NESTLED in the bustling Pantai Chenang area of Langkawi, a new boutique hotel, Seri Chenang Resort and Spa Langkawi is all set to create an impression once it opens its doors in May.
According to the resort’s chief executive officer Norlin Datuk Zainal Abidin, the boutique resort, which sits on 0.5 hectares of land, is meant to be a home away from home that epitomes Malaysian culture, heritage and warmth.
One of the highlights of the luxury resort is the six traditional Malay heritage villas designed in different sizes and inspired by the architecture of traditional homes from Malaysian states.
Named Rumah Terengganu, Rumah Negri Sembilan, Rumah Melaka, Rumah Selangor, Rumah Kedah and Rumah Pahang, each villa has its own distinct architectural characteristics. The villas range in size from one bedroom to up to five bedrooms, for a total of 13 spacious rooms that mirror the number of states of Malaysia.
Located on the banks of Kuala Chenang River, next to the popular Chenang beach, the villas are set around a lush royal Malay-inspired garden complete with water features and landscaping.
Intended to be a family holiday home, the resort has the makings of a luxurious getaway with personalised treatment for guests.
“The land belongs to my father who bought it 10 years ago. The initial plan was to build a family holiday home for ourselves but after taking into consideration the cost we thought it would be more feasible to build a resort,” said Norlin.
She added that her brother, Mohammad Shukor who is the product director for the resort, wanted to share the design and architecture of Malaysia with people from around the world.
The project that cost RM5mil began in 2009 with internal funding and Norlin, who has experience in marketing and sales in the retail industry and shopping centre management, was roped in.
Although Langkawi has a number of high-end resorts catering to the upscale market, Norlin and her team are confident that their venture will be successful.
Although the target is to recoup their costs in five years, Norlin is confident they can do it in a shorter time span.
“We have a unique product to offer and we believe we complement all the other luxury hotels on the island and this gives more options for tourists to choose from. There are no other hotels with similar a concept anywhere in the world,” she added.
Langkawi receives 2.8 million tourists a year and the government has come up with a refurbishment plan and funds amounting to RM450mil to give Pantai Chenang a facelift.
Norlin and her team are looking at a 60% occupancy rate for the first few months of operation and are going all out to promote the hotel via tourism exhibitions, travel agents and partnerships.
To ensure they have fulfilled all government requirements, the resort has to have at least five licences for: building a resort on a certain location, fitness, star rating, security and safety from the Fire Department, business, foreign staff, and transportation for resort guests and staff.
According to Norlin, the hotel has more than just architecture to offer and is proud of their service, which she said is their best asset.
For Norlin, the mother of a two-year-old daughter, family always comes first and she insists that the same treatment be accorded to the guests of the hotel.
“Guests are greeted by the resort manager at the airport simply because the manager is the host of the house (resort),” she said.
To add icing to the cake, the resort has butlers who have been specially trained to cater to the needs of guests.
Guests can actually arrange to have the butlers accompany them on their travels around the island or they can rely on phones provided by the hotel to contact the hotel for directions or assistance.
The resort has a direct access to Chenang Beach via a bridge (titi in Malay) as the resort is separated by a river that runs through the resort. Guests can watch fishermen passing along the river in their traditional boats, going out for their daily catch.
“We also want guests to take the opportunity to enjoy the tax-free alcohol, so we are introducing the ‘buy your own’ (BYO) policy whereby the resort will not sell alcohol in the hotel, but guests can purchase their beverages from the supermarkets outside or our butlers can do that for them,” added Norlin.
According to her, this also helps other businesses in Langkawi.
Eager to provide the best service, Norlin said they will also have post-holiday services to promote return stays. Hotel staff will snap pictures of moments spent at the resort and mail them as postcards after guests check out.
Apart from the resort itself, the Kayangan Spa, featuring traditional Malay massage and therapies, is a must-visit for the most complete experience. The herbs used for the treatments are actually grown on the resort.
The resort will open its doors on May 31 and the official launch will be held on June 30.
For details, go to www.serichenangresort.com, facebook.com/SeriChenang or call the resort’s sales office in Plaza Damas at 03-6201 7275. Their reservation line is 1300 88 SCRL (7275) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org