Discover the sensuous side of Malaysia over eight days of sheer and utter bliss, with a heavenly mix of sightseeing and therapeutic treatments. This twin centre programme takes in the futuristic capital, Kuala Lumpur, and the paradisiacal island of Langkawi in the Andaman Sea. Visit shrines, workshops and markets; explore caves and mangrove swamps, and come face to face with the king of birds at an eagle feeding session; and enjoy an array of relaxing traditional Malaysian massages from the moment you arrive to the eve of your departure.
KL Tower: The 421-metre-tall telecom tower offers stunning views of Kuala Lumpur and the PETRONAS Twin Towers
Little India: One in ten Kuala Lumpur residents is of Indian origin and Brickfields is the beating heart of this community
Langkawi: Savour the fresh seafood that
is available at a number of restaurants throughout Langkawi
Kuala Lumpur: Tour the world-famous Royal Selangor visitor centre and learn all about pewter production
Batu caves: These limestone caverns to the north of Kuala Lumpur are a shrine to Hindu deity Lord Subramaniyan
Chinatown: Stroll through the bustling Pasar Malam night market for an insight into the Kuala Lumpur’s thriving Chinese community
Langkawi: Release your inner Indiana Jones touring the mangroves and caves of this island known as the Jewel of Kedah
Upon arrival at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, you will be met at the arrivals hall by a representative and transferred to what will be your accommodation for the next three nights, the five-star Mandarin Oriental. Located in the shadow of the PETRONAS Twin Towers, the hotel boasts six restaurants, three lounge bars and even a cake shop as well as a sensational infinity pool overlooking KLCC Park and two outdoor tennis courts. After check-in, enjoy the first of many treats over the coming days with a relaxing Jet Lag Treatment that will help you adjust to your new environment. This energising 50-minute massage is the ideal way to get back on track after the physically and mentally exhausting ardours of long distance travel.
The adventure begins in earnest after a delicious breakfast at the hotel. Today we explore the environs of Kuala Lumpur with the four-hour Suburbs of KL tour. The experience begins in the eastern district of Jalan Ampang, popularly known as Embassy Row due to the profusion of chancelleries and ambassadorial residences here. Admire the glittering architecture and see the hotspots were diplomats converge. Continue northwards to the neighbourhood of Setapak Jaya for a tour of the Royal Selangor Visitor Centre. The company has been manufacturing the finest pewter products since 1885 and is today the largest of its kind in the world, making more than 70 items from aerators to wine glasses, with almost 90 different ranges featuring designs from classical to modern. Explore the dazzling exhibition chronicling the company’s growth and witness the production process first hand. Head back towards the centre to visit the Batik Painting Craft Complex for a demonstration of how this ancient process of waxing and dying is used in the printing of materials such as silk. Other fabrics are also used as are furnishings, ceramics, metals and wood. The final leg of the tour takes you to the northern edge of Kuala Lumpur to discover the Batu Caves, which are famed both for the monkeys that freely roam them and their religious significance. This awe-inspiring complex features a number of cavernous Hindu shrines reached by a seemingly never-ending set of steps, which are themselves guarded by an imposing 43-metre-high gilded statue of the Lord Subramaniyan (also known as Murugan) the Hindu god of war. During religious festivals, worshippers in trance-like state carry kavadi for thanksgiving. After this spiritual sojourn, return to the hotel to indulge in the day’s pampering treat: an 80-minute Therapeutic Massage. This truly effective treatment helps dissolve aches and strains. Oil is applied to your body using the therapist’s elbows and forearms in what is a stimulating and deeply revitalising experience.
Enjoy the morning and afternoon at your own leisure in the multicultural metropolis that is Kuala Lumpur. This city of more than 1.6 million inhabitants is not even two centuries old but what it lacks in history is more than compensated by what it offers as a vision of the city of the future. The options (not included) are myriad: you can hop on the monorail and meander between the skyscrapers, alighting to explore districts such as Brickfields, popularly known as Little India, or must-see locations such as the art deco Central Market and the National Mosque, a magnificent example of 1960s religious architecture surrounded by lush landscaped gardens. Perhaps head to Jalan Alor, an area renowned for its savoury street food, or to the ‘Golden Triangle’, the capital’s shopping and entertainment hub. Almost on the doorstep of the hotel are the PETRONAS Twin Towers, which rise to a dizzying height of 452 metres above the city. The twin towers are linked by a double-decker sky bridge at 170 metres and there’s a viewing platform in the 86th storey, which is at 360 metres. The views, needless to say, are breathtaking. Nearby is the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve, where the 421-metre-high Kuala Lumpur Tower is located. It has an observation deck and revolving restaurant, which allows for dramatic 360° view of the city's skyline while enjoying a meal.
Back at the hotel, prepare for the evening’s tour with an 80-minute Oriental Essence treatment. This massage is one of Mandarin Oriental’s signature spa therapies and is designed to relieve neck and shoulder tension. The masseur focuses on all stress areas of the body, rubbing in signature quintessence oil blended with warming ginger, uplifting mandarin and frankincense. This relaxing treatment will realign the mind and emotions in time for the four-hour KL After Dusk tour. Kuala Lumpur comes alive after sunset as the skyscrapers’ glow allows the capital live up to its name of The Garden City of Lights. A leisurely drive along the glittering streets of the centre leads you through some fascinating night spots. Visit the Hindu Sri Maha Mariamman Temple and the thriving Chinatown for some street shopping at the Pasar Malam night market. Ethnic Chinese represent more than 40% of Kuala Lumpur’s residents. Later, proceed for dinner to a local restaurant for sumptuous Malaysian cuisine while being entertained by a traditional performance. Enjoy the meal as dancers perform a cultural dance and a typical wedding scene or, ‘bersanding’, where the bridal couple sit on a dais and well-wishers sprinkle scented water for blessings.
