By Kamila Delart

Have you been to the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club lately? If not, you should definitely visit! To enjoy the lovely marina view and a delicious lunch or dinner at one of the many cafés and restaurants. But also, to get a feel for what is yet to come!!!

When re-opening after a year-long, massive revamp in December 2015, the new Royal Langkawi Yacht Club certainly impressed - whether with the addition of a marine-themed boutique hotel or the variety of dining outlets that comprise the Fisherman’s Wharf. But even more intriguing were the initiatives that followed the celebratory launch!

Once the ribbon is cut and the opening party over, the island’s authorities and private business owners tend to lean back and hope for the best. To judge how successful this strategy is, you only need to visit Air Hangat which has been renovated at great costs just a couple of years back…

So when I noticed that things are handled differently at Royal Langkawi Yacht Club, I got curious - keeping my eye at the ever evolving concept and the fresh ideas implemented by the General Manager, Tayfun Koksal. Since what I got to observe was pretty inspiring, I finally asked for an interview so that I can share with you the unusual story behind RLYC’s growing success, and let you in on some exciting projects that are currently in the pipeline.

A German national married to a Malaysian and based in the country for 27 years, Tayfun certainly understands the expectations of both, domestic travelers and foreign visitors, and is therefore able to tweak the experience to appeal to both markets. But his greatest asset is a major sense of ownership and the ability to think outside the box!

With no previous experience in hospitality management or the entertainment industry, he took a hands-on approach, getting involved in tasks that are usually delegated. And so, the antique fishing accessories that adorn the walls of Charlie’s Bar & Grill and the recently added beautiful fish sculptures on the bar are all hand-selected, found it tiny hidden shops all over Malaysia. Also the outlet’s menu was changed numerous times, currently featuring only dishes that got Tayfun’s personal sampling approval. And one of the yacht broker offices is even decorated with giant paintings that carry his signature!! (A man of many talents, that’s for sure...)


But no matter how charming the marina view and how great the dining experience in terms of ambiance and taste - it would be naïve to expect that travelers staying in Cenang or in the Pantai Kok area will drive across the island when both mentioned locations tempt with plenty of restaurants of their own. So how did Tayfun manage to attract the crowds? By gradually turning Fisherman’s Wharf into a lifestyle venue that provides plenty of entertainment!

If visiting around 5.30pm, you get to listen to buskers nearly every day, on Thursdays and Fridays, there is either a cultural dance performance or an exciting fire show. If you visit on the weekends between 3 and 5pm, you can get a local artist draw a fun caricature of yours, and ladies can get their hands and feet beautified with a traditional henna tattoo. Visiting with children? If so, you will be excited to learn that you and your spouse get to enjoy a quiet meal while your kids are well looked after, having a great time coloring, making sand art or creating a batik paining. With prices between 5-25 RM that cover only the cost of material - the best childcare option on the entire island!

But that’s not where Tayfun’s initiative stopped. Inspired by the popularity of the Royal Langkawi International Regatta, the largest yachting event in Malaysia that enjoys an excellent media coverage, reaching 520 million households in 180 countries, Tayfun figured that utilizing the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club as a venue for high-carat events will not only benefit the yacht club but the tourism in Langkawi at large.

A man of deeds, he did not spend much time contemplating but jumped straight into negotiations with a few much-courted stars of the Malaysian music scene and well-known artists intrigued by the idea to exhibit their paintings. Questioning whether Tayfun’s ambitious plans will materialize?

It’s happening already!!! On the 16th December, the RLYC stage belongs to STAYIN’ ALIVE, THE WORLD’S # 1 TRIBUTE BAND TO THE BEE GEES!!

As expected, Tayfun is hands-on, looking over the shoulder of the engaged architect to make sure you get a comfortable leg-room, personally sampling the culinary creations of local vendors who will complement the in-house catering, and pushing the budget to get a great lightshow and as many disco balls as possible to re-create the great atmosphere of the 70ties and surprise with an event the island will talk about for months to come!

Curious to learn more? An event feature with all the exciting details is coming soon!

TICKET HOTLINE +6 04-9664078