By Jeremy Khalil on December 2, 2016
Having been in existence for almost 27 years, Tanjung Inn is a rustic, tranquil, down-to-earth and unassuming property, neither ostentatious nor a shoestring budget joint. Located amidst the bucolic Cherating Village, the resort is quintessentially local and snug with breezy, laidback vibe, embodying the nature of a typical traditional beachside Peninsular Malaysia East Coast village.
Cherating – located about four hours’ drive from Kuala Lumpur – used to be swarmed with international tourists back in the end of 1960s up until 1990s, but now it has quietened down, thus no more hedonistic parties and racy affairs. Though some might dismiss Cherating as a destination that has seen better days, the village nowadays seemed to have passed its wild period and instead assumes a more low-key atmosphere that attracts holidaying families and travellers seeking unpretentious, no-frills getaway instead of beach bums and nightlife revellers. Regulars also consider Cherating and Tanjung Inn as a hideaway for them to find solace. The entire property feels like a village of its own: village within a village.
Though the whole Peninsular Malaysia East Coast and the outlying islands experience monsoon season at the end of the year bringing heavy rain to the region and forces many establishments to close from late November until February or early March, Tanjung Inn remains open to welcome surfers and surfing enthusiasts at that particular time because Cherating becomes a hot spot for surfing during monsoon.
Mornings at Tanjung Inn in particular – and Cherating in general – are lazy and unrushed, beckoning guests to take it easy and absorb the East Coast languor. There is also a pond in the middle of the property that makes it unique, even picturesque. Many guests come to Tanjung Inn specifically for its lush landscape.
It turns out that not only humans are drawn to the place. In the mornings and evenings, guests would be able to spot hornbills, besides other types of birds. We love listening to the birds’ chirping as we wake up. As a matter of fact, one of the co-owners of the resort, Encik Haiyum, says that 48 types of birds and 20 types of butterflies have been spotted within the property, besides cats, macaques, langurs, lizards and elusive wild boars, much to the delight of birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts. The other co-partner of the property, Tengku Kamel, mentioned that the inn plants trees like those of the ficus type to attract wildlife, further enriching the property and contributing towards conserving nature.
Some of Tanjung Inn’s rooms, especially the terraces, do not have television sets to encourage guests to bond with their travelling companions who could be their partners, friends or family members. When staying there, guests are encouraged to interact not just with their travelling companions but also with the locals to understand how life is like in Cherating.
Besides the terrace accommodation units, Gaya Travel team also takes a strong liking towards the inn’s new beach villas and chalets that face the Cherating beach and the expansive South China Sea. The rooms at the villas and beach chalets are around RM250 to RM300 per night. At the time of writing, the reception area for the beach chalets was still under construction and slated for completion sometime in the second quarter of 2017. We are sure that by then, guests will find the inn all the more appealing and wholesome. There are also canvas tents surrounding the pool behind the villas and beach chalets that guests can rent for the night, offering that special back-to-nature experience albeit in comfort.
Guests who stay at Tanjung Inn need to understand that the place does not function like a regular chain hotel or resort with standard operating procedures, therefore guests should not expect the same kind of processes or formalities being carried out when checking in. Since it is independently run, the treatment delivered is not the same as the other institutionalised chain hotels or resorts. The inn also does not provide regular cleaning service throughout guests’ stay, except after the guests have checked out, when the room needs to be prepared for the next batch of guests. It neither offers obsequious level of service nor Michelin-star culinary; however, Tanjung Inn’s lush tropical atmosphere makes the stay such a treat because it does feel like staying at a place that belongs to a long-time friend who leaves you to your own devices in making the most of your stay.
Mind you, Tanjung Inn’s tranquil landscape and the view of the sea from the property are enough to make it hard for guests to leave, as it did for us…
*Images from Tanjung Inn & Jeremy Khalil