an amazing island filled with beautiful nature, fun activities, and all kinds of accommodations for families, honeymooners, and quiet retreats. I’m so glad that Marriott International invited me to their properties in Langkawi, because although I had never thought much about this island situated so near to Singapore, it is now one of my most highly recommended weekend holiday destinations. I even told my Malaysian friends they should revisit this amazing island, with me, of course!

Langkawi is made up of 104 islands on Malaysia’s west coast. Surrounded by the sea, the main island is a good mix of untouched, picturesque paddy fields and hills, and a treasure trove of duty-free alcohol and chocolates, and not forgetting, the beach.

On planning your trip to Langkawi, like any other island vacations, your first decision would be where to stay and which beach is best for you. Langkawi is divided into several districts that caters to travellers of various budget levels and preferences, so accommodation in can range from modest hostels to luxurious beach resorts.

The Andaman LangkawiMany honeymooners and families by the beach And squirrels too!

The first property I visited in Langkawi was The Andaman, a Luxury Collection Resort. It is located between a 10 million year-old rainforest at Datai Bay and an 8000 year-old fringing coral reef. Just based on this fact alone, you know you are surrounded by an abundance of rare wildlife and exotic flora, and staying at The Andaman allows you to partake in a wide range of nature-filled activities while still enjoying the luxuries of a five-star resort.

1. The Rooms

There are 178 rooms and suites at The Andaman, each reflecting a contemporary Malaysian stye. You get to choose from the 43 square metre Seaview Room, to a Garden Terrace Room, Jacuzzi Studio Suites, Executives Suites, and Direct Pool Access Rooms, which are the first of its kind in Langkawi. I got to stay in an Executive Pool Suite, which is an 86 square metre haven of privacy with views of the Andaman Sea. There is an outdoor space that includes a private plunge pool, as well as direct access to the beach. I think this room is perfect for a honeymooning couple.

The Andaman LangkawiSitting by my private plunge pool, with this view. See our video for a tour of the room!

2. The Restaurants

There are four restaurants at The Andaman, as well as the beach bar, and I managed to try most of them in my short stay there. Three of them have unblocked views of the beach—I have tried sitting at different areas—and the best time to have your meals, is at sunset. Oh, the sunsets at The Andaman. I was terribly lucky to experienced excellent weather while I was at the resort and I got see the sky turn from blue to purple to orange, while sipping mocktails right on the beach with my bare feet in the sand.

The Andaman LangkawiThe view from Tepian Laut Restaurant The Andaman LangkawiDinner at the outdoor sitting area at Tepian Laut Cocktails on the beach at the Jentayu Louge and Beach Bar A table crafted out of a tree that fell within the resort at Jala

After a drink on National Geographic’s 9th Best Beach in the World, you can walk barefooted to the award-winning beachfront restaurant, Jala. It is a very photogenic restaurant where guests are invited to leave their footwear by the entrance, because it is entirely covered in sand. In the evening, the restaurant is lit only by candles, so the ambience is very romantic, and you get a great view of the sunset as well. There is even a huge live-edge table that was handcrafted from the tree that fell within the resort itself.

Jumbo prawns that were a meal in itself at Jala Thoughtfully plated dishes and desserts depicting the surrounding flora and fauna Romantic candlelit ambience The sunset view from Jala right before it turned dark

The creative kitchen team at Jala (translated as “fisherman’s cast net”) take their craft very seriously, and you can see that in the way they present their dishes and decorate the restaurant every day. I was also told that the fishermen who supplied the restaurants with their catch of the day were taught to practice sustainable fishing to avoid overfishing. With all these in mind, the drink by the beach and the dinner at Jala are in my list of most unforgettable holiday experiences.

3. The Weddings

My timing at the resort was perfect because I managed to witness the resort prepare for a couple getting married on the beach at The Andaman. Because of the many myths and legends surrounding its 99 islands, Langkawi is a treasured wedding destination for couples who are drawn to the romance and fairytales. Couples can choose to begin their wedding day with the “Mandi Bunga Mambang Sari” ritual, which is a traditional Malay cleansing lime and floral bath that symbolises purification. As the bride and the groom seat side by side, members of both families take turns to lightly pour scented water over them to release the bodies from impurities prior to the wedding ceremony.

A beach wedding party The solemnisation area being set up The sun as it began to set The wedding coordinator making her rounds The dinner set up at Tepian Laut A leisurely five minute walk from the solemnisation area on the beach

Couples can choose from three wedding venue packages at The Andaman. The most popular one, which was the one I saw while I was staying there, is the Kasih Ombak, inspired by the white sandy beach of the Datai Bay. Set beneath the shady Pohon Kasih (Love Tree), wedding couples can walk down the aisle to the natural sounds of the ocean waves and say ‘I Do’ against a breath-taking backdrop of the Andaman Sea.

