Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort is one of the most luxurious resorts on the island of Langkawi. The exquisite 5 star resort is situated right on the beach at Pantai Cenang, the tourist center of the island. It is pure enjoyment right from the moment the taxi drops you off in front of the resort. Everything is done right at the resort. Many travellers book a few nights here at the conclusion of their trip through Malaysia. Many travel agencies often offer a stay at Pelangi Resort as a luxury option for a bit of pampering at the last few days in Malaysia.
The resort is located at a huge piece of coastal land on the north of Pantai Cenang in the north-western parts of Langkawi, approximately 10 minutes by taxi from Langkawi Airport. Scattered all over the land are several stunning villas, with various types of rooms in them.
The check in was pleasant and well-organized. You are seated at one of the lounge chairs and a staff member will visit to wish you a warm welcome and to help with the check in procedures. Of course you get a nice refreshing drink accompanied by a wet towel, you are of course checking in at a luxurious tropical resort. The wooden lobby is a beautiful open building with traditional design; the whole is spacious and staying there was because of the big lounge sofas and the pleasant vibe. When everything is settled you will be driven to your room in a trolley (bigger version of a golf cart). Besides walking, these trolleys are a commonly used method of transport at the resort. You can hail one passing by, or call one through reception with the phone at your room. At the lobby multiple trolleys are always waiting for guests. It is especially nice to use the trolley when it rains, because then the cart are covered (there are umbrellas in the house if you prefer to walk).
At total of 352 rooms can be found scattered across 51 traditional villas consisting of two floors. Each room is magnificently designed; truly fitting a tropical vacation. There are villas with direct view of the sea (which are most expensive), villas overlooking the pool, villas overlooking the lake and villas with views of the gardens (the most affordable option). There are also villas that are located right next to the lobby. The most expensive villas are located on the beach. These have a direct view of the sea and are standing apart from other villas and are located quite far away from the main building for optimal privacy. We had a fantastic Lake View Villa, but our entrance was located quite near the Cascade Pool, one of the pools at the resort.
Rooms are fully equipped. Obviously you’ve got air conditioning, a TV, a mini bar, a small desk, a safe and a beautiful bathroom with a large bath, a nice rain shower situated in a large shower area. One spectacular feature of the bathroom was that it was isolated well from rest of the room, so no moist and hot air in your room right after a shower. You also have free Wi-Fi in the rooms and also in the rest of the resort. Furthermore, each villa has a balcony with a few chairs and a table.
The breakfast buffet was truly fantastic. There was a very wide choice of local and international breakfast dishes and everything was refilled in time.
Among the local dishes were delicious beef curry with roti cenai, chinese noodles and much more; all prepared in front of you by the chefs. Eggs are freshly fried at the egg counter. The bread was very good and there was a huge variety. You can grab your own coffee at one of the professional coffee machines. There was an area with nothing but fruit, and an area with nothing but sweeteners. The breakfast restaurant consists of an inner part and a large outdoor terrace. Inside it is quite cold because of the air conditioning, but as at times it is much more crowded with sometimes even a queue of guests wanting to sit inside. Outside it was considerably quieter. Breakfast starts at 7am and ends at 11am, where after 10.45am dishes will no longer be restocked.
With some offers breakfast is not included in an overnight stay. This shouldn’t be a problem, because Pantai Cenang has several nice restaurants where you enjoy a local or western breakfast early in the morning. Noteworthy is the Breakfast Bar, a very popular and affordable breakfast place full of backpackers and at a 10 minute walk from the resort along Jalan Pantai Chenang. Another recommendation is My French Factory where you can enjoy delicious pancakes. This breakfast place is a 15 minute walk from the resort, right next to Cenang Mall.
Spice Market restaurant is the main restaurant of the resort. Here you have your breakfast in the morning, lunch during the day and an evening buffet for dinner (or a la carte). It is located in the rear corner of the lobby. It is beautifully designed and the food is of high quality. It is tempting to have your dinners at one of the restaurants in Pantai Cenang, but that is not necessary, if you do not mind eating a delicious meal (at western prices).
