Sunday, September 11, 2011

Hotel Review: The Regency Jerai Hills Resort

I don’t know why the name Jerai Hill is used on Trip Advisor when the word hill in Malay is bukit while mountain is gunung. Locally we call it Gunung Jerai meaning Jerai Mountain. I wrote a review on this resort in Trip Advisor but it was quite a rushed job(read my review in Trip Advisorhere). I didn’t really give much time to myself to collect my thought before typing away. But striking while the iron is hot and the experience is fresh is better, no? Anyway, here is my review of the hotel…
Gunung Jerai is located in the state of Kedah, approximately XXX km north of Malaysia’s capital city, Kuala Lumpur. It is the tallest mountain in the state of Kedah. Before the industrial revolution, this mountain serves as a landmark for those entering the Straits of Melaka.
From the foothills of Gunung Jerai to the Resort is about 12km of winding road. There is a forest museum along the way but on both occasions (when going uphill and downhill) it was closed. The Regency Resort is located 986 meters above sea level. I wanted to confirm its height using my GPS navigator BUT the batteries died out on me minutes before our arrival at the resort. To make things worse, I left my charger at home. Anyway, upon reaching the resort’s entrance you’ll be greeted by the security guard. Personally I find that guy being there like not being there at all. He lets everyone though the gates without actually checking!
When my hubby made bookings with the resort, he requested for the quietest section of the resort. So we were given room 201, about 2-300 meters DOWNHILL from the resort’s restaurant. When we approached the room we saw the cleaning crew walking in and about room 201. We were then informed that there was a leak from the pipe to the toilet tank. They were trying their best to stop the leak or at least try not to flood our room. Since the leak wasn’t very bad, we did not request for a change of room. And they then left soon after.
The first thing you will notice about the toilet that it is BLOODY SMALL! My hubby and I didn’t bother closing the toilet door when in use because it was just NOT possible to even attempt closing the door! Our best guess is that the toilet is only 4 feet wide.
Across the toilet is the shower stall and the size of it is no bigger. Even though there are clothes hook behind the shower door, we didn’t even bother to hang anything (not even towels) because the water pressure from the shower was good enough to wet the entire shower stall!
The resort provided soap, shampoo and shower cap but we didn’t use them because we bought our own.
We were given 2 super single beds. I later found out that rooms 201-212 all have super single beds, no queen size beds. Anyway, at least the bed is comfortable and not too soft nor too hard. The pillow however is too thin for me. I like big fluffy pillows.
The good thing about this resort is the flat screen TV. But you can hardly watch anything as all the channels are fuzzy! So if anyone of you plans to stay here for more than 1 night, I suggest you bring a RMVB player with a thumb drive full of movies.
The room cupboard has a Muslim prayer mat, an ironing board, iron, 2 bath robes and 2 laundry bags. We didn’t bother using the bath robes because it looked like it’s never been washed. And since we are not there for any formal occasion, there was no need to iron our clothes.
There was a mini fridge (or some call it mini-bar) with two bottles of mineral water, complimentary from the hotel. Beside the fridge are a small electric kettle and some instant coffee (forgotten the brand), Lipton tea sachets, sugar and powdered creamer.
While surveying the room, I couldn’t help but noticed how some of the furniture is rather old. And upon closer inspection I saw this intriguing sticker…

Our balcony had quite a nice view of the rice paddy below and the Straits of Melaka. However it wasn’t the room with the best view because it was mostly obstructed by the trees on the virgin jungle just outside the resort’s perimeter.
Night fall and we went to the resort’s restaurant for dinner. We ordered spaghetti and lasagna but the taste was not up to expectations. In short, I felt like we just paid RM50++ for two microwave meals. Anyway, that night we not only fed ourselves full but also a host of mosquitoes. For those pet owners looking for fresh supply of mosquitoes, there’s plenty at the restaurant and they are very easy to catch. Just remember to bring a container and an electric bat to stun them for they can still fly, but slow...
There was another reason why our rooms are the cheapest rooms. It was in a location where the slopes itself will block away most of the winds. So even though it was cooling at night, we didn’t feel any wind. Those more expensive rooms uphill will surely enjoy the night’s cool winds.Another thing worth mentioned is the funny and weird 6 legged creatures that are attracted to lights. So for those bug enthusiast, you'll love it when night falls when all insects come out to 'play'.
Morning breakfast was rather standard. There was nasi lemak available but we were not in a mood to having rice for breakfast. I must add that their omelets are delicious! I had 2 servings and on both occasions only remember to take a picture when I’ve eaten it all…
Now, before you make plans to stay in this resort I must let you all know this. Even though we stayed in the quiet most section of the resort, it still wasn’t quiet especially in the mornings and evenings. It’s not the bugs or creatures of the jungle nor the construction of their new wing. It’s the general public. People (non-guests) come to the resort and treat it as a public park! They walk around the gardens (fine with me), take picture (still bearable), and allow their children to run amok screaming at the top of their lungs! To make things worse some of them would bring those little firecrackers or ‘pop pop’ as they called it and throw it all about! The more expensive rooms have garden spaces which are beautiful, but with those non-guests walking and running around, I doubt you’ll have any peace at all!
Simple Sketch of Room 201The Regency Jerai Hills Resort 
Hotel Name: The Regency Jerai Hills Resort
Address: Jalan Kaki Bukit | Lebuhraya Gurun, 08300 Kedah, MALAYSIA
Phone number: +604-4667777
GPS location: N05°47.797' E100°26.127'
Decimal Degree: Lat5.796617 Long100.43545
Type of room stayed: Standard (cheapest room)
Price: RM240.00 (Paid RM278.40 after 10% service tax and 6% government tax)
My verdict: What I love best is that you have FREE Wifi accessible at every nook and corner of the resort property. What I dislike most is the lack of security where every Tom, Dick or Harry is free to roam. I will go there again because it’s not over developed like Cameron Highlands. But I think I’ll bring my own food the next time around…

1 comment:

  1. Hi, nice blog post and review! I'm fascinated by this place now :)

    You mentioned Cameron Highlands. Is this place as big? or is it more like Bukit Tinggi? (i.e. Not much there...) Are there any markets or fruits and vegetable sellers there? And other F&B outlets if one isn't interested in the hotel's food?

    Sorry for all the questions but your post piqued my interest!


A little encouragement,
A small thought,
A simple sentence
To light up my day - Terima Kasih