Hotel Recommendations for Your Post-MCO Getaway
By Agnes Aui & Hiranmayii Awli Mohanan
Mangala Resort & Spa
The charming story of Mangala Resort and Spa begins with a barren land. The land that this resort now sits on was historically used for tin mining from the 1930’s till late 1970’s. It was subsequently used for sand mining activities from the late 1970’s till the 2000’s in which its produce was primarily supplied to the Kuantan port. Since then, it became a wasteland with hundreds of unsightly gullies, ponds and small lakes with hardly any vegetation. Then, Mangala Resort and Spa underwent a 15-year adventure of rejuvenation that transformed a desolate land to a paradise. Today, the beautiful villas are encompassed by a large expanse of palm plantation, exotic flowers, herb gardens, fruit trees, rehabilitated lakes and undisturbed wastelands. Mangala, defined as auspicious well- being in Sanskrit embodied into this establishment’s concept and interior. As soon as one passes through the gates of this Eden, it unfolds to a beautiful passage enveloped by palm trees that eventually leads to the resort. This resort sits on a land that sprawls over 400 hectares of palm trees and land for a stay unlike any other. The resort boasts four varieties of villas, ranging from the Sara Villa to the latest addition, Amani Villa. Each villa embodies a character of its own, evident in its facilities and interior, yet adhering to the simple mission of offering the fatigued a sanctuary to recharge from the bustle of the city.
Mangala Resort & Spa, Lebuhraya Tun Razak, 26300, Kuantan, Pahang.
Sembayu Villa, nestled at 357 metres above sea level, overlooks the beautiful Berembun virgin forest of Seremban. Located on Pantai Hill and at a height above the rest, this villa provides a majestic view like no other. Rooms are designed with an industrial-inspired theme that speaks to a fusion of modernity in the wild. Overlooking Seremban’s natural forest reserve at its best, the rooms have spectacular views to behold. With a range of 15 different rooms, Sembayu Villa ensures the options are aplenty. Each one of the rooms comes with remote controlled air-conditioning and features a comfortable bed(s), an en-suite bathroom, a vanity unit and a TV. All rooms have unique Malay names influenced by the different types of trees and plants found in the local woodland, giving a deeper insight into the multifaceted variety of the Malaysian rainforest.
Sembayu Villa, Pantai Hill, Lot 3164, Kolam Air Pantai, Kampung Baru Pantai, 71770 Seremban, Negeri Sembilan.
Four Seasons Resort Langkawi
Paradise can be found within Malaysia, at the Four Seasons Resort Langkawi. Enveloped by tropical rainforest, limestone cliffs and the emerald waters of the Andaman Sea, the natural beauty here is as picturesque as it is serene. This beautiful resort is characterised by sun-drenched days, a sandy beach, clear blue waters and ubiquitous tropical palms. Punctuated by luxurious villas and offering top-notch service, Four Seasons Resort Langkawi offers an experience unlike any other, for lovebirds as well as families alike. A resplendent Moroccan theme is seen throughout the resort, interweaved with local architecture. Towering trees with large foliage and vibrant native blooms shade the walkways, creating a tranquil scene. Surpassing the luxury travel standard, the resort sets itself above the rest with personalised service, 1.8 kilometres of white sand, private beach, private exploration of the mangrove forest, unobstructed views of the Andaman Sea and ancient sea stacks unique to the location.
Four Seasons Resort Langkawi, Jalan Tanjung Rhu, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah.
Tanjung Jara Resort
Cradled by the turquoise waters of the South China Sea and idyllic, verdant backdrop, Tanjong Jara Resort is a sanctuary of traditional luxury and well-being steeped in age-old Malay traditions. The Malay architecture trope of 17th century palaces is revealed as soon as you enter its gateways and continues as you are swept through its sprawled, tree-fringed grounds. Centred around the concept of sucimurni which emphasises purity of spirit, health and well-being, this secluded hideaway encourages true rejuvenation. Hushed pathways lead from the lobby to the accommodations, restaurants, spa and other facilities. If you tread the grounds further and follow the call of crashing waves, you will find yourself a sweeping view of the emerald ocean, as far as the eyes can see. Furnished in local timber and rich fabrics, each of Tanjong Jara Resort’s rooms commands a view of the South China Sea or the resort’s tropical landscaped gardens. Warm hues and wooden panels bedeck the interior of the rooms. Expect plush bedding, a day bed to relax on, a large open en-suite bathroom with an oversized bathtub, separate shower and two vanity units, and an outdoor verandah to soak in the scene.
Tanjung Jara Resort, Batu 8, Off Jalan Dungun, 23000 Kuala Dungun, Terengganu.
