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“Dirty, Poorly Maintained, Surrounded by Expensive Eats” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Shari-La Island Resort

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Shari-La Island Resort
Coral Bay, Perhentian Island, Pulau Perhentian Kecil 20300, Malaysia   |  
Hotel amenities
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Dirty, Poorly Maintained, Surrounded by Expensive Eats”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2013

- Dirty, in its entirety. Very dingy reception area with old sofas. Room had a lot of space, but with dusty exteriors and toilet with broken utilities.

- We asked for a water heater and hairdryer when calling the reception from our room. The reception said they didn't have either. We later found a hairdryer near the dressing table.

- A weird element: there's a circle-shaped shop ran by an old Indian man, closer to the trail leading to Long Beach. He tried to sell us a large bottle of 100 Plus for RM17 (near quadruple the store-price, unbelievable even for "island price"). He lowered it (to RM7) when he found out we were locals. This was kind of malicious and nasty, I imagine a lot of foreign tourists would happily pay these prices thinking they were normal.

- Eateries surrounding the hotel have some sort of con. A restaurant near the hotel offers RM25 'BBQ Buffet' for dinner, where you receive ONE piece of BBQ poultry next to a buffet of salads and fruits. A piece of raw chicken breast might cost you RM4-RM6 in a typical supermarket. Just mull over the kind of margin they get from this sort of exploitation.

- The dive spots near the island are just decent. There are plenty of nicer spots offered around Malaysia. But without diving, I'm not sure what I'd do on this island/resort. Everything is grossly overpriced (I've been to many other local islands) and on the other side (Long Beach), its a scene that has molded itself to serve rowdy foreign backpackers. Loud music, expensive booze, a crazy "fire show". Which is a shame, because the beach is truly a wonderful sight. I saw a few locals travelling with family and young kids, and it was sad to see how alienating Long Beach was to them at night. They simply stood quietly at the fringes of the "fire show", feeling like outsiders in their own country.

- A plus point for this resort is that breakfast runs quite late.So if you opt to go for a morning dive (typically at 8 or 830AM), there'll be the breakfast buffet for your hungry tummy to run to after.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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295 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (37)
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Gothenburg, Sweden
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2013

We were four and booked quad room. Arrived around 9am to the island and luckily there was a quad room available so we get to check-in directly. As a hotel guest, we paid MYR20 for breakfast, otherwise breakfast buffét is included in your room. You did get your bags carried on your way to your room :-) Super.

Our villa had a big front patio and a balcony at the back. We thought that the room was nicely designed and we were happy with our stay there. If you want to have the room cleaned, hang the sign that says "Clean the room" or something like this. Or inform the reception. We didn´t get the sign during check-in and wondered if the housekeeping were somehow hoping to not be called.

Yes, the 24/7 electricity was a luxury and during the day, we love coming back to the room now and then to enjoy the air conditioner ;-) Or the fan.

Buffet dinner was not so impressive, quite pricey for the choices that they offered. Go somewhere else instead. Overall, we are very satisfied with our stay and hope to come here again next time.

Room Tip: Ask for the rooms closer to reception, unless you like to walk ;-)
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2013

-On Diving

I had my period on the first day I went *DAMN IT!* so eventually I only managed to dive two times instead of seven as we planned. My dive buddy went for 4 dives before she started falling sick too. It was raining on almost every night when we were there (End of July).

Visibility was horrible due to stormy weather
Overcrowded dive sites with easily 30 divers under the ocean on site
Many corals and fishes, could have been beautiful places to dive apart from the less than 3M visibility
Many Triggerfishes to pace up your diving :(

-On Food
Ample of restaurants along the beach but all menus are repetitive and limited
Very pricey

-On Accommodation (Shari-La Resort)
A comfortable stay at Shari-La Resort, was satisfied that the room was clean
Overheard some other tourists complaining about bed bugs and stolen items *warning*
The solar-powered water heater is not reliable, ended up bathing in cold water a few times!

-On Island
Overly and extremely commercialized, just a bunch of people lucky enough to get permissions to run businesses on the islands to shake money off you.
No local and native cultures nor warmth, everyone just treats you as a money tree.
Poor sanitization and hygiene
The island is not well-maintained, most businesses are small without any proper planning for long term

-How To Get There
FROM KL : Purchase Mahligai Express @ RM50 per trip to Kuala Besut
At the jetty, there are plenty of boat services available @ RM35 per trip


Overall, it was a disappointing trip for me. I am not sure if I would still return here as I haven’t explored the Besar yet… Well, who knows?

