My husband and I treated ourselves to 3 nights at Tiger Rock on Pangkor Island in January 2012, sans enfants thanks to grandparents. Having read in the Malaysia expat magazine that Tiger Rock won best boutique and best eco-resort categories, we were definitely not disappointed. Tiger Rock is an extremely special place to unwind, connect, spoil, contemplate and explore, a kind of rustic, luxurious, 'Swiss Family Robinson' meets fine dining jungle experience.
We drove from Kuala Lumpur up the northwest side of the Malaysian peninsula to Lumut, leaving early in the morning, about a 3.5 hour drive depending on the palm oil trucks. When we reached Lumut we parked the car undercover in a car park which cost about 10MYR per day and rang Mohan, the wonderful manager of Tiger Rock, to let him know which ferry we were catching (2 or 3 run each day). After about an hour on the ferry, we were met at the Pangkor jetty by Tiger Rock's driver and after a short drive around the fishing village edges of Pangkor island, turned right at the old Dutch Fort to climb behind it up a steep driveway into what looked like pure jungle.
Not quite pure jungle. Tucked against the jungle slopes about a kilometre back from the sea, Tiger Rock is the former family home of Rebecca and David Wilkinson (who also own a boutique guesthouse in Penang called China Tiger, a yacht for hire in Indonesia called Tiger Blue, and who were instrumental in establishing the brilliant Tropical Spice Gardens & Cooking School in Penang). A small cluster of discretely spaced wooden Malay bungalow buildings spread up the slope, most with verandahs and rustic furnishings (aircon, fans and ensuites of course). The thatched open air kitchen and dining pavilion nestles around a to-die-for infinity pool, and the charming communal living bungalow with games and books is situated a little further up the hill. The site is steep with stepped paths made of rock and wood, which could provide some challenges if you are mobility impaired or have young children.
What really makes Tiger Rock so special, apart from its unique setting, gardens, tranquil ambiance and simple but divine cuisine, is the service provided by Mohan, his wife Pavanni and his small team. They have a family approach to running Tiger Rock and nothing is too much trouble, it was a privilege to have them look after us. Pavanni's cooking is superb - fresh, alive with spices, with lots of seafood - and we went to the markets one morning to help her choose dinner. We also hired a small boat for an afternoon to drop a line in further around the island, explored the Dutch Fort, the Pangkor Island Chinese and Hindu temples, the traditional boat building, the fish drying factories, and frolicked on the beach with a picnic for a few hours one afternoon. Mohan organized all this for us, and was also happy to serve us beer or wine provided by Tiger Rock, or to chill the champagne we brought with us.
Pangkor Laut, the tiny atoll off Pangkor Island, might provide Malaysian 6 star resort-type luxury, but Tiger Rock on Pangkor Island gives you the local flavours of luxurious rustic romance which is very, very hard to beat.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Tiger Rock is about sustainable tourism which includes participation of the local Pangkor Island community, preserving the natural environment and cultural way of life as well as ensuring mutual respect and benefits to all parties involved. This commitment is reflected in every aspect of Tiger Rock, from the way it is designed and built, to how it is managed by local islanders. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Tiger Rock Hotel Pangkor