Malaysia’s pristine beaches are idyllic destinations that invite travellers from all around the world. This tropical paradise will spoil you with golden shorelines, crystal-clear waters, and lush jungles too. Boasting numerous beach destinations such as Langkawi, Penang, and Kota Kinabalu, we’ve shortlisted the best resorts in Malaysia to take the guesswork out for you. At these world-class hotels, you can indulge in the country’s diverse culinary scene and enjoy a lot of activities on land and in the sea! If you just want to relax though, you can simply unwind under tropical trees while being serenaded by the sound of the waves. Whether you seek relaxation or adventure, our curated list of the best resorts in Malaysia will show you where you can get the best of both worlds.

Gaya Island Resort

Gaya Island Resort, Sabah

If you’re looking for an island escape where you can immerse yourself in natural wonders, look no further than Gaya Island Resort. What makes it one of the more unique resorts in Malaysia is that it’s set on one of the protected islands of Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park. Here, you’ll discover a sanctuary set on the hillside of ancient rainforests with Mount Kinabalu’s majesty on the horizon. Its collection of hillside villas offers breathtaking views of the mangrove forests, lush canopy, and the silhouette of Mount Kinabalu. The villa interiors exude contemporary elegance, combining eco-luxury with a genuine appreciation for Sabahan heritage spread throughout the space. We especially love the resort’s commitment to ecological sustainability and how there are places on-site where you’ll truly feel like you’re out of this world. If you’re interested in other luxurious eco-hotels, you’re going to enjoy this list too!

The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa

The Westin Langkawi Resort and Spa

With its stunning beachfront location and lush tropical gardens, The Westin Langkawi offers an idyllic seaside retreat. The resort boasts a range of exceptional amenities, including spacious and elegantly appointed rooms, private balconies with breathtaking views, a state-of-the-art fitness centre, and the rejuvenating Heavenly Spa by Westin. Guests can savour delectable cuisine at multiple restaurants, indulge in refreshing drinks at the beachfront bar, or unwind by the infinity pool (they have a kiddie pool too, by the way!). The Westin Langkawi’s impeccable service, tranquil ambience, and convenient access to local attractions such as Eagle Square, Langkawi Wildlife Park, and Kilim Geoforest Park make it an outstanding choice for a memorable and relaxing stay.

Shangri-La Rasa Sayang, Penang

Shangri-La Rasa Sayang, Penang

Shangri-La Rasa Sayang Penang is a 5-star resort set on the pristine Batu Ferringhi Beach in Penang. This exquisite stay offers an array of exceptional amenities and elegantly furnished rooms and suites that guarantee a good night’s sleep. We especially love the suites that offer stunning ocean views! The resort features a sprawling tropical garden, a beautiful swimming pool, a well-equipped fitness centre, a 9-hole golf course, and Chi the Spa for pampering therapies. On-site, there are several bars and restaurants that cater to every palate, serving delectable cuisines from around the world. Our favourite? Pinang Restaurant and Bar where you can enjoy expansive ocean views as you nibble on small plates and sip on inspired cocktails.

Pangkor Laut Resort

Pangkor Laut Resort, Perak

Want to go all-out on your tropical holiday? Pangkor Laut Resort is one of the more special resorts because it’s set on a private island and has beautiful over-water villas. This exclusive retreat offers a range of exceptional amenities including a huge infinity pool and the Spa Village where age-old healing therapies are combined with modern luxuries. If that isn’t luxurious enough, this resort also boasts 8 private estates set on the northern part of the island. Perfect for families or honeymooners looking for maximum privacy, the estates are nestled amongst the lush forest and have private pools too! On-site, you can choose from a stable of restaurants and bars serving local and international favourites, or go for a private dining experience for a more special and romantic flair.

One&Only Desaru Coast

One&Only Desaru Coast

Find your secluded haven and be enchanted by Malaysia’s oriental charm at One&Only Desaru Coast. Its gorgeous villas exude contemporary style with local elements spiced up by modern aesthetics. Perfect for those wanting to reconnect—with nature, themselves or with loved ones, One&Only Desaru Coast is a lush wonderful playground where you can experience personalised pursuits. From the healing therapies at Chenot Spa to the range of activities you can enjoy on land and in the warm waters, One&Only Desaru Coast gives you a place to enjoy and recharge.  You’ll also find a host of nourishing options on-site, with ingredients sourced from local producers and herbs straight from the chef’s organic garden. Our preferred way to enjoy exciting new flavours is at Embers Beach Club where you can eat on a shaded day bed set on the powdery white sand. 

The St. Regis Langkawi

St. Regis Langkawi

Set between the forest and the sea, St. Regis Langkawi paints the picture of tropical relaxation. Guests can revel in beautiful accommodations—most with private balconies with breathtaking views, and access to a private beach. Make sure to check out the over-water villa options as they only have 4 of these, and they’re perfect for romantic holidays. Apart from exclusive access to the beach, you can also enjoy a dip in the infinity pool or perhaps check out the state-of-the-art fitness centre. After some fun on the beach or breaking out a sweat, you can indulge in world-class dining experiences at their fine restaurants and unwind with a signature cocktail at the stylish bar. With its exceptional service and breathtaking surroundings, St. Regis Langkawi offers an unforgettable retreat!

