Verdant gardens and century-old rain trees enhance the natural beauty of this charming beachfront oasis. Located along Batu Ferringi beach, Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa (by Shangri-La) is just a short drive away from Georgetown in Penang. The resort is rich in culture and tradition, with distinctive Minangkabau architecture and many artefacts of Malaysian culture featured throughout. Batik-printing moulds, coral sculptures and traditional jewellery set the scene, with the resort design being timeless and elegant.
The Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa is split into the Garden Wing (main) and the Rasa Wing (exclusive). Each wing has a separate driveway and entrance, and boasts a unique style of décor. To avoid any confusion upon arrival at the resort, advise your taxi driver which wing you are staying in so that you are taken to the correct lobby. Guests of the Rasa Wing enjoy exclusive access to the Rasa Wing Pool (guests aged 16 years and above), afternoon tea and pre-dinner canapés and cocktails in the Rasa Wing Lounge, and the option of an a la carte breakfast at Ferringi Grill. As our little luxe traveller was only four months old during our stay at Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, we opted for a family-friendly Garden Wing room. Children are permitted in the Rasa Wing, but we didn’t want a young baby disturbing the peace and quiet in the Lounge, and we wouldn’t have been able to utilise the adults-only pool. We stayed in a Deluxe Garden View room overlooking the main swimming pool with glimpses of the Andaman Sea.
The colour palette of the Garden Wing has been inspired by nature, with rooms featuring earth tones, citrus and hues of blue. Rooms are elegant yet understated, while maintaining a classic Malay charm. The Garden Wing rooms are perfectly designed to suit families and offer great touches such as a discreet clothes line on the balcony and spacious rooms to allow space for little ones to play. Amenities for our little luxe traveller were plentiful, with an infant crib, change mat and Johnson & Johnson® baby gift pack brought to our room immediately. Housekeeping services the rooms twice a day, leaving a delicious local delicacy under the tudung saji (traditional Malaysian conical cover) each evening for you to discover when you return to your room. With nine different types of guestrooms and suits in the Garden Wing alone and a further six different types in the Rasa Wing, the perfect room awaits your arrival at Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa!
With over 30 acres of sprawling gardens to explore, this luxury resort has something special for everyone. Relaxing foot massages in the garden, a Par-3 golf course with ocean views and giant drop slides are just a few of the highlights…
Beneath the impressive rain trees of Rasa Sayang lies a large lagoon-style main pool and smaller children’s pool. Luscious foliage is dotted around the pool, allowing you to find your very own secluded (and shaded) area to splash around in. This pool is perfect for children – with a lifeguard on duty, pool toys to play with and refreshing ice blocks for kids! And if you are a guest of the exclusive Rasa Wing you can enjoy some kid-free time in the adults-only Rasa Wing pool.
Cool Zone Kids Club is available for children aged 5 to 12 years. A range of activities are available such as kite flying, treasure hunts, Batik painting and traditional Malay games. The kids club is complimentary for resort guests but do note that some activities are chargeable (eg. sand art and t-shirt painting). For parents that wish to check up on their little one during the day, mobile phones are available for loan to parents (the resort really has thought of everything!). Open daily from 9:30am to 9pm.
Shangri-La has also created Adventure Zone, a unique family entertainment centre housing multiple sections of modular play equipment and exciting drop slides. This is definitely going to be a highlight for your little ones! Open daily from 10am to 7pm (charges apply and children must be accompanied by an adult).
Direct access to Batu Ferringi beach is available from Rasa Sayang through the perfectly manicured gardens. The beach is not a ‘private’ beach but it is down the quiet end of Batu Ferringi. We loved taking a peaceful walk along the beachfront and watching the sunset. As you approach the main stretch of Batu Ferringi beach, be prepared for a change of pace – various water sports vendors vie for your attention and the beach is full of activity. For the adrenaline-lovers, if you are keen to try out some water sports ask Concierge for a recommended water sports vendor.
A state-of-the-art health club is available at the resort, complete with floor-to-ceiling windows to capture the ocean view. The change rooms are luxurious and feature separate dressing and grooming areas (amenities include robes and slippers), as well as a jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. The health club is open from 6am to 10pm, so I would enjoy a tranquil evening in the jacuzzi once our baby was asleep.
The Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa offers a three-hour Jungle Walk for nature-lovers to explore the rainforest of Penang (charges apply). Tai chi, tennis and beach volleyball are just a few of the other activities you can partake in around the resort.
Spice Market Café is the main restaurant of the resort and is home to one of the greatest breakfast buffets I have been to. It’s the simple things that make this place so wonderful. Ingenious ‘occupied’ signs ensure your table is secure while you gather a feast for breakfast. A menu listing the food on offer in the buffet is placed on your table daily. Children have their own section in the breakfast buffet, complete with kid-friendly food and serving dishes at children’s height. The food itself is delicious with a range of international cuisines and a fresh juicing station. I particularly enjoyed the local cuisine (chicken murtabak, roti canai and dahl takada) along with teh tarik and the cherry crumble. Staff of the Spice Market Café were amazing with our little luxe traveller. They all knew him by name and asked if we needed any special food/fruit puree prepared for him.
We enjoyed an a la carte meal for lunch in the Spice Market Café, but did not try the buffet dinner during our stay. We chose to eat dinner at the Long Beach food court each evening, which has a great variety of local delicacies (delicious satay), pizza, Indian food and other cuisine.
Guests of the Rasa Wing can choose to have their breakfast at Ferringi Grill. The main breakfast buffet can get quite busy so I would recommend this if you want a quiet breakfast. Contemporary fine dining is also offered at Ferringi Grill in the evenings. Note that to preserve the serene ambiance only children aged 7 and above are permitted in the dining room for dinner.
Pinang offers poolside and al fresco dining. Light snacks are available throughout the day, and happy hour starts when you hear the strike of the gong at sundown.
There is also an onsite Deli located near the Spice Market Café, with freshly prepared wraps and beautiful cakes and macarons. I celebrated my birthday while at Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa and was ever so lucky to receive the most divine chocolate cake from this little deli!
CHI, the spa is a place of personal peace, enchantment and well-being. From the moment I set foot into my private spa villa I was at peace with absolutely everything. The spa villas are the most beautiful that I have ever seen and feature a separate changing room pavilion and treatment pavilion, linked by a private outdoor garden with oversized tub. My aromatherapy soak under the stars in my tropical oasis was the perfect beginning to the CHI balance signature massage. Spoil yourself and book in for a treatment or two at CHI, the spa – you deserve it!
And if you want a bit of pampering while lazing by the pool, why not indulge in a foot massage? Spa therapists roam the garden offering this service for those who cannot tear themselves away from the sun and sea.
LITTLE LUXE TRAVELLER TIPS
- The resort offers children’s meal plans for hotel guests. Children under the age of 12 can enjoy a complimentary buffet meal when accompanied by a paying adult (to a maximum of 2 children).
- Wandering through the night markets is essential to experiencing Penang nightlife. Be sure to taste some of the fresh local produce at the Long Beach food court. We asked concierge to drop us from the Rasa Sayang Garden Wing lobby to the Shangri-La Golden Sands lobby by buggy. It saves you walking through the dark carpark and makes the walk that little bit easier. Plus kids always find buggy rides exciting!
- Check out the special offers from CHI, the spa before booking your spa treatment. I indulged in a Spa-A-Liscious package that included a complimentary aromatherapy soak and high tea in FIP lounge.
If you have any comments or questions, I would love to hear from you.
You can find out more about Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa here.