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“good all the way !” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Perhentian Tuna Bay Island Resort

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Perhentian Tuna Bay Island Resort
| Perhentian Island, Pulau Perhentian Besar 22300, Malaysia   |  
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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“good all the way !”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2013

This is not a 5 star resort and it does not pretend to be. Rooms are 3 star in size, layout and decor, but everything works ! And that includes enough lighting to read at night, while many so called 5 star hotels don't do this properly. Black out curtains also work well and you can sleep during the day. There is No TV in the room, but if you have spent the whole day out, you will sleep early anyway ! All in all room is adequate.
Restaurant is Ok and food is generally good, plentiful and not overpriced. Loved the seafood BBQ at night, fresh eggs and fresh waffles in the morning. They have beer available and will charge you RM 20 for corkage if you bring your own wine. Off course, you can also drink it on the beach while watching sunset ! Much better than other Perhentian resorts that ban alcohollic drinks outright.
Airport pick up was on time, boat transfer was on time and seamless. So yes, a good experience on the hotel side.
The beach at Tuna Bay is good and partially shaded by mature coconut trees - nice after a few hours of sun. The house reef is also very good for snorkelers and safe enough for kids and toddlers playing in the sand. You can walk from Tuna Bay to Coral View and Perhentian Island Resort (15 min forest & beach walk), and find some small restaurants on the way. From Perhentian Island resort you can trek across the island to Pantai Dalam and back to Tuna Bay in about 1 hour; which makes for a nice morning or late afternoon walk.
So all in all a very good experience. Had a package for 2 days and a la carte for 2 days. Package includes some snorkeling trips which were excellent. A la carte gives you more freedom in meals. But both are good.

Room Tip: only a few beach view rooms available, so book early. But rooms in the back are not bad either.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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661 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (91)
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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013

Lovely place where we spent 4 nights with friends - so peaceful, friendly and clean. Prices are reasonable and the islands are just stunning. Snorkeling and see turtles are a must. The food is awesome and not too pricey - at the resort restaurant or at the "Coconut" place.

Room Tip: Garden or sea side are similar - we stayed in Garden
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
West Midlands, UK
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013

The resort taxi was waiting for us at the airport and the driver gave an interesting and informative journey to the ferry office. The transfer from the office to the jetty was very quick, a few minutes walk and we had waited less than 10 minutes. It all went without hitch. A fast boat ride to the island but we did not experience the rough ride nor getting wet, reported by some other reviewers. However, be aware that on arrival at Tuna Bay, the jetty may finish just short of the beach, so be prepared to get your feet wet.

Check in was speedy and smooth and even though we had arrived mid morning it wasn't long before our room was ready for us - beach view chalet no 7.

The room, although fairly basic, was extremely clean with an excellent beach view, comfortable and had a very good hot electric shower. Bottled water was put in the room every day by the room maid and soap and shampoo was also provided. The AC worked well and was not noisy.

The beach was extremely clean, men were sweeping it early morning before guests starting choosing their sunbeds. The sunbeds, however, were exceptionally hard and needed some kind of mattress on them. It wasn't until the end of our holiday that we discovered a little shop nearby where lilos could be bought for this purpose.

The very healthy house reef was a few steps from the waters edge and afforded excellent snorkelling. There were some sea ants/jellies but snorkelling vests/suits helped.

TBR served a good breakfast with reasonable choice and delicious omelettes. Evening meals were also good with plenty of choice, however we preferred to eat out either at Coconut Hut or the beach cafe towards the stone jetty. The beach cafe served delicious ice cold fresh fruit drinks and chicken and rice with coconut sauce for under 50MYR for two people.

We made 2 very reasonably priced snorkelling trips from TBR, both visited 3 sites each time and gave some good guided snorkelling and the chance to get up close to turtles.

I visited Universal Divers alongside TBR and spoke to Charlotte who was very friendly and helpful and gave lots of useful information and advice. The prices at this dive shop looked very good, their set up including wall maps/charts of dive sites, rinsing tanks, and gear storage looked very professional and the whole outfit looked to be very well run with excellent boats. (Sadly I wasn't able to dive due to health problems)

WIFI was available in the restaurant and reception at TBR but not in the room.

