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“Peace and tranquility. Originality.”

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Gem Island Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Marang
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 23, 2009

Was there for a getaway from city. Totally awesome and didnt let me down. A non commercial island with good hospitality from the courteous staff ad not to mention the warm and welcoming manager Hisham. If you are looking for a chillout place, with lots of chilling and snorkelling, this is a place to go. The beach is not like redang or perhentian beach, with the wide stretch of wide sand but more of a place to explore as it is very rocky, but the scene is beautiful enough to capture. There isonly one resort here so u can have the beach all by urself and its not at all crowded with people that could steal the tranquility away. Snorkellin is the main activity as you wil discover lots of fishes swimming really near the shore and lots and lots of coral. The snorkelling activity is more on yourself discovering the whole island as u can actually swim around near and far the island and its totally safe as not much boats will pass by so don't worry. Lots of fishes, rare ones that u won't see at other islands. The night is more quiet, no clubbing and drinking around and will be nice to just chillout at the room. The price to pay for the lowest category "WATER VILLA"(which is already good enough) is totally worth it, as you can't find such a nice place to stay with that price. The food served is also quite good, at higher quality than other places with a budget like that. Its truly the best kept secret as it is a small island with lots of natural elements. If you love islands and beaches, and wanna look for inner peace, this would be a good pick. I truly enjoyed and love to be back anytime soon. Not to mention, its so covenient to travel from land to island. Its 30minutes from KT airport to jetty, costing RM50 per trip and from jetty to island takes only 15 minutes. Wel that's enough said, for a true experience of a lifetime, visit the island. Its that simple. Make sure u have a partner though.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank MandeeC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 13, 2009

This little known island is in my view one of Terengannu's best kept secrets. There is only one resort on the island which provides for a exclusive atmosphere. There a plenty of fabulous snorkelling sites to explore and we even saw the black tipped reef sharks swimming under our water villa balcony!

The beach is fantastic with beautiful unpolluted waters and there are lots of tropical fish only too happy to eat bread from your hands. The manager and staff are very friendly and helpful and made our stay extremely enjoyable. Swim a little further out in the evenings and you can see giant clams with multicoloured mantles snapping shut when the sense you swimming overhead.

The turtle sanctuary houses a few baby turtles overlooking the sea.

The food is very nice at Samudera Restaurant and we saw people from neighbouring islands swim over to have lunch.

Overall this is a fabulous place to spend a long weekend and if you love marine life:)

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank pyromanix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2008

My bf and i went there in sept, when the island is almost closed for monsoon season. Not much ppl on the island, the 3rd night we are the only guests...Really can get good rest and peace of mind over there.We stayed there for 4D3N.

The staffs are friendly, there are couples of foreigners brought along their babies, the staffs are very willing to take care of the babies when the parents are having meals.

We took the Spa package, and because we didn't take the full board package, and there was not many people in the island, we didn't get the chance to go for guided snorkeling. So we only snorkel near to the island where we did not see any beautiful alive coral..Sad...

The most exciting part is the baby turtles!!oh gosh...they are very cute..there are kept in a small pool..the resort manager said after the monsoon, they will release the baby turtles to the sea...how lucky we are to meet these baby turtles....

On the first and second day, there were lots of jelly fish, so we didn't get to swim until the 3rd day..so have to beware of that, cuz the jelly fish is not the white transparent type..

Another dissapointment is the swimming pool..when we went there the pool is dry...due to something wrong with the pump (the pool is normally filled with sea water), and they havent got anyone to repair it...

We upgraded our room to Water Premier for the first two nights, and we got free upgrade for the 3rd night since we the only guests on the island on that night...happy with that cuz we dun have to pack and unpack our stuff if we were to move to another room..The rooms are well maintained..clean..i love the balcony and the hanging chair..u can see fish swimming under the water villa,,,

If you are looking for places where u can really relax...i recommend this island and resort...

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank pingkiwi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2008

All I can say about this place is that it is awesome! I spent 3 night there and despite it being the peak period, there were no more than 40 guests on the island.

I really liked the fact that there was a lot of privacy for me and my partner. The other beach at the end of the villas were almost always empty.

The fishes swan near the shore so you don't even have to swim too far into the sea to catch a glimpse of them. Oh. even better still, i enjoyed feeding the fishes from the balcony of my villa! And most importantly, since there aren't many people here in this part of the sea, the sea is pretty free from floating rubbish.

The normal villa which we stayed in was clean and is exactly what you see on the website. Not much choices in terms of tv channels especially during the night when there's nothing much to do =).

The food there, like what previous people have mentioned, is good. Most island resorts have buffet meals but over here its all set meals so you don't have to fight for food (Well, most M'sians do). Try going to the island to coincide with the full moon. You will not regret the view at night, superb!!

The staff were friendly and service was prompt. All of them were eager to please and very chatty as well. At the end of the journey my girlfriend was really reluctant to leave, so reluctant that she actually shed a tear. It was the best holiday we had together so far.

Pros: ALmost everything!!
Cons: Not much variety of coral and fishes (nothing to do with the resort though), mosquitoes in the evening

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank boodyboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2008

We stayed here in mid June 2008. This is a great place to stay if you want peace and quiet and a good break. The pictures on the resort's website are a true reflection of what the place is. We took a full-board package and booked directly with the resort.

