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October 2023

Magical Sunsets and A Pampering Resort Getaway at Angsana Teluk Bahang, Penang

Read about our short but memorable two-day retreat in Penang where we encountered magical sunsets, dabbled in local craft making and indulged in a pampering stay at a luxurious beachside resort.

When an opportunity to visit Penang came knocking on my door in August, I thought it would be the perfect time to make my first visit to this must-visit Malaysian state and experience the sights, sounds and food that I’ve heard family and friends talk about each time they returned from a getaway.

But my adventure in Penang was a different one from theirs, and quite pleasantly so. I got to experience an inspiring resort getaway by the beach while learning about local conservation programmes and heritage crafts.

Angsana Teluk Bahang, Penang’s facadeView of the infinity pool in the day

Angsana Teluk Bahang, Penang, a vibrant upper scale beach resort by the tranquil Teluk Bahang beach was where I called home for my two-day stay in Penang. Although it was dark by the time I arrived at the resort, I remember being impressed at the resort’s majestic entrance, an open and spacious corridor space that featured sky-high beams and ceiling. The sense of openness of the entrance was magnified when I saw it in the day the following morning, with the beautiful sunlight flooding in without any obstruction. It was also at this entrance gateway that I caught one of the most magical sunsets I’ve ever witnessed in my life, all while the cooling sea breeze gently blew around me.

It was clear as I toured around the resort that spatial openness was a prevalent theme throughout the design of Angsana Teluk Bahang, Penang. It was done with the intention to allow guests to experience the meeting of the Forest and the Sea, since the resort was sandwiched between the majestic, forested slope of Penang Hill and the pristine bay of Teluk Bahang, where to this day, remnants of the old Malay fishing village community still bring in their daily catch each morning in their weathered wooden boats near the abandoned timber jetty.

One Bedroom Seaview SuitePeranakan elements can be spotted as part of the headboard designRooms come with a luxurious ensuite bathroom that includes a lavish bathtub

Every one of the resort’s 235 contemporary rooms and suites are designed to allow guests a constant experience of the lush greenery of Penang Hill and the magnificent Andaman Sea. Corridors on every guest room floor are kept open so guests can enjoy the forest views of Penang Hill and every room faces the Andaman Sea for the best sea views and sunsets.

Even in the rooms itself, this concept of spatial openness was evident. The One Bedroom Seaview Suite I was housed in felt more like a studio apartment than a hotel suite. My room featured a spacious living and dining room, a cavernous bedroom and a luxurious ensuite bathroom that had a lavish bathtub sitting invitingly in the middle. Both the living and bedroom spaces come with a private balcony that overlooks the resort’s infinity pool and opens up to the picturesque view of the beach and sea.

The resort’s majestic entrance motifs of Cherki, a kind of Peranakan playing cards, on its glass panelsThe resort lobbyEvery room in the resort features distinctive Peranakan elements that incorporate seamlessly into the modern interiors

This connection to the forest and the sea, as well as the sense of openness, are also evident in the resort’s three-storey high lobby where slim, tall steel columns and recycled timber walls, intended to evoke the nearby forest, and a large permeable screen of overlapping glass panels that let in the view of the sea, greet guests as they check in. While waiting for my ride at the lobby, I also noticed the unique arrangement of timber on the walls behind the reception desk, which I later learned was hand-picked at site and paid homage to the old fishing village nearby.

Many areas of the resort also incorporate elements of Peranakan culture in its decor, a tribute to the importance of Peranakan culture in Penang’s cultural heritage. Bright and colourful furnishings and Peranakan porcelain vases are spotted in the lobby while custom-cast GFRC screens around the resort showcased Peranakan inspired motifs.

JendelaYou can catch a glimpse of the outdoor infinity pool from the indoor seats as wellBreakfast at Jendela was a wide spread of international delights, but I’m an American breakfast kind of girl

The resort’s all-day dining restaurant, Jendela, where I enjoyed a sumptuous spread of international delicacies at the breakfast buffet, also sports Peranakan inspired elements, such as vibrant colours, motifs of traditional Peranakan shophouse windows and the iconic Peranakan tiles amidst its contemporary interiors. The restaurant’s lunch and dinner menu also includes classic Peranakan flavours and dishes, such as Assam laksa, which I had for lunch on my last day at the resort. It was the perfect balance of light and savoury, spice and tanginess.

I also enjoyed a lovely dinner out on the outdoor terrace of No.11, a specialty restaurant which serves an array of sumptuous fine-dining menu courses and grilled cuisine, serving succulent cuts of beef, lamb, poultry and fresh seafood with a range of signature sauces, cooked to perfection in its exhibition kitchen.

No.11 at nightI chose the Andaman Sea Grouper for my main course at dinner, yum!

With the sound of the waves crashing gently against the shore and the gentle sea breeze swirling around me, I thought to myself as I savoured my three-course degustation menu under the stars, “Watching the sunset from this spot would be such a beautiful experience. Even better, a sunset solemnisation here would be beyond magical.”

