Thursday, December 30, 2010

Weekend Getaway: Golden Palm Tree, Sepang Gold Coast

Guess what. We have just done with a stressful yet marvelous voyage to Langkawi (the luggage and all are still muddling at the dining hall, seriously) and this little happy family were off to Golden Palm Tree during the weekend?!

Early morning view through the veranda at Travelers Palm Villa

Err.. I don't think it's crazy enough if you're doing that at year end. One should always fully utilize the annual leaves with the beloved ones right. Hee.. How we came across Golden Palm Tree? Well dear hubby was flying from Saigon one day and he browsed the in-flight magazine as always when he suddenly got awe struck by the spectacular column of the said resort.

As soon as he reached KL, I fetched him at LRT station and we had supper at Said Ali, Sri Rampai. I get so excited with his short story-telling during the ride and eagerly to know more about the splendid water chalet. Thank god he did tag along his laptop, plus the free WiFi while having the yummy toasted bread and french fries and hot chocolate? Ahh bliss!

To cut a long story short, both of us get enthusiasted with the super nice website and we booked a room few days later. One night stay at Golden Palm Tree costs us pretty much so we just opt for a weekend getaway. Being the place wasn't that far from KL, we might come over anytime as we wish after this.

Golden Palm Tree is situated at Sepang Gold Coast and it is approximately 1 hour and a half ride by the four wheel from the KL city. But please, don't get fancied with the Gold Coast thingy, it's kind of jauh panggang dari api from the one that's in your mind. Hehe. It's actually located along side the Pantai Bagan Lalang, Sepang.

Before booked one, we get through all the reviews regarding the place, like we always did. Thank you TripAdvisor! Hmm.. I shall not reveal most of the comments. But to play safe, yeah.. We have to know what's beyond our expectation right? For such an expensive stay at such a luxury place, everyone wishes that every penny spent, worthy.

A cone-shaped bamboo roof at the main lobby..

On Saturday we jump start the event by heading to Subang in the early morning with the whole family from Terengganu to pay a visit to my aunt and uncle who's just back from performing Hajj few weeks back. Done with family get together plus yummy nasi minyak, we switched ON the navigator at that instant.

We were in front of Subang Parade when suddenly I realized, "Do we actually bring the stroller??" Aiyaa! Rushed home, picked up the stroller, went to the baby store to get Faheem's mini Pediasure, went to The Mines to have lunch at The Chicken Rice Shop, went to Uniten to drop off my little sister, then only finally we were there. Penat sangat hoke!

It's such a relief to actually has a glance of this comfy clean bed after the 7 hours trip.
We've been on the road since early morning!

The room was great! Me like it so much. Tho it wasn't spacious as such the Rainforest Studio at Berjaya Resort Langkawi, it's actually more than enough for a couple with a toddler. Dear husband was so exhausted, he had been driving for almost a hundred kilometer that morning. And so he simply dozed off on the cozy bed about an hour later. Oh the pillow was rather bigger than the ordinary ones that we usually had and it's plenty of them! I'm lovin' it.. =)

The washroom. Again, the clear glass shower room.
Dare for a naughty silhouette? =p

While papa was sleeping soundly I get myself entertained with the server supported LCD TV. Boy I fall with this one too. The in-room showbiz was fantastic. With so many radio channels, TV channels, paid movie channel, the weather forecast and the news channel.. There's also a PS3 channel! Hehe. But the channel wasn't functioning yet, they currently made them available only at a designated room.

What more to have a FREE Lan connection!

This squarish device will let you entertained 24/7 while in the villa =)

Oh I've just forgotten the little man!
Err.. He's fine with fruits.. It's a real fruit by the way.

The moment he stepped in to the room.
The fruits were all over the floor within seconds..

During night time we had dinner at Bila-Bila Restaurant. Golden Palm Tree has six in house restaurants: Bila-Bila, Stimbot, Perahu, Buloh Bar, Hai Sang Lou and Sepoi-Sepoi. We chose Bila-Bila due to the location. It's beside the swimming pool, and lucky us there's a live band performance and the restaurant is the nearest from our villa.

The swimming pool and restaurants during night

The blinking pool was just an eye opener. It looks exclusive indeed!

The live band is a must to spice up the night life!

We had Char Kue Teaw, Tuna Sandwich and Mashed Potato with hot tea and apple juice. The food was good and fresh. But frankly speaking, nothing beats the scrumptious food we once had at Taj Rebak Island Resort. Hehe. Oh the portion for each meal was plentiful I have to say. Each meal was actually more than enough for two Asian adults! I guess they cater it to fit the westerners well enough.

