We were there end of august during a 3-day bank holiday. The infrastructure and the rooms are not 5* as in 5* Taj Hotels, Oberoi, Sheraton etc. But this is not a surprise in Asia. The rooms are badly isolated and the neighbor’s voices can easily be heard. The maintenance of the room is poor too; first the drainage of the bathroom sink did not work, then the kettle was totally rusty and last the door lock stopped working. All was fixed. But this is not the ideal vacation feeling in a 4 days stay. Almost every day something broke down.
But the real problem is that the resort is open to the public. For RM 7 a day visitor can use all facilities. As a result the pool is overcrowded and dirty as people swam in the pool fully clothed. There are too few deck chairs available, so we could lie on the sand or grass. There are no personal deck chairs to a room, even though we booked a chalet, which is the 3rd highest room category (standard room, then deluxe, then chalet). Obviously we asked ourselves why we paid RM 700 when a day guest could use the same facility for RM7; and it wasn’t like the breakfast was great neither. When we complained badly at the reception to the duty manager we were allowed to take 2 deck chairs to our chalet and have them for us. The resort bathrooms and showers next to the pool were dirty and stank badly, due to over use.
As the resort is state owned, the state wants to give something back to its people. Nice philosophy but badly implemented. Many day visitors, locals and tourists, didn’t even pay the day visitor fee but just went inside.
With regards to culinary matters, no reason to stay neither. The fish restaurant in the public Damai Central complex was much tastier and cheaper. The welcome drink was a sweet and artificially tasting juice. Prior to the breakfast we had to queue. No booking the evening before was possible. Neither the check-in nor other staff informed us about the breakfast queuing when we asked. Once inside things were slow too. It took ages for a pancake or an omelet and it was best to ignore hygienic aspects as we wouldn’t have eaten anything at all then.
beautiful surrounded luxury hotel outside of kuching at beach with nice walks not far sarawak culture village
Big spacious room. Plenty of games to keep you & children occupied. They have mini-golf, table tennis, swimming pools, BBQ, gym, etc. Beautiful white sandy beach.
Unique Quality: Air-conditioned hut & chalet. The hut provides good privacy, & they are not so cramp from each other.
Our intention was to stay a couple of days in Kuching and from there explore the surroundings. However, the hotel we chose in Kuching, the Holiday Inn was booked. However, there is a little travel agency inside Holiday Inn Kuching, who recommend us to go to Holiday Inn Damai Beach. As a travel agency they could give us a far better rate. We paid about 50 Euros a night and we stay in Damai Beach for 5 nights. It was perfect. What a beautiful place. You can enjoy the wonderful nature by making daytrips and the beach is wonderful, the cabins are very nice (even though no 5 star material) and the sunset is most likely the most beautiful in the world. It is fairly quiet with guests and the beach is basically empty. What a pleasure. Breakfast is good, reception friendly. The minus things are that there is no ATM, there are no "entertaining" activities outside the hotel as it is basically surrounded by jungle, so no shops, etc. There is another Holiday Inn next to Damai Beach where you could go once for dinner. All in all, a great experience!
This is the only luxury hotel that i stayed at when i was travelling in Kuching. Damai Beach is not one of those beaches in Malaysia with crystal clear sea water and white sand. But the hotel's beautiful interior still made me feel like i was in paradise.
Directions: There is shuttle bus from Holiday Inn (Kuching) - RM10 per person for return transport fee
This is a good quality hotel, located some distance away from the centre of Kuching. Our room was on the second floor in one of the two story buildings in the grounds and was large, well appointed and quiet. We found the swimming pool area to be very crowded, with lots of children, although this may have been due to the time of year. The hotel has two restaurants. Treez cafe is located on the hill and provides a much quieter dining experience than the main restaurant. A shuttle bus takes you up the hill so you don't have to walk.
The hotel did a really good job of Christmas. everything was decorated and the staff really got in to the Christmas spirit. There was a big international buffet on Christmas eve, they even had turkey!
In general we found the service to be friendly but a bit slow. The restaurant couldn't cope with the number of people wanting breakfast at 9am on Christmas morning, everyone seemed to be waiting at least half an hour.
Holiday Inn Damai Beach Resort (4-star hotel) is an award winning resort and it is sprawled over 90 acres of prime sea-front land, complemented by the lush tropical forest and the majestic Mount Santubong, which overlooks the South China Sea. The Hotel Resort is quite far from the Kuching city but the location is beautiful, close to nature, peaceful and quiet. The Hotel is also close to the Sarawak Cultural Village.
The hotel staff were nice and friendly. However the services were quite slow; if you are not in a hurry, it is in tune with the relax atmosphere around there. The hotel restaurant and cafes serve local and western cuisines. However, I would suggest that you visit the seafood restaurants outside the Hotel, and you will get better food at better (cheaper) prices.
Unique Quality: The Resort has 256 comfortably furnished rooms with magnificent views of the sea or the lush greenery of Mount Santubong. You can have choices of rooms in the main buildings and in chalets on hillsides. All rooms are complete with air-conditioning, private bathrooms, telephone, personal safe, hair dryer, TV with in-house movies and satellites, and in-room mini-bar complimentary coffee/tea making facilities.
You can swim in the large swimming pool or spend relaxing time by the beach and the sea.
