Unlike popular destinations like Penang and Langkawi, both of which boast a slew of luxury five-star hotels, Pangkor exudes a humbler vibe – with two and three star hotels, hostels, and homestays making up the bulk of options for tourists visiting the island.
If you’re planning a stay in Teluk Nipah to visit its beautiful beach, then I recommend Vagary Pangkor, a chalet-style place that is literally steps away from the beach. We travelled during low season, and was able to book a room for two nights through booking.com for a very reasonable price of RM176. Total steal!
There is no 24/7 concierge at Vagary. Prior to our arrival, they called me to get an estimated arrival time, so their staff could check us in.
It was late afternoon when our taxi pulled in to the small alleyway which branches out from the main road in Teluk Nipah, where we were greeted by the sight of a dozen quaint, whitewashed chalets made of wood and concrete. The decor of Vagary exudes laidback beach vibes, with colourful signs proclaiming packages and activities on offer. There are bikes outside for rent, as well as Beam scooters, a new service where you can download an app and pay for the ride based on distance traveled.
The common area looks like that of a hostel. Vibrant murals adorn the walls, depicting popular landmarks around the island such as the floating mosque and Dutch fort. There’s cutlery and tableware for food. I think they serve breakfast on regular days, but since it was Ramadhan, there was understandably none.
There’s also a mini library where you can borrow books to read in your room. There is no air-conditioning in the common area but plenty of fans to help you to keep cool. The open layout also makes it look bright and cheerful. A lifesaver was the automatic water dispenser: weather on Pangkor can get extremely hot and humid, so not having to buy bottles of water definitely helped us save money and the hassle of lugging around a huge bottle.
The check-in process was seamless. We paid a cash deposit of RM50 and were given a zipper bag containing our room’s air-conditioning remote and keys.
Vagary houses about a dozen chalets, centered around a main thoroughfare, with well kept plants adding a touch of green to the space. Each chalet has a small porch, with steps leading up to the entrance, similar to the design of traditional kampung houses.
Our medium-sized room was basic but clean and comfortable, equipped with a queen-sized bed, a TV, a dresser, cupboard, and small shelf with plug points nearby so we could charge our phones. Towels and basic toiletries were provided.
The air conditioning was also powerful, blasting blessed cold air and offering a respite from the relentless heat outdoors. The windows are tinted on the outside, so you don’t have to worry about privacy. Didn’t take a photo of the bathroom, but it was adequate, and a heater is available if you want to shower in warm water.
We were mostly left to our own devices during our stay, which is just how we liked it – but the few times we bumped into some of the staff, they were always friendly and cheerful.
Some facilities that I found super thoughtful was the water dispenser, the umbrellas that you can borrow for free to shield you from rain and the hot sun, as well as picnic mats that you can take to the beach.
Overall, we were satisfied with our stay – I don’t think we could have picked a nicer spot that was convenient to get to where we spent most of our time on the island!
Of course, there are some improvements I think they can make: I couldn’t find a hairdryer and the TV channels weren’t working properly in our room – but these were minor inconveniences. Do note that macaques may sometimes jump on the building roofs, which can be extremely loud. The soundproofing between the chalets is also quite thin, so you’ll need to lower your volume in the evenings.
To book directly, you can go to their Facebook page. Or book via platforms such as agoda.com and booking.com.
4464, Teluk Nipah, 32300 Pulau Pangkor, Perak