Tanjong Jara Resort and Malacca
Spend a night in the bustling city of Kuala Lumpur, one of Southeast Asia's most diverse capitals, before exploring the World Heritage Site of Malacca and finding some quiet time on the east coast of Malaysia.
2 nights Malacca, including breakfast and excursion; 7 nights Tanjong Jara Resort, including breakfast. Includes flights and transfers plus a night in Kuala Lumpur.
13 days from £2,450pp
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On the beach - 8 days
Tanjong Jara Resort, East Coast
With a design inspired by the elegant grandeur of the 17th century Malay palaces, the Tanjong Jara Resort is one of Malaysia’s finest. Its remote but picturesque location, excellent value and traditional architectural style make it a remarkable place to stay.
Situated on a seemingly endless stretch of golden sand, the resort’s charming rooms are tucked away in manicured gardens criss-crossed by a natural stream. There are two main restaurants, one focuses on Asian cuisine and the other on the wonderful seafood of the area. Food can be prepared in consultation with the chef or you can take a cookery course and learn about local ingredients and traditional cooking methods. With separate adult-only and family pools you are guaranteed a quiet place to unwind, while for sheer indulgence, the award-winning spa offers unique Malay treatments in a series of tranquil rooms, gardens and pools. You can enjoy seasonal diving or snorkelling excursions to nearby Tenggol Island. The resort also arranges guided jungle walks and river cruises as well as bicycle trips to nearby villages to learn about local traditions.
There are a range of room types to choose from, all decorated in simple but elegant Malay style with crisp white linens and an open plan design. Some have balconies or terraces.
Before the beach - 3 days
The alluring city of Malacca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was originally a small fishing village, but soon became a wealthy trade centre for Chinese and Indian merchants, which in turn attracted European attention and eventually Portuguese and Dutch rule. Discover Malacca’s multi-cultural heritage and colonial influences on a guided walking tour past the Malay Village and St Lawrence Church before climbing St Paul’s Hill towards the remains of the old Portuguese fortress. Wander through the narrow streets to ornate temples, and visit the old Dutch churches, imposing mosques and fascinating museums chronicling an intriguing past.
The Majestic Malacca hotel is located on the banks of the river with 54 spacious deluxe rooms and suites built around a 1920s mansion that remains at the heart of the hotel.
Tanjong Jara Resort, East Coast
100 rooms, 2 restaurants, 2 pools
Tanjong Jara Resort sits at the end of a long, golden, palm-fringed beach. The resort’s architecture reflects the styles of the Malay Archipelago, with elaborate tiered-roofs poking through thick palm groves. The 100 rooms have been tucked into expansive tropical gardens that, even when the hotel is full, maintain a tranquil ambiance.
Embracing its Malaysian heritage, the hotel focuses on fresh Malay cuisine and runs cultural classes run by members of the local community. Most staff are local and you’ll find the service friendly and relaxed — everyone’s eager to chat and find out where you’ve come from. There are opportunities to explore the surrounding jungle, local villages and rich marine life, as well as plenty of on-site facilities including a huge, well-reputed spa.
Families and couples alike are welcome at Tanjong Jara Resort. With a separate adults pool, there’s plenty of space for children to roam, as well as opportunities for couples to find a secluded spot to relax.
The sea is normally calm outside of the monsoon season, making it ideal for swimming if spending the day at the beach. If you would like connecting rooms, the best option are the Serambi rooms. The resort offers babysitting services too.
The resort is tucked into the corner of a huge, sweeping beach of honey-hued sand that shelves gently into the South China Sea on the east coast on Peninsular Malaysia.
Backed by thick palm groves and framed by craggy outcrops that stretch out into the ocean it feels remote but is surprisingly accessible. The small town of Kuala Dungun is a 15 minute drive away with a selection of local shops and restaurants. The most convenient way to reach the hotel is via Kuala Terengganu Airport, which is about 1 hour 15 minutes’ drive away.
