After a 10-Year Absence, We Head Back to The Danna Langkawi in Malaysia

After a 10-Year Absence, We Head Back to The Danna Langkawi in Malaysia

In October 2013, Paul and Natasha Godbold, the founders of Luxurious Magazine, experienced The Danna Langkawi, a beautiful property located on an enchanting tropical island. A decade later, Ong Chin Huat heads back to this gem of a resort, and after experiencing many of its delights, he leaves it mesmerised and with the realisation that bigger isn’t always better.

After a short ride from the airport, arriving at The Danna Langkawi’s main lobby is a welcome treat with its soaring columns, airy ambience and comforting furniture. Its blend of colonial Mediterranean architecture gives this resort an old-world charm that blends in perfectly with the surrounding verdant tropical greenery and the beach and sea views ahead.

An aerial view of the huge three-tiered infinity pool

The three-tier infinity pool, the largest one on the island, beckons any guest, whether they are a sun-worshipper or not, while the numerous restaurants, bars and cafes provide a well-curated spread of dining options.

After a relaxing neck and shoulder massage performed right in the lobby during the swift check-in, we were escorted by a buggy to our one-bedroom private pool villa with direct access to the Andaman Sea. Constructed in 2018, the ten private pool villas are the place to stay if privacy and seclusion are what you crave on vacation.

The exterior of the Princess Beach Villa as night falls

In addition, there are also 125 elegantly appointed rooms and suites ranging in size from 60 square metres to 180 square metres, all with private balconies and overlooking different parts of the island. I believe when Paul and Natasha visited The Danna; they experienced one of the penthouses replete with a rooftop pool, which has left them with happy memories ten years on.

The lounge area at the Princess Villa

But back to my private villa, which was the perfect size at 490 square meters. I must admit that I was taken aback by the huge amount of thought that went into the design, creating a harmonious space that ensured two people would not get in each other’s way.

From the dual wash basin in the sumptuous bathrooms to the pool cabanas, sun loungers, and even the two massage tables in the private spa and massage area, no one would blame you if you decided not to leave and spend every single minute of your vacation in your villa.

The comfy king-size bed, with plush pillows and high thread-count bed linen, looked inviting, but there was still daylight, and the allure of the infinity pool was too much to resist, so in I went before heading to dinner.

Having just become a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, The Danna has joined a desirable community of hotels and travellers, which places unique and luxury experiences at the forefront of their raison d’état.

Two images, on the left is General Manager Karan Singh, on the right is a photograph of the lobby

According to The Danna’s General Manager Karan Singh (above), the positioning of The Danna Langkawi as a one-of-a-kind home-away-from-home luxe property is in tandem with the ethos of this community.

“The Danna is the first ever Small Luxury Hotels of the World member in Langkawi, and this cements our position as a distinctly bespoke luxury resort,” he says. “Our repositioning exercise aimed to elevate our resort and private pool villas alongside equivalent international luxury brands.”

The incredible views over the sea from one of the villas

Judging from my villa’s comfy and luxurious décor and surroundings, they’ve achieved all they wanted, and if it were a test, they would have passed it with flying colours.

The Terrace is The Danna’s Italian restaurant located beside the pool. With floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooking the pool and beyond, it has a modern and contemporary décor whilst the food is traditional and classic Italiano. Here, you can choose from a well-selected and diverse range of dishes from its compact menu while watching the chef flambé your dinner in the open kitchen.

Inside Planter's restaurant

On the menu are delicious dishes such as antipasti like the Parmigiana di Melanzane (Napoli-style baked layers of eggplant, tomato and mozzarella) or Polipo (Roasted octopus, smoked paprika, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, capers, olive powder, spicy mayo).

In addition, there is the mouth-watering Zuppa di Pesce (Cloudy seafood soup in prawn bisque base served with garlic bread) or Ravioli Ripieni di Agnello (Home-made ravioli stuffed with slow braised lamb leg, porcini mushroom sauce and aged parmigiano reggiano) and main courses like Trilogia Dell’ Anatra Rougié (Imported French rouge duck in 3 ways: pan-seared, home-made ravioli pasta.

