Who they are and what they do

fp-signboardThe Frangipani Langkawi Resort and Spa is serious about being green. It does not stop at a passive plea to its guests to save water, switch off the lights and reuse their towels. Instead it has a systematic program in place to reduce its carbon footprint, work towards self-sustainability, give back to the local community and educate its guests. And just to ensure that the desired green attitudes and practices are in place; Chek Min En was hired as its environment and education officer to share her passion for the planet with both staff and guests.
The list of green achievements at this very comfortable resort can be found on their website, but they are not simply green washing. The owner of the resort, Anthony Wong, is a long-time Malaysian Nature Society member and his goal is to imbibe every facet of the establishment with his green philosophies.

From the furniture (that was sourced from Jogjakarta, Indonesia, after the devastating earthquake) to the pathways (made from recycled broken tiles), and their own mini farm, nursery and wetlands, the resort has put in some real effort to look after the environment.
There are recycle bins at every nook and corner of the resort, ingenious inventions such as the coconut husk ashtrays and the PVC pipe light poles and decorative sculptures made from abandoned tree roots salvaged from Langkawi roadsides. In order to ensure that local fauna are welcome onsite, landscaping efforts incorporate local fruit trees favoured by the birds as well as local herbs. Even the restaurant bar is a recycled boat.

The staff is wholly involved in the green process. Each department has their own plot of land to create their own sustainable garden. The most intriguing one is that of the security department. Not only have they used recycled bathtubs to grow herbs and vegetables, they also breed guppies that they then disburse into resort water features to reduce mosquitoes. On top of that, they allow guests to stick their feet and hands into the tubs for a free fish spa! Every single member of staff is taken on a one-on-one green tour of the resort, courtesy of Min En, and she is always on the lookout for new things to implement and do in order to truly make the resort a green place to stay.
Frangipani does not neglect the local community either. They source for their produce locally wherever possible and hire staff from the surrounding villages. They also engage a number of local schools in environmental education, including teaching the children how to grow fruits and vegetables that the resort then buys from the school. On top of that, they are working with the single mothers of Tuba Island to produce and sell handicraft, going as far as getting other resorts to sell their produce as well. In fact, Frangipani is so generous that it invites staff and managers from other resorts to learn about their green policies, giving seminars, workshops and on-site training. Everything is possible as long as it goes towards the planet it seems.

What a traveller can experience


  • A guilt-free value-for-money comfortable getaway: This is not a backpacker’s hideout but a proper high-end resort without the extravagance. It is actually very cosy and welcoming for its high standards; not impersonal in any way and the rooms are clean and comfortable. Of course the sea-view villas are the best, for even with its healthy distance from the beachfront, it is still the closest to the sea that you’ll get. But the garden view rooms are very nice too. A wonderful bonus is the open air shower – truly exposing you to the elements! There are ample lazy chairs and gazebos to enjoy the beachfront from if you don’t get a beachfront room so there’s nothing to worry about. Children are welcome here with a nice shallow pool for them to enjoy and other activities that can be planned for the whole family (see nature activities below).

  • The Green Tour: Meet and get to know Min En – her passion for the planet and her work will rub off on you and you’ll leave feeling incredibly inspired. She’s more than happy to take you on a tour of all the green aspects of the resort, and you’ll get an insiders look at the nursery, composting tubs and wetlands. You can even get up close and personal with the resident chickens, ducks and geese.

  • Find out about other nature activities on offer: There is a good selection of information in the lobby but the staff will be more than happy to let you know about other green activities available in Langkawi. From bird-watching to trekking Gunung Matchinchang to kayaking in the mangroves, there is more than enough to keep you entertained for a week. The resort also has the occasional introduction to local culture such as fishing demonstrations by the beach – a great way to learn how the locals live.

Rates : from 500 RM for a standard room to 1200 RM for a suite


Chen Min En, Environment and Education officer, tel. (+60)4-9520000
Location : Frangipani Langkawi Resort & Spa, Jalan Teluk Baru, Pantai Tengah, Mukim Kedawang, Langkawi 07100.
Enquiries and bookings : rsvn@frangipanilangkawi.com
Tel and Fax : 60-4-9520001
Website : http://www.frangipanilangkawi.com

How to get there

By Air
Daily flights from Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Penang          
By road and ferry
Kuala Lumpur to Penang,  4 hours –   Penang to Langkawi by ferry , 2 hours 30 minutes        
Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Kedah,  6 hours – Kuala Kedah to Langkawi by ferry , 1 hour 30 minutes
Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Perlis ,  7 hours – Kuala Perlis to Langkawi by ferry ,   45 minutes
By Rail
Daily train services from Kuala Lumpur to Alor Star (Kedah) and Arau (Perlis).  From there, the guests need to transfer by taxi to Kuala Kedah or Kuala Perlis where the ferry services are located.

When in Langkawi
It is possible of course to organise a hotel pick up from the airport or ferry terminal, or you can simply take a taxi and give them the resort name. Most will know where it is, or else they will know where Pantai Cenang is.
Alternatively you can rent a car or a scooter and travel there yourself. It is not difficult to find as maps are easily available all over Langkawi and it is at the end of the prominent Jalan Pantai Cenang. Basically travel right to the end of this popular stretch until you face the junction with the large Aseania Hotel. Turn right and then left again before the lighthouse/ end of the road. Keep going down this road, the hotel is on your right past the Sun Café and other Sun Group establishments.

Written by Serina Rahman, 31 Jan 2009
Permission granted to reproduce for personal use only.
Commercial use is prohibited.