We stayed at Tanjong Jara for two weeks in October. We have become very fussy over the years and I worried if this resort would for us live up to its promise. I should not have worried: the delightful welcome we received and the discovery that our room had been upgraded as there was a Serambi room available and they thought we would prefer it (yes, thank you!) was just the beginning.
The whole resort is beautiful with traditional Malay palace styled architecture and attractive mature gardens which were well tended. I had read that the resort was well designed and that you did not see a lot of people even if the resort is full. The resort was quiet for part of our stay but very busy part way through for a big wedding. From the guests point of view you hardly saw more people because of the unique design of the hotel, the positioning of the villas and the maturity of the grounds. In fact, we only learned about the wedding because we met four of the guests when we shared a cooking class with them. Regarding the grounds, we particularly appreciated the guided tour of the gardens that the Head Gardener gave us. We think his tour should be one of the official tours!
Staff at the resort (ALL if them) are both friendly and discreet, we could not have felt more welcome, this is in part due to good training, (and great management examole: all the managers at the resort introduced themselves at some point) but you get the sense that the staff just love the hotel and consider it their family. Indeed many staff are from the local area and have been with the hotel for many years.
The rooms are well designed and very spacious and the bathrooms are large and feature double basins (which we appreciated as we enjoy them at home) and plenty of space with a huge bath and separate large shower as well as a separate vanity area with a seat, hairdryer and mirror. The provision is as you would expect for five star, but larger. The chamber staff were very good, with at least two visits and turndown and they ensure no insects in the room with electric plugs relenished constantly. I usually get bitten in the most innocuous resorts but I had no trouble here as rhe resort is fogged, the rooms treated, the restaurants have coils (and of course I took reasonable precautions myself).
Free Wifi is advertised for Reception/Library area, but it does reach some other but not all areas as well and we found we could get it in our room, too.
The two restaurants complemented each other well. We loved the malaysian food in Di Atai Sungai and loved Chef Ann (miaow, Ann!) and the whole team and once we got yhe hang of menuless ordering we preferred it and looked forward to it. Not only is Ann great fun, she makes sure you always get something you are going to enjoy and will recommend new experiences which suit your palate.
All the team were lovely, even teaching us some Malay words when we showed an interest, thank you. Even our two young friends up from KL on a training placement were so friendly and it was good to see the experienced staff (including notably my lovely language teacher!) coaching them in their high standards.
The Netalyan is a great restaurant which offered a quality of food to match the most sophisticated tastes and the staff there was also friendly and service-oriented. We liked the personalised table reservations painted on shiny leaves each night - very artistic.
We found the resort very relaxing and as we were there for two weeks we also loved the fact that there were plenty of things to do. Ann's market trip is well worth a try as is her open air cookery class (very professionally prepared and good equipment). We enjoyed clycling to the local village (and waving at people we recognised!). We recommend doing this late afternoon when the local people are out enjoying the market - quite a scene! We also did the local crafts trip. It is quite a long drive as you visit areas where you can see local skills in action and also a huge shopping centre and a market which sells the crafts to local people at sensible prices. But its not just about tourist souvenirs, you see traditional shipbuilding and brass foundry work, too. The trip also includes a traditional malay meal at a roadside restaurant. The tour guide brings a coolbox with iced water and towels - great service! Also, we enjoyed the Kampong Life displays on Saturday, thank you.
The spa is world class, exceeding the best I have been to in Europe; well managed and with excellent and very experienced staff. If you have any aches or problems ask to see the healing therapist, Pak Yaya who is brilliant.
Sorry this review is so long, there is so much to recommend the resort. Sorry, too that I have not mentioned more names - we were so relaxed we cannot remember the names of all our new friends, forgive us!
Pam & Michael
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- Also Known As:
- Tanjong Jara Hotel Dungun
- Tanjong Jara Dungun
- Tanjong Jara Resort Dungun, Terengganu, Malaysia