Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Chateau Beach Besort: Traveling with Mr. Budget

The Chateau Beach Resort

I’m not what you would call a seasoned traveler.  I read these travel blogs sometimes, and I’m amazed at how people can travel all over the world; not just once but multiple times. They have all these tips about making the trip more comfortable, dealing with security, getting upgraded and the like, I know nothing about those things.  When you drive your own car on most of your trips and you sit in the front seat your upgrade choices are somewhat limited.  Besides, I never really left the United States all that much to go traveling. I went to Canada, and I spent a quite a few vacations in Mexico.  But outside of Taiwan I pretty much stayed on my own Continent.

If I tell the truth I’m not into traveling.  I like being places better than getting there.  I don’t mind driving to a place, but I hate going through all the trouble it takes to fly anywhere on a plane; from being at the airport early, to going through all that security, to sitting on the tarmac in crowded airplane.  It’s really bad when my butt starts to hurt and the plane hasn’t even left yet.  I know somewhere along the line I’m going to regret getting on the plane.

The thing I do love, though, is actually being someplace other than my own house.  I like to experience things that are unavailable in my own country or culture.  I’m pretty sure that’s one of the reasons I love living in Taiwan.  It’s not Southern California, and it isn’t likely to be…ever!  Its not that I hate Southern California, I don’t.  I lived there a long time; it’s just that…I lived there a long time.

When we decided to go to Kenting, I really didn’t think I wanted to drive.  I really wanted to try out the High Speed Rail, but after the trip I’m glad I drove.  It was nice to have the car while we were there and the trip turned out to be part of the fun.  The reason for taking the car was our usual concern, the budget.

The beach was right outside our door.
Mr. Budget, who has been our houseguest for more years than I care to remember, often guides our decisions.  I laugh when my children talk about how they’re going to buy this mansion or that super car.  After living with him all those years you’d think they know Mr. Budget.  But one day they’ll have him in their own family and then they’ll end up doing things his way, too.  In fact, I’m looking forward to the day they meet their own Mr. Budget.  They’ll be surprised when he moves in with them and controls their lives.  They think I’m controlling, no I’m just a dad, Mr. Budget will show them what control is really all about. 

Anyway, so now you know the reasoning behind driving to Kenting.  When we got there we stayed at a place called The Chateau Beach Resort.  I mentioned in my last post that this was our first real family vacation.  This was also the first time any of us stayed in a five star resort.  The place was fabulous.

Our room had an ocean view; in fact, we had a patio that opened to the beach less than fifty meters away.  The resort had water sports, beach volleyball, on their private beach, sailing, croquet, pool, a video arcade and lots of restaurants.   The staff was friendly, and willing to do whatever they needed to do to make your stay more pleasant.  The people at the front desk were fluent in English, which is helpful. 
You’re probably thinking, “All that talk about Mr. Budget and driving and then you stay at a place like that?  What is that all about?”  Its funny that you ask that, well not really, since you’re not here with me and I just wrote that you’d be asking that if you were here, but…  Anyway, the cost of the hotel room ($562 USD/night) for our four-day stay, during the peak-operating season would be substantially more than I would (could) pay for a hotel room.  It’s closer to what I paid for our car.  The price for dinner alone, at one of the restaurants, would have paid for the air conditioner repair on our car; the price of lunch four new tires. 

Look crowded, huh?  This is the sports staff.
But we went during their off season and because of the timing we got about a sixty percent discount.  The beach was secluded as if, it was there just for us.  There was little reduction in services, although I didn’t see the croquet lawn set up for croquet. 

Croquet is pretty close to the level of excitement with which I’m most comfortable.  It’s a little scary sometimes when balls are flying off the field.  But I can handle it, for real bone-chilling excitement I listen to the playlists on my kid’s iPods.  Now that frightens me.

Lots and lots of food choices.
The restaurants operate at their usual level of service.  The sports organizers are out there in the morning looking fit and ready to go.  The housekeeping staff is working hard and cheerfully helping you.  It all seems to work.  The only mishap of the week was when Mr. Budget wiped out on the boogie board.  Oh well, it wasn’t the first time Mr. Budget crashed in our lives; I don’t expect it’ll be the last either.

Watermelon Art


Sea Snails

Mussels, they also had Oysters and Shrimp, or a full Western meal with Beef and Lamb if you wanted.

Apple Art.  

Other posts you may be interested in:

Taiwan Travelogue:  Driving to Hawaii
Local Color:  The Colors of Kenting

Photos:  Chris and Brenda Banducci

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