Friday, January 29, 2016

Hotel Review: Tanjong Jara Resort, Malaysia

Malaysia is home to many beautiful beaches; a few of our favorites being Pangkor Laut Resort, Gaya Island Resort, Langkawi and Tanjong Jara Resort.

Over 7 years ago, Hubby and I went to Tanjong Jara Resort to relax, recharge as well as pamper ourselves after the arrival of our first child. Fast forward 7 years and we are back at Tanjong Jara Resort, this time with both BabySumoKids in tow.

Tanjong Jara Resort is located in East Coast Malaysia in Dungun, Terengganu which is accessible via a short flight from Subang airport or KLIA airport or alternatively by car. We decided to drive there, taking about 4 1/2 hours to get to the resort from our home in KL.

Upon arrival, a gentleman dressed in a traditional Malay costume greeted us with a strike on the gong. We were warmly greeted by the front desk staff and ushered to the grand reception area and presented with a refreshing, cold roselle drink, local kuih and cold towel while check-in was carried out.

Tanjong Jara Resort offers a truly unmistakably Malay experience with its unique and beautiful authentic Malay architecture. Based on the sucimurni philosophy, which aims to refresh the body and soul through an emphasis on spirit, health and overall wellbeing, guests are encouraged to immerse themselves in the traditional Malay surroundings as well as rejuvenate in the award-winning Spa Village.

The 100-room resort is designed to reflect the grandeur of traditional 17th century Malay palaces. As we walked around, we could clearly see Malay culture and heritage is ingrained in every feature of the resort.

In 1981, the resort won the coveted “Aga Khan Award for Architecture”. The Aga Khan award jurors applauded Tanjong Jara “for successfully adapting a rapidly disappearing traditional architecture to meet the demands of contemporary architecture.” Tanjong Jara Resort is also part of the Small Luxury Hotels, giving guests assurance of its exclusivity and the exceptional experience it can offer.

There are three different accommodation options here to choose from - Bumbung (RM1200 nett), Serambi (RM1305 nett), or Anjung rooms (RM2335 nett). All the rooms are luxuriously appointed with beautiful views of well-manicured tropical gardens or the South China Sea.

Lush greenery throughout the resort

We stayed in the Serambi Room (Room 1001) which is strategically located halfway between the reception and pool area. Serambi rooms are located on the ground floor of a double storey unit with a partially covered verandah which overlooks the tropical gardens.

Our room was elegantly furnished and spacious (55 sq m) with a luxurious king-size bed, day bed and a spacious indoor bathroom with an oversized bathtub as well as separate toilet, shower room and two vanity units.  Guests can enjoy complimentary Wifi throughout the resort; upon check in you will be given a YES Huddle 4G dongle which you can conveniently carry with you around the resort to stay connected at all times. All the rooms also come with a writing desk, tea/coffee making facilities, flat screen television, safe, and ceiling fan.

Spacious bathroom

Throughout our stay, we experienced hospitality second to none, one of the many reasons why we love staying at YTL resorts. The staff are always warm, accommodating, and make you feel very welcomed.

Tanjong Jara Resort sits along the East Coast, with beautiful emerald sea and pristine beaches. We spent countless hours on the beach, from watching the sunrise in the morning to playtime on the beach and in the sea. We loved every minute of it.

We left the resort a few shades darker :P

Watching the sunrise

There are 3 swimming pools at the resort - an adults-only free form pool near Teratai Terrace as well as an adult and children's pool near Nelayan restaurant, overlooking the sea. Our kids had such a great time playing in the pool area. There are plenty of deck chairs and cabanas by the pool to relax and chill at.

The resort houses three dining venues - Di Atas Sungei, Nelayan, and Teratai Terrace. At Di AtasSungei, you will find perfectly executed Malaysian cuisine and the unique “walking menu” at dinner time, whereby Chef Ann will personally come to each table and offer recommendations tailored to your needs and preferences, based on the daily fresh produce available. Buffet breakfast is also served here daily, with delicious local specials such as laksam and nasi dagang. Read more about Di Atas Sungei here.

