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“Relax and enjoy”

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Tanjong Jara Resort
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Dungun
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 7, 2014

Not too many beaches I can gone in Malaysia but this one is the most relax beach. Is it not private beach but as there are only this has the access to the beach. Good food and wonderful staff. Sungei restaurant dinner is the best where you can selected how you want your dinner to be made and my advise don't miss the butter prawns.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank sumantakundu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 6, 2014

My impression of the TJR was that the staff were very unprofessional. Some were friendly and helpful but some were not. Unfortunately the impression stayed till the end. When it comes to a crisis, it reveals the competency level truly and objectively. During the third day of our stay, there was a blackout throughout the night until around 10:00 the next morning. According to the staff, blackout happened in the whole town. Given the fact that it was something that they could not fix in time, they should have a better contingency plan and act promptly. For example, when one of my family members asked for some candles twenty minutes after the blackout, the request was refused! Then half an hour later, when we were on our way in the dark back to our room from a restaurant, one of the staff told us to wait for the candles in our rooms to be distributed by the staff. The candles then came but without any matches or lighter! The staff didn't give us any information such as whether there was any hot water for shower, or for the babies and toddlers (we were a big group with many young children), or when the power would come back. No apology was offered at all! They just acted like nothing had happened! Not to mention that they had forgotten our morning calls two days in a row! It was far from acceptable.

However there are two good things about this resort. Firstly, the beach is very nice, good quality of both water and sand. Secondly, though not all, most of the staff at the restaurant for breakfast and also at Nelayan, particularly the manager (sorry I didn't get his name) are friendly, helpful and also accommodating.

Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
9  Thank Micahglory
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2014

We had the Bumbung room which had a beautiful view of the gardens and out to the sea. The room is lovely and spacious and the king size bed is most comfortable. The bathroom is huge with a big bath, separate shower and toilet and twin washbasin. Breakfast at Di Atas Sungei restaurant was fantastic! I especially enjoy choosing the assortment of fresh fruits for my morning juice. The staff are well trained and friendly. The sprawling gardens need more work and maintenance but the overall landscaping is lovely. As there are not many tourists attractions nearby, this place is great for relaxing and to unwind.

Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
1  Thank maclinksgoer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2014

Lovely resort, especially liked the abundance of day beds! The pool was nice, service and food was great - staff all generally very friendly and attentive, rooms were really nice and spacious, spa treatments very enjoyable too. We went during the quiet season so didn't experience any of the snorkelling trips as they don't run then due to rough sea conditions but would definitely be happy to go back again!

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank pclq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2014

This review is long overdue. My family of five, including three teenagers stayed at Tanjong Jara Resort in July 2013 with another family of six. We chose the resort based on our friends prior visits and the excellent reviews. We were looking for a relaxing beach holiday in a place where the children could experience a different side of Malaysia to the capital and the lifestyle that their father experienced growing up.

Overall, our experience was very positive. The resort has some very strong positives but with some work on the shortcomings this resort could be outstanding and had we not had some issues I would have rated the resort 5 stars. At the time of our stay Kevin Au had just started as the GM and acknowledged that there some opportunities for improvement. A sign of an excellent hotel was the attention that Kevin gave to our concerns and the professionalism with which they were resolved. Thanks for this Kevin, your personal approach to your guests made this a very special experience and we appreciated that.

Here some feedback on rooms, dining and activities. Hopefully our experiences are helpful.

Location and transfers
The hotel is located on a public beach near Dungun in Kuala Terengganu. It is approximately a six hour drive from KL, mainly on a major freeway or one hour by car from Kuala Terengganu airport. We chose to fly (about one hour from KL) and our friends drove. We did not take the hotel airport transfer service. We found this expensive. This is something the hotel should review. We took two taxis from KT airport which was about half the cost of the hotel transfer. At KT airport there is a taxi counter where you purchase a fixed price taxi coupon so no concerns about overcharging. The drive is very scenic. You pass through Kuala Terengganu and past the Crystal Mosque, which is on the river. The coastal road runs right along the beach. However, the taxi drive was a little scary with some high risk overtaking of slow vehicles on a single lane road. We also saw a very bad car accident on that road on route.