How about you? Have you been to Pulau Perhentian? Have I missed out anything cool? Share with me!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Faro, Portugal
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2013

Not a good choice but it could be a little different if someone responsible had another attitude regarding the cleanup and hygiene of the hotel, in general.
It is unacceptable for a hotel like Shari-La has no daily room cleaning service and even to change a towel it was necessary to ask for it...
But to complicate this task, what about a phone whose connection cable not turn anywhere ? And, by the way, what about a refrigerator that just turns on the light but makes no cold at all ?
Is that and something else, like a decoration with a very dubious taste, which you can find in the some standard and deluxe rooms of the Shari-la hotel.
In short: If you want to be housed in Perhentian Kecil Island, pick somewhere else, preferably in Long Beach, that has a real spectacular beach, not the rocks beaches facing Shari-La
The Perhentian Islands are a fabulous place to be, but our lodgment`s option in Shari-La hotel almost ruin our visit.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, California
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2013

I walked around the Island of Kecil.. well, almost all the way around, and I have to say, the Shari-La is one of the best resorts there is here. Course, I also saw one being built that looks like it's going to be crazy awesome!!

24 hour electricity. Air Conditioning. And you're own little oasis. Awesome sauce. The bed was decent. The TV fine. The only thing that bugged me was the service and the bathroom/shower combination which seems to be theme in Malaysia. Oh and the internet didn't work in our room.

Checking in was a pain because we arrived early. Our room wasn't ready and they did offer us a welcome drink (tropical punch of some sort). They walked us to our room, which was nice. They have their own private beach which is pretty freaking incredible!

Checking out was a nightmare. Incredibly understaffed and it took nearly 20 minutes standing in line.

It's an above average place and it's got an above average beach (be mindful of the corral). I enjoyed my stay and would return for sure.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2013

I stayed 2 nights in a standard room. First time i survey about this hotel. Not like the room type. Its look scary to me. Once i get there, i did like the room. There is enough closet space, bed is good and bathroom in clean. The rooms are small houses scattered in the woods and so makes no visual impact, yet polished wood interior. By the sea and in an elevated location is across the beach. Is the hotel with more amenities Coral bay beach island located in Perhentian Kecil

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013

We took at 3D2N package from Matta Fair for RM375 inclusive of 2B,2L,2D and 1 snorkelling trip inclusive of snorkelling gear and fins. For additional snorkelling trip, they charge RM25 per pax. The rooms we have were basic - Queen size bed, air con, TV with Astro channels, Ceiling fan and hot shower. They do not provide tea making facilities in the room. The location of the resort is quite big, and our rooms were located quite in but there is 24 hour small convenience store in the resort for guests. Buffet meals were limited spread - 1 seafood, 2 meat, 1 vege, 1 salad bar, fresh local fruits, soup, coffee, tea and cold cordial. We noticed part of the breakfast spread was left over from dinner dishes. For the price we pay it was ok. We top up for the 5 hour snorkelling trip, and the resort was nice to prepare us packed lunches, but our boatman was abit unfriendly and not accomodating. The resort prepared the fins for us to use but the boatman didnt know till we arrive the 1st stop which was not too far and when we complain he keep saying its not his fault n he is not going back. We were upset about the matter. But we proceed on with the snorkelling in 5 different points. The water was clear blue/green and we can see many colorful fishes and corals. Some even spotted a wild turtle but since there were too many people in the same spot, we didn't bother going down. Our last night we have BBQ dinner but it was a disappointing one. It was complimentary but they served us cheap stuff, expect for the white squid but it was also a little uncooked. Night time my group went to Long Beach which was a 10 minutes walk, that is more happening and more people compared to our side of the island. Apparently it was a peak season for the westerners although for Msian its low season as its fasting month. It was a nice trip but we will probably want to visit other islands the next time round.

Room Tip: Maybe can ask for room nearer to the lobby so less walking.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about Shari-La Island Resort

Address: Coral Bay, Perhentian Island, Pulau Perhentian Kecil 20300, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Terengganu > Pulau Perhentian Kecil
Amenities:
Restaurant Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 8 Hotels in Pulau Perhentian Kecil
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 102
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Shari-La Island Resort located at Pulau Perhentian Kecil (Coral Bay), 8 minutes walking distance to long beach. Nice place, nice room, nice environment with natural beauty. Our rooms come with hot shower, satellite TV, mini bar, air-condition + fan and 24 hour electricity. Moderate for all budgets. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Shari-La Island Hotel Pulau Perhentian Kecil
Shari La Island Resort

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