Looking for a great place to stay in Langkawi that is a super handy position in the main beach area, is a great standard and doesn’t cost a small fortune? I have the perfect hotel for you. Keep reading for our Arch Studio Cenang review!
I wrote this article after a three night stay at Arch Studio Langkawi with two of my kids. I chose to stay here after researching many options in Langkawi so this article is based on this personal experience + my research. It’s an honest, in-depth review of staying at this establishment.
I was attracted to the great location in the middle of popular Cenang opposite Underwater World and the main beach. While Langkawi’s 5-star resorts are very tempting, they tend to be in isolated locations, and we wanted to explore Langkawi and do everything we could.
Although we did want the luxury 5-star experience too so actually we stayed at Arch Studio Cenang Langkawi, Berjaya Langkawi and Tanjung Rhu Resort on the same trip! It gave us great insights into everything Langkawi offers.
So how did Arch Studio Cenang fare against its more famous competitors?
Keep reading to be walked through Arch Studio’s rooms, amenities, and services… As well as our thoughts about how this Arch Studio Langkawi review compares.
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Arch Studio Cenang Review
We arrived at this resort in the early evening after what felt like a long travel day from Ipoh to Alor Setar, a quick exploration of Alor Setar and then a taxi ride to Kuala Kedah for the ferry and another taxi ride to this resort.
I was quite tired so I was thankful check-in was fast, and we were soon in our room. Although I did find some elements of it strange. The lady who checked us in, also walked us to our room and explained features and rules. She was very soft spoken, so I would try to move closer to hear her and every time, she would step backwards and walk further away. So I don’t really know what was said and it was a little off-putting.
I also didn’t like having to pay a RM100 cash deposit (credit card is possible but they say they will hold it for two weeks after you leave). The deposit itself is less annoying than the fact that they give you a card that you have to return on check-out to get the money back. I don’t understand the point of that – they know if you paid it or not. It just seems a way to try to get out of paying for it if you lose it.
On the upside, I found out we had breakfast included which we did not expect.
I read before visiting on their own site that this hotel had only nine studios and two standard rooms. This is not true and it has at least double this, possibly a lot more. It is on the smaller side though compared to some of the big hotels around it.
It has a 3-star rating which I think is maybe a little low. A nearly 4-star rating would seem more appropriate to me because it is beautifully presented. However, there are some small things that hold it back as you’ll read in this review. They are small problems though. It receives excellent reviews on online booking sites.
I stayed here with my two kids aged 7 and 13.
Arch Studio Cenang Langkawi Location
Address: Jalan Pantai Chenang, Kampung Lubok Buaya, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
If you want to stay centrally in the main beach area of Langkawi, this hotel is definitely a top choice.
It’s in a super handy location at the end of Pantai Cenang and near the start of Pantai Tengah. It’s opposite Underwater World (the aquarium) and the beach. There’s many eating options nearby (including a night market next door), and it’s about a 20-minute drive from the airport.
It was easy to go on our island hopping tour. In fact, it meant we saved money on this as we didn’t need a hotel pick-up since the cheaper, general pick-up point was right across the road.
It was all very easy from here, and we absolutely loved our location. There was no noise in our room either, although I’m not sure that would be the case in the street-fronting rooms.
For a small hotel, Arch Studio Cenang has a lot of room types! They can also be called slightly different names depending on where you book them.
Some of the room types are called rooms and most are called studios. However, I found these designations confusing as, to me, a studio would have a kitchen or kitchenette and some type of living area. However, some studios have these and some seem more like standard hotel rooms to me without these amenities, so check carefully what your room type offers when booking.
The plus side is that all rooms have ensuite bathrooms, wifi, air-conditioning, comfortable beds, stylish facilities, flatscreen TV and mini-fridge. Some have kitchenettes, separate living areas, views, balconies and more. Some rooms you need to climb stairs to enter and some are loft style apartments so you’ll have stairs in your room. There are no elevators here.
Some rooms are listed as having a street view. I’d be weary of these as they are on a busy street. I did not go in one so do not know if they are noisy or not, but I would imagine you would have some noise.
