The haze has finally left us and there’s no better time than now to go for a staycation. Gambang, Pahang may be far from your mind when it comes to planning a fancy getaway, so you might be thinking, “What does this small town have,” right? Well, you couldn’t be more wrong.
If you fancy a little R&R with your loved ones, Mangala Resort and Spa in Gambang is more than perfect. Once a barren land, it has now been transformed into a luxurious resort surrounded by immaculately kept tropical foliage with the sounds of cicadas accompanying you. Aah… bliss!
A tropical paradise
We knew we’ve arrived in paradise when we drove through palm oil trees that led us to the hotel lobby, where we were greeted by Mangala’s smiling, warm staff — signaling the start of a perfect stay ahead of us!
Setting foot in our Amani Villa, it’s as idyllic as one would imagine it to be. Surrounded by lush tropical greeneries, the private villa has all the comforts of home but in a luxe style. The villa, which has an elevated kampung-style decoration, is equipped with a king-sized bed (so cozy, we found ourselves taking naps throughout the day in ultimate laziness) and a separate living area complete with a 50-inch TV.
Sounds like a normal hotel room, right? But, guess what — it has a private saltwater plunge pool! Order room service, chill out in the pool and enjoy your private vacation. The perfect recipe for not leaving the villa for anything at all!
Apart from the private pool, can we all agree that the best part of a hotel room is the bathroom? This one is no exception. It boasts a spacious bathroom (truly, you can do cartwheels from the toilet to the shower), with a tub to soak in, a rain shower and separate sinks for comfort. We loved that the sliding door opens to a small garden of red ginger plants and you can enjoy the soundtrack of nature while relaxing in a perfumed bath.
All the extras
The private villa is nice and all, but if you’re starting to get cabin fever, fret not, there are plenty of things you can do here. If the private pool is not enough for you to do your breaststroke swims, head over to the communal infinity pool overlooking the lake and beyond. The view alone is worth spending time outside your villa!
Good food is important during any vacay and you’ll be spoiled for choice at the Lakeside Restaurant. It has a wide range of local and international cuisine including Malay favorites, soups and vegetarian selections. Try the oxtail soup and Mangala’s fried rice, or if you’re looking for something light, we highly recommend the kedondong and vegetable salad, which are harvested fresh from the resort’s farm!
Breakfast is also served at the restaurant and depending on the occupancy rate, breakfast is either served buffet style or à la carte. Since we were staying during off-peak season, we were served the à la carte menu that ranged from local dishes to continental cuisine. From fried rice to fried noodles to big breakfast consisting of sunny side ups and baked beans, the breakfast menu has everything to satisfy even the pickiest eater!
You’ll soon discover that time spent in a villa surrounded by nature can indeed summon the ultimate state of calm. You can enjoy this and more at the one and only Mangala Resort and Spa.
See and Do
While the private villa that comes with all the extra amenities will tempt you to stay indoors all day long, why stay in when there are plenty of things to do outside? Here are some of our favorite things to do at the Mangala Resort and Spa.
Kayak around the lake
You don’t even have to leave the resort to enjoy activities in nature. But even better news is, the activities are free for guests! We Malaysians sure love free stuff, right? So, just put on the provided life jackets and hop into the kayak to paddle away to a screen-free moment!
Try your hand at archery
Katniss Everdeen-wannabes, here’s your chance to show off your skills. Head over to the recreation area (hint: near the lake where you can kayak), and pick up the arrow and bow. If it’s your first time, don’t worry, the on-site instructor will show you how. Vacationing and picking up a new skill? A bonus, we’d say!
Learn about the flora and fauna in a nature walk
Put on your comfiest shoes and sign up for a morning nature walk with the resort’s resident naturalist. There’s nothing better than waking up early to enjoy the fresh air. But that’s not all you’ll be doing during the walk. You’ll have the opportunity to learn more about the flora and fauna that can be found around the resort grounds. For avid birdwatchers, the resort is your mecca. There are various species of birds here waiting for you to discover!
With such a wide range of accommodation options across the country, it can be a challenge to pick the one that’s best for you. To be in the know when it comes to Malaysia’s stand-out stays, keep your eyes peeled for Traveloka’s ‘Super Stays’ posts, a bi-weekly hotel special featuring our top picks!