By S.S. Yoga
This place is half-way to heaven, I said to my travelling companions, and they agreed. Imagine my delight when I found out that heaven was within reach! Yes, a god, a football god, deigned to appear before us mere mortals who happened to be at YTL’s Pangkor Laut Resort one recent weekend. Eric Cantona, the former Manchester United player (and eternal legend), appeared from the heavens in a helicopter and was transported to his earthly abode, the Pavarotti Suite. How appropriate, since the late tenor after which this suite was named did pronounce this resort in Perak paradise.
Cantona was in for a spa treatment at the internationally renowned Spa Village, which he followed with lunch before departing to wherever French gods live. I wanted only the best for my football god, which is why I had, the day before, offered myself as the “official tester” of the spas signature pretreatment 45-minute Bath House Experience and the Spa Experiences signature 105-minute Campur-Campur massage.
The pretreatment was quite unique – a foot-bath followed by Chinese foot pounding, followed by the traditional Malay circulating bath(which includes some breathing exercises), a Japanese style bath with a goshigoshi (scrub) cloth, then a dip in the heated Rotenburu pool (quite hot and nice) and ending with a cold exfoliating wash and a Shanghai Scrub.
The Campur-Campur massage blends a variety of Malay and Thai techniques that includes a steam pouch. My masseur worked every inch of my body and I came out quite refreshed and ready to take on the world.
Our group of Malaysian media and Thai media and bloggers was at the resort courtesy of Expedia; the idea was that during our stay we would test the features — Some of them new – of Expedia web and the mobilestablet app (which is also available on Apple Watch).
For one thing, you can now continue your sessions from desktop to tablet to mobile without losing any information. The one-stop flight and hotel Site also loads much faster to cater to our increasingly mobile lifestyle, and now requires fewer clicks to get to your bookings.
The mobile app actually gives free flight status updates, something that is usually a paid premium on other apps. For flights, it displays gate information, a flight map, and other relevant information. For hotels, addresses, contact numbers, and a map is provided.
I tested out the app on my iPhone, and it loaded very quickly. A search for available rooms at Pangkor Laut Resort gave the correct result – only one villa available at RM888Dang, no wonder it was almost a full-house at the Feast Village buffet breakfast. Its quite an extensive spread there, with Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Western choices — must-tries are the nasi lemak, the roti canaitosaipuri, and . the French toast.
My pulse quickens (and my body fattens) at this resort because of its numerous food offerings. There are six more F&B establishments! We had the pleasure of a private dinner at Chapman’s Bar located by the award-winning Emerald Bay and overlooking a great beach with a stunning sunset. It ticked all the boxes. Dinner the next day was an equally gastronomic experience. During a previous visit, I was not exactly blown away by the Chinese dishes at Uncle Lims Kitchen (81-year-old Chef Lim is the oldest Staff member there). This time around, though, there was hardly anything to pick on. Standouts were the Fish Maw Soup, Calamansi Chicken, Uncle Lims Fantasy Prawns, Uncle Lims Aromatic Style Fish, and Asparagus With Seared Scallops in XO Sauce.
It felt good to get back to my gargantuan Hill Villa after all that feasting. The views were fantastic from the balcony and, surrounded by lush jungle, we could hear the birds chirping, the friendly hornbills clacking loudly, and the clicking” of insects. From past experience, I knew to keep the doors and windows shut to prevent the clever and naughty” monkeys from becoming house guests.
The only problem I had with my villa was the poor mobile telephone reception, which meant I could not access my work e-mail. Theres a wide range of accommodation on this private island owned by YTL: 52 Hill Villas, 36 Garden Villas, eight Beach Villas, 19 Sea Villas, 22 Spa Villas, and two Sea Suites. There is also the Pavarotti Suite, which is an amazing space that is filled with many pictures and mementoes of the singer.
If you think all there is to do is eat, relax, and pamper yourself at the Spa, youd be mistaken. There are a number of activities you can sign up for, and one of the signature things to do is the Sunset Cruise (with tea) on a junk that takes you around the island and gives you a view of the sunset at Emerald Bay.
The sunrise here is also stunning – but sadly, on the first morning, it was cloudy, on the second, it was raining, and by evening it was still cloudy, so no sunset either. But the cruise experience was still worth it, though I was a little seasick as the sea was choppy.
You can also do early morning yoga or tai chi here. There are also guided jungle walks (or you could venture out by yourself). For the Sporty types, there is a gym, water sports, tennis and squash, and golf. For families, theres also islandhopping, picnics, luxury Cruises, traditional games, Sandcastle-making, colouring activities, and towel origami.
As for couples, this is a great spot for a romantic getaway – there are lots of couple things to do, and private moments away from other guests are aplenty.
I know I certainly had a great time!
Pangkor Laut Resort
Pangkor Laut Island, 32200 Lumput, Perak, Malaysia