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“Nice destination for couple days only”
Review of Rawa Island Resort

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Rawa Island Resort
Ranked #3 of 12 Hotels in Mersing
Certificate of Excellence
Singapore
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Nice destination for couple days only”
Reviewed September 3, 2013

The beach is stunning, sunset and stars are great ! We stayed in the beach front chalet for two nights. Honestly it's just enough and perfect if you are looking to relax, snorkeling and kayak. Do not expect much for the food or comfort for how much you are paying, keep you expectations low in this sense. Nice place but expense for what it's comparing with my others Asian trips and beaches.

Room Tip: Stay beach front otherwise you will miss the experience
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Juliananoble
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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322 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (81)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed August 28, 2013

My friend told me about this beautiful island in Mersing with white sand, cool ambiance and amazing beach. So we decided to visit the place and spend my bday. She didn't disappoint me about the place. Its very relaxing, quiet and cozy. The place is well kept and maintained specially that they renovated some areas. The food is good and have different varieties. Good thing they added a mini bar in front of the lobby and cafe area. A place to be revisited again.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank chill_jean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cannes, France
Level Contributor
50 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed August 15, 2013

I'm going a notch above "average" as Rawa is a place where it depends on what you make of it.

Admittedly the rooms were "ok"... overall clean, quiet, decent bed, A/C & fan, functional (but definitely not luxurious) bathroom. Food was "ok" (mostly pasta, some kind of fish/chicken with a local curry sauce, & rice). Drinks were a bit expensive (although we brought a bit of our own...). Facilities have definitely had their fair share of use, so don't expect high tech equipment or beach toys (kayaks, masks & snorkels, etc.). A lot of the little things were charged on top, leaving a nice additional bill to pay on leaving. Keep in mind that you're on an island that is quite separated from the mainland, so the logistics to get food, electricity, internet, etc. take a bit of extra effort. Overall the staff is relatively organized & helpful and things flow pretty well all things considered.

That being said, we had a blast. The beach, water slides, snorkeling, trampoline, hammocks, fishing, and general relaxing kept us quite occupied for 4 days. It was very family friendly, kids made plenty of friends and the adults didn't have to plan too much to keep them occupied. Overall no major regrets, we'll probably be back (apparently there are a lot of "regulars"...).

To anyone planning a visit I'd recommend to stock on essentials (bandaids, sunscreen, etc.), maybe bring your own snorkeling gear, books (they don't have much), any preferred cocktails for the evening sunset, probably some munchies as well (bar only had chips & nuts). I'd almost recommend to bring your own backpack stove and espresso maker, but that might be a bit much ;-). Basically bring your own "comfort" items.

To the hotel itself, I'd recommend to lighten up on the bar prices (maybe offer a "happy hour"?) and upgrade some of the equipment a bit (working pool tables, maybe offer beach rackets & snorkel gear rather than charging, etc.). In the end I think the regular guests come back because it is not complicated, not pretentious, but it still needs to keep an image of not being a rip-off either...

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank gwasshoppah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dunfanaghy, Ireland
Level Contributor
139 reviews
91 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
Reviewed August 13, 2013 via mobile

Pulau Rawa. A small island with coconut palms off the East coast of Malaysia. A place I returned to year after year whilst living in Singapore. Now, after 12 of more years, I return to see the ravages of change. The price has increased tenfold. The service, however, is not commensurate with the cost and the beach hut atmosphere has all but dissipated. The waiters lack panache and their yellow T-shirts are grubby.

They have built beach front chalets which from a distance look enticing. Up close the story is different. The stilts on which they are built are ramshackle and the rust from nails streaks the green paintwork. For a resort trying to enhance its 'tropical island paradise' status it has failed. Abysmally so. The rooms, whilst pleasant, lack any ethnic style of even simple tasteful decor. The jetty has been extended and now has an utterly tasteless water slide which ruins the aesthetics of the whole beach front. The palm trees which used to grow out if the sand have now been surrounded by stone walls, removing yet another vestige of what is natural and was beautiful. There are too many chalets making it unsustainable.

A beer is an outrageous MR$20 which is a serious deterrent to sitting down and relaxing with a drink as the sun sets. The lunch and dinner buffets are good with lots of choice and good fresh seafood but the meals are largely repeated each day. Paper cups for water at meal times? Again this undermines quality, aesthetics and status. The bread on offer - processed white! Breakfast was ok but Nescafé?! If you wanted real coffee that was extra!!! Unjust I say!

The shower is outside which is a great idea but the walls, tiles and paintwork are shabby and stained. The floors needed a thorough cleaning! There was wifi but only in the restaurant / bar area and it was super slow or not working! Then trying to find someone at reception, a real challenge! On one occasion I waited 45 minutes before giving up. And we paid for all of this in advance something which no other hotel asked for on our Asian venture. And it is expensive!

The beach is still beautiful with fine, soft coral sand to rival any tropical, palm fringed beach. The reef, however, is highly degraded. The soft corals prevalent in the 90's are gone and the hard corals appear to be on the edge. A green algae covers much of the plate and brain corals. Is this a result of sewage from the newly expanded resort?

