Official Website: Pangkor Laut Resort
Located on a privately owned island, 3 miles off the West coast of Malaysia, along the Straits of Malacca is Pangkor Laut Resort, a whole island resort under the prestige hotel brand, YTL Hotels and Resorts Group.
Far away from the hustle and bustle from the modern world, the island is a haven of peace, tranquility and relaxation. Numerous media organizations and magazines had heaped praises and awards on Pangkor Laut Resort, with Conde Nast Traveller proclaiming it "The number one destination in the world" and CNNgo voted it the "Best Spa Resort" back in 2011.
The island of Pangkor Laut is 2 million years old and has only one resort, hence the tagline " One Island, One Resort", which contributed to its luxury status. It is one of the finest private island resort in Malaysia, renowned for its luxury accommodations, extraordinary services, world-class amenities and impressive spa facilities.
I have always wanted to stay at Pangkor Laut Resort due to its prestigious reputation, providing guests with the ultimate luxury experience, but unfortunately, could not afford to due to budget constraints. It is without a doubt that such luxury experience would usually comes with a hefty price tag, but I can assure you that it is worth every penny.
So when my company announced that we will be going to Pangkor Laut Resort for our annual company trip this year, I could not describe how happy and excited I was.
How To Get There
Our Pangkor Laut experience starts as soon as we arrived at their office at Marina Island, which is about 3 hours drive away from Kuala Lumpur (depending on traffic condition) where we will be transferred to Pangkor Laut Resort via a speed boat, with a travel time of approximately 15 minutes.
Before arrival, we were given luggage tag to tag our luggage. Make sure you have filled in your luggage tags correctly and attach them to each of your bags. This is to assist Pangkor Laut staffs transport your luggage.
The VIP experience begins the very moment we arrived at the Marina Island Pangkor Laut Office.
"Welcome", with smiles on their face, every staff member greeted us warmly right at the moment we stepped into the office while welcome drinks are served.
Check in to the resort is conducted at the Marina Island Pangkor Laut Office while we were invited to wait and rest inside their office - a air-conditioned lounge with plenty of comfortable seating. Guests can relax and cool off in an air-conditioned lounge while waiting for a scheduled boat departure to Pangkor Laut Resort.
The speed boat transfer schedule is as follows:
Speed Boat Schedules
From Marina Island Pangkor
From Pangkor Laut Resort
However, the boat transfer to Pangkor Laut Resort is not free and definitely, not cheap at all. Speedboat transfers have to be pre-booked and are chargeable based on per person per way. The return cost of transfer for scheduled speed boat is as follows:
Return Transfer Cost For Scheduled Speed Boat
Child ( 2 – 11 Years)
The return cost of transfer is MYR 160 per adult and MYR 80 per child aged 2 to 11 years old. Guests are required to check in at Marina Island Pangkor Office at least 20 minutes prior to scheduled speedboat departure times. If you miss the last scheduled speed boat transfer, you will need to charter a private boat to the island instead.
One Way Transfer Cost For Private Boat Charter
7.00 am - 9.00 pm
9.00 pm – 7.00 am
The one way transfer cost for private boat charter is chargeable at MYR 500 nett from 7.00 am to 9.00 pm and MYR 700 from 9.00 pm to 7.00 am. Yes, it is ridiculously expensive. Make sure you time your arrival and departures to match the boat transfer schedules.
While waiting for your transfer, the staffs will sort out and load your luggage in the boat.
Your luggage will be transported and delivered straight to your room at Pangkor Laut Resort so that you can travel with your hands in your pockets. Do not worry, your luggage will be in safe hands.
We were escorted to the jetty for the scheduled speed boat transfer once the staffs sorted out our luggage. Boat journey to island will take about 20 minutes.
Once onboard, we were asked to put on life jacket for safety just in case we fell out during the ride. There are enough life jackets for everyone on board.
A hidden gem of Malaysia, the island of Pangkor Laut exudes pure paradise, offering secluded luxury, exceptional services, indulgent spa treatments and impressive culinary experiences. A large portion of the island remains undeveloped, leaving rain forests and wilderness intact.
The eastern side of the island offers the most luxurious accommodation, dining options, spa and activities while the western side of the island offers a private pristine beach where one could find rest and relax.
Surrounding the island is magnificent turquoise clear waters, lush tropical vegetation and charming white beach. As the boat approaches the island, you will see stunning sea villas standing elegantly on stilts over the emerald green waters and the hill villas nestling high up on the hill, surrounded by ancient rain forest and wildlife.
