While glitz and glam rule many of Malaysia’s islands, Palau Pangkor – or Pangkor Island- combines the more relaxed authentic island vibe with a few family friendly resorts that won’t break the bank while offering you plenty of little luxuries.
During my stay on the island, I stayed at Pangkor Island Beach Resort.
Leaning over my balconies railing, the view from my room (above) made me think of paradise, a Garden of Eden, as tropical rainforest hugged the resort on three sides; palms and flowers dotted the grounds below.
I was also left with a very hard decision – should I dive in the resort pool or soak in the sea first?
Even in the lightest T-shirt, in the warm tropical weather, you’re left sticky after just 10minutes outdoors. The expanses of blue, pool and sea, both looked inviting to my body after a sweaty day of travelling from Kuala Lumpur.
The cool well air conditioned rooms are simple but comfortable, offering more than enough space for a couple to spread out.
Along with the high power air conditioner, the tiled floors kept the room clean – though a little slippery when wet – fitted with a large desk, lounge space and small balcony.
Complimentary water was gratefully provided each day as well as a plate of tropical fruit which was my substitute to the heavy breakfast buffet.
The resort is to relax and enjoy but if you need WiFi access there is free WiFi in the lobby.
Few rooms have internet access available so I chose to use my room as my relaxing ‘retreat’ and using the cool business centre (which has computers available for us and printing facilities) as my work space for the days I was on Pangkor.
The bathrooms are spacious but basic.
Not many properties I’ve visited offer both a shower and long bath, so I was pretty happy that I could enjoy whichever took my fancy.
The towel rack, though useful with the build up of shower towels and beach/pool towels, was bulky and felt in the way when I used the bathroom. I personally would have preferred one that folded away into a cupboard or behind a door.
Settling into my chair at Hornbill Restaurant, overlooking the gardens and listening to the waves crashing and birds calling over the chatter of guests, I felt relaxed – just how you should at a resort!
The Hornbill Restaurant is an al-fresco venue which serves buffet breakfasts and dinners, though I preferred the fresh island fruits for breakfast.
Don’t be scared by the stuffed lions! They scare away the cheeky monkeys that often try to find food in the restaurant.
At dinner, the buffet selection at the restaurant is extensive catering food to every type of diner, though their seafood buffet is by far the most popular.
People with sweet tooth’s will also be pleased to find an array of both local and international desserts, as well as a very cute ice cream cart.
Retiring from the restaurant, the group I was with sat around the Golden Oriole Lobby Lounge & Bar for a few hours to have a few cocktails and enjoy the live entertainment – that night, a talented singer doing cover of popular songs.
What else can I do at Pangkor Island Beach Resort?
There’s plenty of other activities on the island including boat and catamaran tours, snorkelling trips, plenty of water sports, a tennis court and soccer field, fishing, a small golf course, archery, bicycle trips, and plenty of movies and books for those preferring to relax indoors, as well as a few that I took part in listed below;
Permanent residents of the island, each morning and night Hornbills will come perch at the feeding station to the delight of visitors.
If you’re a fan of bird watching there are dozens of species of bird that call the island home and can be spotted in the gardens or near the resort.
Relax at the Puteri Dewi Spa. In a hut set away from the main resort the sounds of the beach travel through the building as you are pampered by the therapists.
In the tranquil spot variety of treatments are on offer, including facials, nail care, massage and reflexology.
Get out amongst nature and take a hike around the island with a guide. Leave the resort behind and hit the costal track to learn about the animals, plants and natural setting of the island.
This is a trek through the jungle so the track, while well worn, is full of climbs, rocks, overgrown trees and perhaps a leech or two – I found this out the hard way! – but the guide is very helpful, knowledgable and will go at your pace.
The beach is magical and you can do plenty from it. Enjoy a run, swim in the waters, or make sand castles. Relax on the sand and get a tan or just go for an evening stroll enjoying the sounds and salty tang that hangs in the air.
Spot the islands peacocks! You’ll often see the male strutting his stuff around the island, jumping onto balconies or being followed by his muster of ladies!
Just beware of the cheeky monkey’s that call the island home! Throughout the day you might notice them sitting on roofs or running along the decking; you might even hear your balcony door rattle – it’s not a human intruder but a cunning monkey trying to see if you were gullible enough to leave your door open so they can ransack your room for food and that tasty fruit you get each day – so do remember to double check you locked your door each day.
While walking from the spa centre I noticed two managing to tear open a families plastic bag full of food while they were swimming and make off with the loot much to the families disappointment.
While there is plenty to do at the resort don’t forget to leave the resort and visit the village of Pangkor and see the historical remnants of the island, enjoy the culture and perhaps try some of the island food!
What makes a resort special to you?
Where is the best resort you’ve visited?
Pangkor Island Beach Resort
Teluk Belanga, 32300
Pangkor Island, Perak, Malaysia
Phone: +60 5-685 1091
How to get to Pangkor Island: You will need to drive to Lumut, either by car or coach, and then catch a ferry for a short 30 minute journey to the resort’s private jetty (available every few hours throughout the day). From there, the resorts vehicle will collect you from the docks and assist with luggage.
My trip to Pangkor was arranged by Tourism Malaysia, part of their Visit Malaysia 2014 campaign.
All thoughts and opinions are, as always, my own.