Tanjong Jara Resort is one of Malaysia's best value beach properties, offering high-quality accommodation in a particularly dramatic setting. Whilst it’s set in a secluded cove, there’s plenty of activities at the hotel and well as opportunities to explore the local area. It’s also a good option if you want a resort that has strong social and cultural links with the local community.
The rooms are built with carved wooden balustrades and tiered roofs inspired by 17th-century Malay palaces. The local timber used has been sustainably sourced and the soft furnishings are rich bolts of locally woven fabric. There’s a contemporary feel with lots of clean lines and sleek furniture, that’s balanced with Malaysian artwork and sculptures.
The Bumbung and Serambi rooms are in small, two storey blocks of four rooms, most of which face the hotel's manicured gardens. The remainder are in a quieter spot on the north side of the hotel and look out onto a natural stream that gurgles through the resort.
Anjung rooms are on the ground floor and come in groups of two with views of the ocean and the gardens.
All rooms have air conditioning, hairdryer, satellite TV, Wi-Fi, minibar and tea and coffee making facilities as well as thoughtful touches including beach bags and flip-flops.
The Bumbung rooms are all on the first floor with a steep set of steps leading up to them. Inside the room you have a spacious bathroom with bath, separate rain shower and twin sinks. The bedroom features a small flat screen television, large daybed (which can be made up for a child) and comfortable bed.
Bumbung seaview room
The Bumbung seaview rooms are similar to the Bumbung rooms but also offer a view of the South China Sea.
The Serambi rooms are situated on the ground floor of the attractive two-storey buildings and have a private veranda. The interiors are the same as the Bumbung rooms with large daybed and spacious bathroom. It is possible to connect two Serambi rooms if you are staying as a family.
Serambi seaview room
The Serambi seaview rooms are similar to Serambi rooms but have views of the South China Sea.
There are ten Anjung rooms along the beachfront set in single storey, semi-detached buildings. All have a sunken outdoor bath set in its own private courtyard, as well as a canopied veranda overlooking the gardens and ocean.
Resting above the river looking out into the South China Sea, the 176 square metre Anjung suite is furnished with comfortable sofas in a spacious living and dining hall with its own bar and powder room. The bedroom provides a king sized bed, a large writing desk, a sunken bath, two vanity units and separate water closet. This is the premier suite within the hotel.
Pictures of the rooms
Activities, diving & excursions
There are two swimming pools, one of which is adult only. While one of the pools overlooks the beach, the other is situated by the Teratai Terrace, with each one offering deck chairs, towels, and refreshments served at the pool deck. Snorkelling equipment is available but for the best experience, we recommend joining one of the daily excursions further off shore.
For the active, there’s a gym, volleyball court, two private tennis courts and golf can be arranged at one of the nearby courses. You can also try your hand at sepak takraw, a local game played with a rattan ball.
An activity schedule is published each day including handicraft lessons, sucimurni classes (a Malaysian stretching exercise) and guided walks through the herb garden.
The hotel has a well-reputed PADI dive centre which usually opens in March and closes September/October subject to weather and sea conditions. There are daily trips for both divers and snorkellers (weather permitting) to Tenggol Island, an area known for its rich marine life including sea turtles, black-tipped reef sharks and soft and hard corals.
Experiences are available for beginners and more experienced divers including deep dives and fish identification dives with a naturalist.
Food & drink
Di Atas Sungei means 'above the river' in Malay and, unsurprisingly, this restaurant overlooks the estuary of a stream flowing into the sea. There’s no menu, but instead the resort's staff will help you negotiate the choice of authentic Malaysian food. 'Walking chef' Anne is a unique asset of the hotel and will walk around talking to guests at Di Atas Sungei to see if there is anything particular she can create for them (we recommend her tofu curry). It’s a great option if you have specific dietary requirements.
Nelayan meaning 'fisherman' is appropriately on the seafront serving up all things marine in both Asian and Western style (they operate a sustainable fishing practice). Everything from the fish to the vegetables are bought in fresh every day. Open for lunch and dinner it’s ideal for a special meal — at dinner you’ll be served in candle-light.