The island is home to a variety of exotic wildlife. You might find long-tailed macaques and horn bills perched in the branches above and large monitor lizards soaking in the sun on the rocky outcrops around the island. Other than that, you might also find snakes, sea otters, fruit bats and green turtles during your stay on the island.
Moments later, our boat docked at an impressive jetty located at the eastern side of the island known as the Royal Bay. The eastern side of the island is not recommended for swimming due to the high boat traffic.
The minute I disembarked the boat at the dock, I knew I have found that little paradise that I have always dreamt of. Just like what I have expected, Pangkor Laut is incredibly enchanting. It is a tropical paradise nestled on a tiny secluded island in the Straits of Malacca, waiting to make all my luxury dreams come true!
Arriving at the island, we were escorted to the reception area. Strolling down the wooden pathway to the mainland, I looked around and was wowed by the natural beauty that surrounds me.
Pangkor Laut is truly a retreat that offers unique experience for everyone in a natural setting. It is hard to believe such unspoiled paradise actually exists in Malaysia. With accommodations blending seamlessly into the natural environment, the private island of Pangkor Laut resort offers a paradise escape that is naturally exclusive and tranquil.
Pangkor Laut, being a private island, is exclusive to the guests of the resort. To put it simply, non-resort guests will not be allowed to step into the island at all.
Along our way in, well-dressed staffs welcomed our arrival, greeting us with bright friendly smiles. Cold towels and welcome drinks are served at the reception area upon arrival. It was always such little gestures that made us feel incredibly special and welcome. We felt totally like VIPs!
Arriving at the reception area, you will instantly know that luxury and leisure await you. The atmosphere was very relaxed and tranquil. The cozy reception area offers plenty of comfortable seating for guests to relax, sit and interact with each other.
A short briefing about the resort was provided before we proceeded to our room. The staff gave a very good briefing about the facilities available at the resort. We were also reminded to keep all the doors and windows locked all the time, just in case the mischievous monkeys decide to enter and make a mess of our room. The resort have an abundance of mosquitoes. It is advisable to apply insect repellent at any time of the day to prevent bites.
Types Of Accommodations
Pangkor Laut Resort offers a variety of luxurious and secluded accommodations that are so good that you will never want to leave. The resort comprises of 140 luxury villas and suites and 8 Estates, all of which are completely independent from each other, thus offering ultimate privacy.
Surprisingly, all the villas do not have wired or wireless internet connection. The only way I could get internet access is via the complimentary YES Huddle XS 4G Mobile Hotspot device provided by the resort. For those who do not know, this is actually a pocket-sized MiFi device that will keep you connected to the internet at anytime and from anywhere. The device allows connection sharing up to 5 mobile devices and offers very strong, fast and reliable internet connection. Simply slip the device into your pocket or bag and you can bring it everywhere you go.
Hill View Villa
Pangkor Laut Resort offers a variety of different accommodation options to suit different needs and budgets.
From the reception area, it was a long hike, up a steep slope, to the Hill view villas. Thus, I would not recommend people with mobility problems to stay in a Hill view villa. You might want to choose the Garden view or Beach villas instead.
To reach the Hill view villas, you can either take the wooden stairs or the lift to the first floor. For the young and energetic ones who prefer to take the stairs, be warned that there will be quite a lot of steps to climb.
From the lift lobby, it was another 5 to 10 minutes walk up a slightly steep slope, climb down and up a good few flight of wooden stairs to reach the room.
Each villa comes with a private outdoor balcony with sun loungers overlooking the lush forest or turquoise sea.
Guests can spend their day lazing around on the sun loungers, enjoying the sea breeze and spectacular view. An absolutely perfect place to enjoy the peace of nature.
Spacious and traditional in style, our hill view villa is elegantly fitted with wooden flooring and furnishings. Measuring 71 square metres, the villa was well-maintained and in excellent condition, though a little smaller than what I have actually anticipated.
Combining sophistication with true luxury, the front door opens directly into a cozy sleeping area with a super comfortable King sized bed which leads to a spacious bathroom equipped with an enormous marble bath. The high vaulted ceiling also gave the entire space a very spacious look.
All villas have a maximum occupancy of 2 adults and 1 child (aged 12 and below). Each villa comes with a high quality sofa bed, which will be conveniently converted from a sofa to a bed if you are traveling with a child. There is also a small writing desk in the villa if you have some work to catch up.
