Beach resorts are one of the mainstays of tourism in Malaysia. With almost 3000 miles of coastline, when looking for an ideal resort or beach resort search through some of the popular hotel's search sites, there are too many listings that fail to reduce search results even with multiple filters. From the best in luxury to the best affordable options, we’ll have a look at the best beach resorts in Malaysia that are at the forefront of topnotch beachfront addresses.
Beach Resorts in Malaysia, The Best of Luxury and Budget
The Best Resorts in Kota KinabaluKota Kinabalu is the capital of Malaysia’s Sabah state in the northern part of the island of Borneo. Often referred to as KK, it’s a coastal city partly surrounded by rain forest. It's known for its bustling markets, modern boardwalk, beaches and waterfront Kota Kinabalu City Mosque. It is also a gateway to Kinabalu National Park, the home of 4,095m-high Mount Kinabalu.
Kota Kinabalu also has several attractive beach resorts that are often being the best choice for foreign tourists as well as local tourists.
The Best in Luxury - Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa
On the cusp of a nature reserve, surrounded by 400 acres of tropical forest, the 499-roomed luxury resort is, by our definition, the most heavenly of tropical paradises in Kota Kinabalu and one of Malaysia’s best beach resorts. If you’re like us and wait a year to go all out for the best rubdown money can buy when you’re on holiday, then you’re going to love the hotel’s Spa at Dalit Bay. Ontop of the spa, getting acquainted with local wildlife through the hotel’s unique Nature Interpretation Centre is a must.
Memorable holiday tip: For your own private oversized bathtub on the balcony like in the above picture, stay in the Ocean Wing’s Premier Rooms.
The Best in Budget - Sky Hotel Kota Kinabalu
This budget-luxury hotel is conveniently located in Kota Kinabalu’s business district, minutes by car from the ocean. Rooms are large and fit more people than the average hotel room, ranging from 4 people in the spacious 40 square metre Studio Room, to 8 people in the 131 square metre Premier Room.
With a drinks lounge, complimentary breakfast, and rooftop pool that looks out onto the South China Sea with the fiery vermilion sky hanging overhead, the hotel is a popular choice for travellers to KK.
Memorable holiday tip: Order cocktails and watch the sunset from the rooftop.
The Best Resorts on Gaya Island & Manukan IslandGaya Island (Pulau Gaya) is a sizeable Malaysian island of 1,465 ha, just 10 minutes off KK and forms part of the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park. Gaya Island derived its name from the Bajau word "Gayo" which means big and occupies an area of 15 km² (3,700 acres) with an elevation of up to 300 metres. Several ridges rise more than 600 feet (180 m), peaking at 1,000 feet (300 m), along the backbone of Gaya Island.
Gaya is the largest island in the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, closest to downtown KK and is covered with dense virgin, tropical forest. It has been a forest reserve since 1923. Historically, Gaya Island was also the site of the English colonialist's British North Borneo Company's harbor, razed by the folk hero Mat Salleh on 9 July 1897.
With over 200,000 visits annually, Manukan Island (Pulau Manukan) is the most frequented island by domestic and international tourists. It is only 15-minute away by boat ride, almost a no-brainer choice for people who want an island day trip near to KK.
However, to be fair, the reason Manukan Island becomes the most famous island is not just because it’s "convenient". It does have three other outstanding factors that make this beautiful island of South China Sea a favorite destination. Firstly, Manukan Island has long stretch of white sandy beach, secondly it has the most developed facilities and lastly but not least; it is has the best snorkeling spot.
Let's take a look at the finest choices of luxury beach resort and budget resort here.
The Best in Luxury - Gaya Island Resort
Situated 10-minutes off the coast of Kota Kinabalu is the private Gaya Island Resort. Spacious guest villas, nestled in the verdant hills, overlook mangroves and the South China Sea. Blending in with the rainforest surrounding the resort, the natural materials used in each villa create a harmonious environment that couples looking for an intimate escape to nature will love.
Soaking with your partner in an oversized bathtub that sits in the villa’s open-air, en-suite bathroom, and enjoying a scrumptious barbecue prepared by the resort’s chefs on the beach, are just two of the nourishing experiences that await guests at Gaya Island Resort.