A beautifully plated meat dish

Other dishes include 12 hours leg confit served with port wine, red onion, and caramelised radicchio) and Filetto di Branzino (Sea bass fish fillet with clams, tomato broth, broccoli and baby potatoes). Everything in this delectable restaurant is worth trying, provided you have enough room in your stomach.

Retreating to my private villa, which was just a short walk from the Terrace along the pristine white sandy beach of Pantai Kok, I suddenly remembered I had a choice to have my breakfast at Planter’s with its spread of Western or Asian fare or have a floating breakfast in the privacy of my villa. A quick call to the 24-hour dedicated guest relations team ensured that my breakfast the following morning was sorted.

With my mind at rest, I felt it was time to retreat to my bathtub. Laying in the bath and luxuriating in the seductive scent of Salvatore Ferragamo bath products lulled me into a dream-like state, a wonderful and blissful way to end my first day a The Danna.

A couple enjoying breakfast in their pool

For those who have never experienced a floating breakfast, it is something to be savoured and anticipated. Placed on a large heart-shaped basket which floats on the private infinity pool, a hearty breakfast chosen the night before is eaten while you are submerged in the water.

A close up view of the floating breakfast tray

From freshly cut fruits, a basket of hot pastries including The Danna’s signature croissant, a choice of either Asian or American-style breakfast plus smoothies, coffee or tea, fruit juice and champagne is available, including a sprinkling of rose petals for the added je ne sais quoi. Breakfast anywhere else would pale in comparison to this floating one.

A brand new fitness centre located in the main building, complete with state-of-the-art Technogym equipment, including the Technogym Ride, the first of its kind in Malaysia, was the place to go to, especially after a hearty breakfast.

A no-impact session on the elliptical cross-trainer followed by a workout on the strength machines and free weights, plus a few ab exercises, left me craving some pampering. As luck would have it, that’s precisely what The Danna had arranged for me in the afternoon.

The reception area at The Spa

At first glance, The Spa at The Danna may look simple, but don’t let its low-key demeanour fool you. An impressive spa menu consisting of massages, body exfoliating, facial treatments, bating rituals, couple’s indulgence and manicures and pedicures is guaranteed to recharge and rejuvenate any weary old soul into a brand new person.

I opted for the 90-minute Aromatherapy Massage and chose Rosemary essential oil for its energising properties. The calming and relaxing massage released all the knots and tension stored in my body, and any aches or pains I had, especially around my neck and shoulders, had miraculously disappeared.

The afternoon tea at Straits & Co

Afternoon Tea at Straits & Co, the chic café and deli located in the main building of The Danna, is an affair to remember. It boasts colourful floor tiles reminiscent of Nyonya ware or Straits Chinese porcelain, rattan furniture, and a friendly and accommodating staff, making it a delightful afternoon treat.

Serving authentic Malaysian titbits such as Mini Satay Skewers and Curry Puffs, as well as other small bites such as Avocado Prawn and Salmon Brioche washed down with a nice cuppa of Earl Grey made this afternoon, as well as all the other meals in this gem of a place something to treasure and look back upon for a long time.

My visit to The Danna far exceeded my expectations, and I am quite sure that my happy memories will last as long as Paul and Natasha’s have.

For further information on The Danna Langkawi, please visit

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The bar at the VerandahAfter a 10-Year Absence, We Head Back to The Danna Langkawi in Malaysia 2

Ong Chin Huat

Luxurious Magazine Reporter

Having been the social editor of the Hong Kong edition of Tatler and as well as writing a twice-weekly column in Hong Kong’s leading English-language newspaper, the South China Morning Post, Chin has met and interviewed a variety of people including business tycoons, supermodels, movie stars, royalty and world-class athletes. He also considers himself privileged to have attended some of the most talked about events and parties around the world. Chin counts art, fashion, food, interior design, literature, painting and travel among his passions.

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