Langkawi is always a good idea. Less than a two hour flight from Singapore, it’s a stress free destination and favourite of the long-weekend crew looking for a fly’n’ flop. But away from the alluring beaches, there’s a whole world of historical, biological and cultural heritage, and Temple Tree Resort Langkawi embraces it all.


The resort is like no other. Consisting of eight distinct heritage houses, the designers of Temple Tree sourced each home from across Peninsular Malaysia and relocated it to Langkawi. That’s right – they carefully took each building apart, transported it for miles, and rebuilt it as a time capsule with all of the original external features retained. Aged 80 to 120 years old, each house is beautifully restored and symbolises a unique facet of Malaysia’s cultural mosaic, showcasing styles from Malay, Chinese, Indian, Peranakan, and Euro-Asian traditions. The stilted structures, open verandas, high ceilings, wooden floors, ornate tiles, and wood carvings add a touch of nostalgia, captivating visitors and feeling like a tapestry of time. All of this makes the resort ideal for multi-generational families seeking ample space to connect whilst on holiday. For our group of seven adults, it was like stepping into a bygone era.

Straits House

My housemate and I were delighted to discover Straits House, complete with a private swimming pool and large garden, was to be our sanctuary for the duration of our stay. Ideal for large families or groups of up to eight, Straits House boasts four bedrooms, each with ensuite bathroom. A spacious living room, private pool, and lush gardens create an inviting atmosphere. Outdoor dining is encouraged on the generous deck, and Temple Tree’s onsite chef stands ready to craft culinary delights.

Negeri Sembilan House

Formerly a family home in Mantin, this raised single-story house is now a luxurious suite with two bedrooms and a sweeping front veranda. Great for families of four, it offers a glimpse into the architectural beauty of the Malaysian state of Negeri Sembilan.

Johor House

Originally a Chinese farmhouse with Taiwanese design influence, charming Johor House boasts a rosy exterior that began its journey in Batu Pahat, Johor, around a century ago. The family’s legacy is palpable in the design, with a family portrait adorning Johor 2. This property accommodates up to five guests across two spacious suites, both boasting glorious verandas.

Colonial House

Built in the 1920s by Arab goldsmiths, Colonial House is a grand home that once stood proud in George Town, Penang. It blends East and West where Peranakan floor tiles and intricate European cornices tell a tale of cultural fusion. Ideal for multi-generational family stays thanks to varying room formats and living spaces.

Penang House

Reflecting 131 years of British influence, Penang House intertwines local, Chinese, Indian, and Islamic elements. Erected in the 1930s next to Gurney Drive in Penang, the original exterior colours and entrance still stand strong. Its two 70sqm suites connect with double doors yet maintain separate entrances and living spaces.

Plantation House

Originally a spacious Malay artisan’s dwelling from 1900, Plantation House evolved into a grand two-storey colonial-style abode. Built on Penang Island’s plantation area, it was later acquired by a Chinese Hakka family in 1920, earning the moniker “Tua Chua” or big house. Today, it comprises six suites and common areas include lounge spaces and a semi-open-air courtyard.

Estate House

For solo travellers or couples seeking quiet downtime, the Estate House provides a cosy haven. This long single-story building, originally from Pasir Puteh, Ipoh, is reminiscent of plantation estate lodgings from the early to mid-20th century. Terracotta floors, white walls, and thick wooden beams all add to the charisma. Some suites offer a private bathtub and a small garden made for afternoon tea.

Ipoh House

The Grand Dame of the resort, Ipoh House is an absolute gem dating back to the early 1900s. Divided into two parts, the back section flaunts Aceh-style architecture from 1900, while the front exudes the colonial style of 1903. Today, Ipoh House is a chic retro restaurant bar and reception lounge. The bar, strategically positioned in the middle, offers a stunning 360-degree view of the entire resort.

Temple Tree Resort’s commitment to preservation extends beyond the exterior of the homes, encompassing thoughtfully curated interiors that retain the original charm while providing modern amenities. Luxurious bedding, fully air-conditioned spaces, and contemporary conveniences like WiFi, digital entertainment, and optional TV streaming services, are all on tap if you need them.


Heritage dishes

During our four day stay, our dining experiences at Paloh Restaurant & Bar housed in Ipoh House took us through a mix of both local and international flavours. This all-day restaurant and bar offers a buffet or A La Carte breakfast, and à la carte lunch and dinner. The menu is a delightful fusion of cuisine, showcasing signature dishes like Paloh Nyonya Laksa, Ikan Bakar, Paloh Nutri Salad, and homemade pizzas. We enjoyed heritage-inspired dishes such as Daging Salai Cili Api (Negeri Sembilan), Char Kway Teow (Penang), Ipoh Hor Fun (Perak), Curry Debal (Melaka), and more.

