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Golden Sands Resort

Life's a Beach - Malaysia

With golden sands, luxury resorts and smiling locals, a Malaysian beach holiday will touch you forever and leave you with superb family memories.

Swaying coconut palms, powder-soft sand, lush rainforest – take a deep breath and breathe in the serenity. Recharging your batteries on a tropical beach is every family’s dream come true, and Malaysia is emerging as a new destination for value-savvy Australian travellers.

There is a plethora of stunning destinations to choose from when planning a beach holiday in Malaysia, from its exotic mainland to offshore islands and the beaches of Sabah in northern Borneo. Here are some of the standout beach locations and some recommendations for family-friendly accommodation – after all, where you choose to stay can make or break your holiday.

Penang’s beach paradise
Located on the northwest coast of the Malay Peninsula, Penang is highly urbanised but also retains pockets of beachside beauty. Batu Feringgi beach is home to many excellent family resorts including Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La. This family-friendly resort has just spent $USD14million improving its facilities. The resort’s unique Adventure Zone features drop slides, modular play equipment, a game zone, toddler area and café. The kids’ club features free daily activities and the resort includes a ‘Kids Eat, Stay and Play For Free’ package for up to three children less than 12 years of age.

At nearby Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, banana boat rides, jungle treks, table tennis and canoeing are just a few of the activities that will keep your kids amused while you relax in the hotel’s superb CHI spa. The resort is also less than an hour’s drive from George Town if you want a dose of urban culture.

Penang Parkroyal also ticks all the boxes for a fun-filled family holiday, with the waterslide sure to keep the kids happy for many hours. The Koko-Nut Klub will keep them busy and active with games and water fun leaving parents free to loll in a deckchair or have a massage in the spa.

Lazing in Langkawi
Langkawi is Malaysia’s most popular island group, 99 dots in the Andaman Sea located 30 kilometres off the Malaysian mainland. It is home to some of Malaysia’s best beaches as well as jungles sheltering a host of wildlife including lemurs and macaques.

The main island has an international airport and many luxury resorts, including The Four Seasons. This resort, located on Tanjung Rhu (one of the island’s best beaches) has hosted many world leaders and celebrities – and no wonder, as it’s beauty and luxury is on a huge scale.

This property is an idyllic base for families, with younger guests made to feel really welcome with touches like milk and cookies and special gifts such as colouring books with crayons, chocolate treats, board games, books and toys.

All the family will love the Spa with special pampering treats for mothers and daughters, or fathers and sons, as well as manicures and pedicures for young princesses. They even run family massage classes! There are special kids’ yoga sessions, and if parents want to spend some time together, the Kids For All Seasons Club looks after children from 4-12 with all kinds of fun activities.

Bon Ton Resort is rather different, comprising eight original Malay kampung houses clustered around a pool/Jacuzzi and built in the grounds of a century-old coconut plantation. It’s run by an Australian with profits going to fund an animal rescue centre.

Located right on the beach, the Frangipani Langkawi boasts 118 rooms and outdoor showers the kids will love; while at the Andaman Resort, built within a 50 million-year-old virgin tropical rainforest, guests are encouraged to take a guided nature walk to discover the secrets of the rainforest.

Idyllic Pangkor Laut
Serene golden beaches and crystal blue waters make Pangkor Laut, a privately-owned island 1.6 kilometres off the west coast of the Malaysian Peninsula, the ideal destination to enjoy a wide range of sun and sea activities like scuba diving, wind-surfing, fishing and snorkelling. This resort is really a cut above the rest, with the over-water villas simply stunning. Children will lap up the gorgeous beaches and water activities. Plus there are two swimming pools, a jet pool and cold plunge pool, and tennis courts.

Sun and surf at Cherating
Located on the eastern shore of the Malaysian Peninsula, 3.5 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur, Cherating Beach is a great choice for families – with white sand beaches, great surf, a huge choice of accommodation and dozens of places to eat. The standout resort here is Club Med Cherating Beach, where children are honoured guests. Kids’ clubs are grouped into three age levels, with specific activities designed to keep them amused every hour of the day.

Go wild in Sabah
On the picturesque island of Borneo, Sabah is blessed with stunning beaches, lush rainforests swinging with exotic wildlife, great diving and snorkelling opportunities and diverse eateries to tempt adventurous (and fussy) taste buds.

Sabah’s leading resort is Shangri-La Rasa Ria, where young guests have the unique opportunity to get up close to orangutans at the resort’s education and rehabilitation centre. The dedicated children’s pool is open 12 hours a day and the kids’ club offers children from 4-12 years old activities like baby crab catching, batik painting, beads and sea shell wind chime creation, coconut leaves weaving and origami.

Shangri-La Tanjung Aru is another beachside resort located in 10 hectares of tropical gardens. Younger children will enjoy the playground and wading pool, while older ones will enjoy the bicycles for hire, petanque, table tennis and snorkelling. If you need some adult time, the kids’ club will keep your little ones happy with activities like garland making, limbo rock contests, mask making, outdoor treasure hunts and sandcastle building contests.

The new, two-bedroom duplex pool villas at Nexus Resort & Spa, Karambunai are perfect for families to spread out in. As well, the resort features three freeform swimming pools, jacuzzi, a gymnasium, squash and tennis courts, the Borneo Spa, a children’s club and playground, a 75-acre nature park as well as water-sports, sea and river activities at the resort’s lagoon park. The Nexie Club offers childcare for four-to-11 year olds.

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