10 best beach resorts in Malaysia

With its vast coastline, Malaysia is one of the most beautiful countries in the world for a beach holiday. Add to that its large number of pristine white-sand islands and you are truly spoiled for choice. Our list of the 10 best beach resorts in Malaysia balances natural beauty with creature comforts and location.

1. DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang, Penang

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Credit – DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang

You can’t have a list of the best Malaysian beach resorts without at least one entry from Penang. And what a stunning entry we have for you: the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel Penang. With its instantly-recognisable stepped architecture, the 316-room main building overlooks the swimming pool on one side and the glittering ocean on the other.

Location, location, location: Miami Beach is just a short walk away across the footbridge! 10 minutes away is the mega tourist hotspot of Batu Ferringhi. Meanwhile, a 20-minute drive brings you to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of George Town. The hotel provides a free shuttle service to this unmissable destination.

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Credit – DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang

This is a rather family-oriented property, even winning the Haute Grandeur title of Best Family Resort 2019 in Malaysia. There is an indoor play area for children and they provide a kid-friendly buffet as well. It houses TeddyVille, Malaysia’s first teddy bear-themed museum. Parents have the gym and spa to occupy their time.

Book now: Agoda TripAdvisor

2. The Ritz-Carlton, Langkawi, Kedah

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Credit – The Ritz Carlton Langkawi

Perched on the edge of the azure Andaman Sea on one end and a verdant 10-million-year-old rainforest on the other, The Ritz-Carlton, Langkawi is a wonderful sight to behold. This 5-star resort features majestic living and dining spaces, as well as the only overwater spa on the island.

Each of the 4 dining experiences has its unique character but all are united by the Ritz-Carlton brand of impeccable service. There are three resort pools, including one that overlooks the beach. Their Ritz Kids program will keep the kids safe, occupied and entertained. Bathrooms are marble palaces, kitted out with tasteful amenities.

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Credit – The Ritz Carlton Langkawi

It wouldn’t be right to have this resort on our list without speaking about the Villa Mutiara. Sprawled across 650 sq. m (6996 sq. ft), this 3-bedroom ocean-view villa has direct access to the beach. Why go there, though, when 2 private pools of 40 sq. m and 27 sq. m are part of the villa?

Book now: Agoda TripAdvisor

3. Rawa Island Resort, Johor

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Credit – Rawa Island Resort Johor

This isn’t your normal weekend Johor escape; it’s an idyllic island getaway from the usual holiday. Located in the Sultan Iskandar Marine Park, a pristine protected archipelago, Rawa Island Resort is a 20-minute boat ride from Mersing, Johor.

Each of the 77 rooms on this property is unique, designed individually to fit into the natural landscape and terrain. However, they don’t compromise on comfort— opulent furnishings transform this abode of tranquillity into your luxurious home away from home.

If the jungle calls to you, stay in one of their Frangipani Villas. Named for the colourful flowers that adorn the vegetation here, they give you an earthy environment with views of the sea. If the siren song of the seas calls louder, the Beachview and Beachfront chalets are the better choice.

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Credit – Rawa Island Resort Johor

Go all the way with a waterfront Bungalow that sits on the waves. With your own sundeck and chairs, there will be little reason to leave the unfettered views of the South China Sea.

Book now: TripAdvisor

4. Berjaya Tioman Resort, Pulau Tioman, Pahang

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Credit – Berjaya Tioman Resort

Dive, golf, paddle the ocean or trek the rainforest— you don’t have to leave Berjaya Tioman Resort to have any of those experiences. Newly relaunched in mid-2022 after a months-long refurbishment, it combines a nature-centric escapade with spacious, premium interiors.

Stretching across 200 acres of beach-rimmed rainforest, this is the largest resort on Pulau Tioman. Thrill seekers can head to the dive centre while solitude seekers retreat to the spa. Those in the middle will enjoy the 18-hole golf course.

Standalone chalets and duplexes designed in the traditional village style dot the property. Over the water, houses on stilts hark to a simpler life inspired by simpler times. Those 277 rooms and suites sit adjacent to 4 restaurants and bars.

