Pangkor Laut is an exclusive and expensive private island resort off the west coast of Malaysia. Malaysian-owned YTL Hotels group is the operator. Pangkor Laut Resort is describes as a "one island, one resort" destination.
The location is about 270km north of Kuala Lumpur and 180km south of Penang, and it's popular for weekending locals as well as honeymooners and families from Asia, Australia, Europe and Africa.
The property's top accommodation classification: self-contained compounds of villas on secluded coves or amid rainforest on dauntingly high headlands; included in the tariff is an exclusive chef, car and driver and myriad extras such as beach dinners with, say, grilled lobster and fish curries.
The likes of Tony Blair, Keira Knightley, Sting and Martha Stewart have hung up their traditional Malaysian garment in privileged isolation and, possibly, have enjoyed the treatments of Suresh with his daily cargo of flowers and petals, ever at the ready for strewing.
Staying in one of these palatial follies on Pangkor Laut could feels like being inside the fabric of the jungle and, depending on how far you choose to roam, you may need to negotiate an obstacle course of boulders, tree roots, wooden bridges, ferny defiles and ponds.
Flagged stone pathways bordered with rough granite walls connect sleeping, dining, lounging and sea-viewing pavilions. Birds are constant companions on wanderings; peacocks appear in sudden flashes of blue.
With so much focus on affordable holidays in Bali and southern Thailand, you may not think of Malaysia as a resort destination but there is much to love about Pangkor Laut, particularly if you are keen on botany, sea activities and walking.
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