I have dined in some amazing places around the world but one thing’s for sure, when it comes to unforgettable morning munches there’s no meal quite like the rainforest breakfast at The Shangri-La Rasa Ria!
Last month I travelled to Malaysia for the first time with my mamma, we split our trip into three different locations within the country, Langkawi where we spent 4 days enjoying the beauty of the archipelago, two days in the hustle of bustle of the capital City, Kuala lumpur and 5 days on the island that is in my opinion the best of the best when it comes to visiting Malaysia, Borneo.
It was in Borneo that our tale of meeting Orangutans in the wild was written, a tale shared and enjoyed by most who visit as this country as it’s one of the only places in the world that humans can witness the endangered primates freely whilst also contributing to their welfare and rehabilitation. Borneo for this reason alone will always be a country close to my heart my experience of seeing the Orangutans was not the only reason for my newest destination love affair. Borneo was also the gorgeous setting for what I can only describe as ‘a breakfast that dreams are made of!’.
Our base in Borneo was the tourist friendly Kota Kinabalu. An area that lies in the North East of Borneo and home to one of Malaysia’s most famous and popular resorts, The Shangri La Rasa Ria.
When looking into travelling to see the Orangutans in Borneo I came across this particular resort in Kota Kinabalu and having stayed at The Shangri La Hotel Sydney recently I didn’t hesitate to create my booking. The Shangri La Sydney definitely set the tone for high expectations, my luxury experience with the hotel chain was amazing, Mems and I loved every moment of our stay in Sydney with our amazing ‘room with a view’ still fresh in our minds and with the wow-factor accommodation still fresh in my camera roll I was pleased to discover that the The Shangri La Rasa Ria was no different! The rooms were incredibly large for a two persons living space and staying in a ocean wing suite meant that we were treated to daily bubble baths on our private sea facing balcony, the dream! Our check-in was done from the comfort of our own room so we arrived and settled in the same fifteen minutes.
The communal facilities are really well located throughout the hotel. The beach seems to stretch for miles and miles with just one or two hotel guests strolling up and down with the gentle tides at any given time. Watersports and Beach Horse Rides are available for booking on the day and towels are provided on request in all outdoor areas.
The hotel boasts five restaurants featuring a mix of a-la-carte menus and a buffet options for dinner. Staying in the Ocean Wing also gives guests the opportunity to enjoy a complimentary cocktail hour each evening whilst watching the amazing sunset. I missed out on most of these however as the best view of the pinks and purples filling the sky every evening was from my very own outdoor bath, a glass of red wine and Ed Sheeran in my ear was my perfect way to say goodbye to the sun for the day.
The Shangri La Rasa Ria is very famous in Malaysia but not always because of the stunning grounds, amazing service and bare beaches, The hotel used to be a place that Orangutans called home. From 1996 – 2016 the hotel worked along side The Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre to help naturally nurture the Orangutans back in the wild and now after a successful 10 years of work their job is done and the Orangutans have been released back into the wild. This as I am sure you can appreciate was a huge draw for tourists to visit the hotel but now that the primates have moved on it doesn’t mean that the hotel is to be missed out on. There is still so much happening in Rasa Ria’s Rainforest. A great example is their night time nature walk in which you walk through the rainforest with night goggles to catch a glimpse of the nocturnal animals and insects living there, whilst on this particular walk we saw wild tarantulas, a scorpion and Bear Cats. It’s quite a thrill, walking through the jungle in pitch black with your very own guide to point out the creepies, crawlies and cuties!
The main draw for this hotel though and a very special treat for those who know about it is, without a doubt, the Rainforest Picnic Breakfast.
One morning the hotel arranged the most amazing morning treat. In the natural playground where the Orangutans themselves would have eaten their brekkie every morning, my mother and I were treated to a breakfast fit for jungle royalty. An experience so amazingly unforgettable it takes the title of one of the highlights of our entire trip to Malaysia. As the sun was coming up for a brand new day along with our nature guide we trekked up for 20 minutes or so high up into the rainforest where our furry friends used to swing from the branches spotting an incredibly rare mouse deer along the way.
After spotting the beach through the luscious green trees and climbing through tree houses in the morning glow we eventually spotted our breakfast and one of the most stunning views in all of Borneo. Not only were we high in the sky with the billow of tress below us and the sun rising brightly in the distance we also had a 270 degree view of the entire resort, with our own continental breakfast spread at the top of the peak. The smell of just-baked pastries and freshly squeezed orange juice such a view of wonders was by far the best way to start the morning. A truly unmatchable moment.
Sometimes words can’t bring to life the true beauty of nature and sometimes even capturing the moments on camera can’t quite do the experience justice but I made a youtube video none the less 😉
If you are planning a trip to Malaysia I highly recommend this hotel, it was a great base for all the other amazing things you can do in Borneo, details of such activities and excursions I’ll be sharing with you all very soon 😉