“Uber-stylish villas in an awe-inspiring setting, complete with aqua ocean and lush jungle views”
There are 13 beautiful, Malay kampung villas. Each is rustic-chic unique. They were built around nature, rather than cutting down trees, removing rocks or disturbing wildlife. Best of all, each has stunning views of the rainforest and ocean. Decor is tasteful with cream linens, glossy dark wooden flooring and bright, silk cushions. Nice touches include air con, DVD players, iPod docks and custom-made organic toiletries, though be aware that there's no in-room WiFi here - a good thing for some.
Right on the beach, the newer 2-storey Penghulu's House is the resort's only family villa. The double bedroom has a vast living space opening to a spectacular view of the sea; the twin has direct access to a beautifully decked plunge pool.
The Seaview Sarang villa is the most covetable and spacious. Ideal for honeymooners, it has a private open-air dining room, swimming pool, hydro pool and timber sun deck.
Hillside Sarang villas are split-level properties, planted along the hillside. These have a hydro pool, outdoor shower and sunloungers on a private deck.
Sea Cliff Chalets jut out into the ocean, offering glimmering views of the South China sea. These are the cheapest properties and are light and breezy.
Tree Top Chalets are perched high above the rainforest canopy so you're immersed in nature. Although lovely, the walkway up to them is long and rickety; not suitable for older guests or children.
JapaMala has 2 restaurants: Mandi Mandi, which has overhung pavilions and is on stilts designed to hover over transparent waters containing the catch of the day. And open-sided Tamarind, set back in the jungle with sea views. The former is an Italian restaurant, the latter specialises in Vietnamese, Thai and Chinese fusion and is decorated with stone-carved statues of Buddha. Both make use of fresh seafood.
Dinner favourites at Mandi Mandi included tomato bruschetta, a seafood soup packed with fresh squid, snapper and tiger prawns, a herb-laden calzone and juicy, barbecued grouper.
In Tamarind, the Vietnamese spring rolls were delightfully crispy and the lemongrass prawns plump and juicy. Seafood is definitely the best bet all round; we found the steak a bit flavourless. Staff will happily bring snacks or drinks to the beach or pool area.
Breakfast is included in the tariff, but was a little disappointing. Our eggs were underdone, and buffet food sat outside in the hot sun - not ideal if you rise late. That said, we found the apple pancakes sweet and yummy, and the fresh juices (especially the Detox with cucumber, carrot and broccoli) a perfect kickstart to the day.
Children under 12 can stay in an extra bed in parents' room. 12s and over are charged as adults.
Bear in mind though that the ethos here is very much R&R, so if your little ones are very active or loud, you may feel self-conscious.
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available
Baby cots available on request
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking