Thursday, 21 May 2009

Breakaway - A Right Royal Retreat

In the mood for love? Need some quality ‘couple’ time away from the hoi polloi? Then Tanjong Jara Resort may be just the place for you. Located on Malaysia’s east coast and about three hours’ flight from Singapore, the 99-room luxury resort ambles along a white sandy cove, facing the sparkling emerald-green waters of the South China Sea. 

There is an air of serenity and laidback charm about Tanjong Jara, which was designed to reflect the elegance and grandeur of 17th-century Malay palaces – for which it won the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, a coveted prize for historical authenticity. Here is a pleasing combination of 5-star comfort and traditional charm. Amid the warm wood surroundings, the genuinely friendly staff – many of whom come from nearby villages – go about their tasks with a gentle, old-fashioned courtesy and 24/7 smiles. 

This is the place for tranquil walks on the beach, private dinners lit by flaming torches to the soothing accompaniment of gamelan music, or simply reading quietly with the sound of bird-calls and rolling waves as a backdrop. Watch local fishermen haul in the day’s catch and see workmen craft sturdy wooden fishing boats. 

Don’t forget to set aside an indulgent hour or two, or more, at the resort’s Spa Village, for some much-needed pampering and coddling. 

Hubby and I didn’t stray too far from the laze-worthy poolside, doing the occasional lap to burn up calories from the previous meal (and work up an appetite for the next one), but if you’re feeling energetic, there is a lot more you can do, from bicycle rides, jungle walks, dive trips (the deep waters of the Terengganu Marine Park are teeming with marine life) and night markets, to a pleasant day trip to the riverine town of Dungun about 8 kilometres away for some local food and light shopping. 

For Singapore residents, the resort is offering a 3D/2N package at S$469 nett per person (based on adult twin share) including all meals and two 50-minute spa treatments of your choice; the offer is valid until 31 October and excludes flights. (Currently, Malaysia Airlines operates flights daily from Singapore to Kuala Terengganu, via Kuala Lumpur.)

For reservations and enquiries, contact Lille of YTL Travel Centre at:
Tel: (65) 9686 7668 or e-mail: 
Web site:

- Lisa


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