After running around exploring George Town's food alleys and art walks during our stay at the decidedly luxurious Permai Residence in Tanjung Bungah, we were primed and ready for a couple of relaxing days at the beach.
The kind of days where you literally do nothing other than slap on some sunscreen on, grab a juicy book and find a comfy chair in the sun and melt into it. Luckily, we had Lily Aziz of Property Management and Homestays Penang and Elia Kasani of Penang Propery Angel suss out the perfect place for us.
The ladies took our desires into account, literally, and found us an Air BnB Apartment at "By the Sea Condo" along the beautiful Batu Ferringhi Beach!
I can't emphasize how useful it is to have a local expert help to narrow down property rentals because they have all the background info on the nuances of neighborhoods that you can't get from just pursuing AirBnB on your own.
Trust me, I've used AirBnB quite often, sometimes to our detriment....like when I found a picture perfect spot in Istanbul that turned out to straddle an invisible line between a a seedy and posh neighborhood. Whereupon, we woke up at dawn to find someone trying to crawl through the window of our second story Turkish apartment to our utter shock!
So having Lily & Elia help us to narrow down a few places that fit our requirements was priceless.
Although we were running late from spending a happily, inordinate amount of time shopping at Fine & Klein in Tanjung Bungah that morning, the AirBnB property manager met us with a wide smile and open arms as she showed us around the ground floor unit that opened directly to the infinity pool and beach access gates.
Precisely what we wanted; minimum fuss for us to roll out of bed and into the water!
Our most important and only questions - where were the best places to eat - which was handled with aplomb. She gamely walked us straight to the beach and pointed out a choice spot, where we waved our farewells and immediately settled into a lunch of ice cold beers and spicy succulent chicken satays with the ocean lapping at our feet.
Definitely our happy spot!!
Having satiated ourselves, we ambled back to the apartment and changed into our bathing suits. While I'd love to stay out at the beach, lightly roasting, the reality is having a little infant that's still too young for sunscreen, means you have to keep bebe shaded and protected from that blistering hot tropical sun.
That's priority number one, and then the next priority is to keep bestie & hubby happy with a good alternative - a massive infinity pool!
The thing I love about AirBnB is that it's the chance to lightly step into someone else's life - you're often in their homes, or maybe their guest homes, and you get a feel like what life would be like in their shoes. Or in this case in their flip flops!
When you're traveling in a group whether with family or a few friends, I find it to be one of the coziest ways to travel. When you get a real living space - as opposed to a hotel room - you get much more time to spend together. It's the early moments over a cup of coffee, or late night chats as your baby sleeps in the adjoining bedroom that makes the most of your time.
What we loved about this particular AirBnB property, beyond having the beach just steps away (not to mention that inviting infinity pool!) was how well situated it was for our little traveling group of three adults and a baby! It was super handy to have access to a kitchenette to prepare stuff for the baby and a baby cot and chair is even available to use - talk about family friendly!
There was also a full fridge that you can stock up with things to make your own breakfast and sandwiches if you don't feel like hitting the local restaurants. And best of all, I loved that the living room was in the middle seperating the two bedrooms, so that it was a true gathering place but provided privacy as well, or more importantly allowed my bestie to sleep in when the baby woke up early in the morning, as they invariably always do - holidays or not!
Even though my Bestie lives right on the beach herself, she is as drawn to the ocean as I am, and truth be told the cold wet, windy Pacific California Coast is vastly different from the tropical straits of Penang.
As a Californian, I miss the ocean pretty much every day in Kuala Lumpur. When you have it at your doorstep, you can easily take it for granted but now whenever we are ocean side, I know what a blessing it is.
The rhythmic waves, the textured sand, that wide open space ahead of you, lets your mind roam in ways that city blocks and high rises can't help but crunch you in.
We walked the beach every night at sunset and every morning at sunrise. This was the first time that our little bebe placed her tiny toes into the little eddies of the waves lapping at the beach.
As we walked the length of the beach in the soft early morning light, you cannot imagine our delight at finding a Starbucks right on the beach. I haven't seen my husband trot away any faster towards a hot latte in my life!
My bestie and I broke down laughing as we'd just been exclaiming that we'd kill for a good cuppa coffee and Starbucks, while perhaps not the cute cosy hipster cafe we could swoon over, was still a very welcome sight.
If you want a totally chillaxed, stress free - park once and leave your car parked for the rest of the trip - then you'll love it at By the Sea, because that's precisely what we did.
We were also recommended The Boatmans for breakfast since its literally next door to By the Sea for a tasty brekkie as well. Ferringhi Gardens also has a lovely cafe that we lunched at, all of these options are literally a block or two away from the By the Sea Condo, not to mention some easy convenience stores and groceries that makes it easy to never leave the beach side!
You should definitely check out www.penanglocal.com write up of the different options for more dining options along Batu Ferringhi - this link takes you to a even wider, more delicious world of dining options, not to mention other interesting finds!
With your first baby, everything feels momentous. Her introduction to the ocean, to the tiny grains of sand tickling the inside of her feet, to the salty cool of the waves, these memories have seared themselves into my heart.
We are so lucky to have such beautiful islands and cosy places to stay less than an hour away from Kuala Lumpur. Finding a spacious, family friendly apartment at By the Sea Condo that fit all our needs to have a relaxed, lazy holiday by the sun was more than good luck, it was good planning with the help of knowledgable locals Lily & Elia!
After a wonderful week together in Penang, we were ready for the next destination in our adventure with bebe & bestie - the green isle of Pangkor Laut!
- Thanks to By The Sea for a beautiful stay along the beach! AirBnB link here!
- Check out Klein & Fine for fantastic shopping finds in Tanjung Bungah! Find them here at https://www.facebook.com/kleinandfine/
- You can get your very own personalized Penang support:
- Lily Aziz at http://www.penangpropertyangel.com/property-management-homestay.aspx
- Elia Kasani at firstname.lastname@example.org and at +6012-239-4123
- You can get your very own personalized Penang support: