A young man holding a placard at the airport with our names takes us to a waiting car. It is 9.30pm, and he asks us about 15 mins into our journey what we would like for dinner. I am dumbfounded but kind of happy at the same time as I didn’t realise it would be included on the evening we arrive. Our choice is fish, chicken, beef or lamb, and as I am not hungry, we both decide on fish. When asked how we would like it cooked, we don’t know how to answer. He assists by asking if we would like local fish? Cooked locally or western style? Wow – it’s quite hard without menus to decide what and how to eat. We go for local fish, cooked locally. He rings through to the resort to organise. 10 mins later we are at the jetty, and not too long after on a boat to the island.
The excitement begins!
A little car is waiting for us at the jetty on the island and takes us through what we think is the jungle, up a steep road to our villa. Upon exiting the car are 2 staff members who warmly greet us with a kind of necklace (like the flower ones in Hawaii) and show us our ‘upgraded’ deluxe villa which is lovely. 2 bedroom, large living area with TV, good sized bathroom, verandah, and a large fruit basket. Dinner they say is by the pool and will be ready in about 15 mins.
Part of this all-inclusive resort is a ‘free-flow’ alcohol hour advertised during canapés between 6 and 7pm, but as we arrived so late and therefore missed out, we are extended the free flow with our dinner. Lovely!
Not to long after, a massive whole steamed fish comes out with vegetables and rice and we enjoy it with several glasses of red. And a fabulous surprise for dessert being a birthday cake which partner organised and “happy birthday’ sung by the wonderful staff. It is 11.55pm.
The next morning we arise to chirping birds and a warm sun shining through the curtains. It is 10am so we make our way to the pool area for breakfast. We are the only ones here for the 3 nights and yet there are about 5 staff members constantly here at our beck and call. We soon find out they are hospitality students on a placement from The Philippines and they offer one of the best service experiences I have ever received.
Breakfast starts off with a choice of freshly squeezed juices, coffee, a bread/toast basket, cereal, a western egg dish with beans, sausages etc, and fruit to finish. At the end we are asked what we would like for lunch and what time we would like it. It might sound crazy but without a menu it is difficult to think if what to eat. I ask for lamb, western style. No problem I am told. Partner requests local fish, fried, local-style. Again, no problem.
And as 12.30pm comes around, so does our lunch which is 10 times better than expected – absolutely delicious. This same pattern continues for all lunches and dinner for the next few days.
One evening we decide to meet a friend and eat out in the main island of Penang. As a result we receive our free flow at lunch. We also get a free return transfer to the mainland by boat and a car with driver to take us to, and pick us up from our destination. Amazing service.
Finally, staying 3 nights entitles us to 2 x 90 min treatments in the spa. I go for a 60 min massage and 30 min body scrub. Bliss.
We are picked up from our villa to be driven down to the jetty. As we pass the pool area in the car, we see from our window 4 staff members waiting to give us a wave and fond farewell. Very sweet!
Would I recommend this place? Definitely. But for adults only – there is nothing to do except, swim, relax, and eat!