In the years that I traveled within and out of my own country, I have seen a few things or met some people who left me in awe. At Lost Paradise Resort in Penang, the beauty of the surroundings and the peaceful sound of the flapping ocean nearby not only left me relaxed, but the story behind the resort itself is more than inspiring.
Lost Paradise Resort
Located along the Feringghi Beach, Penang, the entrance to the 90,000 sq ft resort is quite secluded. You might need to open your eyes bigger to find the signboard. However, if seclusion is what you want when you’re looking for a holiday in the busy state of Penang, this is definitely one of the best places to go to.
Entering the premises, you will be greeted by many types and colors of orchids lining the walls of the resort entrance. Slightly further, you will find the main hall where guests and family members of the resort owners dwell, which is none other than, the kitchen.
However, the best is yet to come – with a four hundred year old great tree next to the Lighthouse Academy, you will also find many Bali-inspired and Minangkabau-inspired architechture with disctinctively themed and stunningly designed rooms, most of which are the resort’s founder’s own personal collections through his travels over the years.
Rooms and Activities
There are 40 suites and rooms in this resort where most of them are facing the blue Andaman Sea. You can even view Pulau Tikus in the short distance. The rooms and rates are as such (prices not inclusive of 10% service and 6% tax) :
- Superior Room – RM290++
- Deluxe Suite – RM400++
- Deluxe Family Suite – RM580++
- Grand Family Suite – RM580++
- Royal Family Suite – RM980++
Every room includes complimentary breakfast.
That is not all. There are also outdoor activities that can be arranged for you, if you’re the outdoorsy type. Activities includes kayaking, fishing, island tour, hiking, waterfall picnic and others. Or, you can just do yoga exercises at the spacious open air nearby the pool.
Do you know that if you kayak from the resort to Pulau Tikus (which takes about 30 minutes) in the evening, you will be able to see the sunset in Penang from there? A beautiful sight!
Inspiring Story Behind Lost Paradise Resort
Now comes the inspiring story behind the Lost Paradise Resort and what prompted the owner; Dr. Chew Yu Gee and his family to open their homes and turn it into a resort.
Dr. Chew is a paediatrician whom lived in Penang with his wife, Melody, and 5 children for the past 20+ years. He is originally from Kulim, a bright student with a bleak childhood. Coming from a family of an alcoholic father, he was a destructive boy in his teens until a missionary took him in and raised him as his own.
Under the tutelage of a good man, Dr. Chew graduated well in high school and furthered his studies in Medicine at National University Singapore in 1978. He met his wife, Melody when he was in his third year and she, a freshman.
After they marry and returned to Penang, he became a missionary doctor as well as working at Penang General Hospital. Things changed when they had their second son, Art, who has autism. In case you didn’t know, a child with autism – as with every special child with special needs, requires a different way of communication and way of raising them. Yes, it requires a lot of patience and also a lot of observation to learn to tap into the child’s mind and creativity.
But, the amazing part is, Art, who is 24 years old now has graduated from the School Of Medicine, Monash University and is now a houseman in Penang General Hospital.
How’s that for inspiration?
The Lighthouse Academy is located within Lost Paradise Resort grounds. The academy was opened in 2012 where 30% of the students are students with special needs – children with autism, down syndrome, etc – while another 70% are mainstream children. There are almost 70 children studying at the academy now, from only 10 students back in 2010.
Melody is the head of the academy and the teachers of the academy are mostly associates and friends of the family. The children of the family also help in their spare time, in between schools.
A few years ago, Dr. Chew fell sick and found out that he has Diabetes Melitus Type 1. So far, the Lighthouse Academy were funded through his paediatric hospitals but when he fell sick, he realized that the academy needs another source of income in case anything befells him. Hence the idea of opening their home and land and turning it into a resort.
The Reluctant Resort
The family nicknamed the resort as a “reluctant” resort, making it into a homestay more than a resort. The close-knit feel between guests and owners makes guests feel warm and loved.
Dr. Chew also sometimes invites his guests to speak for a session at the Lighthouse Academy, mostly on topics of love, of determination, of friendship bonds, etc to help inspire the children and help shape them into independant and good thinkers of the future.
Lost Paradise Resort 262, Jalan Batu Feringghi, 11100 Penang, Malaysia. Tel : +604-8904800 / +6016-4550102 / +6011-16499098 Email : firstname.lastname@example.org Website : lostparadiseresort.net
Lost Paradise Resort, reluctant or not, is a magnetic resort that will pull you back for more. The inspiring story that drives this family to open the resort as well as share their love with children of special needs will also open our hearts to be more giving and loving. We should learn to appreciate what we have and be more accepting of the differences of others.
“Infinitely more important than sharing one’s material wealth is sharing the wealth of ourselves – our time and energy, our passion and commitment, and above all, our love.” – William E. Simon