With Emerald water, white sandy beaches, jungle trails, luxury villas, and excellent services, Pangkor Laut Resort has them all in one private island just fifteen minutes speedboat ride from the west coast of Malaysia.
Pangkor Laut Resort is located at Pangkor Laut island itself, a 300 acres small island 1.5km to the South East of the main island of Pangkor. Since it is on the Straits of Malacca, it is not affected by the Northeast Monsoon from October to March and is open year-round. The resort was officially opened in 1994.
Arrived at the jetty
We drove from Kuala Lumpur, arrived at the Marina Island Jetty by noon, and parked at the guarded parking area less than 50 meters from the Pangkor Laut Resort office. It costs us RM20 per day.
The hospitality started way before arriving on the island. The friendly staff at the front desk offered us a welcome drink and sorted out all the required check-in arrangements.
The concierge services were efficient. They tagged our luggage with our name and room number, which was sent directly to our villa upon arrival.
The 15-minute speedboat transfer sent us directly from the Marina Island Jetty to Pangkor Laut.
Rooms and personal service
Pangkor Luar Resort has about 140 villas with different views. We stayed at the garden villa facing lush gardens and the sea. Sea villas are on stilts over the bay, and beach villas are right by the beach. The hill villas are nestled in the hills, perch on the slop, and overlook the bay and the whole resort. These villas are traditional Malay style, with high wooden ceilings, making us feel like staying in an idyllic Malay kampong (village) with luxurious amenities.
Mr. Segar, the Director of guest liaison, greeted us at the jetty with his professional and heart-warming hospitality. He showed us around the resort before ushering us to our villa.
There are two sunchairs on the private balcony, which had become our favorite spot.
Upon entering the room, deluxe bedding, huge bedside lamps, large TV, a sofa bed, and welcome cookies were on the desk.
The en suite bathroom is huge. Besides all those you expect by the five-star standard, there is a separate outdoor bathtub, shower room, dressing area, and my favorite- a Nespresso machine!
Other additional features include complimentary wireless Internet access and room service.
I was dreaming of moving here to be our home.
Emerald Bay- the jewel of the crown of Pangkor Laut Resort
After checking in to our villa, we took the shuttle van to Emerald Bay on the other side of the island. The shuttle runs continuously from morning to 8 pm.
After five minutes, we are at the crown jewel of Pangkor Laut Resort, Emerald Bay.
I vividly remember spending a night with school friends on its beach 40 years ago, watching the emerald waves lapping onto the shore. Today, I finally revisited this beach, packed with all the trappings of a world-class resort, with the beautiful scenery and its dual-tone seawater frozen in time.
The sky was brilliant white in the sunshine. The sea was two-toned turquoise emerald.
We could stay here for hours, listening to the song of the sea, and get away from the hurly-burly and stress of city life.
We came back in the evening, strolling along the beach. Near the golden hours, the deep green and glittering blues slowly turned into golden orange stretches across the sea.
The beach I walked on was like an enchanting paradise, with gentle waves rippling gently to the shore.
I will surely come back to this spellbinding beach again someday.
Food and restaurants in Pangkor Laut Resort
Four restaurants at Pangkor Laut Resort were busy dishing out their culinary creations of various styles to tantalize the guests’ tastebuds.
Feast Village is near the reception of the resort. We had breakfast during our stay, which was included in the room package.
There are seats on the deck overlooking the bay and some open-air sittings in the garden. We chose to have breakfast at the outback garden facing the hill villas.
They have an open-concept kitchen, so you can watch the chef preparing your meals. Breakfast was buffet style, ranging from Roti Canai to salad, but they would send the food to our table to maintain cleanliness and hygiene.
At night, we had dinner inside, which was air-conditioned. Our dinner was a local Rendang Tok with intense, savory, spicy flavor and beef stew. We both love Lim’s
Uncle Lim’s kitchen
Uncle Lim’s kitchen serves authentic Nyonya and Asian cuisine, named after the chef with the resort since its inception. This fine dining restaurant was initially located near the Sea Villas, but now with its new building next to Feast Village. It was the place for dinner on our second day.
Chapman’s Bar on Emerald Bay offers lunch only during our stay. The Bar is named after Spencer Chapman, a top British commando who finally escaped the occupying Japanese during World War 2.
He crossed the line of the enemies disguised as locals and finally arrived at Pangkor Laut Island. He made his last escape by swimming 45 minutes from Emerald Bay and finally rescued the Royal NavyChapman’se.
