Being the brand’s 37th address in the world and the 1st in Malaysia, the 5-star service and treatment at this resort begin even before one sets foot at the hotel doors
Text & Pic By DASHVEENJIT KAUR
FOR over 100 years, the name St Regis has been associated with luxury, as well as a prestigious address which is the playground for the rich and famous.
First founded in 1904 by New York magnate John Jacob Astor IV, the St Regis brand is still renowned a century later for its tradition of innovation and commitment to impeccable service at more than 40 hotels and resorts around the world.
In Malaysia, the brand is represented by an outlet in Langkawi, Kedah, and is now the main destination for the more discerning traveller.
The St Regis Langkawi is a resort fringed by pristine white sand beach overlooking the emerald green waters of a swimmable lagoon that integrates seamlessly with the Andaman Sea.
It is living up to the brand that is certainly rich in history, especially among the well-heeled.
Being the brand’s 37th address in the world and the first in Malaysia, the five-star service and treatment at this resort begin even before one sets foot at the hotel doors.
From the airport transfer in luxury car brands to the personalised entrance right to the hotel lobby known as the Mansion, St Regis’ service would have made guests feel like they “have arrived” before even hitting the check-in desk.
First Impressions are Forever
The plush airport transfer may be some of the first touches with St Regis Langkawi. The real icing on the cake would be the hotel’s entrance courtyard.
A driveway that curves around a little forest of greenery, with a sculpture of an eagle that symbolises the island, statues of Javanese ladies and 89 potted ferns representing the number of suites in the resort, one would be amazed by how such a 115-year-old brand has managed to localise details so aptly.
The sound of the gong would indicate the arrival of new guests, and accompanying it would be a cheerful doorman clad in a brown signature uniform holding a complimentary drink and cold towels for refreshment.
A glance into the Mansion and one would know that the hotel exudes luxury instead of purely serious business.
For jet-setters who pursue the utmost in luxury during their stay, there’s nothing like opening the doors to a decadent hotel suite that is decked with exquisite furniture and seamless details.
While hotels all around the world would have their own stunning captivation of pleasantry and comfort, the signature scent of St Regis that whisks throughout its hotel is enticing for many.
Caroline’s Four Hundred, the signature St Regis fragrance, is inspired by the founder’s mother, Mrs Astor, and her legendary gatherings hosted at the dawn of New York’s Gilded Age.
The number “400” refers to the number of guests chosen by Mrs Astor from the highest echelon of New York society.
Created by Carlos Huber of Arquiste Parfumeur, this modern scent reprises the exotic woods of her ballroom, along with notes of her favourite flower — American Beauty roses — which adorned her ballroom during those magical evenings.
A walk around the resort and the bright coloured imaginative paintings by local artists on every wall can’t go unnoticed.
Interiors were designed by GA Design International Sdn Bhd and architecture by renowned firm Gensler, channelling a classical contemporary aesthetic with European and Middle Eastern influences.
Royalty for the Ordinary
The St Regis Langkawi is the first all-suite luxury resort in Langkawi, offering four private overwater villas — three of which are regular sunset villa and one royal sunset villa, as well as 85 luxuriously-appointed suites.
Each of the three sunset overwater villas and the sunset royal villa, which boasts a dedicated decked terrace and infinity pool strategically designed to amplify its secluded locality, exemplify the idyllic honeymoon suite.
Within the sunset overwater villas, enormous floor-to-ceiling glass panel windows bestow an open and airy feel, ensuring each guest, honeymooner or otherwise, delightful in their seclusion while being at one with nature.
Inside the distinctive habitat, guests will appreciate the plush, king-size bed with 300-thread count, fine, Egyptian cotton sheets and feather down comforter.
Promising unparalleled relaxation, all guests would be able to immerse themselves in a five star luxury resort living in St Regis’ oasis-like pool and luxury private beachfront access.
The other 85 suites are distinct in design with bold accent hues and imaginative paintings by esteemed local artists, with all suites offering expansive, unobstructed views of the sea from spacious terraces and unparalleled signature butler service.
Among other types of suites include premier rainforest, premier Andaman sea, St Regis one-bedroom suite, St Regis one-bedroom pool suite, panoramic one-bedroom suite, penthouse suite with sea view, alfresco dining and balcony, as well as the sea-view Astor Suite that comes with a balcony and a fireplace.
All of the suites are known for its alluring marble bathroom with warm natural tones.
The Crema Bianco marble and iridescent feature mosaic articulate the grandeur of the bathroom walls.
All guests, upon being escorted to the suite, would be briefed by the butler on the suite and services rendered such as luggage packing, unpacking, garment pressing and arranging of coffee and tea.
For those who enjoy being pampered, they would be head over heels to know that the butler would draw them special baths, depending on the different choices provided in a menu over the bathtub.
Where Exquisite Meets Tranquil Escapes
Spanning more than 800 sq m, the St Regis brand’s signature Iridium Spa enables guests to indulge in a range of speciality massage and wellness treatments in a tranquil and inviting environment.
