Thursday, 16 August 2012

* Swiss Garden Damai Laut , Lumut

I checked out a few travel sites before going to Swiss Garden Damai Laut but there seemed to be more negative than positive reviews of this place (poor maintenance, a lot of houseflies,etc, to name a few).
It was too late then as booking and payment had been made. To avoid major peeves, my husband called up the manager of the resort to express our concern and also to make sure a clean room is given to us upon checking-in. 
We soon found out that going to a new place with minimal expectation can sometimes be a good thing. 
Swiss Garden Damai Laut is remotely located in the district of Lumut, Perak. It is very far away from towns within the same district ( Lumut town is 28km away, Setiawan and Seri Manjung are 25km away. Pantai Remis is also more than 20km away). This place is definitely not recommended for people who don't have their own transport. Imagine trying to get a taxi? There is actually none - no public transport available should you want to explore places outside the resort.
We traveled along a quiet road for many miles. (Picture above shows a dragon fruit farm we passed by on the way there). Because of this, it is good to go there prepared like doing a proper checklist to ensure nothing important is left out.
Spanning over 425 acres Swiss Garden DL  is actually a beachfront golf resort boasting an 18-hole golf course specially designed by world-renowned course designer, Mr Ronald Fream. Even as someone who knows nothing about golf, I can appreciate the beauty and sculpture of the undulating golf course what more an avid golfer, perhaps.
Actually I have a good first impression of the resort. Probably it was the mix of serenity and the sight of vibrant coloured bougainvilleas  lining the road leading to the resort.
This is the passageway at the main entrance. It is actually a bridge as there is a water pool running beneath it.
The pool at the entrance is multi-tiered with the lotus pond being at the highest spot.
Seen here are the 2nd and 3rd tier of the pool.
This is the resort lobby. The decor is amateurish but the staffs are generally courteous and the service, prompt.
We originally booked a deluxe room with sea view but to our pleasant surprise, were upgraded to stay in a suite on the highest floor.
Suite no "575" according to the porter is one of the best units in the resort.
The suite is bigger than a normal deluxe room which measures only 35sq meters. The air-conditioner however, took close to 2 hrs to cool the room down.
I like this room as it is bright and very airy.
There is a working table. WIFI usage is chargeable at a rate of RM10/hr.
There is coffee and tea making facilities but very few complimentary sachets of coffee and tea and only 2 bottles of water to last you the whole day. It's good to bring your own 3-in-1 beverages, canned drinks, extra mineral water, snacks, etc.
There isn't any socket anywhere near the table and we had to boil water on the floor.
There is a TV and below that a mini-bar.
The washroom is clean.
There is no separate shower cubicle but there is a bath-tub and you may have to stand inside to take a shower.
The toilet bowl is a little seasoned though. What you see is a permanent cigarette mark. 
These are the bath amenities provided.
This is the closet. Provided are a few clothes hangers, rubber slippers and a safety box. There are no bathrobes.
There is a balcony and ours overlook a magnificent view of the resort, the sea and Pulau Pangkor.
The view is magnificent but you do walk pass eyesores like this. Leftover food outside guest room unattended to the whole day.
The resort swimming pool is beautiful. It is odd shaped and has interesting features like a bridge, big boulders, a man-made waterfall and beautiful landscaping.
Palm trees and coconut trees near the pool have orchid plants grafted onto them. This is one of them.
This is another species of orchid.
Yet, another one.
Lovely isn't it?
There is a wading pool for children
Available at the recreation center is a kid's playroom, a TV room, snooker, table tennis and all types of board games. Usage of these items are complimentary.
Also available is a gym.
You do see a couple of equipment in this condition.
And a couple where the meters are not functioning.
There is a sauna and a jacuzzi in the recreation center. Many patrons may find it unacceptable as these facilities are shared by both genders.
There is also a spa (pay-service)
There is a convenience store in the resort.
This is the water sports center. You can rent equipment from here but some of the facilities are a bit run down.You are only given free first half hour usage of the kayak. Other pay-activities like sunset cruises, snorkeling trips, ferry ride to Pulau Pangkor, etc are available for interested patrons (do check it out at the resort website)
The beach on the right hand side of the resort is not very well maintained. It is littered here and there.
The beach on the left hand side of the resort looked a lot cleaner but the gradient of the sea-bed is not gentle.
We discovered another beach about 2 km from the main resort building. This beach is beautiful and very clean but you will have to drive along 1.5 km of very bumpy untarred road to get there( you will need a truck or 4 wheel drive)
The road leading to this beach is located beside the security booth (approx 2 km to the resort main building).
There are a few restaurants in the resort. This is the Thai restaurant.
This is Swiss Deli located just adjacent to the main lobby.
This road leads to The Gayam, the resort seafood and BBQ restaurant.
This is the Garden Terrace where we had our breakfast. Food served was satisfactory with the exception of the freshly baked cheese and garlic buns which were unforgettable. 
There were lots of houseflies but this problem is not unique to the resort. Nearby towns like Setiawan are also faced with the same annoyance.  I learnt that the existence of a chicken farm in the vicinity is the root of this "houseflies" problem.
This 300-room resort has an impressive architectural design.It is built on an undulating piece of land and somehow all the blocks seem to be interconnected.
This is truly a very beautiful resort. The view at any time of the day is spectacular and breathtaking.
Splendid sunset view.
Romantic scenery.
Peace and tranquility.

