Have you ever been to Paradise?
I think we’ve found Paradise and man am I regretting the bitching and whinging I did before we left on this trip – what was I thinking?
Before this week I could have named only 2 places in the world that I classified as paradise.
If you’re of the generation that grew up at the same time Leo DiCaprio was swimming his way to The Beach, you would agree that, back then, Thailand’s Phi Phi Island was close to Paradise. The late 90’s was definitely the time to go. We went again last year as I had been telling hubby, Mum and the kids what an incredible place it was and was beyond disappointed when we turned up and we were overcome by speedboat fumes, 80% of the beach being taken up by parked speedboats and the clear blue waters now scream ‘tourism dollar’ as opposed to ‘natural oasis – please protect’. It’s time has come and gone.
Sailing around the Whitsundays and visiting Whitehaven beach was also my version of paradise. I’m amazed at how many Australians I’ve met who’ve never been to Whitehaven beach, or even know about it. Perhaps it’s a good thing though. We sailed a yacht around the Whitsundays over ten years ago now but it still remains one of the most picturesque and incredible beaches I’ve ever been to.
Whilst I’m not the type of person who’s travelled to every holiday destination in the world (I’ve never been to Bali or Fiji , Bora Bora or the Maldives which most of my friends rave about and the last three are definitely on my list of to do’s), I do think I’ve found somewhere as close to paradise as you’re going to get.
Now, this comes with an admission or two. Before you read this thinking “spoilt little Miss So and So sitting in her fancy pants hotel telling us about how good she’s got it”,
- We’ve had a LOT of time to save for this holiday as we were pre-warned about little brother’s wedding in Malaysia a LONG time ago.
- Credit card frequent flyer points help when it comes to flying 2 adults and 4 kids across the world!
- When we did call up every other hotel on the Island, they were either booked out or couldn’t accommodate our rather large family so we’re kind of accidental tourists here.
- I mis-calculated the conversion of Malaysian Ringet to Aussie dollars and the cost of the trip is actually double what I budgeted so I’m sure we’ll be paying it off for years to come BUT…..
- WORTH EVERY CENT and therefore worth sharing with The Mum Network readers because even if it takes you saving $20 a week for the next ten years, PUT IT ON YOUR BUCKET LIST.
We’re staying at The Four Seasons Langkawi Island and there is only one word for it. PARADISE. It’s a completely private paradise too, it seems there’s no one here but there are, it’s simply big enough so that you’re not bothered by other guests staying at the resort. It must be paradise for the celebrity set as well as we’ve seen quite a few Australian celebrities and high powered CEO types hanging about the pool. It’s rather hard not to be impressed by the fact that you’re hanging with the uber cool people of the world and impressed by the complete luxury of the place. We’ve had a chat to them all and they’ve explained that it’s one of the best hotels in the world. Gulp! Didn’t realize that!
We’re in a beach villa (Beach Villa No 10 which is actually the villa where all the hotel’s photo’s on their website were taken from, ooooh lala!) The kids have one room and we’re in the main bedroom and we’re overlooking the most beautiful views of the ocean I’ve ever seen. The villa is nothing short of amazing and has a bath big enough to fit our entire family in it plus a plunge pool, outdoor dining area with an enormous daybed and an outdoor shower. The room is serviced twice a day and the sheets, and covers on the beds are changed daily as well. The thread count on the bed sheets must be ridiculous as they’re so soft you don’t want to get out of bed in the morning. Fresh fruit is delivered to the room every couple of days as well. The sand on the beach is so white and soft you actually want to walk over it just to feel the sand running through your feet and the water at the beach is so warm that even I have been going for a daily dip.
There are two swimming pools, an adult pool and a kids pool, both enormous compared to anywhere we’ve stayed. There’s a ‘button’ that you press if you would like a cocktail or lunch bought to the pool whilst you lounge around like lady muck – it’s absolutely phenomenal. The grounds, furniture and décor of the place is second to none and the service is something that’s out of this world, it almost makes you wonder why you are worthy of such luxury.
Hubby has managed to use all the water sport facilities and has taken the boys kayaking, sailing and windsurfing, it’s an experience none of them will forget and all the water sports are complimentary.
Nothing can explain how incredible it is and I am constantly surprised by the service. I think that’s what sets it apart from any hotel I’ve ever stayed at. When I asked one of the waitresses at breakfast about a rash that had appeared on Miss 3’s back during the night, within 3 minutes a Doctor was attending to her. Again, when Mr 5 fell off his bike and grazed himself rather badly, the Doctor was back at the villa just as hubby bought him in screaming, we didn’t even tell anyone about the bike crash!
We’re staying next door to one of the bars and all we do is call ‘the man’ and cocktails are delivered to the villa. When you’re at the pool the waiters come around and clean your sunglasses for you, spray your face with Evian spray and offer you fruit skewers to ‘refresh you’. Like I said, it’s ridiculous!
There’s a gym which has remained unused by our lot but the kids have played tennis and we were all given bikes to ride around on for the 9 day stay. There’s a day spa here and I treated myself to a massage one day, between the cold ginger tea and then the steam room, shower and massage room which is almost as big as our house, I was in heaven. You know when you lie down face first to get a massage and you’re usually looking at the floor, they’ve even put a bowl of flowers in water underneath the massage table for you to look at. The massage was hard to describe, I think I went to another planet for 90 minutes.
One of the best parts of the resort has got to be the kids club, there have only been about 10 kids here the entire time we’ve been here and the kids love it because they can come and go. They’re not tied into staying all day and therefore they keep wanting to go back. They go on bike tours of the resort, make door hangings for Mum and Dad, make pencil holders, get henna tattoos and well, there’s no end to the fun our three big kids are having.
When my brother got married a few nights ago, the party went on after the reception. A few of the wedding guests wanted to party on into the wee hours. They went to one of the villas to start the party but a the neighbours complained so at 1:00am in the morning, two electricians came out to the beach and wired up some speakers so that they could play their iPod on the beach. Uh huh…like I said, nothing is too much trouble!
My sister was staying next door at the Tangang Rhu and last night we agreed to have a simple dinner at their hotel for Miss 3 who is turning 4 whilst we’re here. For $80 a head (just adults, the kids were about $10 a head), they turned on the most unbelievable private BBQ on the beach with more food than I’ve ever seen and more amazing than my own wedding. At the end of the night, they bought out a birthday cake with Miss 4’s name on it, candles and oh, a string quartet playing happy birthday (of course!). It was such an experience but something that I’m hoping Miss 4 doesn’t want us to repeat when she turns 5!
Whilst I am sure it will be a long time before we have another holiday quite like this one, it’s certainly been an experience that has been worth every cent. Sure you pay for it but when you have as many kids as we do and Mum and Dad want a relaxing holiday as well, then I would forego a few years of trips to the Gold Coast which involve going away and doing your own cooking, cleaning and staying in a high rise apartment to save up for a trip like this one again.
It may be a while before we are back, but we’ll definitely be back! It honestly is Paradise.