After deciding to visit Malaysia, I searched for the best Malaysian island to visit. Langkawi was the popular and obvious choice, however, after research, I stumbled across lesser-known islands; Redang and Tioman. I finally settled on Redang.
Redang Island is one of the largest islands off the east coast of Malaysia, famous for its crystal clear blue water and white sand beaches. Redang is an unspoiled tropical paradise, and it lived up to all expectations.
The Taaras Beach and Spa Resort is the islands number one resort and was the clear choice of where to stay. The Taaras offered a slice of paradise on the island of Redang.
Getting to Redang Island
Getting to Redang from Kuala Lumpur required a short hour flight from KL to Kuala Terengganu. I booked my flight with AirAsia which cost £70 for a return ticket (with 30kg luggage). Then a boat ride from Terengganu airport to Redang Island.
The Taaras have a private airport lounge for all guests in the arrival hall of the airport. The lounge offers complimentary wi-fi, TV, snacks and drinks whilst waiting for the boat ride. The hotel charged £35 per person each way for the boat transfer to the hotel which should be complimentary in my opinion. There is also the option of the public boat if you prefer, however, we took the hotel boat for ease of access.
I stayed in the Cliff Hill Deluxe room which is situated on a cliff overlooking the ocean. The room was light and spacious at 42 square metres, with the bathroom overlooking the bedroom through a clear window. The room was new and modern which is the standard I expect from a 5* hotel.
The Taaras boasts a private beach for hotel guests. The beach was genuinely one of the best beaches I’ve ever seen in all my years of travelling. The sand was powdery white and so soft it felt almost grainless.
The water was crystal clear yet at the same time deeply turquoise and pleasantly warm. We spent about 90% of our time at Redang Island on this beach – it was so hard to leave that view!
The Taaras Villa is a private clifftop villa which sits at the highest point of the cliff and overlooks the resort with sweeping views out to the South China Sea.
The villa boasts five bedrooms, five bathrooms, walk-in wardrobes and dressing areas, a private gym, elevator, kitchen and an infinity swimming pool overlooking the ocean.
The villa is complete with a chef, butler and security service.
The price of the Villa ranges from around £2500 – £4000 a night depending on the time of booking. Whilst this is expensive, it’s a good option for birthdays or weddings as it accommodates at least 10 adults.
We spent the afternoon at the Villa and I can tell you that pictures online don’t even do it justice.
There are four restaurants at the resort, and I tried them all. The food was very good at the Taaras but the menu has quite a small selection. It worked well for me as I stayed at the resort for only 5 days, however, I could see the menu being repetitive if I stayed any longer.
The Bayu Bar
This is the hotel’s beach bar which served lunch and dinner. We frequented this restaurant daily as we couldn’t get enough of the ocean view.
The Bayu bar served a daily ‘Catch of the Day’ which was cooked to perfection.
The Brasserie is a dinner restaurant specialising in seafood and western grill. The food and drinks were top notch.
The buffet breakfast was served at the Asean, overlooking the pool and the beach. The breakfast had a wide selection of choices and didn’t disappoint.
Redang Island encompassed relaxation. Activities on Redang included, trekking, snorkelling and diving, and turtle watching and the Taaras offered all of the above.
Swimming with Turtles
We fed and swam with wild turtles for 1 hour which cost 70MYR (around £14 per person). I love turtles so this was my favourite experience. At one point we were circled by around 10+ turtles. We fed the turtles squid and fish – a breathtaking experience.
Kayaking also cost 70MYR hourly per kayak. We shared a clear kayak and went rowing around the island and found more turtles and brightly coloured fish.
SEATRU Turtle Lab
As Redang Island is so enriched with turtles there is a turtle lab at the resort. The lab is managed by the marine biologist and guests are guided through the sea turtle life cycle from nesting to hatching and more.
During the hatching seasons, guests can experience hatchlings being released into the sea. Unfortunately, the lab was closed for renovation during my trip!
Other activities on offer:
- Island Hopping
- Boat Charter
- Water Zorb Ball
- Snorkeling/ Diving / Surfboarding / Bodyboarding
THE SPA & GYM
The spa offers a range of treatments. I went for the Swedish aromatherapy massage and could make my own choice of massage oils. The spa was clean and relaxing and we were offered ginger tea before and after the treatment for ultimate relaxation.
The gym is situated on the cliff offering a beautiful ocean view. The view from the gym had me awake at 6 am for my gym workout to see the sunrise. Any encouragement to go to the gym is a win-win for me.
Both Redang Island and the Taaras lived up to expectations. Redang Island has truly earned its name as the Malaysian Maldives – and is up there with one of the best beach holidays that I’ve been on.
Have you been to Redang Island? or any other Island in Malaysia – if so drop a comment below. And as always ask me a question.