Fancy, but soooo worth it!
Booked two rooms in Tongging Point Hotel - Deluxe Quad and Superior - directly on their website. I would normally book via Agoda or Booking.com, but unfortunately, they either don't sell the Deluxe Quad (2 king beds) or it wasn't available for my desired date. However, in their website they offer discounts for 21-Day Advance Purchase for certain rooms only, which includes the Superior Room at Tongging Point Hotel. If you wish to book on other websites, please learn the type of rooms in the Taman Simalem Resort website first, as they have the lodge type (Waterfall Lodge), the hotel type (Tongging Point), etc. I read reviews about guests who said they booked a room for 4 but the bathroom was outside the room. The resort does have such room, which is cheaper and that's definitely not the Deluxe Quad type. So if you wish to treat your parents and siblings, like I did, go for the Tongging Point - Deluxe Quad. It has a huge bathroom with Jacuzzi tub, hot and cold shower - hand-shower and rain-shower, and the view outside was mesmerizing, facing mountains and lake. The Superior Room, on the other hand, offers normal size bathroom with shower booth, and a view facing the golf course. Both rooms are modernly designed, equipped with flatscreen TV, tea & coffee facilities, and of course comfortable beds and pillows.
There are tons of activities offered; free and discounted for guests who book accommodation and paid for the non-guests. If you arrive early, you can join the activities while waiting for your room. But first, confirm your arrival by visiting the hotel reception and collect your wristband which is to be shown when you wish to join activities. Most activities ended around 04.00 PM, so if you checked-in late you have to join the next day. As the whole resort area was very vast, buggy-cars and smaller bus are provided to take you between locations, but if you drive your own car, they might ask you to get there yourself with the help of a map.
The price you paid has included Dinner and Breakfast buffet, unless it says otherwise. I saw a promo they offered which only included breakfast, so it's always best to check with them.
I think they offered more menu on breakfast than dinner. No complaint about the taste, they were all fairly good but I do hope they were more varied. Our dinner was in Pangambatan Cafe, which is less than 10 mins drive from the hotel, but I think it shares the same location with (if not closer to) the lodge rooms. As for breakfast, it was served in the Teahouse, which is near the reception.
We ate lunch at Kodon-Kodon Cafe, slightly pricey compared to normal restaurants but since we didn't want to drive and search for restaurants somewhere else outside the resort, that was the only option left. We visited Toba Cafe earlier, but the security guy recommended us to go to Kodon-Kodon Cafe instead as the Toba Cafe was
only opened for cooking class on Saturday and only opened for public meals every Sunday (?). I wish someone from the hotel can confirm about this.
While the food at Kodon-Kodon Cafe were okay, it should be better if they are served hotter. We didn't know whether to blame the weather or the cook, but as soon as the food arrived in our dining room, they were slightly cold. Same case with the hot tea and bandrek we ordered. The cafe has separated dining rooms to choose from if you wish to enjoy the view while eating. These rooms are outside the main area of the cafe, so probably it is the weather that caused our meals turned cold too soon.
My mom loves the fried bananas, which is served with grated cheese and chocolate condensed-milk. You might want to try that for dessert or tea time.
The resort is only possible to reach by driving. I don't see any chance of getting there by public transportation, therefore you might want to rent a car. Our driver was clever enough to get us there earlier than we expected. We left at around 06.30 from Medan and arrived around 10.00 with a couple short stops. Earlier he asked us if we want to make a stop at Kabanjahe, if not, then he would take the shortcut to Merek via Desa Tiga Panah. He asked because the traffic might be too crowded in Kabanjahe since it was weekend, so to avoid traffic jam it's best to take the shortcut.
Overall, it was a great experience. And I would definitely recommend this place for families as my mother and my 3-year old niece really enjoyed their time there. The little one even said, "Why do we to leave?" So, we will definitely come back on another holiday. Price-wise, the resort is quite expensive but so worth it. This is
probably among the very few resorts in North Sumatera that is modern and well-maintained, and we do hope it will stay that way for a very long time.
- Oct 1, 2017