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Friday, July 6, 2012

Pangkor Laut Resort

I just returned from a 4 night 5 days family trip to Pangkor Laut Resort and this was my second trip to PLR. My first trip was about 7 years ago and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised at how well maintained the resort and its facilities were. We went on a package deal which is only available to Malaysians (and Singaporeans, I think) which cost RM799 for 3 days 2 nights with all meals and speedboat transfer from Lumut Jetty included but you only get a choice of either staying in the Garden Villa or the Hilla Villa. I personally think that this is a pretty good deal as published rates for this resort for a garden or hill villa are about USD400++ per night. And food prices there are exhorbitant of course!

With this package, you are only allowed to have your meals in a few places and not ALL restaurants. Breakfast is held at the Feast Village while you are allowed to have your lunch either at Chapman's Bar (on Emerald Bay) or the Royal Bay Beach Club by the poolside. Dinner can be had at either Uncle Lim's Chinese Restaurant or the Feast Village which serves a mixture of both western and local cuisine. When I first made a trip to PLR about 7 years ago, the package was also at RM799 but we were allowed to order an unlimited amount of food! Currently, you are allowed to choose 1 appetiser, 1 main course and 1 dessert. Hey, I suppose with inflation, seeing that they didn't raise the price of the package, they had to do SOMETHING to lower their costs right?

One of the reasons why I like PLR is because it's not too far from home. It only takes about 3 hours to drive to Lumut Jetty. Another reason is the beautiful and clean beach called Emerald Bay. The water remains clear and the beach is still almost sandy white.

After lazing around in the sun on Emerald Bay, we usually have lunch at Chapman's Bar on Emerald Bay. Here, they also serve a mixture of Western and Local Cuisine. I must say that the quality of the food is not bad. Food pictures from Chapman's Bar below..

PLR also offers a Spa Village for the spa enthusiasts. I must first pre-empt everyone that the spa is uber expensive! For a 105 minute massage, you would have to fork out RM450! You can get the whole list of spa treatment and prices here. All spa experiences would normally start with what they call a 'Bath Experience'. This starts with going through a cold pool of water, then getting up and moving to an area where you are asked to take in four different scents which are supposed to invoke four different feelings, i.e. calm, passion, uplifting and something else (sorry, my memory fails me!). After that, you are led into a Japanese bath house where you are supposed to scrub the front of your body yourself with a loofah. Subsequently, you are led to an outdoor hot pool where you immerse yourself while waiting for the back scrub performed by the massage therapists. After the back scrub, you are presented a complimentary sarong to take home and led to a waiting area where you relax with a cup of tea while waiting for your actual massage to start. It was a good experience but I just couldn't bear to go more than once as it was sooooo expensive and I can get lots more massages back home with the same price!

If you are into sports activities, PLR offers 3 outdoor tennis courts, squash courts and also a range of sea activities like kayaking (is there such a word?), banana boat ride (RM120 for 10 mins ride!), wakeboarding, water skiing, snorkelling and fishing. The kayaks can be rented for only RM20 per hour so it's the cheapest option by far. Fishing and snorkelling trips costs RM220 per person for a 3 hour trip with a maximum of 4 persons per boat. Every additional hour costs RM80 per boat. Let's just say, for fishing, you'll be hard pressed to actually find any fish taking your bait...So I say, save your money for something else!

The sea sport activities are not done on Emerald Bay but on the opposite side of the island. We rented a kayak for an hour and immediately after, felt that we had small needles pricking our hands and legs! When I looked closely, I could also see that my hands were shimmering from a kind of substance (we couldn't figure out what it was). Suffice to say, all 6 of us was very uncomfortable after that as the feeling did not go away even after a bath and a scrub down! It only started to feel better the next day. So we're thinking the water might not be as clean. Shudder to think what it could have been caused by...

All in all, we had a great trip which was both relaxing but also very tiring. Why tiring? Because my husband and I chose to stay in the Hill Villa. All I remembered was that the view from the villa was fantastic and it was nice and quiet up there. What I had FORGOTTEN, was that it was such a chore getting up to the villa in the first place! So many steps, then we have to take a lift up, then more walking and more steps! We had forgotten that we were 7 years younger when we first came! Hahaha. Suffice to say, if I do return to PLR again, I will be staying in the Garden Villas!
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