We had expected the rooms behind those on the beachfront to back immediately onto jungle, but were suprised to find an attractively laid out area - almost courtyard style - with the rest of the accommodation.

Our return trip to the airport went as smoothly as our arrival and even though we were in a smaller boat from the island, the passage was still not terribly bumpy.

We would certainly recommend TBR if you are not seeking large and sophisticated.

Room Tip: Room No 7 - Beachfront/ocean view, located at far end from bar/restaurant
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2013 via mobile

Nestled in the Perenthians islands which are probably one of the most beautiful places around thanks to gorgeous beaches and easy access to Coral and sea life, the TIR hotel is a great choice for people seeking convenient access to what the islands have to offer. It is also great for familly with children because you can organize your activities very easily from here (+ transfer to and from the island is hassle free... the hotel organize it all for a fee of course). Also the quality of the restaurant is well above the standard of similar island resorts: bbq in the evening, malay, pan asian and western food available all day, even nespresso available (for a fee) and delicious cocktails and fruit juices! A delight... However, the hotel is expensive for the quality of service and the standard of the room. They keep everything working... without any charm or willingess to keep the place as beautiful as it should be. This is something you expect at that price! Finally, the beach is beautiful -of course this is the Perenthians- but it is also very busy and not well maintained wish rubbish here and there... a sad indolent, "let down" feeling that you may have seen elsewhere if you had a chance to travel around the area... a real shame!

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Singapore, Singapore
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2013

We were in Tuna Bay this April 2013 for 3 nights with a family of 3 kids (ages 5, 6 and 9), and had a very good time here.

Cabins are very comfortable, clean, with good beds, towels and linnen changed every day, aircon, fan, small "patio" and sea or garden view. And even though we had a cabin next to the restaurant, cabins are sufficiently soundproof for our kids to fall asleep without any problems. Two cabins can be connected, making it a perfect option for families with small kids. Beach and restaurant are literally max 50m away.

Restaurant is not necessarily cheap, but really good, and professionally/efficiently run. Wide choice of western, asian, bbq, fish, meat, veg. Bbq'd snapper fillet or tiger prawns, and the satay and curry were our favorites. Beef burger and fries were so-so. Breakfast simple, yet adequate, with an egg "station", toast, pancake, salad, cereal.

Beach is very nice, also for kids: no currents, no sand flies (just cple of mosquitos in the room), though make sure they wear shoes as we have seen a stone fish couple of metres out in the sea (!), and we heard someone actually got stung couple of days earlier. House reef starts just 4 metres from beach and is great..! Abundance of fish of all sorts, and also turtles; kids and ourselves spent hours snorkeling here (fins not allowed). Also, there are two floating "pontoons" out in the sea, which were highly popular with our kids as well. Kids can roam around the "resort", build sandcastles, play ball (there's a volleyball net) etc while mum and dad read a book ;-)

Wifi available and free, though only in the restaurant and sometimes patchy.

Staff is friendly and helpful. Guests mainly Western when we were there, probably because the resort is on the radar of western travel agencies.

Activities:
We made two snorkeling trips, throughTuna Bay resort who have a 10am and 2pm schedule every day. First one lasted two hours, to 3 locations: Shark point, Turtle beach and another. 40myr pp, kids half price. We did indeed see black tip reef sharks, turtles and just in general beautiful and abundant fish and coral. Second trip to "Rawa" (60myr pp, kids half price), three very small uninhabited islands, fantastic nature & snorkeling, saw sharks, huge triggerfish, turtles, humphead wrasse etc etc. Every time ca 30mins per location, but no rush. Life jackets and masks are on board. All snorkeling is from the boat. Our kids loved it, as they are strong swimmers and not afraid to swim out to the deep.

"Turtle Beach" is where one can see large turtles grazing at the bottom. Magnificent animals, but site is very crowded with small boats and snorkelers chasing turtles, "a bit" too commercial - not unlike the dolphin spotting circus near Lovina in Bali.

There are two dive centres, a small shop and another, simpler, restaurant, next door. One can take taxi-boats from the Tuna Bay jetty.