CBA on the beach is a cozy lounge restaurant. It is located right on the beach with a magnificent view over the sea. Here you can have lunch or a light bite during the day, and enjoy several delicious a la carte dishes in the evening. You also have an extensive drink menu as well as many delicious desserts. There is a daily happy hour where you get huge discount on the drinks.
Although you can enjoy delicious meals in the restaurants of the resort you also have dozens of great restaurants in the vicinity. Particularly recommended is the restaurant of nearby Casa Del Mar Resort, located right next to Meritus Pelangi. Along Pantai Cenang beach (a mere 5 minute walk) there are several nice beach bars where you can eat for very reasonable prices. You also have several good restaurants along Jalan Pantai Chenang. Highly recommended is the Chinese seafood restaurant Orkid Ria were we had a fantastic meal during our visit.
Swimming pool and other facilities
There are two pools at the resort; the vast Horizon Pool as well as the smaller immediately adjacent Dinosaur Pool (especially great for small children) and the Cascade Pole; with waterfall, slide and the Cascade Pool Bar; a fun swim-up bar. From each villa it is only a short walk to either one of the two pools.
Both pools are open daily between 8am and 8pm. This is especially nice because this means you can enjoy a nice swim after a long day full of activities before having dinner at the resort (or before heading out into town for dinner). It is simply wonderful to swim with the stars shining bright above your head (it is dark around 7pm).
Both pools have a water slide. The Dinosaur Pool has several small slides. This mini-water park is excellent for kids; they can have fun all day in the water. In addition to the slides you have several other fun water themed attractions, like spraying see-saws, spray guns and sprays of water coming from everywhere (because of this it feels less hot in the burning sun, but make sure you use your sun screen often). There is a huge bucket several meters high which fills with water, and is set to tilt with a two-minute interval, dropping a massive amount of water on the foam floor below. It is fun to stand immediately below it with all the other kids, again great fun (for parents too :)).
At the Cascade Pool Bar you have a small menu with tasty snacks, including delicious burgers and pizzas. Unfortunately, you cannot eat right at the bar, but luckily you have several tables and chairs to eat around the pool. At the Horizon Pool someone from Cba walks by every now and then to take orders.
At Pelangi Spa you can undergo a variety of treatments. Various specialized treatments are available, including numerous pampering massages (like the well-known Balinese massage). Prices are quite high, but since it is vacation it is usually worth every penny. You do have to reserve in advance, either by walking in, or by calling the spa at your room.
The gym is located at the very edge of the resort. If you stay around the Cascade Pole, then walking towards the gym means you already had enough movement for the day. The gym is full of modern equipment; sports lovers will have a great workout.
On the beach you can partake in a variety of water sports activities. These are offered by the resort itself, so everything takes place in a safe and controlled environment, in contrast to the practices of water sports providers in the central part of Pantai Cenang.
Do you want to explore the surrounding area on a bike; you can rent one at the resort. A bike is super convenient to use along Pantai Cenang. If you want to explore other areas of the island, then perhaps it is better to rent a motorbike or a car; both are very cheap.
The resort has two tennis courts, where you can enjoy hitting a ball in the blistering heat. In practice you don’t see that many guests playing tennis, it is simply too hot during the day.
Ideal if you’re traveling with kids
The resort is ideal for families traveling with children. There is a large swimming pool with a children’s pool next to it; the slides are fantastic. Also, Pantai Cenang has a lot to offer. If your kids are tired from walking, you can catch a trolley to take you back to your villa.
Previously we’ve always heard many wonderful things about how child-friendly the resort was. After our visit we know for a fact that it is an amazing place for families traveling with children. They thought of everything. For example, there are highchairs everywhere. Furthermore, a baby bed will be placed in the room free of charge.
- If you stay in one of the more distant rooms of the resort (for example near the Cascade pool), and you want to visit Pantai Cenang in the evening, you can best take the trolley to the gym or the water sports center. From here it is but a short walk along the beach to Pantai Cenang.
- You want a private dinner on the beach? This can be arranged in advance at CBA. The Staff will set up a wonderful table right on the beach (including many candles and rose petals) for an intimate and very romantic dinner.
- For RM100 a person per day you can make use of the Meritus Club privileges. This gives you access to the Club Lounge, where you can have your breakfast in peace, and enjoy daytime drinks and snacks. Furthermore, you get discounts at various facilities (such as the spa and water sports activities).