Le meridien Kota Kinabalu

Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu

An upscale hotel located in the heart of Kota Kinabalu, Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu is an urban oasis where you can feel like you’re not in the CBD. Set on the edge of the waterfront, its light-filled modern suites have plush beddings and seating areas next to floor-to-ceiling windows that let you enjoy city or ocean views. What we love about Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu though are the relaxation spots: Solace Spa and the outdoor pool with its bespoke shaded loungers. At Solace Spa, Western and Asian rejuvenation philosophies meet. Using local ingredients, Solace Spa awakens your senses for the ultimate relaxing experience. If you’re up for some adventure, Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu is the perfect launching pad for exploring the nearby islands at Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park.

The Ritz-Carlton, Langkawi

The Ritz-Carlton Langkawi

A 5-star resort set on a serene private bay, The Ritz-Carlton Langkawi has a 10 million-year-old rainforest on one side, and the great expanse of the Andaman Sea on the other. The resort features elegant and spacious accommodations, including villas with private pools and breathtaking ocean views. Built-in harmony with its surroundings, you’ll find yourself tucked into the beauty of nature while having contemporary comforts within your reach. Choose from forest and ocean view suites where you can relax on your private furnished balcony or in your own plunge pool. Ready to sink your teeth into amazing food? There are 4 restaurants and a bar on-site, and our favourite setting is Hai Yan which is perched on stilts set next to rocks—an amazing sensory experience with the sound of waves, ocean breeze, and Chinese fine dining. Yum!

The Danna Langkawi

The Danna Langkawi

Part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World collection, The Danna Langkawi embodies the luxurious contemporary waterfront lifestyle. With its colonial-Mediterranean-style architecture and breathtaking views of the Andaman Sea, you’ll be in for a true blue holiday vibe. The resort features spacious and beautifully designed suites and beach villas each offering a blend of old-world charm and modern comforts. The beach villas each come with a private infinity pool for that super luxe tropical vibe. On-site, guests can indulge in a variety of amenities, including a pristine beach, an infinity pool overlooking the sea, and The Spa on the topmost floor of the hotel where you can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding greenery and marina. Travelling with the family? The Danna Langkawi has a kids’ pool for the little ones and they can also enjoy activities at the Kids Club while the adults spend some well-deserved relaxation.

PARKROYAL Penang Resort

PARKROYAL Penang Resort

A tropical retreat on Batu Ferringhi Beach, PARKROYAL Penang Resort promises a comfy stay with its modern guest rooms and picturesque location. This beachfront resort has an outdoor pool with kiddie slides, the stylish Zap Lab Gym, Amazonia Kids Club, St. Gregory Spa, and a business centre for your on-the-go business needs. Despite its seaside location, it also places you conveniently close to local attractions worth visiting such as the Entopia Penang Butterfly Farm, Escape Theme Park, Tropical Spice Garden, and Batu Ferringhi’s night market. After a day of exploring this side of Penang, chill out on your private balcony or have a cool cocktail at any of the on-site bars and lounges. Sweet!

Shangri-La Tanjung Aru, Kota Kinabalu

Shangri-La Tanjung Aru, Kota Kinabalu

We know we’ve featured another Shangri-La hotel earlier on in the list, but hear us out— Shangri-La Tanjung Aru, Kota Kinabalu brings you 5-star luxury perfect for a family holiday any time of the year. How could we not include this amazing resort when it has 25 acres of lush gardens, easy access to tropical coral islands, 6 restaurants and bars, a water play area for the kids, a spa, health club and yoga pavilion, and is just 10 minutes away from the airport? We know, right?! Furthermore, it has activities for everyone to enjoy. From fun-filled activities for the kids at the play area to experiences that rebalance the older members of the fam, Shangri-La Tanjung Arung, Kota Kinabalu has something for you.

Four Seasons Resort Langkawi

Four Seasons Resort Langkawi

Our list of the best resorts in Malaysia won’t be complete without Four Seasons Resort Langkawi. Its landscape makes us feel like we’ve stepped into a fantasy world where the only thing you’re allowed to do is relax. When you stay at this 5-star resort, you’ll have access to a mile-long beach and the resplendent grounds nestled within the Langkawi UNESCO Global Geopark. Nothing short of wow, really! Tropical birds singing in the background will welcome you as you settle into your airy and luxurious villa or pavilion or as you walk around the lush resort. A haven of utmost bliss and relaxation, Four Seasons Resort Langkawi is such a great choice for romantic holidays. Whether you take a lovely stroll on the beach or a dip in your private pool, this luxury resort will spoil you with a heavenly escape.

If you enjoyed our selection of Malaysian resorts, you’ll get even more inspired to go on your next tropical holiday when you view our full collection at

Image credit: Shangri-La Rasa Sayang, Penang

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Powered by copious amounts of caffeine, Tracy is a cat lady who loves island hopping in Asia. A writer by profession and an interior designer at heart, she loves synergistic aesthetics that breathe life and character into spaces. She finds inspiration from the grand and the mundane, and dreams of living by the beach.