11 Spectacular Muslim-Friendly Private Island Resorts In Malaysia You Probably Never Knew Existed


Mikhaella •  Jan 26, 2018

There are times when one just craves to be on the beach, with expansive views of the blue green ocean, the sun in our eyes, and the sand getting everywhere imaginable. But sometimes messing about on a public beach with a thousand other people just won’t cut it, because you’re bored of shuffling between families to find a spot to spread your blanket and snorkelling in the sea where every shot you take has someone’s legs entering the frame!

Credit: Giphy

This is when you know it’s time to splurge and pamper yourself by booking a place at a private resort on a remote island! Time to get away from the masses and experience what it’s like to luxuriate on your own private paradise. Here are 11 private island resorts that will make you feel like you’re one of the last few people left on earth ❤️

1. Sipadan Kapalai Resort, Sabah

Located in one of the world’s top 10 diving sites, Sipadan Kapalai Resort’s rustic chalets float serenely on wooden stilts above the waters of the Celebes Sea.

Credit: @capikmuhd on Instagram

Right underneath is actually a sunken island with white sands that is home to a plethora of marine life, where you can immediately jump into and snorkel and dive the day away (but don’t forget to apply for the necessary permits first!).

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Imagine sipping coconut water while watching the sunset on the open sea as you lounge on your private balcony, now that’s a luxurious day in paradise *heart eyes emoji* The resort also has an airy spacious restaurant anytime you have hungry tummy woes and you can have meals on the sundeck while watching turtles swim by!

Credit: @demlong on Instagram

Location: Semporna, Sabah

Website: http://sipadan-kapalai.com

Contact: +60126193945

Restaurant status: Halal options available (please request while booking). Serves alcohol.

2. Rawa Island Resort, Johor

Your secluded island dreams are about to come true on this tiny lush spot along the coast of Mersing. A chill resort with charming waterfront bungalows, it boasts a pristine white beach alongside sparkling turquoise waters with visible coral reefs.

Credit: Rawa Island Resort  on Facebook

Treat yourself to luxurious spa afternoons, engage in some water sports under the sun and go crazy on the giant waterslide that pops you straight into the ocean!

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Location: Mersing, Johor

Website: http://www.rawaislandresort.com

Contact: +6077991204

Restaurant status: Halal meats/no pork/no lard. Serves alcohol.

3. Pom Pom Island Resort, Sabah

Off the coast of Semporna, this resort is on one of the most secluded islands of Borneo. The all-inclusive beach resort features buffet-style meals, private balconies, bamboo furniture, tea and coffeemakers, and even a Wi-Fi connection, which is impressive for being out in the middle of nowhere!

3.1 @miaka_zs on Instagram

If you can actually tear yourself away from the sand and sea, there’s time to pamper yourself at the saloon and spa, or use the gym and game rooms.

Credit: pompomisland.com

If you feel like splurging, you can opt to take a yacht cruise to nearby islands, take photos while lounging above deck to post online later and feel like one of the rich kids of Instagram :P

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Location: Sipadan, Sabah

Website: https://pompomisland.com

Contact: +608 978 1918

Restaurant status: Halal and vegetarian options available (please request while booking). Serves alcohol.

4. Vivanta by Taj, Kedah

About 3km from Pantai Cenang, Langkawi, this relaxed resort resides on a private island called Pulau Rebak. What’s unique about Rebak is that is has its own private harbour for yachts to dock! Vivanta by Taj exudes an exclusive international feel as it’s one of a chain of luxury hotels originating from India.

Credit: Vivanta Taj Hotels

With Wi-Fi access, suites with living rooms and dining areas, outdoor showers, room service, outdoor pools, a 24-hour gym and spa, you can spoil yourself silly. You can also opt to explore the outdoors with activities like mangrove tours, jungle trekking, observing stingrays, and sunset cruises.

Credit: @vivantabytaj on Instagram

Location: Langkawi, Kedah

Website: https://vivanta.tajhotels.com/en-in/rebak-island-langkawi/

Contact: +6049665566

Restaurant status: No pork. Halal and vegetarian options available (please request while booking). Serves alcohol.

5. Gem Island Resort & Spa, Terengganu

One of the more budget-friendly private island resorts, Gem Island is a one-island one-resort getaway for when you feel like getting away from city life and immersing yourself with nature. A mere 15-minute boat ride from the laidback Marang town in Kuala Terengganu, 45 seafront villas hugging the perimeter of the island awaits you on this tiny island!

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It is located across Kapas Island which is open to the public, but the stretch of water between these two islands are mostly calm with relatively untouched beaches and coral reefs teeming with marine life.

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Bring a book with you to read as the sun sets over the horizon!

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Location: Marang, Terengganu

Website: http://www.gemisland.com.my

Contact: +60362055555

Restaurant status: Halal food available. Serves alcohol.

6. Bunga Raya Island Resort & Spa, Sabah

This resort off Kota Kinabalu features a high-end beachfront spa resort with A PADI dive centre, an infinity pool, and a hilltop spa.

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Posh-looking villas have jungle or sea views, or are even set up in tree houses! Extra rooms, plunge pools, whirlpool baths and butlers are additional options that come with suites.

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If you’re feeling extra, you can even book one with a private beach **awed face emoji**

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Location: Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Website: http://bungarayaresort.com/index.php

Contact: +608 838 0390

Restaurant status: Pantai Grill restaurant is halal according to Borneo Holidays MY.

