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“A taste of paradise but needs to up its game”

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Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Batu Ferringhi
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 14, 2014

Lured by the descriptions of this "five star premium deluxe hotel" we booked a week after a few hot days in Kuala Lumpur city. The hotel is in a beautiful setting by the beach, with lovely rendered gardens, excellent facilities within walking distance of lots of local restaurants, bars and a night market. We booked a room in the Rasa wing which is worth the extra costs. Afternoon tea and cakes at 3pm followed by drinks ( which were refilled every few minutes) and canapés at 5.30 to 7pm come within the tariff, and you have access to a private breakfast area and private adults only pool and jacuzzi pool. Beach towels provided free as were soft drinks all day. As this is such a large hotel, it is worth staying in the rasa wing if budget permits as the main hotel and restaurants were packed ( it was Chinese New Year period ) but resembled a slight cattle market at times. The pitch and putt golf course was fantastic - beautiful course, 9 hole par three. About £5 per round per person but they do let you do two rounds for the same price. Really helpful staff at the golf reception. They provide clubs and balls as part of that cost. Breakfast was good quality in the Ferringhi bar and grill. Quiet atmosphere and individual dishes cooked fresh by the chefs. We paid for a Deluxe room which was ground floor with small garden. Really clean and brilliant air con which was needed ! Room cleaned twice a day. Short walk to lots of restaurants further down the road and a great night market. If you want a designer bag purse , wallet, watch or similar - you can get them here. We bought a number of designer goods which look excellent quality but for a fraction of the price. Great food court down the road - four of at every well with Tiger beers for £24. Bora Bora beach bar was god too for a sunset drink. Avoid 'The Ship' restaurant down the road - awful, soulless, pricey and should be capsized.

Some observations we made where the hotel didn't live up to its " 5 star premium deluxe" tag:
When we arrived to check in, the brochure sets out a "VIP welcome". The reception area of the rasa wing was busy. We were ignored and weren't sure where to go other than loiter in the lounge. After a while someone did approach us and a check in counter came free. Our room wasn't ready ( not welcome after a 14 hour flight) and we were told to come back at 3pm. We therefore had to sit for nearly three hours in searing heat in UK travel clothes waiting for a room. The welcome drink came as an afterthought. Hotels at Chinese New Year time will be busy and it wasn't a deal breaker but we felt this initial introduction to the Rasa wing wasn't what we expected.

At afternoon tea time, hot drinks and cakes are served on the terrace in the rasa wing. Again most days were really busy. The staff seemed unable to cope with the volume of people, especially if people asked for something that wasn't plain tea or coffee. They don't write things down so often came out with the wrong thing or forget your order. On our second day we had to ask five times for a pot of tea and some cakes. People who sat down 30 mins after us got served before us. There were no systems or structure to people's roles to make the tea service slick. Staff seemed unable to cope under pressure.

Both latter comments were not deal breakers and the staff were not to blame. They were trying their best. But we have stayed in 4 star hotels in Thailand which had better service and attention to detail than this. The Rasa benefits are worth it but the slightly rough edges at this hotel don't lend themselves to its five star premium luxe description ( in our opinion)

Overall an excellent stay but it needs better operational management and supervision of staff at busy service periods - and a more bespoke and organised check in service when more than 1 car pulls up at the reception

We would stay here again.

Room Tip: Rasa wing Deluxe or premium rooms are the best. A couple staying with us booked a rasa wing superior...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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4  Thank Betty033
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SL_Penang, Colleague at Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded February 24, 2014

Dear Betty033,

Thank you for your review and constructive comments.

We are disappointed to learn that you did not have a smooth check-in after your long hours of travel and that tea time was not as orderly and efficient as expected.

Chinese New Year is a busy time and we are aware that there is need for impeccable service irregardless.

We shall certainly look into ways of making our operations smoother so that our guests are not inconvenienced in the near future.

