I know there are all these great beach resorts in Malaysia, but every time it comes down to booking a holiday, I find myself writing to Sea Gypsy on Sibu Island. It’s a relaxing family resort that is planned for both kids and parents, eco-friendly and most of all on a gorgeous island. That’s why we have now visited three times.
As soon as you arrive on the boat, the staff comes to meet the boat and help you with any kids and luggage. You are taken immediately to the veranda and given a refreshing cocktail for the adults and a fresh juice for the kids.
There are many family rooms to choose from. Rooms are very simple but perfectly adequate. There is no hot water or air conditioning, but I didn’t miss either. The water is not that cold, and maybe thanks to lot open space around there was a nice breeze. However, a friend who stayed recently found the rooms hot in the evenings and thought it was hot at night with the thick mosquito nets on.
The kids are well looked after. I love the playground that blends in with nature and has a real boat. There is also a volley ball field and football goals for the sporty ones. Bodyboards are also available for rent. The toys and games were in much better condition than before, and there are lots of sand toys. There are kids activities every morning and evening. In the past they have been excellent, but I guess the level of fun depends on the enthusiasm of the team.
The kids’ dinner is served every evening at six – the food is healthy enough and after dinner the kids can join organised activities. The adults’ dinner starts at 8, when the kids can go up to the tree house to watch TV on comfy beanbags. We were happy to have the kids live on island time but finishing the film means a late bedtime. The food has been excellent before, but this time around perhaps not quite as good.
As a mother of three I have no words to describe how heavenly it is to sit in the lounge in the evening with a cold drink and nice music, kids busy doing fun activities!
I am so happy to see resorts that put effort into being eco-friendly. As part of their environmental policy you are not allowed to bring your own nappies to the resort. This may sound odd but it is actually great: you have to buy their biodegradable nappies, that are placed in special bins and are used for fertilizer for the gardens (not edible plants I think!). I would also love to see them use the stuff washed away from the sea in kids’ crafts and activities rather than using shop bought paper and other craft materials (that also result in all kinds of creations that the kids insist on bringing back home.)
The beach is very wide and long and completely private. But I was shocked by the amount of trash! The staff do a good job of picking it up but what can you do! Sand flies are often a problem here: we have been bitten to pieces before but not this time, so I guess it depends on the season. The resort sells their own repellent oil, that helps a bit.
All in all, the Sea Gypsy is a great beach resort for kids. It is laid back and a bit luxurious without being too posh.
Getting to Sea Gypsy from KL takes about 4,5 hours by car to Tanjung Leman, from where it is a quick 20 minute boat ride.