9
Apr
2017
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Malaaysia, Taaras Beach and Spa Resort, Terenganu, travel blog, hotel review

Malaysia Travelogue: Taaras Beach and Spa Resort (and everything in between)

It was my first time visiting Malaysia, and to be honest it was very long due already. That is why when I got an email invitation from The Bergaya Hotels and Resorts team to explore Redang Island and discover Taaras Beach and Spa Resort, who am I to say no.

I have a handful of friends who are based in Malaysia and I have been hearing / reading so many things about the Philippines neighboring country. To say that I was excited to explore Malaysia (and not only KL) is an understatement.

I guess like me, your first plan is to look for a destination then look for a place to stay, right? The Taaras Beach and Spa Resort gives you the best of both worlds as this resort is already a destination by itself. More about this at the later part of this blog. Let me bring you first on my journey, traveling 4 hours from Manila to Kuala Lumpur and waiting more than 12 hours before we travel to Redang Island.

Malaysia, Taaras Beach and Spa Resort, Terenganu, travel blog, hotel review , redang island

A little postcard greeting inside my room at the Taaras Beach and Spa Resort

PRE PARADISE TRIP (FIRST IMPRESSION)

I had a very smooth travel from Manila to Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur. I took a budget airline flight via Air Aisia where I got a 20% fare discount just by using their mobile app. I arrived around 10am at the KLIA (airport name), at first, I got confused to the location of the immigration area as the farther I walked the lesser people I saw, at one point even, I found myself walking alone in the airport.

Immigration done and I am out! Yey! So, first order of business, exchange money and get a sim card, which by the way, don’t do it in the airport. As an avid traveler, I should have known already that the exchange rate at the airport area are ridiculously low (I did anyway cause—yeah, I need money). Also the sim card deals are better when you reach KL Sentral. If you have a credit card, use it to book for your Uber or buy your Express Train ticket to KL Sentral and change your money (USD) there.— just a tip but not a rule ok?

Malaysia, Taaras Beach and Spa Resort, Terenganu, travel blog, hotel review , redang island

Ticket to ride the KLIA Express

To get out of the airport you can either get:

KLIA Express Train: 55 rm (I took this option)

BUS: 12 rm (if you are not in a hurry, I suggest you take this)

UBER/ Grab : around 85 rm (well, if you have cash to spare who am I to stop you?)

My first agenda for the day is to have a lunch date with the Berjaya Hotels and Resorts team. They knew that I will arrive early and they were so sweet to invite me over (aaaw).

As a typical first timer in a big city, I got lost inside the KL Sentral. I didn’t realize it to be so huge and at one point I found my self inside a mall where the monorail station can be found.

The monorail is so easy to navigate and I found myself at the Berjaya Times Square (just a few minutes late) for our scheduled lunch.

We had lunch at the Berjaya Times Square Hotel’s Big Apple Restaurant. It was a perfect first meal in KL as the view from the restaurant showed a little overview of the whole KL town center. I ordered the Grilled Chicken with Mash which was AMAZING!!

Malaysia, Taaras Beach and Spa Resort, Terenganu, travel blog, hotel review

Grilled chicken anyone?  This is super yummy!

Ok done with lunch and a little chitchat with the team but I still have 7 hours to roam around and kill time before our official trip launch. From Times Square, the best place and closest to visit for a first time tourist, is Bukit Bintang.

Malaysia, Taaras Beach and Spa Resort, Terenganu, travel blog, hotel review , redang island

The shops around Bukit Bintang

Bukit Bintang is known at KL’s shopping district. I got overwhelmed with the number of shops in the area. For someone who didn’t have any plan to shop, I got tricked to buy a few items from Uniqlo (haha).

A few minutes walk (depending on your pace) you can reach KLCC. I didn’t know it then, but when I reached KLCC, I just realized that I was standing at the foot of The Petronas Tower. YEY! It is also a shopping mall, so pretty much I went from one mall to another. I saw one of my Bruneian friend there who was covering a story of the KL Shopping Festival.

It was an interesting kick starter of my trip around Malaysia (why around? You’ll find out at the end of this blog haha).

Time to go back Berjaya Times Square and meet the other participants.

THE TRIP TO REDANG

11pm, we gathered at the Berjaya Times Square Starbucks, a total of 35ish influencers, blogger/vloggers and editors. I met a handful during a brief chitchat over a cup of coffee and quiche (so hipster haha).

