Extra Photo Gallery: Pool
In Mukim Sungai Karang along the stretch of Pantai Balok, about 10 kilometres north of Kuantan. Distance from Kuantan Airport (KUA) is about 20 kilometres and journey may take about 30 minutes.
The main building at Swiss Garden Resort emanates quite a decent resort ambience. The open-air lobby is done somewhat nicely, with traditional wooden arts, tropical shrubs and even a rather massive man-made waterfall amidst lush greenery. The first impression counts, and this resort certainly is not short of that.
Nonetheless, my experience at the resort was not entirely pleasant overall. The check-in process at the reception counter was far from memorable as the reception lady was being somewhat irritating when we had some misunderstanding on the hotel room rates. I shouldn't lay the blame entirely on her - it was almost midnight when I checked in, and both of us were ready to call it a day. I finally managed to secure a one-night stay in the Deluxe Garden View room for about RM180++ which I thought was surprisingly expensive.
My claim wasn't entirely baseless (read: RM180++ per room in Kuantan, the room HAD to be nice). On first glance, the room does have a great tropical feel to it, with traditionally-inspired design and a smattering wall paint of bright orange. When I was about to fall asleep, I noticed that my body itched like mad. It had to be the bedsheet! I did get my sleep, although somewhat not fitfully. Just as I thought the bedsheet was only thing that would bother me, I found out that the toilet could not be flushed. Between juggling the time for breakfast and checking out soon after, I reckoned that calling up the maintenance staff would be a folly. Also, the resort opts for tiled floors, which to me is a big gamble because the housekeeping staff will need extra effort to mop out the dust. As in my case, the floor was expectedly not so clean.
Enough about the sorry state of the "deluxe" room. The only thing that probably worth staying for is the swimming pool. It is a free-formed pool overlooking the resort building, swaying palm trees and tropical trees, as well as Balok beach some metres away. Other than that, the resort also offers jacuzzi, gymnasium, sauna room, tennis courts and a water sports activity centre.
The main restaurant here is the Garden Terrace, located on the ground floor overlooking the beach and the pool. It offers all-day dining option. As in my case, the inclusive buffet breakfast was to be had here. Not much comment, it was quite forgettable. Other than that, the resort hosts the Blossom Chinese Restaurant which specialises in Cantonese and Szechuan delicacies. Also, there are two great cocktail bars here, namely the Parrot Bar by the beautiful poolside, and the Malibu Club at the beach which claims to open until the wee hours in the morning (0200hrs on weekends, to be exact).
There are 306 guest rooms and suites in the resort. The internet rates go as the following (and subjected to vary from time to time): Deluxe Garden View RM160++, Deluxe Sea View RM200++, Studio Room RM240++, Family Room RM290++, Executive Suite RM510++.
Great pool and resort ambience. Customer service and room upkeep should have been better.