This is a great place to visit for a few days, but pick your time of year. When we were planning our trip to Langkawi we received various advice re the time of the rainy season. One Langkawi website will tell you that Langkawi doesn't have a rainy season. Another source will tell you that it rains from November to April. Yet another will tell you that it rains for a few hours every 3 days.
What we have gathered to be close to accurate is that it will rain every few days from mid-May to mid-June, but the wettest time is November, when it has monsoon conditions. It is at its hottest in January, February, March. Its at its busiest in January & February, and March & April and early May are possibly good times to visit. June, July can be busy but with local holidays. That's what we've been told.......but can't guarantee it! Anyway, the Berjaya is a great place to visit. Don't be put off by the busy reception area, as once you get to your chalet the strains and human noises disappear. We opted for a studio chalet in the rainforest and the sights and the sounds were wonderful. Monkeys, lizards, flying squirrels, hornbills and incredible insect noises. At first we were overwhelmed by the sound in the rainforest but it wears off!
A fleet of free shuttle buses move you to different locations within the resort. Across the entire site It has 5 restaurants, a spa, beach café, cheap motorcycle or car rental. During our stay we found the food to be fantastic and varied. The staff are, without doubt, some of the most pleasant people we have ever met anywhere in the world; very helpful, patient and kind.
At the time of writing (May 2013) the hotel next to the Berjaya has been demolished with extreme violence, in that the debris hasn't been collected. It is as though it has been knocked down with an element of malice!! If you walk about a quarter of a mile along the beach away from the Berjaya you will come across lumps of concrete and iron pilings and other debris obstructing your way. It doesn't spoil your holiday, but it can spoil a mornings walk.
Near the Berjaya is the Oriental Village, which has a Zon Duty Free shop for cheap booze and snacks etc; a great place to get stuff for the evenings when you sit on your balcony in the rainforest. Other than that the Oriental Village is a rather tatty tourist attraction with the usual dull shops. At the Berjaya you can rent a motorbike for £15 a day, but at the Oriental village you'll be charged £80 for a 15 minute elephant ride!
The nature walks and jungle treks (bookable from Dev's Tours in reception) are great value and very informative; the jungle trek starts at dusk and so ends in darkness -- a real memorable trip.
The Island Hopping trip (arranged with some other company via the hotel) was less impressive. It basically consisted of -
Get put on a mini-bus at the hotel -- nobody speaks;
Get driven down the west coast (whilst nobody speaks) to a jetty and shops which have seen better days and a toilet which has never seen bleach.
Look askance at your (unknown and previously silent) fellow travellers as the mini-bus leaves you in this location.
Bond nervously with your fellow travellers as you question what is going on.
Get herded down the jetty (without explanation) and board a fibre-glass fishing boat with monstrous outboard motor.
Choke on the emissions of about 30 other outboard motors.
Hurtle at immense, break-neck speed across the bay to an island. Nobody speaks, its too loud and fast. There is no guide to tell you where you are going, what you are seeing, etc.
Arrive at an island and disembark with the order '1 hour' being shouted by the boatman.
Follow all the other bewildered people up a steep path, then down a steep path, jump in a lake (seemed obligatory) and then go up a steep path and down a steep path and back to the boat.
Hurtle at immense, break-neck speed across the bay to another island. Nobody speaks, its too loud and fast. There is no guide to tell you etc etc.
Arrive at the second island and disembark with the order '1 hour' being shouted by the boatman. Go and stand on a hot beach for an hour and watch monkeys steal food from people's bags. Consider the sequence of events which brought you to this place, and wonder what crime you committed to deserve such punishment.
Go back to the boat and hurtle at immense, break-neck speed across the bay back to the decaying jetty. Nobody speaks, as it's now over and too late to ask questions.
We asked some people who had paid more for the jet-ski version if they had learnt anything from the day -- 'Not really'. Again there had been no guide or information provided.
Other than that dismaying approach to tourism, the time at the Berjaya was great. The beach is immaculate and quiet and the rainforest is an adventure. One way to improve would be for the hotel to use electric or hybrid vehicles on site to reduce carbon emissions, and perhaps all visitors should suggest this.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Home to Unesco's World GeoPark, discover the island said to have inspired love and miracles. Cocooned within a rainforest sanctuary, Berjaya Langkawi Resort embraces boundless views of emerald waters and green-cushioned mountains. With an array of convention facilities and inspired spa treatments complemented with heartfelt services, moments are filled with a sense of natural connection and harmonious retreat. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Berjaya Langkawi Resort - Malaysia Hotel Langkawi
- Berjaya Langkawi Beach Hotel
- Resort Langkawi
- Berjaya Langkawi Beach Spa Resort