The invitation for a vacation at Resorts World Kijal came at a most opportune time; right after wrapping up a book project which caused me to sit in front of the computer for ten months, no less. So, it was time to let my hair down and not think of work at all for three days.
A road trip to Terengganu from Ipoh is a ten-hour journey but as I departed from Kuala Lumpur, it was only about five to six hours. Not difficult to endure even for senior citizens.
I’ve been to Terengganu numerous times over these past four years but did not have the chance to check out Resorts World Kijal. It was known as Awana Kijal but underwent a rebranding exercise not too long ago. So, it was yet another reason for me to head out to the East Coast. Boy, have I missed some of the most pristine sandy beaches!
If you do not know yet, Resorts World Kijal is located along the east coast in Kijal, Kemaman. This luxury resort is THE ultimate getaway for those who are looking for some sea, sand and surf.
The five-star rating is not only based on the sheer size of the property but it has a matching hospitality service. I was definitely pampered through and through during my three-day stay there.
My Premier Seaview room was not of the highest category of rooms but I did have the best views.
An enchanting scene greeted me every morning, so much so that I wanted to stay in my room for as long as possible but then the most generous international buffet spread was waiting for me at Restoran Kampong Meraga Beris, which also, as you can see, provides yet another amazing view to the pool and the sea in the horizon.
However, if you think that a retreat at Resorts World Kijal is nothing more than frolicking on the beach, there is way more fun to be had within the property. Besides a round of golf, which the resort is well known for, there are sea and land sports to indulge in, as well as nature walk.
If you are game to wake up at 6.30am, you will be able to catch the glorious sunrise as you walk by the endless virgin private beach of the resort. I am not such a good photographer but I do have a couple of shots to boast about from my morning activity!
During my weekend at Resorts World Kijal, one of the most asked questions by friends was how much are the room rates. Well, the resort is currently running a promotion until 31st December, 2016.
There are three packages being offered: Kijal Weekend Promotion, Kijal Weekend Golf Package, and Turtle Watching Package. Choose one, or choose all!
Turtle watching is an activity that one should participate in while in Terengganu. It’s seasonal and I know of friends who had visited Terengganu way more times than me and had not even found the opportunity to see turtles.
Well, worry not because Resorts World Kijal will ensure that guests who take up the Turtle Watching Package get to experience turtle watching or turtle egg planting at the hotel hatchery. Guests can also help release turtle hatchlings to the sea. It is a very profound experience as we watch the baby turtles swim against the ferocious waves of the South China Sea.
During my stay, I was able to help release turtle hatclings into the sea. I tell you, no matter how many times I have done this before, I get extremely emotional EVERY TIME!
At Resorts World Kijal, I also had the chance to try turtle egg planting. This initiative was taken up by the resort just some two years ago. The turtle eggs that have been collected are planted in the sand to be hatched in a 60-day cycle. This is a very critical process as inappropriate handling of the egg would cause the embryo to die, hence, failure to hatch.
Hopefully, all parents would bring their kids to participate in this activity, letting them know why it is so important to support turtle conservation.
For every one thousand hatchlings released into the sea, only one would survive to live till adulthood. By the way, this Turtle Watching Package includes a three-day, two-night stay in a Premier Seaview room, inclusive of breakfast for two. Price is RM670 nett.
Meanwhile, the Kijal Weekend Golf Package is value for money at only RM276 (or RM138 per person). This package includes one-night stay in a Deluxe room with a unique work of art deco bathtub, and a round of golf in the championship 18-hole course for two.
As for the Kijal Weekend Promotion, it comes with a night’s stay in a Deluxe room for RM199 or Premier Seaview room at RM249. Both room options come with breakfast for two at the resort’s Restoran Kampong Meraga Beris.
Obviously, for a resort that boasts 340 rooms, there are other room and suite categories to choose from. I was particularly impressed with the suite that offers a private jacuzzi bathtub in the garden that has a direct exit to the beach! Another category of accommodation is the Duplex unit that offers two rooms on the lower floor and two more on the upper floor. The Duplex is currently going at RM1550 per night.
Oh yes, I’ve stayed at many different classes of accommodation but Resorts World Kijal was the only one which provided me with sleepwear during my stay there. It was in the form of the comfortable Baju Kedah and traditional Terengganu batik sarong. If I didn’t know better, I would have brought my set of sleepwear home.
Some people may ask how one whiles away time at Resorts World Kijal. Well, Kuala Terengganu is just two hours away by road and it is possible to sign up for a day tour of Kuala Terengganu and catch all the sights the town has to offer, PLUS shop for some local delights at Pasar Payang.
The attractions that we visited included Noor Arfa Craft Complex, which now has a new bunny petting corner called FunLand, Kuala Terengganu Chinatown and not forgetting the Crystal Mosque at the Islamic Civilisation Park (Taman Tamadun Islam).
On our way to Kuala Terengganu, we made a stop at Kemasik Beach (Pantai Kemasik), where the locals go to get their freshest of fresh fish and other seafood! I would definitely buy something if I weren’t travelling home to Ipoh!
For those who do not fancy four hours on the road to and fro, there are nearer tourist attractions to visit in Kemaman itself, which could be arranged by the resort. It is also a good idea to just spend time in the resort. There’s the swimming pool for adults and children.
Or how about indulging in a pampering session at Taman Sari Royal Heritage Spa? From an ancient healing experience (RM275 for two hours) to a simple hair wash (RM27.50 for medium-length hair), there are many different Javanese-style treatments to select from. Whichever type of service required, you are guaranteed an enjoyable and relaxing time!
By the way, of the two dinners that I had here, I was impressed with both meals. The first night was at Oasis Beach Bistro (OBB) on the beach. It was a romantic setting, where we were entertained by a specially arranged two-piece live band. A bonfire was also lighted.
On the second night, our dinner was hosted at the Open Herb Garden, which is by the golf course, hence, golf buggies were used as serving counters. What a novel idea! Chatting with the management, they are able to set up a dinner venue and theme according to the requirements of guests.
Talking about golf, I found out that the course, as well as the swimming pool, are open not only to resort guests but also walk-in guests, for a small fee to enjoy the facilities. For more information, log on to the official website of Resorts World Kijal.
Resorts World Kijal
Add: Km 28, Jalan Kemaman-Dungun, 24100 Kijal, Kemaman, Terengganu.
Tel: (609) 864 1188
Fax: (609) 864 1688
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