Reminiscent of the majestic British Malaysian colonial era, the Danna is the only five-star luxury resort on Langkawi Island to embrace old world splendour. If majestic spaces with colonial charm appeal to you, then look no further than the Danna Langkawi, says Jasleen Kandhari.

First impressions

The vast sense of space is the first thing that hits you upon entering the hotel's lobby, with its soaring ceilings and towering pillars. "Opulent, colonial grandeur," were my first thoughts and they remained with me throughout my stay. Upon arrival at the hotel, after a quick 15-minute drive from the airport on Langkawi Island, I was presented with a refreshing cold hand towel and a three-minute shoulder massage to ease away the flight tension. Walking past the lobby, I entered what seemed to be a tropical rainforest, as the lobby opened up to a lush courtyard full of tropical trees, plants and ponds, leading to a breathtaking sea view over the infinity pool.

Ideal for

The ideal location for a family holiday, honeymoon or couple's retreat. The opportunity to enjoy a romantic, secluded picnic on the hotel's man-made island 100m (330ft) from the shoreline, is not to be missed.


Keeping in line with the hotel's theme of British Malaysian colonial grandeur, each room has a large four poster bed with embroidered bedding, and ensuite marble bathrooms. My Viceroy sea view room had a wooden screen dividing the bedroom and bathroom, which I slid across so I could gaze at the scintillating Andaman Sea from my sunken marble bathtub. All rooms overlook either the sea, marina or the rainforest courtyard, with private balconies to savour the stunning views.

Danna Langkawi Duchess SuiteSleep in the luxurious Duchess Suite
The Danna Langkawi

Best room

For the largest room, book the Countess Suite, complete with two private balconies and a Jacuzzi overlooking the sea.

Eating and drinking

The gourmet breakfasts at the Planters restaurant feature a mouthwatering selection of traditional Malaysian, Indian and Chinese foods, like the Malay Nasi Lemak - a coconut rice dish wrapped in banana leaf served with a boiled egg, sambal spicy sauce, roasted peanuts and anchovies. For those who can’t stomach spicy food in the morning, a diverse array of continental delights from fine cheeses to sushi is served from the a la carte and buffet menu.

Danna Langkawi DiningDine al fresco
The Danna Langkawi

In the colonial Straits & Co. restaurant, I savoured the Malaysian cuisine. Nasi Dagang consisting of a folded banana leaf filled with coconut rice, sambal, spicy tuna, boiled egg and chicken satay sticks, was complemented well with strawberry milkshake for the fusion effect, topped off with dessert of Sago Gula Melaka - a pearls sago dish with palm sugar, served with coconut ice-cream. I also tried their speciality lunch in the form of a Tiffin luncheon, eating tasty Indian fish, lamb, chicken and dhal curries served in separate tiffins or metal containers stacked up just like they do in India. 

For after dark cocktails, it was down to the majestic Verandah lounge with high ceilings, chandeliers and an open-plan seating area, complete with cigar bar.


Danna Langkawi Loungers by the poolLounge by the pool
The Danna Langkawi
I spent several hours swimming and resting around the huge three-tiered infinity pool with direct views of the beach and sea to the front and tropical rainforest and hills to the side. The large pool includes a separate shallow section for children to frolic. The Games, Library and Reading rooms also overlook the Andaman Sea and the Danna Fitness centre is available for all to use 24 hours a day.

Located on the top floor is the Danna Spa. Here I was treated to a heavenly Danna Spa Ritual treatment, consisting of a nurturing marine algae wrap for detoxification, followed by a Malay coffee and rice scrub to exfoliate and revitalize my skin. This ended with a body massage whereby my spa therapist, Shakila, exerted deep pressure strokes to effectively relieve the tension in my muscles.

Out and about

Since the Danna is on Telaga Harbour, near the west coast of Langkawi Island, Perdana Quay is the closest venue (other than the hotel) to grab a bite to eat. There are plenty of Malaysian crafts stalls and a handful of shopping malls (in Cenang Beach district and Kuah town respectively) to keep a happy shopper occupied, plus there’s the fact that Langkawi island is a duty free island.

With opportunities to trek through jungles, participate in multiple water sports, visit Underwater World, the largest aquarium in South East Asia, , and learn more about Malaysian culture, a plethora of activities are easily accessible from the hotel.  I chose to get a bird’s eye impression of the Langkawi archipelago by riding the cable car to Mount Cincang, Langkawi’s second highest peak. As a culture vulture, I was intrigued by a visit to Batik Village to view demonstrations on how the local hand-painted Batik textiles are produced. I also took the Mangrove cruise, during which I spotted eagles, braved bat caves and embarked on an after-dark trek guided by a local naturalist.


The Danna Langkawi
Telaga Harbour Park
Pantai Kok,
0700 Langkawi

Tel: +60 4959 3288
Prices start from £300 per night for a double room. A Viceroy room starts from £700 per night.

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