Waterfront villas at Pangkor


With a name that literally means “Beautiful Island”, it’s not hard to see the appeal of Pulau Pangkor Laut. On this tiny private island in the Strait of Malacca, luxury villas peep out of the rainforest and stand on stilts above the crystal-clear waters of the Andaman Sea.

Welcome to Pangkor Laut, an island so stunning that it almost moved Luciano Pavarotti to tears. Indeed, the legendary tenor returned to Pangkor Laut so many times that his status is now akin to that of unofficial patron saint. You can walk in his footsteps, stay in a suite named after him, and even get massages in the Spa Village he opened in 2002. But is this desert island really worth such high praise?

The short answer is: yes. Pangkor Laut is one of those places that it’s difficult to describe without resorting to cliché. Clear, turquoise waters teeming with brightly coloured fish: check. Brilliant white beaches lined with palm trees: check. Dense, tropical rainforest harbouring hornbills, fruit bats and all manner of exotic plants: check. It’s as perfect as perfect can be – and the Pangkor Laut Resort, which owns all 1.2 square kilometres of it, is a sublimely luxurious setting in which to soak it all up.

Stay in high-ceilinged Malay-style villas tucked away in the jungle or standing on stilts above the lapping waves. Choose between Swedish and Balinese massages at the wonderful spa. Then, enjoy world-class stir-fried Assam prawns or lobster bisque against a backdrop of pure and simple paradise.

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