As much as I love my teammates, let me just say that planning a #BuroRoadTrip for a group of nine was a challenge that required lots of chanting and calming mantras. So imagine my glee when I found an opportunity for us to head to the Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa in Penang for a tropical retreat. Sorry team, but it was really time for me to catch a breather (read: sleep)!

The Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa is an iconic institution that has been around since the 1970s when it debuted as the largest and most exclusive five-star resort in the region. Designed by a Hawaiian firm, Rasa Sayang captures a unique ethnic architecture with its Minangkabau roof that has come to be a distinctive feature of the hotel.

A relaxing stay guaranteed at the Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Penang

Four decades may have passed since its establishment and several refurbishments have taken place over the years, the resort still exudes a warm welcoming and serene feel. Rasa Sayang is described as a paradise on earth for a reason and I was there to find exactly that.

You'll feel an immediate sense of peace upon pulling up to the resort. Or maybe, it's just a relief from the long and winding drive up the Batu Feringgi stretch. A welcome drink awaits you as check-in procedure is being sorted out. The resort conveys warm Malaysian hospitality effortlessly through its well-trained staff. 

We were placed in the Rasa Sayang Garden Wing, which has 189 rooms with each suite boasting of an unbeatable view of the sea and gardens. We thoroughly enjoyed the spaciousness of the room where a sofa bed got a few of us kicking back and chill. We learned that the rooms were designed with the family in mind, so if you're travelling with the extended aunts and cousins, you can opt for adjacent rooms with a connecting door in between. In some suites, there is a spacious terrace with a separate sitting room and parlour for you to lounge in, as if like home.

For a little exclusivity and privacy, take up a room in the Rasa Wing instead where you're accorded a personal concierge as well as access to private breakfast and lounge areas and a dedicated pool for adults only.

A relaxing stay guaranteed at the Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Penang

Naturally if you're staying in a resort that's located by the seaside such as Rasa Sayang, it is only apt to unlock the balcony's sliding doors and enjoy the sea breeze. It was the first thing I did when I woke up one morning. Our room on the fifth floor overlook the pool with the sea in the horizon. I smiled contentedly knowing what a beautiful day it was going to be.

As part of the retreat, I signed up for the Rasa Sayang's Wholistic Wellness Escape programme (more on this later), so I was mindful about all aspects of a healthier lifestyle. It was tough to ignore the breakfast buffet spread at the Spice Market Café and instead settle down for my pre-booked wholesome meal. The Spice Market Café offers a wide variety of cuisines including Chinese, Indian, Peranakan, Japanese, Thai and also Western. The restaurant has a casual yet pleasant dining atmosphere where you get to see how the chefs prepare the dishes that have been ordered.

Following breakfast, I took a walk around the compound. The focal point of the resort is the gardens, which house over 100 varieties of 133,000 plants including fruits and flowering trees, palm trees, accent shrubs and water plants. I fell in love with the hammock shaded by the majestic rain trees here. It was great for some alone time. As I looked up at the green foliage above and listened to the gentle crashing waves, I could feel the weight of the stress leaving me.

Now a retreat would not be complete without a little pampering. Enclosed within the resort is CHI, The Spa that has 11 private villas, individual treatment rooms, a yoga pavilion plus personal grooming and relaxation areas. The treatments here are based on age-old healing practices and philosophies from China and the Himalayas to restore balance and harmony to the mind and body.

A relaxing stay guaranteed at the Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Penang

But if you're looking to experience a good sweating, visit the nearby Health Club with floor to ceiling glass panels. You'll get a cool workout session in full view of the ocean whether on the treadmills, step machines or stationary bicycles. If you want something more relaxing, there are guided activities you can take part in such as beach walks, nature walks and bird watching.

A relaxing stay guaranteed at the Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Penang

Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa is a breezy hotel that offers the perfect respite for the weary traveller's soul. Rekindle your love for life and all its pleasures as you experience the luxurious service. From its garden full of swaying trees to the beautiful seafront and friendly staff, you know you're in for a relaxing time here.

 

CONTEST!

Buro 24/7 Malaysia is giving away a three-day, two-night stay at Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa Penang in a Deluxe Garden View Room with complimentary daily breakfast for two. Fill in the form below for a chance to win. *Following an email confirmation, you will be automatically subscribed to our mailing list.

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Giveaway terms and conditions:

- This giveaway ends at 11:59pm, GMT+8, 10 October 2016. The winner will be announced on 11 October 2016.

- The winner of this getaway will be notified via email. The winner is responsible to pick up the prize within one month of announcement. 

- The winner will be entitled to bring a guest along to a three-day, two-night stay at Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa in a Deluxe Garden View Room with complimentary daily breakfast for two.

- All information must be entered to qualify for this giveaway.

- Inability to contact the winner within three months of notification will result in disqualification and selection of an alternate winner.

- This giveaway is only open to residents of Malaysia.

- The terms & conditions of this giveaway is absolute. Buro 24/7 Malaysia will not entertain any amendments or complaints on the quality and quantity of the prizes after the prize is in the possession of the winner. 

- Buro 24/7 Malaysia shall not be liable for any loss, including but not limited to direct, indirect or consequential loss or damage, personal injury or death which is suffered or sustained (whether or not arising from any person's negligence) in connection with participation in this competition or accepting or utilising a prize.

 

For more information on Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, head to their official website.

 

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