As you will know if you read my previous blog post on the first part of our honeymoon, Dan and I spent a few nights in Kuala Lumpur en route to our main honeymoon destination which was the beautiful island of Pangkor Laut (Link). Pangkor Laut is a private ancient rainforest island, three miles off the west coast of Malaysia. Despite trying to write a blog post about this place, I am not quite sure I have the words to do it justice. It is quite simply…… paradise (as also declared by the late Pavarotti, who was a regular guest at the resort – they even named a suite after him. Unfortunately, that one was slightly over budget for us!!!!).
Having left Kuala Lumpur in a bit of a panic (we slept in, missed breakfast and had a wake-up call from reception telling us that we had missed checkout!) we jumped into our transfer car to make the 3 hour journey to Pangkor Laut. Upon reaching the main Pangkor area, we hopped on a little speed boat which took us to the island of Pangkor Laut. As we arrived to the mainland late, we had missed the first transfer to the island which actually turned out perfect, as it meant Dan and I got a special private transfer on our own speed boat which we were delighted about. We were speeding along against the waves for about 15 minutes, when in the distance we could see little wooden sea villas on stilts blending into the forest behind. We knew that we had booked to stay in a water villa, but we were not sure exactly which one was ours, so as we were passing we were pointing at different ones saying ‘oh I hope that’s our one!’.
As we got close we could see that there were two members of staff waiting for us on the jetty. The lady accompanied us to the check in area as the man took our luggage. While we were checking in she informed us that the water villa which we had booked to stay in was under repair and we had been upgraded to the ‘Purnama Suite’!! This NEVER happens to us so needless to say we were absolutely thrilled!! With all of the boring stuff like checking in etc. out of the way, we began to make a move towards our suite. Along the way we walked past the main pool area and the beach where again we could see the gorgeous wooden villas lined up on stilts above the water. The villas were all pretty much the same size except for one which we could see at the end which was MASSIVE! We walked past the first one….. then the second one….. when the lady turned to us to tell us ‘yours is the big one at the end’! We were beaming! When we reached our villa it had its own little gate and pathway to the door.
We could not believe our eyes when we went inside. We walked along the hallway until we reached the lounge area. Here there were two separate decking areas outside, looking out onto the water from different sides of the room. Next we moved into our bedroom which was so cute. They had put pillows on the bed which had the words ‘Happy Honeymoon’ embroidered on them. The wooden shutters in our room opened up to reveal the beautiful ocean and mountains in the distance. Next up was the bathroom, which was my absolute favourite part of the whole suite. It had two sinks on different sides of the room. If you are like me, you will understand the joy of having your own sink to arrange the excessive amount of toiletries you packed (you can check out my current favourites here). The bathroom had a huge sunken bathtub, which overlooked the sea and the best part of all was the glass box in the middle of the bathroom, through which we could see the water and fish swimming below the suite. I have included a little clip of our suite below.
Once we had settled into the suite, we went out to explore the rest of the island. The resort had 2 main pool areas, both of which were incredible! They had infinity pools overlooking the sea and they both had a restaurant and bar. One pool area was more family orientated and the other was called the Spa Village. The Spa Village pool was for adults only (I’m not going to lie – we spent most of our time here).
There were also 2 main beach areas at Pangkor Laut. The first was the area in front of the resort where the water villas and pool areas were located, but the main beach area (Emerald Bay) was on the other side of the island. The resort recommended that we took the shuttle bus to Emerald Bay as it was a long uphill walk to get there. After spending about 10 minutes on the shuttle bus we arrived at Emerald Bay…… my goodness, it was worth every minute of the bus journey and more!! As we emerged from the lush green forest behind us, we were greeted by pearly white sand and bright blue water. It was absolutely beautiful! We felt like we had our own private beach (apart from all of the little crabs which joined us there! There were so many of them! they would get washed ashore once a wave came in and within seconds disappear into the sand. They were highly entertaining and very, very cute).
We also spent many an hour in Chapman’s Bar which was the beach bar and restaurant on Emerald Bay…. Interesting fact……. It was named after a famous British Colonel who sought refuge at Emerald Bay before his dramatic escape by submarine in 1945.
