Thursday, April 9

Damai Beach Resort revisited

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WE have not been to Damai Beach Resort for quite a while as the whole family was in the United Kingdom where my wife, Malia, was doing her post-graduate studies in Loughborough, Leicestershire, over the last three years.

JUST GREAT: The beach is clean and lovely for fun-filled activities with family and friends.

It was our two daughters who really missed going out to the beach and they had been pestering us to have a short family weekend at the resort – after a lapse of five years – during the recent semester break.

The opportunity came courtesy of Damai Beach Resort and its director of talent and business development, Caroline Yeo who was kind enough to provide us a complimentary stay at the famous Hillstop Suites.

The weather was fantastic when we checked in and the front desk service was excellent. We felt very welcomed and immediately got a taste of what we had been missing.

There were so many people in the queue but the check-in was pretty quick – in less than 15 minutes, we got our room key.

Hassle-free reservation

Damai Beach Resort has always been our preferred choice of weekend retreat simply because of its hassle-free reservations and competitive room rates. Holiday makers can now make their reservations online and get instant confirmation.

On top of that, they can visit the resort’s website for special promotions to enjoy fantastic discounts. Honestly, this is one of the selling points we feel will attract more local and foreign tourists to pre-plan their holidays at the resort with just a click of the mouse.

If we may suggest, the resort can also develop its own
e-newsletter for distribution to guests to highlight and promote the variety of in-house promotions or room offers.

Panoramic view

Staying in a spacious deluxe room with a king-size bed was a pleasant experience, particularly with the panoramic view of the beach, the sea and the imposing legendary Mount Santubong as well.

The room is much bigger than we thought and the service was excellent too. We have stayed in many hotels abroad and we all agree the room space as well as ambience do make a lot of difference.

We really appreciate the serene surrounding of the Hilltop Suites even though there were dozens of families staying in the same block.

In fact, most of the holiday-makers were off to bed as early as 9pm because they wanted to wake up early to enjoy the nearby swimming pool or hit the beach.

Clean and lovely

The first impression we had of the beach front was that it is as clean and inviting as ever.

We had been to the UK’s famous Skeggy Beach at Lincolnshire and it was not that impressive except for the fact that the place is always packed with beach goers, especially during the summer holidays.

Even though we were told Damai Beach Resort is now open to day-trippers, there is still plenty of space for everyone to enjoy the fun in the sand.

The presence of life guards also assured us that the health and safety of beach goers are well looked after.

It was still high tide and water level was rather high on the first day of our stay but we did manage to go out the next morning to enjoy a stroll in the sand.

There were lots of familiar faces among the crowd, including the Smartreaders team who were having their second annual corporate retreat.

Many academic and management staff from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) were also having their “Zero Module” outing and we managed to meet the vice chancellor while he was enjoying a swim in the pool.

Avoid congestion

We had no problem finding a parking space at near the Treez Restaurant but the main parking area for that particular weekend was full to the brim.

The situation reminded us of the “park and ride” concept, widely practised in the UK and other western countries to prevent traffic and parking congestion at places of tourist interest.

Perhaps the resort’s management may want to consider introducing a similar concept to reduce traffic congestion and parking woes, at the same time creating more space for activities at the main car park.

However, proper planning is needed to avoid inconvenience to guests and visitors as it will involve designated parking areas for motorists before entering the resort proper.

On a positive note, the fewer vehicles coming into the resort may help Mother Nature by reducing air pollution and providing more space for outdoor activities like cycling and walking.

Cycling heaven

The only regret we had during our stay was that we did not bring our bicycles along because the weather was great and Pantai Damai is a wonderfully safe place to cycle around.

More cycling paths could be provided within the resort and its vicinity to promote the venue as a cycling heaven for both local and foreign tourists alike.

With the number of cyclists in Kuching increasing by the day, the resort can attract them for regular cycling outings by providing an exciting room package or related activities.

We have decided to return to Damai Beach Resort again during the Gawai holidays and will bring along our bicycles so that we can venture out to other parts of the resort on two wheels powered by a pair of steady legs.