THE WESTIN DESARU COAST RESORT
BY HIRANMAYII AWLI MOHANAN
Framed by a buttery white sand beach facing the South China Sea and with tropical foliage as its backdrop, The Westin Desaru Coast is the latest addition to the booming seascape that is Desaru Coast, attracting barefoot beach lovers and sun chasers. This luxe slice of paradise makes a staggeringly good first impression. A total of 275 family-friendly rooms across nine categories offer clean lines and calming shades in natural materials that are sympathetic to the picturesque surroundings. Elsewhere, lush gardens and tended grounds give reason to pause.
Mornings at The Westin Desaru Coast are peaceful and undisturbed, only to be awakened by the gentle laps of the waves crashing ashore, the melodic cooing of birds and the sun tickling the eyelids. The capacious rooms are adorned with warm tones, a colossal-sized bed and beguiling artwork that spans across the headboard. The room opens up to a private balcony equipped with lounge chairs to get some sun or bask in the beachscape.
Heavenly Spa by Westin
Westin’s Six Pillars of Wellbeing forms a wholesome wellness experience for guests, from indulging in a spa to a full-blown movement incorporating F&B, textiles, bathroom amenities and fitness programmes. Speaking of spas, the Heavenly Spa by Westin renders a decent variety of treatments including a Swedish massage and heated compress that focuses on meridian points to release tension and break up muscle knots. Take relaxation up a notch at the hydrothermal pools – featuring a combination of 38°C temperature and water jets to provide unique benefits including cleansing and detoxification of skin, relieving tired and aching muscles and increasing circulation, thus renewing the mind and body. Work off the sinfully delicious meals at the Westin Workout Fitness Studio, furnished with an impressive range of machines to work up a sweat. Alternatively, soak in nature’s offerings through the Run Westin programme that takes guests on a curated route along Desaru Coast. Fill your social media feed with stunning pictures of the infinity pool and indulge in cocktails or a bite in between laps.
The food and drinks offering at this resort is strong with its signature Italian restaurant, Prego which provides a casual and vibrant ambience and is helmed by Italian chef, Massimiliano Asciano who brings forth flavours of his hometown, Abruzzo. Allow the tantalising aromas of fresh bread and pizza baking in a wood-fired oven to sweep you off your feet to Italy. Then, the Valhalla of international cuisine, Seasonal Taste offers a brilliant spread of buffet dining as well as à la carte options. A live, interactive kitchen creates a bespoke dining experience that will have you returning. Leave the stress of the city behind at the Beach Bar where the sweeping view of the sea is complemented by tantalising tipples, and a flavourful menu which features seafood barbecue and light, healthy cuisine. While waiting between meals or simply yearning for a fresh cuppa, the MIX Lounge makes for a relaxing spot with soothing music at its background to enjoy your beverage.
Westin Kids Club
Cementing itself as a family resort, parents can leave their children at the Westin Kids Club – a bright and cheerful space for kids
to make new friends, learn, discover and explore through fun and educational activities organised by dedicated associates.
Address: The Westin Desaru Coast Resort Jalan Pantai 3,
Desaru Coast, Bandar Penawar, 81930 Johor.
Tel: 07-838 3333
LIU MEN MELAKA – BY PREFERENCE
A Celebration of Cultures
BY HIRANMAYII AWLI MOHANAN
Liu Men Melaka is a storied pre-war shophouse-turned-hotel in Jalan Tokong. All its architectural clout and historic grandeur have been maintained, and its interiors are contemporary renditions of 1930’s colonial art deco. The hotel embraces geometric shapes and bursts of vibrant reds – symbolising joy or luck in playful chaos, a representation of the Chinese Peranakan culture. Geometric nuances perpetuate its interior, from cylindrical chandeliers to hexagonal tiles. White walls embellished by dark, trimmed wood emanate elegance while a collection of Chinese Peranakan antiques fill the space with old world charm.
Translating to six doors, Liu Men is a unification of six shop houses into a behemoth residence – once a family home. This lavish boutique hotel sits strategically a few kilometres away from the famed Jonker Street, Cheng Hoon Temple (oldest Taoist temple), A’famosa fort and the Stadthuys building. Saunter between the buildings reeking of history and character, take a picture with the Malacca River as your backdrop and embark on a short tour of the city on a beca (trishaw). On weekend evenings, Jonker Street comes alive with the hawker stalls until a little after midnight, giving you a peak into Melaka’s multifaceted culinary offerings.
Liu Men Melaka captures the spirit of Malaysia’s past and present through the warmth of itsrooms. Offering five room categories – Jebat, Hang Tuah, Kapitan, Cheng Ho Suite and Parameswara Suite, each takes a nod to the yesteryear of Melaka. We entered the Hang Tuah Room, which felt like a pied-à-terre – conceptually simple and unfussy. In the spacious attic- like room, pre-war colonial influence is evident in its wooden furnishings, integrated with modern amenities of a 40” TV and minibar for your everyday comfort.
The contemporary-designed bathroom is enviable and strikes inspiration. White tiles run through the walls, complemented by a dark-wood vanity with marble top and hexagonal chandeliers on either side.
Our favourite fitting in the bathroom is the shower system; while modern, it exudes an antiquated aesthetic, complete with brass hue and phone receiver-like shower head. The evenings at Liu Men Melaka warrant a libation in hand, at the rooftop lounge area to bask in the tropical breeze and wind down while people-watching.
Breakfast at the Courtyard is not only stunning, it’s delicious. Sit under the glass ceiling that allows natural sunlight to stream in and indulge in a mélange of local as well as Western breakfast. Being true-blue Malaysians, we ordered the Nasi Lemak and with the first bite, it immediately earned our seal of approval for its authenticity. For something lighter, opt for the American Breakfast or relish in fresh fruits and yoghurt.
Address: Liu Men Melaka – by Preference,
48-56, Jalan Tokong, 75200, Melaka.
Tel: 06-288 1161