Since our last stay with Swiss Garden Kuantan near to a decade ago, we'd decided to try this hotel again during our recent trip.
First of all, I must compliment the team of staff for the much improved professionalism and politeness. Our check-in was swift and the front desk lady was very friendly and helpful. We were given a sea view room on the 2nd floor (highest is 4th floor). The room had been recently refurbished; with a nice pool view and a glimpse of the sea (partially blocked by trees).
We decided to call for room service. The menu was not found anywhere, so the housekeeper sent it to us soon after we requested for it. I ordered a fried kway teow together with other items. The bill came and shocked us with a RM24++ fried kway teow! It was stated on the menu that char kway teow costs RM17nett. The order taker clarified that fried kway teow and char kway teow were totally 2 different dishes. Chinese in this part of the world uses 'fried' as the English translation of 'Char' in Hokkien, similar to 'fried' (English) and 'goreng' (Malay). Unless specifically stated e.g. Fried Kway Teow with Prawns, Char Kway Teow with Cockles, it puzzles me on the difference of plainly 'Fried' and 'Char'. Another problem is, the menu was just a single page laminated flyer; the RM24 Fried Kway Teow was not even shown on it! When I feedback to the order taker, she defended by saying that she had repeated 'Fried Kway Teow' and I verified correct! Sigh... what could I say but just my luck! I found it hard to explain to a non-Chinese on this miscommunication, as I understand that she was just doing her job. I let it go without escalating. Though it cost us just a few dollars more, it had intensely reduced our satisfaction level. I truly hope the hotel would do something to make such info clearer to guests moving forward.
WIFI in the room was charged at RM10 per 24 hours' block and could only be used for one device throughout. Since we were unwilling to pay anything more, we kept to using it for our iPad. Complimentary WIFI was provided at the reception area and limited to 2 hours per device; ID and passwords were obtained from the front desk. We did some surfing with our cell phones at the lobby area, and were attacked by some hungry mozzies. Tak boleh tahan! We retreated to our room shortly after, itching all over. Would fogging or burning of Citronellas etc help with the situation?
Just under a 10 mins' drive, you would find a nice Chinese Tze-Char coffeeshop called Alor Akar Retaurant. We tried the signature Beggar's Chicken, Yam Ring with Pork Ribs, and Sambal Kang Kong. Yummy!
There were pleasant surprises in the hotel nevertheless. There was a cage of rabbits and a pen of tortoises at the poolside. The bunnies were cute and cheery; they had really brightened our day. The breakfast restaurant had been refurbished too and it was great not to be bothered by swamps of flies like years ago. Could it be that we were just lucky to be there during the non-flies season? Whatever the case, breakfast was an enjoyable one.
Overall, I would rate our stay as slightly above Average. I would recommend this hotel to anyone who enjoys close proximity to the beach, yet without burning holes in their pockets.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
March 22, 2013
Thank you for staying with us at Swiss Garden Resort and Spa and on your frank assesment of our Resort.
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We thank you for the positive feedback on the improved professionalism and politeness of our staff which are in line with our Swiss garden Brand standards.
We have briefed our staff on the Charges for the Char Kway Teow and truly apologize for this mix up and confusion.
We are glad that our Rabbits and tortoises have made you all cheery and we are also looking at increasing to add in other animals.
We are glad to hear that you have enjoyed your breakfast which we have been working on to create an experience when guests have their first meal of the day at our Resort.
We look forward to meeting up with you on your next visit to Kuantan.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.