Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Working holiday

Since it was also a school mid-term break, I decided to take my family along during my short outstation duty to Melaka. It is quite difficult for me to take a break from work and go for a real family vacation, so when an opportunity to combine work and holiday comes, it's always better than nothing. Not a great option, but hey, who's says life is perfect?

We chose to stay at the Teluk Kemang area of Port Dickson since it is not too far away from ALAM, around 20km or so. We've been to PD a number of times and each time stayed at a different hotel, just to experience the variety. This time I decided to try Tiara Beach Resort based on impressive reviews I read on websites. When I first made the online booking at RM460 per night for a two-room suite, I thought it was a bit pricey.

My sons were initially impressed with the external view of the resort when we arrived late Sunday night. But as soon as we entered our suite, I was greatly disappointed. The room furnishings were somewhat sparse and amenities were frugal. The bedrooms were sized just big enough to fit the beds and they provided hanging racks in lieu of full wardrobes or cabinets.

The bedrooms no doubt, have air-conditioning but the remote controls were missing. You can switch on the air-cons but you could not control the temperature or blower speed settings. When I checked with housekeeping, I was told that the remote unit is available from the Front Desk by paying a RM50 deposit. Sheesh, now why didn't they tell me this when I was checking-in? It's not like the Front Desk is just a few minutes down the lobby, it's a few hundred metres away in another block!

Yeah, I know they need to do this deposit thing because the air-con remotes always get stolen, but hey, you're in the hotel business, it comes with the territory. If you want to take a deposit for things that are easily nicked, then let us know in advance!

All in all, Tiara Beach Resort is not value for money. In the first place, the name is a misnomer. The hotel is not situated on a beach. It lays claim to the name because it has spread sand around its swimming pools. Okay, it has large pools and a sort of water theme park (so-called included in the room rate), but I still think we are overcharged. In November last year, we stayed at Ancasa Resort Allsuites just a few kilometres up the road. It has larger rooms and a beautiful view of the Melaka Straits, and cost us only RM360 per night.

I have a simple system when it comes to rating a hotel, restaurant or similar establishments. It's based on whether I'll be coming back or not, i.e :

a) Yes, I'll come back,
b) Maybe I'll come back,
c) Nope. I ain't comin' back.

No prizes for guessing how I rate TBR. Anyway, it so happened that I had to extend my work at ALAM for an extra day from the original 2 days. We checked out of TBR on the second day and moved to a simple apartment unit at Tg. Tuan. I'll write about this last day in my next post.


fie the elf said...

460 bucks for that..and it doesnt even look like a suite! =(

Oldstock said...

Have a look at their website and see the awards that they won. Whoever gave them the awards must have a loose screw up there.