There are a handful of hotels around the world that have truly taken my breath away (to the point of failing miserably to find the words to begin this blog post), and Pangkor Laut Resort in Malaysia is one of them. Located on a privately owned island on the West Coast of Malaysia, this resort is a hidden secret to those who have had the pleasure of staying here and an enviable honeymoon location to those dreaming of days ahead. For me, it was an absolute paradise despite being here on my own, so I’m really looking forward to sharing my experience with you!
Pangkor Laut Resort
To reach Pangkor Laut Resort is quite a journey in itself, especially if you’re coming from outside of Malaysia. For that reason, I would highly suggest a 2-3 night stay in Kuala Lumpur before venturing onwards to Pangkor Laut, as you’re up for a 3-4 hour drive (depending on traffic) in order to reach the jetty, by which time you will wait for a scheduled boat departure to the island (or if money is really no object, you can charter your own for the fifteen minute journey).
But the long journey is all part of the experience here at Pangkor Laut – given you feel a world away and quite literally, you are! The wildlife on the island is phenomenal – especially for bird watching. The food is similarly phenomenal (read on for my all time favourite restaurant on the island) and the staff will go out of their way to help make your stay an unforgettable one, no matter what that entails!
Checking in: The Spa Villas
There are a few different room categories on offer depending on your budget and what occasion you’re visiting for.
For the honeymooners, it doesn’t get more fancy than the spa suites – located furthest away from the resort facilities and thus ensuring complete seclusion. The spa villas are located on the water, but the sea villas are also located on the water and come at a slightly lower room rate, though do not include the spa facilities (a more private pool, free yoga classes, and the coveted spot on the island away from it all).
For those looking to enjoy the location, resort facilities and who aren’t so bothered by the novelty of sleeping in the ocean on stilts for the night, then you have either the “Hill villas” or “Garden villas” to choose from, with the latter being the cheapest of the two and the lowest rates on offer at the resort.
Then if you’re feeling really fancy, there’s a little talked about part of the island where private homes are built and available to families/groups who are looking for complete privacy away from the resort, with a private driver, butler and even a chef for your stay!
I myself checked in to the spa villa and it was luxury beyond words. The rooms are extremely well appointed (without a television, hallelujah!) and have incredible views, all with private balconies and more windows than walls. The private pool area at the spa was also much less crowded (in fact I was usually swimming solo) and the distance from the main resort (15 minutes walk) made for a much quieter, more relaxing stay.
Dining: Don’t Miss Uncle Lim’s!
When it comes to food at this resort, I cannot express enough how fond I was of “Uncle Lim’s” restaurant! This was the first restaurant at the resort and the chef himself (yes, his name is Uncle Lim) was the first ever employee at the resort and is still there in the kitchen to this day.
The restaurant serves a blend of Chinese and Malay cuisines, giving dishes the heartiness of Chinese cooking but with the rich flavours of Malay cuisine – especially a great choice for the vegetarians!
During my time at the resort I also dined at Fisherman’s Cove, which is regarded as one of the premier dining experiences at the resort (as well as The Straights and Private Dining at Emerald Cove), however can honestly say that the best meal I had during my time here was still back at Uncle Lim’s (it was so good that I returned on my last night, forfeiting the private dining experience).
Local Markets & Cooking Class
Whilst at the resort I made a pledge to try as many activities as I could (though with a spa villa it can become incredibly tempting to never want to leave your room!) One such activity was called the Chef’s Experience, whereby you are joined by one of the resort chefs to visit a local village and market (by speedboat) to see where the fresh produce comes from before it makes its way over to the resort.
You then return back to the resort to cook up a storm with the chef – resulting in a lavish 3 course meal that was kindly brought to my room around lunch time and boy, did it taste delicious! I made a vegetarian soup, vegetarian dhal curry and coconut sautéed okra.
Around the Resort
During my few nights staying at Pangkor Laut Resort I tried the complimentary yoga classes, visited the resort pools, and of course made my way over to Emerald Bay – the designated beach area for swimming, privately located on the other side of the island (you can walk through the jungle or catch a compimentary shuttle service over and back).
I also made time to visit the Spa Village for a signature treatment, though it was the facial that really stood out to me as after longer than a week in the heat of Malaysia, my skin was crying out for a little rejuvenation!
Overall I had a really great stay here and can see why people travel great lengths to get here to this little slice of paradise – plus the room rates are much more affordable than elsewhere in Asia, especially if you’re coming on the off season (rates vary throughout the year).
Thanks to YTL Hotels for inviting me to experience Pangkor Laut Resort. As always, my opinion is my own!