Hotspot: A Malaysian Paradise With Iced Towels

Langkawi Island, off Malaysia's northwestern coast, is about as close as one can get to tropical heaven on earth. This elegant property makes visitors feel as though that paradise is their home.

Setting: The hotel is tucked deep in an ancient tropical rainforest, with wooden boardwalk paths that guests follow by oversize trees to reach the white sandy beach facing the Andaman Sea.

Ambience: From the small glass jars of spicy chilies on each table in the alfresco Thai restaurant to the Tibetan hot stone massage offered at the spa, Asian influences touch every detail of the hotel's peaceful décor. The staff offers jasmine-scented iced towels to cool down sunbathers who lounge in quiet spots on the beach or by the pools.

Accommodations: Guests can choose among a wide variety of rooms, villas and suites. Most have verandas with ocean views, and some have private plunge pools with built-in Jacuzzis. Monkeys occasionally hop down from the forest canopy and tap on the windows looking for fruit.

Dining: From its treehouse-like perch, the Pavilion restaurant serves authentic Thai dishes like red duck curry. Guests can walk across a traditional "titi" bridge to get to the Gulai House for Malay and Indian dishes, which change daily.