Firstly, when I tried to book this hotel back in Oct 08, it was like pulling teeth to get a reply from them, then when they finally did (after about 3-4 times), they insisted on a credit card number, but do not have a secure website for you to do this. Then we tried their fax number - actually tried 2 different fax numbers from both my work and my husbands numerous times and neither worked - they just rang and rang and rang. So then tried the email - AGAIN - and again no reply despite numerous tries. In the end, Baskie got in touch with them on my behalf but they still wouldn't give him a firm yes or no about our booking. Shortly after that I did finally get an email confirming. I should have known then to make other arrangements but didn't. Luckily there were no arguments when we arrived.
So we came to check in and the woman at the desk was very nice and friendly. They were still cleaning our room but she said we could put our bags in the room, which we did. When there I saw the state of the pillows, which were the most dirty I have seen anywhere - absolutely disgusting. So if you do stay here, look under the pillow cases. The mattress seemed better but I didn't get a good look. I decided right then that I would only sleep in my silk sleeping sac the whole time. And as far as cleanliness, we stayed 4 nights and I don't think the floor was ever swept, let alone washed the entire time. There were the same dust balls/bits of fluff/whatever you want to call them in the same place day after day. And in the bathroom, the shower may have been been rinsed but again, places where some of our talc powder went on the floor stayed there the whole 4 days. And the state of the bathroom was poor - permanent grout mould stains everywhere and the towels, although washed, were also permanently stained (with what I didn't want to ask) and had holes in them. Also, the actual shower controls were up so high that I couldn't change them the entire time. Since I am, more or less, the same height as many Malaysian women, I cannot believe they situated the shower unit so high. Even at my tip toes using my full arm stretch I couldn't even get close to touching the controls.
The breakfast was not nice at all - the same old tired, boring (read rubbish) Western breakfast. We only bothered one morning and regretted even that.
The beach was nice, but all the other guests were completely selfish and put their towels on the beach loungers all day, even when they went away for hours at a time, so that no one else could use them. The water, if you went in for a swim, was not nice at all. Not dirty in the sense of oil slicks or rubbish floating about, but murky, very murky. In fact the first day we went in for a swim I was surprised that I was only in a few inches of water, but couldn't see down to my feet and also felt like I was being sort of bitten - like thousands of pin pricks. A real disappointment after seeing the lovely beach and seemingly blue water all around. The last 2 days I didn't feel well at all, and I put it down to perhaps getting some inedible ice cubes, but now I think about it, I did put my head under water and I think it may have been the dirty water, even though I wasn't swimming for long or very often. I noticed not many other guests went swimming very much either. That may be why or it may be some couldn't be bothered to leave their loungers, which it seemed some never did the whole time we were there.
Back to the room and there are no door knobs and the door doesn't close, so you either have to let it swing wide open for all the world to see into your room, or lock it or use the chain lock. Not good. And mossies EVERYWHERE, also ants. It was no coincidence that the mini-mart right next door stocked bug spray (the big, red industrial type cans) in great quantities, and that every single room you passed by had either one of those in the doorway and a mossie coil, or BOTH. This, I think, was down to the fact they had these water features everywhere, which on first sight seemed nice, but in reality were just mossie breeding grounds, and loads of them. Stagnant water everywhere for them to nurture in.
When it came to pay, they don't take your card there, you have to walk quite a bit away to pay at their gift shop, which is not exactly next door to the hotel.
The only good thing about this hotel was that the staff, all of them, were very, very friendly. This doesn't make up for it being overpriced (we had a family room, which meant 2 double mattresses on a platform right next to each other - yes just mattresses on the floor basically which we paid £60 a night for), the room not clean, mossie ridden, bad breakfast and dirty sea to swim in.
Also the area around it was just a strip mall, and building site on top of that. God forbid you would have a bit too much to drink and try to walk home - they are re-doing the sidewalks and there are HUGE, DEEP holes everywhere - most of them with no cautions or impediments for anyone to fall right in. And there is hardly any street lighting, so even if you aren't tipsy, you could easily fall in anyway. There are many places to eat, especially if you want to get chips (fries) or full English fry-ups shoved down your gob. But basically not one cooking local Malaysian food. There was a good one called Haroos, but it served not Malaysian but some really nice Korean dishes and the waiter was excellent, truly a credit.
There is nowhere to eat or drink at the hotel, tho there is a place on the beach right next door which is pretty average (the white wine is yuck - sweet ?Blue Nun?).
If you want a place on the beach, but that you wouldn't want to swim in, don't care about cleanliness, or care that the surrounding area is nothing more than a strip mall and currently a big building site (which is what most of Langkawi seemed to us, apart from the geopark), then I guess it is okay, but even then I would say if you want a beach holiday, forget Langkawi and go to its neighbour, which you can see from some of the island - which is Thailand - much, much better in all areas. Langkawi, Paradise Island, I don't think so.
PS: Do go on one of the eco mangrove tours. This was the only thing we liked on the island - wild eagles, beautiful mangroves, monkeys, etc.
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- Also Known As:
- Sunset Beach Hotel Langkawi
- Sunset Beach Langkawi
- Sunset Beach Resort Langkawi/Pantai Cenang