A backpackers’ paradise, Malaysia is known for being one of Southeast Asia’s cheapest destinations. But that doesn’t mean staying in hostels and dorms; luxury in Malaysia comes with a pleasantly small price tag. While researching the upcoming Rough Guide to Southeast Asia on a Budget, Kiki Deere went in search of the best luxury hotels and resorts for those after some pampering:
Tanjong Jara, Terengganu
This luxurious retreat overlooking the turquoise waters of Malaysia’s pristine east coast is designed to reflect the elegance of seventeenth century Istanas, grand wooden palaces of Malay sultans. The tastefully decorated rooms featuring local timber are set around seventeen hectares of tropical grounds shaded by palm trees. The exclusive Anjung Suite measures 176 square metres and features an outdoor bath set in its own private garden. The resort’s award-winning Spa Village offers therapies based on traditional Malay treatments that have been handed down from generation to generation.
Doubles from US$400. www.tanjongjararesort.com
Tiger Rock, Pangkor Island
Set on twelve acres of lush jungle on Pangkor Island off the west coast of Malaysia, Tiger Rock features eight tastefully decorated rooms dotted around verdant grounds overlooking the sea and the mainland. The buildings are fashioned after traditional Malay kampung (village) houses, and each is individually designed and furnished with the owners’ very own collections of furniture artefacts, books and paintings, as well as intricate textiles and handmade ceramics. Rates include three daily meals, all lovingly prepared by the outstanding chef Bavanni using the island’s freshest ingredients.
US$205 per person per night, full board. www.tigerrock.info
Teluk Nipah beach in Pangkor island © shaifulzamri/Shutterstock