About Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa

  • high speed internet in room
  • swimming pool
  • shuttle bus service
  • free internet
  • restaurant
  • bar lounge
  • fitness center
  • free parking
  • spa
  • wifi
  • business services
  • suites
  • public wifi
  • wheelchair access
  • free wireless internet in room
  • air conditioning
  • room service
  • dry cleaning
  • refrigerator
  • meeting room
  • non smoking rooms
  • laundry service
  • flatscreen tv
  • concierge desk
  • banquet room
  • family rooms
  • multilingual staff
  • breakfast buffet
  • airport transportation
  • outdoor pool
  • conference facilities
  • parking
  • housekeeping
  • free breakfast
  • minibar
  • private balcony
  • breakfast available
  • beach
  • reduced mobility rooms
  • sauna
  • free shuttle or taxi services
  • facilities for disabled guests
  • kids activities
  • tennis court
  • poolside bar
  • kids club
  • babysitting
  • butler service
  • adult pool
  • safe

Reviews summary

( 4053 reviews)

10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog

Rasa Sayang - Rasa Wing

Reviewed Fri 14th of December 2012

"My family stayed in the Rasa Sayang (Rasa Wing) in Penang during June 2007. The hotel has recently undergone a major renovation program. The size and quality of the rooms in the Rasa Wing are definitely worth the extra cost. The rooms are very spacious and the bathrooms are absolutely stunning, especially in the Premium Deluxe rooms. An advantage of staying in the Rasa Wing is that you are entitled to a lounge access (with the usual associated benefits and High Tea served in the afternoon). The Spice Market restaurant serves a nice buffet, both for breakfast and dinner. The pool bar has a reasonable selection of snacks and you are given a remote radio buzzer to use for attracting the staff to order drinks etc. The Chi Spa offers a wide range of treatments in a relaxing environment. We found the staff to be extgremely efficient, courteous and unobtrusive. The main pool is shaded by large trees which the hotel has used to good effect in its landscaping. The only negative comment I have is that e-mail connectivity was not the easiest I have come across but the staff were able to rectify that in a very short time."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sat 9th of June 2007

Great hotel shame about the tour operator

Reviewed Thu 25th of October 2012

"Hotel and staff excellent but booked trip though Thomas Cook Signature who charged us £17 per person per day for pre-paid breakfast. On arrival the hotel only charged £13.80.
Complaint to Thomas Cook was a waste of time so never prepay them for Breakfast here unless you want to be ripped off."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Fri 1st of June 2007

Oasis in Penang

Reviewed Wed 12th of December 2012

"We spent a long Easter week-end at the Rasa Sayang and found the grounds to be some of the best we had ever seen in a resort, with its spectacular trees, great pool design and CHI spa making this Shangri-La a notch above the competition. However iIt does not come cheap, the service can be variable (despite the staff trying very hard) and the room furniture could have been more generous.

But we were glad we chose a premier studio room in the Garden Wing for the stunning views, more space for our 3 year old and the extra benefits - as we ended up wanting to stay in the hotel all the time rather than visiting the island. We found Penang's traffic (almost one car per capita) to be off-putting and the current construction boom will only make things worse. The congestion means it is no longer any fun walking or hiring a trishaw in the old parts of Georgetown. Much better just to stay in the fabulous Rasa Sayang gardens and relax at the CHI spa."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sat 7th of April 2007

Fab place!

Reviewed Wed 19th of December 2012

"We stayed at the Rasa Sayag for a week a couple of weeks ago. Sure it is expensive by Malaysian standards, but what a hotel!! The grounds and pool areas are absolutely stunning, total luxury.

What is the main strength of this hotel are the staff, genuinely friendly and helpful people who are delighted to be working there and to be doing their job.

My tip would be to stay at the Rasa Wing, the additional cost, small in the overall scheme of things is really worth it.

