New start for Penang resort

LONDON: Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa in Penang will reopen for business on Sept 28 following a RM100mil redevelopment programme. 

The announcement was made by the resort's director of sales & marketing, Julie Jackson, during a cocktail reception for more than 50 top British travel agents here. 

The roadshow in Britain was targeted at the British tourism market, which forms the bulk of the resort's overseas guests. 

Located along the Batu Ferringhi tourism belt, the five-star beach hotel is repositioning itself as one of the most luxurious resorts in the world. 

Among Rasa Sayang's latest attractions will be its exclusive Chi Spa Village, touted as Malaysia's first, featuring the hotel's signature blend of Chinese and Himalayan healing therapies. 

Rasa Sayang director of sales and marketing Julie Jackson (right) explaining about the resort's Chi Spa Village to travel agents in London.

Jackson said they wanted the resort to recapture the epitome of Asian hospitality and to bring the five-star market back to Penang. 

She also spoke of the resort evoking a sense of romance and history for its returnee guests, especially for some families. 

“We've had couples, who had celebrated their honeymoon in the resort, coming back to stay again with their children,” she added. 

In fact, the resort has received bookings even before the reopening, as it prepares to roll out the red carpet to welcome back many of the regular guests from over 30 countries. 

The iconic 33-year-old resort had ceased operations in December 2004 to undertake what is billed as one of the most ambitious redevelopment programmes ever seen in the region. 

The project entailed expansion of its gardens and reducing its suites and rooms from 512 to 304 to make them more spacious; some were enlarged to twice their previous size. 

The massive re-landscaped scheme alone cost RM7mil and involved some 50,000 plants, providing more greenery to the resort's century-old rain trees. 

An astist's impression of the Chi Spa Village

Two blocks were knocked down to make way for the Chi Spa Village - a 4,500 sq m sanctuary of 11 private villas complete with a meditation and yoga studio, a spa pool and individual treatment rooms. 

Based on the concept of vitality and balance, the Chi's selection features more than 30 treatments, ranging from traditional massage therapies and facials to more exotic spa rituals such as the Himalayan healing stone massage and authentic Malay urut (massage). 

Other facilities include Batu Ferringhi's biggest health club, a par 3 executive golf course and spacious Rasa premier rooms with bath feature on the balcony and private butler service.  

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