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It's About Green in Sabah Tea Resort

Besides Cameron Highlands, Sabah also has its own homegrown tea plantation in Ranau, a town that takes more than 3 hours drive from the city center of Kota Kinabalu. Currently known as Sabah Tea Resort, it is the largest single commercial tea plantation as well as the top tea exporter in Borneo. 


GETTING TO SABAH TEA RESORT
Situated in Ranau town, Sabah Tea Resort is accessible by road and it is approximately more than 3 hours by car from Kota Kinabalu passing by Kinabalu National Park. Hence, I don't recommend to do a day trip cause you will be exhausted for driving more than 6 hours back and forth. It's wise to do 2 days one night trip and overnight in either Kundasang or Mesilau. (If you need any recommendations for the stay, you can drop me a comment or send me an email)

Sabah Ranau Town
#1: Ranau - Home of Sabah's tea

SABAH TEA RESORT
I have never been to this place before, not until recently and I went twice - August last year and June this year. Like I expected, the place was pretty crowded cause many visitors came with a group of family. There is a parking space provided for the visitors and it's free but it's wise to come early, especially before the lunch time cause it will be packed and sometimes might be ran out of parking space. There is no entrance fee to visit Sabah Tea Resort, except for the factory tour and also for the latest attraction which is climbing up the tree house.

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#2: The latest attraction in Sabah Tea Resort - Climbing up a Borneo tree house. Entrance fee: RM5 for adult and RM3 for student and children below 12 years old. 

OPEN-AIR RESTAURANT
I have to say that majority of the visitors came here to have lunch at the open-air restaurant with overlooking the lush green tea plantation. Besides serving a wide selection of both local and Western cuisines, the most popular on their menu would be the one-of-a-kind dessert which made using Sabah tea, such as scones, waffles, pancakes and even ice-cream. All of these desserts are only available in Sabah Tea Resort and now you know the reason why this place is attractive to the local and foreign visitors. 

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#3: Menu of Sabah Tea Restaurant - Must try the dessert when visit Sabah Tea Resort

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#4: We tried both tea pancakes and tea waffles and both served with honey.

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#5: Don't forget to pair with the freshly harvest tea and now they produced in 8 different flavours of tea - Cinnamon, ginger, pandan, lemongrass, tongkat ali, geranium, agarwood and misai kucing (cat's whiskers). The tea is naturally rich in flavour without any added colouring.

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#6: For the sake of the Gram - Yellow photo frame with Mount Kinabalu and lush green tea plantation as the backdrop. 

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#7: Sabah Tea Resort map

SABAH TEA RESORT
Opening Hours: 8am to 4.30pm (Best to visit before noon time)
Admission Fee: Free
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Flashback of My June & July 2020 Cuti-Cuti Malaysia

2020 might seems like a bad year to travel abroad but hey, let's us look at the other bright side. I guess many of you haven't get the chance to discover and explore all the 13 states and 3 federal territories of our beloved home country Malaysia. So why not take this opportunity to visit those states  and cities which you haven't been before and at the same time, to support and contribute our local tourism industry? 


Normally, I don't do monthly flashback post but because many things took place for the last two months, hence here's a quick recap of my "Cuti-Cuti Malaysia" activities for the month of June and July.

JUNE 2020

Rasa Ria Reserve by Shangri-La 6
First weekend of June - we went for sunrise jungle trekking in Rasa Ria Reserve by Shangri-la

Kudat Attractions
Second weekend of June - we did road trip to Kudat and visited a handful of attractions there (Things To Do & See in Kudat)

Hibiscus Beach Retreat Kudat 04
As for our accommodation in Kudat, we stayed in Hibiscus Beach Retreat - a truly hidden gem of Sabah.

Sabah Tea Resort Restaurant
Third weekend of June - Kundasang & Ranau trip, Sabahan's favourite weekend getaway (blogpost coming up soon)

JULY 2020

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First weekend of July - Staycation in The Magellan Sutera Harbour. Plenty of recreational activities to do in this world-class luxury resort.

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Second weekend of July - Island getaway Sutera @ Mantanani Island Resort and Spa

N&D ROM 18.07.2020
Third weekend of July - New chapter of my life

Pahang - Bukit Tinggi 01
Fourth week of July - After more than 4 months, finally we got to fly again. We rented GoCar and drove to Genting, Bukit Tinggi and even Bentong just for the durian sake.

Nido Mantanani 01
Last weekend of July - Another island trip to Mantanani Island again, and this round, we stayed with Nido. (Blogpost coming up soon too)

At this moment, I'm still not sure what are my upcoming plans for the month of August but I wish it's going to be "AMAZING AUGUST!".

