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 accommodation 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.
For us, the only redeeming points of Ri-Yaz would be the privacy, serenity and gorgeous swimming pool. But just so you know, even though Ri-Yaz is located on an island there is no sea view here, just the river view. Facitilies wise I think they are OK but the staff should be there during the stated operating hours. When we tried to use the gym and sauna in the next morning, both areas were still closed (even though it was already almost 20 minutes past the opening hour) and no one was around. We ended up having to wait after walking all the way there, quite ridiculous if you ask me.
We took our breakfast at the Verandah Restaurant. The food is not bad albeit lacking in choices and the river view is quite a sight to behold. But there is a stupid scene where guests are lining up just for coffee because Ri-Yaz thinks one coffee machine is sufficient to serve the entire resort’s guests. Worse still, the machine is a small one and the ground coffee had to be emptied from the tray after every 10 cups or so. It baffles me how a 5-star resort could not identify this as a problem and fix it.
Although we did not have many bags with us and the walking distance to the reception is not very far, we wanted to avoid sweating and feeling uncomfortable for the rest of the day so we requested for a buggy. But when it never arrived after waiting for almost 30 minutes, I just thought ‘f*** it’, carried our own bags and walked. At the same time I said to myself this would be the last time we will be staying here.