Within 90 acres of seafront land, This location is also one mile from the Damai Rainforest and Damai Golf & Country Club, three miles from Santubong Fishing Village, eight miles from Buntal Fishing Village, 13 miles from Satang Island (by boat only), and 25 miles from Bako National Park, Sarawak Museum, Kuching waterfront, Tua Pek Kong Chinese Temple, Main Bazaar, and Kuching Mosque.
Hotel amenities include the swimming pool, beauty salon, gift shop, cocktail lounge, and two restaurants. The hotel also offers room service, valet laundry service, babysitting, and a concierge.
All rooms feature satellite TV, in-room movies, coffeemakers, hairdryers, and voicemail.
Directions: Holiday Inn Damai Beach is located within walking distance of the Sarawak Cultural Village and approximately 25 miles from Kuching International Airport.
I was here for 4 nights in June, 2006. Great resort. Had a room by the pool and only meters from the beach. Great beach! Great sunsets. Nice rooms. Good staff. Treez had very good food. Nice place to relax and chill for a few days on the beach. It is remote, so you will probably eat at the resort every meal. Which is OK if you are only there for a few days.
Unique Quality: Great beach and great pool.
The place is nice especially with shutter van to Damai Lagoon, to enjoy beautiful pools & sceneries. Regretted that the child centre was closed & could further improved the playground.
When there's nothing good to say usually it's best to say nothing at all, but in this case.......
First impressions are very good when you arrive, there's a nice reception area which looks over a nice pool & restaurant with an outside veranda. Then there's beach & the amazing views of the South China Sea (shame about the murky water & BOX JELLY FISH).
A superior pool side room is quite large & comfortable, but that's about as good as it gets really.
The Santabong Cafe is the only place to eat in the main complex of Damai Beach, but unfortunately you take your life into your own hands. My advice is stay well; well clear of ANY meat/fish or anything that has to be properly cooked to be eaten.
I was only here for four days, but after the second day I was eating chips & vegetable spring rolls. Several people in our party were ill & one was hospitalized through food poisoning, I personally had uncooked chicken and a burger that tasted of disinfectant. As for the fish it was cooked hours before and left on trays for the buffet for the rest of the night. The staff at Damai Beach are pleasant & very apologetic which is a lot more than can be said for the staff Damai Lagoon.
The Damai Lagoon is an annex to Damai Beach accessible via the free shuttle bus or a 10 minute walk. They also have the one restaurant which is very big & spacious, the food at the Lagoon is excellent & cannot be faulted, but this cannot be said of the staff.
It's almost like the hotel dragged people off the street a few hours before & asked them to go be waiter/waitresses. I ate there twice & both times the meal took in excess of 3 HOURS to complete with approximately 30-45 mins eating time. We had to clear our own plates away on one occasion. But the thing that really gets to you is the compulsory 10% service charge.
So it's which is the lesser of two evils 1) Get food poisoning at Damai Beach or 2) Die of starvation at Damai Lagoon.
Unique Quality: Just DON'T go!
I have stayed here on two occasions and boy was there a difference between them. The first was in 1998. We were placed in a room quite near to the poolside. A spacious, light room it had little or no view outside. On the second occasion we stayed in the hilltop area of the resort with a fantastic view of the beach and mountains.
On our second stay we found the hotel had degenerated into a farce. None of the staff were at all trained and long waits of 30mins + were usual. We ate on the first night at the barbeque buffet. They didn't want to seat us so we sat down where we wanted to be. Eventually we were asked if we wanted drinks which then took 30 minutes and two reminders to arrive. The food was average. We asked 3 times for our bill and eventually left without signing. We were never charged for the food or the drinks although we assumed as they had asked our room number that the charge would find it's way eventually. We ate out after that.
There were no towels available at either of the 2 pools despite promises that someone would fetch some.
It was very hot during our second stay in 2000 and the air con was inadequate. Maybe it has improved since then.
Unique Quality: This is a hotel that should have a lot going for it. It has a great location with awesome views.
There is free transport to reception if you are up on the hill above the resort. Also to the Sarawak Cultural Village nearby and to kuching.
The hilltop pool is simply brilliant in concept.
Sunset at Damai Beach Resort
We managed to exchange for a week of timeshre in Kuching for the first week of August. What is the best to do and spend our time?
You can see alot of things in Kuching in one week. You can go on a river cruise at the waterfront,if you don't fancy a cruise just take a sampan ride across the river, or if you wish to go a little further out of town is Damai beach about 35 km north of Kuching and the Sarawak Cultural Village in the vicinity. If you fancy some shoppings go to Serikin a market in the Malaysia/Indonesian border about 90km from Kuching. Visitors can buy Indonesian products such as rattan mat, batik and handicrafts at a bargain. Serikin is only open on Saturday and Sunday. Getting close to nature you can also visit Matang Wildlife Centre with the main attraction being the Orang Utan training program. There are many other things to do in Kuching for a week. Please visit some of these websites: http://www.kuching.net.my; www.forestry.sarawak.gov.my/; www.catscity.com.my among others.
Thanks Abdulaziz, sounds like there are lots to do. Will probably skip the shopping trip as I lived in Indonesia last year and still have lots of stuff from there. The nature tour and beaches sounds good.
if you like adventure do not miss the Bako National Park where you are one with nature and get to see lots of wile life, proboscis monkeys,orang utan etc
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Address: Teluk Bandung, Santubong PO Box 2870, Damai Beach (Formerly Holiday Inn), Kuching, Sarawak 93756