The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat
This is by far one of our favourite forest resorts. This hidden gem nestled in the Sunway City of Ipoh offers garden and water villas, cradled by palaeozoic limestone hills, a restaurant in a well-preserved cave, exquisite greens, and geothermal hot springs that flows to the Jacuzzi in your villa. This resort is perfect for a much needed getaway for couples who seek rejuvenation. There are two distinct villas to choose from, the Garden Villa and the Water Villa. Each of the Garden villa is cleverly hidden behind a veil of lush tropical foliage while the Water villa is perched over the tranquil waterways, leading guests closer to complete relaxation. The heart of The Banjaran experience is its spa and wellness centre. Bask in the simple pleasures in life with The Banjaran Spa and Wellness range of other treatments inclusive of facials, body treatments, Personalised Fitness Programmes and Retreat Programmes. The Spa and Wellness Centre is sui generis for its holistic nature to wellness by incorporating meals, exercise as well as spa and wellness treatments. Another allure of this incredible hot springs retreat is the experience of embarking on a culinary adventure in the ethereal cave chamber of the Jeff’s Cellar. Be prepared to be wowed.
The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat, No. 1, Persiaran Lagun Sunway 3, Sunway City Ipoh, 31150 Ipoh, Perak.
The Majestic Malacca
Steeped in history, culture and age-old traditions, The Majestic Malacca stands deeply rooted in the heart of Melaka, bearing witness to its colourful history since its erection in 1929. Upon entering the hotel’s regal doors, one is instantly transported to the bygone era of the 20’s. Naturally, the interior of this former mansion is a tribute to its storied past – complete with tiled flooring and teakwood fittings. Rooms at The Majestic Malacca are lavish, with a confluence of contemporary luxury and tradition. Timber floors and teak wood take precedence, while subtle lighting, beige-washed walls and elegant furniture create a peaceful haven you don’t want to leave. Guests are escorted to their rooms by attendees and are welcomed the Peranakan way – tea served in a vibrant, antique Peranakan teapot. When it comes to the modern trimmings you want from a hotel, it delivers. The spa, the rooms, the outdoor pool and fitness centre and the service are all proof that The Majestic Malacca doesn’t rest on its 20th century laurels.
The Majestic Malacca, 188 Jalan Bunga Raya, 75100 Melaka.
Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas
There’s no better place to soothe a frazzled urban soul than at the poolside or beach of the Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas. Nestled within Desaru Coast, the sprawled out, low-rise, idyllic resort is surrounded by lush tropical gardens and framed by the blue waters of the South China Sea. The renowned Thai Anantara brand’s maiden voyage to Malaysia offers 108 rooms, villas and residences. The design emanates warmth, interspersed with the Anantara identity and local culture. In a typical warm Asian welcome, a gong is sounded upon arrival and guests are ushered in towards the lobby where it beams with an enthralling view of the ocean and the property. Take your pick of stylish and sumptuous accommodations, from the Premier Room and Deluxe Sea View Room to a One-Bedroom Villa and Three-Bedroom Beach Residence — each bedecked in warm hues and stylish designs. The Premier Room and Deluxe Rooms are sleek, both flowing out onto sun-dappled private balconies for fresh breezes and lazy afternoons of people watching.
Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas, Persiaran Pantai, Desaru Coast, 81930 Bandar Penawar, Johor.
Shangri-La Golden Sands, Penang
The Shangri-La Golden Sands Resort Penang, is one of Penang’s grand dames of hotels, perched proudly on Batu Ferringhi Beach. The established resort allures with its family- friendly appeal, the sea as its backyard and its multifaceted recreational activities which include, a water sports centre, three tennis courts, a Par-3 Executive Golf Course, a spa and beauty centre as well as two lagoon-shaped swimming pools. The 387 guest rooms are given a tropical sprucing of wooden carved panels with sea-kelp designs and embellished with an Asian touch. Clean lines and calming shades of the room are sympathetic to its picturesque surroundings. Travelling with a Full House-like family doesn’t prove a challenge for Golden Sands Resort, seeing as it boasts ‘family combo’ units of two interconnecting rooms that can easily accommodate up to six persons. Kids can have a wonderful time at the Splash Zone, where two water slides, complete with a landing pool and a splash pad with a tipping water bucket, water cannons, a rainbow sprayer, a butterfly and turtle sprayer and a floor water jet await. Carefully designed with safety in mind, the splash area has an anti-slip surface that allows children to interact easily with new friends without the fear of getting hurt.
Golden Sands Resort, Penang, Batu Ferringhi Beach, 11100 Penang.