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“Some good, many bad points..manage expectations, seriously!!”
Review of Sibu Island Resort

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Sibu Island Resort
Ranked #10 of 12 Hotels in Mersing
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Some good, many bad points..manage expectations, seriously!!”
Reviewed June 25, 2013

We are a family of 4. We stayed in the Layang-Layang Suite for 3 nights in June 2013. Transfer from Tanjung Leman Jetty to Sibu Island was smooth and efficient, perhaps because it was a week-day and off-peak. Check-in was smooth (perhaps for the same reason) and we were given our room keys at on check-in at around noon despite the official 3 pm check-in time.

The rooms were comfortable if somewhat tired looking. Bathroom was clean and showers, toilets and taps worked reasonably well.

The resort is extremely spacious. A big plus for our boys( aged 11 and 8) were the many free-ranging deer, peacocks, chickens, a very regal-looking tom-turkey and cute little baby goats. The boys had a great time foraging for leaves plants and other tidbits for the animals.

The pool was small, but reasonably fun for the kids. The biggest turn-off is the disused pool-bar which was not just empty. It contained a several centimetres inches of bilious green slimy looking water. It was revolting.

Service standards are Fawlty Towers-que. It would be extremely funny as long as it happened to someone else. We searched in vain at the Towel Kiosk for someone to pass us the beach towels. After 15 minutes of searching, we eventually tumbled on the fact that you had to get towels from the Activity Desk. It gets even better. The following day, we brought our used beach towels to exchange for fresh ones. We were told by the person at the Activity Desk that we had to dry them first before returning the towels, and in any case, we were to be issued beach towels only once per stay. Perhaps the hotel expects guests to launder all towels before returning them or exchanging them for fresh ones! It was only after some protests that the person agreed to give us fresh towels ... along with free dirty looks and mutters.

Service at the restaurant was slow and inconsistent. The staff were polite, but not friendly. They showed very little warmth, and seemed to think that saying "thank you" was the height of service excellence. The restaurant was swarming with flies. Something which the staff took absolutely no notice of. The resort does not serve alcohol.

House-keeping was kept at the barest minimum. Daily house-keeping seemed to consist of making the beds and taking out the trash. In the 4 days that we were there, the house-keepers did not trouble themselves with replenishing toilet-paper, toiletries, coffee and tea bags or water. Again perhaps the hotel has a single-issue policy, like their beach towels. To be fair, though, these things were replenished quite quickly when we requested. It's just comical that we had to request for re-supply of everything. Less funny when we realised that we were paying international hotel prices.

The beaches were quite nice, and generally uncrowded. But there again, this hotel chooses to distinguish itself. There were absolutely no deck chairs except on their most popular beach, Coral garden, which had 2 chairs. There are no facilities to shower off the salt water, nor anyone to serve drinks or snacks at the beach. The Management philosophy seems to be - you have the sea, you have the sand, you don't need anything else.

Our opinion - not a bad place, if you have no where else to go, and if you enjoy being surprised by "unusual" service standards.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Alvin L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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130 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Service
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (31)
Date | Rating
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English first
Melaka, Melaka, Malaysia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 16, 2013

The resort is excellence for family and company team building as the secluded ambiance fells like you own the world. The free roaming dear and peacock make you bound with the nature.
The surrounding sea water is crystal blue makes you wanted to just dive in. The small fish will come and make you their new friends.

Room Tip: For those with physical limitation, please consult with receptionist for the less stairs room.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CHlim69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed June 6, 2013

