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Club Med Cherating Beach
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2,121 - 2,126 of 3,118 reviews
Reviewed December 30, 2010

Two main reasons why we booked at the Club Med:
a) We had always envisaged a stay at a Club Med resort as being like staying at a 5* star hotel but with lots of activities, entertainment and top quality food as and when you wanted it; and
b) The very positive reviews on Trip Advisor.
However, we were obviously wrong in our expectations because without a doubt this was our worst holiday ever. Indeed, it was so awful, we left after two days and even paid out again for another 4 flights back to Singapore. In life, my attitude is that generally you get what you pay for, but for SGD1000 per night for our two rooms (see below), one would have definitely expected 5* service and facilities but I would rate Cherating as being high 3*/low 4*at best. For less than I paid for the 2 rooms at Cherating per night, I could have booked 2 rooms at Shangri-La Rasa Sayang (Penang) or Mandarin Oriental (KL) – both of which are true 5* hotels with the service and facilities to match. True – these hotels present a different “service” to Club Med – but I am using the comparison to reflect the fact that in my opinion - Club Med doesn’t provide “value”
Normally, I never post on these websites, but the comments here are so overwhelmingly positive, I thought it would be useful to provide an alternative view even if by the looks of it, the view goes against the majority. My comments:
1. Overall look of resort – lush setting and attractive buildings. However, like most places around the world – owners think that by just adding “eco” to the name means that you can get away with poor building maintenance.
2. Smoking – how does an eco resort and smoking go together? For those who didn’t know (like us) – you can basically smoke anywhere you want which is not exactly environmentally or socially friendly.
3. We stayed in a deluxe room. As other reviewers have said, the room is quite small and very dated. However, it was relatively clean and adequate. However, I would rate the room as being reflective of a 3* or at best low 4* hotel. The big problem with the rooms is that given the layout of the resort – some of the rooms can be a good 5-10 mins walk away from the main club house – which is quite long with two young kids and you can’t exactly pop back quickly if you have left something in the room. The worst part of the room/resort layout is that the rooms are connected by wooden walkways, so when you are in your room you can hear people walking very loudly on the walkways. Indeed, in some places, the walkways are only around 2ft wide which makes it very noisy. So – if you want to try and get any sleep you would be hard pushed unless you are a sound sleeper as there are people walking/running up and down all night. Our first night, there were even kids going past at 3am! It probably doesn’t help that for some unearthly reason, the pool is apparently open 24hrs a day!
4. GO’s – apparently everyone raves about how friendly/great the GO’s are and I guess they may be if you do an activity with any of them. However, we found at best only half made any eye contact or spoke to you if you passed by them in the resort and we must have mentioned our issue about food (see below) to at least 6-8 staff and not one said, we understand and will raise this with management. Basically, the majority of staff seemed like youngsters who are there to just enjoy themselves – particularly at meal times where on several occasions my children were blocked out by GO’s loading their plates up at the buffet counters.
5. Food – the food is quite good and there was a good choice. However, our two bug bears were a) we assumed that there was food available all day (indeed at Kuantan airport there is a sign saying that, inter alia, there is sumptuous all day buffet dining). However, this is not the case, as there are very set times for meals with the period for lunch and dinner being only 1.75 hrs each. Therefore, if you want an early or late lunch/dinner you have had it – unless you want to traipse to the beach restaurant. There are snacks from 3- 6pm, but these snacks are chicken nuggets, chips, rice, sandwiches and fruit – not very appetising. This brings me to b) which is the biggest issue we had of all. We have two young kids age 3 and 5 who usually eat at around 5pm and are in bed at 7pm. We assumed that as a family type resort that specifically caters for young children, we would be able to feed our children decent/healthy food whenever we wanted. However, this was not the case. Essentially, the restaurant doesn’t open in the evening until 7.15pm which was far too late for our children. However, when we questioned why the dinner starts so late and asked how we can feed our children when they were hungry at 5pm – we were invariably told that there are snacks available (chips, nuggets etc – which isn’t what we want to give our children) or if we put them in the kids club, they could eat at 7pm rather than wait until 7.15pm. I mentioned to the front desk and to several GOs that I thought that it did not make sense for a so called family resort to start dinner so late and not provide any alternative apart from “snacking” food. However, as mentioned before, not one GO expressed any sympathy or more importantly said that they will raise this with management – all they suggested was that we put them in the kid club so they can eat at 7pm. Essentially, dinner should be available from 6pm to cater for younger children but the feeling I got (which was the same with many other things) is that Club Med deliberately restricts eating times to reduce the amount people eat and thereby their costs. I don’t really drink, but thought I would have one and had a Planters Punch and I couldn’t taste any alcohol in it whatsoever. That didn’t bother me but I am using this as another example where I think Club Med “gives with one hand and takes with the other” ie they profess there are free drinks, but you will be lucky if you get a splash of alcohol. Even with my kids, they drink apple juice and it was so watered down, even my kids said that it was horrible.

