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A Weekend Hideaway at Manukan Island Resort

by Zurainny Ismail   ·  1 year ago   ·  

After such a hectic year, we finally got to get far away from the hustle and bustle of the city into the loving arms of nature. It was a beautiful and peaceful weekend hideaway at the award-winning, Manukan Island Resort.

Our intention was to relax and recharge as a family.

How wonderful it was to be in a place where there were no cars. Very few people. Opportunity to enjoy privacy in an island without feeling isolated or alone. Surrounded by mother nature and comfort.

Resort View Beach

A place where we can choose whether to fill our days with activities or just laze around. A place that’s fun enough for youngsters and also serene enough for senior citizens as well. A secluded zone where one can sleep lulled by the meditative sounds of the waves.

Manukan Beach

We found such a spot at Pulau Manukan or Manukan Island.

Perahu Manukan

Call of the Sea

It was decades ago when I last spent the night at Manukan Island. Although I can neither swim nor dive, I used to love snorkeling or floating in the sea. And once my feet touched the sea waters, I was totally enchanted. I feel pulled and could wade in it for hours and not feel the burning heat of the sun. Thus was the call of the ocean to an islander (I live in the island of Borneo).

According to my father, he once desperately pulled me out of the Manukan waters for fear that I was on the brink of drowning. But I didn’t realise it at all. I guess I loved the sea so much, I was hypnotized. Now I know better. Dangers at the beach are not to be trifled with.

Manukan Island Cover

A Weekend Hideaway at Manukan Island Resort

Pulau Manukan is a perfect place for a hideaway – for couples and family. For us, it’s a break from our routine in the city, to breathe fresh air amidst lush greenery and the blue sea.

We were there with our kids ranging from 12 – 22, and adults aged between 40s to 70s. A few of us were very fit, and some not-so-much. Manukan provided us with options – we chose to enjoy a slower pace and rest.

Manukan Island Jetty

Booking and Preparations

I made the reservation directly with the Sutera Sanctuary Resort (SSL) during one of their promo periods. The staff was very helpful and attended to my many enquiries most patiently. We booked the Hillside Villa as recommended by the staff because the Beach Villa and Beach Suite units were fully booked. Which turned out to be great. Compared to my earlier choice, the Beach Villa, the Hillside Villa is actually more economical and convenient. It also afforded us more space and privacy.

For my mom’s convenience, I contacted the Manukan Island Resort Manager a few days before our trip to personally request for accommodation that is nearest to the jetty/reception. He tried his best to accommodate our request and also graciously recommended for my mom a single storey unit.

The staff at the Resort were really very helpful.

Sutera Resort Manukan

Most of the Hillside Villas are double storey, except for 2 units. In the pic above are the units that are furthest away from the jetty, with hundreds of steps (well, it felt like hundreds to me!), for the fit and adventurous guests.

We do not fit that bill. We prefer to be at the bottom of the steps.😬

Journey to Pulau Manukan

Our journey to the Island of Manukan started at the marina of Sutera Harbour Marina, Golf & Country Club. We were allowed to park our vehicle at the public parking zone for free, thank you very much. Happy to inform that no untoward incident happened to our vehicle as the security at Sutera Harbour is superb.

Sutera Harbour Marina

Next time, perhaps we’ll share about Sutera Harbour’s wonderful takeaway food.

There’s a SSL registration hut at the marina, where we were asked to write in our details. It was a hot day, and the complementary bottles of drinking water were much appreciated. After all the formalities were done, we were escorted to the jetty by the helmsman.

Since there were 10 of us, we got the whole boat to ourselves!

Boat Ride

The boat ride was short and sweet – barely 10 minutes, I think. Upon arrival at the Manukan Island jetty, we were greeted by a couple of staff and shown to the registration counter.

Firstly we needed to pay the entrance fees charged under the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. The entrance fees for Malaysians are RM5/adult and RM3/child. The fees are the same whether you spend 3 days or only half-a-day at the island.

Fyi, Manukan Island is one of the islands that form part of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. The other 4 are Gaya Island, Mamutik Island, Sapi Island and Sulug Island. The headquarters of the Park is located at Manukan Island. And there’s also the Marine Ecology Research Centre on the island, which we visited, of course.

TuTunku Abdul Rahman Park

Check-In at SSL Manukan Island Resort

After settling the entrance fee, we proceeded to check-in at SSL office which is located a few steps away from the Park registration counter. There, we were greeted with a glass of delicious Ice Lemongrass Tea. It’s honestly the best ice tea I’ve ever tasted! And similar to Hotel Sixty3 – SSL also requested and made copies of all the guests’ IC for their record.

As mentioned earlier, we booked our stay during the promotional season (“Manukan Bah Ni“) and therefore were entitled to additional perks such as free ice cream (aiskrim potong) upon arrival, etc. We’ll write more about that in another article.

Suffice to say, we all had a really wonderful time there.

In the next article, we’ll share about the luxurious accommodation. (Hints : Great for honeymooners!)


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