We took the Airasia flight from KL and arrived at KT to spend a night. We stayed at the Marang Guest House for 1 night. It was quite run down and a little yucky. Won't stay there again. The hotel next door, Seri Malaysia, looked better but they were fully booked when we enquired. Not sure if their rooms are good. We had to lug our bags for a 15 min walk from the guest house to the jetty. Not easy considering we had 2 young children with us. Maybe the Gem Island resort could arrange with one of the hotels in Marang for a special rate for visitors (with transfers incld.) since the flights from KL to KT are either too early or too late for guests to catch the ferry across.

On arrival in Gem Island, we were warmly greeted by the staff and she very nicely explained to us the facilities and meal timings etc. We arrived at 930am and our rooms were ready! The rooms are clean and have a King-sized bed and a day bed, which can be converted to an extra bed.

We were served individual portions meals for the 1st 2 days. But when a group came on the 3rd day, we then had to get food from the buffet spread. That was not as nice as the food was not piping hot then. We felt that the individual portions was good cuz it was freshly cooked.

The staff are extremely friendly and courteous. The housekeeping staff are very efficient and fast working. Kudos to the kitchen staff as their food was really good.

Overall, it was a good experience. But a word of advice, do go on a weekday. We felt that our little private island and retreat was sort of spoit when the groups came on Friday and Saturday. They were loud in the dining area. They smoked at the tables (no offence to smokers but it'll really be nice to have a meal without getting smoke in our hair and food). I know this is Malaysia but maybe the resort could have a designated smoking area so as to make the dining experience better.

We did not try the spa but it looked good and the masseurs were very friendly and always had a smile for us. The jaccuzzi is at the last room and looks out to the open sea across to Pulau Kapas.

There is really nothing to do on the island maybe except a little snorkelling. This place can be compared with Pangkor Laut but at least it's more affordable.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank hippomama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 9, 2008

This place is lovely.
We needed somewhere very last minute for a public holiday weekend break and managed to get one of the last rooms at Gem via their own very helpful travel agent.
Although more than we usually pay for an island break in Malaysia (we're quite tight usually) we wanted to make sure we had air con and was clean and pleasant. Cost is about RM300 for two per night or there are various packages available.
This island is much closer to the main land than most, making it an easy boat trip ride.
The resort has two small beaches and one restaurant. There is also a spa which we didn't use but looked nice.
Each room has a very private balcony with a fantastic view of the neighbouring island Kapas. The rooms are lovely, clean and even have a TV.
My only complaint would be that there was a large rowdy group who arrived on our last night and the next day basically took over the beach (which is very small) playing loud music from 11am. The hotel staff didn't make any attempt to ask them to be quiet even though they were clearly disturbing all other parties on the beach.
I have no objection to large groups having fun, but if I wanted loud music on the beach I would have gone to Thailand or Long Beach in Perhentian....

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank 1littlechief
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 26, 2007

My boyfriend and I stayed for 3 nights at the Gem Isle Resort. Overall we had a good experience, but there are still a few points to highlight for fellow travellers.

First, we booked the hotel directly per phone, communication was a little problem, but it went well. We booked a full board package as there are no other options to eat out. Would recommend to book that.

We arrived by noon at the jetty and the transfer was very quick.

The room was ok for an island resort. Much better then the chalet with common bathroom outside as you find them on other island. Nevertheless, there was always a terrible smell when walking to the room. As someone else said, it is probably due to the fact that the bungalows are above the water... But still it was disgusting, especially when walking out for dinner.

The bathroom was separated from the room, and had no AC, but it wasn't a problem. You get sand quite quickly in the room, so bring flip flops to wear inside. The beds are comfortable. We did have our own mosquito net, and I would advise to bring one. The hanging seats on the balcony was nice, and it's amazing to see all the fishes swimming right under your feet. Don't forget to hang out the "don't disturb" sign if you want to sleep longer.

The hotel's own turtle hatchery is a highlight. Other activities are centered around water activities, especially snorkelling, but we did find it even better on the Perhentians. Also after 3 nights, we started feeling a little bored. I would recommend only 2 nights on Gemia and go to other islands afterwards.
There is also a spa in the hotel, but we did not use its services.

The food was good. Althought the breakfast selection could be better, especially the orange juice, that was more a soda then a juice.
Try the cocktails, we found them very good (and strong).

Check out was easy and the transfer back was good. They organized a long distance taxi for our next destination, which we appreciated.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank babsp123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gem Island Resort & Spa

Address: Lot 2804 Jalan Rusila | Daerah Marang Terengganu, Marang 21600, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Terengganu > Marang
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Marang
Price Range: $82 - $134 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Gem Island Resort & Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 45
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The resort have 45 sea frontage villas, comprising of 2 suites, 4 hideaway Villas, 4 Premier Villas and 35 water villas. All villas are equipped with air conditioning and king sized beds with aside lounger. All villas have a balcony with a swing chair for your convenience. Villas are all ensuite with a toilet and shower room. The resort is built on the ridges of the coastline, thus preserving the hills and its natural physical formation. There is a main beach and 2 other smaller beach for your private use. There is a restaurant where all meals are served there. Seaport facilities like kayaking and snorkelling are also available. Guided snorkelling is also available upon request with minimum of 4 pax. Airport transfer can be arrange upon request with some charges. Rates are available on our official website. Thank you and hope to see you in Gem Island soon. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gem Island Hotel Marang
Gem Island Resort And Spa
Gem Island Resort & Spa Terengganu/Marang, Malaysia

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