The thing about Bubbles is the location. It is absolutely stunning, a really wonderful white sand beach, located on the furthest populated point on Perhentian Besar. The rooms do not have a sea view, but are right next to the beach. There is a lovely coldwater creek running into the sea, and steep hillsides covered in dense jungle which surround the cove. It is literally like a scene from a Bounty Bar ad, and in my opinion the best beach on the Perhentians. There are hammocks beach front where you can just relax and let your troubles drift away.
The rooms are a nice size, and have good air conditioning, the beds are absolutely huge, and the hotel owner said that she had to have the bed sheets made up especially in order to accommodate the bests. There's king-sized beds, but these are Emperor-sized!
Bubbles is the most remote accommodation on the island. It is very laid back, so please don't go there if you want any nightlife! The water taxi's to Bubbles from any of the main 'strips' on the island such as Coral View or Abduls costs 25 Ringits, which is around £5 per person, but doubles after 7pm. And this is where the problem begins........
The food at Bubbles really isn't great. The breakfast is actually fantastic, and the best breakfast I had whilst in Malaysia. Sadly, lunch and dinner were way off the mark. We ate from the A La Carte menu, but the food was around a 3rd more expensive than the rest of the island, (captive audience), and not great quaility. One day I had a beef stir-fry that was completely inedible as the meat was so tough and gristly; a lot of the sauces were very sweet and not very nice. We went to Abdul's for a BBQ one night, got the night taxi back, and ended up paying £20 (100 RM) just to get back to Bubbles, so eating elsewhere was not an option after 7pm.
Then there was the diving. We only took 1 dive with Bubbles, and maybe we caught them on a bad day. I think that Bubbles may be a victim of it's own success; there is only 1 Diving Instructor on the Perhentians that speaks Mandarin, and he is based in Bubbles. This means that the resort is extremely popular with Chinese divers, who come to the resort in large groups. On our first dive there were 14 people diving including 2 Dive Masters. The group was supposed to be split into 2, but it was really just a melee, and there were too many divers for everyone to be kept an eye on properly. We saw 1 diver catch a clown fish in his hand, snatch it away from the anemone, and grasp it whilst is wriggled for it's life in it's hands. I'm sure that if the Dive Master had seen this he would have interveined, but there was so many divers it was impossible to control the group. Also, as soon as I had descended, some of my regulator mouthpiece broke off in my mouth where the previous diver had bitten through it, so the equiptment was not checked as well as it could have been. I was forced to make the whole dive on my alternate air supply octopus. Finally, the boat actually left without my partner and I, because the group was so large, they hadn't done a head count in, and we were left waving for the boat to come back, stuck on the beach. We did not have anyone go through our dive afterwards and debrief us, we could not fill our logbooks in and had to ask several times for help getting them done for the 1 dive we took, at the end of our stay. I have dived with many establishments before and I was not comfortable with the set up.
The following day we were told by a couple who had been out that day diving with Bubbles that their Dive Master had suffered some kind of panic attack under water, and the couple had to help him to the surface as he had gone rigid.
We made the decision to pay for water taxis and dive with Watercolours next to Coral View. They only take groups of 4 maximum, and had wonderful 20 minute debriefings going through all the aquatic life we had encountered, over french toast and a cup of tea. They were a fantastic dive outfit, highly recommended.
So, to summarise, Bubbles is an absolute paradise, and a great place to stay for a couple of nights away, (just take a load of biscuits!) However, I would recommend that if you like to dive in small groups, use Bubbles as your base but dive with Watercolours.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A eco-friendly, family friendly resort location on it's own beach. Running an Turtle and Reef conservation project on site to spread awareness about the sea turtles and their environment ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Bubbles Dive Centre Hotel Pulau Perhentian Besar