The Char Kuew Teaw

The Tuna Sandwich

The mashed potato

On the next day, the three of us woke up early than usual. We wished to witness the sun rise out facing the open sea from the veranda. Unfortunately it was such a cloudy morning. And Mr. Lumix can't do much with such weather. We heard the place had always been full with families during weekends and so we decided to have a morning stroll across Golden Palm Tree to the beaches..

Morning stroll.. Mr. Fitness Freak loves this so much! =)

The swimming pool in the morning.

They actually provides tandem bike, but we left Faheem's carrier at home! =(

We were quite surprise to see so many families spending their Sunday morning happily despite.. Err.. How should I put this. Ok, Golden Palm Tree was just awesome! Regrettably, the beaches wasn't that clean and clear as one might expect. I'm not 100 percent-ly sure but geographically the sea shore is actually very shallow, yellowish and it's like a mangrove swamp. You guys should come over to Terengganu, there are clear blue romantic beaches everywhere! =D

The pergolas were actually loaded with comfy cushions but the staffs took it away when it started to drizzle..

Pantai Bagan Lalang on a cloudy morning. The Golden Palm Tree staffs were setting up the gears for outdoor activities at the beach (there are various kind of gears and it's all free!). If we have brought along any other companies to supply an extra hands to cope with the little man, both of us will definitely going crazy with the water sports!

We had breakfast at the beach, get Faheem a nice cheap toys at the stall and slowly get back on track to our villa plus snapping memorable pictures with the friendly staffs: Sandy (Malaysian), Sandrine (French) and Hanoko (Japanese). There's also an Arab staff! What a multi national resort indeed.. =)

It was such a weekend well spent. We wish to return someday, maybe with the whole big family.. Err.. Only when the there's no financial constraints, at all. Haha..

Monday, December 20, 2010

Langkawi Trip: Berjaya Resort Langkawi

On the second day, we wished to wake up a lil bit late (it's a holiday for god sake!) but the little man was awaken as early as the birds started to churp. And he needs his parents attention at that instant since all of his toys were in the baby cot (he's sharing the huge bed with his parents by the way). Boy oh boy.. Or maybe he just can't wait to get into the bath tub or the swimming pool again? Whatever sweetie! =)

Done with breakfast and morning stroll we spent time loafing in the room. At 1130am we started packing our luggage since we will be shifting to another hotel at the main island! Mommy needs to do some kind of shopping therapy, it's a duty free island! Heheh.. We checked-out at 1230pm and our boat to Jetty Langkasuka was ready 5mins after that. It was such a clear bright sky that day! That makes me even more eager to jump start the bargaining activity =)

Arriving jetty, our Vios was already there. Great! With not much of hesitation, we drove off to Berjaya Resort Langkawi! Thank goodness there's Google Map on my iPhone and dear hubby has Ms. Garmin on his. They have been such a good help. Like seriously. We arrived at each destinations without any helps from the locals =)

Nice isn't it!

Spacious and neat! The LCD can be swiveled to 360 degree =)

Just love the wooden sliding door at the wash room..

At Berjaya we stayed at Rainforest Studio Chalet and it was huge!! I just love it to max! What more to see your little one crawling happily and he just can't get enough of exploring every inch of the room generously.. Oh I just don't now how to describe this kind of excitement. I wish other Berjaya hotels also have this kind of room or maybe a lot more better than this?!

I always love the clear glass shower rooms.. =)

There are three places that we wish to visit during our four days stay at Langkawi: Underwater World Langkawi, Chocolate & Pinggan Mangkuk shopping at any duty free store and lastly the cable car ride to Mat Chincang Mount. Unfortunately we missed the last one, though the cable car center was just beside Berjaya Resort! =(

Remember last time I did mention earlier that I wasn't that keen of heights? So I've put it as the last agenda in the plan. And it turned out the weather wasn't on our side at the 4th day. It was raining (drizzles since early morning) so we just say no for the ride. I'm afraid Faheem will catch a cold due to that. But we went to Underwater World Langkawi (UWL)!

I read reviews regarding the UWL and and quite shocked to know that most of the reviews were on the negative sides. Well we can just skip from going there but I don't know. I still insisted on going. Degil? What ever.. =p And my personal review is.. Ok. I'm sorry, but it is definitely so boring. Aquaria KLCC is much more merrier that UWL.

The environment was dull, we hardly met the staffs, the cafe was duhhh?? I don't know.. The ticket price was MYR38 for adults and it's FOC for children under two. It would be worth the visit if the ticket price be cut to half. FYI, the official website wasn't running too! Underwater World Langkawi officers, you should do something with that asap! Ggrr..

The corals and fishes do look nice in pictures, but the facility surround them doesn't.

Done with UWL we went for chocolate shopping at Langkawi Saga! I have no idea by how much lower the price was from the normal price. But since everybody I knew keeps on mentioning the cheap chocolate at Langkawi, I just bargain them full-heartedly. Haha. Ya ya.. I'm not a good spender, I know. My bad.