After breakfast, transfer to Kuala Lumpur International Airport for your flight (not included) to Langkawi. Upon arrival at Langkawi International Airport, you will be met by our local representative and transferred to what will be your accommodation for the next four nights, the five-star Four Seasons Resort, which is located in the north of the main island. Langkawi is an archipelago of 99 islands (an extra five temporary islands are revealed at low tide in the Andaman Sea) some 30km off the coast of north-western mainland Malaysia. The name Langkawi is a combination of ‘lang’, from the Malaysian for eagle, and ‘kawi’, from the Sanskrit for marble, both of which are found in the main island. After checking in, relax and unwind with a 60-minute Urut Melayu treatment. Long, rhythmic strokes, kneading and the use of grounding oils epitomise the urut technique, which has been used by Malaysians for generations to relieve tension, release endorphins and lull stressed bodies and minds into peaceful slumber. The Four Seasons Resort Langkawi has three restaurants and a lounge bar, an oceanfront ‘adult quiet’ infinity pool and a family pool as well as a spa, a fitness centre, a floodlit tennis court and a daily yoga programme – all in a stunning setting surrounded by cliffs, rainforests and the Andaman Sea. The yoga sessions are on a complimentary basis with Sunrise Yoga lessons held daily by the Lotus Pond from 07:30 to 08:30. Other classes are held from 11:30 to 12:30 between Wednesday and Sunday. Sessions include Hatha, Yin and Pranayama. Hatha incorporates postures, breathing control and subtle energy channels. Yin is specifically focused on strengthening and stretching the connective tissues of the hips, pelvis and lower spine. And Pranayama is the name given to the series of breathing exercises used to clear and cleanse the body and mind.
Feast on a delicious breakfast before departing for the Evergreen Mangrove and Cave Exploration tour. This six-hour experience will allow you to live a genuine Tomb Raider-style adventure as you explore the UNESCO-endorsed geopark that is one of the most beautiful island karst landscapes in the south-east Asia. On board a boat, glide through one of the most diverse tropical ecosystems on the planet as a naturalist guides you through up-close encounters with exotic animals and ancient geological formations. Pass soaring sea stacks and enter a maze of cliffs, tangled mangroves and limestone caves, home to exotic creatures such as monitor lizards and sleeping vipers, and coast into ancient limestone caves. The sounds of nature waft through the air with only the gentle lolling of the water against the hull to compete with the shrieks of wildlife. The cave exploration requires climbing stairs and uneven paths so sports shoes are a must. Towels will come in handy and if you have a torch and binoculars, bring them along, too. Elevated platforms allow you to see a variety of fish. Catch a close-up shot of the many eagles as they zoom down with accuracy to their feed, and see hundreds of vampire bats having as they cling upside down from the ceiling of a cave. (Please note that the mangrove excursion is subject to sea and wind conditions.) Lunch is provided at a local restaurant with drinks outside the standard meal package on a personal account. In the afternoon, indulge in a 60-minute Taksu Kasih treatment. This sensuous massage involves long, rhythmic strokes that flow like water over the body. Each stroke is enhanced by warm streams of uplifting kenanga, gardenia, jerimin and halia oils, while warmed stones and kidney poultices further intensify the experience. Energetic and vibrant yet deeply soothing, Taksu Kasih communicates love, serenity, balance and understanding to release a pure inner flow.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the resort before starting the day off with a well-deserved pampering. The 90-minute Keringanan Lightness Massage is a deep tissue treatment. Performed with compassionate healing intent, it uses energy-boosting ‘pegaga’ to soften the muscular system and stimulate energy flow. With strengthening and restorative ‘shilajit’, cedar wood, ‘chendana’ and ‘arkar wangi’ oil, the treatment results in an unmistakable lightness of being. This feeling of lightness is not usually associated with sports-style massages. The rest of the day is free for you to enjoy the resort or discover the island at your own leisure if you wish. Just over 20km away in the west is a cable car (not included) which rides to Langkawi's second highest peak. During its 20-minute journey, the gondola passes over jungle waterfalls and a thick carpet of virgin rainforest. On a clear day, you can even see Thailand towards the north and Indonesia towards the south-west.
The last full day in paradise begins as always with a delicious breakfast overlooking the sea. Today is a free day during which you can either relax at the beach or by the infinity pool, or venture beyond to explore the island. In the afternoon, relax your body and mind even further with the 90-minute Manipura treatment. Meaning ‘beautiful, shining jewel’ in Sanskrit, manipura refers to the solar plexus (navel) chakra – the inner core of fire and sun energy that ignites our health and vitality. This treatment uses marma massage and lymphatic drainage alongside healing poultices of pure sea salt, ‘buah pelage’, ‘bunga chengkih’ and ‘kayu manis’ to stimulate and balance the body’s inner energies.