The poolside Teratai Terrace serves light meals during the day and evening cocktails, often with a live Gamelan band. For a special occasions there are also private dining experiences available from picnics on the beach to a barbecue under the stars.
The internationally awarded Spa Village offers a large range of treatments — look out for spa happy hour for discounted treatments. Many treatments begin with a traditional Malay blessing to put you in a relaxed state of mind.
Built amidst ponds and courtyard-gardens, treatment rooms are air conditioned or can be opened up to allow you to enjoy the tropical warmth during your treatment. The thick, exotic foliage creates just the right ambience to enjoy the urutan gamelan - a traditional Malay deep tissue massage, or perhaps the urutan panglima - a 'warrior massage' for men that increases vitality.
The spa uses products made from natural, local ingredients such as asam roselle, which is known for its high vitamin C content.
The atmospheric streets of Malacca are redolent with traces of the city’s illustrious past.
The Portugese recognised its strategic location and considerable fortune in the 16th century, and Malacca grew to become one of Asia’s greatest trading ports. The Dutch followed towards the end of the 1500s and left behind their own striking architecture.
The traditional Istana and colonial Christ Church, bright with red brickwork, are focal points, and the winding streets of Chinatown dotted with ancient temples and traditional shop-houses are delightful to explore.
Just a couple of hours drive south of Kuala Lumpur and approximately 90 minutes from the international airport, Malacca is accessible and well worth a weekend visit, when the markets are at their best.
The Majestic Malacca
Accommodation: The Majestic Malacca
The Majestic Malacca is an integral part of Malacca's colourful history. The original serene mansion, dating back to the 1920s, remains at the heart of the hotel, whilst a new building has been created, mirroring the original architecture, to house 54 spacious rooms and suites. The design integrates old with new, modern with historic, ensuring that the total experience is one that is authentic, honouring the past while bringing every modern convenience to bear. From the original porcelain flooring, teakwood fittings, intricate artwork and antiques, to the finely crafted Nyonya cuisine, every aspect echoes the history of the region.
Each room is sumptuously appointed in an elegant combination of luxury, tradition and modernity. Bespoke furnishings call to mind the glory days of old Malacca, while floor to ceiling windows framed by silk drapes bathe the room with soft light. Standing on warm timber floors is an inviting four poster bed and a matching silk-upholstered chaise lounge provides a cosy spot to gaze out over the river.
In pride of place sits the award-winning Spa Village: the world's only spa to base its therapies on the healing heritage of the Baba-Nyonya a unique combination of Chinese and Malay culture. Classical Nyonya cuisine, using Chinese cooking techniques and Malay spices, adds a unique culinary experience. The Mansion, with its original Straits settlement windows overlooking the Malacca River and Kampung Morten, offers a casual atmosphere for breakfast and dinner. The hotels also boasts a small outdoor swimming pool, fitness centre, bar and library.
Day by day
This evening you will fly from London to Kuala Lumpur with Malaysian Airlines.
On arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel. The Majestic Hotel in Kuala Lumpur was first opened in 1932 and was seen as a national treasure. After closing in 1983 it has now reopened to take its place again as one of the city's leading hotels.
This morning you will be transferred to the historic trading port of Malacca. You will have time to explore the UNESCO protected parts of the city with your guide from the Majestic hotel.
Day at leisure.
Return to the airport in Kuala Lumpur for the hour's flight to Kuala Terengganu on the east coast. On arrival you will be met and transferred to Kuala Dungun and the Tanjong Jara.
Day at leisure to relax and enjoy the facilities of the Tanjong Jara Resort.
Days 7 - 11
Day at leisure.
Late afternoon you will be transferred back to Kuala Terengganu for your flight to Kuala Lumpur. On arrival, connect to your onward flight to London.
(Please note that late check-out is not included).
Early morning arrival into the UK.
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