Bon Ton Resort is a unique place on the island of Langkawi. On the former site of a 100-year-old coconut plantation in the picturesque interior of the island are eight private villas surrounding a beautiful pool. From the moment you enter, everything is about enjoyment and tranquility. It is not a five-star resort on paper, but it is rated and seen as a five-star resort. If you want the ultimate in luxury, then better book elsewhere. If you like to stay in a beautiful, authentic kampung villa, where everything looks beautiful with a wonderful tropical holiday atmosphere, then Bon Ton Resort comes highly recommended.
Bon Ton is a great base to explore all of Langkawi. If you rent a car or motorbike you are able to drive to the popular coastal towns of Pantai Cenang and Pantai Tengah in just a few minutes. Kuah, the capital of the island is a 30-minute drive. Attractions in the north of the island also lie within a 30-minute drive from the resort.
The resort is small scale with a very pleasant atmosphere. The food is delicious, and the restaurant is rated very high which attracts people from other resorts to come over for dinner. A stay at Bon Ton means going back in time in some ways. The traditional houses and the beautiful views over the rice paddies make it a really special place on the island.
Each of the eight villas has a unique design with its own decor. None of the villas are the same, but they all are made of wood, based on traditional Malay kampung style craftsmanship. The names of the villas are White Frangipani, Yellow Orchid (2p), Blue Ginger (2p), Black Coral, Laguna (2p), Silk, Palm (2p) and Cahaya. On the official website you can already see a preview of each villa, but only when you’re there you’ll experience how beautiful the villas really are. Based on the overall design you can tell that the owners have an exceptionally good taste, as the villas all look really beautiful. Each villa comes standard with air conditioning, safe, minibar and TV. From time to time the aircon had difficulties keeping the villa cool at night (as the villas aren’t isolated well). The entire resort has free WiFi, and also in the villas.
We slept in the Laguna villa and this was a really enjoyable experience. The bed was beautiful and had a great mattress. There was mosquito netting that you could easily unfold. The huge fans kept most of the bugs away at night. We had not seen a bathroom like this before. The open shower area was awesome, and the wooden tub was a real eye catcher. The villa had a small porch with stunning views of the rice fields and the mountain Mt. Chincang in the far distance. Just in front of the villa was the pool, with enough lying beds for all the guest to relax at.
Breakfast is being delivered at your villa every evening. Most of the items can be stored in the fridge overnight. When I heard about this up front, I wondered whether I would like this as I am usually the type that loves having breakfast in a designated breakfast area. The breakfast was ultimately delicious, and having it at your ‘own home’ was actually a really nice way to start your day. It included yogurt, homemade cakes and bread, spreads, fruit juice and fruit. All was fresh and it tasted delicious. We recommend having your breakfast outside on the porch, so you can take in the view with every bite you take. If you have special dietary needs, you can let them know in advance and they adjust your breakfast contents.
Bon Ton has a very good and highly rated restaurant called Nam. They have a interesting menu with a variety of fusion dishes, with particularly delicious combinations between Asian and Western tastes. The quality of the food was very good. I had the Nyonya Platter – A combination of Malay & Chinese cuisine relating back to the Spice Trade Era – and it was delicious. If you sit down on time, you can enjoy a superb sunset. We were further impressed by the staff and the pleasant atmosphere. Also, the cocktails and the desserts were fantastic. During our dinner we were offered complimentary cocktails. Prices are a bit on the higher side by local standards but are still much lower compared to restaurants in other countries.
If you’re only staying at the resort for a few days, you have no reason to go out the door for lunch or dinner. Even if you’re not staying at the resort, we would definitely recommend dinner at Nam. Next to the restaurant you can enjoy tapas and light snacks on the Sunset Deck, a small outdoor terrace with comfortable seating. Here too you can enjoy a magnificent sunset. One word of advice, bring mosquito repellant as the restaurant is located quite near a beautiful mangrove where mosquitoes thrive.
During the day you can order from a small menu. They have several delicious (and affordable) lunch dishes. We loved their sate and pizza very much.
Swimming pool and other facilities
The pool is very nice but quite small. This is not an issue, as there are only eight cottages so there are not that many guests. During the day everyone is usually exploring the island so you will have the whole pool to yourself. By the end of the day, most guests return from their adventures on the island and often relax by the pool for an hour or so before their evening dinner at Nam. The sun beds are nice, especially the view over the rice fields is beautiful. During the day, there is a pool menu with small bites to chose from. Additionally, staff comes by with complementary refreshments and fruit.
The owners of Bon Ton Resort sure do a good job, because they also run the animal shelter of Langkawi. Here, stray dogs and other animals are taken in and cared for. The shelter is also a clinic with two veterinarians and several volunteers who treat pets or livestock. As a result, there are a lot of cats walking around the resort. Great for cat lovers, not so great for those that are not into pets that much :).
Pantai Cenang is the tourist center of Langkawi. It also is the most popular publically accessible beach on the island (Pantai means beach in the local tongue). Here you have several nice beach bars and restaurants. You also have a shopping mall (Cenang Mall) and next to many tourist shops with souvenirs you also have several shops and small supermarkets. At Pantai Cenang, you can do various activities (mostly water sports). Furthermore, there are beach chairs and sun beds that you can use for a small fee. From the resort, it is only a few minutes by car or taxi to Pantai Cenang.
Attractions in the area
Langkawi is a small island. You can drive around it within 2 hours by car. However, there are many attractions on the island, and exploring each attraction means you have enough to do for several days.
Popular attractions on the island include: Panorama Langkawi, various (hidden) waterfalls, Kilim mangrove tour, enjoying a day at the beach at Pantai Cenang, Underwater World Langkawi, the night markets (Saturday in Kuah, on other days at fixed but rotating locations), Oriental Village, Seven Wells, Telaga Harbour and much more.
How to get there?
Bon Bon is located along Jalan Kuala Muda, the main road between the airport and Pantai Cenang, at a 2-minute drive from Pantai Cenang. At the airport (and also at the jetty if you arrive by boat) you can take a taxi for a fixed price. Every driver knows the resort. If you rent a car at the airport, simply follow the signs to Pantai Cenang. Just before you drive into Pantai Cenang, you see the entrance to Bon Ton on the right side of the road.
Our final verdict
A visit to the beautiful Bon Ton was on our wish list for years already. A few years back we had planned a last minute visit to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve, only to hear that the resort was already fully booked. Bon Ton Resort is a real gem. It is that and even more. The villas are unique and fantastic. They all were tastefully designed. The only minor downside was that as the villas are not isolated well (which is totally understandable as they are traditional wooden kampung houses) and the aircon had a hard time keeping the place cool. Those that love a bit of cold air should probably know that it can be quite hot in the rooms, especially during the day. Then again, who stays inside their villa during the day when Langkawi has so much to offer. The atmosphere at the resort is laid back, but yet everything is perfectly arranged to the last detail. The food at Nam was delicious, why the restaurant is not completely full every night we find a mystery. Bon Ton is probably not for everyone. If you are looking for a more lively place with entertainment, a beachfront, a large pool with various facilities, and a cottage with no mosquitoes or other island critters, then this wonderful small resort may not be your thing. If you want to experience a unique place in Langkawi; make sure you stay at Bon Ton.