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“Best choice at Perhentian Besar” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Reef Chalets

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The Reef Chalets
Thessaloniki, Greece
Level Contributor
44 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Best choice at Perhentian Besar”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 22, 2013

The Reef Chalets are located in the best part of Pulau Besar. They are built in a semi-cycle so they all have sea-view, plus there is a small garden in the center that gives some nice aesthetic. The rooms are cozy, simple and traditional decorated, the bathroom is dignified and the chalets are respectively new and clean. It's just what you need in a tropical paradise like that.
View from the balcony is post-card !! Everything is a few seconds away - several local restaurants, the best beach in the island is next at the P.I.R.

The service though could be better. They dont accept credit cards and the booking has to be done via bank deposit which is quit costly overseas. Plus the staff, although quit friendly, I reckon they should be more professional and helpful with every client -- (ex. we asked for new towels and they responded that they only change towels every 3 days)

Nevertheless, this is a minor issue, our experience was more than positive and we feel very happy we booked with Reef Chalets.

Room Tip: I dont think that the A/C is needed, the fan is doing the job well
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Marios G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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173 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
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penang
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 17, 2013

The chalets are located on a beautiful beach, with some green nature nearby. The beach is well maintained, and do not have much dead coral and stone on it. Quiet, peaceful, and close to nature. Accommodation reservation, speed boat arrangement, and check in are all arranged and done smoothly. A tropical paradise for those who seek for quiet, peaceful, and relax gateway.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank linpenang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Welwyn
Level Contributor
30 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 3, 2013

You have to realise that you are on a small tropical island and will not get a 5 star hotel, but (in the sea view chalets) you have a clean comfortable room with air-con, a fan and hot water. The beach directly before you is the picture-postcard tropical island beach. It is a bit rocky underfoot and the best beach to swim is round in the next bay over a walkway in front of the Perhentian Island Resort. The far side of this bay has coral and good snorkelling as well. Snorkelling trips to other bays can easily be arranged. The beach in front of the hotel is nicely shaded and better I think than Long Beach on Perhentian Kechil where we have stayed before which is very hot. It could do with some sun loungers though.
Unlike apparently some others, we arranged the booking very efficiently with Amiera by email although we did have to make a bank transfer to confirm the booking. Amiera and the rest of the staff are very friendly and helpful too. They have a room with books and games to borrow.
The Reef Chalets does not provide food but there is a Chinese/Thai restaurant just next door that does good Chinese/Malaysian food and is one of the few places on the island where you can buy beer. Just a bit further along the bay Mamas does a good breakfast and barbecued fish in the evening.

Room Tip: Sea view air con rooms are probably the best
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank GrahamWelwyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level Contributor
137 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 13, 2013

So a couple of weeks before arriving I asked to make a reservation at reef, they told me to do so I needed to deposit money into their account. I thought this seemed an insecure way to secure a booking and also very outdated. My bank also thought so and wouldn't allow me to do the deposit. So I tied western union, however we were in Sri Lanka at the time which refuses to let anyone send money out of the country! We were super excited about staying however and Reef chalets agreed to hold our room an we would pay on arrival, yay!
The day we were meant to arrive we had delays in our flights, I emailed straight away explaining the situation and the details of our new flights and we were still coming, we would have payed for the night we missed!
By the time we arrived in kuala Besut it had been 3 days of travel with no sleep, we were physically and mentally exhausted. I constantly checked my email with no reply from reef (strange as they always replied previously!) it was time to get on the ferry and I asked the boat owners to call the resort for me. I was told they gave our room away!
We were now stuck in perhentian with no accommodation in peak season! With our huge backpacks in the heat we trekked across the island and found everything booked out. We finally found the most awful place ive ever with black mold pillows and brown toilet. it's now our second night and we have had to move twice and moving again tomorrow to any place we find available. Our romantic holiday has turned into an absolute NIGHTMARE!! If they weren't going to honour their booking they should have told me in the first place and I would have booked somewhere else!! They never even emailed me back or apologised! what hotel doesn't at least have PayPal a secure booking website?? Obviously this place cares more about money than its guests!

Stayed September 2013
Helpful?
10 Thank Tyneil N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hanoi, Vietnam
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 7, 2013

Reef Chalets - stayed Sept 2012 - travelling in a couple (30s) and mother (60s). Perhentian Besar has no banks, ATMs, roads, cars - it's a tropical, peaceful paradise for getting away from the modern world! With turquoise waters, beautiful beaches and an abundance of wildlife (monitor lizards, little fruit bats, skink tree lizards, flying lemurs roosting in the trees, green-crested lizards)....to name a few!