The villa boasts a very generously sized bathroom. Luxuriously furnished, the spacious bathroom features marble double basin vanity tops, separate shower and toilet cubicle. The only thing thing I did not like about the bathroom will be the basin design. The taps are positioned at the sides of the basin, which is not very convenient and the floor will get wet very easily. The marble floor can get quite slippery when wet, which can be a little dangerous to walk on.
There were also more than enough bath towels provided for every guest as well. I really love the extra large and thick towels because they are very white, clean and absorbent.
The best feature of the bathroom is the huge marble bath tub for two with exclusive bath salt - perfect to enjoy a romantic bath with your other half. It will be even more perfect if bubbly bath foam and bath oil are provided as well.
On the both side of the bath tub, there are two huge windows opening out to a private views of the rain forest, allowing plenty of natural light to shine in. You can also raise or lower the roller blinds by manually operating the roller shaft if you prefer more privacy.
In the bathroom area, you will also find two large built-in closet and storage space complete with two Yukata bath robes, a mini safe box, a rattan beach bag, a hair dyer, two umbrellas and a torchlight. The large built-in closets offer ample of storage for our clothes and bags.
The mini bar is stocked with several cans of soft drinks, wines, cup noodles, snacks and a good selection of coffee and teas. Electric boiler and sets of glasses and cups are provided in the room as well.
Other services provided by the resort includes daily turn down service. Housekeeping staff got into our room every night to spray the room for mosquito, replenished our toiletries and prepare our room for sleeping
The daily turn down service also left us an aromatherapy incense cone for burning and a plugged-in mosquito repellent. But the most effective way of preventing bites would be to have all the windows and door closed at all times.
Offering a very romantic, private and relaxing atmosphere for honeymooners and couples, the villa provides all comforts that you will possibly need for an enjoyable stay. Just the perfect place for one to enjoy some quality time with your other half.
The sea villas sits elegantly on silts over the turquoise sea, connected by a wooden walkway.
Looking down at the side of the wooden pathway, I realized that the sea water surrounding the main villa area is very dirty, probably due to the high boat traffic. There were oil floating around on the sea water and trashes all along the coast.
Pangkor Laut Resort offers a wide range of activities and experience for you and your loved ones to enjoy. In this little paradise, you will totally forget about the outside world. There is no time for you to be distracted by modern technology. You would not think about what you are going to do for tomorrow. Yes, you will definitely enjoy being lost in this little piece of unspoiled paradise.
Guests are welcome to join the daily morning jungle trek guided by a resident naturalist, the Malaysian born Yip Yoon Wah, who is affectionately known as Uncle Yip.
There are two different trek routes available - the Northern and Southern Perimeter trail. The Northern Perimeter (shorter trail) is 500 metres in length and takes about an hour to complete. It is an relatively easy walk, via elevated wooden walkway and clear path.
The longer trek is approximately 2,400 metres and takes about 2 hours to complete. Both treks end at Emerald Bay, where you will be greeted by the turquoise sea.
A really nice place to pass away an afternoon is the library area, which is located just right behind the reception area.
There are also several computers with internet connection provided for guests to use.
Located on the western side of the island is Emerald Bay, a crescent-shaped white sandy beach with clear turquoise waters.
The entire stretch of the beach is lined with sun loungers, complimentary for the use of resort's guests. One can enjoy relaxing on a sun lounger under the shade of trees while time drifts away.
Other than relaxing on the sun loungers, one can also spend their day at the beach swimming, sunbathing, enjoy a drink at the nearby bar, or doing absolutely nothing at all. There are no sea sport activities available at the beach.
I did not do anything much at the beach. It is just one of those days all I want to do is to lie around and do nothing. I enjoy sitting on the beach, listening to the waves crash against the shore while the warm sea breeze gently blew across my face.
The powdery white sand also makes it ideal for building sandcastles. Children will enjoy their day in the sunshine building sandcastles.
The Emerald Bay is a perfect spot to watch a sunset on the island. I managed to catch the last rays of sun before the brilliant orange sun sinks into the sea. But the sunset not impressive because it was a fairly cloudy day.
Other resort amenities also includes a well-equipped gym for adults.
There is also a TV lounge located on the second floor of the Fitness Center.
