Showing posts with label history. Show all posts
Showing posts with label history. Show all posts

Friday, October 20, 2023


Never in my wildest dream did I think I’d be staying in Temple Tree Langkawi. After seeing all the alluring social media posts of the resort, I was ecstatic to be invited for a staycation.

Resort Manager Irene Vairo (4th from left) and team welcomed us within Temple Tree Langkawi’s reception lounge within the imposing Ipoh House – the first of several heritage houses found here.

Originally owned by wealthy tin miners from lpoh, Perak, this Grand Dame of the resort comprises the colonial-style front portion built in 1903 and an Aceh-style back portion built in 1900.
Rustically beautiful with modern touches, the reception lounge is flanked by a walk-in wine cellar. Steps away is the retro chic restaurant and bar is aptly named Paloh, the Cantonese name for Ipoh.

Roaming around Paloh Restaurant and Bar, we found numerous picturesque nooks and corners; its retro-inspired soft furnishings, brass fittings and a distressed wood beamed Bar dominating its heart.

Another eye-catching centrepiece here is a 150-year-old barn door propped up on antique sewing machine legs, repurposed as a dining tabletop.
Steps away at the lawn is the verdant banyan tree with a little red shrine at its foot that gave Temple Tree Langkawi its name.

Our attention is drawn to the elongated swimming pool set amidst lush green lawns. Tucked at the furthest corner is Pool House, a traditional wooden kampung house on stilts; the resort’s distinctive therapeutic haven for massage and foot reflexology sessions.
Having recently bagged Travel Trade Gazette (TTG) Awards for Best Boutique Hotel, Temple Tree Langkawi boasts 21 suites located within 8 Heritage Houses, two swimming pools, and the newly opened Paloh Restaurant & Bar (separate story to follow on the resto’s F&B offerings).
I was assigned to Penang 2; one half of the quaint Penang House. I marvelled at the painstaking care, committed efforts and time it took to relocate and rebuild this 1930s bungalow from its original Gurney Drive site to Temple Tree Langkawi.
The white façade with green trimmings and two entrances have been retained. Upon entering the rustic interior, I love the wholly whitewashed scheme. 

A central skylight in the high-ceiling, cozily furnished living room brings in plenty of natural daylight. A welcome basket filled with tidbits from yesteryears brought back good childhood memories; cherished treats proffered by my grandparents.

Much to my surprise, the jalousie windows with wooden louvres still work! Tilting the louvres not only controls air-flow into the house but one can also surreptitiously check the surroundings outside without opening the main door.

Comfortably furnished with a king bed, the air-conditioned master bedroom made me felt right at home. In addition to ceiling fan, bedside lamps, wardrobe and clothes stand, the resort has thoughtfully provided two batik sarongs and a canvas tote bag (available for purchase) for our use. The second room is also air-conditioned and has a single bed in it.
My favourite space has to be the spacious bathroom with its separate rain shower cubicle. A languorous soak in the huge wooden tub with bath salts was a splendid experience I’d highly recommend.
Mod-cons include WiFi, fans, flat screen TV, safe deposit box, iron and ironing board, coffee/tea making facilities, a mini bar, and a wicker basket filled with mozzie repellent stuff.

The following day we toured the different heritage houses on-site. A stone’s throw away from Ipoh House is Estate House which exemplifies typical housing in the 1940s for rubber plantation workers in Pasir Puteh, Ipoh.

Painted pastel blue with yellow trims, the single level, long house layout consists of five separate suites. Each one has a front verandah and tastefully integrates a myriad of rustic touches and essential mod-cons as well as a little private rear garden.

Facing the main elongated swimming pool is Johor House, an imposing hundred-year-old, double-storey dwelling with a wraparound verandah at the front and sides – this inviting space offers splendid sea/mountain views. Formerly a Chinese farmhouse, Johor House used to belong a Taiwanese family in Batu Pahat, Johor so Chinese design influences are apparent from the exterior.

Guests can either book the ground level Johor 1 or upper-level Johor 2, or the whole house. Space won’t be an issue here as one practically has the run of either the upper or ground floor.

Once a Malay artisan’s dwelling, the grand two-storey Plantation House was built in Penang back in the 1930s. Later sold to a Chinese Hakka family who owned rubber and durian plantations, the house’s notable features include colonial style window shutters, high ceiling, thick wooden support beams and a central courtyard.

Three separate common areas with vintage furnishings are found within, with six units (Plantation 1-6) available for separate booking. The entire Plantation House can also be taken as a single unit to accommodate a group of 18.

Built by Penang’s Arab goldsmith traders in the 1920s in Georgetown, the stately double-storey, five-room Colonial House incorporates intricate European cornices, Peranakan floor tiles and the front porch bearing a fish-scale patterned canopy.
The Colonial Hall alone can fit a party of 20 whilst the cavernous living area includes a bar, a ten-seater dining table and several lounge spaces.
Separate entrances and outdoor private gardens with sun loungers and wooden bath tubs add extra allure to the two ground level bedrooms.

The villa’s showpiece upper-level patio is adorned with a shuttered verandah. Besides a separate living area, there’s a spacious suite with a separate bath hall and wooden bathtub.

Straits House used to be a charming 90-year-old Eurasian dwelling originating from Penang. Its sunny yellow and vibrant sky-blue living room leads to cozily furnished bedrooms; each with its own ensuite bathroom.

Negeri Sembilan House used to be a family home in Mantin, Negri Sembilan. This ornate, raised single-storey house with beautiful colour stained-glass windows and a spacious front verandah was built in the 1920s.
Now, it features two bedrooms, a living/dining area, and an outdoor porch. The shared ensuite bathroom comes with twin basins and a separate walk-in rain shower.

You can enjoy an Unforgettable Escape 3 days/2 nights’ package at Temple Tree Langkawi. Priced from RM1,700 upwards, the package includes:

• 1 x “Dinner under the Stars” romantic dining experience for 2 persons (1 time per stay)

• Complimentary romantic room decor and additional bath bombs (for room with a bathtub)

• Daily buffet breakfast

• Return Airport Transfer for 2 persons

• 1 x time Floating Breakfast

• 1 x Malaysian High Tea set for 2 persons

• 1 bottle of champagne/sparkling juice OR 1 slice of cake for the occasion

• Island hopping day trip for 2 persons

• 20% discount on laundry services

• 15% Food & Beverage discount voucher (one time usage)

• Malaysian “Childhood Memory” welcome amenities

• Stocked selected non-alcoholic minibar (upon arrival)

The above package must be booked via Temple Tree resort’s website – or email: or WhatsApp/Call: +6017 5995935. Additional terms & conditions apply.

TEMPLE TREE LANGKAWI, Lot 1053, Jalan Pantai Chenang, Pantai Cenang, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah

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