There is something enigmatic about the sea; its ferocious waves rolling and crashing, its surface witnesses thunderstorms that battle against water, while its depths at times mysterious and unfathomable. But for many, the sight of the calm sea above water evokes tranquility. With the understanding that the seas could also be unpredictable, we also inculcate a great sense of acceptance towards uncertainties, knowing that life works the same way. The idea of having a home by the sea simply invigorates and captures much of our imagination since it sounds more exciting than setting up base in more mundane inland locations. 

Not all of us are blessed with the opportunity to abandon our commitments and leave for an exclusive faraway location by the sea. But with the advent of more sophisticated bed-and-breakfast options, finding rentable homes that allow you to access the sea and meeting your own style is becoming easier. From the humble by-the-beach chalet that transmits Mediterranean vibe all the way to colossal villas perching on the coastline, here are your seven places you can go for a weekend in a home by the ocean. 

Hibiscus Beach Retreats in Kudat, Sabah

This one-bedroom chalet might be compact, but it boasts unobstructed view of the horizon right from the comfort of its rustic, wooden bed. Ideal for couples or a small family, this secluded retreat offers unprecedented access to the beach with little or no disruption from other people to ensure privacy. With water sports gears and amenities provided, activities can be done privately without interruptions. Situated just a five-minute drive away from the tip of Borneo, you can conveniently have an unforgettable moment gazing across the Sulu-South China Sea horizon. At MYR595 per night, this little gem of Borneo can surely give you a getaway of a lifetime. 

Direct view to the ocean from the suite (hibiscus)

Direct view to the ocean from the suite (source Hibiscus Beach retreats websites)

Find out more at their Instagram and Airbnb page

Beachfront Villaku Residence in Balok, Kuantan

This enchanting villa is big enough to accommodate 16 guests at any one time. Talk about doing a family reunion! Situated in Balok, Kuantan, this spot is known for its sandy beach and quiet environment. You can surely bond with loved ones in the serene privacy of the villa while overlooking the azure blue waterline. This villa, which is magnificently built with an architectural structure that is wondrous and breath-taking, comes with a private pool. With every aspect of the accommodation articulately designed, the price tag of MYR2,000 per night seems more reasonable than ever. Have a moment with your travel group to enjoy a truly sumptuous escape in this grand country house that defines authentic beach living. 

Find out more at their Instagram and Airbnb page

Hibiscus Beach Villa in Kudat, Sabah

It seems that Kudat is a hotspot for luxurious hideaway places since it also hosts the idyllic and ever breathtaking Balinese-inspired terrace called Hibiscus Beach Villa. The dried palm tree roof and the T-shaped pool extending from the interior of the accommodation seamlessly blends 21st-century design with classic beach house architecture. With a stunning view of the horizon, the open-space interior ensures that most of its living spaces are flooded with golden light. This villa accommodates up to nine guests at any one time and is perfect for small and intimate gathering that is more of a sanctuary rather than adventure. With that spirit, the villa also offers facilities such as scuba diving, snorkelling, and other on-land sports for guests. The rate starts MYR1,100 per night. 

Find out more at their Instagram and Airbnb page

BuBu Beach Villa in Besut, Terengganu

This bijou villa overflows with tropical island charm and calm neutral tones that further accentuate the gorgeous beach right at its front door. With a dining area and beachfront massage center, this accommodation is quintessentially a luxury summer vacation spot. The lush landscape and open bathroom concept spur excitement, while those who intend to spend long vacation at the property should not fret about missing out on answering their emails because continuous Wi-Fi connectivity is provided. Receiving excellent reviews from its guests who stayed there earlier, this villa costs MYR780 per night and can accommodate up to three guests at any one time.

Find out more at their Airbnb page.

Sunbeam Luxury Villa in Kudat, Sabah

Once again, Kudat becomes a scene-stealer with an ostentatious two-storey beach-front villa that is gloriously unique and larger than life with interesting bullock cart-inspired structure. One might even perceive it as a barn rather than a vacation terrace. Still, the interior of this villa is equally handsome, with floor-to-ceiling woodwork that enchants guests from the moment they first step inside. The floating veranda overlooks the pool and the view stretches all the way to the sea. Its secluded location guarantees privacy from onlookers as a lush landscape of trees shrouds the area from plain sight. This two-bedroom property fits four guests and priced at MYR650 per night, making it less than MYR200 per head. With pools and a shared kitchen, guests don’t have to venture far for basic necessities. 

Find out more at their Facebook and Airbnb page.

Chew Jetty Homestay, Penang 

This humble guesthouse is quite a contrast compared to the rest of the luxurious, highly opulent villas. In fact, this lodge is arguably economic at only MYR120 per night. It is a family home, tucked in a corner of Chew Jetty, which is a clan jetty comprising 88 wooden houses occupied by locals of Hokkien descent since 1880s. Interestingly, all families living in this above-water settlement shares the same surname: Chew. The room accommodates two and has a little balcony that juts out to the sea for a lovely view. This charming village is said to be the place to catch the best sunset views and conveniently close to the city centre. For those seeking a unique experience, this family-oriented lodging might just be what they are looking for.

Chew Jetty

Chew Jetty floats above the water. (source Chew Jetty Facebook)

Find out more on their Facebook page.

The Resthouse in Perhentian Besar Island, Terengganu

This hauntingly rustic property is perched up by the edge of Perhentian Island and is surrounded by aquamarine waves crashing against rocky coastline. Made wholly from salvaged wood and runs completely on solar power, this green and eco-friendly mansion exudes pre-colonial beauty. Its interior is just as fetching as its olden exterior, with minimalist and raw materials on display around the house. Each of its four rooms – equipped with beds covered in white linen and white mosquito net – looks otherworldly in photos. Think Gothic film Crimson Peak with a Malay twist, nostalgically beckoning and surreal. At MYR800 per night, this property would surely leave a mark in your life. 

Find out more at their Facebook and Airbnb page.

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