Kasih OmbakImage of Kasih Ombak wedding package, courtesy of The Andaman Kasih RimbaImage of Kasih Rimba wedding package, courtesy of The Andaman

Or, if you prefer the natural surroundings of a lush rainforest and a Twilight-inspired wedding, Kasih Rimba offers a mesmerizing rainforest-themed setting, complete with lavish flowers that drape above your guests. This opulent setting creates an enchanting ambience with its soft hues and gentle sounds of the rainforest, turning a fairytale wedding into a reality.

4. The Spa

The V Botanical Spa at The Andaman is perched on the hillside, slightly away from the main building of the resort, and even closer to the ancient rainforest. It is also the first spa in Southeast Asia to offer 100% certified-organic food-grade products. I love that each treatment room is a private cottage that overlooks the Andaman Sea. You get to be one with the nature with all your five senses as soon as step into the room. It’s a lovely opportunity to have a couple spa treatment in the great outdoors, where you can have a leisurely afternoon soaking in the bath after a massage, just enjoying the view and each other’s company.

The view of the Andaman Sea from my spa cottage Getting ready for a soak in the stone bath

5. The Rainforest

Speaking about nature, the natural surroundings of the resort dates back to a stunning 600 million years. The architect who design The Andaman did everything he could to preserve as much of the rainforest as he could, ensuring that all the wonderful and elusive animals, such as the most treasured resident, the Colugo, continued living in the surroundings. The Colugo is a nocturnal, tree-dwelling mammal, and both its species are being threatened by habitat destruction. But I got to see two of them during my stay at The Andaman! I highly recommend the Rainforest Nature Walks provided for free by the resort, guided by a group of naturalists. They are extremely informative and sobering, especially if you are a nature lover, and you will feel grateful to be staying, although temporarily, amongst the beautiful flora and fauna.

Taken in the middle of the morning Rainforest Nature Walk We spotted families of squirrels, Dusky Leaf monkeys, brown Macaques, and the elusive Coluga! Mother and baby macaque

6. The Coral Reef

Beneath the waters of Datai Bay that is fronting The Andaman lies another ancient forest, that is, the coral reef that is estimated to be around 8000 years old. It was this coral reef that protected the bay during the Tsunami of December 2004. After absorbing all of the waves’ energy, the reef suffered severe damage, losing about 70% of its coral. As part of the resort’s coral conservation project, guests are given the opportunity to give back to nature through its unique Coral Nursery and coral reef activities.

Getting educated at the Coral Nursery. See how corals are transplanted in our video!

I visited the Marine Biology Lab located at the lobby of The Andaman, as well as transplanted some live coral onto new substrates, which were then placed into the nursery for observation. Once it is determined that they are fit and well, they will then be relocated onto the actual reef, where my little effort will assist in increasing the biodiversity of the bay. I have a tingly feeling inside just thinking about this. Apparently, couples who get married at The Andaman can partake in a Coral Saving Ritual, where they can help transplant live coral colonies and engrave their initials onto the substrate. Imagine going snorkeling every year among the reefs to find your initials and seeing your coral grow with time!

As I was sitting on the beach at on the first evening with my mocktail, I was asked, “Don’t you think the shadows in front of the setting sun look like the silhouettes of a pair of crocodiles?” People whispered on the island that those two crocodiles had protected the bay from further damage from the tsunami that occurred in 2004. Now I cannot unsee the snouts of the crocodiles as they lounge in the water. I’m giving Datai Bay another nickname of my own, and I call it “The Bay of the Sleeping Crocodiles”.

The Sleeping Crocodiles

Getting there:

I took a direct flight to Langkawi, which takes approximately 1 and a half hours. It is then a 30-40 minute drive to The Andaman.

Rates:

Room rates start from MYR 1702 for a Seaview Room per night to MYR 3178 for an Executive Pool Suite per night, including taxes.

The Andaman’s wedding packages start from only MYR 17,000 nett per package and it includes a host of benefits ranging from bridal decorations and specially decorated floral arch, to hair and make-up, as well as two complimentary night’s stay in a luxurious suite for the wedding couple.

For more information or to book a wedding package, please visit www.theandaman.com or email sales.andaman@luxurycollection.com.

Photo credits: All images copyright of SingaporeBrides.com unless otherwise stated.

Read about The St Regis Langkawi and The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa.