Sunday, June 15, 2008

Manikar Resort - Backpackers' haven in Labuan

Manikar Resort is perfect for travellers on a budget

The resort places emphasis on ensuring its guests can get cozy

WiFi will be available at the lobby, lounge and restaurant area

Photos courtesy of and Copyright to RDN and Brunei Press Sdn Bhd


It has been nearly 20 years since I last stayed the night at Manikar Resort, previously owned by Sheraton, which was once a popular destination among tourists, particularly the Europeans.

So, during my recent visit to Labuan, I decided to check in to this old, familiar place which was, at this point, undergoing a facelift.

The place was a lot quieter than I remembered it to be two decades earlier.

Surprised by the changes, I soon struck up a conversation with the hotel Operations Manager Johan, a helpful gentleman who ensured my stay was made comfortable.

I was told that the hotel was being refurbished one stage at a time and that a new management team was in place. Once renovations are completed, the hotel is expected to be a hotspot among travellers, especially with the availability of rooms suited for backpackers.

"We will not be a five-star resort. At present we are a three-star resort, but when we reach a certain level, we will move on to becoming a four-star. But that is the highest we will go," Johan said.

Manikar Resort intends to attract, among others, backpackers, now that it boasts 10 - 15 per cent of rooms designed especially for them. The rooms are big enough, with some even furnished with four beds to allow for quad-sharing and a budget stay.

"We'll definitely have Astro in our rooms. The PABX system is coming and there will be WiFi fitted for usage in the lobby, lounge and restaurant area."

Additionally, the resort will make available sea-sporting activities such as jet skiing, parasailing, canoeing, scuba diving and deep-sea fishing around the area.

And as a resort is more relaxing with a spa nearby, Manikar is working towards providing guests with six spa huts along the beach. There will also be a steam bar, which is still in the designing stage, and a gym for guests to indulge in.

For guests keen on staying indoors, they will be able to karaoke, play darts or watch live bands play on certain days.

Manikar also has the expertise in handling its food and beverage department, with chefs hailing from Kuala Lumpur.

The resort places emphasis on ensuring its guests utmost comfort and a cozy stay.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin Sunday

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