Malaysia, Taaras Beach and Spa Resort, Terenganu, travel blog, hotel review

We were given this for our ID badge. Check out all these hashtags in your social media to see all of the things we did.

1am, off we go! It was almost a 7hour bus drive to Kuala Terengganu where we had our breakfast at China Town (note that most of the food here are not halal). After breakfast, we roam around the cute colorful town. Very different from what I saw back in KL. Little houses painted with bright pastel colors and shops offering a quick snack to visitors.

Malaysia, Taaras Beach and Spa Resort, Terenganu, travel blog, hotel review

Where we had our breakfast

Malaysia, Taaras Beach and Spa Resort, Terenganu, travel blog, hotel review

There are numerous food stalls offering breakfast along China Town

Malaysia, Taaras Beach and Spa Resort, Terenganu, travel blog, hotel review

My big breakfast!!!

Malaysia, Taaras Beach and Spa Resort, Terenganu, travel blog, hotel review

The colorful houses around Terengganu

We drove a little more to reach the Merang Waterfront Jetty. This part was very interesting. I have been in countless boat rides. My home country, the Philippines is not a stranger to motorboats. In fact, whenever you get out of Manila to explore south of the Philippines, most likely your itinerary will involve riding a small motorboat. But even if you think you are immune to sea-sickness, we were strongly advised to take 2 tablets of sea-sick pills……

Malaysia, Taaras Beach and Spa Resort, Terenganu, travel blog, hotel review

Our 10 seater boat that will bring us to Redang Island

….right so, I almost got nauseated. I think, if we will last another 10 minutes, I might loose it. The reason was, the time of our visit was the end of the monsoon and the waters were still very choppy. To put it into words, we were flying up and down for 1 hour and a half. I guess it wasn’t only me who will say that I am glad it was over. (watch my vlog below to have an idea).

Surely the way to paradise ain’t easy, and rightly so, we arrived in PARA-PARA-PARADISE.

TAARAS BEACH AND SPA RESORT

The Taaras Beach and Spa Resort is Berjaya Group’s most prized possession. The name Taaras came from a Sanskrit language meaning “Goddess of the sea”, “the Star”, and “The Apple of My Eye”. It is definitely the star of Redang Island.

Malaysia, Taaras Beach and Spa Resort, Terenganu, travel blog, hotel review , redang island

The Taaras Beach with the view of their luxury private villa

Malaysia, Taaras Beach and Spa Resort, Terenganu, travel blog, hotel review , redang island

The peaceful beach

Malaysia, Taaras Beach and Spa Resort, Terenganu, travel blog, hotel review , redang island

yheap…para para paradise @evansiau

Situated on a concealed area of Redang Island, away from the busy port, you can easily feel that you are in your own private beach.

We were greeted with a glass of pinacolada and right away ushered to our designated rooms to change our wet clothes.

Malaaysia, Taaras Beach and Spa Resort, Terenganu, travel blog, hotel review

MY ROOM

My room looked amazing. Everything spells TROPICAL PARADISE. My room was located at the 2nd floor of a 2-storey chalet. The room has its own living area, I got 2 beds (so I can invite people for a party haha) and a shower complete with a tub. Also, because I was at the 2nd floor I got a good view of our part of the resort.

Malaysia, Taaras Beach and Spa Resort, Terenganu, travel blog, hotel review

The view from my room. Also, my chalet looks similar.

Malaysia, Taaras Beach and Spa Resort, Terenganu, travel blog, hotel review

Bedroom

Malaysia, Taaras Beach and Spa Resort, Terenganu, travel blog, hotel review , redang island

Living area

Our visit or should I say, ‘rediscovering trip’ was pretty chill. Most of our itineraries involved eating and free time (just the way I like it).

FOOD

Let’s start with the generous buffet spread. After freshening up, we immediately went to the buffet area and had our big lunch. This is also the same place where we had our daily breakfast where they offer continental and Asian cuisines.

For dinner, we stayed away from the normal buffet option. For the first night, we had it at the Beach Brasserie, where a set menu were prepared for us, complete with a designated table with our names on it (so fancy).

Malaysia, Taaras Beach and Spa Resort, Terenganu, travel blog, hotel review , redang island

Feeling super special…can you see my name?

