Saturday, June 23, 2007

New and improved Holiday Villa Beach Resort Cherating

The Holiday Villa Beach Resort in Cherating is a pleasant weekend getaway for the weary city dweller.

CHERATING beach has always been a haven for backpackers and surfers, especially during the monsoon months of November and December. It has the perfect combination of great waves, a wide stretch of white 0sandy beach, a plethora of dining choices and a happening nightlife.

Since Club Med opened its first Asian venture here back in the 70s, other hotels have quickly followed suit and visitors have a wealth of accommodation to choose from, catering for all budgets. One such lodging is the recently refurbished Holiday Villa Beach Resort, a Malaysian hotel chain founded in 1987.

Facilities: Catch the sea breeze as you dine outside.
Resident manager Jan Khan revealed that the beddings were changed, carpets removed and tiles incorporated all at a cost of RM2mil. Their pride is the pillarless ballroom, which can seat 600 guests – the only one of its kind in the east coast.

“Our last renovation was done about eight years ago so it was time for a change. We couldn’t close the hotel so we did it in stages. We want to promote the free and easy ambience. Our edge is our service,” she said, during a familiarisation trip for media and travel agents recently.

The 122-room resort offers three types of accommodation. One may sample modern accommodation in the capital wing, relive the glamour of Malay royalty at the palace wing or indulge in complete privacy in the eastern pavilion. We stayed in the palace wing where the rooms are compact yet cosy. There isn’t much space to walk about and although it’s meant for two, the room appears a little cramped.

The eastern pavilion is a bestseller among families and honeymooners. Each boutique villa (some bigger than an average condominium in the city) is named after a different state in Malaysia and comes attached with a living room, one or two bedrooms and a verandah, which extends out to a private swimming pool and Jacuzzi. For additional pampering, there is also a spa offering all kinds of massages and beauty treatment to soothe frayed nerves.

To cater exclusively for guests in the eastern pavilion, butler service is provided from 8am to 9pm daily. Holiday Villa not only promotes Malaysian cuisines in its overseas hotels but also promotes locally manufactured furniture and television sets. All rooms come equipped with some sort of local flavour.

Malaysians are blessed to have good food all year round. If you opt to eat in the resort, there are three restaurants to feast at. However, when we dined at the beach restaurant during lunch, the pesky flies proved to be a menace. After a while, I lost my appetite.

The pillarless ballroom. — HOLIDAY VILLA BEACH RESORT
Dinner under the stars was a pleasant change though. Tables and speakers were set up outdoors and thankfully, the night was breezy and beautiful. The flies miraculously disappeared and we had the likes of Lionel Richie crooning his best numbers to provide the entertainment.

The first night saw us having a barbecue – fresh fish, squid and prawns never tasted better! The next day, a heavenly meal of steamboat awaited diners. Then it was time for some karaoke at the Fun Pub.

With all those pounds you might have put on from the chow, it’s advisable to work off the calories. For recreation, you can always jump into the two swimming pools or the open air Jacuzzi. Or enjoy a game of tennis, basketball or volleyball.

While the hotel does offer water sports like water scooters, sailing and kayaking, sadly during our visit, the recreation centre was closed. Since the guest count was minimal, the water sports operator decided to take the day off. It was a pity as the weather was sunny so we chose to sit on the sundeck and bask in the serenity of the South China Sea before dozing off.

Room rates begin from RM280. School holiday packages are available until June 10. Call for details.

Holiday Villa Beach Resort
Lot 1303, Mukim Sg Karang
Cherating, Pahang
Tel: (09) 581 9500

Source : STAR
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