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Credit – Berjaya Tioman Resort

A 32.5 sq. m Garden Chalet or Garden Terrace is the smallest of the choices. On the other end is the 80 sq. m Executive Suite, the epitome of luxurious opulence.

Book now: Agoda TripAdvisor

5. Gaya Island Resort, Sabah

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Credit – Gaya Island Resort

If you want to reconcile your desire for an idyllic island getaway with your need to save the planet, Sabah’s Gaya Island Resort gives you the best of both.

Set within the protected Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park off Kota Kinabalu, it incorporates several ecological and species preservation programs. Among them are a Turtle Rescue initiative, Coral Reef Sanctuary and a Proboscis Monkey protection plan.

With nature in abundance all around, dining is a spectacular affair. Feast Village offers diverse cuisine from Japan, Korea and the West. Fisherman’s Cove’s unique symphony of seafood focuses on sustainable fishing and the freshest ingredients in a rooftop setting.

Specialised Japanese cuisine comes to life on a hillside at Omakase. Choose between 3 Japanese omakase-style dining experiences: teppanyaki, shabu-shabu and nabe.

Mount Kinabalu stands majestically in the distance, overlooking the resort’s elegant accommodations. Each has been created using local materials and blends harmoniously into the natural beauty. Pick your preferred views from mangrove, canopy, tropical rainforest and the South China Sea.

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Credit – Gaya Island Resort

For the ultimate experience, stay in a 188 sq. m Suria Suite. This expansive double-storey, two-bedroom, ocean view extravaganza has separate lounge and dining areas, as well as a sundeck.

Book now: Agoda TripAdvisor

6. Pangkor Laut Resort, Pangkor Island, Perak

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Credit – Pangkor Laut Resort

Set on a private island, Pangkor Laut Resort was once named by Condé Nast Traveller among the world’s best resorts. Located just off the Perak coast, the island spans 300 acres, of which only a tiny fraction has been developed.

Perhaps more so than any other resort, Pangkor Laut represents integration with nature. Walls curve around vegetation, roofs have gaps to allow trees to grow, and wooden buildings melt into the jungle beyond.

Pangkor Laut Resort is all about experiences. The Chef’s Kitchen Experience is a gastronomical journey that includes a visit to Pangkor Island’s fishery, dried seafood markets, noodle maker and floating fish farm. Finish with the experience of a feast of your culinary creations.

The Ultimate Spa Experience indulges guests in the luxurious seclusion of the Belian Spa Pavilion, an exclusive retreat perfect for couples with its own outdoor whirlpool, yoga pavilion, nap gazebo, steam room and private treatment area. The pavilion is yours to enjoy various treatments.

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Credit – Pangkor Laut Resort

Retreat to the palatial 242 sq. m Pavarotti Suite named after the world-renowned Italian tenor who loved this resort. The exclusive two-bedroom suite in the rainforest highlands has a luxurious lounge, a huge balcony with views of the sea and forest, and an enormous open-roofed bathroom.

Book now: Agoda TripAdvisor

7. Doubletree by Hilton Putrajaya Lakeside, Selangor

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Credit – Doubletree by Hilton Putrajaya Lakeside

You may not have imagined it but there is a resort worth that moniker just 5 minutes from the hustle and bustle of Putrajaya International Convention Centre. Doubletree by Hilton Putrajaya Lakeside is a 5-star property bordering Putrajaya Lake.

Its proximity to Kuala Lumpur International Airport and KLIA 2 (25 km), Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) (1.5 km), and Dataran Gemilang (2.3 k) makes for all-round convenience.

Within its 4 acres of immaculately landscaped grounds, there is a pool complex that includes a kids’ mini waterpark, a fitness centre, elegant accommodation buildings, and a wealth of dining options. Foremost among them is Makan Kitchen.

Enjoy authentic iconic specialities of Malaysian and Peranakan cuisine— Malay, Chinese, Indian, Peranakan, Kristang, and Iban— served from three live and interactive kitchens. Indulge in this medley of flavours in an al-fresco setting, indoor seating or even a private dining room.