I pray August is full of good news, blessings and more positive vibes.
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Sun, Sea & Sand At Sutera @ Mantanani Island Resort and Spa

Sabah may not be the largest state in Malaysia but it has the largest number of islands within the nation. Do you know that there are total of 394 official islands in Sabah's territory? I bet now you know cause I myself initially thought there are around 200 islands, until I found this info from the Google. Shame to say that as I can only name few of them but it's not too late for me to explore more of the islands now since we are still not allowed to travel overseas. 

The following week after our staycation at the award-winning 5-star resort of The Magellan Sutera Resort, we went for another tropical island getaway and stayed at Sutera @ Mantanani Island Resort and Spa, which operated and managed by the same corporation of Sutera Harbour Resort. 


HOW TO GET TO MANTANANI ISLAND
Mantanani Island is one of the Chinese (China) tourists favourite island and they called this as Mermaid Island (美人鱼岛). It takes approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes drive from Kota Kinabalu to Kota Belud and another 30 to 45 minutes boat ride from the Rampayan Jetty to this paradise island, depending on the sea conditions. Only 1 boat transfer per day which is at 10am and therefore, it's better to start your journey from Kota Kinabalu as early as 7.30am, or else you will miss the boat ride. 

Sutera At Mantanani Rampayan Jetty-1
#1: It takes nearly 1 hour and 30 minutes drive from Kota Kinabalu to Rampayan Jetty in Kota Belud.

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#2: Only 1 boat transfer per day which is at 10am. So don't be late, or else you will miss the boat ride.

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#3: The boat rides is about 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the sea conditions. All passengers are required to wear life jacket cause sometimes, the sea can be very rough. Safety first!

SUTERA @ MANTANANI ISLAND RESORT & SPA
I have to admit that this is my first time to this idyllic island with crystal clear turquoise waters. So when we're approaching the island, I can't contain my excitement as I'm finally here. No wonder this island captured most heart of the foreign visitors especially. 

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#4: Mantanani Island also known as the Mermaid Island (美人鱼岛)

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#5: Owned and managed by Sutera Harbour Resort for less than 2 years

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#6: Lobby and reception area

Upon arrival, we're greeted and served with welcome drink at the lobby area. But because the earliest check-in time is around 1.30pm, we left our luggage here and if you have any valuable items with you, don't worry cause they have locker next to the reception counter. We're asked to change to our swimwear for the next session which is snorkelling. If you are not interested with snorkelling, you can roam around the resort and stroll along the white sandy beaches until the check-in time. 

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#7: Snorkeling gears and life jackets are provided for the guests for free

Unfortunately, the snorkeling spot we brought to was slightly disappointed cause the coral reefs are unattractive and dull than we expected them to be. Furthermore, there aren't many colourful marine life we came across. After swam for roughly around 30 minutes, we got up to the boat and can't wait head back to the island awaiting for the lunch to be served.   

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#8: The only restaurant of the resort. You can opt to dine inside the restaurant, or

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#9: Outside while enjoying panorama view of the blue sea

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#10: The package we took inclusive full board meals which comes with 2 set of lunch, 1 tea break, 1 steamboat dinner and breakfast. One word to comment their food - YUMMYLICIOUS!

ISLAND STYLE LIVING
There are two distinctive type of accommodations - Beach Chalet and Deluxe room. Since the price differences between these two are only RM70, hence we chosen the Beach Chalet as our private balcony is facing directly the incredible view of the white beach and blue ocean water. 

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#11: Beach Chalet - There are 20 rooms for this type of accommodation whereas 8 rooms for deluxe type.

All rooms are equipped with:
  • Flat screen TV
  • Air-conditioned and fan
  • Closet
  • Safety Deposit Box
  • Coffee and tea making facility
  • Mini fridge (except for deluxe room)
  • Towels and bathroom basic amenities 

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#12: We requested for king sized-bed but they gave us twin bed.

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#13: Complimentary drinking water provided inside the room

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#14: Ensuite bathroom with basic toilet amenities

ACTIVITIES TO DO
Apart from snorkeling and swimming, there are all sorts of recreational activities such as ATV ride, kayaking and scuba diving. You can rent ATV ride with a surcharge of RM50 for half an hour. The resort even organised other activities such as sunset walk and village tour as well as blue tears watching at night. Unfortunately, all these had been canceled during our trip due to the adverse weather. But it's alright cause we had amazing time spending our days basking in the warmth seaside sun and rejuvenate our mind and spirits in the crisp sea breeze.  

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#15: All sorts of recreational activities for all ages, being adult or child.

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#16: Get ready to slide down - this is so fun!

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#17: Prewedding photoshooting

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#18: Smell the sea and feel the sky

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#19: Marvelous sight on the next morning - the magnificent Mount Kinabalu

If you are pretty lucky, probably you will spot the magical blue tears at night which I mentioned earlier. Wondering what are those blue tears? These phenomenon arise due to the presence of the bioluminescent plankton which create blue light as part of the defense mechanism to escape from the predators. We ain't that lucky for this trip but I got to witness with my naked eyes for my second visit to Mantanani Island. Yes, I went for second round (will blog about this soon).

