Friday, April 20, 2012

Manikar Beach Resort, Labuan

I've always thought Labuan has so much potential. It's a port hub, basically some areas are near some beaches but still (strangely) underdeveloped. Most importantly (being one of it's biggest attraction), is it's duty free! 

Last weekend, Daren came by to visit. Daren has heard so many (cheap) things about Labuan, but never really knew anything about the place. We decided to spend a Saturday night, check out the Manikar Beach Resort and get to know the little Labuan.

You can travel to Labuan by flight, by Ferry or by land plus boat. It is about 45minutes flight away from Kota Kinabalu or 3 hours Ferry Ride from the main Jesselton Point's Terminal. Another way to go to Labuan is when locals would usually drive up to Kuala Penyu and from there they would boat up to Labuan for another 20minutes.

Received good vibes about this place since my first correspondence with the Communications Personnel. She duly informed me about the upgrading they are working on when I was inquiring about my reservation. Even furnished me with all the necessary details one needs to know.

Before I get to the crummy, I must say we were lucky that our stay included a Complimentary Transfer from/ to the terminal. The only unfortunate thing during the whole trip was the fact that the van they rented was really old and dirty :( Apparently it was a temporary van that they had to use to transport some of the guests. So all was forigven - and maybe next time it will be better.

We got ourselves the Deluxe Twin (Sea View) and the room was massive. I thought it was perfect for families, could probably fit two more singles or if you have small ones that are younger than 9 maybe, I'm sure you can squeeze them in perfectly with you on the bed :)


Some friends from TripAdvisor actually commented that the place looked scary, creepy and a little overworn. I must admit that I could tell the place must have been around for quite sometime now, but I experienced nothing like those (e.g damp and smelly). Yes, some parts were rusty, the water shower was a little too strong but I personally was fine with it because I used it to massage my back (haha). But you may want to use the tub for the kids instead.

I also had more in mind - we could host awesome small parties in there! Some drinks and a couple of small chats maybe. That would be perfect for a close get-together :) 

There's a quaint television just in case you'd like to stay in and catch some shows. In fact, there were a lot of channels to choose from.  From sports, to news to HBO, that quaint TV is quite an entertainment box.


The entire room is basically massive. I forgot to take a photo of the bathroom -  that TOO was huge. You could practically fill the tub up, let it flow and swim around kind of huge.



Super long and huge hallway. I could imagine all the shoes being lined up all the way.


Daren and I received these Complimentary Welcome Drinks upon our arrival - some juice, which till today I was still not sure whether it was mango or some passion fruit. But it was really nice :)


The dining area is massive too. Seems like everything about this place is huge. Wait till you see the pool! For dinners, luncheons or breakfasts, I can assume this place can cater up to 300 people or more at one time. The restaurant's indoor section.

Indoor 
Outdoor. Perfect for the cool nights, or those who want to take some ciggy breaks. It's a great place to have team building events - imagine it being filled up by groups that can mingle and chat around. Good place to organise events in.

Outdoor 
Even the lobby or waiting area is massive. Manikar must have this thing where everything must be huge o.O There were only like 2 sofas but the entire area was huge. A little disproportionate though I must say.

Lobby
We get to see the lovely sunrise from our room :)

I saw a couple of kids playing 'bola tampar' wee early on Sunday morning. I thought that was rather lovely! Youngsters should opt to play more outgoing games. It's always good to stay active under the sun. Things are a little too digitalised nowadays.

LOVELY PALM TREEEEEEES


And the pool. Ah, the pool. It was gorgeous and really inviting. There was a dude who was cleaning up the pool when I went in on Sunday morning, I could say it's very well maintained.


Look at how massive the pool was. I swam for only 20minutes, and I already got myself burned

-______-.

Not quite sure why exactly, but Labuan is almost everywhere by the sea, and for some strange reason, Labuan is extra hot too. I had sunburned on both of my calves in like 20minutes -_-".


If you could see clearly from this view below, there's this small hut right across the pool and another a little to the right. These are beach pavillions which were used by some dudes partying on the day we came. They were blasting some real "happening" music - one could only assume it was an awesome party. I saw some silverwares on the table, maybe they had dinner there too. You can think about hosting your birthday parties (with barbeque) at this resort too :)


It has a football/ sports net. Friends can actually play some football here, and bask in the sun. It could be fun and convenient.


Doesn't have a fantastic beach, I thought the water wasn't that inviting too, but the stretch was "fairly" clean. There weren't as many trash as some beaches. The sand wasn't soft, it was brown a little muddy but I'm sure you could find a spot to sunbath still.



Breakfast here is moderate. There's nothing to shout about really, you have the usual Mee Goreng, Cereal, Juices, Turkey Ham, Toast, Sausage, Hash Brown, unlimited coffee and tea and then some.


There's this long stretch of greens beautifully landscaped and maintained along the corridor to our rooms. Things like these are nice and refreshing :)


Location wise - bear in mind this is NOT in the city, it's off the city about 20minutes away. If you're from Kota Kinabalu, Brunei or other neighbouring areas there's a huge parking space for you and maybe you're family could find useful of. What I find was most commendable was the fact that they actually made sure hat we're well informed we could use the complimentary shuttle bus at night as and when we want, to wherever we want. That was quite a service from them. They brought us to the city at 8pm and actually fetched us from where they dropped us at 10ish.

Though I also do think that it's because there were so few people in the hotel that they could actually attend to such requests.  Helps that most of guests were driving :P

So for RM 188.00++ and the rate includes:
  • One (1) night's accomodation 
  • Welcome drinks on arrival day 
  • Complimentary breakfast for two (2) 
  • Early check in - and late check out - (subject to availability) 
  • Complimentary broadband internet access and wi-fi in the lobby, Bunga Mas Restaurant and Pantai Lounge 
  • Complimentary airport and/or ferry terminal transfer 
  • Complimentary use of the swimming pool. 
  • Complimentary schedule shuttle bus service to the shopping mall (Financial Park) (latest to city was 8pm, and return from city was 10pm)  
  • In room coffee & tea making facilities 
  • 20% discount off food & beverage except in room dining and alcoholic beverages 
  • 10% discount on laundry is applicable for guest stay in the Suite King/ Twin Bedroom only. 

I think Manikar is perfect for school holidays. Drive down to Labuan, bring your family once in a while, check it out and you might be pleasantly surprised :)

Love,
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

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