Feb 24, 2018

The Family-friendly Andaman Langkawi: Nature at its doorstep

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Back in October last year, we took advantage of the PSLE Marking break to head to Langkawi for a much-needed break after the mental-sapping PSLE. Thanks to the 4-day school holiday and coupled with the weekend, we spent a total of 5 nights in Langkawi... of which 2 nights were spent at The Andaman, a Luxury Collection Resort, Langkawi.

I will share more about the other Langkawi resort we stayed as well as the family-friendly activities we did in another post because The Andaman turned out to be THE highlight of our trip for the monkies!

WHY? Simply because it is one super family-friendly beach resort tucked between a 10 million-year-old rainforest, the tranquil Datai Bay and an 8,000-year-old fringing coral reef. Yes, you read that right - a 10 million-year-old rainforest.

So while The Andaman Langkawi offers a luxurious and stunning family vacation, it is so much more than that because as the monkies found out, staying at the resort is also an educational experience.

With  the resort's lobby built in the Malay style with the usage of wood and intricate artwork, even the lobby’s centerpiece of a wooden replica of the Balai Nobat in Alor Setar - a tribute to the state of Kedah which Langkawi is a part of - offers guests the opportunity to find out more about the Malay culture.


We stayed in two inter-connecting Luxury Seaview Rooms and they were just perfect. Smooth, dark wooden floorboards welcomed us into rooms, which came with a balcony and full-length feature windows.

What I loved about the rooms is they came with an in-room balcony with a cosy sofa/daybed.

And the views from our balcony?

It was absolutely stunning.

Everything else was pretty much expected from a luxurious resort, with full toiletries, a mini bar, lots of bottled water, LCD flat screen TV, complimentary Wi-Fi, a large tub (very important if you have kids!) and a glass-enclosed rainforest shower.

Pity the Luxury Pool Access rooms were not available during our stay. The monkies would have gone bonkers over the private rainforest pools, which are directly accessible from the rooms!


At The Andaman, there is no shortage of good food... not when it boasts four unique dining restaurants with each offering a different culinary experience. The Restaurant - yes, it is really the name of the restaurant - serves buffet breakfast and all-day dining while Tepian Laut offers international dishes and traditional Malay favorites. Guests can sample Malay and Scandinavian Western fusion dishes at Jala and Japanese specialties at The Japanese Restaurant.

The monkies loved dining at Tepian Laut primarily because it is located just beside the beach AND also because it has a kick-ass Kids' Menu.

This has got to be one of the BEST and COMPREHENSIVE Kids' Menu I have ever seen. No matter how fussy your child is, he or she will be able to find a favourite dish here. Just ask the monkies.

While the lunch menu at Tepian Laut is of an international variety, the restaurant undergoes a transformation come night fall.

Not only did the serving staff's uniforms change, the menu changed too!

A signature menu featuring traditional local delicacies from Malaysian states awaited us as we dined under the blanket of stars while enjoying the cool sea breeze.

During our second night at The Andaman, we dined at Jala which is nestled between lush tropical rainforest and the crystal blue waters of the Andaman Sea, and serves up some of the best seafood.

The unique thing about dining here is its signature sand floor.

We had to remove their shoes at the entrance and as we walked in, we could pick our meals from the seafood display featuring the freshest catch of the day.

Not only did we get to pick our fish, we dictated how we wanted it to be cooked and chose the sauces and sides too. An interesting experience for the monkies!

And because of the wide array of seafood, sauces and sides available, picking our desired meal was a little mind-boggling. Fortunately, the staff at Jala were highly knowledgeable in suggesting the type of fish that goes well for a particular style of cooking. Oh, and I recommend the green chili sauce!

There is also an ala carte menu (and Kids' Menu too) but Jala is all about seafood so I highly recommend delving straight for the ocean catch.

For breakfast, we dined at The Restaurant which serves both a continental breakfast buffet and a more extensive American breakfast buffet.

Breakfast was substantial and consisted enough choices though the thing I liked about the place was that it was spacious enough so it didn't felt crowded even though the restaurant was 80% occupied.

Here's a tip, make a beeline for the seats outside the restaurant as it has a great view of the lush vegetation and free-form swimming pool.

Which brings me to my next point.


Located alongside the beach, The Andaman's lagoon-style swimming pool is huge and surrounded by soaring rainforest trees. And since it is a family-friendly resort, a waterslide for the young and young at heart is a must, with a separate a wading pool section for toddlers.

 And what is a beach holiday without spending time at the beach, no?

Named as the 9th Best Beach in the World by National Geographic in 2011, Datai Bay is made up soft sand which made it ideal for the monkies to go wild!

Do not arive at The Andaman expecting clear water but the waves at the beach are strong enough to make water-boarding fun enough for the monkies.

While I just chill in a shaded corner and enjoy my ice cold beer.

