Langkawi has long topped the tourism radar where Malaysia is concerned, and frankly, what’s there not to love? Rich in history that extends beyond the legend of Mahsuri, the paradisal island has duty-free shopping that’s hard to beat (think affordable booze and chocolates!), stretches of coral-fringed, white sand beaches with emerald blue waters, picturesque sunrises and sunsets, and an endless plethora of activities for both nature lovers and adventure-seekers.
Being such a renowned tropical destination, it goes without saying that there is an extensive array of temporary abodes apportioned to various groups of people hinged on diverse preferences. There is of course the lavish way to go with extravagant hotels and resorts, but should you be a no-frills traveller who enjoys unravelling the local culture scene as is with simple yet sufficiently comforting amenities, Tubotel stands out as an obvious choice.
Modelled after Austria’s dasparkhotel, this quirky lodging boasts a minimalist concept with standalone, cylindrical reclaimed concrete tubes as rooms, equipped with back-to-basic furnishings such as an air-conditioner, a double bed, plug points and a lamp. While extra space evidently isn’t an advantage within the tubes, each one snuggly fits up to two pax, leaving the tiniest standing room for storage before the platform that houses the mattress.
Compact rooms aside, Tubotel is akin to an adult playground that is no less inviting as it is relieving to the mind, body and soul. Step inside and be greeted with candy-coloured day-beds, sun-loungers and beanbags that are more than enticing, aside from the greenery that envelopes its entire vicinity. Another plus point that deserves its own spotlight? The hotel is strategically positioned in such a way that it outlines the coast of the sea.
Tubotel’s surrounding facilities are no less impressive. The communal unisex toilets, equipped with showers and washing machines, are clean and well-maintained, whereas the cafeteria which whips up really good pizza for when you’re feeling peckish also offers complimentary breakfast daily in the mornings. With different breakfast menus on rotation everyday, guests on short stays will most likely be able to sample something new day to day.
The only gripe about staying at Tubotel is that it isn’t exactly within spitting distance from the popular hotspots along Cenang beach, including larger duty-free stores, restaurants and bars. With that said, guests who are without personal or rented vehicles can always opt for ride-hailing services such as Grab or Uber to get around. The latter is more convenient and fuss free, on top of the relatively low fares.
Without a doubt, Langkawi serves up some of the most magnificent sunsets, and for a far more superior vantage point than the beaches, look no further than Upsidow. This unique artist installation is constructed fully out of up-cycled materials and just as its name suggests, it is an upside down house that presents countless photo opportunities at every corner. The viewing deck, too, is a must-see, alongside the little food court for some al fresco dining.
For some upscale indulgence, no where else is near as good as the Perdana Quay Telaga Harbour where you can feast overlooking the vast marina with plenty of boats and yachts docked. It’s surely a pretty sight, but we reckon the best way to revel in the view in all of its glory is over a glass of fine wine or a pint of beer if you swing that way. And fortunately, there is both at the harbour.
There has been a buzz around self-service beer dispensers in Kuala Lumpur as of late, and what do you know?! Langkawi now has its own version. Aptly named the Beer ATM, all you have to do for a pint or two is to purchase a prepaid card with cash value in it, place it in the card slot on the machine, grab an ice cold glass from the cooler below and fill away with the brew of your choice.
Alternatively, head to Tapaz for splendid and authentic Spanish-styled tapas and classics, aside from other fusion offerings. Think nachos with guac, chicken wings, hearty burgers, fried rice and more for lunch, then Spanish favourites such as seafood paella, patatas bravas (bravas potatoes), fried calamari, and homemade chicken liver pate, amongst others come dinnertime. We certainly were not disappointed with our visit!
07000 Pantai Cenang,
Phone: +6014-240 7022
Email: [email protected]
37, Jalan Padang Matsirat,
07000 Langkawi, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 11am – 9pm
Tapaz Restaurant & Beer ATM
Perdana Quay Telaga Harbour, A1 & A2,
07000 Pantai Kok,
Opening Hours: 11am – 11pm