We just got back from 5 nights at Melina beach, totally chilled out and refreshed - would definitely stay there again. I was really surprised to read the one or two negative reviews here in fact, but perhaps it's a difference in expectations? I'd say this place is perfect if you're looking for an unpretentious and quiet getaway, but want a bit more than those basic fan only backpacker bungalows that you can find all over this part of the world, and the dirt cheap banana pancake and beer diet. It's definitely not 5 star - the rooms are simple (no marble designer bathrooms here!), but you have air con, hot water, towels for beach and bath (ours were changed...) a decent bed etc - I think the website represents the rooms very fairly and accurately. It's not the cheapest place on the island, but as the prices are clear on the website (also that it's the only place on a private beach setting so you don't have a range of restaurants or bars to choose from is clear) anyone booking surely already knows that?? Everything the resort needs would have to come in by boat from the mainland, and it's small so wouldn't profit from huge numbers of guests I imagine, and those factors make it both (a little) more expensive and also much more secluded and peaceful - you can't have everything for nothing!
We chose it precisely because it would be a quiet retreat to swim, read & sleep, and it offered just that. The setting is incredibly quiet and unpolluted - we were totally lazy, just took a short walk to Genting and did an easy snorkel from the beach one day, but still saw monkeys, monitor lizards, squirrels, fish, coral, a ray etc etc. The resort offered all kinds of activities we were too lazy to do - guided walks and snorkel trips with biologists, kayak rental etc, but be warned not to expect the loud music and video bar type of entertainment.
I assumed the food would be pretty basic, given the location and isolation, but was very pleasantly surprised - as an example the all you can eat buffet menu one night included roast lamb & mash/vegetables, tiger prawns in soy & sweet chilli, thai chicken curry, salad, rice, and a banana cream pie (so good) for dessert. Alternatively you could order something simple like a burger, a pizza or a rice dish if you didn't want to lash out on the buffet. Given the small size of the resort, small number of staff and remote location I was hugely impressed (and did I mention the cocktail list...??!). You could be picky & say the Thai curry wasn't spicy enough etc, but seriously - providing this kind of menu for such a small number of guests in such a remote spot is a great effort.
The last point - service was lovely. We travel a lot and it's fair to say that in some locations like this one service can lack enthusiasm, but all of the staff we dealt with were polite, helpful, smiling, patient - Ray was the perfect friendly barman (and made great cocktails), Patrick is around every evening checking on everyone during dinner to have a chat and make sure they're OK, and the guys that help in the kitchen/wait staff etc obviously wanted to make sure everyone was happy.
If you are on a super tight budget and want the cheapest deal on the island, or if you expect 5 stars I'd suggest staying away - but if you've grown out of backpacking, like your aircon and a cocktail, but don't want to trade the rustic, remote and unique vibe for a massive cheap and faceless resort then definitely it's for you.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- • We are a quiet family resort and totally unsuitable for those looking for a late night or party venue.• Our intention is to provide comfortable accommodation combined with a personal service. We are not offering luxury and have no aspiration towards 5 star ratings.• We build our rooms to incorporate as much of the natural surroundings as possible. Many of the rooms have large rocks as features and some include trees in bathrooms.• Our back garden is literally the Tropical rain forest, as such we are prone to animals occasionally wandering in. In such circumstances our resident biologists are on hand to remove animals safely. We ask guests to keep any food items to a minimum in bedrooms and to always keep items in a sealed container, food items left uncovered will attract animals, in particular ants.• In support of the local economy we try as much as possible to employ local staff. This can at times create confusion as there are many cultural differences, we ask our guests to please report any shortcomings to the reception staff who will deal with any issues immediately ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Melina Beach Resort Pulau Tioman Malaysia Hotel Pulau Tioman