Monday, 13 January 2014

Playing in Pangkor (Pangkor Island Beach Resort)

A motley collection of shells.  A peacock feather.  Three wilted frangipanis.  A bucket of sand.

These are the things Mister Three wanted to bring back from our recent three night trip to Pangkor Island.  Being the boring killjoy that I am, few of the above souvenirs made it back to KL but despite a lack of visual reminders, this was a holiday that seems to have made a deep impression on Master Three.  The night he woke up crying 'I miss Pangkor' it dawned on me that our holiday at Pangkor Island Beach Resort was pretty much the stuff of a child's dreams.

 For a start, the journey's pretty fun; children will love the thirty minute ferry ride that awaits them at Lumut, a fairly straightforward three or so hour drive from KL.  You can find out more about it here.  There's then the extra bonus of a short bus ride to your resort.  Our hotel provided a very cool white vehicle that bore a strong resemblance to a decommissioned prison bus.  Very exciting for three year olds.  Our two month old baby girl was less excited, but rolled with it all anyway.

Secondly, there's the welcome.  The day we arrived there was a man dressed up in a panda suit handing out chocolate bars at the resort entrance.  Pretty much a small child's nirvana right there.  And we found the staff very friendly and attentive.  Our little boy befriended one of the managers who made an effort to seek him out every day.

Next, there's the beach.  Obviously.  It's a pretty curve of beach.  Quite long, reasonably fine sand and just a gentle swell.  In this country of stunning beaches it's not the finest, but it is attractive and bucket-weilding, ghost crab hunting, salty water seeking tots will be more than satisfied.

And then there's just the fun of staying at a big resort.  Admittedly, Pangkor Island Beach Resort will always live in the shadow of the famous, glamorous Pangkor Laut Resort.  But let's be honest.  If you have kids and unless you know something I don't, you aren't going to be canoodling the night away over long romantic dinners or having exquisite couples massages.  So what you're looking for is somewhere with a pool (tick), comfortable, if basic, rooms (tick) and space for children to run around (tick).  It's true that the decor and facilities are a little tired in some places but I've yet to meet a child who complains about dated bathroom tiles.  

I'm also yet to find a child who isn't lured by an ice cream trolley at the dinner buffet or fresh waffles at breakfast.  Meals aren't perfect, service isn't always slick (though always friendly), but it's adequate and your child won't be particularly bothered if the rice is a little dry.

Beach babe
We stayed in the old wing.  The rooms are perhaps less attractive than those in the newer wing, but we liked the ground floor rooms with little gardens fronting onto the pool.  They're handy, especially if you have a young child who will need naps.  Free-roaming peacocks, the occasional monkey and beautiful hornbills drop by from time to time.

So there you have it.  This is an easy and fun family destination.  A honeymooners' paradise?  Probably less so.  But then, since parenthood arrived and sleep-in-til-ten-then-sunbake-all-day holidays are on long-term hold, I've discovered that the best trips are those that bring the most smiles to my little peoples' faces.

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