The only negative thing I would say is that outside the hotel itself the beach is a bit disappointing, a bit dirty and negleted, and the roads in the resort are busy and a bit smelly."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Fri 16th of March 2007

Excellent But Make Sure You Stay in the Rasa Wing

Reviewed Wed 19th of December 2012

"We have stayed at the Rasa Sayang twice before this trip. We originally booked our stay in Penang last year before the hotel reopened and were not really aware of the benefits of staying in the Rasa Wing rather than the Garden Wing and booked to stay in the Garden Wing. When we read that the hotel had undergone major renovations I was very excited to see what had been done. On checking in, the general lobby and lounge areas are amazing - very different. Unfortunately the Garden Wing room did not live up to to the refurbishments downstairs!! The rooms had had a very basic repaint, some new soft furnishings (although the curtains weren't changed and look a little odd with the new colour scheme) and new carpets. Also, if you are staying in the Garden Wing you are not allowed to use the Rasa Wing pool or lounge. Having stayed in the hotel for a few nights we decided to see if we could move to the Rasa Wing. It is so worth it. For roughly £50 per room per night (including taxes) you get free breakfast, high tea, drinks from 11am to 7:30pm in the Rasa lounge (including alcohol) and from 5pm to 7:30pm you get free champagne and cocktails. With breakfast costing just under £15 per person and a beer costing around £3.50 it is well worth the extra money to upgrade.

The hotel itself is stunning. The pool and grounds are lovely and the staff are so helpful and friendly. The night market, restaurants and hawker centre outside the hotel are well worth visiting - we ate outside the hotel virtually every night."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 27th of February 2007

Not feeling the love at Rasa Sayang

Reviewed Thu 8th of November 2012

"If you want Four Seasons luxury, stay at a Four Seasons property, don't waste your money here. Unless you are paying over USD500 a night to stay at the Rasa Wing rooms, it is not worth the money to stay at this "refurbished" hotel.

Prior to being refurbished as a "luxury" resort which reopened in October 2006, the Rasa Sayang Resort was always the beacon of immaculate service and unsurpassed comfort and leisure on the beautiful island of Penang, off the west coast of peninsula Malaysia. Growing up on the island in the 80's and early 90's, I remember how it was always "The Place" everyone went to on the island for top notch service, a restful getaway or to celebrate a special occasion. I am sad to report that the upgrades to this wonderful resort have resulted in more disappointments than pleasant surprises.

First though, the best things remain : the service is still the friendliest, and the grounds of the property are still unsurpassed because they have preserved the 5 or 6 hundred-year-old "flame of the forest" trees which stand majestically over dozens of deck chairs allowing guests to a choice of shady sunbathing spots.

The biggest disappointment is that the Garden Wing rooms are not worth the RM1300 per night (after taxes, which is approx US$350) I paid. I stayed in those rooms before the refurbishment, when it cost under RM400 (approx US$125) a night. Not much has changed in the rooms since the refurb. Nicer lobby area, new uniforms for the staff. New towels, but same old paintings, wallpaper, mismatched curtains, carpeting and soft furnishings (imagine green curtains, yellow sofa and red quilt). Some drawers did not open fully. One of the bath towels was torn. The turndown service was inconsistent. Despite what is stated on the website and in-room literature, the yoga pavillion is not functioning and there are no regular yoga classes.

The best thing about the property is the CHI spa.

They also reduced the number of eating outlets. The Ferringhi bar & grill is fantastic, but formal. The Spice Market Cafe is a regular hotel buffet with strong a la carte selection, but has a dresscode. So, on this beach front property, there is no where you can actually have dinner in your shorts, a t-shirt and flip-flops. There are two other beach bars on the property, but both close at sunset.

The management clearly intend on keeping two "classes" of guests on the property. The Rasa Wing guests have their own lobby, their own lounge with free breakfast and tea spread, and even their own pool, plus are free to use all other hotel facilities. Garden Wing guests aren't allowed in these areas, but we are not informed before hand, as I discovered for myself when I tried to get a deckchair at the Rasa Wing pool.

Nonetheless, my partner and I enjoyed our stay at the Rasa Sayang mostly because the grounds are beautiful and the staff are still extremely helpful, even if they are slower and made more mistakes than I would have expected from such a level of property with the Shangri-La tag. I was fully prepared to cut them more slack because my stay was during the busy Chinese New Year period. However, after most of the crowds had gone, the level of attentiveness improved, but the mistakes continued. I didn't make a fuss because they corrected their mistakes each time, and did so with the biggest smiles.

