This year, I had a quiet birthday, just me and hubby. Since this year's birthday is also Hari Raya or Eid Mubarak, we get 2 days public holiday. Altogether it's a 4-day weekend so we thought why not go somewhere, just the 2 of us.
Found that Gold Coast Morib Water Theme Park Resort actually offers a Birthday promotion. For RM268 (inclusive of taxes), you will get 1 night stay at the Studio Suite which comes with a jacuzzi, 2 dinner vouchers, 2 breakfast vouchers, 2 entrance tickets to the Water Theme Park, a birthday cake, a gift and a certificate of participation. Since we were both on an adventurous mood but not willing to travel too far (because I am too lazy to drive) and it's my birthday after all, we immediately took up this offer and booked online.
Then read the reviews online and found there were more negatives compare to positives. Initially I was regretting this choice, then thought since I have already paid, just let it be.
The journey from PJ to Morib is only slightly over 1 hour. Waze took us to lots of shortcuts through kampung (village) roads and the scenery was very green and traditional, something different from city life. And to travel into these places on the first day of Hari Raya and watch the Muslim families celebrate in colours and style, really priceless. That day was particularly hazy and the smell was less desirable.
Upon arrival, first thing we found that the car park inside the resort was full, so we have to park outside. My first encounter of unpleasantness came when I found an empty parking slot outside and parked. Another car came and hinted he wants to park next to mine but I took up lots of space. I saw and agreed and was going to re-park, but he was so impatient and just squeeze his car though that tight spot without waiting and just walked off without saying anything.
The night before our trip, I was upset about something which was caused my ego and probably the full-moon night did not help me very much. So, the next day when I was calmed, I told myself I am going to make this trip a great trip, i.e less expectations, lesser disappointments. Just enjoy and be grateful for this time together.
So first thing I saw was there were not 1 but many unhappy customers. The check-out queue was so long although these people were just waiting to leave. The check-in queue was shorter, but one customer just cut my queue and pretended she didn't see me. I was fine with that. I was going to have a happy trip, so why be angry and unhappy right from the start. Instead, she was complaining to her husband, if she knew it is so crowded, she would not have come. And that is before checking-in.
While queuing, I overheard a man venting his anger at one of the staff. I can't hear very well what the complaint was about, but basically he was very fed-up of waiting. Then found out that over the weekend (it was peak period after all), all the rooms were so fully-booked and many customers took their own sweet time to check-out, although the check-out time was 12pm. So, those waiting to check-in have to wait for their room to be clean and it was a long wait. Some of the customers came from far and have driven for few hours and to arrive and said rooms were not available. Hence the disappointment. By the way, check-in is at 3pm.
All the staff were Malays and Indians, hardly any Chinese. And they were all dressed in Malay traditional clothes for Hari Raya. Meanwhile, about 99% of the customers were Chinese. My first thought was, how wonderful these Malay staff are. They are sacrificing their Hari Raya to work and to serve the customers. And how ungrateful these Chinese customers are, to be demanding and feel entitled just because they have paid for the services. What happened to being considerate?
After checking into our room, we found that the floor was yet to be clean. The cleaners were still around and busy mopping and sweeping. So I called one of them in and they did a great job. Very detailed.
Surveying the room, we found that the kettle was faulty with one part of the plug broken and still on the switch, burnt. Then when trying to open the wardrobe, the door with the mirror almost fell on me as it was dislodged from the slot. Hubby have to carefully lay it down and lean against the wall. Further checking found that the safe was faulty too.
Hubby told me to lodge a complaint. But why make a fuss with these little things when we don't even use them? But later I did went to the counter to inform them what was faulty, not to get it fixed, just for their information.
So that was the bad part of our room. But here's the good part. This scenery greeted us when we drew the curtains.
It was the Water Theme Park. Looks very inviting and we said we will go the next morning. From our room on the 6th floor, we can hear the children screaming in glee and shouting their friend's name. Looks like lots of fun!!!
And this was the bathroom with the jacuzzi.
I kinda like the design, open concept of the toilet. It has a wooden window that you can open up and watch TV from the jacuzzi.
We were told that dinner starts at 6pm while breakfast begins at 7am. And we were also told to go early because there are many people and not enough place to sit and that the food were not top-up.
At the entrance of the theme park, we saw a family there very unhappy and complaining. Overheard that the entrance tickets already expired as they already checked-out but the kids didn't have a chance to play because of some waiting and so lots of time were wasted. Anyhow, the hotel staff said will refund to them something, I don't know what. Just so many angry people around.
So, after checking in and before dinner, we decided to go take a walk on the beach. We didn't take any photos because it was not very clean. The sand was very nice to walk on, but the beach was dirty. No one bath in the sea.
