Summer break was almost over and we went to The Kasturi in Cherating for a final hurrah. The Kasturi was just what we needed before our school routine started again.
Villas with a private pool
The drive to Cherating from KL was an easy 3 hours. After checking in, the staff drove us to our villa in a buggy. We booked into a beach front villa, which is gorgeous. It is split level and filled with bright sunshine and comes with a private pool. Shortly after we arrived, staff brought afternoon tea to our room. The afternoon tea, which was sponsored by the resort, was a very simple affair – tea for two and three slices of cake. From our villa, we could see the beach but our view was blocked by a rock wall – which we found confusing. We had direct access to the beach, but not to the sea.
Putting that confusion aside, we went over to our friend’s forest villa where all the kids couldn’t wait to jump into the pool. The forest villa has three bedrooms. If you have more than two children, you need to book into the forest villa. Since it is a forest villa, it is always shady and cool, which was a completely different feel to our beach front villa.
Tip: the children preferred our pool in our beachfront villa as it had direct sunlight, so the children weren’t cold. The pool in the rainforest villa can get quite cold, as it’s always shaded.
We headed to Kenyang, their F&B outlet, for dinner on our first night. The food, a mixture of Asian and Western, is delicious but was marred by the fact that service was extremely slow. Our food came out at different times and it was a real test of patience – especially if you have hungry children with you. Bear in mind that there was only one other table occupied besides ours that night.
Thankfully, service was top notch the next morning at breakfast. This needs to be pre-ordered the day before, as the restaurant was full. You can always reorder an item on the spot and they will gladly get it to you.
A beach with a rock wall
We explored the beach and found that the rock wall spreads out through the entire length of the resort, and more. We discovered later on that the rock wall was built as a wave breaker. During monsoon season, the waves are so strong that they get all the way into the restaurant area. The rock wall was built to protect the resort. We’ve never been to a beach that was ‘walled off’, if you may, and felt it’s such a shame. However, the hotel probably did it as a last resort, as apparently it was only built two years after they started operations.
The beach (aside from the rock wall) is actually quite nice. If you walk far enough from the resort, there’s a little inlet where you can reach the sea directly.
There’s also batik painting and kite flying for children. Kite flying was fun, as it was quite breezy at The Kasturi.
A blissful foot massage
While my son was busy with the activities, I snuck off for a foot massage. The foot massage lasted 45 minutes and for that period, it was pure bliss. Unlike other foot massages I’ve been to, this session involved me lying down on the massage table faced up. I was also given a cold eye mask. After being stuck at home throughout MCO, this massage was really in want! Please note that during the RMCO only foot massages, foot spas and pedicures are on offer.
Rimbun Dahan Turtle Hatchery
Through the resort, we visited Rimbun Dahan Turtle Hatchery, which The Kasturi supports. For a mere RM20 per person, you can participate in releasing turtle hatchlings (if there are any, of course). We were lucky enough to be there on the first day Rimbun Dahan reopened. It’s only a 10 minutes drive from the resort. The visit starts off with Along letting everyone in on the history of the place and educating everyone about turtles. She then moved on to how to handle the hatchlings. Along is knowledgeable and funny. It is clear that she is truly invested in the cause.
Release the baby…
The volunteers at Rimbun Dahan then set up a marker along the beach which we stood behind. From there, they gave each of us one hatchling to release. When we released ours, we stood behind them and cheered on the ones who were just a tad slower than the rest. And when these made it to the sea, we applauded! The whole visit took about 45 minutes. We left feeling warm and fuzzy all over. In fact, another family and us chipped in and sponsored a nest! We do hope to go back when they hatch, to see our ‘babies’ before they set off.
Back at The Kasturi, we had the opportunity to sample their steamboat offering. There are two soup bases – tom yam and herbal chicken soup (which I thought our son would baulk at but he happily slurped everything up!). The portion of meat, seafood, noodles and vegetables were just perfect for the three of us. Steamboats are always fun to have, as even though you have to cook it yourself, there’s no prep involved! When you order the steamboat, it comes with Chinese tea and dessert as well. We were completely stuffed after our meal.
It was trying at times to speak with a member of staff, as the phones went unanswered. We found out later, that the resort was shorthanded (a result of the MCO) and as such the staff had to man both the restaurant and reception. They were shuttling between these two places, which are at opposite ends of the resort. So if you’re heading there, please have a little patience. The staff definitely more than made up for it by their warmth, sincerity and eagerness to serve you. Plus, they always had big smiles on their faces!
The Kasturi has got special offers valid till 30 September 2020. Check it out here on their website.
We paid for our room and board ourselves. The foot massage, the steamboat dinner and our visit to Rimbun Dahan were kindly sponsored by the resort. As always, our opinion is honest and our own.