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.
- 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