A few months ago, when I was home in Penang, I took a “weekend vacation” away from my parents’ house and stayed at the revamped and remodeled Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa–the legendary hotel/resort that pretty much shaped up and defined the hospitality and tourism industry in Penang, Malaysia.
Rasa Sayang Resort holds a special place in my heart; I remember my childhood days when my parents took me out on picnics by the beach, and we would always end up at the Batu Feringgi beach fronting Rasa Sayang. When I was in high school, my buddies and I would go to Rasa Sayang–snapping pictures of our youthful and silly selves in the beautiful and exotic environs of Rasa Sayang. When friends or family members visited Penang, Rasa Sayang was always “the” tourist attraction I would take them to, even just to walk through it. And not to forget my second sister’s wedding in its majestic ballroom when my family hosted one of the most special–and grandest–weddings in my family. So many old memories conjured up in my mind just thinking about Rasa Sayang. I was very happy I finally had the opportunity to stay there, even just for two nights.
I checked into a standard suite at the exclusive Rasa Wing and found the service very attentive and impeccable. I am no stranger to great hospitality and have stayed at some of the world’s best hotels, but I was completely blown away. I especially loved the bath tub in the balcony where my butler prepared a hot ginger bath for me. Other personal touches include the complete line of Etienne Aigner products in the bathroom; a welcome champagne, fruit basket, warm tea and chocolate(!) when I checked in; complimentary English high tea at Rasa Wing’s lounge every afternoon; and a very special welcome gift–a beautiful Shangri-La Cookbook!! Now, that’s what I call real hospitality. :)
I usually shun away from eating in the hotel, but the buffet dinner served at the Spice Market Cafe at Rasa Sayang was fantastic–wide array of seafood dishes (warm and cold) including lobsters, endless selection of decadent desserts, and very delicious Malaysian and international selections. I can’t think of any buffets better than Rasa Sayang’s except the buffet at The Intercontinental, Kowloon. However, when you compare the price tag of RM96 (about US$30) to US$90 at The Intercontinental, the answer is crystal clear. If you love buffets, Spice Market Cafe at Rasa Sayang is your answer. Other than dinner, Spice Market Cafe is also open for breakfast and lunch.
All in all though, if you are going to Penang, I strongly recommend you to stay at Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa. Batu Feringgi is a very scenic spot in Penang, and Rasa Sayang will complete your Penang experience with world-class service, hospitality, and facilities. What’s more, spa lovers can now indulge yourself with signature treatments offered at CHI Spa–the only CHI outpost in Malaysia. Plus, come night time, the Feringgi night bazaar (or “pasar malam“) just a few steps away from Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa comes to life and beckons with local souvenirs, batik, clothes, paintings, watches and leather goods (knock-off Rolex and Louis Vuitton anyone?), numerous restaurants, and of course, the world famous Penang hawker food served at local coffee shops/”kopitiam.”
I love Penang, and I adore Rasa Sayang. I hope one day you will get to visit Penang, the place I will always call home.
Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa
Batu Feringgi Beach,