Reviewed for Holidays in Heels by lovely beauty blogger Eileen Lee-Conner of Eileen Edit!
Traveling with an infant son was never meant to be easy. All I wanted from my post baby-delivery Christmas break was to establish our own holiday tradition where my new little family could relax and enjoy a season of “firsts”. According to nearly all my research for an affordable lush background that was kid-friendly and not too hard to get to, the Andaman got high mark for family vacations.
It is located in the tranquil Datai Bay with beautiful Lankawi island in Malaysia and has its own coral reef surrounded by an ancient rainforest and topped with a world-class spa rated by Harper’s Bazaar. It’s also part of the Starwood Preferred (SPG) program so I could rack up points which definitely comes in handy for later trips – so what more could this first-time mom ask for?
We arrived to some of the most relaxed and friendly Malaysian locals clearly proud of their natural environment and culture and excited to share it with us. The hotel was well-maintained but dated and designed to fit into this natural setting using local woods and architectural designs so all the structures wouldn’t obstruct or distract from the natural scenery all around.
All the buildings faced the enormous lagoon pool with slides and little tree islands to give it character. Beyond that was the pristine secluded beach full of activities for young ones throughout the day like nature walks, educational coral nursery workshops cultivated on the property, games and water sports.
Airy and in tune with natural surroundings, the rooms have a calming energy. Some of them open out onto private terraces or pools…
… and some come with monkeys by the window 🙂
How cute is this:
Food is always served with a smile and generally plentiful however some of their high-end restaurants can be mouthwatering depending on what you pick. I preferred to take most dinners at the Jala beach restaurant where we could order from built-in lounges facing the sea as well as dine at the traditional Japanese restaurant for fresh gluten and dairy-free options.
The award-winning spa is really the crown jewel for this hotel with it’s separate treehouse-type bungalows, variety of treatments and affordable prices. Book reservations immediately or it can be difficult to get in. The views are cinematic and peaceful- I passed several monkeys playing along the path you walk along to the separate spa reception.
Tour the Grounds
Definitely take advantage of the surrounding eco-tours since you really get close to all the millions year old flora, fauna and wildlife. I wouldn’t want to come here on a romantic weekend but this place is excellent for large families.
Santa was even there to say hello during our Christmas holiday at The Andaman!
Lovely inside and out, Eileen is an internationally recognized beauty expert and makeup artist whose style is effortlessly chic. When traveling, she says: “it’s best to pack beauty items that are multifunctional. Things like tinted moisturizer or foundation with SPF, body oils that can be also used for hair & nails, Shampoo that doubles as body wash (I like liquid Castille soaps in lavender for this or even just using Mustela baby body shampoo for everyone), Nars Multiple sticks (in Orgasm and Laguna) are perfect if you don’t like carrying much makeup but I would deffo pack a great mascara and a waterproof sealer (my current favorite is Charlotte Tilbury’s Legendary Lashes which is the BOMB and Etude House waterproof sealer makes any mascara waterproof!).”
Take sartorial cues from Eileen during a stay at The Andaman with this fun ensemble:
640 AED – farfetch.com
145 AED – mango.com
555 AED – mytheresa.com
110 AED – target.com
170 AED – lordandtaylor.com
120 AED – bergdorfgoodman.com
95 AED – narscosmetics.com