RASA SAYANG, in Bahasa Malaysia when translated to English means A Taste of Love.  And in my vocabulary, Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa here in Penang is aptly called in every sense of the word.

The lobby is so enticing, you’ll fall in love in a heart beat…

Located 12km away from George Town, Penang, Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa is one of the premiere hotels in this part of Malaysia. Other than the lavish amenities and hospitality that Shangri-La Hotels are known for, this branch offers beyond great expectations.

We experienced something extraordinary that cannot be done justice in words or in pictures.

We arrived more than an hour earlier to the dinner-buffet we reserved at 6:30PM. Waiting wasn’t a big deal because appreciation of the hotel’s facilities was more than enough for us to kill time.

Because it was drizzling, Tina and Gabby decided to stay inside the lounge while I, with a huge black umbrella, took the chance to roam around from the lobby to the beachfront…

It reminded me of Shangri-La Mactan, Cebu where the lush green leads you to the waters however less the expansive lobby where you can view the majestic scenery. This one in Penang doesn’t have an elevated lobby like the hotel in Cebu but nonetheless impressive.

Nipa Huts and benches are found along the uniquely shaped swimming pools amidst the enormous trees and tropical plants. I know nothing of architecture but I noticed how creative they were in guiding the raindrops as they fall from huts’ roofs to a massively charming jar that serves as basin. Have you seen one like this in Pinas or elsewhere? (Ang husay ng alulod!). 

I joined my lovely wife and adorable son for some more minutes of waiting. While Gabby became busy taking photographs of the lounge and his parents, a male staff approached and talked to us.

  • male staff :  Are you waiting for the dinner-buffet?  Do you have reservations, Sir?
  • me : Yup! I did a reservation over the phone a week ago.
  • male staff : Spice Market Cafe gets packed even on weekdays.
  • me : Because of the on-going promotion?
  • male staff : Not only that, Sir but because the food is really good. And for its price, it’s more than reasonable and competitive with other hotels’ buffets.
  • me : That’s great to know. Thanks!

After few bladder breaks at the spotless tandas (toilet)…

and some more snapshots at the facade of the restaurant…

If jeepneys are the king of the road in the streets of Manila, in George Town, Penang are the trishaws. Most tourists and travelers are seen on this wheels, being driven by a local on a tour of one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites.

Finally, at 6:30PM, I confirmed our reservation at the entrance of Spice Market Cafe, was surprised that beside my name on the guest list was the apposition, “recognized blogger”; I cringed and swallowed my saliva! haha! (read : I am recognized only by my family and a few online friends and being known by some may be purely accidental).

Gabby, Tina and I have been to quite a number of eat-all-you-want-food havens but our experience in Rasa Sayang’s SPICE MARKET CAFE was definitely less ordinary….

Located at the main entrance of Spice Market Cafe is Spice Boutique that showcases an interesting display of varied spices and herbs that were sourced all over Asia .

Our 7-year-old kid who dreams of becoming a chef, a restaurateur and a hotelier someday was again exposed to another ground.  However, his nose wasn’t ready yet to perceive an array of aromas and different smell from those spices…

Perhaps, because of their quaint characteristics of being rustic and old, I was silently jumping for joy upon the sight of these museum-worthy kitchen wares and whatnot. I don’t care whether they’re original and vintage or just a noteworthy reproductions, they all looked attractive to me.

Tina and Gabby had their own fascinations while I found myself mesmerized…

Ais Kachang or their version of the Filipino Halo-Halo needs finely shaved ice, thus the existence of this equipment…

My eyes were also caught by a corner where a long wooden bench holds a row of canisters of locally-cooked chips…

We never dined anywhere before where the entrance of the restaurant creates such impact…

To be continued…



      1. doc, thanks for returning here on my site.
        “recognized blogger” is such as huge phrase to me, i am thankful for they see me as that but it’s not that important. what matters most to me is the fact that some people out there appreciates what i share, and learning and being inspired with my posts are just sweet icing on the cake! 🙂

  1. sikat ka na talaga doc. you’re recognized in the gastronic world 🙂

    ubos ang memory card ko pag jan ako dine. super interesting ang place. i’ve never been to any shangri la hotels.

    1. “sikat” ? haha! hindi po! sikat lang ako kay gabby at kay tina.
      being famous isn’t a personal goal and will never be. 🙂

      …i know this type of place will fascinate you and your camera. every corner is picturesque!

  2. gusto ko iuwi yung puno dun sa may lobby at yung trishaw! itsura pa lang love o na yang hotel! hehe!

    yung spices and cokies ba kasama dun sa buffet? i’m not fond of buffets, but that’s the first time i saw those kind of stuff sa buffet. 🙂

    1. natawa naman ako sa gusto mo, grace. mahirap gawing pasalubong iyong puno at trishaw, di ko afford! hehehe…

      no, the spices are only for display and for takeaway purchase.
      food on the spread up next! 🙂

      ps : ayaw mo pala ng buffet, kami iyan ang bisyo –great food!

  3. ganda ng ambiance at design! your shots are improving expert ka na ah (inggit na naman ako hehehe)….so nasaan ang food? hmmm natatakam na ko hahaha

    1. can’t do it immediately, my whole weekend is packed.
      i’ll find time to put watermarks and make the draft tomorrow (saturday) night and will try to post it immediately after…thanks, ms. elna!

  4. Love the photos Mr. recognized blogger! 🙂 That lobby looks very nice and the restaurant ornaments were interesting. Pero nakakabitin.. Can’t wait for the continuation 🙂

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