Family holidays can often feel like a bit of a chore, as you need to plan everything perfectly when you're travelling with kids in tow. My husband and I had always wanted to check out Langkawi, a tropical archipelago made up of 99 islands on Malaysia's west coast; however, after discovering that there were no direct flights from Hong Kong, we were a bit apprehensive about making the journey along with our four-year-old and one-year-old kids.
After a little consideration, we decided not to let the lack of direct connection deter us, taking a Dragonair flight to Penang, followed by a short domestic flight with Firefly to Langkawi. I'm very happy to report that we reached our destination without drama… from the airlines or either of the two children!
Our accommodation for the trip was the Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa. Located on a private beachfront property, this hotel is the perfect place for some family downtime, while also being conveniently located near Langkawi town. This means that there are plenty of shopping malls and local seafood restaurants boasting freshly caught produce in the vicinity of the hotel, as well as Indian, Arabic, Thai and Malaysian cuisine options. If you prefer not to stray too far afield, there are a wide range of dining choices on-site, including the "SuperfoodsRx" menu – a trademarked Westin initiative that focuses on a healthy, nutrient-rich selection of food and beverages for both adults and children.
Speaking of children, ours absolutely loved the Westin's kids' club! The club offers a wide range of fun and educational activities such as nature walks, bird watching, painting and even learning about Malay traditions, meaning that there is plenty for little ones to do beyond the play area. Activities are conducted in various locations including the pool and the beach; this is a fantastic additional service that allows parents a little free time to hit the gym or simply relax at the spa.
In addition to the kids' club, there are plenty of activities and excursions to keep everybody entertained – in fact, if you have the energy, you can easily do something different every day! One morning we headed to Underwater World, which was great for amusing our one-year-old, while also being very educational for our four-year-old. Other attractions to keep the family busy are the Langkawi Cable Car, Sky Bridge, Dataran Lang (Eagle Square) and Langkawi Bird Paradise. Plus, if your children are old enough, you can get adventurous with jet skiing, banana boats, parasailing and wakeboarding on the beach.
Before you leave Langkawi, make sure that you don't miss out on a sunset dinner cruise that perfectly showcases the many islands that make up this stunning destination. Most cruises offer all-inclusive food and drinks as you glide through the water at sunset. Make sure you check the suitability of your cruise for young children in advance and don't forget your camera!
Overall I found Langkawi to be a fantastic family holiday destination, with the perfect combination of stunning white sandy beaches, great kids entertainment, beautiful weather, good value food and drink, and – a favourite with my husband in particular – a fantastic golf course at Els Club Datai. We'd happily head back to the tranquillity of Langkawi again... and I'm sure I'll be able to convince my hubby with the promise of another round on the green!