News from Frenz Emperor & Bugis Resorts - Tioman
your dreams come true...
Our first visit to Emperor Resort, was on 29th March 2011 and produced the Emperor News - The Beginning and matching AY Photo Gallery. Since then, we generated annual News on the progress in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and produced the corresponding 2014, 2015 Photo Galleries. This is our first visit in three years and a lot of changes have taken place since our last visit. The original reception, dining and storage building has been completely renovated and now a huge solid timber beach side bar is the centerpiece, with complete kitchen facilities in the back, already serving sumptuous Malay dishes to the privileged guests.
This journey has not been without its dramas and many obstacles have reared up and had to be overcome in the process. Least of all, after investing millions of Ringgit to build the original Emperor Resort and jetty, on the wrong piece of land and having to apply to the Pahang State Government, to purchase the land, they initially thought they were leasing and built the resort on.
Another setback came in 2013, when 11 boutique chalets were almost complete and Emperor Resort was ready to open. By taking on a new business partner and persuading Afai to upgrade the chalets, to private 7-Star status for couples and renaming it Frenz Emperor Resort & Spa, without ever opening or serving any guests.
Since then, Afai's workers led by the ingenious Chief Abu, have been busy adding swimming pools, double jacuzzi's, outside decking, massage beds and performing a complete make over, on 12 private chalets for couples.
This is no easy task, as if the inherent difficulties of building on huge sandstone boulders, nestled between tall tropical rain forest, isn't hard enough, then try lifting it to 7-Star status and coping with the increased costs and time incurred on an island, 26nm out into the South China Sea, on a site where others have failed before him.
He has stayed true to his promise and over the last few years, overcome enormous engineering difficulties of building the swimming pools alongside or underneath the upgraded boutique chalets and connected them with an intricate array of slate tiled stairways and ramps, through, around or over the top of the sandstone boulders.
The view from each chalet is very stunning and all the pools have infinity views of the sea. What's even more remarkable, there were no drawings for the original chalet designs, positioning and interior fit out, as they were all locked up in Afai's head. We have had the pleasure of witnessing the process, which is best described as "Work in Progress". It requires some stick drawings in the sand, taking a few measurements and height calculations, procuring the materials, then transporting to the island and handing them over to Chief Abu's building team, who will take care of the rest.
Always striving for perfection in workmanship and design, resulted in tree planting and extra under growth landscaping, during the initial construction phase, that have blended into the surrounding rain forest and have grown to provide extensive shade and privacy for each chalet. While scouring through saw mills in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand to secure timber paneling, some classic furniture creations made from tree roots and outdoor light boxes, were also bundled into the package. They adorn the beach front walkway, with the centerpiece an ancient wooden swinging chair perched on top of the rocks.
Due to the extra time taken to build all the swimming pools and the mix up in land titles, the completed boutique chalets are going through their second maintenance cycle, replacing the lalang leaf verandah roof and overhangs.
The three and two story octagonal buildings, at the other end of the beach, have been decked out into ten semi detached rooms and becomes the Bugis Resort and Spa. Work never stops around here and with some help from the Ghafar family, foundations for another eight or twelve beach side rooms, have been laid and if completed by next season, the resort will open as a separate entity.
Afai remains firm that the Frenz Emperor Resort will not open until everything is finished and operational to his high standards. This may take another few years and he is prepared for how ever long it takes to complete. A number of big items were put on the back burner during the slow down, like the huge 2 story octagonal building with eleven semi detached rooms overlooking the jetty, gazebo lounges around an all in together party jacuzzi and restaurant half way along the jetty. Then the arduous task of connecting all the pool filters and jacuzzi pumping systems, plus did I mention placing a Tenaga electrical sub station on the grounds, to make the boutique chalets fully operational.
Being here during the construction phase, it is strange to be surrounded by live able air con chalets, bar and restaurants, with nobody here other than Afai and his family, Chief Abu and his workers and the continual sound of waves lapping up onto the beach.
Imagining honeymoon couples, distinguished guests and celebrities from all walks of life, frolicking around between the swimming pool, jacuzzi and spacious air con bedroom, plus participating in any beach side activities, to keep themselves amused. For couples that require complete privacy, each chalet is expected to have a butler service.
When the resort opens for business and have a booking website, they would like to take an option of presenting the "Highest AYGP Scorer Award" at the 12 selected regattas, that score points towards the AsianYachting Grand Prix (AYGP) Skipper and Yacht of the Year titles, with 3 Day 2 Night package deals, as part of an awareness program.
Meanwhile we will go off and do what we do best and am already looking forward to next year and keep our loyal readers up to date on the progress.
go to associated Emperor - Tioman