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“Paradise! You must stay here” 5 of 5 stars
Review of JapaMala Resort - By Samadhi

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JapaMala Resort - By Samadhi
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Kampung Lanting, Tioman Island, Pulau Tioman 26800, Malaysia   |  
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Hotel amenities
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Luxe for Less
Ranked #2 of 17 Hotels in Pulau Tioman
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Paradise! You must stay here”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2008

Absolutely loved this place. Nicest bungalow style accommodation I've ever stayed in with great interiors and attention to detail. Great privacy with all bungalows and lovely terraces, we stayed both in the plunge pool villa and a sea view villa, both were fantastic. Loved the outdoor showers! Food in the Asian restaurant was also fantastic, with a really good selection and not too overly priced. We didn't get to eat much in the pontoon restaurant as it was being worked on, but it's a great place for a sundowner. The staff were lovely, attentive but low-key and very friendly. We had some lovely massages and although the beach is small there aren't that many people that can stay in the resort at one time so it was fine. They have lovely cabana's if you want some shade. The pool didn't seem that clean but we preferred to sit on the beach anyway.
We could have gone on a trip somewhere but we were only there for 5 days and just enjoyed chilling out and going nowhere! Obviously not much to do in the evenings but I guess that's the point The DVD service is a great idea. The beach is a bit corally, especially when tide is low but this didn't bother us at all. Would go back tomorrow!

  • Liked — Bungalows with dreamy views
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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374 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (74)
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English first
Singapore, Singapore
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2008

Visited the resort on mid January. We're quite lucky because the monsoon was almost over. The sky and water 're clear and blue. We stayed at seacliff chalet. Thought of moving to treetop chalet to enjoy different experience. But cancelled the plan because we can't bare to leave our seacliff room.

Our room is superb. It even better than the photos from their website. And the view.. really breath-taking. We don’t even have to go to balcony to enjoy the blue sky and the turquoise-deep blue sea. Just lay down on the bed, and you have the best view of South China sea! And at night, you can enjoy the moon reflection. very stunning!

The staff're all so nice. They offered the excellent service. The food was great, too, with a reasonable price. We loved the spagetthi and pizza. Also the monsoon drink, very refreshing after you spend the whole day snorkeling and kayaking. Mandi-mandi restaurant is the best place for lazying and feel the breeze.

It's too bad we didn't go for the spa because of my pregnancy. But surely will come back again for that :)

  • Liked — the view
  • Disliked — the stair :)
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Helsinki
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 29, 2008

We were greeted at the "airport" by staff and whisked to the resort by speedboat when we arrived early Feb. The resort is a paradise, but in a rustic and natural way. It really has been build to accommodate the nature and the only visible things from the sea were the reception and the Seacliff chalets, in which we also stayed in. And which I would definitely recommend and also thank the earlier reviewers that did the same. The view is outstanding and the privacy guaranteed - we stayed in chalet no 15, which is located on the side and to our opinion had the most privacy. Some of the villas are really situated just behind the public toilets as described here as well - not so romantic.

The service was really friendly throughout the stay and spa treatments heavenly (and reasonably priced - from around 100 to 300 MYR each). We also went fishing one day and hiked around the "jungle" a bit - both hosted by Vicah. The rest of our five night stay we spend enjoying in our private beach on the other side of the pier. Definitely worth checking out.

The resort was fully booked and when we arrived there were also some children but we really did not see or hear anyone else. The food in both restaurants was nice and with me being pregnant and having some crazy cravings did not cause any problems, I got what I wanted each day. For which I am really grateful, as there are no shops nearby. The food and drinks were, in our opinion, fairly priced - I think our bill for the five days worth of food and drinks came up to around 1500 MYR. And this does include quite a few Tigers consumed by my dear husband.

The only thing I would like to point out is that either the resort only has a few snorkeling kits available, or the other guests reserved and kept them in their own rooms, as we were not able to find more than one kit (or zero) each day. So be prepared to wake up early to reserve your own. Apart from this, I cannot really find anything to complain about. Except the ants in our room, but then again, if staying close to the nature, don't come expecting city conditions.

  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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London
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2007

My husband and I stayed at the Japamala for a week in October as a sort of "week of relaxing and getting away from it all" before heading to London to live. I am SOOOO pleased that we stayed here and not anywhere else.

