The Luxe List 2009, Malaysia: Temple Tree at Bon Ton, Langkawi

Colonial chic comes naturally to Australian interior-designer-turned-hotelier Narelle McMurtrie, the owner of Temple Tree resort on the east coast of Langkawi. A collection of nine antique houses from across Malaysia, Temple Tree follows in the footsteps of McMurtrie’s two other heritage properties, the neighboring Bon Ton resort and 110 Armenian Street in Penang. Each house is unique in design and decor: the 1920s-era Colonial House, once the home of gold traders in George Town, has hand-painted floor tiles and a fish-scale porch canopy, while the 80-year-old, turquoise-hued Penang House has accents of an Art Deco cottage, adapted for the tropics with shuttered windows and wooden floorboards. Hotel life revolves around the Straits Club House, with a restaurant serving the same excellent food—chicken tikka wrapped in pita; Malacca-style laksa—as Bon Ton (Pantai Cenang; 60-49/551-688;; doubles from US$140).

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