Photo credit to Steemit 

Whether for a relax and rejuvenate getaway, a thrill-seeking adventure or even a fun bonding session with a group of family and friends, Sutera @ Mantanani Island Resort and Spa certainly offers the best tropical seaside vacation that you and your partner are craving for. 


You can book this Mantanani island package here.
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Staycation In The Magellan Sutera Resort

I couldn't remember when was the last time I had staycation in my beloved hometown. I think the one I had probably few years back and because of that, I deserve to have another weekend staycation to rejuvenate and unwind (though I seems like having weekend getaway every week).

Since ever the government relaxes the Movement Control Order (MCO) by allowing the tourism industry back into the business, there are handful of hotels and resorts within Kota Kinabalu area that are currently having promotion offers to the local Sabahan and also Malaysian too. One of them eventually caught my attention which is the The Magellan Sutera Resort.


Sutera Harbour Resort is well-known among the local for being the largest resort in Kota Kinabalu city center comprising two distinctive 5-stars hotels; namely The Pacific and The Magellan. We picked the latter cause that's the only one which are currently open for business and right now, they are offering as low as RM290 per room for a night and it's including breakfast too. What a great deal! We booked two rooms to stay in the early weekend of July and due to that, they upgraded us from Deluxe Garden View to Deluxe Sea View (this only applies if you book two rooms or more).

DELUXE SEA VIEW OF MAGELLAN SUTERA RESORT
The check-in process was slightly disappointed because there were quite number of hotel guests checking-in at the same time causing the process to be slow and we were in the queue for almost half an hour. But all this can be forgiven right after we got our room key and stepped into the room, we're completely blown away by the room and totally forgot how awful experience we had earlier.

Staycation At The Magellan Sutera Resort 01
#1: The resort has been operating for over 20 years but don't worry about the room cause they just renovated it. 

Tastefully decorated with calm soft-colour, the room that we booked comes with a huge and comfortable King-sized bed, a flat screen satellite TV, coffee and tea making facilities. They even provide iron and board for those who need it - very thoughtful. As for the ensuite bathroom, it equipped with bathtub and shower with premium amenities. The best part of the room is the private balcony overlooking the South China Sea. You can even witness the amazing golden sunset from the balcony. 

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#2: Our room equipped with a King-sized bed and a flat screen satellite TV.

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#3: Ensuite bathroom with bathtub, shower and premium amenities.

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#4: Love the design of their closet. Wish to customise like this for mine.

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#5: Private balcony overlooking the South China Sea

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#6: Romantic sunset view right from the balcony

THINGS TO DO IN THE RESORT AND MOSTLY ARE FREE FOR HOTEL GUESTS
There are plenty of reasons why we chosen to stay in this world-class luxury resort. Besides the complimentary breakfast which includes in the room rate, we are now allowed to utilise their swimming pool which just opened to public in the early of July. Not just that, there are wide array of activities for the hotel guests to do and mostly are free of charge. Yes, you heard it right - no extra surcharge for activities such as driving range of 25 balls, 1 bowling section, badminton, table tennis, tennis and snooker. The one that we enjoyed the most is the complimentary island boat ride where we purposely booked the slot at 6pm in order to enjoy sunset view. It's really spectacular and not to be missed.

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#7: Complimentary breakfast. Still served in buffet style but only the chefs are allowed to scoop the food and place on your plate. 

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#8: The swimming pool is open to public since early of July. Anyone love to swim?

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#9: Free use of the driving range including 25 balls

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#10: Free 1 session of bowling activity for each hotel guest

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#11: The best activity we had - complimentary island boat ride

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#12: It's wise to book the boat ride earlier and try to take 6pm slot

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#13: And you will be rewarded with this - the amazing and marvellous sunset view

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#14: The Magellan Sutera Resort view from the boat ride

OUR DINNER
Since the room rate doesn't include dinner, we then had steamboat at one of the resort restaurants, Al Fresco. They are having promotion too - steamboat for RM99 for two persons which I personally think not bad as it served prawns, mussels, beef, fresh chicken and fish slices but excluding the red wine (my friend ordered that, not me cause I don't drink). 

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#15: Steamboat for dinner - RM99 nett for 2 persons

If you are looking for staycation in Kota Kinabalu, I would highly recommend to book and stay in The Magellan Sutera Resort because apart from the awesome and comfy room, you can spend your day basking in all the facilities provided by the resort. And did I tell you that you can check-out as late as 2pm? You don't have to go far just to search for the perfect short getaway cause everything is just under the roof.

Staycation At The Magellan Sutera Resort 09

HOW TO GET TO SUTERA HARBOUR RESORT: 
Sutera Harbour Resort is less than 10 minutes drive from Kota Kinabalu International Airport. You can take Grab for roughly around RM10. In case you are driving with car, don't worry cause parking within the resort area is free of charge. 



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