If there’s a good reason to make weekend plans in Penang, Shangri-La Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa is it. Along Batu Feringgi Beach, the resort is your quintessential hotel stay that checks all the boxes for some end-week TLC: privacy, scrumptious breakfasts, ocean views, and a little something extra for the luxe traveller: that “wow” factor aesthetic.
When it opened in 1973, it was the first and only five-star resort in Malaysia. A Hawaiian design firm brought to life a vision of the resort’s Minangkabau roof inspired by Malay architecture. In 2005, the resort underwent renovations costing up to RM100 million. Upgrades included the Rasa Wing Lounge, a health club, and even a golf course.
It’s the beautifully manicured landscapes that are the heart of Rasa Sayang. Giant rain trees, a menagerie of palm trees, and graceful bamboos act as green walls for the privacy of the resort’s guests. An art consultant was commissioned to source a collection that celebrates the rich diversity of Malaysian culture. The result is a museum’s worth of pieces divided into three themes; land, sea, and people. Worth more than MYR3 million, these artefacts include the prow of a traditional Malay boat, antique jewellery, and sculptures up to 20 feet long.
We called the Rasa Wing Rasa Premier Room home for the weekend; a large room with a private balcony, soaking tub and gorgeous pool views to wake up to. Guests of the Rasa Wing are given extra privileges, such as access to the Rasa Wing Lounge, a private pool where soft drinks come free, and the choice of a semi-buffet breakfast at Feringgi Grill or a breakfast buffet spread at Spice Market. Complimentary afternoon refreshments are served daily from 3pm to 4pm, followed by cocktails and pre-dinner canapes at the Rasa Wing. And, you’ll even have your shoes polished, on the house. How’s that for a weekend staycation?
Got your sights set on Penang? Here’s a travel guide to get you going.