It was with some trepidation when I pressed that return button on my note book and see the huge chunk of money go out of my account and confirmed my reservation. At that time it was know as the Golden Palm Tree Iconic Resort but now its best know as AVANI Sepang Goldcoast Resort. The reviews for the previously known resort were really mixed, from extraordinarily bad, to very very bad to " I will never come back" and the occasional perfect bliss resort. Well reviewers are what they are and it depends really on their depth of experience as a traveler.
Well we travel at least twice a year overseas,once with the whole family (2 kids aged 9 and 7 & us oldies) and secondly, just us, to get some together time and explore new places where we may take the kids safely in the future and have family bonding time. Our travel experience has been from the ultimate in luxury to the most basic, cheap and exotic location on all the continents except South America, Africa, India and Russia.
When I did my research, there were complaints of swarms of flies, bad food, impolite staff, inflexible attitude, poor service at front reception. The list goes on and on and I find it hard to believe such ridiculously bad reviews can go unchecked and UN-remedied.
Well on this occasion I wanted for the family somewhere isolated (away from distraction), yet with luxury facilities, activities for the kids, shopping for my dear wife, good food and plenty of opportunity for rest for me. AVANI on the web site fitted my requirements to the glove; Sepang was really in the middle of nowhere, rural Malaysia, that even the taxi driver was concerned when he took so long to get there! The resort advertised a spa, numerous restaurants with a variety of cuisine, buffet self serve breakfast, pools and many sporting facilities which caught the eye of my kids.
So I pressed that return button, paid my way for a seven nite, luxury getaway with some meals and spa treatments included. Our booking was at the end of a rather hectic 9 days pre holiday. My eldest son from my first marriage got married with the ceremony at the famous E&O Hotel in Georgetown Penang (he and his wife lives and work in New York), time at LEGO LAND Malaysia, and more nites in Singapore for the kid to be "educated" at Sea Park, Universal Studios and Jurong Bird part etc.(subjects of different reviews in TripAdvisor).
After a long taxi ride from Subang Kuala Lumpur Airport, past the F1 Sepang Race track and very interesting country side (coconut plantations, oil palm, dragon fruit gardens etc etc) we got there to a very pleasant reception. With the minimum of fuss our luggage was taken care of and the kids who were "BUSTING" taken to the toilets and we were seated while the paper work was being finalized, vouchers printed off and we were eased into our holiday. There was a very refreshing and truly unique exotic welcome cocktail with a dramatic blue/purple hue from the dragon fruit mash. I had this many more times during the stay as it really was nice and non alcoholic. Our "room" 722 was at one of the top fronds of the coconut tree layout of the resort. We were abit taken aback as it seemed so far away. I counsel the kids as it was over water and would be great exercise. To the rescue, our butler told us there were push bikes for all to use and on call were electric buggies to take us around, I think it must over a kilometer from reception to our room in the tropical heat. RECEPTION a big PASS for efficiency, intimacy and service!!!
Our "room" was a self-contained house on stilts; two giant bedroom, with the master featuring a four post bed, with decorative mossy nets, which could sleep at least our whole family. It had a luxurious walk thru robe and a sunken bath in the wet area with separate tropical rain shower head. There was a day room with a superbly comfortable day bed and writing desk. The Room was well appointed, clean, spacious and very comfortable. Our butler had even taken care to pre cool the room before we were led there. "Room" a big PASS!!! REAL luxury (with out the worry of fussy decorative items which you may break accidentally with kids) attention to detail (the nicest lemon grass shampoo and cosmetics on offer) and a wonderful open plan feel with privacy for the adults well catered for.
We arrived there on a Friday and the place was fully booked but never at anytime did we feel crowded as the resort really is well designed with its separate "wings or as they call it fronds. The next morning after breakfast the family hit the pool. It really is a dipping pool and is just great for the kids. not too big, not too small just right for its design concept. Sit around the infinity pool and relax in one of the many Cabana, or stretch out in one of their many sun deck lounges. We did have to wait a little while to get a cabana but during our whole stay we never waited for more than a few minute. I works on a first come first serve basis. and you cannot pre book a cabana for your exclusive use. Very civilized. It became our daily routine to relax with the kids in a cabana after breakfast every day. So pleasant with a nice swaying breeze, gentle activity around you and the attentive care of waiting staff happy to serve and recommend from their menu.
The menu is a bit limited though but the prices are very reasonable. Service is prompt and efficient even for my orders of countless glasses of ice.
