HONEYMOONING IN PARADISE

Malaysia stands out from the “usual old” offering with stunning island getaways for newlyweds

Travel advisors around the world are increasingly seeking different ideas for newlyweds when planning dream honeymoons, and Malaysia is definitely “on the radar”

It all begins with lukewarm crystal blue waters, white beaches and swaying palms… but if one wants more than that, this is where Malaysia steps out on its own as a star destination, thanks to its deep-rooted friendly culture, amazing cuisine and stunning nature. Here are just a couple of ideas you may consider when helping YOUR clients plan their dream Honeymoon.

LANGKAWI

With a huge variety of magical places such as the Bon Ton resort, Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa, the Danna, the Ritz Carlton or the Four Seasons, the island of Langkawi is very different from anything you’ll find in neighbouring Thailand, or further a field in Indonesia or the Philippines. Not only are there 99 islands to visit – virtually devoid of people… (now that’s romantic), the main island is Southeast Asia’s first UNESCO Geopark. The entire paleo- geological history of Malaysia happened to Langkawi. As a result of this, one can find an incredible diversity of flora and fauna.

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SABAH

Rasa Ria – Authentic Luxury: The north-east coast of Borneo – just next to the Sabah capital of Kota Kinabalu, is home to Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa Dalit Bay Golf & Country Club – a perfect Honeymoon getaway. Resort General Manager, Fiona Hanan, describes the resort: “I describe this as a really authentic experience that is wrapped up in a luxurious parcel, comprised of the location, the services and the facilities. We are built on 460 acres of land. Of that 200 acres is developed, with a golf course, a 64-acre nature reserve, and three kilometres of beach front.”

Mabul Island: Sabah’s Islands are unique from the point of view that they give Honeymooners not only crystal-clear waters and white ne sand beaches, but also some of the best diving anywhere in the world. Taking the example of Mabul Island off Sabah’s east coast, just 15 minutes’ ride by boat to world-renowned Sipadan Island, this “micro-destination” is also fascinating thanks to the fact that it is home to tribes of colourful and friendly shing communities, living in harmony with a handful of resorts dedicated to eco-tourism and CSR.

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PERHENTIAN ISLANDS

The beautiful Perhentian islands off the north-east coast of Malaysia’s mainland are still little-known to the travel world at large, but that is changing quite rapidly as top-level infrastructure is added. Located 21 km off the coast of Terengganu, Pulau Perhentian consists of the islands of Perhentian Besar (Big Perhentian) and Perhentian Kecil (Small Perhentian). Both islands are covered by untouched jungle, a stopover for migratory birds, fringed by powdery white sandy beaches, windswept palms and surrounded by sapphire blue waters. The Lonely Planet Travel Guide Book recently recognised Pulau Perhentian as the 5th Best Beach to Swing a Hammock. One of the only hotels on the two main islands with full- time electricity (a big plus), the brand new four-star Mimpi Perhentian Long Beach Resort opened its doors in time for the high-season 2018, and several other high-end hotels are due to open in coming years.