Malaysia, Taaras Beach and Spa Resort, Terenganu, travel blog, hotel review , redang island

Tuna Carpaccio with Wasabi and Miso Dressing..whew

The 2nd night, we had dinner served in the luxury private villa. We were also given a tour around the villa worth 23,000rm/night. Talk about luxury. Situated at the edge of the property (not really sure if this is the correct description), but it is on a cliff over looking the Taaras Beach. The view is A+mazing!

Malaysia, Taaras Beach and Spa Resort, Terenganu, travel blog, hotel review , redang island

The grand salon inside the luxury private villa

Malaysia, Taaras Beach and Spa Resort, Terenganu, travel blog, hotel review , redang island

Literally on the edge

Malaysia, Taaras Beach and Spa Resort, Terenganu, travel blog, hotel review , redang island

Our Malaysian carousel . Yheap, RENDANG!!!

For our last night, and also sort of our send off dinner, we joined the hotel’s barbecue night. Think of satay, steak, seafood! YES!

Malaysia, Taaras Beach and Spa Resort, Terenganu, travel blog, hotel review , redang island

All grill-goodness

Malaysia, Taaras Beach and Spa Resort, Terenganu, travel blog, hotel review , redang island

Serving the dish hot hot hot

THE BEACH, POOL, SNORKEL and DIVE

During our free time (which was most of the time), we chose to chill by the beach. Either play with the waves and body surf or just lounge around the nearby beach bar. We also had a chance to snorkel while those with license went scuba diving.

Redang boasts as one of the best diving spots in Malaysia and Taaras as a 5-star Padi Dive Resort.

Malaysia, Taaras Beach and Spa Resort, Terenganu, travel blog, hotel review , redang island

Free diving and snorkeling activities….@ahsrajavideo

Malaysia, Taaras Beach and Spa Resort, Terenganu, travel blog, hotel review , redang island

Playing with the waves….@desmond_tey

Malaysia, Taaras Beach and Spa Resort, Terenganu, travel blog, hotel review , redang island

Lounging at the pool….@reinalum

Malaysia, Taaras Beach and Spa Resort, Terenganu, travel blog, hotel review , redang island

….or simply having a great time with friends (@wayne_wayne23 and @travelinspiration360)

PRIMA AIR

Part of our activities and also the main reason why we got invited was to be a witness to the signing of the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) between Berjaya Hotels and Resorts and Prima Air.

Remember our scary boat ride? If you are planning to visit Taaras, you now have an option to skip this and hop on a chartered flight via Prima Air. YEY!! You can book this option directly when booking a room at the Taaras Beach and Spa Resort, as easy as that.

Malaysia, Taaras Beach and Spa Resort, Terenganu, travel blog, hotel review , redang island

Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Berjaya and Prima Air

Malaysia, Taaras Beach and Spa Resort, Terenganu, travel blog, hotel review , redang island

With the pilot of the first Prima Air flight to Redang

The few days I spent at the Taaras, gave me a view of a different side of Malaysia. Something I am familiar with back home but somehow still very different. I guess the luxurious experience that is not very intimidating gives it a relaxed tropical feeling that everyone will surely enjoy.

Will I recommend this place? Definitely! In fact I already did and some of my friends will be visiting this summer.

Watch the full Vlog on my experience at the Taaras Beach and Spa Resort below (also subscribe to my youtube channel ^^).

This is my first blog of my trip around Malaysia. My 4 days trip turned into almost 1 month and I have explored other attractions and states around the country. Watch out for more blogs and vlogs about Malaysia soon.

Malaaysia, Taaras Beach and Spa Resort, Terenganu, travel blog, hotel review


This trip was in collaboration with Berjaya Hotels and Resort.

Berjaya Hotels & Resorts is a member of the Berjaya Corporation Group of Companies, a public listed Malaysian conglomerate. Presently, the group manages Berjaya properties in Malaysia, Asia Pacific and UK. From the exotic island resorts of Langkawi, Tioman and Redang, to the city hotels of Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru and Penang in Malaysia, Berjaya Hotels & Resorts’ prominence extends across borders with the establishment of international hotels and resorts in Philippines, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Seychelles and United Kingdom. The group also owns and operates a commercial airline, service suites and exclusive golf & country clubs in Malaysia. Visit online at www.berjayahotel.com for more information.

 

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