This guide on where to stay in Langkawi lists the best beach areas on the island. This includes all accommodation types, from hostels and guesthouse to luxury five-star hotels and resorts.
Langkawi is an island group comprised of 99 islands, with the main island forming the bulk of the landmass. Langkawi is the third-largest island in Malaysia (not counting Borneo), and it has been designated as a UNESCO Global Geopark. The main attractions of Langkawi are the beaches, boat excursions to the islands, and the natural interior.
Hotels in Langkawi are on the main island, though the island is too big to explore without transport. Choosing where to stay will depend on what you are looking for.
This guide lists the best areas to stay depending on your budget and travel style.
Where to stay in Langkawi guide
Map of Langkawi hotels
Where to stay in Langkawi
Cenang Beach (The best beach area in Langkawi)
Tengah Beach (Luxury resorts close to the Cenang action)
Kuah (The district capital of Langkawi)
Langkawi resorts (List of luxury beach resorts)
Future hotels in Langkawi
Map of Langkawi hotels
Hotels mentioned in this article are pinned on this map.
[View map of Langkawi hotels.]
Where to stay in Langkawi
These are the main areas in Langkawi.
Cenang Beach (Pantai Cenang) is the most popular place to stay in Langkawi. There is a long stretch of beach here with cafes and beach bars. The main beach road has the most amount of shops and restaurants in a walkable area. Using Cenang as a base you can arrange tours or rent a motorbike to explore the rest of the island.
Cenang has a wide range of accommodation options, though the most luxurious hotels are elsewhere on the island.
Hostels and guesthouses in Cenang
At the northern end of the beach there are some side streets that are filled with hostels and guesthouses. If you you are travelling old-school and have not booked anything, then you could try your luck in these streets. There are a few different streets that run off the main road.
One of the streets has signs at the entrance listing places to stay. This is the closest the island has to a backpacker street, though don’t come here expecting a party scene like Ko Lipe, which is where most backpackers are coming from.
I’ve marked out some other guesthouses in this area to show where these streets are on the map.
Gecko Guesthouse offers dorm and private rooms and has a common area to meet fellow travellers.
Dar Yasmine Motel has dorm and private room options.
I stayed at The Village Langkawi, which was a typical budget guesthouse experience in Malaysia. This was at the end of the street, yet it is only a 5-minute walk to the beach.
In the same street is the House of Lion Hostel. This place looked more lively than where I stayed as there were always backpackers socialising in the front common area.
Arch Dormitorio Cenang is a hostel on the main road at the southern end of Cenang Beach.
Cenang Rest House is a holdout of Langkawi from another era. While most of the beach locations are taken over by luxury hotels, this budget guesthouse/hotel is on the beachside of the main road.
[Read more about Cenang Rest House.]
Budget hotels in Cenang
D’ Cenang Inn is a budget hotel that is still hanging on to its beach location.
AB MOTEL is another beachside budget hotel with bungalows on the beach.
Cenang Plaza Beach Hotel has an unbeatable location on the main road if you want to be near the main shops and restaurants area.
Langkapuri Resort Langkawi is a budget beach resort with a mix of hotel rooms chalet rooms (bungalow rows near the beach).
Mid-range hotels on Cenang Beach
Best Star Resort (3-star) is a budget beach resort in the middle of the Cenang action.
Casa Del Mar Langkawi (4-star) is ideally located on the beach.
[Read more about Casa Del Mar Langkawi.]
Mercure Langkawi Pantai Cenang (4-star) is near main shopping area.
Luxury hotels on Cenang Beach
Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa, Langkawi is tucked away at the northern end of Cenang Beach, offering a feeling of seclusion while having access to the amenities of Cenang.
Tengah Beach (Pantai Tengah) is directly south of Cenang, and it is practically the same beach except it’s separated by Tanjung Mali. This rocky hill on the beach is what is known as a dropstone.
Tanjung Mali is a clear delineation of beach vibes, with Tengah being a quieter beach with more luxury resorts.
Tengah is where the international chain hotels can be found. There are some budget options on the beach road, but they are further inland than the beach road along Cenang.
For budget beach accommodation on Tengah there is Charlie Langkawi Motel. For budget beach hotels you are better off limiting your search in Cenang.
Mid-range hotels on Tengah Beach
Frangipani Langkawi Resort (4-star)
Holiday Villa Beach Resort & Spa Langkawi (4-star) is a favourite for families with its sprawling garden area and pool by the beach.
[The pool at Holiday Villa Beach Resort & Spa Langkawi.]
[Check rates for Aloft Langkawi Pantai Tengah.]
Luxury hotels on Tengah Beach
The RIYAZ Lavanya offers hotel rooms and villa accommodation in a luxury garden resort setting.
[Check rates for PARKROYAL Langkawi Resort.]
Kuah is the district capital of Langkawi. I don’t recommend staying in Kuah, but I list it here in case you were considering it. Kuah is a port city with no beach, thus it’s not of interest if you come to Langkawi for a beach holiday.
Kuah is a typical small provincial Malaysian city. There isn’t an interesting old town area like Penang or Phuket Old Town. The most popular site of the city is Dataran Lang (Eagle Square). This statue of an eagle taking flight has become the icon of the island.
Langkawi is well known for its status as a duty-free island, and there are duty-free shopping centres in Kuah.
The main ferry port of the island is at Kuah Jetty, which receives ferries from the mainland and Koh Lipe in Thailand. There is a bus service and fixed-price taxi service from the port to Cenang, so there is no need to stay here.
Kuah has been renovating its waterfront, and the Eiffel Tower-inspired Maha Tower is now the defining landmark of the waterfront. Maybe Kuah will become a destination in its own right in the future.
De Baron Resort Langkawi is a budget resort by the seafront.
Malaysian hotel group Bayview International Hotels & Resorts is represented in Kuah at Bayview Hotel Langkawi (4-star).
Adya Hotel is a 4-star hotel with seaviews near the city centre.
[Check rates for Adya Hotel.]
Beyond the main beach area of Cenang and Tengah, most of the beaches are the preserve of luxury 5-star resorts.
Usually for these Where To Stay Guides I would make a list broken down into geographical order. Langkawi is famous for being a luxury resort getaway, where the hotel is the destination rather than the specific beach.
This is a list of luxury beach resorts of Langkawi, going clockwise from Cenang.
The Ritz-Carlton, Langkawi is a secluded resort with a private beach cove.
Berjaya Langkawi Resort is on Pantai Kok near the Langkawi Skybridge Cable Car station. This resort includes rainforest and overwater accommodation.
[Pantai Kok Langkawi.]
The Andaman, a Luxury Collection Resort, Langkawi is one of the few hotels on the beach at Datai Bay.
Four Seasons Resort Langkawi, Malaysia is on Rhu Beach and is next to some other hotels and restaurants.
Tanjung Rhu Resort is near the top of the island on Tanjung Rhu Beach.
The St. Regis Langkawi is to the south of Kuah Town and it has exclusive access to Beringin Beach.
Next to the St. Regis is The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa (both of which are Marriott brands). The Westin has exclusive access to its beach cove as well.
Future hotels in Langkawi
If you are planning a trip to Langkawi in the future, then here are some projects to look out for.
Nautilus Resort, Curio Collection by Hilton is opening in 2023 on Cenang Beach.
Hilton Burau Bay Resort Langkawi is expected in 2024.
Widad Langkasuka is an artificial islands project that is planned to be built next to the airport.
[Widad Langkasuka site viewed from plane.]