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“Nice resort in a wonderful location, rather poor food” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Perhentian Island Resort

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Perhentian Island Resort
3.0 of 5 Resort   |   Pulau Perhentian Besar, Pulau Perhentian Besar 22200, Malaysia   |  
Hotel amenities
Brussels, Belgium
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Nice resort in a wonderful location, rather poor food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2011

The resort is composed by a number of small villas, many beachfront. The villas are fairly large, not brand new, but still OK. The location is magnificent. the white-sand beach is just in front of the resort and the water is turquoise blue. Unspoiled. Pity that food (usually, buffet) is rather poor. After one or two meals, we decided to have a walk across the wharf and eat in other resorts. All in all a nice place that could be easily improved. Since it is one of the most expensive resorts in this island, I think these small improvements should be done.

Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
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486 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    2.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (47)
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Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2011

This hotel is in a great location on a really beautiful beach with azure sparkling water.
As such it should be a treat to stay here.
We had 2 semi-suites on the beachfront Rooms 114 and 116. They were adequate, nothing better.
However those were the best bits.
None of the front office staff smiled much if at all, which in Malaysia was a first for us.
Food is barely edible - no real excuses, others on the island can do it - see my other review.
English is hardly spoken or understood by the front office staff (much worse than our other stops in Malaysia, where good English is quite common).
Attitude to resident requests was mixed. An extra bed was added to one room eventually and a mattress change was also done the next day (as the prvious one was so terrible) without too much prompting.
The swimming pool on the other hand was a subject of much obfuscation as to when it might be back in use (it looks to have been badly designed) as it was not working during the whole of our stay and I suspect also for much longer periods, due to rain!! (which does happen quite a lot in equatorial zones).
The hotel has free wi-Fi in the restauarant but completely failed to advise guests of its existence - you could only find out by spotting other users - presumably because they have an expensive pay to play internet room next to the lobby.
The snorkelling trips were overcrowded and we had to arrange something separate to get a worthwhile snorkel without 100 other folk in the water chasing a turtle at once (very disappointing and in truth not entirely the PIR boat at fault)
As the great beach was the main draw, the beach didn't disappoint and as a family we were very glad to have gone to the Perhentian Islands, but the Resort was poor, the pool was also a draw to my booking which you shouldn't rely on ..... and you wouldn't eat here in my opinion unless you were very hungry/desperate/in a hurry.
Overall it felt like the staff were going through the motions, certainly not empowered or likely to go the extra mile for guests.
Certainly, I won't stay at the PIR again.

Room Tip: Dont bother with Superior rooms are not in good spots. Some Deluxe Rooms (eg 238) on the beachfront
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2011 via mobile

Where to start? Check in was at 3pm, our room was not ready, so we were asked to come back at 4pm. An hour later still not ready, come back at 5. At 5, come back at 6pm etc etc. We were hot and tired having got a plane, taxi and boat to get here, had nowhere to unpack our suitcases, so couldn't even swim to cool off. We finally got in to our room at 7pm, relieved until we opened the door. This is what took four hours to clean? It was so dirty I was shocked. Clumps of the previous guests hairs in the bathroom, a pair of old shoes in the cupboard, and a sink and toilet so grimy it made a mockery of calling the room "deluxe"! It gets worse. We thought we'd unwind with a beer, but no alcohol on the resort. Ok, Muslim country, fair enough. Dinner. The worst food I've ever attempted to eat. So left that. Went to bed trying not to let day one ruin our holiday.
Day two, it gets worse. Our "deluxe" room is next to the pool, which is roped off with a VERY old sign saying cleaning in progress. The water is stagnant and full of frogs. Reading back over previous reviews we realise the pool has been like this for over a year. Doesn't matter, we've got the beautiful beach. After a day snorkelling (which was terrific) we return to our room at 7pm to find it hasn't been serviced. What did we expect? We tell the genuinely useless reception staff who tell us it will be cleaned while we go to Watercolours for a much nicer dinner with beer. 10pm we return to the room to find it still not cleaned. Back to reception, and at 11pm someone comes to do our room, replace the towels.
Day 3. We move the bedside swing lamp slightly and the whole thing falls off revealing a bulb with exposed wires. Obviously we know not to youth it, and as we are standing there talking about the exposed wires , the whole thing sparks, sending sparks flying on to the bed, and shorts the circuit. We tell useless reception, eventually a man comes and laughs telling us not to worry (at nearly getting electrocuted), then get out some tape and tapes the bulb back on to the lamp. We avoid the lamp for the rest of the holiday.
On our last day we were so relieved to be leaving, which is such a shame because the beach is lovely. The lack of hygiene, safety and helpfulness just kept ruining what was supposed to be a lovely trip. The snorkelling is fantastic, but do not expect clean, quality accommodation on this island. Tuna Bay resort loomed the best and we wished we'd stayed there. We met two girlswho fled Long Beach on the small island, who said the accommodation here at PIR was amazing compared to what they'd endured over there. So I guess there is worse. Don't expect hour meal to arrive within an hour in any of the restraunts, and don't expect much in terms of clean toilets. Just know what you are in for if you come here. Terrific diving, but you will live in squalor. Avoid PIR, even though it looks great on the outside, don't be fooled by the pictures. Inside it is a filthy disappointment. I would like to say our unpleasant stay was unique, but unfortunately other guests at PIR were also complaining, and desperately searching for alternative digs. I wish we'd read trip advisor BEFORE we went, as it seems our review of PIR was similar to many others. Should've gone to Redang!

