Being one of the highest-star and highly rated hotel in Terengganu, I had big expectations for Ri-Yaz Heritage Marina Resort & Spa. It was our choice of accomodation for our recent get-away to Kuala Terengganu during the Raya holidays. Overall, the stay could be considered borderline unpleasant – a far cry from what was advertised and expected. Ri-Yaz definitely has a number of things to improve on, some which are really just the basics.
We booked the Anjung Executive Deluxe for about RM440 a night inclusive of breakfast – it is an adjoining unit to the Royal Suite boasting stylish features and equipped with a huge, luxurious bathroom. When we were checking into the room we noticed some plates and utensils laying just outside the door, which we assumed were used by the previous guests and left there by the housekeeping staff. Well, guess what? No one bothered to clear them so they were there the entire time until we checked out the next day.
A quick scan of the room does impress but upon closer inspection we found stains in the shower room, hair clogging the plughole and layers of dust and cobwebs on the air vent of the doors and windows. Even the water heater was malfunctioning – the water felt barely warm when we tried to shower later that day. All of these are not what you would have expected from a supposingly 5-star resort.
Food is aplenty in Kuala Terengganu but almost all the Chinese food stalls and restaurants are concentrated in Kampung Cina. If you are looking for ‘dai chao’ kind of restaurants then you could expect very few choices, as you could probably count the number single handedly. Golden Dragon restaurant is no doubt the busiest Chinese restaurant in town – popular with tourists (because they serve cold beer) and locals alike.
The menu is not as extensive as what you would find in other towns and most of the dishes available are prepared with home-style cooking. Since we were in a hurry we did not order a la carte and took the set dinner instead. There are a few set dinners available that differ in terms of price and dishes ranging from RM32 to RM60 that include three to five dishes. We were in a mood for seafood so we picked the set with fish and prawns @ RM60.
Teo-chew Style Steamed Garoupa – lightly seasoned with a mild sour taste. The fish is top fresh with firm and sweet flesh, thoroughly enjoyable albeit a little small in size.