Location
Fantastic location - the beach directly in front of Reef Chalets is quiet with calm waters for swimming, ok snorkelling and a few hammmocks for relaxing. 5 mins walk from the best beach in the Perhentian islands at Perhentian Island Resort. For the best snorkelling, go left of the jetty/PI Resort to see turtles, blue spotted sting rays, black tip baby reef sharks, moray eels, puffer fish, box fish, and other tropical fish!

Reef chalets sends a small boat to meet you from the speedboat ride from the mainland. The speedboat from Kuala Besut jetty was 70RM per person return, 30 mins (if not choppy waters). From Kota Bharu airport to Kuala Besut jetty is 70-80RM per car one way. Easy enough to just sort out when you arrive (no need to book ahead in Sept time).

Accommodation
We stayed in a seaview deluxe fan chalet (100RM per room per night) and seaview a.c deluxe chalet 160RM per chalet per night) for 2 nights, before moving to the Beach family a.c suite (290 RM per 2 rooms suite per night) for 4 nights.

The chalets (fan & a.c) are beautiful, wooden, traditional Malay style chalets, situated in a semi-circle (so all have an ocean view) surrounding a garden. The deluxe chalets were spacious, very clean, secure, (no safes, but you can hand in valuables into the safe in reception), had queen sized beds with mosquito nets, each with your own, private balcony and en suite bathroom.

There was a shared kitchen out the back, which guests are free to use. Handy for an early morning cup of coffee to enjoy on the balcony!

The family suite is directly on the beach. Note, the 2 rooms have an open doorway to each other (so, slight lack of privacy). The balcony on the beach is an absolute treat to wake up to, go for a swim or watch the sunset. We had monkeys come and visit us on our balcony in the mornings!

Staff
Rashidah is a lovely host, who was very responsive to emails, answered all my questions, gave lots of information and was very understanding when we had trouble with a bank transfer for the deposit. The other staff were also polite, friendly and helpful. Kah Mah, the lovely local lady who cleans the chalets will make you a tasty curry & pratha breakfast for a bargain! Thank you to Rashidah and the wonderful staff!

No restaurant, but enough food options within a 5-10 min walk.

Things to do: easy 1.5 jungle trek (you can see monitor lizards, monkeys and ther wildlife), scuba diving (one of the best dive sites in Asia - Tokong Laut/Temple of Seas) - we dived with Pro Diver's World, snorkelling trip - goes to 3 different sites. Most of all - relax and watch the calm ocean. I would definitely stay at Reef Chalets again!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank CharlieandAl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lyon, France
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2013

We spent one night in a "Seaview Deluxe – a/c RM180/night 1 Queen Bed; Hot shower" chalet. We had meant to stay longer but August is a busy time and we had no reservation. (We had tried to make a reservation a few months earlier via email but after our second email we hadn't received any response. Still don't know how we should have reserved.) The chalet was clean, the bathroom as well, the warm water (typical British-style electric heater) worked, and we had a mosquito net (useful) but like all the accomodation on Pulau Perhentian Besar, it's nothing special and could do with a renovation - but all the chalets on the island appear to resemble each other more or less.
The nice and different thing about the Reef is that it is only a 5 min walk to the most beautiful beach on the island (in front of Perhentian Island Resort) and a good restaurant (Watercolours) but it feels more laid back and friendly than the other bigger resorts. The chalets are somewhat set back from the beach close to the forest, which means you don't have other tourists walking by all the time and you get to have monkeys hanging off your chalet. We did both their snorkeling trips, which were great and not as expensive as at other places on the island. Would stay there again.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kidthecat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2013

We spent a week at Reef Chalets, and were impressed with the basic, reasonably priced accommodation. Our cabin was sparkling clean, with an efficient bathroom and comfortable beds. The fan and air conditioning were up to scratch, keeping our chalet nice and cool. The staff were very polite and helpful. There were plenty of nice restaurants a quick walk away. The accommodation was extremely near the beautiful beach. Quiet and peaceful, Reef Chalets was a relaxing place to be. There were comfortable hammocks right by the sand. Snorkelling was wonderful; we saw all sorts of gorgeous fish, turtles and even sharks and sting rays. We had a great stay at Reef Chalets.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Family Room - apart from the cold water it was fine.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank 311travelgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Reef Chalets

Property: The Reef Chalets
Address: Pulau Besar | Perhentian Islands, Pulau Perhentian Besar, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Terengganu > Pulau Perhentian Besar
Amenities:
Beach
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 11 Specialty Lodging in Pulau Perhentian Besar
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Reef Chalets is a cosy small place with 12 Chalets arranged in a half moon shape in a lush tropical garden with big trees and grass area. ... more   less 

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