- In the heat of the day the Horizon Pool is the most comfortable, because here you have a huge covered area stretched over a big portion of the pool.
Pantai Cenang is the tourist center of Langkawi. Here you have several nice beach bars and restaurants, as well as the small, but modern shopping arcade Cenang Mall. Along the main street you have many souvenir shops, tour agencies, rental companies, various shops and small supermarkets. Pantai Cenang has a wonderful publicly accessible beach. At Pantai Cenang, you can do various activities such as water skiing, riding the banana and more. Furthermore, there are many beach chairs and sun beds that you can use for a small fee.
From the resort you walk down the beach to the main part of Pantai Cenang in just a few minutes. Along the way you come by several eateries directly located on the beach, especially at night a much laid back atmosphere can be enjoyed. You can also walk via the main street to the busier part of Pantai Cenang. From the lobby you first walk into the main entrance of the resort, where you then turn right. The shops and restaurants begin after about five minutes.
Popular attractions on the island
Langkawi is a small island that takes no more than two hours to drive around with a car. However, there are many attractions on the island, and if you stop anywhere you need a few days to adequately explore everything. Popular attractions on the island include: Panorama Langkawi, various (hidden) waterfalls, Kilim mangrove tour, the beach bars and restaurants at Pantai Cenang, Underwater World Langkawi, the night market in Kuah on Saturday (other days on fixed but rotating locations), Oriental Village, Seven Wells, Telaga Harbour and much more.
Additionally, you can enjoy the night market at Pantai Cenang itself, which takes place every Thursday.
How to get there?
Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort is located in Pantai Cenang, along the main road of Jalan Pantai Chenang. At the airport (and also at the jetty if you arrive by boat) you can take a taxi to the resort for a fixed price. Every driver knows the resort. If you rent a car at the airport, simply follow the signs to Pantai Cenang. The ride takes less than 10 minutes. Just before you drive into Pantai Cenang, you will see the entrance to the resort on your right. Getting there with a rental car? You can park in the big parking near the lobby. From your villa you can take a trolley to your car.
Our final verdict
Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort is a truly magnificent resort. Everything is arranged to perfection and therefore your stay is worth every penny. Although the resort is located in the popular tourist and therefore often quite crowded Pantai Cenang, you hardly notice anything once you are inside the resort premises. There is an oasis of calmness and tranquillity, and at the resort you can enjoy a stroll along the virtually deserted beach (which isn’t the case at Pantai Cenang itself).
The beach is very nice. The parasols that protect you from the scorching sun are made of real trees; a sight to behold. There are sun beds everywhere, with enough distance between them to provide just the right amount of privacy. The sea right in front of Cba is marked with buoys to swim safely. Within 5 minutes you walk to the central and busiest part of Pantai Cenang, where you will be right in the conviviality with several nice beach restaurants where you can have your dinner, enjoy some drinks and just relax for a bit.
Rooms were very nice and the food was delicious. The breakfast was of a high standard and in the evening the beach was the setting of perhaps the most beautiful sunset in all of Malaysia. Meritus Pelangi is also a very family friendly resort, with a large shallow pool that is very suitable for even the smallest children. Dinosaur Pool was not only fantastic for the kids, even the parents clearly had the time of their lives. The beach outside the resort is very nice, but the sea is not very clear (because of this almost no one swims in the sea).
An overnight stay is not cheap, but for that price you will hardly find anything better on the island (you will for a much higher price per night though). Occasionally, there are special offers, typically for a 3 night stay or longer. For example Agoda.com often has great bargains, but don’t forget to also check the official resort website, as they have great deals going on too, sometimes with a substantial discount. Furthermore, make sure you check out their official Facebook page every once a while, as we noticed several deals with discounts of up to 50% in the months before our visit. If you think that is still too expensive, then our way is perhaps of interest. At Langkawi, we usually stay at an affordable place for the first few days, and end our trip with two or three nights at a luxury location like the Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort. If you plan to visit this stunning island, definitely consider a few days at Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort. We consider this one of the nicest resorts on the island and will definitely come back one day.