Chapman’s Bar sits on the powdery sandy beach of Emerald bay, serving various beverages, Asian dishes and Western specialties with the finest local ingredients. We had wok-fried beef Hor Fun and Makanan Laut Bersambal (a local spicy seafood dish) for our lunch.
Royal Bay Beach Club
The Royal Bay Beach Club is only 50 meters from our Garden Villas, overlooking the beach with an infinity pool beside it.
You can dine inside or enjoy the sea view next to the pool. The club serves a mix of easy-eating Asian and Western meals and offers a wide range of beverages and cocktails.
We had Island Prawn Roll and Salted seafood linguine as the starters and Hainanese Chicken Rice and Salted seafood linguine for lunch on the second day.
The Fisherman’s Cove restaurant was closed while we visited Pangkor Laut.
Trekking in the rainforest
After breakfast, we gathered at the library to meet our guide, Justine. He is an experienced naturalist who answers our questions about the fascinating flora and fauna along the trail. Since there were kids in our group, we took the shorter trail from the resort to Emerald Bay, about an hour of a slow hike.
We walked through the lush green forest from plank walk to narrow trails, mesmerized by the beauty of the 2 million years old jungle. Justine seemed to know everything surrounding us, calling out names of trees and explaining the traditional usage of various leaves.
Finally, we arrived at Emerald bay again, greeted by its azure waters and the sound of rolling waves.
The return trip was easy. We took the shuttle service back to the resort.
Other activities to keep us busy
Our initial plan was to take a day trip to Pangkor Island, expecting there would be too much free time to kill during our 3D2N stay. However, we quickly brushed this thought once we discovered extensive activities and recreational amenities to keep us busy. There is no additional charge to make use of these facilities.
The fitness center is glass-walled, overlooking the garden and sea, and equipped with dumbbells and treadmills.
The playroom had table soccer, pool snooker, table tennis, and a dart board.
Beside the playroom is the squash court.
On top of the squash court is the newly opened recording studio (karaoke). You can sing your heart out there.
And the outdoor tennis courts and basketball courts.
Alternatively, you can swim at the infinity pool next to the Royal Bay Beach Club or kayak in the evening. Otherwise, relax and chill on the umbrella-shaded loungers.
We chose to relax in our villa as the weather turned sultry in the afternoon. Then friendly hornbills came to perch on the trees just before our verandah.
Wooden walkway at the Sea Villas
We decided to explore the Sea Villa in the evening. These private villas are at the far end of the resort, built on stilts over the sea and linked by wooden walkways. The villas are designed to surrender the prime place to nature, with some parts made over rocky outcrops. It is a long walkway over half a km, leading to the Spa Villa, temporarily closed.
Mischievous monkeys were on the rock and numerous fishes swimming in the shallow water.
We enjoyed the serenity, listening to gentle waves crashing against the nearby rocks and appreciating the sea breeze.
The full-service spa at the end of the Sea Villas was temporarily closed.
Sunrise & the early visitor
We took a stroll at dawn and pleasantly spotted a monitor lizard enjoying its sun basking along the beach. It was a gentle creature who did not bother about our presence. Finally, after five minutes, he graciously crawled back to the sea, swam slowly outwards, and disappeared.
I walked to the jetty, setting up my tripod, hoping to capture the sunrise.
The sun behind the mountain slowly revealed its warming rays, reflecting on the gentle waves to radiant gold, forming undulating paths illuminating the sea. It was an enchanting morning view.
Check out arrangements
Check-out is effortless. We call the concierge, and they arranged to pick up our luggage and transfer it to the Mariana jetty.
I looked back to the Pangkor Laut for the last time in the speedboat and was already quietly planning for my return trip someday.
Watch how we spent 3D2N at Pangkor Laut Resort
If you have read this blog post so far, don’t miss out on the video we shot during our stay at Pangkor Laut Resort. Click the image below to watch on YouTube (shot in high definition!).
Booking and contact
The best way to get more information about Pangkor Laut Resort is to check out their website. Here is the link:
Alternatively, check out booking.com, which will offer some incredible deals occasionally.
Taman Negara – A back-to-nature 3D2N adventure in the rainforest
Our recommendation. Taman Negara is the National park of Malaysia., a must-visit travel destination for nature lovers and casual travelers alike. Find out more about Taman Negara here.