With daily sunsets that paint the sky a most beautiful watercolour hue, weddings at Angsana Teluk Bahang would be nothing short of spectacular. Aside from the traditional Kebaya Ballroom, the resort has a variety of unique and interesting spaces, like No.11, that make excellent choices for events like weddings. The Jubilee Pavilion, located next to the infinity pool on level three, is one of them. When I first set my eyes upon this unique extended timber deck, I could immediately see a cosy sunset solemnisation happening right before my eyes.

Jubilee Pavilion in the dayJubilee Pavilion and the infinity pool at duskLook how magical a solemnisation would look like at the Jubilee Pavilion at sunset!

Featuring a timber design that runs scantily across a glass ceiling and down its sides in a wave-like pattern that lets in the natural daylight through the gaps, the Jubilee Pavilion is the dream venue for couples searching for a destination beach wedding that is not too far from home or city life.

Private beachfront weddings are also possible at Angsana Teluk Bahang, Penang, since the resort is the only one along Teluk Bahang beach. Couples get the beach to themselves and wed in complete privacy, surrounded by just their family and friends, as they say their “I do’s” against the Andaman Sea. The resort’s beachside bar, Fire & Ice, is just a stone’s throw away, perfect for serving up cocktail drinks pre-solemnisation or celebratory drinks post-solemnisation.

Beachfront wedding at Teluk Bahang beachFire&Ice at dusk

On a regular day, though, like the one I had during my stay, these unique and interesting restaurants and facilities are great for chilling by the sea with friends and family. It wasn’t long before I realised that I had no reason to leave the resort to fulfil any needs I may have. There were plenty of dining options to cater to my every meal and no shortage of facilities to keep me occupied. I could even keep fit at the in-house gym or enjoy a pampering spa session at the award-winning Angsana Spa, which I did, and it was a much-needed massage for my aching body. There was even a Ranger’s Club with activities and games for families with children, and a kids friendly pool at Kerongsang Wing.

But it would be a waste if all I did was to stay at the resort, although I was very much tempted to, so I took part in the resort’s Stay For Good programme and visited the Tropical Spice Garden and Penang Batik Factory to learn about local conservation programmes and heritage crafts.

Reception at the Angsana SpaSpacious treatment rooms at the Angsana Spa, all named after a different herb

Located just a short drive away from the resort, the Tropical Spice Garden is the sole tropical spice garden in Southeast Asia. Dedicated to nature conservation, the five landscaped acres of the garden houses more than 500 living specimens of lush and exotic flora, spices and tropical plants from around the world. I took approximately an hour to complete the garden, passing by many interesting plant specimens and learning about them, and fascinating structures crafted from recycled organic materials, and stopping by the tea kiosk for a break as I enjoyed a complimentary cup of tea or two, freshly brewed daily.

After exploring the Tropical Spice Garden, it was time to learn about how Penang Batik is produced at the Penang Batik Factory. Established since 1973, the Penang Batik Factory is one of the pioneers of Batik manufacturing in the island, and houses a spacious showroom with a wide selection of clothing and accessories in Batik prints, all produced on site, for sale, and a factory space where more Batik items are continuously being produced by in-house craftsmen.

Tropical Spice GardenOur very own handprinted Batik creations from the Penang Batik Factory

At the factory, I watched the craftsmen skilfully conjure beautiful patterns by freehand with wax, before hand-painting them with precision after the wax outline had completely dried, in a process of Batik making known as Hand-drawn and Hand-painted Batik. The third technique of making Penang Batik, hand block-printing, was the technique that I was most familiar with, since it was the one I had used for my own Batik making for the “O” Level Art examination back in secondary school. Memories of those days and months came flooding back when I was given the opportunity to try my hand at creating my very own Batik at the factory.

Ranger’s Club at Kerongsang WingFamily Pool at Kerongsang Wing

After an eventful day of exploring, I was tired but my heart and soul was full. I spent the remaining of my time at Angsana Teluk Bahang, Penang by staying in, enjoying the culinary delights at Jendela before retreating to my room to fully appreciate my spacious One Bedroom Seaview Suite by settling comfortably under the fluffy covers of my cosy king-sized bed as I caught up on a few movies on the flat-screen smart television before it was time to check out and head back to reality.

On my way to the Penang International Airport, I finally caught a glimpse of the picturesque coastal road that the driver who picked me up two nights ago was talking about. I also got to experience the lively and bustling streets of the famed George Town, and see the historic shophouses and well-preserved colonial buildings in daylight, albeit through the glass windows of a car, as we drove through it on our way to the airport.

But that’s okay, because I’ll be back soon. When I caught my first glimpse of that stunning watercoloured sunset on my first night, my mind was set on returning for more magical sunsets.

Credits: Feature image and all images of the resort courtesy of Angsana Teluk Bahang, Penang // Images of the Tropical Spice Garden, Penang Batik and food at Jendela and No.11 by SingaporeBrides.

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Magical Sunsets and A Pampering Resort Getaway at Angsana Teluk Bahang, Penang