The Resort Cafe offers both buffet spreads and an a la carte menu
Pamper yourself at Mandara Spa
Kids and adults alike can take their time to feed some of the animals at the Wildlife Park.
The freeform swimming pool at Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa.
The family room at Sunway Pyramid Hotel is a home away from home.
Family fun by the poolside

From its location and wide choice of food to its spa, Sunway Pyramid Hotel offers Loong Wai Ting the ultimate short stay

A STAYCATION in the city is a good idea, especially after a hectic week at work. You pamper yourself all day long somewhere not too far away. I just want to relax, do some retail therapy, catch a movie — or two — and eat.

I smile at my plan. I can’t wait to dive into a plush bed. But that has to wait as I am at the lobby of Sunway Pyramid Hotel in Bandar Sunway, Petaling Jaya with throngs of tourists from China, India and the Middle East.

It is 5pm by the time I get my room key. As the hotel employee whisks me away to my family room on the second floor, my eyes marvel at the beautiful paintings on the walls at the corridors. What makes them even more beautiful is the fact that they are done by special needs children. In fact, there is one in my room too.


PAMPERING HOUR

I have set aside an hour for a relaxing spa treatment. The 15-minute walk from the hotel to Mandara Spa brings me to a lush man-made forest but I can still hear screams of excitement coming from nearby Sunway Lagoon Theme Park.

With an Asian ambience, the spa features two spacious double spa suites complete with ensuite bath and steam-shower room. There are also five single therapy suites, each named after flowers. Three of these come with ensuite steam-shower room.

The spa treatment is the highlight of my staycation. Ever so gentle and professional, my masseuse Erra pours warm essential oil into a small container and gives it a gentle stir to bring out the essence. Between her graceful and courteous movements, she pauses to explain what the strokes do to my tired and sore body.

My choice of essential oil is the Tranquility Massage oil blend, perfect for relieving tension, easing stress, calming the mind and improving blood flow. For the first time, I try the 50-minute Balinese massage, a signature of Mandara Spa.

While her hands working on my knots, Erra constantly checks if the pressure is too strong. The pressure is just right but when she hits certain spots, I cringe in pain. To take my mind off the pain, I imagine a faraway land full of beautiful things. It works mainly because the spa is located within a 324ha integrated resort-in-the-city, with lush forest and birds chirping.

My session with Erra quickly passes. To complete the treatment, Erra spritzes a citrusy mist over me and leads me back to the reception area. She offers me warm ginger tea to soothe the senses and I opt to drink it at the relaxation pavilion which overlooks the picturesque lagoon and lush greenery.


WILD TIME

The next day, I head out to shop at Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall conveniently connected to the hotel by a link bridge near the hotel lobby. I don’t have to walk far for my shopping spree.

My next stop is Sunway Lagoon Wildlife Park, a petting zoo located inside the theme park. The fully interactive zoo runs the Wildlife Encounters programme which starts with an animal show in the Wildlife Theatre followed by feeding time at the Pet Village.

The stars of the zoo are the blue-eyed white tigers named Samson and Asha. With their majestic posture and white

fur, the exotic pair never fails to draw attention from visitors. I join the visitors, snapping photos of the tigers in their glass enclosure. When one of them yawns, we comment on how cute it looks, just like a cat at home.

On a Jungle Trail I come across birds of many species sharing a papaya. I even have a rare chance to see a peacock showing off his gorgeous tail feathers. I find myself rooted to the ground as I stare at the patterns across the peacock’s plumage. It is a sight to behold.

Next, I come face-to-face with the majestic white lions, Zola and Zuri. When no one is looking, I break into the intro of the Circle of Life song from the popular Disney movie, Lion King. Perched on top of a stone slab, Zola and Zuri pay no attention to my bad singing and continue to sunbathe.

The white lions from Africa’s Timbavati and southern Kruger Park regions have blond, white fur due to leucism, a condition in which there is partial loss of pigmentation.


RANGE OF DELICACIES

As I am feeling hungry after all the activities, I head to the Resort Cafe for a sumptuous buffet dinner. I am spoilt for choice and I don’t even know where to start!

Tonight, I have a multi-course dinner at the cafe, prepared nightly by a different chef. The cafe offers a range of delicacies from different cuisines including Middle East, Indian, Malay, Chinese and Western.

The extra kilos that I pile on during my stay is a testimony to my great stay at the hotel. The savoury, mouthwatering dishes are hard to turn down.

The binge continues the next morning as I head to the same cafe for a hearty breakfast. Again, I am spoilt for choice. Learning my lesson from last night’s dinner, I’ve come up with a plan: get a large plate and assemble my own big breakfast, like the one I normally get at my favourite cafe. And it works.

But, if you miss the breakfast, don’t worry. Just head over to Kaffeinate, a fuss-free cafe at the hotel lobby. Here, you can get freshly baked breads, sandwiches and a cup of coffee to go. My absolute favourite is sambal bread.

Winding down the end of my short stay, I head to the pool. Watching the kids having a great time in the pool from my lounge chair, I promise myself that I will come back. From the exquisite hotel and its location to the activities, I can hardly find anything to complain about. It’s just that perfect.

loongwaiting@nst.com.my


FAST FACTS

SUNWAY PYRAMID HOTEL

Persiaran Lagoon, Bandar Sunway, Selangor

TEL: 603-7492 8000 or toll-free 1800-82-8888 (Malaysia only)

EMAIL: srhs.reservations@sunwayhotels.com

WEBSITE: www.sunwayhotels.com

STAY 564 rooms and suites with the choice of Deluxe, Deluxe Park View, Deluxe Executive, Family Room or Family Suite.

EAT The Resort Cafe offers an extensive buffet spread and a la carte menu. There are also chef’s signatures and regional favourites with a selection of Middle Eastern and Western cuisines. Kaffeinate offers freshly brewed gourmet coffee, specialty tea, cold pressed juices and a range of snacks, sandwiches and refreshments. For drinks, snacks and light entertainment, the Lobby Lounge offers cocktails and appetisers. Located next to Resort Cafe is Busaba Thai with a menu of classic and contemporary Thai dishes.

DO Spa at the award-winning Mandara Spa in Sunway Resort Hotel and Spa. The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness centre.

GO Sunway Pyramid Shopping Centre and Sunway Lagoon Theme Park are just next door.

HIGHS Great location, with shopping mall and theme park within walking distance.

LOWS The cable TV in the room has limited channels.

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