The website is one thing, the reality another
Let's start with the positive: what is good about this resort?
1. The setting. It is extremely beautiful, natural scenery. But I am glad we came now, because I see and I understand that the lake will soon be ruined by the monstrous developments that are going on.
2. The staff are all very nice and friendly, even though they are poorly trained.
3. Lily, one of the front desk staff, is exceptional. She will “go the extra mile” for guests. Cornelius, one of the nature guides, too, is excellent. My negative comments below do not apply to these two superb members of staff.
4. The buggy service is quick and efficient.
As for the rest, the way this resort is kept and run is shameful. Here are some of the things that are, in my opinion, very wrong with this resort:
1. The welcome. When I arrive at a resort, I would expect to be given some orientation as to the layout of the resort, the amenities available, restaurant arrangements and serving times. None of this was provided until I specifically asked. We were simply taken to our bungalow and left there, without any explanations.
2. The staff are not well trained. The above (point 1) is one example of this. Speaking in general, we would like to feel that the staff are spontaneously ready and well-prepared to look after our needs. At this resort this is frequently not the case. Another example is the service in the restaurant: it is slow and inattentive to diners needs. I hasten to add that this is not the staff's fault, it is the fault of those responsible for their training.
3. The general condition of the bungalows. They need a new coat of paint, just for a start. The roof of our bungalow needed repairs. The fittings around the wash basin were black with grime. The air conditioner unit could not be turned off. It could be turned to “fan only” but could not be completely switched off, unless the key ring was removed from the main circuit breaker (an event which would also disable the lighting). During the night the air conditioner would repeatedly begin to make a loud, continuous clicking noise, preventing us from sleeping. Other guests too, reported having problems of different kinds with their air-con. The units are antiquated, do not work properly, and are not energy efficient. They need replacing as a matter of priority.
4. There was litter around our bungalow, and others, that was never picked up and taken away by the staff.
5. The dereliction of what used to be called the “spa”. High-end resort? The resort doesn’t even have a massage therapist available.
6. The restaurant menu, quality of food, and service. I can honestly say, I have never experienced such a bad restaurant in a resort that pretends to be high-end, or any other restaurant for that matter, except in properly third world countries. Their website boasts a restaurant with an extensive range of dishes. The reality is that the menu is limited, it is the same for lunch and dinner, it is the same every day, and half of the items on the menu are not available. The food, whether Malay or European is badly cooked. The grilled meat is always over-cooked. A fellow guest reported that the chef had even managed to burn her spaghetti. It is difficult to see how that is achievable. The Malay food was mostly uninteresting and very mediocre. The restaurant is truly a pathetic failure.
7. The lack of organisation in providing activities and services. I and other guests repeatedly asked the front desk to inform us if anybody else wanted to go on the same excursions as us, and they repeatedly failed to do this. We all later discovered that if they had informed us, we could have formed a group of sufficient number to achieve the minimum number for the excursions. There is no proper trekking available, either - just a short two hour hike along a well trod path.
8. Wifi Internet. What wifi? The connection was so slow it was virtually impossible to use.
9. Their Internet site advertises a bar and live music. There is no bar, and no music.
If you go there, go just for the setting, and go now before it's too late. They are building a large car park / marina complex near the resort to provide for the hotel / duty free shopping mall complex they are building further up the lake. And they advertise this as a place to take an eco holiday. What a tragedy!
Couples - Apr 20, 2016