Rasa Sayang

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

Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa is Penang's premier luxury resort. Opened in 1973, the 5-star hotel is one of the first properties under Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts. Inspired by the paradise depicted in James Hilton's novel "Lost Horizon", Rasa Sayang provides a level of splendour that is the epitome of Asian hospitality.
Rasa Sayang is situated at the renowned Batu Ferringhi Beach, stretching for nearly half a kilometer from end to end. The beachfront resort is divided into two wings: Garden Wing and Rasa Wing. Garden Wing is where the majority of guests are checked-in. Arriving guests are welcomed with refreshing nutmeg juice and cold towels.
The Garden Wing Lobby is decorated with numerous pieces of local art. There is also a permanent display of gamelan. The 5-piece ensemble of musical instruments consists of bonang, saron, pekin, gendang and gong. For guests who wish to experience its melody, there is a live recital by the resort staff at 6:00pm every Friday.
Rasa Sayang has an inventory of over 300 guestrooms and suites, which are divided into several categories to meet the needs of each guest. For instance, the Deluxe Seaview Room comfortably accommodates two guests with a king-size bed and an extra daybed.
Under the hand-woven "tudung saji" is a piece of local snack such as "shat kek ma". In effort to reduce plastic waste, Rasa Sayang provides drinking water in sealed glass bottles. In fact, the resort has an on-site water-bottling facility for this purpose.
The ensuite bathroom has a shower stall and a bathtub. Hair dryer, bathrobes, bathroom slippers, beach slippers, clothes iron and electronic safe are provided for guests' convenience. Meanwhile, the sink drawers are stocked with Shangri-La's designer toiletries.
The balcony is the perfect spot to enjoy the rejuvenating breeze from the sea. To conserve electricity, the room's air conditioning unit is automatically suspended whenever the balcony doors are open. Smoking is strictly prohibited in all guestrooms including the balcony area.
Next to the Garden Wing is the resort's main swimming pool, which comprises of several sections of varying depths. There is also a wading pool for children. The swimming pool is open from 7:00am to 8:00pm. There are lifeguards on duty during these hours.
One defining characteristic of Rasa Sayang's grounds is the abundance of rain trees. Towering above the swimming pool, the trees' wide canopy provides good shade from the hot tropical sun. These magnificent trees were believed to be planted during the founding of Penang over 200 years ago!
Rasa Sayang's Health Club operates from 6:00am to 10:00pm daily. The gym is equipped with state-of-the-art exercise equipment such as treadmills, stationary bicycles and weight machines. After an intense workout regimen, take advantage of the jacuzzi, sauna or steam bath facilities next to the changing rooms.
Spice Market Café serves as Rasa Sayang's all-day dining restaurant. The coffeehouse's à la carte menu covers local delights and international dishes. The air-conditioned eatery has a casual ambience for family dining. Al fresco dining is also possible.
Spice Market Café serves buffet dinner every evening. The buffet spread here is divided into several stations where each focuses on one regional cuisine. Regularly featured cuisines are Malay, Chinese, Indian, Western and Japanese.
Spice Market Café is also where most in-house guests have breakfast in the morning. Buffet breakfast is served from 6:30am to 10:30pm. It is advisable to arrive before 8:00am if you wish to beat the crowd. The busiest section of the buffet line is usually the à la minute egg station.
The bread section presents freshly baked croissants, muffins, Danishes, doughnuts and bread rolls. Artisan bread and bread slices are available too. Bread spreads include strawberry, raspberry and apricot jams.
Meanwhile, the Indian section serves roti canai, roti jala, uttapam and lamb murtabak. These flatbreads are typically eaten with curries like dal tadka or bagara baingan.
As for drinks, guests can help themselves to freshly squeezed fruit juices. My favorite concoction to start the day is a mixture of pineapple and grapefruit juices. As for caffeine, get your morning fix by ordering coffee or tea from the waiting staff.
The beachside Pinang Restaurant & Bar is where swimmers and beachgoers quench their thirst with refreshing beverages, alcoholic and otherwise. Set under a 50-year ketapang tree, the eatery is the perfect spot to watch the idyllic sunset.