It is sad to come back with a picture in your mind of how something was to find that the change is a negative one. We are living in an unsustainable world and an island resort in such a beautiful location had a chance to create an upmarket Eco-style or boutique resort. It has sadly missed the opportunity.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank trevcole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
79 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed August 11, 2013

The island is perfect for those that want to get away, with only one TV in a TV room and limited Wi-Fi, meant that the kids were encouraged to do other activities than the normal electronic type.

We had booked one year in advance, based on recommendations from friends and stayed in a chalet on the beach front over a long holiday weekend. The resort was completely fill and to be honest, in hind sight, would have been nicer if there were less people.

The price is not cheap, and I suppose that means you get a certain type of traveller coming to the resort. Unfortunately that includes some arrogant guests. Example... 30 kids in the TV room after dinner watching a kids movie, when 2 males adult guests come in, take the remote and turn the kids movie off to watch some Australian Rules Football... Very arrogant behaviour to say the least!

The first day we had some sun loungers out the front of our chalet, then they disappeared one morning before breakfast and someone had moved them along the beach and placed their towels on them... the loungers were unused for half the day until the afternoon when some come to finally use them.... again this left a sour taste of the people (same country as those who took control of the TV) that behaved like this.

The accommodation was basic, but clean and all we needed for a beach resort holiday. The food, which was buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner was very good and catered to all nationalities.

The water quality was clean and clear with an abundance of sea life. It was also a very safe beach, so water activities, like swimming, fishing and snorkelling were perfect. The kid’s water slide was a big hit with the kids.

Would recommend for a long weekend get away with a family, but maybe not on a public holiday long weekend.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Warren-Watson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reigate, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed August 10, 2013

If you want a glitzy five star resort, stay somewhere else. However if you want a wonderful beach hut on a stunning beach with white sand and clear waters and you're happy to have no TV and limited Internet access with buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner then Rawa is perfect. I went with a friend and three children - the kids loved swimming in the shallow sea, the water slides, paddle boats, snorkelling (to see an array of fish, sea urchins, coral and crabs), the TV room to retreat to when we were finishing our meal. We loved the paradise location, our beach hut and amazing 180 degree ocean view (from Coral Garden waterfront property), being able to relax on the beach while the kids are having fun and fitting in a quick spa treatment too. I will definitely be going back!

Room Tip: Coral Garden waterfront bungalow is the nearest to the beach and has the most amazing 180 degree vie...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kim K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 9, 2013

I stayed at the island for a week near the end of July in 2013, and I enjoyed my stay immensely. I would recommend the place to everyone I know without qualms. I stayed at one of the chalets in the beachfront, and the susurrus of the waves at night were very soothing. The view was exceptional at sunset which emblazoned colours on the clear blue water.

The sand is fine and soft (as expected from a tropical island), so don't expect that it will be easy to make sandcastles! The coral reefs are great for snorkelling (where I saw black-tipped reef sharks, turtles, clown fish [think Nemo] and bluespotted stingrays to name a notable few). The staff are very knowledgeable about the tides and marine life which I clearly put to good use. I also went kayaking and island hopping which was great fun! They were filming the Dutch version of Survivor on the island next door and it was interesting to see from a distance the word HELP written on the beach in rocks, and broken plane fuselage littered on the beach to mimic a crash. It made for a great photo.

The only downside to the week was that for 2 days there was haze from the forest burning in Indonesia which diminished the views and blocked out the sunlight, but that is no fault of the island. The wifi service was also a bit shaky, but considering I was on an island I expected there to be nothing. And as for food the buffet has a great selection and the BBQ buffet on Saturday was by far the best meal of the week.

As a general point I recommend an island holiday. As Herman Melville once wrote in the great classic Moby-Dick which I read on Rawa island: "Meditation and water are wedded for ever with the blending cadence of waves with thoughts.The ruffling waves and the sea breeze resolves you into languor. A sublime uneventfulness invests you, you hear no news, you hear of no domestic afflictions, and you are never troubled by the thought of what you shall have for dinner."

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Nicolas K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rawa Island Resort

Property: Rawa Island Resort
Address: Tourist Centre, Mersing 86800, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Johor > Mersing District > Mersing
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 12 Hotels in Mersing
Number of rooms: 77
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Rawa Island Resort, an idyllic tropical island for guests to unwind from the stress and strain of modern life. Feel the grains of white, sun-baked sand between your toes as you stroll along the beach. Take a dip in the warm waters of the South China Sea. Enjoy the green scenery. Snorkel along the natural coral reef just metres from the shore. Or simply relax as you watch the sun disappear lazily over the orange horizon. Situated within the archipelago of the Sultan Iskandar Marine Park, Rawa Island is accessible by a twenty-minute boat ride from Mersing, Johor. This beachfront resort features 77 rooms, each individually designed to blend in with the natural landscape. Modern furnishings provide guests with the comforts of home. We invite you to take a break from the monotony of daily routine. Experience the island's natural beauty and our Malaysian hospitality. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Rawa Island Safaris Hotel Mersing
Rawa Island Safaris Mersing
Rawa Island Resort Mersing, Malaysia - Johor

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