All my past Malaysian holidays featured food, family, and shopping; arguably the holy trinity of all things Malaysian. I knew there was a lot more to see and do than traipse round the cities ticking dishes off my must-eat list with countless shopping bags in tow but I’m a city person, my family are city people. We didn’t grow up running through the hills or lolloping in the waves in New Zealand so there was no chance we were doing that on our precious trips back to Malaysia. However as this city-slicker grows older, lazier, and more discerning, a dash of relaxation (with a side of luxury where possible) is a staple ingredient in any holiday!
So this time round, while the food and family were still in pride of place, I decided to swap the shopping time (cue the shock horror from my family) for beach time. My mind automatically transported us to the sandy shores of Langkawi because that’s the beach to visit in Malaysia, right?! Langkawi is undoubtedly beautiful, perfect for your doses of sun and sea, and jammed packed with hotels for every budget, but we wanted something a little more exclusive… and needed somewhere a little closer to the other stops on our trip… Pangkor Laut Resort fit the bill perfectly.
After spending a few busy days in Kuala Lumpur and knowing that we had some intense family time to come, a few nights of luxury were exactly what we needed. This five star resort sits on its own private island so getting there does require a twenty minute boat (or helicopter if the budget allows) ride but I think getting whisked across the seas at speed just gets you in the mood even more… it truly felt like an escape to the island!
Checking Into Pangkor Laut Resort
Once we arrived at the jetty, we were greeted personally by a member of staff bearing refreshments and a wealth of information about the resort, before being guided to our room. We stayed in a Hill Villa nestled up among the trees which was very peaceful. However they’ve also got Garden Villas on ground level, Sea Villas perched over the water, and Spa Villas in the secluded Spa Village.
Our villa came complete with the most comfortable bed to sink into, a large deck to lounge around on, and an indulgent outdoor bath to soak away our worries in – not that we had any after a day at the resort! We especially liked the small touches such as the light cotton robes and very handy beach bags, but do think the rooms could do with a slight spruce up to refresh the luxury element.
Getting Acquainted with the Surroundings
When we could prise ourselves from the comfort of our villa we found our way to one of the loungers by the infinity pool, or took the ever present and very handy shuttle to Emerald Bay for a dip in the sea. For those more active than us, there’s a well equipped gym, tennis court, and various watersports to get your heart rate going!
A Walk Through the Jungle
One morning we joined Pangkor Laut’s resident naturalist on a guided walk across the island to Emerald Bay – it was an interesting and insightful activity we would recommend to all guests. The walk starts in the library, goes through the main resort grounds where you’ll meet the bats, talk about the medicinal purposes of some local plants, hopefully encounter native wildlife such as monkeys and monitor lizards, before a gentle traverse through the jungle to the beach. It’s not a particularly strenuous walk but do make sure you’re wearing sensible shoes, put on plenty of insect repellent, and take your swimming gear for a dip at the other end!
A Cruise at Sunset
We almost didn’t go on the Sunset Cruise because I thought it might be a cheesy experience unworthy of its price tag. But then I pictured myself sitting on the top deck of an Oriental junk with views of the ocean, the sea breeze in my hair, canapés, free-flowing wine… suddenly, it didn’t seem so cheesy! Unfortunately on the evening of our one hour cruise around the island, there wasn’t much of a sunset but the views and the wine more than made up for it, and we had a marvellous time on board!
The Spa Village Experience
A certain someone and I were really looking forward to visiting the award-winning Spa Village at Pangkor Laut as we were both in desperate need of a decent massage, but what we got was so much more! All guests enjoy the unique Bath House Ritual: a foot bath and traditional Chinese foot pounding, a dip in the refreshing cold pool, a soak in the Japanese hot pool, a body scrub, and a calming cup of tea in the library. All of this before each and every treatment! This whole process took an hour and we were so relaxed by the time our couples massages came round, I actually fell asleep. I went back for another massage the next day and I can safely say it is the best spa experience I have ever had!
So Make A Move
- Villas are priced from around £250/night with breakfast included. It’s worthwhile booking directly through the resort website as they often have special benefits you can take advantage of – we got a complimentary spa treatment for every night of our stay!
- If you’re driving, there’s a secure carpark opposite the Pangkor Laut office on Marina Island where you can leave your car for approximately MYR20 per day.
- We noticed that other guests brought snacks onto the island with absolutely no fuss from the staff.
- The resort provides each villa with a 4G mobile hotspot enabling you to have wifi all over the island however we found it to be really patchy in our Hill Villa so perhaps avoid booking into one of those if you can’t face having limited internet in your room.
- While it’s not difficult getting round the island on foot, the on-call shuttle service is really handy for those times you’re just too hot or lazy to walk.
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