Beach resorts are one of the mainstays of tourism in Malaysia. With close to 3000 miles of coastline, when it comes to searching for your ideal beach resort or hotel, even multiple filters on trivago can’t do much in the way of reducing results. From the best in luxury to the best affordable options, we’ll have a look at the best beach resorts in Malaysia that are at the forefront of topnotch beachfront addresses.
Malaysia’s best beach resorts
Best luxury resorts in Kota Kinabalu
On the cusp of a nature reserve, surrounded by 400 acres of tropical forest, the 499-roomed Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa is, by our definition, the most heavenly of tropical paradises in Kota Kinabalu and one of Malaysia’s best beach resorts. If you’re like us and wait a year to go all out for the best rubdown money can buy when you’re on holiday, then you’re going to love the hotel’s Spa at Dalit Bay.
On top of the spa, getting acquainted with local wildlife through the hotel’s unique Nature Interpretation Centre is a must. Or if you prefer a hit of the golf ball, complete a round at the on-site eco-friendly championship golf course.
Dose of privacy
For your own private oversized bathtub on the balcony like in the above picture, stay in the Ocean Wing’s Premier Rooms.
Best budget stay in Kota Kinabalu
This budget-luxury hotel is conveniently located in Kota Kinabalu’s business district, minutes by car from the ocean. Rooms at Sky Hotel are large and fit more people than the average hotel room, ranging from four people in the spacious 40-square metre Studio Room to eight people in the 131-square metre Premier Room.
With a drinks lounge, complimentary breakfast, and rooftop pool that looks out onto the South China Sea with the fiery vermilion sky hanging overhead, the hotel is a popular choice for travellers to KK. After you’ve had a splash and cooled down, prepare to spend some cash at the Plaza Wawasan or Centre Point Sabah, which are both less than a 10-minute drive away.
Order cocktails and watch the sunset from the rooftop.
Best luxury resort on Gaya Island & Manukan Island
Situated 10-minutes off the coast of Kota Kinabalu is the private Gaya Island. Spacious guest villas, nestled in the verdant hills, overlook mangroves and the South China Sea.
Blending in with the rainforest surrounding the Gaya Island Resort, the natural materials used in each villa create a harmonious environment that couples looking for an intimate escape to nature will love. Soaking with your partner in an oversized bathtub that sits in the villa’s open-air, en-suite bathroom, and enjoying a scrumptious barbecue prepared by the resort’s chefs on the beach, are just two of the nourishing experiences that await guests at Gaya Island Resort.
Massage for two
Get the couples’ rice massage aka “Tadau Kaamatan”.
Best budget resort on Gaya Island & Manukan Island
On Manukan Island, the smaller and more private of the two main islands off of Kota Kinabalu, this resort is the most affordable island-resort option in the area. What’s more romantic than pristine white sand in between your toes, snorkelling alongside the tropical coral reef, and waking up in your hillside chalet? Nestled in lush vegetation that makes up the island’s rainforest, just steps away from the beach, Manukan Island Resort is the perfect place to recharge and reconnect with your loved one.
For a touch of romance
Ask for a private beach picnic or get your room decorated with flower petals.
Best luxury resort in Langkawi
Located on the long stretch of white sand that is Langkawi Island’s most popular beach, Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa is an active couple’s dream, given the many things to do nearby including beach bars, restaurants on the waterfront, and watersports.
Private verandas are fixtures of each room as are the magnificent views of the sea. From a delicious menu of massages at Teratai Spa to the delicious menu of food at the hotel’s beachside Asian restaurant, CBA, there’re so many little pleasures that makes this hotel one of Malaysia’s best beach resorts.
Pool-facing and beachfront rooms are nice, though for extra privacy, book a Garden Terrace Room that are super quiet, overlooking lush gardens.
Best budget resort in Langkawi
Also located a few minutes’ walk to Pelangi Beach, the Telaga Terrace Boutique Resort is the perfect choice for bargain hunters who don’t want to compromise on quality of service and availability of amenities.
For the ultimate romantic escapade, book a suite with a private Jacuzzi. Couples will also enjoy taking a romantic dip in the outdoor pool as it comes alive at night with ambient lighting. With lots to do in and around the hotel, with many restaurants and bars walking distance from the resort, savings will be put to good use — on food and cocktails!
Best luxury resort in Port Dickson
Sojourners to Port Dickson looking for an adults-only getaway should check in to the Avillon Port Dickson, which has the town’s best adults-only pool and spa. Designed to resemble an Old World fishing village, this beach resort blends traditional culture and luxury.
If sleeping in overwater chalets and waking up with the sea right at your feet sounds like a dream to you, surprise your loved one by booking a premium chalet which is further out to sea than other chalets for the best views of the Andaman Sea. Take your afternoon nap in either your four-poster bed or pangkin daybed, or end your night with a soak under the stars in your open sky bathtub.
VIews for two
Head to the hotel’s private Lookout Point — where deckchairs overlook the beach and waters beyond — and watch the sunset in complete serenity with your loved one.
Best budget resort in Port Dickson
Why is Merlin the best cost-for-value option in Port Dickson? For starters, you have luxury-views of the ocean from the property’s budget rooms. Then there’s the privacy that comes with the hotel being smaller-sized than many of the other family-oriented resorts in town. Perfect for couples who plan on biking along the waterfront. Guests with cars and bikes — concierge takes care of parking!
Located in the UNESCO World Heritage Site area of George Town, Merlin Hotel offers guests a selection of twin, king, super studio and family rooms, all featuring air conditioning, complimentary toiletries and free Wi-Fi access.
Spend your days exploring the many historical attractions located in historic Georgetown, from the nearby Pinang Peranakan Mansion and Fort Cornwallis to Khoo Kongsi museum, which a short drive away.
Breakfast with love
Netflix and chill in your well-connected room and, after a nice evening, run out and surprise your lover with breakfast which you can enjoy under the sweet little-coloured umbrellas.