Was skeptic after reading all the previous reviews. Bought the 2D1N package from Groupon anyways and booking made via VTravel was ez breezy. A couple of weeks prior departure I called up the resort to confirm whether they rcvd my booking.The PIC of reservation was n/a h/e she called back to confirm my booking.Arrived @ Tanjung Leman and checked in. The resort staff whisked away our luggages at the check in point and sent them directly to our cabin on the island (Plus point).I thought the ferry was gonna be packed to capacity for it being the school holidays. But we got our seating. No one had to stand(both ways). The resort was OK. With all the reviews in mind I did not set my expectation high. 1st thing we did was jump into the sea at Beach 1. Water was clear h/e beach was littered with empty drinking bottles. Dining experience was good. We ordered ala carte throughout and the food came immediately. Not consistent tho(perhaps different chef scheduled).The order takers were competent. I made them repeat our orders just in case.All food came non were missing. No there weren't swarms of flies around. Only during b'fast there were flies in the dining hall. Tip - eat your food & drinks immediately and dont leave them unattended. A fly dived into our next table's drink. Breakfast buffet spread was good - they have an egg station so for me any resort which has one is good enuff. Kids enjoyed the flying fox and exploring the beach during the moonlight walk, the deer, the swimming pool. Amir - the activity guide was very resourceful and friendly. Room - its clean enuff. Will not recommend the place for honeymoon. We were mostly outdoors coming back to the room jz for shower and sleep so it served it's purpose. I would like to believe that the rooms are sound proof as the insects from the forrest were kinda noisy but once we were in the room we couldnt hear any sound from outside.The shower came out from the ceiling - water power was good and the kids loved their showers. The cabins are designed ala traditional Johor malay village - lovely experience living in kampung melayu. Thank god it was sunny throughout cant imagine if it were raining as the cabins are scattered throughout. Second day we went for a swim at Beach 2. Water was also clear but beach was littered with empty bottles. Just a few meters into the sea there were corals & rocks with lovely coral fishes. Bring sunblock, antiseptic cream and plaster just in case you bump into the rocks at the beach. Insect repellent for mosquito
What would I have done different ? Stayed another day.
Wld I consider going to SIR again ? Maybe not - the travel to & fro K.Lumpur is too long & tiring

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jessikah_Simpson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Level Contributor
60 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed June 2, 2013

My family - all 10 of us - had good fun at the Island resort. From the catamaran ride of 45 minutes from Tanjung Leman to the diverse activities on the island. Firstly, what you see when you arrive - lovely tame spotted deers and peacocks. Then the accommodation. The villas especially the Layang-Layang suites were ideal when you have young and old. The villas are semi-dettached (2 villas attached) and each villa has one double bed room and one twin-sharing with a little hallway and toilet in between. Except for the wrong timing when there was a curfew on hot water everything was clean and conveniently close to the lobby where the restaurants are. There is a good spread for buffets and staff were all ready to go out of their way to cater to our requests. The sea sports, island hopping and even moonlight walk were also great fun. There FOC actitivies planned throughout the day if you do not wish to pay for those. If the maintenance of facilities remain as it is, we will surely go again. A disappointment, though, if guests are looking for some alcoholic consumption especially in the evenings. Also I would advise the management to take better care of their peacocks. I saw kids running after the poor birds to relieve them of their tail plumes and on boarding the boat back to the mainland I saw an auntie carrying a sizeable bundle of peacock plumes nicely-wrapped in newspaper as if she bought them. No wonder many of the birds were 'botak'.

Room Tip: If you want privacy, the rooms on the hill would be great as there are great views out to see, howev...
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Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank YvonneLLS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johor bahru
Level Contributor
27 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed May 30, 2013

My 5th trip to the island and nothing much has changed. Got a good deal on promo. Rooms are nicely designed especially those on the cliff. Nice balcony w a view. Rooms weren't very clean though. Beddings smell and there were small insect and stuff. This could really b improved. All the staff in each dept were a mix of good n bad. Some more experienced and others seem pretty green but in the end I notice they try their best even though it is still lacking. The chef was very understanding and allowed me to take away buffet for my son who was in the room a distance away while it was raining. He even asked a waitress to help pack some fruits. This is an example of good service. Btw, the food here is pretty good and is among the better as compared to other resorts i have been. I love the 4 or so different stretch of beach they have; all of them with a unique view of the tip of the island. Snorkeling is possible in beach 2 however the fish numbers and variety is rather poor. Just for fun though. We really enjoyed the flying fox and the staff who helped out were very accommodating. I do hope the management will train up the new staff properly so that service quality will b uniform and there are lots if places in the resort and room which could use cleaning up.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Doc_joes22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
18 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed May 20, 2013

I took some old folks to visit the island on Sunday morning, after almost a 2hrs drive to Tanjong Leman Jetty, i parked the car their and was told that there's 24hrs security guards patrolling the carpark but they still don't any take responsibility if there's any damage of theft on your vehicle. I still parked my vehicle there and make sure that's it's secured and locked.