Japamala is quite simply superb. The service from the people working there was friendly, helpful and extremely efficient. Quite simply, the best service I have ever encountered at a hotel (and as lawyers my husband and I have stayed in many city 5* hotels).

Fantastic value for money, and with the airport close by it is very easy to get to Pulau Tioman from Singapore (which is what we did). Absolutely idyllic. Wonderful to be so unbelievably secluded. We stayed in a Sea Cliff Villa - it is worth the extra to wake up to those views every morning, un-be-liev-able.

The other bonus is this: apparently Japamala were booked solid when we were there, but I would never have known it. The villas are spread out and hidden from each other, so there was never edver a feeling of "falling over" each other. There were children and even babies there that i never really saw or heard (a bonus if you like peace and quiet). Plenty of activities, more hard-core walking then you could ever possibly wish for, scuba diving is the most pleasant I have ever experienced, and of course fantastic snorkelling straight off the beach.

My compliments, Japamala.

  • Liked — The villas and the service.
  • Disliked — The walk up the cliff to the villa :-)
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2007

Where do I start getting to the resort is a bit of fun after landing at the airport, if you don’t like flying like myself, this is not much fun. Quiet a steep and quick decline. Then off in a speedboat as the hotel is only accessed by water. This is nice as you get to take in more of the island.

We spent the first few days of December at the Japamala resort and had a wonderful time. This really is a place to relax and unwind. We had been on a business trip in Singapore and this was the perfect getaway to top up the tan and recharge the batteries before returning to home.

The huts are really nice we stayed in a Sarong Villa what are of good size and very secluded. Wish I had paid more to have it with a plunge pool. Also ask when book to have one higher up as our villa was at ground level to add to the experience. What was a nice touch was when checking in they ask you for secent to be put in an oil burner at turn down. So when arriving back in the evening the rooms is lit by candle light with a nice smell of jasmine.

Overall the complex is very small, but with only 3 couple on the Island including us you barley see anyone what actually very nice and adds to the experience. The food is also very good and well priced, I ordered catch of the day what was a sea bass with vegetables and rice and came to about £7. My fiancée ordered lobster pasta and got a whole lobster with pasta beside not quiet how we expected.

We also paid to get 6 hours worth of massages that came to £100 what we thought was quiet reasonable and the setting at sunset is worth it alone.

Would I go back defiantly, the staff are friendly, hotel clean, food amazing and well priced and the weather perfect, but a little windy.

The only down side is there is not much to-do when you get there, not a problem for us but not everyone’s thing.

  • Liked — The views out the bedroom and living in a hut.
  • Disliked — Bed not as comfortable as would like.
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
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Dubai
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2007

Hi, I'm Jojo from the UK but currently living in Dubai. My husband and I with our children had just returned from a fantastic holiday at the Japamala Resort in Tioman Island, Malaysia. We stayed for 8 nights in the plunge pool villa and I must tell you, it's the most exotic place and friendliest people we've ever experienced here in Asia. We love the double-storey room as it is very spacious, both the kids slept downstairs at the TV area and we all enjoyed the jacuzzi pool on our own sun deck.

The weather was not particularly good as it rained quite alot but fortunately we had that one chance one afternoon to go for a jungle adventure at the waterfalls. It was wonderful! The other days we snorkeled around at the resort, there's a beautiful and very colorful little reef just off the beach and that was very convenient for us. It's nice that we were able to use the masks and fins for free for as many times as we want.

And the meals, they were absolutely terrific every time! Being so isolated from other places, it's great that the resort offer their guests (predominantly Europeans) varied choices in the menus. The Thai and Indochinese food at the Tamarind restaurant by the beach is oh my god, SO DELICIOUS! And we ere all equally bowled over by the Italian food at the jetty restaurant. Great, great food. The kids loved their pizzas and the idea that they 'can look at fish' while they ate.

This resort is a wonderful place with really wonderful service. All the staff are helpful, polite and attentive yet unobtrusive , they tended to all our whims with admirable professionalism. We ran out of diapers and the island's town didnt have the right size so Aruni the resort manager helped us arrange for diapers to come all the way from mainland with no charge!

I would highly reccommend this resort to anyone.
We'll definitely go back again!

