Cherating is a sleepy resort town on the East Coast of Malaysia, between three to three and half hours drive from Kuala Lumpur. There are many resorts all along the coast, many located right at the beach. My wife and I stayed at The Kasturi, a small luxury resort sitting on 15 acres with the sea in front and the forest behind.
The resort is off the main road and through a forest with good security including guard dogs. We had reservations and were expected, so security guided us to the parking where they told us that a buggy would pick us up for check in. And right as I parked, the buggy showed up to collect us and our luggage to be brought to the arrival pavilion. After a delicious welcome drink and taking care of the formalities, we were then taken by buggy to our accommodation.
We stayed at an Ocean View Suite which was at the main building with an amazing view of the South China Sea and the pool. It was quite a well appointed suite with the added convenience of the breakfast buffet at the poolside restaurant just downstairs. It was going to be a relaxing weekend getaway for us.
The suite had a well stocked complimentary minibar with a coffee maker. And the bathtub and shower were partially outdoors. There were double vanities and all the toiletries we needed. They had a local fruit basket waiting for us and the aircond had nicely cooled the room, very appreciated as it was quite a hot day.
For me, the main reason you would come here is to relax, to unwind, to stroll along the beach or swim in the pool. There is a spa and gym available and if not mistaken, even kayaking but there are not many other things to do here. It’s the beach, the pool, your villa/suite or the main building with the restaurant, gift shop and lounge/bar, which by the way, was not open.
However, that said, my wife and I did enjoy relaxing and unwinding here. Our suite was quite spacious and very comfortable. You could walk through the forest as the resort has a connecting raised platform or stroll along the sandy beach.
The resort provided us with a daily complimentary breakfast at the Kenyang restaurant but we chose to have our lunches and dinners out of the resort. We drove out to a restaurant a few minutes away which was eclectic fusion place that served Chinese, Western and Thai dishes.
Due to a particularly heavy monsoon in the beginning of the year, the beach and some parts of the resort had sustained some damage. And in order to limit any further erosion of the beach, the resort had to build a seawall. Luckily for us, it was a long weekend and their construction crews were away. Although a necessary evil, the seawall changed the view and was a bit of a turn off.
And as much as my wife and I enjoyed our stay, there were several things that could and should (especially at these rates) have been better. A lot has been said about the design, architecture and build of what the resort itself claims is the finest luxury resort on the East Coast but they need to be paying closer attention to all the details, especially the little ones.
Although the staff were all very nice, pleasant, helpful and eager to please, they did miss those details. Details like the corroded kettle, stained blinds and unlockable balcony doors in our suite, it all should have been spotted by housekeeping and replaced/cleaned.
Also, the TV would not work due to lack of signal or loose cable or something. We called reception about it on the first night but they took quite some time to show up so we just asked them to come the next day. And after they corrected it the next day, there were still instances when the complicated programming just froze and you would end up pressing every button on the remote to get anything to happen. On top of that, the sound quality was poor. Rather surprising and frustrating.
Then, water to started to drip from the aircond, not much but that’s not something that it should be doing. And at night, it would make loud clanging noises that sounded like the wardrobe cabinets being slid open/close. It was very disconcerting especially since those cabinets were located in the partially open air bathroom and you may think someone was actually in there opening/closing those cabinets.
The wardrobe itself offered lots of storage space but all the drawers could not be utilised since the cabinet doors didn’t open enough to allow the drawers to slide out. It seems like they built the cabinets, put the doors on but didn’t stop to check to see if the drawers could be opened. Quite absurd and quite a waste.
Finally, it was also very surprising for a resort like this to not have hot water available for baths and showers. It was available during the day but not at night. And the staff could not explain it or correct it. All this underwhelming and we do not see ourselves staying here again in the foreseeable future.