Thank you once again for your feedback and we are confident that you will have an improved Shangri-La experience the next time you stay with us.

We certainly look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Warmest regards,

Suleiman Tunku Abdul Rahman
Director of Communications
Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa

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1,940 - 1,946 of 3,482 reviews

Reviewed February 14, 2014

What can I say, the resort is absolutely fantastic. The staff are there (it seems) to cater for your merest whim.
The receptionist, after checking us in, accompanied us to our room and made sure that all was in order. The first time that has ever happened.
The room was generous and well appointed, there was a staff member in the corridor from 9 am to 9 pm to make sure you had all you needed in your room.
The grounds are delightful, the pool meanders around the garden, there are many outdoor chaise lounges for you to relax in and a number of foot masseuses go around and massage your feet for about 45 minutes (it does cost, but delightful). There is also the spa where they have a number of relaxing therapies to choose from.
The buffet breakfast is superb and at night the a-la-carte menu is all encompassing.
The concierge is extremely helpful.
We stayed there for 5 nights and it is the only place my husband has ever said that he would return to!

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Skiiers_18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2014

Wanted to give this hotel a five but there were just a few minor points that made me question it. Usual Shangri - la efficiency, excellent food at breakfast, lovely gardens, stunning rain trees, and friendly / attentive staff. Room furniture just a bit tired and its obvious the money has been put to the Rasa Wing which does give a feel of " us and them ".

Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
2  Thank Keithc05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SL_Penang, Colleague at Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded February 24, 2014

Dear Keithc05,

Thank you for your review. We have taken note of your comments and we will look into the room furniture for our future plans.

We want to ensure that all guests who stay with us have a true Shangri-La experience irregardless of the room they stay in. Both our wings allow our guests to experience the best of both worlds.

On this note, we look forward to welcoming you back to our beautiful resort in the near future.

Warmest regards,

Suleiman Tunku Abdul Rahman
Director of Communications
Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2014

Stayed 27th Jan to 11th Feb 2014 hotel superb,staff superb,food superb, could not ask for more my wife and I stayed for 15 days in the garden wing and loved everyday.We hope to return again next year. Plenty of sun loungers to lay on, the gardens were lovely and we enjoyed walking around every day to stretch our legs.The Pinang bar was very good,I caught up with the premier league football there and the staff were brilliant.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank michael b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2014 via mobile

This is a beautiful place. The staff a great and are always helpful, Great service and the food is delicious. I recommend to stay in Rasa Wing its great for couples. The pool is beautiful and the staff are great and very polite. High recommend to all. My Rating ☆☆☆☆☆☆.

Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
2  Thank mous1086
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2014

From the minute you draw up outside this hotel you know you will enjoy your stay.You receive a warm welcome. Check in is speedy, you are taken to your room and almost immediately your bags arrive.
Breakfast in the Ferringi grill is peaceful and the service is attentive. They even made my husband his favourite corned beef hash. We ate dinner there two nights and it was nice, on one of the nights it was our friends anniversary and they had decorated the table for them. All in all a very enjoyable stay.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with shangri-la.com
2  Thank Olive M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2014

This hotel is nice, the staff are very helpful, the place is clean and well attended but somehow there was something lacking for me. I'm not sure what it is...everything was just 'nice' no real wow though!

We arrived and were shown to our room, within minutes of our arrival we could hear construction/renovation noise and drilling. I had to ring reception several times to get to the bottom of whether the noise was just a one off or going to go on all day/for several days. What irritated me about this was that the operator kept telling me there was no noise and that they had stopped work even though I could hear noise whilst on the phone to her! We did get moved and were relocated to the refurbished wing because I asked to be moved as we couldn't get a straight answer from the operative about the noise. The room we were transferred to was smaller than our original one but more modern and cheery. The original room was dark and dated...having said that it was on a lower floor with no sea view. No issues at all with the room or bathroom - all good.

