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Reviewed March 7, 2012

We booked our vacation and confirmed with a credit card as required. I knew, when I gave them my credit card information, that they would pre-charge my card with the amount of the entire vacation (not just a one night deposit). They clearly stated this up front. But they also clearly stated their cancellation policy. "Notice of cancellation or change of date of reservation must be given in writing and mail / e-mail / fax to Rawa Island Resort Sdn. Bhd. at least fourteen (14) days before the arrival for public holidays and seven (7) days for the other days. In the event of insufficient or no notice being given, the pre-payment paid or payable by credit card shall be deemed as forfeited. "

I went ahead and gave them my credit card information, knowing that if we had to cancel I would know with enough time to cancel. We did have to cancel so I emailed them 8 days ahead of time. They responded by saying, "The pre-payment is non refundable, the one week before in advance is to advise us if you want to change your travel date without any penalty."

They are now saying that they will hold the money for 6 months if we want to make another reservation with them. Otherwise, we lose the ENTIRE amount of the trip, almost $1000 USD!!

Luckily it is on an American credit card and I am disputing the charge as their cancellation policy clearly states that we may cancel OR change our dates. But it will take up to 2 months to find out the results of the dispute claim.

So BE WARNED if you book your vacation with them. Better be ABSOLUTELY sure you are going.

Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
22  Thank Beth C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2012

First the good. The beach and accomodation area of Rawa is stunning - picture perfect. The accomodation looks good from the outside and the gardens are lovely.

Now the bad. Look beneath the veneer and situation is pretty poor. My £250pn ($400) room had a bed missing (they offered to put a mattress on the floor), cheap electric shower hanging off the wall and just a bedside table also in the room, otherwise it was empty. The wooden jetty is pretty, or at least it used to be until someone decided that building a 12m (40ft) high bright orange water slide supported by glavanised steel that looks like a fire escape would enhance the view. Bad judgement. Why spend tens of thousands on that when nearly every amenity at the resort is broken or unavailable and could be fixed for a few hundred? During the three days I variously tried to rent the Hoby Cat dinghy (broken), use the snooker table (five rips, no rests, wrong balls 1 cue), table football (broken), pool (broken), table tennis (bats had no cover, padding and half the plywood was gone), advertised massage service unavailable, chess set (taken away by a bad guest). The food is no better than edible either. To cap it all the coral is dead or dying -bleached and parts of it covered in algae. Algae is usually caused by too much nutrients in the water, probably from the brown sewage slicks you will likely pass though on the way to island.

Rawa gives the impression of a resort that was fantastic 30 years ago. It desperately needs a new owner to arrest its decline. What appears to be going on instead is groundwork to build even more units. Real shame.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with friends
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6  Thank buctootim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2012

Recently stayed here with friends in two of th ebeach chalets. Everything is OK but the price is very high in relative terms. Besar feels a much better value choice. What upset us most was that if you wanted to use the equipment of even a mattress for the sun loungers you had to pay more! This really took the gloss off it and they would be much better off and gain far more client satisfaction if they made things truly all-inclusive. We think Besar (cheap and cheerful) or Bagus Place on Tioman are better bets.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank TW_Travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2012

We recently moved to Singapore and got "island" fever within the first few months. What a better way to cure it then to head to another island not to far away. The beauty of Rawa for us was the close proximity to Singapore. We hired a driver to pick us up as we didnt have a car of our own yet. We were with another family and the 8 of us fit in perfectly. A very easy trip when you can just sit back and relax and not fuss with plane, train or even driving your own car. I think it was about 2 hours to the port and then a short speed boat to the island.

Rawa is beautiful - and part of the beauty for us was that there was nothing to do there other then just chill out. The children were amused by the slide off the dock - as well as jumping off the dock. We had a beach front bungalow so easily moved back and forth between beach, restaurant and "home". The beach is small so not the best for long walks or runs but you can hike to the look out area on top of the mountainous hill for exercise.

Our room was fine. Quite basic but provided everything that we needed. You are not getting fine linens and plush towels but everything is clean.

If you want 5 star this is not for you. Yes it is expensive for what you get in terms of quality but as we were just there for a long weekend we were ok with the cost.

The restaurant was good. Not out of this world but decent food which we enjoyed for a few days. Really no complaints.

The staff were great - all with a helpful and friendly attitude. The other guests were also very nice and everyone meshed together well.

So if you are after a quiet beautiful island with little to do other then lounge and relax then this is the place for you.

We will be back!

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank Stilli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2012

I am not sure whether I had hoped for too much based on friends reports but I was pretty disappointed by Rawa on the whole. It all satrted on day one when we arrived to what appeared to be a building site! They were still doing major upgrading given it was just after the monsoon season, and I understand this needs to be done but from what i can see on their wesbite we were still being charged high season prices for the joy of hearing drilling etc! We had a garden villa room which was fine however our air cond did not work and therefore we had to leave the windows open and the mozzie's were ferocious and my poor one year old was devoured despite the mozzi spray being applied liberally! I informed the manager but bc it was CNY there weren't any other rooms and they said they would send someone over to try and fix the air cond - it wasn't fixed. Food was average - only so many chicken nuggets kids can have! There were also 2 dogs wandering around and while we were there one of the dogs bit 2 children in one night and still management didn't remove it from the restaurant - not ideal! Main grip I guess is the price we paid close to 4 or 5 star prices ie for the adult package over SGD2000 for 5 nights and this was by no means near a 4 or 5 star. Yes its handy to SG and yes the beach is lovely (despite tide being actually out for most of the day and when out you can only swim in about 2 feet of water) but not sure I would be recommending this to friends or rushing back. I also found the manager not very helpful - he didn't even apologise to us upon our leaving about the air cond - and thats not very hard to do!

Room Tip: Beach front rooms I think are the best - we had one for our last night and it was a lot better. Frangipani rooms also look good but are a bit of a wlak from main resort so not ideal with small kids
  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with family
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Thank HPC1902
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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