“Have you seen the Northern Lights outside?” Kevin Ammar Eu asks, as I take my place at the dining table for dinner. The question wouldn’t have caught me off-guard had we been in Norway or Alaska. But we are at the newly opened Aloft Langkawi Pantai Tengah in Kedah, and it’s the thick of monsoon season.
Sure, the torrential downpour in the daytime makes the weather a bit cooler. But for the most part, it’s still pretty hot and humid in the island – not the most conducive environment for the natural light phenomenon.
Noticing my puzzled look, Eu – who is the hotel’s general manager – asks me to look out the floor-to-ceiling window of the restaurant. I turn around and see the Andaman sea gleaming with an emerald glow against the night sky.
“What you are seeing is the Langkawi Northern Lights,” Eu explains, a glint of playful mischief in his eyes. The green glow actually comes from floodlight deployed by local fishermen to lure squid to the surface of the ocean.
The faint radiance makes for a unique view when I step out to the private balcony of my room later that night. Although, Aloft Langkawi Pantai Tengah probably doesn’t need a man-made phenomenon to help it stand out in the island’s saturated hospitality scene.
Pretty young hotel
If anything, the new hotel is a bit of a rarity in the Aloft portfolio. Located in the relatively quieter area of Pantai Tengah, the property takes on a very casual beachside resort feel … a far cry from the cosmopolitan image that is usually associated with the brand.
The keyword at the new hotel is “sassy”, something that is immediately apparent when you arrive at the lobby. Basked in bright and bold colours, first impressions are that of a property that’s stylish and fun.
Step behind a set of partition and you will find a billiard table. There’s also a makeshift stage that hosts monthly live performances featuring homegrown musicians. Over at another corner, the WXYZ bar beckons with delicious cocktails and a friendly bartender.
All the above does strike up a communal tone, and that’s what the property aspires to do, says the hotel’s communications manager Laurine Pereira.
“With our public spaces, we have designed it in a way that makes it easier for people to socialise,” she explains during a tour of the hotel. That prospect of meeting new people might entice younger guests.
If it doesn’t, then there’s always the promise of staying perpetually connected during your stay. The hotel is equipped with computers at the lobby as well as hi-speed WiFi across the property.
Rooms that offer cosy slumber
That dedication towards technology also extends to the rooms. The hotel’s rooms and suites are equipped with intuitive Passive Infrared motion sensors. What this does is it allows for automatic activation and deactivation of the power supply when guests enter or leave the room.
While this sounds like a great initiative in the eco-conscious movement, there are moments when I wake up in the middle of the night to find the air-conditioning automatically turned off.
But that little kink is secondary to the gorgeous interior of my loft-like room. Airy and modern, the room is outfitted with plush furnishings and adorned with a vibrant colour palette.
There’s also a ridiculously spacious bathroom with a walk-in rain shower, perfect for a refreshing cleanse after a day at the beach. But of course, the highlight would have to be the unobstructed panaromic view of the Andaman sea.
Most of the rooms would have a view of the beach and the ocean, but guests also have the option of looking out to lush rainforests.
Hotel amenities offer fun for all
With the beautiful interior of the room, it’s tempting to stay in and just chill on the plush platform bed all day. But why would you do that when there’s a range of amenities to enjoy at the hotel?
Start off with a dip at the exquisite infinity pool with its view of the ocean. There’s also a 24-hour gym that comes complete with an array of the latest equipment. Parents can pop their little ones for some fun and games at the Kids Club.
For all your gastronomical needs, Nook – the hotel’s all-day-dining restaurant – offers a tantalising dining experience. The buffet selection is exceptional, with plenty of local as well as Asian and Western options.
I have to give due compliments for the nasi lemak and noodles selection. The former, for one, is paired with sambal that doesn’t skimp on the flavour and heat! For some light munches, there’s a grab-and-go kiosk beside the reception.
Venture out of the property and you will find most of Langkawi’s attractions to be just a stone’s throw away. Some nearby places include Pantai Cenang, T-Zone Underwater World and Junglewalla. Alternatively, you can always speak to the concierge to arrange beach activities and tours.
Aloft Langkawi Pantai Tengah
Lot PT 701, Jalan Pantai Tengah, Mukim Kedawang,
Langkawi 7000 Malaysia
Tel: 04-952 5252