I thought it’d be nice to kick off the travel/adventure section of my blog with a quick look at one of my favourite Malaysian island resorts. There’s nothing quite like a beach holiday – waves lapping on the shore, sea breeze gently caressing your face as you kick back on the sun lounger, ice cold cocktail in hand. What a perfect way to spend an afternoon.
It’s now become tradition, that on the 2nd day of Raya (Eid), we leave the hustle and bustle of the city and escape to an island retreat for our yearly holiday with Poss’s family. This year, we hit the shores of Langkawi Island.
Poss and I have always had a love affair with Langkawi, and with the Tanjung Rhu Resort in particular. It was where we came for our first holiday as a couple and also where we spent our honeymoon. We had originally planned to go to Italy but after paying for our wedding reception, we could only afford Cuti-Cuti Malaysia. Which was fine, because back then, we were soooo in love and all about the romance, it didn’t matter where we were as long as we had each other … gag! 12 years on, it’s less honeymoon and more reality bites.
Gone are the days of romantic candlelit dinners on the beach, sunset cruises and karaoke nights serenading each other to the tune of Kylie Minogue & Jason Donovan’s Especially For You 🤭 (did I really just admit that??!) It didn’t seem to matter at the time that my singing voice sounds like a frog on crack, it just made me all the more lovable. Now I’ll be lucky if he even hands me the mic!
Alas, even though the romance has died, we still love coming back to where it all started. Tanjung Rhu might not be as plush as the Four Seasons/St. Regis or as secluded as The Datai but it has its own unique charm.
They started refurbishing the resort a few years back and there is a wing and a few things still not completed, but we never felt like it affected the overall ambiance and experience. If anything, the unfinished rooms means fewer guests, so it’s even more peaceful and you never have to fight for space or that all important sun lounger – a big plus point in my book!
Refurbishment aside, the rest of the resort is lovely – private white sandy beach kissed by the Andaman sea, gym, spa, 2 restaurants, 3 pools (including 1 adult’s only), pool bar, happy hour from 5:30-11pm (the lychee margaritas are yum) and very welcoming staff.
On the downside, there are no lifts, so getting to our 3rd floor room was a bit of a hike. And if you need to be connected 24/7, WiFi is only available in the reading room and the signal is a little weak. This wasn’t an issue for us, but as Ari had to complete a college assignment, we requested for a MiFi and were given one throughout our stay (They only have a few and it’s subject to availability, so get in early)
While we were happy enough just sticking to the resort, no trip to Langkawi is complete without a meal at the Bon Ton Resort. Their Nam Restaurant, with its picturesque setting and gorgeous sunset views, offers up an exotic fusion of east meets west that has been consistently good throughout the years. The people are friendly as are the cats that roam the grounds – the resort is also a sanctuary to countless cats and dogs from around the island. They’re well behaved and pretty much stick to themselves (the cats I mean), but don’t be surprised if you’re briefly joined by a feline friend during your meal.
All in all, it was a geat relaxing holiday that included plenty of lazing about, LOTS of lychee margaritas, a family BBQ dinner on the beach and a hilarious prearranged night of karaoke in one of the pavilions – yes don’t worry, I spared the other resort guests and only sang on the inside!
Of course there’s more to do than just laze about on this sleepy archipelago of 99 islands. If you can tear yourself away from the pristine beaches for long enough, there are plenty of treasures to explore in this UNESCO endorsed Geopark – even a nail biting cable car ride up to the Sky Bridge for panoramic views that can stretch as far as the coast of Thailand on a clear day.
Beside it being a tropical paradise, I love that the Island is steeped in mystery and legends. Many eons ago, while visiting the Island of the Pregnant Maiden when there was nothing but a small jetty on its tranquil freshwater lake (it’s much more commercialised now), I duly swam in and drank its waters. While there was no miracle conception, many years later, I was given the gift of 2 wonderful instant children – so perhaps there’s a little truth in the legend after all 😉