  • Liked — the surrounding nature
  • Disliked — no telephone access in the room and no mobile network coverage
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
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Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
1 review
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2007

For travelling as a student on a gap year this wasn't half bad!!
As a special treat, my mum booked me and my boyfriend two nights here - we flew up from Singapore, with Berjaya Air and stayed in a Jungle Sarang villa.
There was someone waiting for us on arrival at the airport, and the speedboat ride to the resort was very pleasant in itself - it was a lovely way to view a bit of the island. From the moment we arrived at the resort and were asked what scented oil we wanted burning in the evenings, we knew it was going to be something special! The service couldn't have been more personal or attentive - we would leave for breakfast or dinner, and on our return, beds would be made, candles lit, sunbeds laid out etc. However, the staff were polite and unobtrusive, and with the small number of guests, it was like having your own personal resort.
The room was spacious and well-equipped with separately defined areas. The fan and air-conditioning both worked extremely well, so we were never uncomfortable temperature-wise! The large double bed was also very comfortable and of an evening we lounged on the smaller sofa/bed taking full advantage of their DVD library! The bathroom and shower room were both clean and generous in size. I particularly liked the fact that all the surfaces were set with pebbles, and the little beauty products provided were a luxurious touch! There was also a well-stocked minibar and tea and coffee-making facilities. The balcony and plunge pool area were also lovely, nicely shaded with comfortable sunbeds. My boyfriend particularly liked that the villa backed onto jungle - it was a bit like experiencing it in comfort without all the associated horrors!!
Although a villa with a sea-view was not available, this did not detract from the stay at all. Each villa is carefully positioned and has it's own individual appeal.
The whole resort was very well appointed - it was well-kept and the constant maintenance was apparent yet unobtrusive. The pool area was large enough for the number of guests in the resort, and whilst not enormous, this was not an issue with the beach at our doorstep!
There were two places to eat, the Tamarind Terrace serves mainly Asian-fusion food, and the cafe at the end of the pier has mainly seafood and pasta. We ate at both places and thoroughly enjoyed all our meals! Portions were generous, the quality of the food was excellent and there was not a long wait after ordering. Judging by the bill my mother got at the end of our stay, it was surprisingly good value for money - although it didn't seem so at the time, because I wasn't familiar with the pound-ringgit exchange rate!! (which is about 1:7) All our meals over the three days and two nights, and a LOT of food from the minibar (although no alcohol as we don't drink), came to a grand total of about £85. We both particularly enjoyed eating on the pier, watching the sunset and enjoying the refreshing breeze!
We took advantage of the snorkelling equipment that was freely available, and should we have wished to go kayaking, equipment was also on hand. We didn't have any of the spa treatments or trips, but just enjoyed each other's company in such a gorgeous setting. Certainly a wonderful place for a romantic getaway.

  • Liked — Beautiful location, amazing service!
  • Disliked — The mosquitos!
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about JapaMala Resort - By Samadhi

Address: Kampung Lanting, Tioman Island, Pulau Tioman 26800, Malaysia
Phone Number:
Location: Malaysia > Pahang > Rompin District > Pulau Tioman
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Pulau Tioman
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Pulau Tioman
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — JapaMala Resort - By Samadhi 4.5*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
JapaMala is Tioman Island’s only boutique resort, and one-of-a-kind in Malaysia. This small and exclusive resort of 13 rooms is hidden amidst 11 acres of lush tropical rainforest. A one-village-one-resort property, JapaMala has its own private and quiet beach. While some charming Malay village-style villas and chalets dot the jungle and beachfront, others nestle in the most breath-taking spots.Best described as an ‘eco-luxe’ resort, JapaMala transcends the experience of living close to nature by redefining it with a touch of luxury. Designed by natural streams, steep cliffs, towering boulders and where no trees are felled, the entire resort borrows from nature its elements to offer an exceptional sense of paradise, freedom from the real world. While serious relaxation is an elusive commodity for many, one can truly succumb to the healing effects JapaMala imparts through its holistic blend of sumptuous gourmet treats, intimacy between man and nature, unique spa experiences and truly unprecedented hospitality. Many say JapaMala is not just a place, but a state of mind. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Japamala Hotel Pulau Tioman
Japamala Resort
Japamala Pulau Tioman

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