Design & Interior
The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa offers a traditional Minangkabau (big house) clay roof style, which is creatively detailed to make this first and only Westin branded resort an icon in the island.
The architecture, construction, internal and external decoration by Bangkok based Belt Collins have been designed in a way to reflect the culture and value of the “Big-house” concept and to provide natural retreat for guest experiences in an urban enclave. Stunning sea view and uninterrupted foliage have been the main attractions of the resort. The key of design solution is simplicity, which respects and embraces its natural qualities - the need for cross ventilation, shading from sun and rain, the flow of interior space to exterior spaces, the abundance of lighting and the opportunity to incorporate landscaping into design.
The Resort’s site measured about 39.8 hectare lands with the required built up area of estimate 30,000 sq meters. The building footprint was kept to minimum and crafted with interlocking spaces along the building perimeters and offers good opportunity for soft and hard landscaping incorporation. These landscape gardens are blended with the building architecture as a coherent statement.
The resort is divided into two portions, with accommodation being split across two parcels of land. The 202 rooms and suites are separated into East & West wing of building, with lushly landscaped gardens. The resort main building co-exists with it with minimum disruption. Building that meanders down the slope with resort lobby and open terraces spaces on platforms at various levels, boasting different stunning view of the Andaman Sea and nearby isles. Emphasis is placed on the careful planning of the in-between spaces to frame views of nature.
A grand porte-cochere leads to the reception lobby, which is voluminous but detailed with simple means. Architecturally, the interior details by Manny Samson and Associates are both contemporary modern resorts in inspiration and execution. The designer exploit an already well-established vocabulary of forms. The elaborate roof truss displays a tectonic intricacy found in structures, but executed in much more heroic proportions. Timber trusses & columns rest on tapered concrete bases. Opened terraces dining and full height large glazing beneath at hotel main restaurant form a permeable and remarkable view to the external pools landscape area.
Views are carefully framed whilst movement is deliberately orchestrated to take advantage of the landscape. The varied and manifold delights of the gardens and three swimming pools are a pleasure to experience. An infinity pool was created by Belt Collins Bangkok by excavating and lowering the pool below the natural level by some two meters.
This allowed a greater sense of privacy for both the pool user and the guests in the rooms. The land boundary is landscaping with trees, scrubs, and paver grass concrete slab along the way driveway instead of constructing solid perimeter fencing. Ample car park spaces are located next to the lower lobby entrance and the services areas are located at level rear portion.
For Seasonal Taste, the resort’s all day dining restaurant; Singapore based Poole Associates enclosed the former open-air space and added verandahs to its side to increase the floor area to 882 square meters. The kitchen was opened up with a sequence of stations for hot buffet, cold buffet and juices. The design is essentially a crossover of Malay and Thai, with the ceiling tiles featuring a Malay motif made from recycled aluminum. A glass artist in Langkawi made a curtain of beads, to look like raindrops – which decorates the private dining booths at the venue. A driftwood finish is used on the furnitures to make it look like it was found on the beach. Being a resort, there's a lot of natural materials used whilst fabric colours lean towards tropical green with leaf patterns, and dyed cement flooring makes for a natural aesthetic. Different seating clusters include eight round booths that act like a room within the restaurant.
Upstairs, also by Ed Poole of Poole Associates, guests cross a black tiled reflecting pool to get to Breeze , the 690 square meter bar and lounge off the main reception area. Here, old railway tiles from Malaysia are used for the flooring and stone for the bar. Overhead fans pick up the tropical theme and continue beyond into the main lobby area.
There are also 18 beach villas facing sea-beach frontage. Each has its own private garden and pool with a meditative, Zen-like quality garden surrounding, which offers a tropical village atmosphere using the oriental clay-roof and shingles as the main architectural vocabulary. Designed by Manny Samson, the finishing materials for all the villas were carefully selected to create different senses visually and emotionally. External Balinese bale benggong with crafting ornament and sand stone had been applied to enhance the modern tropical feel with surrounding pool and landscape features. Bamboo, shingles and alang-alang are used for the roofs of pavilions, while other finishes are kept simple to minimise distraction to overall concept - both in material and colours for exterior and interior spaces.
Lighting concept is an integral design element that has been studied meticulously while applying to this project. The level of lighting manipulation expresses the quality of nightscape of the resort. For the natural lighting, sun and wind path had been considered, to positioned windows in order to allow sufficient lighting and ventilation for all bedrooms. Artificial light trough is also provided at ceiling spaces along perimeter of building to enliven space with the reflected light. This feature is further enhanced along perimeter of coved ceiling underneath the alang-alang roof resulting in the roof appearing is floating when the light glows in the dark.
The art of design of these villas is not only rooted in the aesthetic form, but in the soul of the building, which creates its own unique self. During daytime, the resort is self defined with the surrounding pool, sea water, trees and shrubs and villas. As night falls the internal spaces take over with the glowing reflected light against the dark straight and design forms of building.
The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa is located in Langkawi, Kedah – which is part of the northern region in the Peninsular Malaysia. Set in an idyllic natural retreat of the island, adorned with private beach front location up to 500 meters, The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa is only 3km from the main shopping area of Langkawi Kuah Town and strategically located just 20 minutes away by car from the Langkawi International Airport and within easy access of 1 km away from the Langkawi Jetty.
About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 1,300 properties in some 100 countries and approximately 188,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences under the renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Tribute Portfolio™, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, and Element®, along with an expanded partnership with Design Hotels™. The company also boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG®). Visit www.starwoodhotels.com for more information and stay connected @starwoodbuzz on Twitter and Instagram and facebook.com/Starwood.