I tend to see more positive than negative things about Swiss Garden DL.
Being a lover of nature and all things natural I would rate this resort favorably. Given some refurbishment this place would be a great and ideal getaway. 

Things to do and places to eat:
One thing you can do if you are staying in Swiss garden DL is to visit Lumut town (which is 28km away). You may take a ferry to Pulau Pangkor from the jetty in town which would be cheaper than taking a ferry from the resort jetty or just shop around for some seafood products.
This is the jetty terminal where you board the ferry to Pulau Pangkor.
Lumut town was quiet during our visit as it was the fasting month and there were hardly any  Muslims holiday-makers around.
The waterfront and town are all within short walking distance.
There are many shops and stalls selling seafood products and you can walk around to bargain-hunt and also to choose the freshest.
There is a multi-storey  parking complex where you can park your vehicles. This is also in the town area, very near to the shops and the jetty.
Lumut town is however not famous for seafood. You may have to go towards Setiawan area to find good seafood. The nearest seafood restaurant from Swiss Garden DL is "Hailam Village Seafood" which is about 18km away. It is located at a cross junction , on the way to Setiawan town. We took crabs, prawns and tofu and paid only RM 54.60. It was an excellent meal.
Address: No 9A, Kampung Acheh Baru, 32000 Setiawan. Tel: 012-5179393
We even drove further down to Kampung Cina, Setiawan to have our meal. There are many seafood restaurants in Kampung Cina and we ended up in this one. This meal of fried oyster, steam fish and steam lala cost about RM49 but the food is rather bland so I am not recommending this restaurant. Try other more reputable ones to name a few : Ah Pek Lee Kou Hock Seafood Restaurant at 135, Kampung Cina  or Amu Coconut Villa Seafood Restaurant also at Kampung Cina.
We also tried the local Foo Chow food in Beiking Restaurant. The red wine chicken may look repulsive but believe me, it tasted like heaven. Don't be deceived by the fact that Beiking is also a hotel. Hotel food normally costs a bomb but we paid only RM38 nett for this meal with rice and tea included. 
Address:Lot 35535, Tmn Desa Selamat, Jln Kampung Selamat, 32200 Setiawan.
[Food price is as of date of travel and is subject to change with time]


jonesalbert said...

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Anonymous said...

this is so good!!! thanks for the review... was cracking my head on what i should do there...

Lily... said...

Thanks for de compliment.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the tons of tips Lily, cant wait to go there for my pre-honeymoon end of this month.

Lily... said...

Glad you find my post useful Jac. Hope u enjoy your stay and do visit my blog again.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lily. Yours is a comprehensive review. tqsm! I've been looking a thorough review of this resort for quite some time and am glad to find yours.

Lily... said...

If you do go there, enjoy the serenity!

Travel_Lim_Johnny said...

It's a bit too late for me now. The seaside hut/bar is all broken and closed. The 'open bus' in your photo above is broken at the road side 'garage' where workers hanging their laundry.
I am now staying at their apartment units and we are 2nd class citizen here. Want to use hotel pool? Have to pay RM15 per person. Have to use the not beautiful one at the apartment.

Worst of all, no pokestop at the apartment area there are only 2 at the hotel. Troublesome to drive there all the time just to get balls to play pokemon. Lots of things to catch like clams/lala pokemon that seldom see in KL. But I always run out of balls.

Lily... said...

Aiyo, so sorry to hear all that. It has gotten worse then? Anyway thanks and I hope your comment will be read by visitors to this post.

Mickey Jayin said...

Hi Lily. It's nice seeing your blog. Do you remembered what is the price for the ferry or jetty to go Pulau Pangkor?

Lily... said...

Sorry about that coz I didn't use the ferry into Pulau Pangkor. Even if i did the price would be different now as this post was 4 years ago. Do google it out. I'm sure u can find the answer.

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