The resort has got their own counter at the Jetty and so we'd to register our group and were given a boarding pass. Their specially owned ferry will leaves at 1100hrs and only take guests that's booked for their resort. The sea was calm and we've had a smooth ride to the resort. Upon arrival to the resort, i noticed lots of long tailed Jelly fish swimming around as the water was so clear, you could see them very clearly. I came to understand that it's the jelly Fish season right now for the next couple of months. So looks like it's not really a good idea to go for a swimming at the beach but according to them they only appears in the morning till day break.

We were welcome by some nice welcoming drinks and singing group. We'd to change our booked 2 rooms into a 2 bedroom Layang suites and paid an additional RM200, totaling RM1000 spent for the suites. We took it as the other rooms have a lot of stairs with no hand railing to hang on to and it's not safe for old folks to climb the steep steps.

The Layang suites is beautiful but the living room is small thou, not much defects with everything working fine except for the TV where there's not much channels you can watch.
The restaurant is nice but a LOT of FLIES, friendly staffs trying their best to serve grumpy old folks when some flies drowned in their soups or drinks. Food is average, nothing fancy but you'll have to eat and chase flies away at the same time. Food is expensive, for a paxs of 5, we spent almost RM200 on ala-carte.

We stroll along Beach number 2, nice small beach with lot's of rocks and broken shells, we didn't see any Jelly Fish there thou but they dare not take the risks of dipping into the sea. So they'd decided to dip into the swimming pool instead...which is much safer of course.
The resort is superb for youngsters as there will be a lot of activities planned for them. So i think the young will not be bored there. There's a lot of deers, peacocks roaming around and doesn't shy away from humans unless they see empty hands. In the evening, there's music group singing at the restaurant...which i think is nice. There's a karaoke lounge that doesn't play your request number.

We checked out on Monday, at the jetty the music group will sing some nice goodbye songs, almost all the hotel staffs will send you off at the Jetty. I've to admit that i didn't enjoy much because i'm with some old folks but it's a nice short getaway experience for me. I think it'll be fun if to visit this place with adventurous and active friends or youngsters, they'll have a lot of activities there and they'll have a lot of funs.

Room Tip: Bring your own water....!!!!! I couldn't drink the water, coffee or tea there because it's t...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Mohdrafimi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cebu Island, Philippines
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 7, 2013

I went for 3D2N with my family & 3 kids by bus from singapore...there were some miscommunications during making the reservations which lead to some stressful conversations regarding the price & number of days of stay & travel options. I felt that reservations should be much more professionally dealt with. the bus journey was a little over 3 hours, all the activities on the island were very interesting and the free interaction with the animals was a stimulating experience. the accommodations were basic but clean. the beach was beautiful...definitely recommended for a short getaway!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank happyhaneen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sibu Island Resort

Property: Sibu Island Resort
Address: Pulau Sibu Tengah | PO Box 81, Mersing 81900, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Johor > Mersing District > Mersing
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 12 Hotels in Mersing
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 121
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sibu Island Resort is Johor’s idyllic island gateway. It is located off the east coast of Mersing, a town in the state of Johor, Malaysia, on the South China Sea. The island presents 3 sandy private beaches and 7 separate small islands.Sibu Island Resort is considerably close to Singapore, since it is only one and a half hours’ drive away from Johor Bahru to reach the Tanjung Leman jetty. From there, the journey to the island is only 30 minutes via a comfortable ferry.Sibu Island Resort is the perfect island resort for relaxing, adventure and corporate teambuilding. It has completed a make-over involving the refurbishment of its 121 deluxe timber chalets surrounded by lush greenery and equipped with well-appointed amenities. Featuring wooden flooring and furnishings, air-conditioned rooms all come with a cable TV and minibar. Some rooms have a balcony. Each bathroom is equipped with shower facilities. Free Wi-Fi, an outdoor pool and a tennis court are available. There is also a spa and water sports activities.There are no lacks of activities at the resort. Guests can take part in an obstacle course, trek across jungles or go fishing along the coast. Snorkeling, scuba diving and kayaking are available at the beach.The open-air Lumba Lumba All Day Dining Restaurant offers international buffet spreads, as well as specially packed picnic baskets. Drinks can be enjoyed at Tenggiri Pool Bar and Suji Lounge.Merak Spa offers all the elements of an out-of-this-world spa experience – calm and relaxing surroundings, serenity of its ambiance, and unparalleled world – class treatments that is set to honor you as our guest. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sibu Island Hotel Mersing
Sibu Island Resort Mersing, Malaysia - Johor

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