Have I got you interested and envisioning your next holiday yet? I have? Great! Because this hip and happening resort is located just an hour's plane ride away in the island of Langkawi, Kedah. The name of this paradise is Dash Resort Langkawi by Ri-Yaz Group and is situated at the very end of Pantai Cenang, giving it an exclusivity coveted by many resorts along that stretch of beach.
My media group was greeted by the resort representative at the airport and was immediately whisked away to our paradise for the weekend. As soon as we disembarked from the airport shuttle van, we were greeted with warm hellos and welcomes. Good start.
Check-in was prompt and effortless where all we needed to do was sign on the form and collect our two card keys. The resort had the staff take our luggage to our rooms and we got our first glimpse of the eccentrically-designed hallways and decorations all over Dash Resort Langkawi. It literally felt as though we were being walking into Wonderland. The hallways were lined with portraits of famous Superheroes from the Marvel and DC universe as well as Star Wars. Reminiscent of the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, guests can also keep an eye out for fairy-tale motive and statues throughout the resort.
One of the media writers even made it a challenge for herself to find all the pop culture portraits around the resort - something you can try as a side quest as you explore the resort. It was easy to see why Dash Resort Langkawi won the prestigious World Luxury Hotel Awards for the Best Design Resort, given how much thought has gone into its makeover. You will be happy to know that complimentary wifi is available throughout the resort although the connectivity might be unstable depending on location.
The rooms were just as wondrous. As soon as I strolled into my studio room on the second floor, I had to resist the temptation to do a flying leap into the super king size bed. The pristine room of white and blue had a 32 inch flat screen Smart TV, a minibar with tea and coffee making facilities and a laptop compatible in room safe.
For cuddlers, the hotel even loans you the resort mascot in the form of a blue bunny plushie which you will find on your bed. Should you end up bonding with it, you can purchase one at their in-house shop where you will find the resort's own fashion line and merchandise available. I am pleased to report that the bed was as comfortable as it looked with two types of pillow - hard and soft - to pick from. Be careful though when running around your room taking photos, you might bump into the bedpost.
The entire room gives you a near 360 view of yourself with its full length mirrors on the sliding doors of the cupboard and bathroom. Full amenities are provided from a toothbrush kit, shower and body products, terry cloth towels to even a kimono robe dotted with their bunnies. The room was stuffy and hot upon entering but after leaving the aircon on while I was out for a bit (not environmentally friendly I know!), the room became an escape from Malaysia's scorching heat that weekend.
Of course, when I wasn't hiding in my room, sneakily munching on the cheap chocolates from the Duty Free Zone, I would be soaking in the best part of the resort. The infinity pool located right next to the in-house restaurant, Mya's Kitchen and Cocktail offers uninterrupted views of the Andaman sea facing a pristine private section of Pantai Cenang.
Beside lounging in the pool or on the deck working on your tan, there are tons of activities to do on the beach such as parasailing, banana-boating, jet-skiing and of course, just good old swimming in the sea. If this is what heaven looks like, I promise to be nicer to people.
But of course, one must eat and the promises of good food and drinks drew me from the cooling waters to the restaurant. The menu changes throughout the day, offering guests a wide plethora of food to order. You can opt to enjoy your meals by the pool (not in it!) or even on the beach under the cabanas.
As for me, most of my meals were taken in the restaurant itself on account of the heat. And also because it's okay to don on a beach skirt over your swimsuit and just walk in after taking advantage of the complimentary pool towels to dry off.
Portions were huge, perhaps to cater to the westerner's appetite and good enough to be shared among two to four people depending on how many dishes you order. Unfortunately, however sizable the dishes maybe, I found it lack in terms of taste. Considering the prices and the prestige of the hotel, I had expected a meal that would leave me with cravings post holiday. Moreover the dishes took a long time to arrive making me wonder if the chef was cooking it one at a time. Having said that, there were some notable dishes that I didn't mind ordering again while there such as their Bali Strawberry yogurt from the breakfast menu and the Tom Kha Gai cooked and served in a coconut for dinner.
Once a month, Dash Resort will also have a Mad Hatter Tea Party at the lobby for its guests where they can lounge around, enjoying desserts and snacks. Once again, I found the pastries and desserts to be lacking with it being either too sweet or stale. Coffee was available all day around while the liquor starts from lunch onward. The Singaporean Sling I ordered was pretty potent and suited the mood at the Dash Beach Club as I sat under the cabana watching the sunset.
During our visit there, we were treated to two special sessions of sunset Pilates the day we arrived and morning yoga the next day. So to get me all limbered up for it, I dropped by the resort's Rabbit Hole Spa for a quick massage to work out the kinks in my muscles (and fat). The spa offers all sorts of spa treatments from massages to mani-padi to help you fully relax on your holiday.
Of course, if spas is not your thing, Dash Resort also has Flex Gym Center, a gym hidden away from the high traffic area of the resort so that you can workout in peace. Between the gym, the restaurant, infinity pool and the sea, don't be surprised if you find yourself spending more time outside of your rooms during your trip to Dash Resort Langkawi.
But then again, if you happened to book the Dash Garden or the Dash Deluxe Jacuzzi, you might be torn with the temptation of staying in to take advantage of the outdoor Jacuzzi. Interestingly, Dash Resort was once a popular local hotel called the Lanai which had seen better days in its many years of service. Fortunately Ri-Yaz Group stepped in and gave the building a massive makeover, turning it in a magical Wonderland for people to escape to.
The Dash Deluxe Jacuzzi rooms above the restaurant in particular comes highly coveted among guests (including us media peeps who wanted nothing more than to have a photoshoot/ sunset time lapse session on the balcony) as they are the only ones with a killer sunset view over the Andaman Sea.
The official launch of Dash Resort was officiated by Tun Dr Mahathir himself in the resort's ballroom The Chambers on our last morning which you can read about here along with some juicy tidbits about the next Dash resorts to be open ;)
Our trip ended with the General Manager and the entire front desk staff waving us goodbye as we boarded the vans back to the airport and back to reality. But not without a quick stop at the Duty Free Zone for some last minute shopping.
For info on Dash Resort Langkawi and to make bookings, log on to dashresort.com. Room prices vary from category to category and from season to season.