Inspired by the resort’s lush surroundings, the Iridium Spa fuses ancient and modern techniques elevated by the curative essences of tropical botanicals and the therapeutic touch of their expert staff in a refined, tranquil oasis.
All spa treatments are performed by experienced spa professionals. Therapies are centred on the healing element of water, including foot bath rituals and shower experience.
From pre-treatment rituals to customised treatments, the sessions are tailored for each guest.
Therapies can be performed at individual treatment rooms, or couple’s suite, as well as cabana on the beach overlooking the Andaman Sea.
When the spa journey is complete, guests are pampered with relaxing and reviving teas and infusions, homemade cookies and mixed dry fruits, while the spa retail boutique allows them to take a piece of the experience home
Other facilities include a salon and a wellequipped 24-hour athletic club.
More Than Just Pleasure
With over 1,082 sq m of private event space, including an exquisite outdoor wedding pavilion inspired by Moorish design, a pre-function area and six meeting and event venues, the St Regis Langkawi is an ideal setting for grand or intimate gatherings, especially for destination weddings of late.
Spanning 300 sq m, The Astor Ballroom — crowned by crystal chandeliers —features state-of-the-art technology and bespoke catering options to ensure flawlessly executed gatherings.
The resort also recently won the Hitchbird Wedding Awards 2019 as the best destination wedding venue in Malaysia.
Exquisite Culinary Experiences
Guests can indulge their palates in the resort’s six distinct restaurants and bars, from a signature pan-Asian inspired cuisine to a beachfront seafood grill and international fare style dining options.
To begin the day, breakfast would be served at the L’Orangerie, reminiscent of a European glass-encased greenhouse, serving International brasserie dishes from a sleek marble open kitchen.
Enthralling vistas of the Andaman Sea are the hallmark of St Regis’ Asian haute cuisine restaurant where guests are invited to enjoy tantalising cocktails on its overwater terrace before adjourning for dinner in the appointed dining room.
Another restaurant is Pantai Grill, which includes wood-fired grilled choices such as sumptuous seafood dishes and premium steaks.
Guests can even experience the resort’s barbecue by the beach, every Friday for dinner where they can witness flame-grilled aromas and live-cooking stations offering fresh prawns, a variety of fish and grilled Tomahawk steak on the beach.
Another option for lunch or dinner would be the resort’s Gourmand Deli. Designed to foster convivial social interactions between gourmet food and drink and discerning guests, the resort’s welcoming restaurant captures the companionable spirit and heart-warming touch of the St Regis heritage.
In the deli, a selection of delectable morsels, fresh oysters and gourmet sandwiches — alongside freshly baked pies and quiches accompanied with sensuous treats of pralines and macaroons, delicious cakes and patisserie — is also available.
The St Regis Bar would be the premiere destination for classic cocktails and canapés as it allows guests to be surrounded in a rich atmosphere influenced by its views of the dense rainforest.
The Decanter wine bar, on the other hand, is an intimate and refined space where connoisseurs can savour the pleasures of rare vintages, while the Drawing Room provides the perfect backdrop for guests to enjoy intimate gatherings amid plush interiors.
Able to house more than a thousand wine bottles, the Decanter currently has 150 labels sourced from some of the finest wine producers in the old and new world, offering the guests specially handpicked selections by the team of knowledgeable St Regis Sommeliers.
Notably, every guest would be suggested to experience St Regis’ in-room dining experience with the option of arranging a private dining service in the comfort of their own room, while our chefs prepare meals from handcrafted menu.
The in-room dining can be catered for a lavish spread for an intimate gathering villa, or suite, or a casual late night cravings.
St Regis Centuries-old Rituals
Go to any St Regis in the world and one will be familiar with three things —Bloody Mary, Afternoon Tea Ritual, Evening Ritual (Champagne Sabering).
St Regis Langkawi is no different, offering its own interpretation of the traditions first started by John Jacob himself.
The original Bloody Mary was founded by famed barman Fernand Petiot in 1934, when he perfected the recipe for a vodka-and-tomato juice cocktail, known as the Bloody Mary at The St Regis New York’s King Cole Bar.
Originally christened the “Bloody Mary”, the cocktail was renamed the “Red Snapper” so as not to offend the hotel’s refined clientele.
In St Regis Langkawi, it is called the Lang Mary — short for Langkawi Mary. This tropical island blend sees pandan, tamarind and lemongrass as key ingredients. The screw pine gives texture and smoothness.
The lemongrass furnishes a hint of spice, and the tamarind provides a touch of sour and fruity sweetness. Combined with the original components of tomato juice and vodka, it makes a delicious exotic interpretation of the hotel’s signature.
The afternoon tea in this resort is supplemented by delicate pastries, both sweet and savoury, accompanied by a variety of tea.
The evening ritual, or more commonly known as the St Regis sabering ritual, dates back to the battles of Napoleon Bonaparte, who famously opened champagne with his sabre in both victory and defeat.
Quoting Napoleon: “Champagne: In victory, one deserves it; in defeat, one needs it.”