We had (literally) one weekend off when working in Malaysia for a fortnight, so four of us elected to travel to Redang Island and stay overnight at the Laguna Resort.
We left Merang Jetty on one of their high-speed [sic] launches. Many things they are -- high speed isn't one of them. If they got much over 17 knots I'd be amazed. My wife and I were lucky; we claimed a seat directly in front of an air-conditioner. Otherwise, with that many people in a fully locked-up boat ...
Anyway ... it's a bit of a jolt to be expecting a 4-star resort and arrive at the island. The jetty is ho-hum and you are promptly escorted (herded) into a large hall where you are given a "briefing" by the PR woman -- very well organised, but a bit too much like a school camp for me! After the briefing, you are put into open carriages behind a tractor and taken to Reception. Here, for the first time, you see that you truly are in a luxurious resort. More queues but, miraculously, check-in was smooth and quick -- no more than 5 minutes and we had our keys. We had two oceanview rooms and they were well worth the money (see photos).
Everything was clean, cool and very comfortable and the shower "recess" was huge and clean. Great beds, good linen, effective air-con -- bliss. I chose to nanny-nap, while the others went snorkelling just offshore. ("Absolutely brilliant", was their considered verdict.)
There are two main eating areas -- the upstairs buffet area, where your included meals are eaten, and a downstairs restaurant, where a la carte meals can be ordered -- at additional cost. But, it has to be admitted, very reasonable cost by Australian standards. we ate in both places. Upstairs is very "organised"; it's buffet style and people move in and out in a constant stream. The food was plentiful and good quality and you could eat your fill. Funnily enough, at breakfast though there was a sign saying you could only have eggs "once". No idea why.
Not being buffet fans, we elected to eat a la carte for our evening meal. The menu is as extensive as the wine list is short -- and we discovered South American wine still has some distance to go yet ... My only disappointment (and I should have stopped and thought before I ordered) was my "baked lamb chops". In fact, they were a couple of very thin, fatty cutlets of the type we would use to make Irish stew. That's not a complaint, just an observation.
In the afternoon, we made good use of the pool area, which is large, clean and very attractive. There's a poolside bar where you can order snacks and drinks, but beware if you order a cocktail, the waiter has to leave and go off to another bar to make it/get it made. All proceedings then come to a halt for 10 minutes while you wait (and everyone else waits too and glowers at you!). There's another larger bar at the front of the resort, on the beach, so sun-worshippers can order a snack and drink without having to leave the beach.
One night wasn't enough, and we were soon being herded back onto the ferry to depart. Checkout had taken all of three minutes but NOTE: If you are a foreign guest. for some reason they insist on seeing your passport before they'll let you on the ferry. Make sure you have it with you when you check your bags in.
My wife wants to go back right NOW (fat chance) and is doing her best to convince all her friends and relatives to go there. It certainly made the second week of our business trip that much easier.
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- Also Known As:
- Laguna Redang Island Hotel Pulau Redang
- Hotel Laguna Redang Island