Located at Rasa Wing, Feringgi Grill is Rasa Sayang's award-winning grillhouse. Feringgi Grill complements European cuisine with a wide range of vintage wines from the cellar. The restaurant's red brick walls replicate the rustic character of the original Feringgi Grill that once stood near the beach.
Feringgi Bar is where alcoholic beverages are served. Patrons are entertained by a pianist who performs every evening. Feringgi Bar also offers a fine selection of cigars. There is a designated cigar room for smoking.
While Feringgi Bar caters to the refined clientele, FIP Lounge sports a stylish atmosphere that strikes a chord with the younger crowd. The menu includes "fun" items like tic-tac-toe macarons and 3D latte. Customers can entertain themselves with pool billiards, 3D trick art and selfie corners. A 2-piece live band performs from 9:00pm to 12:00am every Friday and Saturday.
What used to be a mahjong pavilion has been converted into Rasa Deli. Rasa Deli vends pastries and sandwiches for take-away, which is perfect for people who need to grab a quick bite. Rasa Deli operates from 11:00am to 6:30pm daily. You may want to take advantage of 30% discount on selected items after 5:30pm.
Rasa Sayang covers 30 acres of lush gardens, dwarfing other resorts in Batu Ferringhi by a huge margin. An intricate network of walkways affords picturesque views of the beautifully landscaped grounds.
Should you prefer to laze around, the rattan hammock is the perfect spot to do so. The resort is also dotted with countless reclining sunloungers under shady palm trees.
If you need reading materials to pass the time, there is a small library next to the towel hut. In addition, have fun playing draughts on a supersized checkerboard!
Concealed under a large rain tree is a "Na Tuk Kong" shrine. Na Tuk Kong is an embodiment of local spirits that live in trees. Offerings like flowers and fruits are usually placed at the altar during sunrise and sunset.
As a beachfront resort, Rasa Sayang affords easy access to the scenic Batu Ferringhi Beach. Beyond the shore lies the crystal clear waters of the Strait of Malacca.
Batu Ferringhi Beach is flat and sandy, although the sand here is not quite as fine as that at Rasa Ria. Keep in mind that Batu Ferringhi Beach is a public beach; the waters ports operators are beyond the resort's supervision. Use discretion before engaging in any risky activities.
While Garden Wing hosts the lion's share of guests, Rasa Wing caters to the more affluent clientele. The main entrance of Rasa Wing has a distinctive curved roof similar to those of traditional Minangkabau houses.
Rasa Wing guests are treated to the highest standard of luxury and service. The guestrooms here are equipped with additional amenities like capsule coffee machines. The drinks (including beer) in the minibar are complimentary.
Rasa Deluxe Suite has twice the floor space of a standard guestroom. The suite is partitioned into the living room and the bedroom. The living room itself has a powder room and a large executive desk stocked with stationery.
The main bathroom at Rasa Deluxe Suite is spacious indeed. It is fitted with marble countertop with dual sinks, rain shower, a dressing table as well as an oversized wardrobe with yukata and bathrobes.
Beyond the sliding doors is a large balcony that spans the entire length of the suite. There are patio chairs and cushioned sunloungers here.
Towards the far end of the balcony lies a private soaking tub. For privacy reasons, blinds can lowered at the push of a button.
Rasa Wing guests enjoy exclusive access to Rasa Wing Lounge, where complimentary drinks and snacks are provided throughout most of the day. Smart casual dress code is expected.
Guests who prefer al fresco dining can be seated at the Rasa Wing Terrace. The surrounding is adorned with colorful flower hedges and a couple of pavilions. A flight of stairs leads to a circular lawn under a large rain tree, which makes an ideal venue for garden weddings.
Furthermore, guests of Rasa Wing enjoy exclusive access to the Rasa Wing Pool. This swimming pool is usually less crowded than the one at Garden Wing. Meanwhile, the towel counter serves complimentary drinks between 9:00am and 5:00pm.
