My last visit to Kuantan seems like a lifetime ago, it must be more than 15 years ago since I was last there and I can’t remember much of that visit. This time for the media trip, we stayed a night at Vistana Hotel which is right smack in the city centre. We arrived during rush hour and any previous expectations that Kuantan was a sleepy hollow were quickly dispelled when the coach took quite some time to reach Vistana Hotel, our safe haven for the night.
There seemed little difference between rush hour in KL and Kuantan. We were literally inching our way to the hotel and to make matters worse, the coach driver missed the left turn to the hotel and couldn’t U-turn as the coach is too big and he had to look for an alternative route back, all of which took 20 minutes. Can’t blame the driver, he did his best including maneuvering the coach on to the hotel’s narrow driveway, very tricky as there were cars parked there. We held our breaths a bit.
All I wanted was to rush up to my room and this I did as soon as the coach came to a complete stop. Vistana Hotel has 6 floors and I believe most of us were allocated rooms on the 5th floor which isn’t a non-smoking floor since there was an ashtray and box of matches in my room and coming out of my room once, I saw another guest merrily smoking away in the corridor.
My head was so heavy after the 4+ hour trip and when I saw the queen-size bed, I just wanted to sink between the covers and sleep till the next day. I had more pillows than I needed and the bed looked super-duper inviting and comfortable. The room is spacious with a writing table and there were more lights than I expected but you have to go up to each light to manually switch them on or off.
Tea/coffee are available and there is a fridge with soft drinks. The only thing lacking is free wi-fi but that didn’t affect me since I could do without access to the Internet for 24 hours. The bathroom is also spacious with a bathtub which is rather small though.
Toiletries were sufficient with 2 pieces of soap (one bigger than the other), shower gel, body lotion, shampoo (no conditioner), sanitary bag and shower cap. Not at all spartan for a hotel that is about 3 stars.
Food was something else altogether though. Dinner was a rather spartan affair as there weren’t much choices. Still, all I wanted was a light meal after my long trip and I got that in the form of white rice, chilli squid, fried chicken (didn’t touch that), fish fillets in sauce and one type of stir-fried mix vegetables. Desserts were mainly jelly and bread and butter pudding which I never got to try because the whole thing disappeared back into the kitchen for some obscure reason.
There were a lot of guests during breakfast the next morning. I managed to find myself a table and was approached by 2 ladies asking to share my table (no problem since I was alone). The croissants didn’t look appetising and I was right. The best thing was the nasi lemak of which I had 2 helpings since I had to brace myself for the morning ahead.
The swimming pool can be seen from the coffee house but I doubt it is put to good use as it feels a bit awkward to don a swimsuit when just about everyone is in conservative attire. This is a hotel for a good night’s rest. They don’t deliver the paper to your room but it’s available upon request at reception.