Nestled among centuries-old rain trees and built in a traditional Minangkabau (roof) style, lies the vast sprawling 30-acre resort of Rasa Sayang. It’s name, literally translated to mean ‘feel love’ is both apt and true.
A luxurious 5-star resort complete with all manner of facilities, Rasa Sayang, for those who have the pleasure of staying here, is the epitome of paradise. Swaying coconut palms, smooth vast swathes of grass, leading to white sandy beaches, deck chairs to lie in all day and smartly dressed waiters delivering margaritas, all these are but a tiny cross-section of the Rasa Sayang experience.
The resort is broadly divided in to two sections, the Rasa and Garden Wings; with the Garden Wing (below) being a newer extension to the original building. Both sections have their own separate pool areas although guests can opt to use either, children are only allowed in the Garden Wing pool.
Lush, leafy surroundings ensure that both pools are surrounded by a tropical paradise environment, with both sufficient shade and exposed areas to allow a comfortable medium.
Access to the glorious sandy beaches of Penang are but a short walk through the resort grounds, through the pool area and along the grassy banks. Safety nets in the sea cordon off safe swimming areas for guests.
As a top rated luxury resort, Rasa Sayang is abound with facilities and activities, from the child-free CHI health spa, to the nine-hole par 3 golf course, it has a range that is both inclusive and vast.
The CHI Health Spa has 11 spa villas and a yoga pavilion. Built in distinctly local Peranakan and Malay style, the CHI Health Spa is built with wooden floors and stone walls ensuring as natural a setting as possible for the multitude of relaxation and rejuvenation treatments and activities that are offered. A variety of massages, Chinese, Malay or Thai through to hydrotherapy and relaxation and meditation treatments are available.
For those more inclined to a physical workout, a state of the Art gym, alongside tennis courts and a par 3, nine hole golf course are available within the Resort grounds.
Other Organised Activities
Apart from the in-resort facilities, guests at Rasa Sayang are also welcome to join in a full daily time table of a range of activities from cooking demonstrations to tai chi
Daily* activities include:
- Beach jog
- Beach volley
- Cooking demonstrations
- Gamelan ensemble
- Jungle walk
- Table tennis
- Tai chi
- Water volleyball
- Yoga classes
*Not all activities run everyday; a separate fee may be applicable for some activities.
For the Kids
With the host of things to see and do, young guests to Rasa Sayang are not left out either. A daily Kids Club runs on the premises providing fun and entertaining activities for the children while adults have some quiet time.
The Adventure Zone located between Rasa Sayang and it’s sister resort Golden Sands is a huge play area with towering slides and gigantic climbing frames. More suited to the older children with lots of energy to expend, the Adventure Zone requires that socks and long sleeves are worn. Adult supervision is also required and a separate fee applies.
Rasa Sayang also offers baby sitting services for the much needed parents alone-time. This will need to be pre-arranged and separate charges apply.
Highlights: Look out for this…
Rasa Sayang Museum
Nestled within the grounds of Rasa Sayang, not far from the CHI Spa off the Rasa wing is a small but very informative Rasa Sayang Museum. Housed in a simple cabana, it is a wealth of history with pictures ranging from the initial build to the vast array of grand visitors who have graced Rasa Sayang include Royalties and Nobilities.
Dato’ Kong shrines
As you wander about the sprawling grounds of the Rasa Sayang resort, you might chance upon some red houses, approximately 3 to 4 feet square, some even smaller, mostly located at the foot of large trees and some hidden quite well, nestled out of sight.
These Dato’ Kong shrines are shrines dedicated to spirits of the Malay-Chinese heritage. Dato’ Kong, directly translates to grandfather-grandfather, two separate terms in Malay and Chinese. They are believed to be custodians of the area and often there are food and drink offerings in the shrines. Incense is burnt on a daily basis and on certain celebratory days (typically the 15th day of certain lunar months) feasts are prepared and offered.
If and when you do happen to chance upon these shrines, the typical way to pay your respects, is to clasp you hands together (as in prayer) and simply acknowledge the presence of the shrine and spirit.
Complimentary shuttle services to Georgetown
While there are a host of activities to keep you busy throughout your stay in Rasa Sayang, it would be remiss to not step foot in the UNESCO Heritage city of Georgetown, the cultural and business centre of Penang. The Resort’s complimentary shuttle services is an excellent way to get to and from the centre of Georgetown.
Take a ride down and explore the different areas from Little India, to the Arts quarter, bag a bargain along Penang Road and try out the infamous chendol.
Who should stay here
Rasa Sayang is predominantly a grown-up resort. While children are very welcome and well-catered to, an air of calm and serenity permeates throughout the resort that is more suited to adults seeking a quiet time to recharge and unwind. The resort also offers a Wholistic Wellness Programme including an optional complete health screening at a local hospital. The opportunity to destress and rejuvenate is complemented by treatments at the CHI Spa.
If you’re looking for a peaceful, calm, quiet get-away in a luxurious, island resort then Rasa Sayang is the place to go.