My family of 5 (my wife and I plus three kids aged 3, 8, 11) visited Telunas in June 2013. For those of you who love short reviews, you can stop reading and just go. It was one of the best vacations we’ve had.
Our trip started with a ferry ride from Harbourfront to Sekupang where we were greeted by Elsa at immigration. Elsa was the Telunas staff assigned to our family for the entire trip. Following a short walk to the local jetty, we took one of Telunas’ private boats and were on our way. The total journey from Singapore takes around 3.5 hours, but the change of ferry in Sekupang helps to break the journey. You get some nice views of the islands and small villages along the ride from Sekupang to Telunas.
Upon arrival, we were given cold towels and welcome drinks. The drink was some concoction of pineapple and orange and it was amazing. Don’t miss this. After a short briefing, we were shown our chalet. We stayed in C5 Timor. Built on stilts, the chalet came equipped with a balcony, a hammock, a private shower, 2 bunk beds, a queen-sized bed and a mattress on the floor. The place was clean, comfortable and breezy. It is not a 5 star hotel room. You give up air-conditioning, big screen TV, internet, bath tub and soft carpeting. What you get in return is a rustic chalet made with and surrounded by natural elements.
While we were there, students from a Singapore Polytechnic were also having their camp. We did not find the place to be overly noisy nor crowded as we were given a separate eating area.
The beach in Telunas is private, has very soft sand and is clean. The staff take the effort to clean the beach daily. If you walk to the far fringes of the beach, you will see some rubbish, but this is expected as the tides bring rubbish thrown from other islands. The water visibility was around 1.5 metres when we were there. Overall, it is a nice beach with some sea life. The kids loved the activities like swimming, catching crabs, fishing, hermit crab races, building sand castles etc.
Besides the beach, we also went kayaking and did the low rope course. Both were lots of fun, but do load up on mosquito repellent if you go into the jungle. On the beach and at the chalet, mosquitos are not an issue.
The food in Telunas is good and is served in abundance. My kids can be picky at times but we didn’t have any issues in Telunas. Our favorite was the sesame chicken and fish soup. I was looking forward to the famous banana crepes and on request, they made it on the last night. It was so-so but this is probably because the bananas weren’t in season or ripe enough. So I think it’s best to leave it to the cooks to decide what to cook.
Service in Telunas is excellent. Elsa was great with the kids, and on several occasions, swam with my youngest daughter for hours. She also recommended that we take our coffee with a type of spice and it tasted great (I forgot the name of the spice already). My daughters loved the fish soup and on request, the staff cooked it for us so we had the soup for a few days. Harry was always smiling as he served us during meal hours. During our kayaking trip, the current took us out so we were away for a while. Worried for our safety, they sent a boat out to look for us.
This was a surprise trip for my family in the sense that they knew we were going somewhere, but not knowing where exactly. Weeks before the trip, my kids kept asking me for clues and I had to give them a clue every day. Some of the conversations went something like this:
Children: “Are we taking an aeroplane?”
Children: “Har, I know lah, we are going to Malaysia.”
Children: “Is there a bathtub in the room?”
Dad: “No, no bathtub.”
Children: “Har, no bathtub?!! How about swimming pool?”
Dad: “No swimming pool”
Children: “Aiyo, so lousy. Is there an aircond in the room?”
Dad: “No, no aircond. But there’s a fan. And no TV too.”
Children: “Oh my God! This is a zero star hotel!”
At the end of the trip, Telunas was upgraded from zero stars to 5 stars.
For me, what is beautiful about the place is that it takes you away from the daily grind; work, emails, internet, phone calls, and lets you concentrate on spending time with family, surrounded by great service in a beautiful natural environment. We miss the place.
Chalets C1, C3, C5 faces the sunset.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.