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Saturday December 21, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Saturday December 21, 2013 MYT 8:13:43 AM
by chester chin
Swiss-Garden Damai Laut is set amidst lush greenery on the serene peninsula of the Northern Straits of Malacca. — CHESTER CHIN/The Star
The new business club floors and lounge at Swiss-Garden Damai Laut provide seamless interaction between business and pleasure.
THERE’S a neat little trick to unlocking the door of my hotel room at the brand new club floors at Swiss-Garden Golf & Resort Spa Damai Laut.
“When you’re sliding out the access card, just tilt it upwards a little bit for the sensor to detect the card,” explained the friendly staffer who had come to my aid.
It’s such a shame that I only learned of this trick on the last night of my stay. The fear of being locked out had made me pretty reluctant to leave my garden view room the past two days.
Not that I was completely against the idea, really. The newly refurbished rooms on the Damai Club Floors are outfitted with premier amenities and posh neutral wood furnishings that would please even the most sophisticated of travellers.
To top things off, a private balcony opens up to the verdant greenery of the tropical enclave of Lumut, Perak, where the resort is nestled.
My advice though, is this: Insist on a sea-view room when you check in. The spectacular blue of the northern bit of the Straits of Malacca is simply breathtaking and is easily one of the resort’s strongest suites.
Dedicated and specially crafted for the business traveller, the newly introduced Damai Club Floors comprise 33 rooms that cater for the optimum productivity of corporate guests. Part of this is achieved through the rooms’ location on the fifth and sixth floors at a quieter wing of the property, creating a feeling of enhanced privacy. The sense of exclusivity doesn’t end there.
Guests at the Damai Club Floors also benefit from a private check-in and check-out service as well as complimentary WiFi. Even then, it’s probably wise not to expect urban Internet speed or connectivity during your stay.
The piece de resistance would of course be the Damai Club Lounge with its mesmerising panoramic view of the sea. Designed in soft pastels, the exclusive lounge provides a great setting for social engagements, corporate cocktails and business luncheons.
“The idea is to create an environment for people to think about business and mingle with other like-minded company,” said Henry Low, Swiss-Garden Damai Laut general manager.
To maintain the exclusivity of the lounge, only children above the age of 12 are welcome. This decision, according to Low, was to ensure professional decorum at the venue.
Take away the corporate facade for a second and you’d still be left with beautiful architecture. The lounge’s glass-clad exterior, with its cascading water feature, creates an underwater ambiance that’s just exquisite.
As a matter of fact, I even overheard a guest saying over breakfast that she felt as if she was dining inside an oversized aquarium.
It’s worth noting that there’s complimentary all-day servings of hot and cold non-alcoholic beverages at the Damai Club Lounge. But if you would like to indulge in a view of sunset over Pangkor Island, then pop in between 5pm and 7pm when you can enjoy cocktails with pre-dinner canapés on the house.
Other culinary options at the property include the Blossom Chinese and Thai Taste restaurants which offer an eclectic mix of Chinese and Thai cuisine under one roof. When dusk falls, visit the Gayam Seafood Barbecue & Bar for a dining experience atop a rock outcrop overlooking the sea.
I made a stop at Garden Terrace by the swimming pool to check out the breakfast buffet, but was told by an attendant that Damai Club Floors guests are to enjoy their breakfast at the Damai Club Lounge. While the spread at the lounge is of a more premium quality and is absolutely delectable, it would certainly be nice to be given the option of taking my complimentary breakfast at the livelier Garden Terrace which hosts the majority of holidaygoers at the retreat.
If you’re looking forward to including some outdoor adventure into your business trip, talk to the Lounge Executive who will assist with trip recommendations, tour reservations as well as recreational activities.
The resort grounds offer a range of fun activities, such as jungle-trekking, tennis, archery and paint-balling. There are even watersports options, such as canoeing and boat rides. Alternatively, take a swing at the resort’s award-winning 18-hole championship golf course.
In the unlikely event that none of the recreational activities appeals to you, make an arrangement for sightseeing tours to nearby places of interest such as the Kuala Sepetang Mangroves, Segari Turtle Sanctuary and Pasir Salak Historical Complex.
I signed up for a tour of the Pantai Remis fishing village – a 30-minute drive from the resort – with the hope of seeing fishermen deliver their fresh catch at the dock. However, the incessant rain the night before dashed my hopes as most of the boats had yet to return from sea.
In the end, we made a detour to the coastal town of Lumut. Lined with shops that sell dried sea products and island-themed merchandise, the town is a good place to hunt for souvenirs during your stay. Although most food items are priced at a fraction of the retail value in supermarkets, some bargaining will secure you even better deals.
True to its name (Damai Laut in Malay translates as “tranquillity of the sea”), the retreat offers guests a luxurious stay amid the gorgeous ocean backdrop. And with the introduction of the new club floors and lounge, Swiss-Garden Damai Laut has managed to provide a seamless blend between business and pleasure.
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Travel, Lifestyle, Swiss-Garden Damai Laut, hotel review, Damai Club Floors, Damai Club Lounge, corporate travellers, business holiday, resort
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