We didn’t plan to do very much except relax on honeymoon and that is exactly what we did at Pangkor Laut! Relaxing was so easy to do here and it was made even easier by the incredible spa, which we made great use of! On our first trip to the spa we both opted for a classic Swedish massage. What we didn’t know was that all of the treatments at this spa came with a package of other amazing surprises and relaxation treats along the way…….
Upon arrival we were escorted to an area where we had our feet washed and kind of beaten with a little wooden hammer. The proper name for this ritual is ‘Chinese foot pounding’. I know that sounds weird, but trust me, it felt so good and was really relaxing! After this we were taken to a traditional Malay circulating bath outside where we were advised to walk from one end to the other. This pool was freezing and it had water falling from a height at both ends, but it felt so refreshing after spending the day in the sun. Following this we moved into the ‘Rotenburu pool’. This is basically a hot rock pool where we sat sipping ginger tea and watching monkeys swing between branches in the rainforest surrounding us. It felt so surreal and completely magical. After the Rotenburu pool we were given a Shanghai scrub. This is basically an exfoliating wash where we were scrubbed with a ‘goshi-goshi’ cloth and completely drenched with warm water. The goshi-goshi cloths were also available to purchase at the spa shop (of course I brought one home with me!). Following the scrub we chilled out in the ‘nap gazebo’ until we were called for the main event ….. the actual massage. The massage itself was great of course, but it really was made so much more special by the additional treatments which came before it. I can’t say that I have been to very many spas throughout the world, but I can say with confidence that this is one that will be difficult to match I and will never forget!
The resort offers complimentary Yoga, Tai Chai Quan and meditation classes. We tried out the morning yoga, which took place in the garden of Spa Village and the afternoon meditation class. Both classes really were amazing and helped us to relax even further. We already didn’t want to go home!
Pangkor Laut has five different restaurants to choose from, which we thought was a pretty good selection for a small island. The quality of the food at each restaurant was exceptional. Our favourite restaurant was Uncle Lim’s kitchen which is built around a rocky outcrop overlooking the sea. The restaurant is named after the chef who has been working at the resort since the very beginning (how sweet). Uncle Lim’s kitchen specialises in Nyonya and Hockchew Chinese-style home cooking and we shamelessly found ourselves going back there every second night or so!) We became friends with a particular member of staff who used to make a special dessert for us to share every time we went….. (maybe that’s why we kept going back……). We were so sad to say goodbye to her on our last night. We also paid a visit to the Fisherman’s Cove restaurant which is situated adjacent to the Spa Village. Fisherman’s Cove offers a selection of seafood themed dishes which focuses on sustainable fishing practices and delicious fresh ingredients. I’m not usually the biggest fan of fish dishes to be honest, but I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed our meal at the Fisherman’s Cove.
Having spent most of our time going between Emerald Bay, Spa Village and Uncle Lim’s, we thought we would change things up on our last evening and do something a bit different. We decided to go for the sunset cruise which left the island about 30 minutes before sunset. When we arrived at the end of the jetty to get on the boat, there were a host of staff waiting there to greet us. On this particular evening there was only one other couple doing the cruise so we ended up having the entire top deck of the boat to ourselves! Throughout the cruise the staff served us champagne and delicious canapés. The view of the sun setting in the distance from the top deck was absolutely stunning. When we returned to the island, Dan informed me that he had arranged for us to have dinner at the resort’s signature restaurant, the Straits. This restaurant is set against the rocks overlooking Royal Bay, and provides a private dining experience in booths which are designed with granite and silk. This restaurant only has six booths and requires a 24 hour reservation in order to allow time to source fresh ingredients. This was certainly different to any other dining experience I have ever had. We did not choose food from a menu – we were served a number of small plates during different courses and this gave us the opportunity to taste so many different dishes. Each course was a surprise and not one of them was a disappointment. This was by far the best food we have ever eaten and the entire experience is something we will never forget. It was the perfect end to the perfect honeymoon.
We really hope we can go back to Pangkor Laut one day in the future……. sigh…….. let’s see!
Let me know if you have ever been to Pangkor Laut or if you want to know more.
You can find all of these pictures on my Pinterest account here!