Or if you do really want some me-time, the kids can be dropped off at the Young Explorer's Club where daily adventures are tailored according to the kids.

 Under the supervision of the resort's trained ambassadors, the little ones participate in educational excursions that revolve around nature and exploration.

And trust me when I say one can never be bored while staying at The Andaman!


This should have been classified under as part of the resort's activities but I am so utterly impressed by the sheer scale of its nature-related activities for families that I have to place it in a separate category of its own.

Remember that I mentioned that The Andaman is set in a pristine 10 million yea-old rainforest? Thanks to its location, the resort is blessed with an abundance of plant-life and wildlife.

The lush foliage around the hotel meant that we woke up to a rich variety of flora and fauna every single day at The Andaman - species that the monkies (& even me!) have never seen so up close and in the wild.

And part of that experience comes from the FREE Nature walks that the resort conducts every morning and evening (except Mondays) on its grounds.

Yes, there is no need to go jungle bashing to see wild animals because they are all living WITHIN the resort! We went for the Rainforest Afterdark tour, a 1.5-hour guided walk with the resort's naturalist. It is free for all hotel guests but pre-registration is compulsory. Do note that the group size is not that big so my advice is to sign up as soon as you check in!

For the night walk, we were taken on a trek around the resort as our guide pointed us to certain unique sounds and enigmatic animals that only appear as night falls. To be honest, we were not expecting to see much but by the end of our walk, we were totally blown away by what we had seen up close.

These were just some of the animals that my camera were able to capture, species like the Dusty Leaf monkey, hornbills, giant geckos, macaques and flying lemurs. Of all of them, I have to say seeing the flying lemurs and dusty leaf monkeys were an eye-opening experience for the monkies... and ME!

Let me just say it again - your stay at The Andaman is NOT complete without going on one of its nature walks.


But I have saved the best for last.

This was one aspect of The Andaman that I was left mightily impressed with - a coral nursery pool for kids (& adults) to snorkel safely in!

But it is actually not meant to be a 'tourist attraction'.

After discovering an underwater rainforest - a 8,000 year old coral reef - in its shores that was badly damaged by the 2004 Tsunami, The Andaman embarked on a Coral Conservation project which included the Coral Nursery in efforts to rescue and rehabilitate corals.

Snorkeling in the Coral Nursery will no doubt a highlight for kids but I suggest enrolling the kids in the Young Marine Biologist Program before that so they could first learn more about marine life.

Held daily between 10am and 12pm at the Marine Life Laboratory (Resort lobby), kids get to experience a day in the life of a Marine Biologist under the guidance of Andaman's Marine Science students.

The monkies learnt more about the unusual marine creatures that frequent the resort's reef and discovered interesting nuggets of information about some of the common marine animals like the clownfish, sea anemone, hermit crab and sea urchin.

If lower tides permit, guests can also go on a guided walk out onto the main reef flat at selected times each month to try spotting some of the fascinating marine creatures.

Of course, the monkies were ultimately looking forward to snorkeling in the coral nursery.

The coral nursery is a simulation of life in the sea and guests can go on a free guided snorkeling tour of the nursery daily (check with the resort for daily timings).

The nursery is not that large nor deep, about the size of a standard pond. However, guests are not allowed to snorkel on their own as there is the risk of damaging the corals. Life vests have to be donned and staff will be on hand to guide guests round the nursery pool complete with a running commentary.

As expected ,the monkies totally digged their snorkel time where they had a close up view of the many beautiful species of coral, fish, sea cucumbers, crabs under water. Oh, and which kid can say no to feeding fish in the coral nursery too?

The monkies ended our session at the coral nursery by helping to transplant some corals while learning how corals grow, feed, reproduce and interact with one another at the same time.

Yes, a fun session no doubt but what an enriching and educational experience it turned out to be for the monkies!

As for me, all I can say is two nights at The Andaman is NOT ENOUGH!

It is more than just a family-friendly resort. Sure, the comfort, rooms, activities and food were above expectations but what struck me was how close to nature we felt during our stay. The rainforest that we woke up to every morning and the coral nursery were experiences that the monkies will never ever forget. I love how the resort had incorporated marine conservation into its DNA and deliver a vacation that is more than just the usual beach getaway.

The monkies were geuninely crestfallen upon check-out and something tells me we will definitely be returning here at some point.

Useful Details

The Andaman Langkawi
Jalan Teluk Datai, Datai, Langkawi 07000, Malaysia
Tel: +60 4-959 1088 (In Singapore, call: 1800-325-4545)
Website: www.theandaman.com

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1 comment :

Tonkin-Travel Vietnam said...

I’m so excited about my upcoming trip ion Langkawi in September. I will combine it with Koh Lipe in Thailand to have 1-week vacation. Thanks so much for the great post!

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