Anyway it took me some time to pick the chocolates because of the halal issue. There are some of them which doesn't have the halal logo, so I need to browsed through the ingredients first. I grabbed them if there's no animal fat or anything liquorish.

We fill up the hungry tummy here - Artisans Pizza.
You may found this western eatery anywhere in Langkawi.

The spaghetti bolognaise was good!

But my dessert was even better! =)

As for dinner, we went to Phan Tai Restaurant at Berjaya Resort that night. The restaurant has received such an impressive compliments by the reviewers. Regrettably, the restaurant will be closed at 10pm and we just reached there with the buggy at 945pm. The staffs were willing to take orders but we just felt half-hearted by then. Seeing the English men group and Taiwanese fellas already done with their meals and just enjoying the live band happily with the cool sea breeze.. Ok, it's a NO. So we switched to Dayang Cafe which opens 24/7 just beside the lobby.

Nasi Dayang. Ok laa.. =)

Wifey's ceasar salad. Err.. I think the one at Prince Court is much better =D

And the best part of all was, the operation of finding the right casserole!! =D I went to Idaman Suri and Langkawi Saga but non attracts me. One of Haji Ismail Group store was just opposite the Langkawi Saga so I decided to give it a peek. And yes, the right one for me was there! It was a 10 pieces Corningware casserole set, warm pansies to be exact =)

It coordinates with Corelle dinnerware set but how are we gonna carry those heavy boxes full of clay plates and bowl and all? We already have 2 luggage bags, 1 bag pack, 1 laptop bag pack (been treated as diaper bag), a stroller and a box of 10pieces casserole set. Huhu.. So I just postponed that one. If god's willing we might come over Langkawi next time.. To bargain more, definitely!

For the past three days at the main island we spent time mostly at Pantai Chenang and Pekan Kuah and of course, at Berjaya itself. This resort was huge, it comprises of hundreds of chalet. Or maybe, near to that. Quite surprise that we didn't get the chance to visit the pool as we need to travel with buggy to reach the pool (it's near the lobby) and mommy always gets malas to pack. The bath tub is more than enough I guess. Hehe..

By the way, we once had dinner at Rasa Restaurant. It is situated at the happening Pantai Chenang, opposite the Langkawi Tailor. I ordered chicken satay for starters, siakap tiga rasa (as always), kailan ikan masin, hot tea, sour sop drink and mashed potato for Faheem. Guys, I'm having any kind of fish cooked TIGA RASA for a zillion times before but never have I seen such at Langkawi. It was like ikan masak kicap!!!

I was really taken aback with the 'black' fish in front of me and I did query the staffs regarding the fish. But they keep on mentioning that it was exactly Siakap Tiga Rasa, NO JOKE. I told them the one that we always had at Semenanjung was sweet sourish with pineapples and the great smells of lemon grass and all, but they just went speechless. Half-heartedly we finished up the fish. Maybe that was their very own kind of Tiga Rasa..

Here comes the most exciting part at Langkawi. LAKSA POWER!!

Frankly speaking, we will definitely return to Langkawi merely because of this super yummy laksa power. I'm serious guys. It was so tasty, delicious and everything similar. We have never heard of this stall before this. It happens to be that the stall was near the airport and just beside Pantai Chenang. We drove through the road few times and the place had always been fully occupied with guests. Dear hubby decided to give it a try, having cendol pulut at the sea shore was just splendid isn't it!

And we ended up 3 bowls of cendol pulut, 1 bowl of mee rebus and 3 bowls of laksa power =) On the next day, we checked-in at the airport and one hour before take off we get a taxi ride to the place once again! How crazy was that? Haha.. Pakcik, kenapa sedap sangat laksa tu pakcik!

On the fourth day at Langkawi we went to the Berjaya souvenir store to get some knickknacks, the fridge magnet is a must! =) The place was big with so many cutie and colorful keepsakes. I've spent almost half an hour in there, thank goodness dear hubby wasn't brag at all. He just understands his wife.. Forever and always. Hehe. Luv u darling!

Dear hubby and little Faheem in the souvenir store =)

How does it feels to have a hot cup of earl grey with the beloved ones at the balcony in the rainforest jungle? Bliss! Will definitely return to Berjaya Langkawi one fine day.. =)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Langkawi Trip: TAJ Rebak Island Resort

I'm back! Oh it has been days I wished to come out with an entry regarding our jubilant four days trip. Only now I really have the right time to do so. Boy, how to begin with?

Well, we've been planning for a holiday with the little man ever since dear husband was at Vietnam. Why Langkawi? Err.. There's nothing specific though. Being it's among the places in Malaysia where you may find numbers of extravaganza hotels in one region and it is actually an island.. Err.. Or maybe because it's a duty free island? I don't know. I think we just picked Langkawi merely because TAJ Rebak Island Resort is there. Heheh..