So we just did a quick footsoak and then we thought of driving my car back into the hotel so it is nearer. However, we found there was still no parking available and as we walked near the guard house, we saw a group of guards (all Indians) were very angry. Later, I approached one of the guard inside the guard house and asked whether I can park inside. He told me to re-park at 7pm after everyone has left and gone for dinner and said that now the parking is so full that one customer was so angry when the guards didn't let him in and he parked right at the entrance to the hotel, walked off and blocked everyone else's entrance. Sigh, why is everyone so angry? What a drama it was.
Found that the parking was so full because the Water Theme Park is not only for hotel guests but also for outsiders. When the theme park closes at 7pm, then that's when we get more parking spaces
We went in and waited for 6pm for our buffet dinner. And here, I received my certificate of participation, a gift and a cake.
The staff was very polite and wished me Happy Birthday few times.
Dinner was a spread of Hari Raya goodies, i.e ketupat, lemang, rendang, etc, etc. I wouldn't say the taste was the best ever, but it was good. Satisfied and full.
Went back to the room and thought of our next plan of action. Decided to try foot reflexology on the 10th floor.
It is RM36 for 1 hour session and the masseurs were all PRC from China. And I must say, they have very good and strong hands. The session was slightly painful but yet so relaxing.
We had initially wanted to do the Shri Adi Bhoomi Devi puja on the beach, i.e planting 3 coconuts and do short puja to clear the negativities. This method was taught to us by a Chinese yogi who had tried it in China with very positive results. But hubby has forgotten some of the steps and we have forgotten to prepare some of the things. So we can't proceed. Instead, we sprinkled vibrated rice with turmeric and kumkum along the beach.
After that, the pub / bar place called The Pier which was on stilts on the sea, was opened and there were some entertainment going on, singing, song dedication and all. If there was no alcohol sold, we would have sat there and enjoyed the sea breeze. But felt it was too heavy and decided to just go up to our room.
Then it was jacuzzi time. More relaxation. Initially, we thought we can just go to bed without another footsoak (since we already did at the sea earlier before dinner), but after the reflexology, felt the vibes were stuck and not able to clear. So did another footsoak before bed (yes, we brought our own footsoak buckets and salt). Felt so much better after that.
We read reviews online that there was some kind of smell at night. True enough, even with our windows all tightly shut, the smell seeps into our room. On top of the hazy, smoky smell, this smell was familiar and yet pungent. It was the smell from a nearby oil palm factory. Years ago, I visited one and boy the smell was so bad.
We woke up early because we heard that breakfast starts at 7am and it is usually packed! And sure enough, we went down at 7.15am and it was already full!!! Breakfast was a wide spread. There was pancake, cereals, salads, nasi dagang, porridge, noodles and dim sum. Good food.
Then we went to the beach for a short footsoak again and the haze has lessen.
At 8am, the door to the Water Theme Park opens and we were the first.
It is not a big park and not many rides. But good enough for us. We spent 2 hours there, just slides after slides. Back-to-childhood days ~ Sweet!
Then after that, bath, rest, check-out and that's it! A fun-filled and relaxing birthday.
Overall here's what I feel:
Pros: Theme park was fun. Sea is near. Food was good. Jacuzzi was relaxing. Foot reflexology was great.
Cons: Some of the stuff in the room not working. Pungent smell at night. Beach is slightly dirty.
I feel the hotel staffs are doing their best to cope with the lack of staff (probably gone for Hari Raya holidays) and the overflow of customers due to peak period. The hotel rooms do have some faulty stuff and need maintenance and replacements. Our rooms didn't have any towels and when I asked the staff who was distributing them whether we can have the towels, he told us to inform the reception. However, it was already time for us to check-out, so we just forget it. Phone in the rooms aren't working because some construction still going on. The pungent night smell is unavoidable.
And I do feel, if you do want a pleasant stay, first make it one for yourself and others. Like don't get angry over little things. The wait is long, but you can go to the beach to relax while waiting. Don't start your holiday feeling angry and disgruntled. Why spoil it?
Yes, we feel entitled because we paid. But we have to understand also. There are way too many people and lots of screaming kids and tired adults. Be considerate. Doesn't mean we have money means we can flaunt it and show off.
I won't say this was a bad stay. In fact, I learned so much about myself through watching these people. If you are nice to others, they are nice to you too. But if you are angry to others, you will feel the anger throughout and spread your anger to others too. Here's a nice quote from Eckhart Tolle:
"People tend to dwell more on negative things than on good things. So the mind then becomes obsessed with negative things, with judgments, guilt and anxiety produced by thoughts about the future and so on."This birthday was not like last year, so grand and filled with activities. This year was quiet and time well-spent and lots of introspection. Felt close to Divine throughout and lots of vibrations. A joyful birthday indeed.