Developments at the Ambong-Ambong Rainforest Retreat, Langkawi, Malaysia

At Ambong-Ambong Rainforest Retreat the views are timeless. Each of the eleven studios, suites and cottages, serenely secluded by the rainforest, looks out across the infinite blues of the Andaman sea. Every room has a sea view over some of the other 98 islands which make up the Langkawi archipelago.

Below the retreat on the beach, the roots of the Ambong-Ambong plant bind the fine white sands together. For millennia, wings of the giant hornbill birds have flapped from tree to tree in the pristine forest. Flying squirrels have leapt into thin air and the macaque monkeys have chattered.

So recent developments have been subtle, change is always careful and considered. Ambong-Ambong Rainforest Retreat has acquired an 11 acre farm.

The vision for Ambong Ambong has always been organic as it’s biophillic architecture shows. Herbs and spices have always been grown in the retreat’s kitchen garden. Now the aim is to steadily increase the supply of fruit and vegetables grown locally, reducing food miles.

Another change is that the spa is now named, Amaala, meaning clean and pure, taking its inspiration from the local indigenous tribes. Their healing touch, ancient rituals, knowledge and traditions have been updated as AMAALA’s signature healing remedy. Amaala Spa and Wellness offers six treatment rooms, set amongst the peaceful splendour of the rainforest.

These changes develop the spirit of a retreat where recycled railway sleepers are given new life for the entrance steps to each villa, where sustainable rubber tree wood is used for bed frames and where laundry bins are created from abundant aquatic grasses. Meanwhile, much continues as ever at Ambong-Ambong Rainforest Retreat.


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Amran and Adam’s parents continues to search local markets for the antiques that bring a unique homely touch to each of the villas as guests relax on their daybed, on their terrace or in their own personal pool. After the disruption of the pandemic, guests are steadily returning to Langkawi, finding their way to the cocktail list at Ambong-Ambong’s Sky Bar and dining at the Rimba Restaurant.

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