The breakfast in the hotel was great - typical Shangri-la with everything you could want (too many sweet things like ice-cream and lollipops for for my liking but that's a personal choice.) The restaurants was well staffed but busy like everywhere in this hotel so this isn't the hotel for you if you like privacy, peace and seclusion.

The pool area is nice but relatively small for a hotel of this size with such extensive grounds. There are a variety of depths within the pool so children need to be watched carefully and there isn't much shade. The loungers again are all quite close together so it did feel at times like a European hotel in summer - everyone on top of each other. Again, this is just a personal preference but I don't like this so much. To get any shade you needed to be up early and reserving sun-beds or wait until the late afternoon when the pool is in shade for the most part. The beachfront had more shade and more breeze. The beach outside the hotel was lovely and relatively quiet, there are several hotels along this strip of public beach but there were just few people on the beach whenever we were.

We ate mostly in the main restaurant or beach bar with our children - as mentioned already the staff were very attentive and happy to modify this and that for the children. No issues with the food really - some dishes were better than others - Asian food probably better than anything western as you would expect. We had a lovely meal in the Ferrangi Grill - this was exceptional quality food and wine but pricey. So you have a choice - very pricey food or average really.

We used a hotel car and driver who took us around the sites of Penang - he was very good, not a guide but pleasant to chat to and very attentive, helpful and reliable. This was an expensive way to see Penang but worth every penny as we got to see lots of sites in record time with two small children.

I don't know why but I think I expected more as this was the 'better'; of the two Shangri-la's on the same beach. The other Shangri-la is just a few minutes walk along the beach and was also busy but I think I would have been happier there for the lower prices and maybe not felt just that little bit disappointed?

Everything was nice and it was alright - thats it!

Room Tip: Ask for one of the refurbished rooms.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank speaktojulie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SL_Penang, Colleague at Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded February 24, 2014

Dear speaktojulie

Thank you for sharing your valuable comments with us.

We regret not meeting your expectations and the inconveniences you have experienced during your stay with us. The drilling and refurbishment sounds you mentioned was an isolated case as the hotel was undergoing a temporary power change over last week. This is a one off project and everything is back to normal.

In regards to some of the points that were mentioned in your review, we will certainly keep your comments in mind for our future plans.

We have also read your comments regarding the ambience of the resort. We tend to have more guests during certain parts of the year. However, with our sprawling gardens, there is plenty of space for everyone.

Thank you once again for your time and we certainly look forward to welcoming you and your family back to Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa in the near future.

Warmest regards,

Suleiman Tunku Abdul Rahman
Director of Communications
Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa

Address: Batu Ferringhi Main Road | Kampung Tanjung Huma, Batu Ferringhi, Penang Island 11100, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Penang > Penang Island > Batu Ferringhi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Batu Ferringhi
#1 Family Hotel in Batu Ferringhi
#1 Spa Hotel in Batu Ferringhi
#1 Business Hotel in Batu Ferringhi
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Batu Ferringhi
#1 Luxury Hotel in Batu Ferringhi
Price Range: $135 - $287 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 304
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa has a sense of history, place and tradition. A 5 star resort located in Batu Feringgi, Penang Malaysia. The sprawling gardens of the resort are ideal for team building exercises, outdoor meetings and allow you to enjoy your meetings and conventions in a tropical setting. Exchanging lifetime vows under our sheltering rain trees will make your wedding unforgettable. Also, nothing creates more wonderful memories than a perfect day in our beautiful gardens. Rasa Sayang resort and Spa is also connected to George Town via our complimentary daily shuttle. With so much cultural history and vibrant street art, it's no surprise that Penang's capital, George Town, has been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.George Town. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Shangri-La`s Rasa Sayang Hotel Batu Ferringhi
Shangri-La`s Rasa Sayang Resort And Spa
Shangri Las Rasa Sayang Hotel
Rasa Sayang Penang
Shangri Las Rasa Sayang Resort
Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa Penang/Batu Ferringhi

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