A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of spending a couple of evenings at Westin Langkawi, at the edge of Kuah town. The weekend just passed, I got to spend another weekend in Langkawi again, but this time it was on its sister hotel - since Westin was owned by Sheraton - Sheraton Langkawi.
It was very clear that the concept was very different. This was more for a couple looking for a get away, enjoying the beach and what it has to offer. Westin was more for those on a business, or couldn’t decide if they want a conventional or a secluded stay. Sheraton was only 10 minutes drive from the airport, so getting to Pekan Kuah - like we did for dinner on the evening I arrived, took a 30 minutes bus ride.
Rather than one big complex that we did in Westin, the hotel was mainly a central lobby building with the conference centre and main restaurants and swimming pool next to it, and patrons stayed in smaller buildings by the see. The hotel provided us with electric buggy rides to hop between the lobby and the rooms as it involved negotiating steep inclines. The rooms were in group of about 10 - very comfortable. Mine was overlooking the main swimming pool, where the party took place and bars were situated. So, I left the the balcony door open for the sea breeze to come in when I slept at night, and I was still hearing the singing at 1 am in the morning. I didn’t mind that though and there were no mosquitoes as well, which was useful.
The rooms were nice and cosy, with a small balcony. The bathroom was spacious but there did not have proper pipe for cleaning oneself - not very Moslem-friendly I mean. Shower was OK but nowhere as nice as the one at Westin. The bed were comfortable but the TV only had limited channels. I had to go to the bar to watch the ManYoo game on the Saturday. The food was OK, but again Westin was better. We had an outdoor grill on the Saturday evening by the pool, but the only grill on offer was lamb and the rest of the dish were covered with an inch thick oil. One really could do with a sprinkling of statins.
Walking around, the view was not as great as the Westin, even though the sunset and sunrise was spectacular. I learned that the facilities for kids in terms of nursery and activities was pretty good. However since the whole place was hilly, getting from the room to the lobby can be a challenge with kids running around. The beach was definitely better than Westin with a nice decking if you enjoy walking with the breeze. There was no wifi in the rooms, and even if there was, it will cost me RM50 per day. The rooms were equipped with Ethernet access for the Web, but since my Air does not have a port, I used my iPhone instead. I just wished that all internet in hotels were free. They even charged for access at the lobby and the conference floor.
All in all, it was a mixed bag. I can’t help but compare the two sister hotels. I must confess that given the choice, I would have picked Westin. I do not know about the pricing however, but I can’t imagine there to be that much difference. If one can afford one, they should be able to afford the other. With a family, I would have chosen Westin as well. The location being near Kuah will also sway shoppers such as my wife should she tagged along. The link for the hotel formal website can be found here.