All in all, there are very limited dining options (there is the main restaurant and then one down at the beach) but the food (when available) was good. However, it is very misleading for them to claim that there is all day dining and even more misleading to call it sumptuous buffet style because nuggets, chips, a few sandwiches and rice between 3pm and 6pm can hardly be called sumptuous dining!
I will not bore you anymore with my ramblings, but I thought some people may be interested in seeing a different review to those extolling the virtues of Club Med Cherating. Perhaps we were just unlucky and if our children were older we would have got more out of the place. However, for my family at this point in time, the resort fell far below our expectations. Noisy rooms, limited dining options, difficult to feed the kids at the times we wanted with healthy food, people smoking everywhere, small bedrooms with no where to sit (apart from the bed) and non interactive/reactive staff. All in all – we will definitely not be returning and will put it down to a very expensive mistake.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled with family
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21  Thank Gibbo90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
club c, Manager at Club Med Cherating Beach, responded to this reviewResponded September 23, 2012

Thank you for taking the time to write a review online. We are sincerely sorry to read that you were dissatisfied with some aspects of your vacation. Since your stay in this resort, Club Med has refurbished many feacilities. Similarly, considering the fact that different tourists have different tastes, we have prepared new and tasty food for tourists to enjoy. We will improve our management according to your feedback. We hope we will have opportunity to restore your faith in our company by welcoming you in one of our resorts in the near future.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2010

Wonderful place to fully relax and unwind. We travelled with a three year old and an eight month old baby to meet up with seven extended family members from the other side of the world.
We stayed for two weeks and found it quiet, peaceful and relaxing, set in beautiful grounds with forest walks, two beaches, and a large swimming pool at a perfect depth for small children. There was plenty to do - my sister-in-law and I joined the daily zumba and swimming classes and my husband enjoyed the cooking classes.
My four year old wasn't so keen on the mini club though - she was too old for the little group and too young for the older group as the activities were more geared for children six and older.
The food was amazing - a huge buffet selection - but the desserts were really incredible.
The only disappoint was that the spa treatments were so outrageously expensive that I didn't try one even though it was something I had been looking forward to. I understood from a local that the price of this hotel and its treatments have increased steeply over the last couple of years.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with family
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Thank KiwiBelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2010

We stayed at Club Med for 7 nights during December which is supposed to be the rainy season but were fortunate enough not to have much rain. The service was great, the concept of the GO"s (Gracious Organisers) is great, we met many different people from different parts of the world. The night entertainment was awesome, they really try to keep you entertained. The music is great, very modern and up to date. The food was also nice they try to create variety even though it's buffet. The rooms were a bit small but the point is not to spend too much time in the room. The beds and the showers are huge which is nice. The swimming pool area is also big, everyone gets a chance to tan which is nice ! The bar needs to get more variety in terms of beers offered but the cocktails are really nice as well. Yoga on the beach is the ultimate fantasy ! The gym is also decent. There exists a Batik painting shop next to the gym run by a very nice gentleman, the shop is probably "slightly hidden" and as yet it offers such a wonderful experience, if I had found it earlier I would have completed a bigger painting. The China Sea ocean water is amazingly warm which was also very nice and the beach sand is easy to walk on. The spa was excellent, very accommodating and friendly, “nothing is impossible” special thanks to the spa Director Harish for designing an unforgettable experience at the spa for us. The treatments and rooms were also great and professional. Overall, a great place to relax and unwind !!

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank kashmita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ClubMedUK_official, Manager at Club Med Cherating Beach, responded to this reviewResponded December 30, 2010

Thank you very much for your comments on our Cherating Beach resort. We are pleased that you had a wonderful time at our Resort and that you particularly enjoyed relaxing at the Club Med Spa by Mandara. We hope to see you very soon at one of our 65 resorts worldwide.

Kind regards,

The Club Med team.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 25, 2010

So impressed with club med chetaring beach, I couldn't recommend it enough. We stayed a week over Xmas with our 1.5 yr old & 3.5yr old and were totally spoiled, the food was totally incredible, some of the best I've had anywhere on the planet, from Santa, nightly kid shows, great team at kids clubs, fireworks, Christmas parades, bouncy castles, and the friendliest of staff we've ever come across, I have to say, one of best christmas I've ever had, certainly best family holiday we've had. 
Only negatives was no fresh milk - u have to get used to long life with everything, and Also not having option to eat inside the rooms, but despite these small things, defiantly 4/5 star holiday! 

  • Stayed: December 2010
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Thank Charlie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 18, 2010

Got everything you need to relax, mainly sports and bars, and also love the buffet there though did put on some holiday weight later. The beach is a walk away. Very spacious and good for team building and other activities.

The wood cabins there were bit old but kind of special. Rooms are small, simple but clean. Preferred the views outside the room than the room itself. And they had monkeys everywhere so be careful with your personal belongings and do shut the window when you leave. Looooove the greens there, and did have a good relax.

  • Stayed: January 2010
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Thank SH_jojo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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