Food and Beverage
Beside the pool is the buffet breakfast and smorgasbord lunch area. Very convenient and appropriated. Breakfast offered a wide variety of choices ranging from Asian (Japanese, Chinese, Malaysian) Continental, noodle bar, egg station and enormous quantity of food. However there were some shortfalls; being used to the high quality of fresh squeezed juices in Australia, the offering of apple and orange juice was not to my standard. The noodle bar in my opinion would be a vegetarians' delight; there was no meat and I am a carnivore of the first degree. Mind you the soup base served with the variety of noodles was really nice and without obvious MSG!! BACON is no no in all Malaysia so I was to be without it for the week but the egg station made up for it with perfect fluffy omelets in generous servings. Now I understand why there is always a line of people waiting so patiently!! Well done.......and minimal flies....very bearable.
We had dinner at their other restaurant also. The Perahu is a must do, serving European Cuisine, the chef must be a "closet artist" waiting to emerge. He came to our table to introduce his specials and we were not disappointed. Not only was the cooking to perfection but the plating and presentation of a world class standard. Best of all was the atmosphere and ambiance. Moon light, slight ocean breeze, gently lapping of the waves on the sandy beach, superb UN-intrusive service, delightful food and attention to detail. I had the Wagyu Steak cooked to perfection . With its high fat count it can be a messy lump of grease if not cooked at the right temperature and duration, turning it only once over! My wife's lemon grass crème Broulee was to die for as was the home made ice creme. Well worth the effort from 722 to the other end of the resort.
The Stimbot was nice but in comparison to the Perahu was no competition. Still a pleasant evening though.
Being of Chinese origin we looked forward to the lunch at the Hai Sang Lou Restaurant. Now I did say Perahu was excellent but what this restaurant lack in ambience of the Perahu it made it up many many folds with the exquisite presentation of the finest DIM SUM I have had in Asia. They were delicate, dainty and so very fresh and tasty. Mind you we had the captain serve our table and I did say to her, bring us the best of what you have and she surely did!!!! Not quantity but quality and if we wanted more she would have it freshly steamed so that it was always at its best when served.
These two restaurants are stand out places but for so different reason. When you go, do not forget these must do. AND do ask for the chef at Perahu and the Captain at Hai Sang Lou Chinese Restaurant
Sporting facilities were well maintained and kept our children and us entertained. The go kart was so good the kids and us must have got on it for over 30 rounds of the circuit. We had a few games of paint ball and many arrows were shot in the range. ATV was ok but the track is a bit ordinary. Beach was wonderful and clean. On the few occasions the tide went fully out it was just pure bliss with sandy coverage to as far as the eyes could see, no hidden debris covered by the sea, just a clean underwater desert unblemished with human intervention. In the evening hanging around under the room every nite were schools of fish attracted by the bright lights and attesting to the pristine nature of the waters around the resort.
We had some spa treatments. Mine was ok as I like my body "abused" with painful stretching and gentle boxing (like the traditional Thai Massage) and I got a SOOTHING RELAXING MASSAGE. Well I should have noticed the word pampering. However my wife feel in love with the service there. She is a beauty therapist and has her own spa. So when offered the hot stone massage, the body scrub and a relaxing massage she took it all and will return for more as it was that good.
We took a side trip to Kuala Lumpur complements of the hotel daily shuttle. Well worth a break for those who need the city lights and some very good shopping.
I came for peace and quiet and I got what I came for with bonus, good food at the restaurants, enough activity to keep my kids entertained and out of my hair, some pampering and indulgence for my wife. So all's happy. What else can you ask for!! A perfect balance for those who want to getaway!
Value......it is a luxury resort, everything was just perfect, I would call it .....not cheap but definably not expensive........I thing value for money if you are not an alcoholic drinker is the right call.
Well done Trevor and thank you and your staff Cedric!
We did finish off our stay with a in house dinner on the balcony. Expensive but sooooo goood. . Maybe it was the romance of open fire flares, candle lit balcony, dinner cooked specifically by a chef obviously enthusiastic with his art, views to the Straits of Malacca , service which can only be found in a culture in bred with home care. Butlers of Knights bridge London beware!!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- AVANI Sepang Goldcoast Resort stretches out from the Sepang coastline, almost a kilometer into the sheltered waters of the Straits of Malacca with 392 luxuriously appointed over water villas that shape a palm tree. This new upscale resort offers guests a wide range of sports and entertainment activities as well as great food & beverage outlet selection. Located in the district of Sepang, in the southern part of the state of Selangor, AVANI Sepang Goldcoast Resort is a short 35 minute drive from Kuala Lumpur International Airport. The resort is also conveniently located close to the Sepang International Circuit - home to the Malaysian leg of the F1 race. Inspired by Polynesian and Maldivian architecture, blended with contemporary Malaysian interior design, each over water villa showcases a range of features that will ensure you take full advantage of the relaxed comfort, knowing we have the details covered. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Golden Palm Tree Iconic Resort And Spa
- Golden Palm Tree Iconic Hotel Sepang