Review: Avani Sepang Goldcoast (Two Bedroom Villa)

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Nightly rate
(incl. taxes/fees)
MYR 476 (US$106)
(paid entirely with D$)
Rate inclusionsBreakfast + MYR 40 credit
Length of stay1 night
Membership levelTitanium
(GHA Discovery)

What benefits to expect when you stay at Avani Sepang Goldcoast Resort as a GHA Discovery Titanium member?

The hotel originally opened in 2010 as Golden Palm Tree Iconic Resort & Spa, before being rebranded to Avani Sepang Goldcoast Resort in 2014. It has a total of 315 rooms/villas.

This stay was paid entirely with Discovery Dollars that I’ve earned through past promotions.

Upgrade request

I had reached out to the hotel about a week prior to my stay to request for a two-category upgrade to the Two Bedroom Villa.

While a Titanium member can receive double upgrades as part of the benefits that come with the membership level, villas are usually excluded. I got a generic reply saying that they’ve noted the request and can only confirm the upgrade during check in.

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Location

This resort is located very much out of the way of any city. While it looks fairly close to the airport on the map, it would still require a 45-min drive, with good traffic. Driving looks like the only convenient way to get to the property.

There are small restaurants located near the resort, all of them without air-conditioning.

  • 45 mins drive to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL)
  • 1 hr 30 mins drive to central Kuala Lumpur
  • 3 hrs 30 mins drive from Johor Bahru

Arrival

Upon arrival, I was directed to a parking area, about 10 minutes walk to away from the lobby. However, there was a shuttle van to bring guests to and from the carpark.

During check in, I was told that we’ve been upgraded to the Two Bedroom Villa!

Pro tip: You can get GHA Discovery Titanium status from as little as 3 nights!

Driveway to the lobby
Lobby building
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Lobby

As the property is large, guests may call for a buggy to travel between the villa and the lobby.

Path to the villas
Wristband for guests
Two Bedroom Villa (Overwater)

Two Bedroom Villa

Villa 724 is 122sqm / 1,313sqft in size.

The Two Bedroom Villa was large, as expected, with Malaysian-inspired design language.

However, the first thing we noticed was the “old hotel” smell. There were also obvious maintenance issues (more about this later).

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View from the entrance
Living room
Master bedroom
Master bedroom (reversed angle)
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Power port by the bed
Sinks in the master bedroom
Bathroom in the master bedroom
Shower area in the master bedroom
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Bathroom amenities
Bath products
Balcony
Balcony (reversed angle)
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View from the balcony at sunset
Lounging room with work desk
View from the work desk
Complimentary bottled water, coffee and tea
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Second bathroom with 2 double beds
Second bathroom
Resort map

Missing welcome amenity

GHA Platinum and Titanium members receive welcome amenities on their stays, as part of the loyalty program’s membership benefits. As I wanted to write a review of this stay, I was disappointed that there was no welcome amenity in the room.

I called the front desk a few hours after checking in, to check if the hotel recognizes this GHA Discovery benefit. The staff had no idea what a welcome amenity is, and said that she would check on that.

A few more hours passed and I still did not receive it, nor receive a follow-up call. I called again to speak to a manager, who also fails to understand what a welcome amenity is! I had to explain the benefit to him, and he then sent a nicely-presented fruit plate and cookies over.

Was it worth the effort to “demand” for the welcome amenity? Obviously not. But on review stays, I always aim to share all the loyalty benefits that members can receive. Unfortunately, at this property, guests should not expect to receive a welcome amenity, unless if they go out of their way to request for it.

Welcome amenity

Poor maintenance

As mentioned above, it’s pretty obvious that the management has not been putting enough effort to maintain the property.

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Dirty TV remote
Stains on the sofa
Leaking air conditioner
Finger/Hand prints on the glass door
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Worn-out paint

Guests can use bicycles around the property for free, but they were poorly-maintained as well, with wobbly wheels and creaking/rusty parts.

Bicycle (free to use)

In-Villa dining

We used the MYR 40 resort credit for in-villa dining and ordered a pizza. Unfortunately, the only way to view the dining menu was on the small, low-resolution television in the living room.

Again, this is an obvious lack of care by the management. A scannable QR code that goes to an online page shouldn’t be difficult to implement.

Resort credit voucher
Low-resolution in-room dining menu on the TV
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Pizza from the in-room dining menu

Breakfast

Unlike some hotel loyalty programs, GHA Discovery does not have any membership level that comes with complimentary as a benefit.

To enjoy breakfast in the property, guests will have to book a rate that includes it.

Breakfast variety was good, but quality was lacking. Hot food did not taste fresh and pastries were stale.

Bila-Bila restaurant
Outdoor seats
Buffet area
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Hot dishes
Hot dishes
Pastries
Cereals
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Local snacks
Noodle station
Beverages
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Internet speed

WiFi speed was good for light web surfing.

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Facilities

Swimming pool

The infinity swimming pool was beautiful, especially during sunset.

Infinity swimming pool
Swimming pool area
Relaxing area by the pool

Gym

The gym is located next to the pool. It is pretty small and equipments looked old, but offers a great view of the sunset.

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Gym (AVANIFiT)
Gym
Gym (reversed angle)

Around the property

Occupancy level seemed really low. We saw less than 20 guests (repeatedly) during our time there.

Superior rooms (Base rooms)
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Overwater villas
Path to the villas
I ♥ Avani sign
The Pantry cafe
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Arcade machines

My ratings

This is how I am rating my stay, after considering the hotel’s usual nightly rate:

Service7/10
Location5/10
Room furnishing3/10
View
(from the room)
9/10
Peace & quiet10/10
Facilities8/10
Elite member recognition10/10
Value8/10

Bottom line

Avani Sepang Goldcoast offers a unique experience, however, it felt like a half-hearted attempt at a palm-shaped overwater resort. It made me wonder if the investors are aware that the best/clear waters are found on the East side of the peninsular, where the Perhentian, Redang and Tioman islands are.

It has obvious maintenance issues everywhere, and is in dire need of a renovation.

If you are a GHA Discovery Titanium member looking to burn off some expiring Discovery Dollars, I feel that you can still receive fair value and experience from this property, because of its generous upgrade policy.

However, I cannot recommend staying here as a non-Titanium member.

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