The Shangri-La Rasa Sayang in Penang lived up to the glamour of the hotel brand with luxury, open tropical gardens over 12 hectares, its grounds extending onto the soft white sands of Batu Feringgi Beach.
Attention to detail can be observed throughout the resort, in the exclusive Rasa Wing as well as the Garden Wing with classic Minangkabau style and elegance throughout. The pleasant staff were always available to address our every need.
The Shangri-La Sayang was the original Malaysian Shangri-La property, created in 1973 and was refurbished in 2005 to become an iconic Penang resort.
It had a great location, set on the edge of Feringgi township, a hub for tourists with a large offering of restaurants and shopping.
The resort included two parts of the hotel – the general Garden Wing and the Rasa Wing.
We had the honour of staying in the exclusive Rasa Wing which was a luxurious experience, offering exclusive privileges including access to the Club Lounge where afternoon tea comprising delectable savoury and sweet dishes was complimentary, as well as a complimentary cocktail session with a brilliant pianist, a plentiful range of hot and cold canapes, and various drinks available to order gratis, including cocktails, wines and non-alcoholic beverages.
The Rasa Wing included VIP privileges including a separate lobby and check-in area, a private swimming pool and Club Lounge access. Upon entry, we were warmly greeted by the General Manager, who kindly welcomed us to one of the three distinguished restaurants, where we were equipped with a menu housing a variety of delicious Western and Asian dishes.
In addition to access to an inclusive breakfast buffet at the main hotel’s Pinang Restaurant & Bar, Rasa Wing guests had the option of buffet and a la carte breakfast at the Ferringhi Grill, which was also a popular evening restaurant for non-resident guests.
The complex included two pools – an adults-only pool exclusively available to Rasa Wing guests and a huge winding lagoon pool in the Garden Wing, the main part of the hotel, which was set in leafy gardens with majestic ancient trees lining the perimeter.
In the stunning Shangri-La gardens, a massive 150-year-old tree stands, and vines from its giant branches, creating a magical fairyland when alit in the evenings with dangling lights.
We had the honour of staying in Rasa Junior Suite King, in which a gift box awaited us with an assortment of exotic, local, dried fruits.
The room took on a luxurious resort feel, with a constant theme of dark wood branching through the magnificent room. The spacious accommodation included a king-size bed, a large dressing area, a lounge setting where a roller bed was set up to allow for the three of us, and an incredible balcony with a table and chairs, a daybed and a huge marble bathtub, from which to relax and look over the lush, tropic gardens.
The large bathroom was glamorous with ambient lighting, double sinks, a massive shower and a separate toilet.
The linen was luxurious – thick, fluffy robes, soft toweling slippers and high threat-count, silky sheets.
Adjacent to Shangri-La Sayang was its sister hotel, Shangri-La Golden Sands, which accommodates families extraordinarily well with a great children’s swimming playground featuring a water slide and splash areas, a Kids Club, mini golf, and Adventure Zone Entertainment Centre.
Residents of the Shangri-La had access to this family wonderland also, with easy access via a natural stroll through the extensive plush Shangri-La grounds.
Shangri-La Sayang also included a comprehensive photo gallery illustrating its history and memorable events and an aromatic Spice Market showcasing the wide variety of flavours which make Penang so renowned for its delicious cuisine.
The was also a jewelry shop, a nail and hair salon, a substantial, well-serviced gym and the Chi spa where a range of massage, reflexology and beauty services were on offer.