  • Stayed July 2011
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
15 reviews 15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2011

Overall, this place was very overpriced. You are paying for the view and the wonderful beach but the rooms were not up to the value paid. We actually stayed in the nicer family rooms at the very end of the bay (furthest away from the jetty) which had a fantastic view and was fairly quiet, but the standard let the resort down;

The good:
Family room was a great size with a double and a single bed.
Nice restaurants nearby - a good 5 min walk over forest stairs (Watercolours, Mama's etc)
Clean sheets comfy beds.
White soft sand which is clean and pretty compared to Coral View (need shoes to walk there).

The bad:
General repairs needed; curtains hanging off ends, knobs missing on lights, no plug for bath though not enough water for one!
Sometimes no warm water, little water pressure.
No hairdryer, safe or phone to call reception.
Food was poor (take your own and lots of water too!)
Beach towels a long walk away.
General pathways and wooden steps in disrepair - some borderline dangerous.

The Ugly:
Power kept going out; sometimes 3-4 times a day and night and we had to reset ourselves!!
Housekeeping did a basic job - but glasses weren't cleaned since before our arrival YUK!
The snorkeling isn't bad but we have been coming to Perhentian Islands for years now and the coral is dying. Silt, too many people, boat traffic and debris have most likely causes this - next door shouldn't be called Coral View but perhaps Coral 'graveyard'. At one point the reef in front of PIR had 6 boats full of about 10-15 people all at once in the water on the same reef area. Sad to see this over-commercialism and decline of coral life.

Overall, I would recommend this resort for the beach and view, but for actual accommodation would recommend Tuna Bay for the same price bracket.

Room Tip: Ask for end rooms, bring your own food! High season is very busy.
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2011

This resort was so disappointing as it is supposedly one of the better ones on the island. We had to join the queue in reception of complaining guests waiting to check into their rooms at 6.30pm when check in was supposedly 3pm. What made it worse was you could see the housekeeping staff skiving at the end of the beach sitting under a palm tree!! Reception meekly kept lying to guests about when rooms would be ready which just made it worse. We personally had been told to come back hourly since 2pm.

Cleanliness... Well, we started in a 'Superior' room which was grotty, cobwebby and dirty.
So we upgraded to a 'Delux' which was smaller but by the sea, well they can't ruin that can they? However the room was no better although the zircon did work.

Food. The restaurant is terrible. We waited for over an hour for a sandwich amongst many other bored looking diners. It was underwhelming with cold fries and stale white bread.

We wished we had gone to the Tuna Bay instead.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2011 via mobile

To begin with let's say that this hotel is way way overpriced.
310 RM per night is a crazy amount of money for the service and quality you get there.
Our room was a total mess: smelly, full of insects and the balcony which could have been a nice place was terrible : no view, except for a dirty swamp that smelled tremendously bad...
The staff didn't seem to care about our disappointment which lead us to have to cancel 2 nights out of the 3 initially planed.
As for the manager, he wouldn't even show up to discuss the matter with us.
The Buffet is also overpriced with a total absence of fresh food or fish which is a shame in such an island.

Positive points: the beach is very nice!

For less money and better service prefer the Shari-La Hotel located in Kecil...

  • Stayed July 2011
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2011

We travelled as 2 families and rented 2 Semi Suites, and 2 Deluxe Rooms. I'm not sure where to start. The first thing we noticed was the lack of cleanliness, the rooms had apparently been readied for our arrival, but upon entering we found debris from the previous tenants, including the toothpaste and spit stained cup used for their toothbrushes in our bathroom, old towels, and the unswept floor covered in a small mound of sand. Perfect start. This was followed by our discovery that at just 13:00 in the afternoon the restaurant (the only one) had run out of burgers, so all that was available was a very poorly stocked buffet, or appetisers. I must say, the spring rolls were great, as were the French fries. As evening fell we ventured into the main restaurant for our evening meal. The food was absolutely awful, old gluey cups of boiled rice, weak watery soup, curries that only turned up after 12 reminders (and there were just a handful of people in this empty unkempt poorly manned feeding hole), staff that were barely there, and when they were you wished they weren't. Our night wasn't much better, power cuts throughout the night (cost saving initiative??) and the rattle and scratch or rats in the rafters meant none of rested well. Morning came and we went to breakfast, constant power cuts the whole day before extended right through the night so it was hot and sticky, this meant that we had run out of patience so when the power cuts interrupted breakfast and rendered the toaster inoperable we decided that we had had enough, and changed our allegiance to the nearby Coral View resort (lunch was fantastic there). We then decided to relax on the beach, but couldn't because the staff had dumped 200 garbage bags of old rotting food in the middle of the beach, it remained there for 5 hours before a boat took it all away (and only because I complained bitterly to the front desk). I simply cannot recommend this resort to anyone, it's just awful. By the way, the resort is manned solely by junior staff, there is no Duty Manager. Did I miss anything? Aha! Towels! What towels? Exactly.

Room Tip: Ensure that the room is kept clean and doors shut, monkeys and rats will spoil your day.
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Perhentian Island Resort

Address: Pulau Perhentian Besar, Pulau Perhentian Besar 22200, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Terengganu > Pulau Perhentian Besar
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 8 Hotels in Pulau Perhentian Besar
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Perhentian Island Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 108
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Also Known As:
Perhentian Island Hotel Pulau Perhentian Besar
Perhentian Island Pulau Besar

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