Earning a well deserved reputation for 5-star luxury, the Shangri-La Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa in Penang, Malaysia, is situated on 30-acres of beachfront property. It’s almost like two hotels in one – the exclusive and upscale Rasa Wing and the more laid back, family friendly, Garden Wing. Ambiance in both is traditional Malay, interspersed with the contemporary chic of modern conveniences.
The Rasa Wing has a private check in, offering guests a cool towel and a cold beverage, perfect for freshening while waiting for the check in process. No need to stand on line here, just enjoy sitting in a chair or sofa while the Shangri-La staff handles all the details.
Rasa premier rooms feature a large sitting area, king-sized bed, bathroom with separate shower and tub, and plenty of room for lounging, dressing. or bathing. Desk and work space has well situated plug ins and lighting, and wifi is complimentary. Bath products are from L’Occitane. For a real treat, schedule an outdoor bath with your bath butler. The balcony has a large soaking tub, and the bath butler will draw the bath, infusing it with salts or aromatherapy treatments per your specifications. For a romantic evening in your room, have a relaxing soak and glass of wine and watch the sunset, then follow up with room service for dinner. There is a menu of bath services, with prices starting around $20.
The resort has three swimming pools (one adult only), a par 3 pitch-and-putt golf course (green fees approximately $10), tennis courts, water sport center, and fitness center. There are four restaurants in the resort.
Guest in the Rasa Wing receive additional amenities including: private express check in, standard late check out, complimentary high tea (served daily), happy hour drinks and snacks (served daily), daily breakfast at the Spice Market (buffet) or Ferringgi Grill (menu), and an adult only pool. Complimentary soft drinks and juices are available in the Rasa Wing Lounge and by the pool.
While you can’t go wrong with a beach view, the garden views are nothing to scoff at. The resort has over 133,00 varieties of plants, trees, and shrubs covering its grounds. Weekly garden tours are offered by the Grounds and Garden Manager, and if you’re stay is on one of those days, it’s a real treat to learn more about what you’re looking at. Grab an hour in a hammock, sit on a bench and feast on the regional artwork, or head off to the spa for a relaxing treatment.
The CHI spa has 11 spa villas, each facing the water with their own changing room, treatment room, and private garden. You can’t go wrong with their Signature Massage (around $100, but there are frequent specials), but the spa menu is full of traditional health and beauty treatments.
It’s tempting to never leave the grounds of the Shangri-La Rasa Sayang, but when you’re ready to do so, there is a shuttle service offered between the Shangri-La and the Traders Hotel in Georgetown. You can enjoy the facilities at this sister property or, more likely, use it as a home base for exploring historic Georgetown, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Shuttle times vary, but generally do not operate during evening hours.
The Shangri-La Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa is located at Batu Ferringhi, 11100 Penang, Malaysia. It’s about 45 minutes from the Penang airport, and about 20 minutes from Georgetown. Rates start at $160 in the Garden Wing, about $175 in the Rasa Wing. A premier room in the Rasa Wing is about double that. Book a stay direct or check rates at agoda.com, Priceline or Expedia.
Photo credit: Top photo from Shangri-La Rasa Sayang, other photos courtesy of author.
Disclosure: The author received a complimentary stay.at the resort.