Arriving at the newly opened St. Regis Langkawi is akin to stepping into a tastefully decorated ‘Gatsbyesque’ mansion. The impressive pristine and all-white lobby is welcoming and the perfect place to make a grand entrance, especially when you arrive in a shining new Bentley.
The décor of the St. Regis Langkawi is breath-taking and it set the tone of our stay in this most sumptuous 5-Star hotel. But what’s even more awe-inspiring is the friendliness of the staff and efficiency of the service. General Manager Thomas Schwall and his team went out of their way to ensure all the Bentley owners who had spent the entire day putting the pedal to the metal had a restful night’s sleep in his sumptuous inn.
But before retiring to one of the pool suites which features a private outdoor terrace and pool, a specially prepared dinner was laid out in the St. Regis Bar. Tasting their signature cocktail, The Lang Mary – a local interpretation of the famed Bloody Mary cocktail – paired with the traditional Malaysian dish of Daging Rendang Ketupat Palas (braised beef with local herbs and spices served with steamed glutinous rice wrapped in palm leaf) was an experience worth writing home about.
Each St. Regis hotel around the world pays tribute to the original Bloody Mary which was invented back in 1934 in the King Cole Bar of the St. Regis New York by concocting their own version of this delightfully spicy drink using ingredients endemic to their location. The Lang Mary uses Screw pine leaves, Tamarind, Lemongrass and Pandan leaves in its recipe and it’s truly a drink worth savouring.
Well rested and up early the next day, breakfast in the L’Orangerie Restaurant located just beside the lobby is a veritable feast of delicious morning refreshments and food. Consisting of both local and international fare, Executive Chef Gaetan Christopher Biesuz is obviously a morning person because the spread he presents for his guests at breakfast is a veritable feast to set anyone up for a good day ahead. With a selection of both Asian and European dishes, the Andaman Lobster Egg Omelette served with lobster bisque and wild Arugula leaves deserves special mention as does the selection of delicious Dim Sum which was carted around authentically like in a Hong Kong restaurant.
The Healthy Elixirs – freshly squeezed juices and smoothies to you and me – comprising So Green, Feel Light, Jet Lag and De-Tox is a definite pick-me-up especially if you had indulged the night before!
While the more energetic ones opted to tee off at the 18-hole Ernie Els Golf Course, the more sedate guests took a culinary class conducted by Executive Sous Chef, Chef Halim Mohammad. Held in the spotless kitchens of the hotel, Chef Halim taught us the finer points of making Beef Rice or Nasi Daging Air Massam and Banana Pancake with Coconut Tapioca Pearl. Needless to say, the reward at the end of the morning’s strenuous efforts was tasting the mouth-watering dishes we cooked ourselves!
Located away from the main building, Kayuputi is the jewel in the St. Regis Langkawi’s culinary crown. Modelled after a private beach home and designed by landscape architect wunderkind Bill Bensley, Kayuputi’s décor alone warrants special mention with its bleached white walls, open-plan kitchen and its hammock-inspired open sunset deck, perfect for relaxing over a cocktail while watching the sun go down. But today it’s a specially prepared lunch consisting of Lobster Rojak, Freshly caught Langkawi snapper with asam pedas broth and pickled guava and Pandan tart with Nagasari and Teh Tarik ice-cream.
The Iridium Spa located in the St. Regis Langkawi is a sanctuary to soothe any traveller’s world-weary body and soul. With an extensive treatment menu, this slice of paradise found is as serene as it is healing. Opting for the signature Urut Melayu or Malay Massage, this extremely relaxing and stress-relieving treatment started with a detoxifying foot soak and massage which was an indication of what was to come. Fusing traditional Malay techniques and ingredients with modern skin care products, the Urut Melayu uses palm and thumb pressure to alleviate tight and sore muscles while the smoothing and stretching movements improved blood circulation to those tired areas of the body.
Pampering your body and not your face is not the way to achieve balance and get centred so a facial after the 90-minute massage was de rigueur. A calming facial was what was suggested and liking the sound of it, I certainly didn’t object.
Using the products of innovative German skin care brand Babor, this facial made my skin smooth and even-toned with a radiant glow that emanated from within, which was exactly what was needed for the cocktails and dinner hosted by the General Manager of St. Regis Langkawi later that night.
Held at the Astor Garden Lobby and following in the tradition of the famed St. Regis Midnight Supper which was started by socialite and New York’s Grande Dame Caroline Astor, the mother of John Jacob Astor IV, the founder of the St. Regis New York, Thomas Schwall was the consummate host in this lavish affair which started with champagne cocktails on the outdoor patio followed by a sumptuous six-course dinner consisting of Amuse Bouche, Smoked Duck Breast, Seaweed Comsommé, Herb Crusted Codfish, Wagyu Cube with Foie Gras and the dessert Granny Smith Texture.
With free-flowing Taittinger Champagne served throughout the evening as well as Chateau de Lamarque Haut Medoc 2010 and Domaine Seguinot Bordet Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaumes 2014, paired with the food, it would be extraneous to say that everyone had a fabulous time and the evening, as did the day, ended on a very happy and fulfilling note!
For more information on The St.Regis Langkawi, please visit: www.stregislangkawi.com
For more information on The Bentley Bentayga, please visit: www.bentleymotors.com
For more information on Princess Yachts, please visit: www.princessyachts.com