Rasa Sayang

Special thanks to Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa for extending this event invitation.

Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa held its Media Appreciation Night on 26 November 2014. The purpose of this event was threefold: to introduce the newly built FIP Lounge, to provide a guided-tour of the newly renovated hotel rooms, and to treat the guests for dinner at the Spice Market Café.

This new FIP Lounge is has a laid-back atmosphere with cozy couches, bean bags and warm lighting. This is complemented with illuminated coffee tables for a sense of modern touch. Sit back and relax in this perfect hangout spot.
The FIP Lounge was extensively renovated from the original lounge. Almost beyond recognition, I may say. "FIP" stands for "Fun Interactive Play", but my guess was correct: it is informally meant to say "first in Penang", as it pioneers several interesting concepts.
But if slouching back is not your cup of tea, get your camera and creative brain out! On one side of the lounge, catch a photo opportunity which seems to defy gravity.
Or you can also meet the gorilla climbing out of the wall. Is the gorilla friendly or hostile? I really don't know.
Cameras aside, challenge your friends to a game of electronics darts. Alternatively, up the ante with a round of pool billiards.
Whether you are trying to best your buddies in a round of Jenga, or beat them in a round of congkak, FIP Lounge has the right game for you.
The beverage bar is situated between the indoor and outdoor section. If you prefer natural air, there are bar stools along the outer rim of the bar.
One of the most anticipated novelty in FIP Lounge is Beer In Ice Mug (RM23.00). Instead of using ice cubes, beer is served in a solid block of ice!
If you need to stay awake all night, the bar is happy to prepare a strong dose of espresso to fire your neurons on all cylinders.
This cup of Café Latte (RM11.00) is meticulously handcrafted, thanks to the skillful hands of the barista. In this case, the coffee foam is in the shape of two bears.
Non-alcoholic and non-caffeinated beverages are also available, such as orange fruit punch.
Hungry and lusting for power? Challenge your friend in a round of checkers with the Checker Board (RM36.00). The playing pieces are made from crab cakes and chicken boudin. How many playing pieces are there in checkers?
For a shorter game, there is also Tic-Tac-Toe (RM35.00) which uses macarons as playing pieces. Ten pieces to be exact; five for each color.
Guests who love chocolate will be delighted to know that the Dark Chocolate Fondue (RM45.00) is available. Sliced bananas, strawberries, marshmallows and dried apricots are provided as dips.
Rasa Sayang is the first place to serve Churros (RM25.00) in Penang, so it is keeping up this tradition. Dipping sauces are salted caramel and dark chocolate.
Next, we are given a guided tour of the newly renovated hotel rooms. There are 189 rooms of varying sizes, spread across the two wings: Rasa Wing and Garden Wing. The room are built with eco-friendliness in mind. For example, the air-conditioning stops when one opens the sliding door to the balcony. The appearance of ceiling fan breaks the traditional concept of hotel rooms, for a good cause. Instead of carpet flooring, the floor is now tiled.

Modern amenities are not out of reach either: flat screen LED television, high-speed Internet connection, in-room safe, mini-bar etc.

The first room is the Garden Wing Deluxe Garden View Room, which covers 42 square meters (452 square feet). As the name implies, the balcony faces the landscaped tropical garden.
This room is meant for two guests, so either a king-size bed or two single beds are provided. The room rate is approximately RM700 per night, but varies by season. It is best call Rasa Sayang to enquire the room rate on specific dates.

The next room is the Garden Wing Superior Family Seaview Room. This room is slightly bigger - 50 square meters (538 square feet). The balcony provides excellent view of the Andaman Sea.
Besides the king-size bed or two single beds, there is a nice couch which doubles as a cozy bed for an extra guest. The room rate is approximately RM900 per night.
Last but not least, we are given a tour of the Garden Wing Junior Terrace Suite. This room measures a whopping 100 square meters (1077 square feet)! There are only two such units in the hotel.
Besides the bedroom with a king-size bed, there is a separate living room section. There is even an open balcony which provides spectacular views during sunrise. So spacious is the room that there is hardly any reason to step outside anymore!
There are two bathrooms in the Garden Wing Junior Terrace Suite. Each one is elegantly marble-tiled and has a separate bathtub and glass-enclosed shower cubicle.
One of the bathroom even has a bathtub which overlooks a private garden.
The room rate is approximately RM2,000 per night. What a way to splurge on your honeymoon!

Rasa Sayang provides two complimentary bottles of purified water in each hotel room. In the pursuit of eco-friendliness, Rasa Sayang has its in-house water purification and bottling facility.
After the amazing tour, we are treated with the highly acclaimed buffet dinner at the Spice Market Café.
The first thing which attracted my attention is the Baked Salmon With Mustard And Tarragon at the grilling station. The flesh of salmon is simply irresistible!
This time, the Western counter features French cuisine. French delicacies on the counter are Chicken Stew With Apricot And Tomatoes and Baked Macaroni With Cheese.
As a Mediterranean country, France also enjoys culinary influence from northern Africa. Vegetable Cous Cous is one such example. Couscous is a staple dish in northern Africa, where macaroni wheat is rolled into small pellets.
The Chinese counter offers a number of traditional Nyonya dishes. Examples are Asam Curry Prawns and Nyonya Mixed Vegetables With Bean Curd Skin.
There is also Five Spiced Chicken Roll In Bean Curd Skin and Mixed Vegetable Curry. The former is what locals commonly call "lor bak" (卤肉).
This week, the Indonesian cuisine is the highlight at the Malay counter. Guests can enjoy lovely dishes such as Ayam Penyet and Ikan Bakar.
The Indian subcontinent occurs a balanced variety of curry dishes to tantalize your taste buds.
There are also various kinds of skewered meat. The choices have expanded since Chef Shantanu's guest appearance.
At the seafood section, there are cold seafood such as scallops, mussels, shrimps and clams. A good combination of dipping sauces are available to suit your individual palate.
As for cold cuts, there are beef salami, smoked salmon and chicken.
I personally enjoy the exquisite selection of gourmet cheese. Various bread is provided to complement the cheese.
Confectionery is Spice Market's strength, so do not be surprised by the mouth-watering choices of cakes and pies. The Chocolate Mud Cake, Apple Flan and Tiramisu some of the many choices available.
Name: Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa
Address: Jalan Batu Ferringhi, 11100 Batu Ferringhi, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-888-8888
Business hours: 11:00am-12:00am (Sunday-Thursday), 11:00am-1:00am (Friday-Saturday) for FIP Lounge; 6:30am-11:00pm, daily for Spice Market Café
Website: http://www.shangri-la.com/penang/rasasayangresort
Coordinates: 5.47972 N, 100.25481 E
Directions: From Tanjung Bungah, travel west towards Batu Ferringhi. Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa is approximately 4.2 kilometers from Tanjung Bungah's floating mosque, located on the right.