CONIC RESORT: Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa Penang has been offering friendly service for almost four decades
SITUATED along the northern shoreline of the Straits of Malacca is Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa Penang.
The betel nut palms that dot the surroundings tell of the origins of Betel Nut Isle, Penang's moniker.
The resort's intricate Minangkabau roof has been hailed as an architectural masterpiece that seamlessly integrates traditional and modern design elements, with its dark brown timber roof stretching over the entire complex to create a magnificent image of a traditional Malay palace rising from a tropical paradise.
Over the years, the resort known for its friendly service and beautiful surroundings, has played host to various dignitaries from royalty and prime ministers to celebrities and the rich and famous.
Reviews from international travel magazines hail the resort for its "best spa experience", for being the "top 25 leisure hotels & resorts", the "coolest pool to beat the heat", and the "best beach resort", among others.
Inside the resort, a collection of antiques and artifacts celebrate the state's history, culture and traditions. Almost four decades old, the resort has seen Penang's transformation from a free port to a beautiful heritage city.
The resort reduced its number of rooms from 512 to 304 to create larger guest rooms. There is complimentary Wi-Fi access throughout the resort.
The Rasa Wing and the Garden Wing has guest rooms and suites overlooking well-manicured gardens and the sea.
Rasa Wing guests can have breakfast with a view at Feringgi Grill, English afternoon tea from 3pm to 4pm, and evening cocktails from 6pm to 7pm daily.
They also have complimentary use of the meeting room for an hour (subject to availability), exclusive access to the Rasa Wing pool with complimentary soft drinks throughout the day, and complimentary shoe-shine service.
Guests staying in this wing can also enjoy a bath prepared by a butler at the room's private balcony. The bath salts used include rose, juniper, lavender and ginger.
CHI The Spa has 11 private villas offering Asian treatments that comprise age-old healing practices, a yoga pavilion and a secret garden.
The Feringgi Grill has been voted The Best Restaurant by Malaysia Tourism Board in recent years.
Diners at this fine-dining restaurant have a view of the lush gardens and the sea beyond.
The Pinang Restaurant and Bar allows for al fresco dining near the Garden Wing pool, while the Spice Market Cafe has a team of chefs at its theatre kitchens specialising in cuisine such as Malay, Chinese, Indian, Nyonya, Western and Japanese food.
Other facilities include the redesigned pitch and putt golf course, and a state-of-the-art gymnasium complete with separate hydro pool, and sauna and steam rooms.
The resort's general manager, Elaine Yue, has much experience in the hospitality industry, with her last posting at the Shangri-La Hotel Chiang Mai in Thailand.
Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts currently owns and manages 73 hotels under the Shangri-La, Kerry and Traders brands with a room inventory of over 30,000.
Shangri-La hotels are five-star deluxe properties featuring extensive luxury facilities and services.
Shangri-La hotels can be found in Australia, Canada, mainland China, Fiji, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Maldives, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, and the United Arab Emirates, among others.
The group has upcoming projects in Canada, mainland China, India, Malaysia, Mongolia, the Philippines, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
For details, visit www.shangri-la.com, or call 04-888 8888.