I've been eyeing off Vivanta, Rebak Island, for a while, and a trip to Kuala Lumpur was a good excuse to spend five nights in Langkawi. Husband and I, teenagers 13 and 15 in tow, arrived at Langkawi airport on a Sunday afternoon.Immediately, there was some confusion about our arrival time.Email of our flight details had apparently not arrived. Not to worry, we had only a short wait before our ride to Port Langkasuka arrived. This is a very short trip and you are soon waiting to board your boat for the fifteen minute trip to beautiful Rebak Island.The boats leave approximately every hour till 7.45 pm.The ride is quite hot and stuffy as you are required to sit inside on most occasions, but still a lot of fun. Rebak Marina is home to some lovely boats and a small shop, and the arrival point on the island.We were met by buggy and driven to reception in a matter of minutes. Check in was quick, easy and pleasant. We were made to feel most welcome and comfortable by Abdul. Soon, we were taken to our two bedroom garden suite. I had requested an upstairs room and it was lovely. We were up in the trees. This room was only a very short walk to the pool area, equally short walk to the beach, and had a beautiful view overall. The living area is very spacious for a family and opens out to a large verandah.From here we could watch hornbills playing in the trees only metres away.The bathroom is large,and well supplied with amenities.The bedrooms were very spacious and had plenty of storage room and the whole place was cool and clean. We wandered out to take a look round and stumbled onto happy hour at Lepak bar on the beach. The drinks were very generous and we ordered very tasty pizza and snacks off the menu.What a great place to have a very inexpensive dinner in a delightful, relaxed, beach front setting.We dined here again another night and it was an equally enjoyable experience. We spent the rest of the evening listening to the live entertainment at Minum Minum Bar area and headed happily off to bed.The first challenge now was to work out the light switches.There seemed to be no logic to them at all and we spent ages switching off and on trying to darken the place enough to sleep.Then we finally got into bed.This was the hardest bed we've ever slept in.It was like lying on concrete.Lucky for me, I sleep like a log, my husband was not so lucky.He was bothered by the bed,bothered by the planes powering overhead till about 11pm and bothered by the buggies rattling past the bedroom window till even later. He did manage to sleep at last, until the middle of the night when we were both woken by the sudden screaming of the baby in the room underneath.At first, it was quite a shock, but when we woke enough to realize what it was, we just tried to go back to sleep.Sleep we did, for a few more hours,till once again we were woken by the downstairs neighbours in the very early hours of the morning, yelling to each other from room to room.It sounded as though they were actually in our bedroom, quite disturbing.I had instructed my own children to walk and talk very quietly at all times so as not to disturb the neighbours below.No such luck with them.Babies, I accept, will do whatever they want, but mums and dads should know better. By now, my husband wanted to leave.I tried to remain positive as it had been me who wanted to come here in the first place.We made our way wearily to breakfast.Thank goodness the breakfast buffet was great, if there's one thing that makes my husband happy, it's food.There were many delicious choices of western and indian food.There was an egg station where you could also order freshly prepared waffles and pancakes, a fresh juice station and a lovely view over the pool area and beach front.No complaints about breakfast at all.After a delicious and leisurely morning, we wandered into reception to see about hiring a car. The very friendly and helpful staff inquired about our night, and my husband told the story of our fractured night's sleep.They immediately said they would have a word with the guests below, which had not been our intention.That night, I'm very pleased to say, was quieter and we all appreciated it very much. We had decided to try some Lemongrass pillows off the extensive pillow menu to see if they would aid sleep and maybe they did.There was,once again,very loud conversation in the early morning but from then on it was much more peaceful.We spent the morning at the pool and beach which were both very relaxing.This became our morning routine.The pool was just right and the pool bar was open and there were enough sunbeds every day of our stay.I personally, prefer the beach, and I enjoyed swimming in it every day.It is a beautiful setting and the water is warm.There are rocks at low tide but I was never bothered by these at high tide when I was swimming.In the afternoon we hopped a ferry into Port Langkasuka. There are always taxis waiting to meet the boat and the trip into Cenang was short and cheap enough.We had fun shopping in the main street before stopping into a restaurant called Sunset Boulevard, for dinner. What a great find that was. The food was excellent. Tasty, fresh, beautifully prepared and presented.The service was very friendly and at the end of our meal we were given delicious complimentary desserts.Dinner was cheap. What more could we ask for? We returned twice more for a dinner and a late lunch. Every visit was just as good.Following dinner, we jumped a cab for the quick trip back to Port Langkasuka for the last ferry at 7.45pm. It is possible to get a ferry at 8.45pm and 10.30pm if you arrange it first with the ferry staff. This enables you to attend the night markets if you want to, but is not general knowledge.The next day we spent the morning at the pool and beach before heading to Kuah Town for a look around.The very best things there were Eagle Square and Chogm park.Both are well worth a visit. Shopping may be a little cheaper, but we were much happier shopping in Cenang. On our last day we hired a car through the resort with a minimum of fuss and picked it up at 9.00am from the first ferry.We headed straight to Langkawi Cable Car.It had been closed every day so far and it was something I really wanted to see. We were in luck, it was up and running. Arriving so early meant we didn't have any wait and we took the ride to the top. The view is spectacular. The ride is awesome and it was a great experience. Back down at the Oriental Village below, we had a great time shopping.We all had a fish spa, which is one of our favourite things, and left well pleased with out visit. We drove on to the Komplex Kraf in Mukim Bohor,where you can see and buy beautiful local handcrafts, and onto Black Sand Beach. Onwards through Kuah Town again and finally back to Cenang for early dinner at our favourite restaurant.It was a very productive day.The car hire was about $50 Australian dollars and worth it. My husband had by now discovered that he could have a late dessert buffet at Senari restaurant.For 30 ringgit,he could eat his fill of superbly prepared dessert dishes.He was in heaven. It was a lovely way to finish the night and staff at Senari were friendly and attentive.On our last evening, we arrived back on the last ferry and were whisked to our room by buggy. The lovely young man who had been looking after our room all week, Mohsin, was waiting with a delightful surprise.He had beautifully decorated our bed with swans and flower petals. It was a really touching gesture and we were humbled. On our last day we were able to have a very late check out and enjoy the resort right up until the last minute before our late night flight back to Australia. This finished off our stay beautifully. We were able to make a leisurely and trouble free departure that left us feeling very pleased with our stay. After the earlier hiccups, my husband decided he liked Rebak after all. He likes to run and found ample roads to run whilst enjoying the incredible natural beauty of the island. I thought the whole place was picture postcard beautiful, and the kids loved everything about it. The service was mostly great, the food was always great, and staff were lovely. We never did triumph over the crazy light switches but when I asked if he'd like to stay somewhere else on a future visit to Langkawi, he was quick to say it would definitely be at Rebak Island again, so it must have been good.Later at the airport we spoke to some fellow travellers who had spent a disappointing week at the Sheraton and had never even heard of Vivanta Rebak Island. What a shame for them!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- We are a 5 Star Private Island Resort, off Langkawi. The journey to this property takes 20 minutes by ground transfer from Langkawi Airport to Port Cenang and 7 Minutes boat ride from Port Cenang to Rebak Island. The resort is located adjacent to the only fully equipped private island marina in Malaysia. Our Exotic Rebak Motifs are Nature Trails, Jungle Walks, Moon Deck Dining,Batik Painting, Mangrove Tours and Sunset Cruise. ... more less
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