After Perhentian we went to Kalong resort on Redang. Kalong resort arranged a boat, which picked us up at the jetty of Tuna Bay resort. Tuna Bay staff can also arrange this, though their price was much higher..

Negatives: Not many, except:
- don't expect a quiet and secluded place, such as for example Sea Gipsy on Sebu, or Kalong Resort on Redang. The Tuna Bay jetty is quite busy with small boats coming and going (some noise and diesel fumes). Also, to the left and right of Tuna Bay are other resorts, so it can get busy. Secluded places we saw from the boat on the way in on Perhentian Kecil on the south/west coast.
- price of stay and restaurant: not cheap
- the boatride in: too many people and too much luggage cramped onto a small boat, and a boat driver who seemed to be driving like a madman. Not comfortable

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Hong Kong
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

We stayed in two connecting garden rooms. The rooms were clean and well equipt with all you need for a beach holiday. Aircon and fans were good and plenty of hot water.

The beach at Tuna Bay is lovely, a little bit of coral on the beach but not enough to be painful. The sea is warm and clean and the house reef only 5 to 10 meters from shore provides great snorkeling and good place to complete OW confined dives. We travelled with 2 kids 11 and 12 and as they both dive there was plenty to do. I do think they might have been bored after a few days if they wern't diving.

The food was good and fresh - nothing amazing but good solid food with enough options to provide variety. The breakfast was fairly average. Service was a bit hit and miss in the restaurant but seemed to get better (or we relaxed) towards the end of the holiday.

We had Tuna bay transfer us to and from Kota Bharu airport and the transfers both ways were efficient and quick. Not the cheapest option but it was definately worth the cost in peace of mind.
We dived with Seahorse divers - they were great and highly recommended for Open Water and Fun Dives.

Room Tip: Beach front rooms would be nice but they are right on the beach with little privacy. All rooms are...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2013

The Perhentian Islands are stunning, a real tropical paradise. Tuna Bay is ideally situated on Besar, the most attractive of the two islands, and has a great reef on its door step and the best beach I've ever seen (Turtle Beach) a short water taxi ride away. The snorkelling is amazing - on our first day we swam with Sharks, Sting Rays, a Turtle and hundreds of amazing tropical fish.

We found the standard of food at Tuna Bay mixed. Breakfast was rubbish and our first evening meal I'm sure the naan bread was from a packet. However, the subsequent evening meals were very good. The claypot prawns, beef in milk, snapper fillet, and coconut cereal tiger prawns were all exceptional.

Our room was spacious, clean and had a good balcony where you can watch the sun set each evening. However, the rooms are basic for the price (£100 plus a night).

On a negative point, we found the customer service to be quite poor. We arrived at the office in Kuala Besut at 9am and from then until the point we could get into our room 1.30pm no one gave us any information. The Perhentians are such an amazing place, they should be telling you how to get the best of your stay. We found it very frustrating that we had to enquire and then probe further to get any information. Also we were told we couldn't go snorkelling as there wasn't enough people going even though it says a minimum of 2, which there was? Thankfully, we ended up going as we picked up 2 more people from another hotel. All this plus a couple of average meals all happened on the 1st day so I think we got off on a bad foot and expected a lot more for our 430 ringgit a night

I absolutely loved our stay so although I've mentioned some negatives they cannot detract from what was an amazing experience and I think Tuna Bay is a safe bet if you're a couple or have kids

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Perhentian Tuna Bay Island Resort

Address: | Perhentian Island, Pulau Perhentian Besar 22300, Malaysia
Phone Number:
Location: Malaysia > Terengganu > Pulau Perhentian Besar
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Spa
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 Hotels in Pulau Perhentian Besar
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 44
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Perhentian Tuna Bay Island Resort is located on the south west coast of Pulau Perhentian Besar (Big Island), a quiet, untouched part of the island surrounded by tropical jungle, on a broad expanse of powdery white sand. The resort commands a breathtaking view of Pulau Perhentian Kecil (Small Island) and the South China Sea, right on your doorstep. All chalets are just a minute's walk from the beach and are tastefully built with wooden furnish. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Perhentian Tuna Bay Island Hotel Pulau Perhentian Besar

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