Laksam and local kuih

Nelayan, meaning "fisherman" in the Malay language serves both local and Western cuisine, and specialises in fresh local seafood brought in from the local fishermen. Its seaside setting and romantic ambience sets the perfect tone for a relaxed dining experience. On Fridays and Saturdays, they also offer a seafood themed buffet dinner. Read more about Nelayan Restaurant here.

Diners can enjoy a casual steamboat dinner or Korean barbecue with a view of the sea at Teratai Terrace, which is located at the free form adults-only pool overlooking lush tropical foliage. There are also nightly movie screenings under the stars. 

At the resort, you can engage in a myriad of activities, suitable for all ages. For an authentic Malay experience, start your day with the sucimurni exercises with Captain Mokh - the signature stretching exercise is inspired by the seven main animal chakras. I also had the opportunity to attend a private cooking classes with Chef Ann - we were taught how to cook traditional Malay beef rendang and a prawn dish with coconut milk and lemongrass. Earlier that morning, we also visited Dungun wet market and it was an eye-opening experience for both the kids and us parents. The kids also made their first batik painting using age-old techniques, which we got to take home and is now nicely framed in our living room.

We were also hoping to go turtle watching, but alas it was not meant to be as the turtles did not make an appearance during the few nights we were there.  For diving enthusiasts, Tenggol Island which is 45-minutes from the resort is said to be one of the best diving locations in Peninsular Malaysia.

Cooking class with Chef Ann

Batik Painting

Fish feeding in the mornings

Not to be missed here is the award-winning Spa Village Tanjong Jara, a sanctuary anchored in the ancient Malay way of life. The restorative spa treatments are based on ancient Malay healing traditions, unique to the east coast of Malaysia.

Each spa experience starts with the mandi bunga (Malay floral bath) and ultimately patrons are gifted a batik Sarong as a memento of their sucimurni experience. For the ladies, try the signature Asam Roselle experience (RM650) or the three-hour Traditional Malay experience (RM880) fit for a princess.

I tried the 100-minute Asam Roselle experience, which includes a relaxing massage and rejuvenating cream scrub using the roselle flower which is high in vitamin C and antioxidants. Read about my wonderful experience at the Spa Village in more detail here.

A luxurious, family-friendly retreat along with world-class hospitality made this a truly wonderful, memorable stay for us as a family.  Tanjong Jara Resort, we will be back! :)

Thank you to YTL Hotels for hosting our stay.
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For enquiries or reservations, please contact YTL Travel Centre (03-2145 9000) or the resort directly. Do check out the special offers for the resort here, including the Residents Package from RM686++ per room per night which includes daily breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Location: Tanjong Jara Resort,Batu 8, off Jalan Dungun, 23000 Dungun, Terengganu, Malaysia.

Tel: 09-845 1100


GPS Coordinates: 4.811139, 103.423422

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  1. I've been hoping to go to Terengganu for a long long time now, go and taste their specialties - I know they have a lot more than keropok lekor and nasi dagang...but so far, I have yet to do so. Sigh!!!!!

  2. may I know they allow u to take just 1 Room for 2 adults and 2 children

  3. may I know they allow u to take just 1 Room for 2 adults and 2 children

    1. Please contact the hotel and check with them - I think they take it on case to case basis and may allow it dependent on the age of your child.

  4. The pictures are lovely and the article is very detailed! Thank you for that! May I know when did you travel to this resort? I am planning to go there at the end of December, but knowing that it is monsoon season, I am scared to ruin the vacation because of endless rain and storm.

    1. Hi, I believe they are closed during the monsoon season.

  5. We are staying in the ANJUNG beach front villa we keep hearing conflicting reports we don't like the shade and the reason why we prefer the suit is you are right on the beach can you please let me know if this is a fact THANKS JOHN BOWERS


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