There are multiple family options and rooms cater to 1-4 people.
Since I was travelling with my kids, I opted for a family apartment/family studio (it seemed to go by both names). Our room was up one flight of stairs, room 109.
Family Apartment/Family Studio
We were very happy when we walked into our room. It had one BIG room and then a bathroom off it.
The first thing we saw on entry was the two queen size beds with a chest between them. There was also a luggage stand.
Straight ahead was a hanging area with two long shelves, a window and the bathroom to the left. The bathroom had a big, walk-in shower, toilet and good size basin area. There were plenty of toiletries supplied.
To the right after walking in was a high table, plenty big enough for four with four bar stools. On top of this was the tea and coffee making supplies, four glasses and four bottles of water.
Beyond this to the side was a small kitchenette area. It looked good, but there was no equipment here beyond what you see – a kettle, mini-fridge and sink.
The living area extended further to the right with two sofas that could double as single beds, a flatscreen, wall-mounted television and a long shelf under the TV. There was also a big chest here with key locks we could use for valuables.
There are two split cycle air-conditioning units which kept the room a great temperature.
It was all comfortable and beautifully presented.
However, there were some problems. The biggest one was when I went to go to the bathroom right after our check-in lady left us. The bathroom door had come off its sliding rail and was a big wooden door that had been left just leaning in the doorway. So there was no way to enter the bathroom without moving it manually.
This was a terrible first impression as there is no way the cleaning staff could have not realised this was broken. There is no way they could have cleaned the bathroom with the door like this. With a lot of effort, I fixed it with help from my 13 year old. The door would come part-way off its tracks regularly and was very annoying. My 7 year old struggled to open it at all.
My other annoyance was the curtains. They were not really made to be opened. So it was dark and a little miserable without natural light. I don’t really understand this as the windows didn’t face anything, and I don’t see why you wouldn’t want to encourage people to open them. I would move the curtains out of the way and hold them back with furniture, but the cleaner would always put them back.
So apologies for my photos not being that clear – it’s hard without proper light.
My only other small complaints were that there were no light switches by the bed and the room is very dark. So I’d have to use my phone light to walk around in the night. The bed linen was also a little scratchy, and the bathroom windows were broken so permanently open. Thankfully, there were no mosquitoes about.
So there were no major problems, and the hotel could easily fix the existing problems. Hopefully they do as otherwise, the room was great.
On the plus side, around 6pm on our first two nights (but not at all on the third), a staff member came by and gave us a sweet little note with some chocolates. Beautiful touch!
It was also very quiet and felt very private. We did enjoy this room.
As a small hotel, there is not a big range of facilities. However, they do have my #1 favourite facility in Malaysia which is a pool. There’s a nice (but quite small) outdoor pool. It’s far too small to swim laps and isn’t very deep, but it’s a nice area to relax and cool down.
They also have an art and craft shop with some beautiful items.
There is no dining on-site. However, we were surprised to find that they had a small breakfast restaurant next door.
Breakfast was included and we could order one dish from a menu. There were 5-6 choices and all were made fresh to order. This can mean long waits – our first morning was 45 minutes! Which caused a little stress, but the upside is that every dish we ordered was absolutely delicious. It was worth the wait.
It’s also no issue to have no dining on-site. There is so much in the surroundings including a night market to the side of the hotel and a convenience store across the road.. You won’t go hungry!
While I have had some small complaints in this review, that’s just me being thorough and ensuring you know exactly what you might get. Overall, we had a great stay and I’d happily stay here again.
I love how spacious and well presented our room was. It was comfortable, quiet and easy. I just wish the bathroom door operated normally and there was natural light. Otherwise, it was all good.
The location was unbeatable and exactly what we were looking for. Now if only they had rooms for five people so I could bring our whole family here as I would love to come back.
Compared to the big 5-star resorts we stayed at, which were actually a similar price, our Arch Studio room wins for utility, but the facilities, room standard and surrounds at the Tanjung Rhu and Berjaya Langkawi Resorts were far superior. So you’d really only pick this hotel for the location. Combining a stay here with a stay at a 5-star resort was a winning idea though and I recommend it 🙂
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