Is it ridic to workcation at this all-inclusive beach resort in Kuantan? Us workaholics try.
We review Club Med Cherating, the all-inclusive beachside resort in Kuantan, Pahang, as a workcation destination.
With an open bar, buffets for every meal, and private beach views, the last thing you might want to do at Club Med Cherating is work.
As an all-inclusive resort, most guests likely see Club Med as a space for rest, recreation, and relaxation.
But since my visit was part of a media trip, I decided to take the opportunity to test this place as a 3D2N workcation destination.
Although I’ve been on a few other workcations in the past, many of those were primarily centred around the “work” part of “workcation”, with recreational activities scheduled around it.
Club Med Cherating would prove to be a different experience, though.
Distractingly impressive food, drinks, and activities
When Club Med Cherating says that it’s all-inclusive, it really means all-inclusive (well, save for the spa services, which we could see some people actually paying for). This means you don’t have to pay extra for food and drinks, nor for the sports and activities.
So, with the understanding that we should make the most out of the visit, I pretty much tried every single category of non-alcoholic drink there was to try from the open bar, including mocktails, coffee, bubble tea, and milkshakes.
Then there was the variety of activities available to guests. This included archery, yoga, climbing, as well as watersports like sailing, kayaking, surfing, and stand-up paddling.
I challenged Flying Trapeze, while my managing director, Sarah, tackled rock climbing after much convincing from me (“When else will you be able to do this?” I asked her).
Sure, these activities were not integral to a “workcation”, but we wanted to do them.
Club Med was also very gracious to us, hosting cocktail parties that featured mouth-watering finger foods. There was foie gras on toast on the first day, and grilled scallops with beef bacon on the second.
The hosts told us that these sort of cocktail evenings weren’t regular events but rather pop-up ones. With that said, there are three restaurants guests can visit—The Mutiara, Rembulan, and Enak—for food that’s honestly just as good.
After we dined, we got entertained. The show at the theatre appealed to children and elderly alike as it included both digital light performances as well as some circus acts. There was also a dance party afterwards dubbed the Crazy Signs where everyone is invited to come onto the dance floor.
Realistically speaking, I could’ve skipped many of these things to focus more on work, but these experiences were unique enough that I felt like I couldn’t pass them up.
Other than all these enticing distractions, there was one other thing standing in our way for a truly productive trip—the internet connection.
Our biggest enemy: spotty Wi-Fi
Considering that I’m low-key addicted to my phone, I high-key panicked the moment I realised that I had no bars and thus no data.
It made sense since we were in the middle of a jungle, but it wasn’t an issue I anticipated.
At least there was free Wi-Fi, but was it good Wi-Fi?
It was enough for me to stay connected with my team and upload content, but it took much longer than usual since it was so spotty.
That said though, guests can purchase premium Wi-Fi that connects to a maximum of four devices with browsing speeds of up to 5 MB/s. Apparently all-inclusive doesn’t extend to a speedy internet connection.
The place where the Wi-Fi was most reliable was in the bedrooms. But then, the space didn’t seem to be designed with work in mind, considering that the chair for the vanity is backless and a little low—not ideal for an ergonomic experience.
In fact, there wasn’t exactly a space in the whole resort that seemed to be designed with work in mind. There is technically a room near the bar that functions like a “business centre”.
However, there were only two tall seats with tables (or, really, wall niches) at an appropriate laptop height. Even then, it was awkward to use as there was no space underneath for us to put our legs.
There are plenty of couches and low coffee tables here, though, so if you don’t mind working with your laptop literally on top of your lap, you’re good to go.
You can also always bring your laptop out to the bar or the pool, or perhaps venture out to the other side of the resort, the Zen Oasis, where you’ll find yourself having cell service once again by the private adult-only pool.
More for the “‘cation” than the “work”
Despite all the challenges we’ve mentioned thus far, it’s still possible to work at Club Med Cherating (especially if you’re very disciplined and do not need an internet connection for your work).
Olivier himself shared that Club Med had thought about accommodating the workcation crowd that needed a dedicated space to work.
“But actually, it came along naturally,” Olivier stated. “[Club Med visitors] had the chance from their company to be able to work remotely, and they wanted to make it happen, if possible, with their families and kids.”
With Mini Club Med, the resort’s kids’ club, children can be taken care of by staff members and entertained while the parents get some work done.
“I think the all-inclusive formula was definitely something they appreciated,” Olivier added.
With how Club Med operates, busy working adults won’t have to stress about budgeting for food and recreational activities.
Olivier also shared that the team will be observing whether this work-from-anywhere trend will continue to be relevant for the coming months and years, and that it isn’t just because of COVID.
“Now we have jobs that did not exist a year ago, or ten years ago where people need less to be involved in a fixed place in a company, so that’s something we’re going to look at definitely,” Olivier said about catering further to digital nomads.
“And I think the answer will be coming from the new generation—the way they work, their habits, what they want, the sense they want to give to their life, and how they want to treat themselves in this new world,” he concluded.
For now, though, Club Med prioritises R&R more than work. In a way, the resort is almost designed to take you away from your laptop, with all the incredible activities and sights available.
So maybe the question isn’t whether you can workcation from a beachside resort in Kuantan—the question is, should you?
There’s a time and place for everything, and at Club Med Cherating, you’re meant to get lost in nature (something Olivier mentioned in passing).
So this might not be the most conducive place to have a workcation, and that’s perfectly fine.Learn more about Club Med Cherating here. Read other articles we’ve written about workcations here.