As Club Med novices, nothing prepared us for the incredible experience that my husband and I have come to call 'the holiday of a lifetime'. Visiting from the 23rd of December 2012 to the 7th of January 2013, our two-week stay in the place we soon came to call home, was nothing short of extraordinary. From the day of our arrival to the day of our very sad departure, the experience of Club Med Cherating was life changing.
The resort, built in the local style - teak buildings on stilts, and situated in lush garden settings between the jungle and the South China Sea, is a magical place. The view from our balcony alone was picture perfect and breathtaking - palm trees, the ocean, the monitor lizards, etc. Whilst the resort is the oldest Club Med in Asia and some renovating is required, the amount of time spent in the room is absolutely minimal - there is just far too much to do and see at Club Med Cherating to waste it indoors: flying trapeze (with various circus activities), archery, sailing (catamarans) & kayaking, tennis, volley ball, football, aqua-aerobics, petanque, rock climbing, tree-top adventures, table tennis, and so much more. There are also tours on offer, the Night Market (a chance to taste local street food), Kuantan shopping with a stop at a Hindu Temple and Kuantan's famous Blue Mosque, and the Firefly outing, all memorable and worth doing.
For those simply wanting to relax and unwind there is yoga, batik painting, rain-forest walking, strolls on the beach, a visit to the spa (a bit pricey but well worth it), or just lazing around the pools and bar lounge - Garry (the lovely service member of the Bar Team) will make sure you never have to leave the pool area to get a drink! For couples who are looking for some peace and tranquility, as the main pool area is a hive of activity, a short trip (via the Cherating train), will take you to the Zen Pool - an adults only area. This is a stunning addition to Club Med Cherating and should not be missed. The beach (with beach bar) and Rambulan Restaurant are just a short walk from the Zen Pool, so an entire day can be spent here.
For those questioning the value of an all-inclusive resort - don’t. Food and beverages are a-plenty and there is non-stop entertainment.
The Food: from the moment you are welcomed into the main restaurant, your tastes buds are in for an adventure. This restaurant gives a new meaning to buffet dining and every meal was a delight. Chinese, Indian (Chef Santana you are a food genius), Japanese, Italian, Western (Chef Vickram, thanks for the veggie mash) and Korean offerings keep you going back for more, and if you have a sweet tooth, then pastry Chef Heru’s creations will keep you sated. The Christmas and New Year’s Eve meals were especially memorable (I have the photos to prove it). Of course, it is not just the food that makes your dining experience complete – it is the people. The service team is very efficient and always have smiles on their faces but special mention must go to the wonderful Ghazzo, the brilliant, professional and very charming restaurant manager - if you ever need anything, then Ghazzo is your man. My husband celebrated his 50th birthday on New Year’s Eve and Ghazzo and his team made sure that it was a birthday to remember, thank you. For Club Med novices, the restaurant is a wonderful place to get to know the GOs - make sure you ask for a larger table so that you may enjoy your meals with them - this was a particular highlight of our trip. On a side note: take a visit to the Noodle Bar where Chef Cheah will look after you with one of his spicy noodle creations - the bar is open from 3pm to 6pm (great if you are looking for an afternoon food pick-me-up) and again later on in the evening.
The Bar: whilst some comments (on Tripadvisor) noted the lack of quality of the alcohol on offer, there were certainly no complaints from any of our fellow travelers. As a teetotaler, I challenged the Bar Team to produce the most outrageous of mocktails for me, and they certainly rose to the occasion. Thank you to Sarah, Eva, Micky, Kyle, Rajesh and all the other Bar GOs for keeping us well stocked in beverages and for never losing their cool, no matter how busy the bar became.
Entertainment: wow, were we in for a huge surprise when it came to the evening entertainment. The shows are extremely enjoyable and very good and you have to keep on reminding yourself that it is the GO team and not professional actors/dancers/gymnasts providing the entertainment. What a talented bunch of people and their dedication to bring us a fantastic show every night, knows no limits - rehearsals for the next evening’s shows are often at 11pm (after a VERY long day’s work for the GOs). The costumes and sets are lovely and special mention must go to Arturo (for sound) and Ryan (for lighting) and the very talented Byron, the Club Med Cherating choreographer, who reignited my passion for dance! The Miss Cherating ‘Beauty’ Pageant starring Marcello, Lucas, Jake, Brendon and Juju was particularly entertaining with Brendon and Juju teaming up as Cherating’s comedy duo, surprising us on a daily basis, with their interesting characters (the firefly and his catcher being a favourite) - there is never a dull moment at Cherating, even during monsoon season!
The overall ambience and beauty of the resort is amazing, and a budding photographer’s dream, but it is CDV Merlin (Chef de Village) and her GO team, that will make your holiday a complete experience. The energy and enthusiasm of Merlin and the GOs is infectious - they are a professional, talented, kind, attentive and caring team. We were privileged enough to get to know Merlin and many of her GO team members and the experience certainly enriched our lives. The GOs are great ambassadors for their respective countries: Sri Lanka, Singapore, Japan, Korea, Thailand, South Africa, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, France, Iran, to name but a few and bring a wonderfully International flair to the resort’s service/entertainment team.
To Shaun (the best maintenance man on the planet) and his lovely Yoko, Marcello (the honorary Australian), Pierre and Lim (the coolest of life guards), Sare (a very brave and inspiring woman), the talented Sarah, Kiwi, Jay, Paul, Habeeb and Montanna (dynamos on the trapeze), Lee (our Japanese Diva), Adam (the reception go-to guy), Willy (who we loved having at the dinner table with us), Leonor (dynamite definitely comes in small packages), the two Erics, the beautiful Love and Miss Kori (thanks for teaching me all you know about my new love, archery), Ahmed (the talented tour desk operator), and all the other GOs that made our stay so absolutely special, thank you.
And to Merlin, you are an inspiration. Your team love you and respect you and this is evident in the way everyone works with you in making Club Med Cherating a little piece of heaven on earth. A previous visitor to Cherating had noted on Tripadvisor that ‘what you put in (at Club Med) is what you get out’ and that is certainly the case for Club Med Cherating - get to know the GOs, spend time with them and just go with the flow - embrace the ‘Cherating’ spirit and you will have the holiday of a lifetime. Now to just start saving for our next Club Med experience.
Trace and John.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Cherating Beach seems to perch on the east coast of Malaysia. The pace of life in this 80-hectare Resort, complete with bungalows on stilts nestling amid lush vegetation, is set by the comings and goings of the macaque monkeys, gibbons, monitors, rare birds and multicoloured butterflies. Here you can enjoy one pleasure after another, none of which is anything like the last - an excursion in a dugout canoe, a relaxing session at the Club Med Spa or a cocktail at the bar, to name but a few. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Club Med Cherating Beach Hotel Kuantan
- Cherating Beach Club Med
- Club Med Kuantan
- Kuantan Club Med