Monday, May 20, 2013

Cameron Highlands Resort under the Resident Package: Is it Worth It?

Cameron Highlands Resort
King bed - it was comfortable
This May, Mother's Day, we decided to spend it with cool weather so we gave Cameron Highlands another visit. After 6 years living in KL, we have been to the highlands a few times... but this time we decided to try the YTL hotel called Cameron Highlands Resort. The hotel looked impressive from the outside and I wonder if it will live up to the expectations because we have had good experiences with YTL's Pangkor Laut (that is why we went back there a few times).

Below is an excerpt of what I wrote for my TripAdvisor review of our May 2013 trip:

Under the resident package, the hotel price is reasonable with all meals included. We have frequented Ytl's resorts for the past 6 years and this one was a letdown.

Went Friday-Sunday, discovered there was a large group checking in hence their deluxe rooms all out, so we got a free upgrade to a 2-bedroom. I thought it was perfect as we went with 3-year old daughter. Turned out to be a so-so stay.

Pro's:

- room was spacious. 2-bedroom is perfect for families, with two tv's
- cool weather was nice, made us forget we are in Malaysia
- resident package full board is considered affordable 
- one of the more reputable hotels in Cameron
- very near the Healthy Strawberry Park, which was great for a short drive and strawberry picking for me and my daughter while daddy went on a Jim Thomson nature walk
- strawberries that were served throughout our stay were all huge and nice
- mineral water aplenty which was important for pregnant mommy like me
- nice view of the golf from our balcony
- some notable staff, not all of them were competent, in fact it was so-so (which is disappointing for such a hotel this standard)... The staff at the massage were considerate. Extra note on the waitress Pija or Piga who was very friendly, served with the heart during our meals. And kudos to the evening shift of the reception area last May 11 evening who went out of their way to resolve my mosquito issues
- resident package also had a special spa pricing which was rm200 max for 50-minutes massage with tea bath which was superb
- in-room fruits were nice, daughter loved it for snack time. Plus the green apples at the reception 
- common areas were beautifully maintained
- super nice staff Pija (or Piga) gave some fish food pellets for my daughter to feed the koi fishes, very sweet of her


Con's:

- despite the spacious room, we detest the place bec my poor little daughter had about 10 mosquito bites in the first night. We requested a mosquito plug but they said they were all out. Turned out they didn't have any in the hotel. Because of this my daughter suffered and cried so hard (which rarely happens) on the 2nd night bec of all the itchiness of the bite. She had 5 mosquito bites on the face alone!! So please beware if you go with a toddler. After raising this with the reception, they barely did anything except to give me mosquito coil and match, which is all that they had. This is so oppositely different from the service we had at Pangkor Laut. Despite Pangkor being amongst the forest in an island, they were able to set the turn down service superbly well with mosquito repellents, plug, etc -- and this was consistent with our 4 times stay there.
- some of the staff are noticeably so-so in terms of execution. They speak kind words but in terms of going the extra mile, only few staff were notable. The evening shift reception on Saturday night saw the ultra mosquito bites on my daughter's face and decided to finally go out and purchase some electric mosquito plugs. They came to our room at 930pm to install it, bless their souls for finally doing something. I complained about the mosquito thing on Saturday morning breakfast-- to the reception team and even to the manager -- but all that was given was the coil. We hated the smell but still lighted it that evening thinking that there was no other recourse.
- toilet in the room was small..especially for a 2-bedroom. We were quite cramped in the toilet, when u try to let my daughter pee no one else can fit into the bathroom! Maybe it was better if they made the toilets a bit bigger.

- you could see moulds and stains which I guess is normal ?!? In such high altitude places. Some stain on the white bed sheets. Black spots in toilet joints.

- chubby Chinese reception guy confused me with his explanation about the food rules of resident package. He was trying to be helpful but confused the hell out of me with his rm 300 per meal cap explanation which was not stated in our original t&c package. 

- coffee was mediocre. Expected more from a place like this. Pangkor Laut gave options like latte or cappuccino as part of the resident package

Conclusion: for families (with kids) living in KL who want 3-days-2 nights vacation with YTL, Pangkor Laut is a better option. We also went to Tanjung Jara years ago. We still prefer Pangkor.

Will we go back to Cameron Highlands Resort? At this point, I'd say not in the next few years. Hard to forget that evening my daughter kept crying and scratching... While daddy had fever (coincidentally) and couldn't sleep well bec of all the road noise which can be loud when you are trying to sleep. But for sure it is one of the better places to stay in Cameron highlands if you really want to go there.


The bedroom which had a second bedroom for kids

Fresh fruits given in-room

The second bedroom which had 2 single beds and their own TV
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