You laze around on the beach of a secluded island, reading a book as you sip a mean martini. Your wife is at the spa, and in the distance, you can hear your kids splash around in the gorgeous water. The weather is delightfully perfect and there isn't a thought in the world to distract you from the moment.
Isn't this the perfect holiday moment that all of us fantasise about as we hack away at our laptops on a busy work day? Well, it's a dream that can be fulfilled if you get yourself booked at the Vivanta by Taj, Rebak Island, Langkawi, instead. They lay out almost every luxury you can imagine and really know how to push the envelope.
Set on one of the 99 islands that is Langkawi, the Vivanta by Taj property is the sole resident of a 390-acre privately-owned island that has a thick forest cover and interesting rock foundations. This, coupled with a pristine expanse of sand and balmy tropical climate, makes it an exciting travel destination. The focus here is on gently caressing your senses without compromising on the experience. What's more, there is enough happening to keep you and your family occupied and happy on vacation island.
If there's one thing that the Vivanta team does better than most brands, it is the manner in which it fuses luxury with minimal aesthetics. Divided into two blocks - old and new - the rooms and suites reflect the glory of Malaysian architecture without going overboard on substance or style. Keeping in tune with the lush surroundings, the rooms and suites are spacious and have interiors in shades of green and wood with authentic Malaysian art hangings on the walls. The design is contemporary and reminiscent of a modern Malaysian home with all the luxuries you could possibly think of. We recommend you get a room overlooking the beach if you're one of those who likes waking up to a serene view.
The property has all the must-have attributes of a luxury resort - a spa for relaxation; a pool with a view of the beach; a sports complex that lets you dabble in various outdoor sports; a fancy bar, Lepak, serving some exquisite cocktails; and a restaurant, Senari, that serves both international and Malaysian food through the day.
Looking for a little more? You won't be disappointed. The property has its own private marina where people across nationalities - from the Middle East to Australia, Europe and the whole of south-east Asia - come and park their boats for engine maintenance and stay. You'll find these happy travellers lounging around the property, dining at a table right next to yours and enjoying a slice and a sip of the good life. Catch up with them over a drink to hear interesting accounts of long years spent out at sea, and the reasons why they chose the life of a sea dog over that of a regular landlubber. Makes for an interesting evening.
Those familiar with Vivanta properties are acquainted with Vivanta Motifs - some must-do activities when you're checked into a Taj hotel. At Langkawi, these range from nature trails on the property, where an extremely knowledgeable guide takes you on an hour-long expedition in the forest to speedboat mangrove tours to check out bat caves and sting-rays. Exhausted after the long day? Indulge in a three-hour sunset cruise that comes highly recommended. Foodies should try exploring the nearby wet market with the resort's chefs - you actually get to pick your own produce, which can then be prepared at the resort.
Vivanta organises a special party once a week at the property, inviting guests to taste local Malaysian cuisine. Here, you'll find an eclectic range of dishes - from spicy sea food salads to Malaysian versions of meat rolls and a whole bunch of other local dishes with customised spice variants as per your palate. From street food to full-fledged recipes, you'll find them all here as you sit back and enjoy Malaysian dance performances on the beach. Do try the coconut water on offer for its original taste; so different from the ones you find in India. These coconuts are specially brought in from Thailand simply because - and here's a word of caution - the coconuts in Langkawi are apparently bitter!
With gracious staffers, comfortable rooms and a relaxed environment, the property provides the perfect setting for a relaxed vacation with your entire family. Close enough to India to make for a quick getaway, yet far enough to truly feel like an indulgent experience.
LOVE IN THE AIR
>> In the mood for romance? Revisit the good ol' days of yore, when you used to whisk your girl pal to the beach for a blissful dinner date under the stars. You can book a table for two at the Moon Deck, an intimate space deep in the sea approachable only by a pathway. Make the most of the enchantingly luxurious island-like space for a magical evening over some truly good food and intoxicating wine.
>> Art brings out the best in young ones. If your kids love the paintbrush, Vivanta by Taj has just the thing for them. The resort has tied up with the Atma Alam Batik Art Village, where children as well as grown-ups get a chance to bring out the Picasso in them. But if your children prefer something a tad more thrilling, feel free to go all out on water sports and stingray-feeding as part of the mangrove tour.
Address Vivanta by Taj-Rebak Island, Kuah Langkawi, Kedah Darul Aman, Malaysia.
Tariff Luxury Bliss: Rs 38,000 a night (approx)
Nirvana Senari Suite: Rs 42,000 a night (approx)