We were gonged on arrival and assisted with luggage. Check in was a little lack lustre as the check in staff seem preoccupied and were a bit disorganised.

Rooms
There are two main room types the Bumbung (upstairs) and Serambi (Downstairs with a verandah). I understand they are both the same configuration with the exception of the verandah. Bumbung benefits from more of a view of the ocean and Serambi has the outdoor seating. We had two Bumbung rooms and they were fine with nice views. We did have a late night incident involving the local wildlife in one room so management kindly upgraded one of our rooms for a couple of nights to the Anjung Room. The Anjung room is larger and are in pairs facing the ocean in front of the blocks with the Bumbung and Serambi rooms. This has a lovely sea facing verandah and large windows looking out to sea. This has a step down bathroom and changing area with a very open/glassed in toilet/shower arrangement. While the outside garden is walled our kids felt uncomfortable with this set up and swapped rooms with us. Maybe worthwhile for a honeymoon otherwise save the money.

One room block was being upgraded while we were there. Rooms are dark timber so rooms feel a bit dark and tired. The day bed is a wide full sized single. Accommodated our third teenager so worked well. Website says max two but hotel had no issue with three 13 year olds in one room. Some verandahs/stairs need maintenance. Due for an update which I understand is happening progressively.

Wi fi only accessible in the lobby lounge which was a bit of a nuisance but manageable. Free in room wifi is really expected these days and would be a worthwhile improvement.

Dining
There are three dining options:

Di Atas Sungei - Breakfast and dinner.
Breakfast buffet was good but not the best we have had. More variety and perhaps more western options would be good. Sitting on the verandah was nice.
Dinner is a roving menu concept. However they now have a menu to provide some guidance to diners. The jury is out on this concept. Some will love it and others will find it challenging. Chef Ann comes to the table every evening. She is a lovely lady, very friendly and
this provides a very personal, unique touch. She will advise what is good, ask you what you like to eat, consider the kids food tastes etc and suggest entrée, main and dessert. Just remember to be assertive and let her know what you like and you will have a wonderful meal. Having trust and relaxing is the key. After a night or two you will get used to the concept and have an idea which dishes you like and do not like. Stand outs for us were the salt and pepper prawns for entrée and chocolate lava cake (chocolate fondant YUM...don't share it). The man behind the scenes, Chef (? sorry can't remember his name) was great. On our last night he cooked some Kelantanese specialities that took my husband and his best friend back to their childhood. This was a lovely gesture. This type of personal gesture where staff have gone beyond what is expected of them, made our holiday very memorable.

Nelayan - international menu including Malaysian dishes for lunch. Western food for dinner. This was our favourite restaurant. We ate lunch here everyday with the view of the ocean and the breeze blowing through. It is in a beautiful location and was very casual during the day. Min Lee (trainee) was lovely and very attentive. Nothing was too much trouble. She even gave us a souvenir when we left. The chef is French and came out to talk to us one night.

Service
The service in all dining venues was good. No issues with housekeeping.
Front desk - Need to be a little bit more welcoming to guests on arrival. They are not rude, they are just a bit aloof/shy which can seem unfriendly.

Activities
There is a daily activities board in the lobby area. However I would suggest you book beforehand for activities that only run a couple of times a week and the turtle watching.

Cultural Afternoon - Don't miss this on a Saturday afternoon (4pm?). This is free for all guests and staff get involved which is very nice. They have a monkey demonstrating how he picks coconuts, local games, cepak, you can taste all the local treats like peanut pancakes, local iced coffee, coconut juice etc. Just make sure you have mosquito repellent on as you will be eaten alive at dusk.

Snorkelling in Tenggol Island
A good day out with beautiful snorkelling close to shore. Lifejackets need repair/replacement (missing straps/buckles) as swimming with these hampered our ability to enjoy the outing when then rode up over our heads and made swimming difficult. A number of our party (all swimmers) returned to shore exhausted from the battle with their equipment. Lunch is included and prepared by the chef on the island. Facilities were basic, one toilet. Lunch was almost carried away by the flies and could have been more appetising.