We're flying off to the historic island with Air Asia and going back home with MAS. The reasons of choosing both airlines were due to the luggage charge and the take-off time. MAS provides a first 20kg FOC luggage fee. The inbound luggage would most probably be exceeding the 'red line' (as dear hubby keeps on mentioning) so we simply chose MAS. Hehe

While for the outbound journey, only Air Asia tickets left for the specific hour (touch down half an hour before check ins). So we just grabbed them half hearted-ly. FYI the Air Asia tickets were more expensive than MAS! And we just booked them a week before? Boy, we should have a proper holiday planning next time.. Oh we picked 2 hot seats (with additional of RM50) to give the little man some space of his own. And that's somehow a relieve flying Air Asia!

We had breakfast at Coffee Bean, LCCT and Faheem was so happy! I have no idea but he does gets excited when ever we get him out from home =) And he behaves so well during the 1 hour trip. Upon arriving, papa booked a Vios at the car rental center (we'll be at the main island on the 2nd day) and we were greeted with a smiling face of TAJ Rebak's staff (So sorry I've forgotten your name mister!). He then drove us to Jetty Langkasuka. It's just less than 5 minutes ride to reach the jetty. We took a 5 minutes break and then we're off to Rebak island!

Private boat ride to the private island =)

The garden view villa we're staying! Nice.. =)

Massage treatment anyone? With the sea breeze.. Oh boy!

Rebak Island is a private island and the main highlight is the only hotel on the island - a 5 star TAJ Rebak Island Resort and of course, the astonishing Rebak Marina! It's just a 15 minutes boat ride to the island and with no hassle the staffs will bring you to the lobby with a super silent electric buggy. Arriving lobby, every guests were greeted personally with a charming staff and of course a welcome drink. She gets the details delivered to us in 5 minutes and it ended with a picture taken of us tiga beranak! It's for their resort's portal I guess =)

Our room. The huge wardrobe!

Super spacious wash room: The bath tub, the shower room and the toilet

Soon after that we've been transported to our room with the buggy. The room was just as we expected from the website. It was roomy indeed. Just fits a couple with a toddler. Let's just pictures do the talking shall we? =) Faheem had started to became cranky that time - it was his nap hour! So we get him cleaned, serve him the yummy milk and he dozed off at that instant. The parents get themselves cleaned and we both enjoyed the serene place for a while before we're off to the restaurant for lunch.

Sesame Street plus Bob the Builder plus Thomas and friends? Hehe

Believe it or not, it was just us being the local and Malay guests at the resort! I did wonder where are other Malaysian families? It's school holidays.. Maybe they are prone to be at the main island, more interesting activities can be done right there. Whilst at Rebak Island, most of us are just enjoying the peaceful serenity far away from the hectic traffic on the road with the beloved ones. Oh more than half of the guest were on their honeymoons here =)

Our lunch meals! It's fab fellas..

And this is what we had for lunch. Nasi putih with Tom Yam Kung plus nasi putih with butter fish and there's some sort of kerabu manggo. We waited almost 20 minutes plus for the meal. But I'm not that pissed at all since Faheem was asleep (less the stress, haha) and we were enjoying a quality talk facing up the nice pool and south china sea from afar. And yes, good things come to those who waits.. The dishes were simply delicious!

Oh by the way, we even talked with the chef himself regarding the halal status of the restaurant and the feedback we received was pretty much convincing. The chef who's spoken to us was a Malay local guy and he insisted that they're in the process of getting the Jakim's halal certification and indeed they were serving only halal foods all this while. It's just a matter of time - the halal cert. Fair enough. We quickly finished up the marvelous meals!

Having delectable luncheon facing up these scenic views.. Heaven huh?

The yatchs!

The weather was treating us great that afternoon. We went for a stroll around the hotel compound and not to be forgotten the Rebak Marina that was full with various sizes of yachts. I was dreaming for a sunset cruise on one of the yacht! Hehe.. But I'll just wait till Faheem can eat and play by himself =) More pictures in my Facebook page by the way..

The fun activities that the little happy family had.. =)

Faheem first bicycle ride with his papa. Off to the pool!

What a great day we had! We should have done this more often sayang! =)

And those were the dinner meals. Sinfully appetizing, It looks as good as it tastes!

Hubby's beef burger..

Wifey's chicken sandwich..

The super cozy restaurant. The friendly waitress even provides the little man his own plate! hehe. And that's what Faheem had that night, mashed potato. It looks simple but boy.. it's so tasty though it came plain with no gravy and what not! And Faheem loves it! And mama was even happier to see her son has no problems when dining out =)

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