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5 special places to stay on Malaysia's islands | Insight Guides Blog

5 special places to stay on Malaysia's islands

Malaysia is blessed with a variety of beautiful tropical islands, from the popular choice of Penang to the oceanic isle of Sipadan, off Sabah's coast. And a gorgeous island holiday requires a unique hotel – read on for our pick of special places to stay
Four Seasons Resort,  Langkawi
Four Seasons Resort, Langkawi

Four Seasons Resort,  Langkawi


Malaysia's glorious islands offer a wide range of places to stay in every category, but sometimes you want something really special. Whether you're after relaxation, luxury or activities, here's our recommendations of the most delightful hotels and resorts on islands from Penang to Langkawi


1. Lone Pine, Penang

With a rich heritage and a mystic, spiritual core, as well as fine beaches and wonderful food, Penang is a perennial favourite among visitors to Malaysia. You can explore this brilliant island, Malaysia's best known, on our Traditional Malaysia and Wild Borneo trip, while staying at Lone Pine, the only luxurious boutique hotel on Batu Ferringhi. Enjoy the mix of colonial style and modern facilities, eat by the beach at The Bungalow and indulge in a massage at the spa.


Lone Pine, Super Deluxe Room


2. Four Seasons, Langkawi

Luxury travel aficionados know all about Langkawi – a beautiful limestone cliff and forest archipelago of some 100-odd islands, fringed by perfect beaches and studded with high-end resorts. This is a place of legends for honeymooners and anyone desiring a tropical idyll in a developed but slightly offbeat location. And there is no better place to stay than the Four Seasons Resort, perched on the Andaman Sea. This all-out luxury destination is a part of our Indulgent Malaysia trip and we are confident it will be one of the highlights, with a wealth of exciting activities on offer, fabulous bars and restaurants and access to Langkawi's UNESCO Geopark for cruising, rainforest walks and much more.

3. Rungus Long House, Kudat, Malaysian Borneo 

The evocative-sounding island of Borneo is split between Malaysia and Indonesia, and the states of Sarawak and Sabah are home to many bucket-list activities, from orang-utan visits to climbing Mount Kinabalu. Our Experience Nature in the Wilds of Sabah adventure includes the amazing experience of staying in a traditional long house, which are typical of the region and blend modern comforts with a unique insight into how local tribes live.

4. JapaMala Tioman Island, Pulau Tioman

With long sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters and beautiful coral reefs, the islands of the South China Sea off of Malaysia's peninsular east coast offer the perfect getaway. The most developed island is Pulau Tioman, which is best known for its fabulous diving and snorkelling opportunities. Explore the island from the boutique base of JapaMala Tioman Island, a collection of wooden houses, cliffside rooms and beachside villas that have been designed around the resort's natural landscape. Unwinding and appreciating your incredible location can be your main activity, or you can engage in dives, boat tours and jungle trekking if you're feeling energetic.

5. Mabul Water Bungalows, Pulau Sipadan 

A floating dive resort, Mabul Water Bungalows is truly special accommodation! Pulau Sipadan is Malaysia's only oceanic island. A pinnacle of limestone and coral rises up 600m (2,000ft) from the Celebes Sea, at the southeastern tip of the state of Sabah on Malaysian Borneo. The stunning visibility and incredible range of marine life on offer have captivated divers for years, including the late marine ecologist, Jacques Cousteau. Mabul Water Bungalows features 16 contemporary rooms on stilts over the water and with all the water activities on offer, you will never be bored! On-site facilities such as a spa add an extra dimension to this unique experience.


Inspired to take a trip?

Browse suggested itineraries online or speak to our Malaysia experts today to create your tailor-made holiday.

Read more about this amazing country:

Top 5 beaches in Malaysia

9 reasons to visit Kuala Lumpur

Destination Langkawi

17 places to visit in Asia this year