The TV Lounge is equipped with several comfy couches,a flat-screen TV with satellite channels and a small coffee table. This is mainly for guests staying in the sea or spa villas, both of which does not have a TV.
The resort has a deep blue infinity pool that overlooks the turquoise sea and sea villas.
The pool area is lined with several sun loungers, shaded by white umbrellas. You can relax on one of the sun loungers and soak up some rays with a drink or snack if you do not want to swim in the pool.
Pangkor Laut is well-known for its award winning spa, proclaimed as one of the best in Malaysia. Set in a beautiful garden, the Spa Village offers a huge array of spa and facial treatments to rejuvenate, relax and de-stress you.
Other than the main pool, there is another infinity pool that overlooks the sea at spa area too. The infinity pool at the spa area is much more quieter and private than the main pool as it is exclusive to both the Spa Villa and Spa Village guests. Please note that children aged 16 and below are not allowed to enter the Spa Village.
Complimentary Yoga & Tai Chi
Complimentary Yoga and Tai Chi Quan classes are also available at the Spa Village every morning. Private lessons are also available upon request, but it is not free.
Tennis & Squash
Enjoy a game of tennis and squash while on the island.
There are a total of three outdoor tennis courts in the resort, all surrounded by lush greenery.
For water sports lovers, the Sea Sports center offers a selection of sea sports for hire including kayaking, water skiing, wakeboarding, Catamaran sailing and banana boat.
Take a leisurely stroll and discover the beauty around the island. There are countless of photo opportunities everywhere you look. Every photo taken at the island is spectacular. I enjoy the slower pace of life on the island. I enjoy walking around doing absolutely nothing at all for an entire day. This is when you will start to appreciate the little things in life.
The island of Pangkor Laut is small and it is possible to explore half of it by foot. For those who do not wish to walk, complimentary shuttle service is also provided for guests with various pick-up and drop-offs points around the resort. The waiting time is around 10 to 15 minutes.
I did not wait too long for one of the air-conditioned SUVs to arrive during the time I was on the island.
The island is hilly and we are advised to use the free shuttle services provided by the resort if we were going to Emerald Bay, which was located 5 minutes drive away from the main resort area.
Despite being a small island, Pangkor Laut Resort offers quite an impressive range of dining options for guests to choose from. There are a total of five restaurants with 5-stars cuisines to ensure that guests are well-fed.
Located just steps away from reception area, the Feast Village overlooks the jetty and the turquoise sea. The restaurant is open from 7.30 am to 10.30 am for breakfast and 6.30 pm to 10.30 pm for dinner daily.
Pangkor Laut Resort have specially arranged a private lunch session for our company at the Feast Village on the day of our arrival. We were served a 9-course meal, which consists of an appetizer, 7 main dishes and a dessert.
Soto Ayam (Spiced Chicken Broth with Vermicelli Vegetables, Tomatoes, Truffled Egg, Chives, Fried Scallops and Sambal)
Egg Omelette with Fermented Small Shrimp, Carrots, Onions and Capsicum
Ayam Percik (Grilled Chicken with Creamy Spiced Coconut Milk Sauce)
Fish Curry with Tomato and Okra
Pengat Pisang (Banana Shimmered in Coconut Milk, Palm Sugar and Pandan)
Our lunch menu was a mix of local delicacies and flavorful Malay cuisines. Free flow of rice and plain water were also provided. All the dishes served at the restaurant were delicious. It was a very fulfilling meal.
The restaurant is spacious and tables are big and generously spaced out to allow a good level of privacy and space.
We have our daily breakfast served at Feast Village too. Their generous breakfast buffet offers a great selection of exotic food, fresh pastries, salads, cold cuts, meats, cheeses, cereals, traditional Western and Asian breakfast and fresh juices.
The restaurant also features live cooking stations where food are made to order. There are also wine cellar where guests can purchase wines of their choice.
Feast Village is also open for dinner. This was also where we had our dinner on our second night on the island. The buffet includes an impressive variety of Malay, Indian and Western cuisines that are sure to please all diners.
Uncle Lim's Kitchen
Built on a rocky outcrop overlooking the beautiful blue sea, the Uncle Lim's Kitchen serves authentic Hock Chew and Nyonya chinese-style home cooking.
Uncle Lim's Kitchen is probably the second most popular restaurant on the island, after the Feast Village. The restaurant is named after the head chef, Mr Lim Fat Tat (affectionately known by all as "Uncle Lim"), who has been with the resort since its inception in 1985. Born in the northern-state of Penang, Uncle Lim is known to have cultivated his culinary knowledge and cooking techniques from his father.