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Credit – Doubletree by Hilton Putrajaya Lakeside

Does 230 sq. m of space, a lake view, private deck, large living room and spa-like bathroom sound appealing? Then, the King’s Presidential Villa was made for you. You may not even want to leave its 2 bedrooms and whirlpool tub.

Book now: Agoda TripAdvisor

8. Cove 55, Sarawak

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Credit – Cove 55

With its miles of pristine coastline, East Malaysia is home to a number of breathtaking beachside resorts. Cove 55 certainly fits that description, sitting as it does, overlooking the South China Sea. Mount Santubong reaches towards the heavens in the background, creating a picturesque landscape.

Want a quiet escape from the bustle? With just 28 luxurious rooms making up this exclusive resort, this is the place to be. It was the winner of a Travellers’ Choice 2022 Award, a testament to its superior standards.

Convenience is the name of the game for international travellers and Cove 55 doesn’t disappoint in that regard. It is a mere 50 minutes from Kuching International Airport (KCH) and 35 minutes from the capital, Kuching city.

Imaginatively designed, the property is a wonder of visual discovery. A 30-metre saltwater infinity swimming pool sits suspended above the sea, ideal for relaxing mind and body.

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Credit – Cove 55

Their One-Bedroom Ocean Pool Villa is our suite of choice. Its 123 sq. m floorspace comes with panoramic ocean views, an open-plan living area and spacious deck with a private pool.

Book now: Agoda TripAdvisor

9. Taaras Beach & Spa Resort, Redang Island, Terengganu

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Credit – Taaras Beach Spa Resort

Spectacular, crystal-clear waters lap gently against pristine, pale sandy beaches. Gentle sea turtles thrill divers with their majestic calm demeanour. Further offshore, the WWII shipwrecks of the HMS Repulse and HMS Prince of Wales rest with dignity. Verdant rainforest looks down upon the scene. You are at the Taaras Beach & Spa Resort.

It is both a thrill seekers paradise and a romantic hotspot. There is kayaking, windsurfing, diving, parasailing and more for the water. On land, trek the jungles or race ahead on an ATV. When you work up an appetite, there are dining options aplenty. Each regales diners with wonderful marine vistas.

Asean All Day Dining brings you the best of Malaysian, international and fusion cuisine. MareNero specialises in modern Italian fare while Asean Terrace Lounge is the place to be for cocktails and music overlooking the swimming pool.

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Credit – Taaras Beach Spa Resort

Guests enjoy the comfort of luxury of 125 suites and rooms set with customised furniture. However, few accommodation options anywhere come close to the incredible 1440 sq. m clifftop 5-bedroom Taaras Villa. It is the ultimate living space. Guests get panoramic views of the sea, a private infinity pool, breakfast chef, butler and security service.

Book now: Agoda TripAdvisor

10. Thistle Port Dickson Resort, Negeri Sembilan

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Credit – Thistle Port Dickson

Thistle Port Dickson is just another name for 36 hectares of tropical beachside. The resort has its own 3 km-long stretch of shoreline, making it the perfect sand, sea and surf getaway.

Skim the waves on your own with a jet ski, or make it a shared ride aboard a banana boat or donut. Take your adventure beneath the surf with a snorkelling expedition. Pool tables and tennis courts await a demonstration of your skills on land, and you can go all out at the gym.

This resort is especially popular among corporate clients. Its certified SWAT camp is the perfect setting for team-building activities.

Soothe the aches and pains away at the Blossom Spa Retreat or accompany the little ones to the Arcade Games arena, PlayStation Room and the Lego Room. The brave can croon the day away at karaoke while the rest of us can savour the serenity of the Pet Garden.

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Credit – Thistle Port Dickson

Of the 251 rooms, the best is the Presidential Suite. It’s a 2-bedroom affair with a Jacuzzi in the master bedroom, separate living and dining rooms, as well as a workout area. Its dual entry/exit points are perfect for those seeking discretion.

Book now: Agoda TripAdvisor

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