I can't help but think "Would the Four Seasons have made the same mistakes?""

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sat 24th of February 2007

Living a dream

Reviewed Tue 23rd of October 2012

"We have just stayed two weeks in the Rasa wing in a Premier Room (yes- the one with the bath on the balcony - which I have to say we used every night).
The service was impeccable, friendly and efficient. The pool was to die for, the climate perfect and the buffet/ canapes/ free drinks in the Rasa lounge were excellent value - and many evenings we didn't want an evening meal at all.
The night markets provided sufficient interest to while away an hour in the evenings and Penang in general provided enough points of interest and trips to make the days a pleasure.
I agree the beach was not for children and certainly the Rasa Wing I would say is unsuitable for small children.
THis was our third stay at a Shangri La Hotel (the others being Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu) and the Rasa Sayang is the winner.
Would we go again ?- absolutely !!!!!!!!!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 13th of February 2007

Ok but expect much better for the price

Reviewed Fri 14th of December 2012

"Stayed here a few years ago and went back again for 5 nights over new year, based on it just being renovated etc

The good
The landscaping gardens and the pools are great
the new restaurant has great decor and good buffets
The room bathroom is good
They seem to have a few foreign managers who were visible alot around the place.

The not so good
the room was nothing special consdiering they say it is just renovated.
We were in Penang prioir to checking in so we called giving our name etc and asked when could we come and they said check in time is 2pm, when we arrived after that the room was still not ready.
At 10 pm at night we were woken by staff asking if they could deliver a fruit bowl to us
At the restaurant we asked for a kids menu and were told "we have only two copies and they are being used by another table"
At check in we made a correction ot our deprture details. The night before departure I reconfimred and they said they had no info that we had told them already. When I checked out they said our deparrture showed something different- I explained I had told them twice already - she replied she did not know that.

For approx USD300 per night unfortunatley the service lets this place down alot.

Would we go back - only at half the price. It is simply not value for money.

There are so many other resorts with better service for the price we paid."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 18th of January 2007

Dangerous Beach

Reviewed Wed 12th of December 2012

"We stayed 4 days at the end of December 2006.
The hotel rooms and grounds are great; all new and well laid out and well finished. The pools are excellent too. Service is very polite, sincere and attentive - just a bit slow. The main problem with the hotel is the beach which is un-usable and especially so if you have small kids. The sand is grainy rather than fine and there are alot of rocks in the water, which is murky rather than clear. But these are minor issues; the main problems are the quad bikes which roar up and down what is a very narrow strip of sand (about 50 feet wide) -these are definitely going to hurt some-one; we saw a rider fall off and and the bike kept going down the beach and in to the sea; no chance for anyone sunbathing to have gotten out of the way -plus the jet-skis which come right in-shore (there is no screened swimming area), plus horses on the beach with inherent hygiene issues and the end of the beach where this hotel is has a 'stream' running in to the sea which is obviously contaminated with sewage.
So stay off the beach and you'll have a good time."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Wed 17th of January 2007

Could be better

Reviewed Thu 8th of November 2012

"We stayed at the property from the 13th of December to the 2nd of January 2007 & had booked one rasa premier & one rasa deluxe room. The rasa premier room was very nice & spacious. The bath tub in the balcony needs brave souls to get into {in full view of other rooms}. Food & service are major issues at this property. The ferrangi grill is over-priced & the menu insipid. Spice market is the major food outlet but service is extremely slow & orders are, at times, either forgotten or misplaced. The spa was very good & the therapies excellant. The beach is extremely crowded & dangerous with local people hawking various wares from water sports to any & every thing. We were never able to take a walk in peace & its dangerous for children as vehicles are driven recklessly all over the beach. The new year gala was very well organised & was one of the best events. I would consider this to be, at best, a 4 star property {having stayed at Tanjung Aru at Kota kina balu}."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 4th of January 2007

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