Decorated with traditional red lanterns and circular tables, the atmosphere is very relaxed and perfect for families and friends.
At Uncle Lim's Kitchen, guests can enjoy a delicious a meal while admiring the breaktaking sea view. The restaurant is only open for dinner, from 6.30 pm to 10.30 pm daily. However, Pangkor Laut was kind enough to arrange another private lunch session at Uncle's Lim Kitchen, specially just for our company.
For lunch, we were served a sumptuous 10-course meal, consisting of an appetizer, 8 main dishes and a dessert.
Hock Chew Fish Maw Broth
Chef's Homemade Bean Curd
Deep-Fried Chicken in Calamansi Lime Sauce and Sesame Seeds
Prawns Stir-Fried with Black Bean Sauce
Sesame Peanuts Calamari
Oyster Omelette with Scallions and Red Onions
Broccoli with Scallops and Ginger
Stir-Fried Asparagus with Garlic
Aromatic Fish Steamed on Banana Leaves with Lemongrass
All the dishes served are Chinese influenced, which includes a free flow of rice and Chinese tea. The dishes were delicious - definitely one of the best on the island!
The restaurant is named after a British Colonel, Freddy Spencer Chapman, who sought refuge at Emerald Bay before his escape in 1945. Tables are set directly right on the white sands of Emerald Bay with a spectacular view of the sea. Chapman's Bar is open from 11.00 am to 8.00 pm.
Again, everything offered at the buffet was simply delicious, though the selection was a little limited. But the great service and ambience made up a wonderful experience. A private dinner with a view, what more could one ask for?
Fisherman's Cove is a seaside fine dining restaurant located beside Spa Village and there is a strict dress code to observe. Gentlemen are to be dressed in shirt, full-length trousers and shoes while ladies are to be dressed in smart causal wear, and only children aged 16 and above are allowed in this restaurant.
The restaurant opens from 7.30 pm to 10.30 pm daily and is famous for its seafood cuisines, specializing in Western Grill, Italian cuisines and Asian Fusion. If you are a big fan of seafood, this will be the perfect place for your evening meal.
Royal Beach Club
The Royal Beach Club overlooks the infinity pool with views of the vast blue sea.
The club is opens from 5.30 pm till midnight. Asian and international cuisines are served during lunch hours. The club is transform into chic chill out lounge after dark, serving a variety of cocktails and beverages.
There are plenty of comfortable couches which you can lounge around whole day, especially when you are using the infinity pool.
The restaurant offers an exclusive and intimate private dining experience. Similar to the Fisherman's Cove, there is a strict dress code to be observed. No shorts, open-toe shoes or children under the age of 16 are allowed.
Private booth made of natural timber provides complete privacy and intimacy, with each overlooking the Royal Bay. A 24 hours reservation in advance is required if you wish to dine at the Straits.
After a 20 minutes boat ride, I was brought back to reality. With a heavy heart, I boarded the bus back to Kuala Lumpur...
Overall, it was an enjoyable and memorable experience, probably one that I will not forget for a lifetime. We were well-taken of from the moment when we arrived at Pangkor Laut office at Marina Island, right to the moment we left the island. I will definitely recommend Pangkor Laut Resort to anyone seeking for privacy and exclusivity. This is where you will be pampered like royalty.
Pangkor Laut Resort really live up to its reputation and luxurious standard, offering quality accommodation, extraordinary services and 5-stars resort amenities. An oasis to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, the resort offers a very intimate and romantic ambiance for honeymooners and couples, thus is not very kid friendly.
If you love solitude, nature and pure relaxation, Pangkor Laut Resort is certainly the place to be. I really appreciate every of their effort to make our stay an enjoyable and unforgettable one, and every day, we felt important and well looked after. Hence, I would also like to take this chance to thank the team of Pangkor Laut for making our stay so unforgettable and pleasant, and also Ms Debbie from YTL Sales & Marketing Group, for all the special arrangements, which made our trip an even more awesome one.
It is true that such luxury will come with a hefty price tag, but the experience will make every penny worth it. We all agree that every once in a while, we need to splurge and treat ourselves to something special. Splurging on a luxury vacation is a way to pamper and treat ourselves. The next time you want to jet off and pamper yourself, just remember that you do not need to go very far enjoy such 5-star treatment.