When one thinks of a luxury holiday, the vision of a well kept resort on a golden beach with blue sea is usually one of the first that springs to mind. Even in a world where anything is possible, the idea of vacationing upon a private island within your own private beach fronted, fully staffed estate is a dream realistically reserved for the very few.
Travel Feature written and compiled by Paul Godbold
During a telephone conversation with YTL Hotels, it was suggested that we consider writing a feature on Pangkor Laut and if time allowed filmed our experiences. Any trip to Pangkor Laut is always going to be answered with a rapid affirmative. Picture in your mind – a beautiful 300 acre private island in beautiful emerald water just off the West coast of Malaysia with luxurious villas encompassed by a two million year old rainforest. We imagined ourselves lounging on the balcony of one of the wonderful garden villas looking out towards the sea, the team of Luxurious Magazine was delighted to be presented with an opportunity to sample what is quite possibly the ultimate luxury travel experience. “We are going to let you stay in one of the beachfront Estates at Pangkor Laut, and after that we’ll be transferring you into a special property at Pangkor Laut Resort for you to try out the signature experiences and the wonderful facilities…”
It comes as no surprise that the Rimowa cases were being readied for advanced packing before the conversation even ended… a quick glance skywards and the mouthed words ‘Thank you’ was all that was appropriate at that particular moment.
Off to Pangkor Laut
On the day of departure we were primed and ready at the allotted time of 9:00am for the chauffeured transfer to Pangkor. A smart MPV turned up with a very polite and efficient driver who was waiting right on time, once seated comfortably in the spacious interior we were presented with a wireless YTL dongle so that we could have Internet on our journey.. Internet? In a car? Wow..! Snacks, magazines and that morning’s newspaper were also provided, it could only be described as Business Class in a car. The journey down from Penang was surprisingly quick, probably due to us nodding off during the drive after days of late night packing and planning.
Once at Pangkor we turned into a smart modern area down on the waterfront known as Marina Pangkor, and then into the parking area outside the front of the new purpose built YTL terminal facing an array of large luxury yachts and motor cruisers that wouldn’t look out of place in a Monaco Marina.
A warm greeting from the YTL team followed, coupled with a cool refreshing fruit drink. The private Pangkor Laut terminal is furnished in a modern luxury theme, leather sofas, chaise longues and cowhide cushions. There were a few people that had either come back or were departing enjoying the lounge, giggling and talking in hushed tones each of them looking very happy and relaxed. We hadn’t even left the terminal but already knew we were in for a wonderful experience.
After just a few short minutes we were asked to board the YTL lady, an imposing 65 feet modern yacht that would transport our eager team to the private estate. The air-conditioned YTL Lady was the perfect way to start this luxurious adventure, at just under 100 tonnes, this modern yacht provided an expansive lounge area, the perfect level of comfort and three staterooms with en-suites. The friendly and efficient yacht crew did their final pre-departure check and then led us into the large airy lounge area making sure we were comfortable with drinks and cold towels.
The journey to The Estates at Pangkor Laut.
As we left the marina the excitement was palpable and once upon the open sea we made our way to the top deck to take photographs and enjoy the view. The journey was short and comfortable, and before we had time to take in the stunning ocean views, the island of Pangkor Laut appeared in view.
The island extends to about 300 acres but seemed more compact when seen from an elevated deck on board a luxury yacht. Imagine if you will a lush green island in the shape of a turtles back and you’ll understand what I mean. From my vantage point I could make out the main island resort permeating through the thick forest covering the island with the long modern jetty reaching out to receive us. I was told that the forest is estimated to be about 2 million years old, the yacht crew were keen to explain the length the resort goes to in conserving the flora and fauna that inhabits the island.
Once docked the team from Luxurious Magazine excitedly strolled down the long jetty to a friendly greeting from the American Manager of The Estates at Pangkor Laut – Kenny Knickerbocker. The private estates were our home for the first part of the week before transferring to the main resort. After a warm chat and some photographs it was off to the estates in a private car. The private cars that transport the guests were top of the range luxury SUVs with number plates such as PLR1 and PLR2 (PLR standing for Pangkot Laut Resort).
A short journey by car to the private estates highlighted to us just how set away the estates were from the main resort, the steep hills the car traveled were fun and assuring as it showed us that the roads were not just bulldozed through the island but followed the natural contours of the coast line. We passed the large private helicopter pad along the way, Kenny informed us that guests are not only able to fly to the island via their own helicopter but can also opt to fly here via chartered helicopter organised via the YTL Travel Centre.
About The Estates at Pangkor Laut
The Estates at Pangkor Laut are a series of nine luxurious and private estates. Our estate was fittingly ‘Estate One’ and was tucked away on the beachfront, it should be noted that every estate is completely different from the next. Some of the estates are set upon the hillside providing stunning views, others are located close to the beach, having seen the other estates, whichever you decide to choose you will ensure a most luxurious and pampered stay. The estates have been designed to reflect the beauty and tranquility of an age gone by. Intricate details and lashings of polished tropical hardwood highlight the fine attention to detail coupled with high quality ornaments and plush furnishings.
Continue to the next page of our feature on The Estates at Pangkor Laut.