Cooking Class with Chef Ann
My son and I did this class. Warning do not eat before hand as you will be eating what you cook.
Chef Ann does most of the hard work (the preparation) and we got to cook it all. There were just four of us. It was a good introduction to Malaysia cuisine (you can control the spice). We cooked Chicken Rendang and Assam Prawn. We have recreated the Assam Prawn back home and wear our aprons!

Market trip with Chef Ann
We went to the Dungun morning market with Chef Ann. A great opportunity to experience the local life. The market is very interesting if you have not been before. You can buy some nice tropical fruit and Chef Ann introduces you to some breakfast foods and cakes. We also booked the night market but unfortunately is was washed out.

Guided Bicycle Tour
My son and I did this tour with Zul one afternoon. We were the only two participants. Water provided but no bike helmets. Most cycling on quiet beach roads with little to no traffic. A small section on a busy road but no real concerns. It is very hot but the tour is late afternoon and lasts about two hours. It does cool down. Dress appropriately and wear sunscreen. We went to the local fishing village, learnt about fishing methods, had roti and a drink in a local coffee shop and saw how the locals lived. My son (13) and I were hot and bothered when we got home but really loved it. We don't cycle regularly so if you are out of practice don't be too concerned. Bikes have baskets for your water. Remember your camera.

Turtle Watching
This was the highlight of our trip but is only operates during the turtle nesting season. It is a 30 minute drive to a conservation beach past the biggest oil refinery in SE Asia. You wait to be called on the night as the staff from the conservation call up when the weather is right and they see the turtles approaching the beach. We got there just after the turtle laid it's eggs but saw it cover them up and the staff remove them for hatching. We were then able to help release the hatched baby turtles to the sea. Don't miss this!

Beach & Pools
Beach was very quiet, nice calm water while we were there. We used the Nelayan pool was we all have children. The Teratai is a smaller adults only? pool near reception. Ice treats/piece of fruit would be a nice thing to add poolside.

Spa
We attempted a spa visit but Pak Yahya was not working due to illness and options were a bit limited and pricey so we did not have the opportunity to try this.

Gym - Small but airconditioned room in the gardens.

Wildlife - Plenty of it. Monkeys (watch your things poolside), lots of big monitor lizards (harmless don't be scared), geckos, squirrels.

We stayed on residents package which is good value as it includes meals (breakfast buffet, lunch (2 courses) and dinner (3 courses) - way too much food and we skipped some meals), very expensive otherwise.

Overall, a lovely beachside resort with a local feel, not too many guests and great food. We hope to return one day!

Room Tip: Bumbung or Serambi. No connecting rooms although two Bumbungs per balcony so can be located next do...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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10  Thank Jenny K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2014

I've been here twice, first with family and the second time with my fiancé and I only have nice things to say. The last time I went in March the monsoon was still raging on, so I could not relive my amazing snorkelling experience I had the first time I went, where I saw reef sharks, turtles, a jellyfish as big as an umbrella and of course lots of fish. A little more garbage swept ashore from the monsoon but still, there was lots of other things to do and it was great. A beach oasis in SE Asia is definitely a must to get a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the cities.

Also, though I'm a big believer in trying new things but I absolutely love YTL runned resorts as they always pick out the best staff, so you're unlikely to see a sulky face or a request ignored. I'm going back again to the Pangkor Laut Resort for the second time on Wednesday and extremely excited for it.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank EvelynLoh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2014