At 3:00pm every day, Rasa Wing guests are invited for afternoon tea at Rasa Wing Lounge. The 3-tier stand contains sandwiches, brownies, cakes and scones for two. Besides the usual coffee and tea, you may want to try some teh tarik too!
Rasa Wing guests are further treated to pre-dinner evening cocktail from 5:30pm to 7:00pm. Also held at Rasa Wing Lounge, the buffet line has a modest number of finger foods and snacks. Guests may order alcoholic beverages from the waiting staff.
Guests of Rasa Wing have the privilege of having breakfast at Feringgi Grill. Breakfast is served from 6:30am to 10:30am daily.
Although the breakfast spread here is smaller than the one served in Spice Market Café, Feringgi Grill provides more exquisite dishes that are not afforded to Garden Wing guests. Of course, Rasa Wing guests always have the option of having breakfast at Spice Market Café.
As an added perk, Feringgi Grill has a special breakfast menu from which guests can order à la minute dishes. We ordered a serving of buttermilk pancakes, and grilled chicken ham with onion gravy.
Feringgi Grill's breakfast menu has vegetarian and gluten-free choices too. Shown here is a dish of steamed soft tofu with mushrooms, basil and light soy sauce.
Sip a cup of freshly brewed coffee or English tea as you watch the morning sunlight creeping through the window! It is also a good idea to go for an early swim in Rasa Wing Pool before the sun becomes too hot.
It is no surprise that Rasa Sayang is a renowned spa destination. Chi, The Spa is tucked at a secluded area near Rasa Wing Pool. The spa facility has 11 private villas, 3 of which are designed for couples. Chi, The Spa operates from 10:00am to 10:00pm. Prior reservation is recommended.
As for recreational activities, head to the 9-hole Pitch & Putt Golf Course between 7:00am and 7:00pm. The price for in-house guests is RM25.00 per round, which includes usage of golf equipment. Beginner golf lessons can be arranged upon request.
The floodlit tennis courts are located on the far side of the golf course. This facility is shared with Rasa Sayang's sister property, Golden Sands Resort. The courts are open from 8:00am to 7:00pm.
Adventure Zone is a family entertainment center for kids. The large indoor playground is designed to keep children entertained with fun games and daily activities throughout the day.
Sanctuary is a joint turtle conservation program undertaken by both resorts. Guest are welcome to visit the Eco Centre, which provides awareness on turtle conservation efforts through interactive displays. At the Turtle Hatchery Zone, turtle eggs that are laid in Pantai Kerachut are transported here to be incubated in safety.
Spice & Herb Garden has a collection of tropical plants that form the backbone of local cuisines. Featured plants are ginger, cinnamon, lemongrass, pandan, kaffir lime and bird's eye chili. While the garden's yield is insufficient to meet the needs of the resort, this initiative is certainly a move in the right direction.
Hut With Heart Photo Gallery outlines Rasa Sayang's corporate social responsibility programs. These programs cover key areas like employee welfare, health & safety, responsible supply chain, betterment of local community and environmental protection.
The large swaths of open space near the hut make a good venue for corporate retreats and team-building events.
Meanwhile, event organizers who prefer to move indoors have the option of using the outdoor marquee next to the beach. The tent can accommodate around 400 people in total. For larger events, the Pelangi Ballroom can fit up to 700 people in a theater seating.
Future guests of Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa are encouraged to reserve rooms through the resort's official website. Guests who book directly are guaranteed the best rates; if a third-party website offers a cheaper price, Rasa Sayang will honor the lower rate plus an additional 10% discount!
Guests who book through the official website are also entitled Golden Circle points, which can be redeemed for free rooms and meals at any Shangri-La property worldwide. Golden Circle membership is free of charge.

Name: Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa
Address: Jalan Batu Ferringhi, 11100 Batu Ferringhi, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-888-8888
Business hours: 24 hours
Website: https://www.shangri-la.com/en/penang/rasasayangresort
Coordinates: 5.47920 N, 100.25474 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.

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