I’ve never been much of a winner when it comes to contests and lucky draws. But a few months ago, I submitted a few photos for Shangri-La’s My Eat, Play, Shop instagram contest just for fun and imagine my surprise when I found out my photo of special edition Coca Cola can won us a 2-night-stay at Rasa Sayang Resort in Penang.
Frank was super excited because he had stayed in the resort before, while I was just looking forward to a non-work-related weekend away in Penang.. We booked our getaway for January and took the bus up. Batu Ferringhi is another half hour car ride from the Sungai Nibong Bus Station. The weather wasn’t the best when we got there (heavy downpour), but luckily we were blessed with pretty good weather the following days. The standard of service is high, which is not surprising considering it’s Shangri-La. We felt very welcomed throughout our stay at the hotel.
Rasa Sayang is probably the most expensive hotel in Penang and it’s as luxurious as it gets. Located at the Batu Ferringhi Beach, it is a total paradise for one who just wants to get away from the hustle and bustle of a big city like KL. The architecture is distinctively Minangkabau inspired with artfully arranged batik printing moulds, sculpture, traditional jewellery etc. We were allocated the Garden Wing, which is surrounded with lush gardens, century-old trees and equipped with a stunning pool and a beach side bar ala “Cocktail” (missing a cute Tom Cruise as bartender though).
The room we stayed in was pretty spacious with a King sized bed. Once again traditional art can be seen including wood sculpture hanging on the wall. The bathroom has both a bathtub and a separate shower cubicle which I like.
Other things include a work desk, sofas, mini bar with tea & coffee making facility, and a lovely balcony overlooking the garden and pool. Free WiFi also comes in handy.
We didn’t stay in the room for long because the bar was calling our name.
We had dinner at a pretty well-known hawker centre named Long Beach a stone throw away from the hotel (about 15 minutes walk) and then spent our evening walking around the night market. The night market stretches out really far and it’s usually quite crowded with plenty of things to see. We even stopped by a random bar for a couple of drinks. It was all very relaxed.
The hotel stay included their very famous breakfast buffet. We are usually really bad at waking up for breakfast, but I was determined not to miss it this time. So we woke at 9am to find the cafe super crowded with hotel guests. I guess everyone had the same idea.
We were suitably impressed with that they had to offer. From traditional Malaysian breakfast, Japanese, Chinese, to typical Western breakfast spread with plenty of healthy or sinful options. It will please the most picky eater. There’s even a large pastry section with all sorts of Croissants, Doughnuts etc which I didn’t dare to walk past too many times for fear of temptations.
Following a heavy breakfast, the best thing to do is to get out of the hotel and walk all day. We took the complimentary shuttle bus to Georgetown (Traders Hotel) and explored the city on foot. The most popular thing to do in Penang apart from eating is to explore the famous street art. My favourite is of course the giant cat.
We went back to the hotel and decided to stay in Batu Ferringhi for dinner. I looked through Tripadvisor and decided to go to an Italian restaurant based on their ratings. The restaurants in this area are mostly catering to tourists and this restaurant reminded us of La Porchetta (popular Italian chain) in Melbourne. It was a pleasant dining experience.
You should be proud of me because we made it to the breakfast buffet again the next day. Happy to report that they do change the dishes everyday to keep it interesting. No wonder it’s so popular.
Unfortunately, time flew when we were having so much fun. It was time for us to leave this beautiful hotel. Our bus wasn’t until later in the afternoon so we chilled out at the Beach bar again before taking the shuttle bus to Georgetown. The perfect vacation for us is one without a lot of activities but superb hospitality. I wouldn’t mind another weekend at the Rasa Sayang Resort. Thank you Shangri-la for a fabulous staycation!
Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa
Address: Batu Ferringhi, 11100 Penang