Pangkor Laut Resort – Perak, Pangkor, Malaysia

A Sultan’s Island Escape

They say Luciano Pavarotti cried when he saw how beautiful God has made this island – and Pavarotti has seen his fair share.

Covered by a lush rain forest that’s home to crab-eating macaque and more than 100 species of exotic birds, the island has escaped commercialization because it was the private domain of the Sultan of Perak until his death just a few years ago. The Pangkor Laut Resort, the island’s only hotel, resembles a Malay village, with dozens of simple bunga­lows built on stilts over the sea; it’s one of Asia’s most luxurious and beautifully situated hotels.

As befits its five-star status, the resort offers a host of amenities and facilities, including sandy white beaches (with perfectly appropriate names like Emerald Bay) and handsome yachts and cruisers for visiting neighboring islands in the storied Straits of Malacca, Less peripatetic guests spend their entire vacation on their private balconies over­looking the water, completely disconnected from the world. Others prefer the hillside villas lost amid the ancient treetops.

The resort’s excellent restaurants serve everything from Chinese and Malaysian to East-meets-West cuisines in a number of handsome open-air pavilions or alfresco, under a canopy of a bil­lion stars. Who wouldn’t cry from joy?

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