As the sun clocks out, Paloh Restaurant & Bar goes into full glow-up mode serving innovative bites, drinks, and good vibes. The beverage menu has an impressive wine list, plus cocktails that are liquid poetry. One of the highlights was Monday’s “Music Under the Stars” when the garden turned into party central with the resident band, Lamh & Co., dishing out tunes from every corner of the universe: think acoustic guitars and sound bell drums in a musical love affair. This allowed us to belt out our best sing-along efforts under the Langkawi night sky.


Dream Forest

Nestled within serene surroundings, Temple Tree Resort offers easy access to adventure activities and provides a haven to those seeking relaxation. Upon entering its peaceful embrace, the bustling hub of Cenang Beach fades away rapidly. The resort provides two lap pools – one within the lush gardens and another in the Straits House – inviting guests to unwind and cool off. For those seeking ultimate chill, Temple Tree Spa awaits, offering long list of massages.

Yoga amidst heritage
Our journey into Zen unfolded as soon as we awoke thanks to the soothing sounds of nature. Keen to maintain serenity, we rose early for a transformative yoga session held in the Colonial House where others in our group were staying. Our session was guided by seasoned instructor Mohamad Jamil bin Mohamad Salleh (Jamil). Upon admitting our collective lack of bendability, Jamil quickly reassured us that his teachings were centred around breathwork, and each person’s unique journey of self-discovery and inner tranquility. The harmonious blend of Hatha and Yin yoga, presented in a basic class, offered insights into both physical and mental wellbeing.

Creative Expression with Batik Lagenda
Following lunch, we embraced our artistic flair through Batik Lagenda, a family-operated venture led by Nordi Bahrin and his mother. Focused on exclusive batik sessions, they provided a cultural immersion into this art form. During the two-hour session, we delved into the cultural history of Batik and learned techniques before unleashing our individual creativity and bringing our artistic visions to life. We ended the session with a framed creation of our artwork to take home.

Pantai Cenang Beach
Dragging ourselves away from the paradise of Temple Tree wasn’t easy. However, the siren calls of Pantai Cenang Beach, just a breezy 10-minute stroll away, was too tempting to resist. This beach offers a smorgasbord of activities to suit all holiday makers. You can dive into a variety of water sports, join in a beach game, or just become one with your beach towel and soak up the sun. As night falls, the beach transforms into a vibrant strip of bars and restaurants. When the night sky decides to show off, you’re treated to a mini-fireworks spectacle – Langkawi’s own nightly light show. Nearby, ‘beach buskers’ perform captivating stunts, adding a touch of magic to the post-sunset ambience.

The Cliff Restaurant
The Cliff Restaurant is Langkawi’s culinary and social haven. Overlooking Pantai Cenang beach, we started with a delightful session of cocktails against the backdrop of a stunning sunset before venturing indoors to savour local culinary treasures. The cuisine, marked by its freshness and flavours, adds an extra layer to The Cliff’s overall allure.

Shop, shop, shopping!
Take a leisurely walk to Cenang Mall, the big player in the local shopping scene, staying alive and buzzing till late. Pantai Cenang Beach isn’t just a beach; it’s a blend of nature doing its thing, a dash of adventure, some seriously tasty local eats, and nightlife that’s more laid-back fiesta than all-night rave. Consider this your open invitation to the chill side of life!

Dream Forest Langkawi
For those seeking a magical escape, enchanting Dream Forest awaits. Stroll amongst suspended walkways offering panoramic views of the verdant canopy and enter hidden caves filled with secrets and wonders. Enjoy educational exhibits, and engage with interactive displays to deepen your connection with the great outdoors. Choose from well-marked trails catering to different fitness levels. Conveniently located in close proximity to Temple Tree resort, Dream Forest is a fabulous evening out for families looking for a unique and scenic adventure away from the buzz of urban life.

Verdict: Temple Tree Resort Langkawi offers a harmonious blend of historic charm, modern amenities, and natural wonders. From relaxation amidst heritage to the enchanting escapade of Dream Forest, every moment becomes a timeless journey. Whether seeking adventure or tranquility, a stay here with its surrounding attractions promises an immersive experience, creating memories that linger long after your Langkawi adventure concludes.

Lot 1053, Jalan Pantai Chenang, Pantai Cenang, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia.