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Shangri-La Rasa Sayang Resort - Penang, Malaysia | Resort Review

Amazing Resort in Malaysia


Shangri-La Rasa Sayang Resort - Penang, Malaysia: Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa at Penang is a five-star resort located on the Eastern stretch of Malaysia’s famous beach, the Batu Feringgi. The hotel and spa offers expansive world-class luxury while incorporating Malaysia’s cultural heritage both in design and hospitality. With its thirty acres of lush gardens and tropical scenery, exquisite touches of native materials, and organic contrasts of modern and traditional architecture, the Rasa Sayang magnificently recreates the essence of contemporary Malaysia.

First Impression/Lobby: Beforehand, we had arranged for an airport transfer. We were very pleased that upon our arrival the hotel representative was waiting for us right outside of customs in the arrival hall. Promptly, he led us to our transportation—a Mercedes S Class, and once inside, offered us a warm bottle of water. In no time, we were on our way to Rasa Sayang.

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The travel time took about 35 minutes from the Penang Airport. When we got to Rasa Sayang, we were immediately greeted by the hotel staff. Without delay, they escorted us to the resort where we received cold welcome drinks and wet towels to refresh ourselves. From the beginning, we felt like we were in a true five-star resort.

Quite unusual, the hotel had two separate lobbies and reception areas for accommodating guests booked in the exclusive Rasa Wing (where we were booked) and the more tropical Garden Wing. The Rasa Wing lobby had a contemporary theme while the Garden Wing lobby was more traditionally-themed and larger in size, but both were culturally inspired.

Reception: Our reception was a warm welcoming, needless to say! We were promptly greeted and shown to our Deluxe Suite, number 2556, where we completed our registration.

Concierge: The concierge staff was helpful, attentive and knowledgeable—everything that you would want from a concierge in a luxury hotel or resort.

The Suite: The Deluxe Suite, number 2256, was located at the far end of the Rasa Wing, about as far from reception as you can get.

A warm and inviting feeling embraced us as we stepped inside the room. The room’s décor with its large floral prints in browns and greens, wicker furniture, and walls painted in mustard yellow juxtaposed with a light tan carpet was perfect for practicing the art of lazing around and seriously contemplating leisure. The interiors and furniture made you feel at home—at home in your very own resort that is. It is easily one of the best resort decors I have seen in a long time. Huge sliding doors with light moss green drapes looked out to the breathtaking property and the beautiful sea.

The bedroom is separated by two sets of big, heavy, dark wood sliding doors. Down from the bedroom is a dressing room, lots of closet space and ample drawers. Truly, the room is designed for comfort and luxury.

At the end of the halls is a private toilet, over-sized marble bathroom with dual sinks, and an extra large glass walled rain shower. The towels and robes are plush and top end and the amenities are luxury bath products from L’Occitane.

The balcony is long and narrow—perfect for having a drink or a small meal. However, the lounge chairs were practically useless for comfortably lazing around as it made you feel a bit cramped when you sat on them. In addition to the two lounge chairs there is a small day bed and a table and two chairs. The view we had from the balcony is probably the best, or at least one of the best views in the whole resort.

Also on the balcony, tucked away in the corner, is a huge soaking tub with enough room to accommodate two people. However, the placement of the tub was not well thought out. It was right alongside the main pool of the Garden Wing (which caters to families) and does not allow for much privacy or peace and quiet. While there are blinds which you can opt to pull down, you end up with no view at all, ruining the experience. In the end, we just decided not to use the tub at all. Had it been better placed it would have been blissful, instead, it ended up just taking up space.

A bit of advice: If you book a Deluxe Suite, ask for the one that is NOT next to the Garden Wing.

Room Service: Excellent, excellent, excellent! They had a lot of options, everything was perfectly prepared, orders were correct, presentation was nice, and delivery was on-time – everything that you would expect from a first class luxury room service.

Housekeeping: The hotel was consistent in their grade-A service. Housekeeping was as impeccable as the room service. Their work was invisible, thorough, and exact—from folding and hanging clothes left out to remembering our special request from day to day. We were treated like royalty.

Restaurants: Feringgi Grill – Click here to read a full review of Feringgi Grill at Rasa Sayang Resort

Spice Market Café – casual dining in the Garden Wing. Their service was slow and the staff was either untrained or it was a poorly run restaurant. Either way, service lacked. And the food was not much better. My recommendation: breakfast and lunch via room service and dinner at Feringgi Grill.

Pool/Spa/Activites: The Rasa Wing has an exclusive and a much more luxurious pool than the one in the Garden Wing. Here, the pool is strictly for adults and guests staying in the Rasa Wing, thus there is little traffic and you can freely enjoy pure relaxation. In addition to the pool is the unique spa complex housed in Tibetan-like temples. They offer the best and the latest spa amenities in the area.

There is also a nice beach which is just a short walk from the resort. However, when we were staying at the resort they were warning people to stay out of the water because of jelly fish. Needless to say, we did not have a chance to enjoy the beach.

Overall Impression: Rasa Sayang Resort is a true, luxury resort. I tend to be a bit leery about staying at a resort as large as this Shangri-La but I am happy that I did. Other than the dismal lunch in the Garden Wing, the hotel was perfect and offered pure 1st class service. With the luxurious accommodations, great dinners, beautiful pool, and warm, from-the-heart service in all areas of the resort, Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa gets a rating of Bombastic!

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