The Legends ResortThe management will not condone or be responsible for the damage caused by animals, shall it be a horse, goat or dog. Extract from the Code of Conduct for hostelries in Malaysia. I saw this notice as I impatiently waited to check in to this well-advertised five-star resort on the east coast of Malaysia (sort of half way up the coast and near the town of Kuantan). The code of conduct sat in a glass frame next to five large gold stars and I can only assume that if one was a joke then the other must be as well. Walking in to the resort it looked lovely. Walking in with the reception desk on the left and a massive open area including bar, TV lounge, pool tables, shops and restaurant ahead, it looked like resorts should be like. Open, clear, sunny and very able to cope with tourists on a first-class scale! The swimming pool is situated outside of this large and relaxing reception area and at the opposite end to the entrance door. All like a large cross, with the entrance and swimming pool housed at either-end of one line, and the rooms stretching out on the other line of the cross on either side of the reception area. Well set up and ideal for anybody looking for sun, beach and sand and a good hotel to stay in. Or so I thought! I checked in quickly and efficiently and after wrestling with a determined porter for my bag I wandered off on my own to find my room. I arrived there eventually having entered the lift and gone up a floor only to realise that my room was on the ground floor. THE ROOM To some people rooms are only a place to rest the head after a day by the pool: to others a platform for curing a hangover. For me though it becomes my home for the time that I stay there, however short that may be. And so it is important to me that it is nice and clean and has at least some character. But this room that I was issued at the Legends Resort was not suited to a two star hotel never mind a five star one. Clean it was but that was about all I can say for the place. Bare floors, faded wicker chairs sprouting shoots, paintwork peeling, blackened net curtains and lumpy pillows. A noisy and ill air-conditioning unit, wilted plants on the balcony, a dirty and loose toilet seat, and no hot water. My rough written notes that evening have on them ?rooms of a decent size but the décor old and used?, but that was extremely generous of me in retrospect. The only time that I came to smile whilst in that room was whilst reading the list of things that can be bought. This is quite common in many hotel rooms around the world, a sort of hint to holiday-makers that they do not have to purloin the ashtrays or the soap holders: that for a little sum they can actually buy them to have for evermore. So there in the Legends a list had been made up which included the usual bath towels and also included the glass table top and the double bedspread. Now first of all, the table top must weigh at least 20KG and is about two meters long by 1 meter wide. I struggled for quite a while with this picture of a family of tourists checking out and none of the hotel staff noticing the large and wieldy piece of glass that was being loaded into the taxi. Certainly it is too big to be disguised as a surf board, too big to pass off as a spare windshield and definitely too large to be mistaken for a hand mirror. And to buy this large piece of glass that would cause serious furor at any airport in the world you could have it legally for the sum of 25 Ringgits (Five Pounds UK). Now the other item that made me laugh was the double bedspread that might be something that could be worth stealing and that could be removed from the hotel unnoticed. But on my part I found it hard enough to spend one night under the thing (still wearing my clothes) never mind even thinking about taking it proudly home to my wife. This bedspread was from Noah?s Ark, I presume that it once had color and pattern as some little faded patches on the corners resembled the colors blue and red but for the most part it was an-off-white color. It was clean and smelt fresh but the off-white made it look as if it had never seen a washing machine in its life. I suppose if one went to extremes and dipped it in a vat of dye then the spread would come out looking healthy and new ? except ofcourse for the numerous cigarette burns that provided constant air-conditioning whilst one slept. The spread was studded with these remains of sleeping smokers and it looked terrible. For the princely sum of 150 Ringgits (25 Pounds UK) this spread could be yours to take home. I think I would rather take my chances with the cheaper table top than the expensive and holy bedspread. My final annoyance of that room was when I came to check out at four am for my flight and found that the electric kettle did not work. I like my morning coffee whilst trying to rub the sleep out of my eyes and during possible harried attempts to close my suitcase with table tops and bedspreads in it. I bashed that kettle around a bit and even went as far as taking it apart, but through no lack of effort could I get any hot water out of the thing. I did of course call room service but there was no answer, housekeeping was engaged, and reception told me that she would call housekeeping! THE AMENITIES The Legend Resort, Cherating is 45km north of Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia. Whether you are here on a working holiday or just a relaxing retreat, our tropical pleasures will win you over. Apart from our white beach and blue waters, we also have the most matured gardens on the coasts; green trees and gentle flowering plants. All for your enjoyment. To accommodate you, choose from deluxe rooms, beach-front villas