Romantic holiday tip: Get the couples’ rice massage aka “Tadau Kaamatan”.
The best in budget - Manukan Island Resort
On Manukan Island, the smaller and more private of the two main islands off of Kota Kinabalu, this resort is the most affordable island-resort option in the area. What’s more romantic than pristine white sand in between your toes, snorkeling alongside the tropical coral reef, and waking up in your hillside chalet?
Nestled in lush vegetation that makes up the island’s rain forest, just steps away from the beach, Manukan Island Resort is the perfect place to recharge and reconnect with your loved one.
Romantic holiday tip: Ask for a private beach picnic or get your room decorated with flower petals.
The best resorts in LangkawiThe best beach resorts in Langkawi are the perfect stay options for travellers who want to stay close to the island’s crystal clear waters and expansive beaches. These beachfront accommodations range from opulent resorts with traditional wooden villas nestled within a lush rainforest to sleek and modern properties with easy access to Langkawi’s numerous historical attractions.
Langkawi is well-regarded as one of Malaysia's premier holiday destinations due to its excellent diving opportunities, exciting nightlife, tantalising local and international fare, not forgetting its dirt-cheap shopping outlets – all of which are accessible via rented vehicle and public transportation.
These best-selling Langkawi beachfront resorts boast well-appointed guestrooms with breathtaking views of limestone outcrops, turquoise waters and golden sands, state-of-the-art facilities, a wide range of dining opportunities, and outstanding service.
Best of all, guests can enjoy a wide array of exciting water sports or simply relax on clean white sands with a tropical drink in hand.
The best in luxury - Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa
Located on the long stretch of white sand that is Langkawi Island’s most popular beach, the luxury resort is an active couple’s dream, given the many things to do nearby including beach bars, restos on the waterfront, and watersports. Private verandas are fixtures of each room as are the magnificent views of the sea. From a delicious menu of massages at Teratai Spa to the delicious menu of food at the hotel’s beachside Asian restaurant, CBA, there’re so many little pleasures that makes this hotel one of Malaysia’s best beach resorts.
Romantic holiday tip: Pool-facing and beachfront rooms are nice, though for extra privacy, book a Garden Terrace Room that are super quiet, overlooking lush gardens.
The best in budget - Telaga Terrace Boutique Resort
Also located a few minutes’ walk to Pelangi Beach, this boutique resort is the perfect choice for bargain hunters who don’t want to compromise on quality of service and availability of amenities.
Memorable holiday tip: For your own private Jacuzzi, book the Telaga Suite.
The Best Resorts in Port DicksonThere are plenty of things to do in Port Dickson. They also have many choices of hotels and resorts for you and your family to spend your holidays. Port Dickson, or fondly known as PD, is the pride of Negeri Sembilan region in Malaysia.
Port Dickson has everything from three-star resorts to over the water chalets at good prices. It is an easy place for you to relax and unwind for a long weekend away.
These are among the best options for luxury beach resort and budget resort in Port Dickson.
The Best in Luxury - Avillion Port Dickson
Sojourners to Port Dickson looking for an adults-only getaway should check in to the Avillon Port Dickson which has the town’s best adults only pool and spa. If sleeping in overwater challets and waking up with the sea right at your feet sounds like a dream to you, surprise your loved one by booking a premium chalet which is further out to sea than other chalets for the best views of the Andaman Sea.
Memorable holiday tip: Head to the hotel’s private Lookout Point — where deckchairs overlook the beach and waters beyond — and watch the sunset in complete serenity with your loved one.
The Best in Budget - Merlin Hotel
Why is Merlin the best cost-for-value option in PD? For starters, you have luxury-views of the ocean from the property’s budget rooms. Then there’s the privacy that comes with the hotel being smaller-sized than many of the other family-oriented resorts in town. Perfect for couples who plan on biking along the waterfront. Guests with cars and bikes — concierge takes care of parking!
Memorable holiday tip: Netflix and chill in your well connected room and enjoy your breakfast under the sweet little coloured umbrellas.
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