7. Batu Batu Resort, Tengah Island, Johor

Credit: @lemongrazmojito on Instagram

On uninhabited Pulau Tengah resides Batu Batu Resort, the only place with humans on the entire island. Situated between Rawa Island and Mersing, the island probably got its name (Pulau Tengah = Middle Island). It sounds perfect for someone who needs to get away from human civilisation! Or if you want to spend romantic time with a loved one, there wouldn’t be a better place than here, with its fancy four-poster beds and easy access to eight private beaches!

Credit: @batubatuisland on Instagram

Location: Johor Bahru, Johor

Website: https://www.batubatu.com.my

Contact: +6017 755 2770

Restaurant status: Halal meats/no pork. Serves alcohol.

8. Pangkor Laut Resort

About 3 to 4 hours from KL, Pangkor Laut Resort requires you to drive north from KL to Lumut and take a ferry to the island.

Credit: @hoommagazine on instagram

Credit: Pangkor Laut Resort

This resort has its own private beach and offers all the fancy embellishments and facilities of a luxury hotel. But because only a fraction of the island has gone through development, most of it still has that authentic Malaysian village vibe. Activities like golfing, fishing, island hopping will keep you occupied when you don’t feel like lazing around the beach :P

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A must try is the resort’s award-winning Spa Village, where massage treatments from across Asia are available to loosen the knots and erase the stress from your tired body.

Location: Pulau Pangkor, Perak

Website: http://bungarayaresort.com/index.php

Contact: +605 699 1100

Restaurant status: Halal food available. Serves alcohol.

9. Mataking Island Resort

Another secluded isle floating above the Celebes Sea is Mataking Island, reachable within an hour’s boat ride from Semporna. Mataking translates to ‘The Eye of Kings’, and staying in one of this private island’s chalets or villas will certainly make you feel like royalty. You can while away days with sea kayaking, bird-watching, jungle trekking or of course, going deep sea diving where visibility of 15m and beyond are likely on sunny days!

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Spot turtles, reef fish, crustaceans, eels and various coral species in the region. Whale sharks are sometimes known to pass by on their migration route. Muck diving will give you plenty of opportunities to photograph underwater macro life hiding in the sandy sea floor.

Credit: Mata King

If one or two in your group are not the diving types, the striking white beaches will be more than satisfactory for lounging or picnicking under the equatorial sun, and the spa crew is always at the ready to receive you for a day of relaxation.

Kids can look forward to snorkelling and kite-flying or building their dream sand castles.

Credit: gogowing1018 on Instagram

Location: Semporna, Sabah

Website: http://www.mataking.com/en/home/

Contact: +608 977 0022

Restaurant status: Halal food available. Serves alcohol.

10. Layang Layang Island Resort

Layang Layang Island is an exotic little gem crowned “The Jewel of the Borneo Banks”, located 300km northwest of Kota Kinabalu in the South China Sea, as remote as you can get while still being in Malaysian territory.

Credit: @layanglayangresort on Instagram

Boasting visibilities of 30 to 60 metres most of the year, diving here is said to be a tranquil and private experience away from the usual hordes, with kaleidoscopic underwater worlds of vibrant coral gardens and the more unique sea creatures, such as hammerhead sharks, manta rays and pigmy seahorses!

Credit: Layang-Layang Island Resort

The resort itself is a modest but an enchanting structure in the concept of a traditional long house, promising to provide an authentic local experience. Being the only resort on the island means they offer unparalleled attention to guests and focus on making you feel special.

Credit: Layang-Layang Island Resort

Location: Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Website: http://www.layanglayang.com/resort.php?lang=en

Contact: +603 2730 9941

Restaurant status: Halal food available. Separate bar serves alcohol.

11. Lankayan Island Resort

Lankayan island can easily be the Maldives of Malaysia, with its powdery white sandy beaches and miles of blue green ocean viewable from any spot along the half hour perimeter. Relaxing and becoming one with nature is not at all difficult as the only other people you’ll see are staff and guests of this one resort, yeay!

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With an environmentally conscious heart, the resort’s surrounding waters are protected under national marine park laws. The presence of shallow reefs, jetty dives, and wrecks means you won’t get enough of meeting marine life, with glassfish, lionfish and blacktip sharks circling in the super clear waters. Lankayan’s diving is most exciting from March to May, where whale sharks come round to play.

Credit: @juulvibes on Instagram

Truly like getting to be in a nature documentary, even the nights are full of life, with fruit bats flying about, fireflies sparkling, and baby turtles returning to sea. When you book packages under Lankayan you’ll also get to visit the Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary, in mainland Sandakan.

Credit: @franzollina on Instagram

Location: Sandakan, Sabah

Website: http://lankayan-island.com

Restaurant status: No pork (please request for halal or vegetarian when booking). Serves alcohol.

With a plethora of private island resorts around Malaysia ready to welcome you with open arms, you’ll be spoilt for choice. When you feel yourself getting weary from months of work stress, take some time off with loved ones to refresh, regroup and rejuvenate your soul. Being on remote islands means you’ll also have time to renew your connection with God, by pondering at His Creations such as the seas, the skies, and the creatures living in the ocean, and finding peace in them. You will be able to come back a better person in all aspects and be able to tackle all of life’s problems with a fresh perspective insha Allah!