It took us a bit more than 1 hour to reach the resort from the Kuala Terengganu airport. The return transfer had been booked in advance and was performed nicely. We got a Serambi room on the ground floor (in accordance with the booking) with a small veranda where a table and two chairs were waiting for their guests.
The resort occupies huge area with two pools on its northern and sothern wings respectively. The northern one is quite deep (more than 3 metres) and has the water sports centre attached (diving included). The southern complex borders with the SPA village, includes Nelayan restaurant and it should be named the family relaxing spot. The beach can be reached in 1 minute walk from here. It surprises by its emptiness taking into account that the South China sea is very warm and comfortable for swimming.
It's been a pleasure to walk around and to explore the area. Lizards were met very often, from tiny to really big ones. However, they behaved like the shiest creatures in the world and vanished immediately as I came closer. Small ones were spotted several times frozen on the bathroom glass outside in the night reminding of a very well known car manufacturer AWD logo.
Our room was spacious enough but it was the bathroom which really impressed by its size and facilities' convenience. A 'princess bed' for my little 2.5 year old was a cute touch. I liked the light system with lots of switches and ways of lightening the room. Though looking a bit outdated the modest room with the wooden floor and furniture was cozy and relaxing and I have to say that it was very homelike, yes, an Asian one but who cares? I just loved it.
AMPM WiFi is available at affordable price. Not really fast but acceptable.
"We want you to relax. So while dinning, resort wear will keep us happy, no black tie necessary." These words I found among other hotel info papers. Well, the good approach.. Breakfast in the main Di Atas Sungei restaurant was fine, lunch served in the pool restaurant was ok. Dinner was delicious in both. Yes, the menu is not listed in 121 pages but we did not feel it becoming boring after 8 nights of stay. Ask for a whole fish grilled.. And don't miss the local coconuts milk, I've never tried any better!
SPA was excellent and it is highly recommended. As far as prices are concerned... Well, the more I travel the more my opinion strengthens that SPA prices in all 5* places or close to are more or less the same.
It was very funny to see people exercising in the morning in the garden under supervision of a local instructor who was trying to not only develop trainees physically but energetically as well: some movements had to be followed by HA-HA-HA !!!
TJR offers lots of activities and I would like to mark three of them:
(1) Chemerung waterfall journey or a day in the jungle. It takes almost whole day, requires physical strength and it is really exhausting. But it's definitely worth it! Jungle climbing is tough but it's an unforgettable experience. The waterfall view is amazing. Two T-shirts are obligatory..
(2) Marang river boat trip
(3) Giant turtles night watching
A small diver's note (according to my wife). Yes, there's a PADI certified centre. But the variety is not about the site (30-40 minutes by boat). It's the right place for snorkelers and there are lots of them. Divers are seen rarely. So if you are an experienced diver do not expect something special. Apart from that, it costs an arm and a leg..
Dungun is the nearest city. A return taxi price was MYR 40.
The bottom line is that TJR fully met my expectations (diving excluded) having proved to be a resort of the highest quality and service. This is a place one would be happy to return.
I would like to express my gratitude to the personnel for the hospitality and welcomeness. And my special thanks to the Di Atas Sungei staff (folks, you've been just great with my little one! I do appreciate), Anne the Chef and Ms Peggy from the Central reservation team who understood the constraints I had faced before the arrival and managed to solve the issue in the best way.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank vMNBv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tanjong Jara Resort

Address: Batu 8 | Off Jalan Dungun, Dungun 23000, Malaysia
Phone Number:
Location: Malaysia > Terengganu > Dungun District > Dungun
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Dungun
Price Range: $130 - $236 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Tanjong Jara Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 100
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Fronted by palm fringed, emerald seas, Tanjong Jara Resort is a sanctuary of luxury and well-being steeped in the unmistakable grace of age-old Malay traditions. Here, in the comfort of a room furnished in local timber and rich fabrics, guests are lulled by the sighs of waves and the warm tropical breeze. The award-winning architecture of this resort reflects the elegance and grandeur of 17th century Malay palaces, offering an authentic taste of the region’s spirit and an enduring embodiment of gentle Malay arts and hospitality. Seamlessly integrated with the resort is the Spa Village, dedicated to combining the therapeutic properties of natural local ingredients and the innate healing practices of the area, providing a special, restorative experience. Guests can choose to experience an eco-adventure river cruise, explore teeming coral reefs or browse in a night market. Whatever the activity, every breath is pure refreshment, a relaxation of the soul, a pure journey of revival. In Malay we call this Sucimurni, in Malaysia it is Tanjong Jara Resort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tanjong Jara Hotel Dungun
Tanjong Jara Dungun
Tanjong Jara Resort Dungun, Terengganu, Malaysia

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