Weary city dwellers looking to take a short weekend getaway can escape to Batu Ferringhi, a popular beach resort town situated on the island of Penang.
Passing the winding roads of Batu Ferringhi, Shangri-La Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa Penang welcomes guests with unrivalled hospitality and luxury coupled with amazing food and drinks.
An iconic institution that has been around since the 1970s, the resort is designed by Hawaiian firm Bert Collins and features a unique ethnic architecture—its Minangkabau roof, resembling buffalo horns, has come to be a distinct feature of the hotel. The dark brown treated timber roof stretches over the entire complex, creating a magnificent image of a traditional Malay palace rising from a tropical paradise.
Despite being over 40 years old, the resort has gone through several refurbishments over the years and still exudes a warm, luxurious feel.
Comprising 304 rooms in total, guests can choose to stay at either the Garden Wing or the Rasa Wing. For travellers seeking exclusivity and privacy, book a room in the Rasa Wing, where they will be accorded a personal concierge as well as access to private breakfast and lounge areas and a dedicated pool for adults only.
The Rasa Premier room is modern and warm, with clean tones of dark brown and beige, accentuated by rich wood furnishings that do not clutter the spacious interior. The unbeatable view of the well-manicured gardens and sapphire-blue sea is best appreciated from the large balcony, which comes with a sumptuous bathtub.
For relaxation, check in at the hotel’s signature CHI Spa, tucked away in a secluded corner of the resort. CHI is home to 11 spa villas and a yoga pavilion, all set within 30 acres of lush gardens, providing the perfect setting for one to unwind. The spa menu includes Chinese and Malay treatments. If you’re spoilt for choice, try the signature herbal Asmaradana massage—the therapist makes you pick from four customised oil blends, each with its own health benefits derived from different ingredients, before a firm massage ensues with long strokes and forearm pressure.
With five on-site dining options, Rasa Sayang has the right combination for the discerning traveller’s palate. The Spice Market Cafe provides a wide variety of cuisines including Chinese, Indian, Peranakan, Japanese, Thai and Western. For a casual meal and delicious tipples, head to Pinang Bar and Restaurant, a poolside bar and restaurant offering lunch, dinner and between-meal snacks.
The star of the resort, however, is Feringgi Grill, a fine dining western grill located on the mezzanine floor of the Rasa Wing. Helmed by chef Thibaut Pouplard, some of the signature dishes include the beef chateaubriand, slow-cooked Angus prime rib beef, crepe suzette and heirloom tomato soup. Ferringgi Grill also offers two private dining rooms for discreet luncheon or dinner meeting discussions.
Discerning foodies will be delighted to know that the Shangri-La hotel group recently launched a new food and beverage loyalty programme—The Table by Golden Circle, offering a host of benefits to members who dine at Shangri-La properties, such as access to unique food experiences like dining on the beach, dinner under the stars and more, depending on which property you choose to redeem your points at. The Table is fully integrated with the hotel’s Golden Circle loyalty programme and members can now earn Golden Circle award points by dining and drinking as non-staying guests at the more than 500 restaurants and bars at Shangri-La, Hotel Jen, Kerry and Traders properties worldwide.
This was first published in Wine & Dine’s Mar/Apr 2018 issue – Wonder Women, ‘Traveller’