or luxurious suites. To dine, a choice of restaurants. And as for fun activities, the list is endless. If you must work, our meeting facilities will come in handy. Accommodations Here at The Legend Resort, Cherating, our accommodations will never let you down. Beach-front villas with views if the sea. Rooms to accommodate you and your family. Should you wish to holiday in style, our suites will live up to all your expectations. Whichever you decide upon, all offer the amenities you would expect. And whatever your needs, all will be taken care of by our trained and courteous staff One of the reasons for staying at this five-star house of luxury would be that it resided next to the sea, that lovely beaches surrounded the area and that the sun shone all day. I know the beach from before, from other angles and resorts so it is not something that the Legends Resort can lay claim to. What they can claim as there very own is the large piece of waste land surrounded by chain fencing that blocks any view of the beach from the hotel. As I looked out of my room window at this potential construction site and with the sea away in the distance feebly trying to get into the picture, I decided that the swimming pool would suit me for now. This is something that is very positive about the place. Well kept, clean and tidy the swimming pool reversed all the bad things that I have said about the place. The swimming pool is the crowning glory of the Legends Resort and a pleasure to swim in and to lounge about and around. Of non-concentric shapes the pool is large and flowing, it contours itself into various buildings, ornaments and landings that give shade or sun to loungers and sunbathers as they require. Palm trees swish overhead and the feeling of being in a holiday paradise returns rapidly and easily. They got something right. Food-wise I am undecided about the place. It was not very difficult for me to work out the ingredients of the Caesar Salad that I ordered: Lettuce, and bits of toasted bread ? with a bit of salad dressing to make it look good. Not impressed with that at all. Yet the spring roles were superb. I had a moment of laughter when reading the bar snack menu as should somebody not like Chili in one form or another then they would be going hungry. The Bar Snack menu had the following choice: Calamari?s With Chili Spring Role with Chili Sauce Chips with a Chili Dip Chilied Chicken Wings There was one item that would relieve those that don?t like chilies but then you would have to like Ikan Biris (anchovies) instead. I wander what Ikan Biris with chili tastes like? The one bar that I visited did not conjure up happy times, least of all because I was the only customer present. I had four beers (with my Chili dinner) over a period of two hours and during prime-time drinking hours but no other guest came close to I and the four staff behind the bar. They polished glasses on a rotational basis through boredom whilst I watched them. I eventually left that bar, not due to having had enough beer but as a result of a Santa Clause bashing me around the head. Sitting at the bar I noticed that every chair had above it a 40cm high Santa Clause swinging from the bar top. These Santa?s swung in unison as the air-conditioning spun them around. I sat down and ordered a beer, and after five minutes of ducking and dodging I decided that I must do something about the situation. When the four glass polishers were otherwise occupied I spun the Santa rapidly around so that it swung u and over the rail holding it. And there it settled, up and away to give me a clear and safe view of the outside world. I drank my beer shivering in the superb and freezing environment (air-con thermostat was broken maybe) and watching Star Sports through lack of anything else (maybe the tele? remote control was broken). To cut a long story short I was just finishing my fourth beer and deciding upon another when Mr Santa decided to fall off his perch and to hit my on my noggin. Not that it hurt or anything but it was just the final nail in the coffin???. Other amenities at the Legends Resort? Bikes to rent for long trips into the mountains along the beach etc! Excellent stuff for the hardy! Many lists seemed to hang around for alternative sports and games organized by the resort and I presume that these would while away a few hours should they actually be held. Outside a few cafes existed that resembled faded imitations of a Starbucks this one yellow not green). I am not sure that one could call it a town, but certainly a few shops existed along the road side. It would be better to leave the Legends and to visit the other resorts in the area where shops and restaurants exist in greater numbers and are as advertised. Some great seafood eateries are situated in the Cherating area along with many bars and restaurants of all flavors and styles and even Club Med has a large presence with all that one could desire ? just come back to the Legends for the Swimming Pool. I left the Legends resort early that morning, minus a glass table top and a bedspread and I can honestly say that I will not go back if I can help it. I would like to point out that not all visitors to the Legends Resort hold the same opinion as myself. One recent recommendation came from Ms Zurina and I have included her comment verbatim as I found it: sh_zurina_sz i stayed here for vacation 2 nights in year 1999. i think this is one of the best accomodation iver been. room and food were excellence. beach was also beautiful! So there we have it. Should you prefer to take the young ladies comments of the place over mine then please book your holiday now, just don?t say I didn?t tell you.
Published on 12/23/03