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“The resort is bad, but it's still worth it for the great snorkeling!”

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Perhentian Island Resort
Kawasaki, Japan
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“The resort is bad, but it's still worth it for the great snorkeling!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 27, 2011

We spent 6 nights in this resort last summer and before people considering
where to stay on the Perhentians this summer start making reservations,
I thought I'd share my experience and opinions.
I booked our Deluxe Chalet through an agent at perhentianislandresorts.com
for RM327 as opposed to the resort's official site perhentianislandresort.net
where the rate for the same room was RM385.
As we arrived at Kota Bharu in the late afternoon flight the day before, as
opposed to staying at KL, we stayed over night at KB and took the earlier
boat leaving from Kuala Besut at around 11am. This turned out to be a good
move. Once we got checked in, a guy showed us to our chalet (#220) which
was on the second row (from the beach) as advertised, but the view was almost
completely blocked by the back wall of what they called the Deluxe Suite (?),
an ugly white two storied concrete building (the only one of its kind), so even
before we were shown inside, we asked for another room. The guy didn't even
hesitate and showed us a couple more rooms further towards the end of the
beach, one of which although facing sideways, even had a direct view of the
ocean if we looked to the left from the balcony. I was quite satisfied with it, but
my wife was still not pleased and pointed at another room just being cleaned
looking vacant, which had an undisturbed and direct view of the ocean (#235,
one of 4 rooms, #235-#238 in the same semi-detached building all the way at
the end of the beach), which the guy confirmed was actually also in the same
category. He was reluctant to let us have it and told us to check with reception
so I went back and the young woman there hesitated momentarily, but let us
have it saying that the people who were supposed to have the room haven't arrived
yet (perhaps they were paying RM385!?). So it's worth getting there early and
have them show you all the available rooms and fuss a bit. I must add that it
was apparent that the resort was trying to give us the worst room because we're
Japanese, who normally complain far less than the average Caucasian.
All of the Deluxe rooms we saw were basically the same, a little warn out and
grotty in some places, especially the bathroom as others have repeatedly pointed
out. But considering where this is, it wasn't as bad as all that, only slightly dirtier
than the chalets at Coral Redang Resort as my only other point of comparison,
which is a little more expensive anyway. With a direct view and access to the great
beach, we had no complaints. This end of the beach is where the best snorkeling is
(the other end being in front of Coral View Resort), so if you want good snorkeling
close to your room, ask for #235 to #238, if you don't want to pay extra to stay in the
Beachfront Chalets. There's also a lot less foot traffic at this end of the beach, giving
you more privacy and a better chance to relax.
After reading just how bad the food is, we pretty much decided not to eat there at all,
except on our first morning, we ordered an omelet and pancake. It took them over
half an hour to bring the food and it was only barely edible. The breakfast buffet looked vile.
The dinner menu, which pretty much seemed to consist of the same type of seafood BBQ
and traditional Malay dishes, was at least 30% more expensive than the other resorts
and probably not any better, if not worse. So definitely give the food here a miss.
My major complaint is the housekeeping. We saw the same poor woman day after day
basically doing all the work by herself, except occasionally she had a young guy sweeping and I really felt sorry for her, but our room, being at the very end of the beach often didn't get cleaned until 5 or even 6pm! So after a day of diving and snorkeling returning to our room to shower before dinner, we found that it hadn't been cleaned yet with no clean towels or shampoo, etc. replenished. I complained to reception suggesting that they should alternate the order the rooms are cleaned day-by-day, and the next day our room was cleaned before noon.
There seems to be no dispute how good the beach and the snorkeling is (we even saw a
family of saddleback anemone fish not far out from the beach), so if that's your own objective, I don't think it's such a bad place to stay, though they could improve the resort a lot if the management wanted to, I must agree. The snorkeling in front of Coral View was just as good, but the chalets there seemed to be so close together and there are so many people walking along in front of the beachfront rooms there so I don't think it would be as relaxing.
I don't know what the snorkeling is like in front of Tuna Bay, but I would consider staying at
PIR again, if only just for the beach and the snorkeling.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Taku M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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787 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
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Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 16, 2010

We were so disappointed with the PIR. After reading one of the reviews on here that said it was the place to go to if you were heading to the Perhentians on your honymoon we thought it would be a winner but I really wouldn't bother. Yes, the beach is lovely, but the cons far outweigh this advantage. The rooms are average at best, the food is appalling (one night we were served fish that we wouldn't even eat - and we're not fussy eaters!) with flies and ants all over the place, food left uncovered with nothing to keep it heated. Honestly the worst food I have ever been served. We also saw rats running about the outdoor restaurant. The pool is a stagnant pond near the dilapidated back of the resort and the staff are the most vacant I have encountered. Plus, they serve no alcohol at the resort, which came as a bit of a blow when we decided to have a couple of drinks to lessen the disappointment re. the room. I assume that this is due to religious reasons, so is understandable, but I wish we had known in advance. Thankfully you can easily get a boat ride round the island (not far - maybe 10 mins max) to Tuna Bay, where they have a bar with an excellent barman (great margaritas!), a lovely view and a decent restaurant. I wish we had stayed there. There are also a few other nice little restaurants along the same stretch as Tuna Bay, which do simple (yet edible) fish dishes and where you can get a beer or two.

Would recommend the island and the snorkelling, just not the PIR.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank NutsLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Pulau Perhentian Besar hotels

Shanghai
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 5, 2010

We checked in at the PIR and it was our worst experience in Asia so far. As we travel with a 4 years old, we usually don't go to basic accomodation, therefore I booked the PIR because it was the most luxurious option on the Perhentians.
But we were really disappointed with this resort. the first room we were given had no extra bed, was extremely dirty, did not have a working shower and was situated at the most far end of the resort. As we paid in advance for our trip (one of the resorts' requirements) and therefore we didn't want to leave, we asked for another room. After waiting at least one hour (and we could also see a lot of other guests were not satisfied with their rooms) we were offered to upgrade to a more expensive room. As we didn't want our vacation to be spoilt, we decided to pay the extra money and change to the other room. This room was run down, but not so dirty and had the extra bed for our son. Dinner was ok, but the next morning, the included breakfast was horrible. further, there were not enough daybeds at the beach for all guests, there were no (clean) towels to use at the beach. We came from KL where we stayed at the Traders Hotel for the same price as PIR is charging and the contrast between these two hotels could not have been bigger. This is really a rip off. I was warned already by the reviews on Tripadvisor, but wanted to take the gamble because of the description in the Lonely Planet. Although the beach is nice, there are many places in Malaysia and or Thailand which are equally nice and have better hotels to stay for the same price. It really sucked and we left after one night, took the boat to Pulau Redang and really enjoyed our stay at the Berjaya Beach Hotel. Also please note that they do not serve any alcohol at this resort. A nice cold beer could have relieved the hardship.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Feek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
31 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 1, 2010

The beach is a nice white sand beach with clear waters. Its a bit of a shame that there are speed boats/water taxi's etc, always going in and out of the hotel's beach front.

The rooms are really bare minimums in need of an upgrade. The shower curtains are dirty, the floors chipped, the lighting is minimal (though it may be better not seeing the rooms to well).

The hotel is understaffed. The restaurant food is awful. Whatever staff is there is either overwhelmed or just does not care about the guests. If you can find another place to stay on Perhentain Island, I recommend you do not stay at this hotel.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Rachel22864
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milan, Italy
Level Contributor
30 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 29, 2010

Attention:
- mouse in the room
- bed durty
- they never used detergent for keeping the room during the 4 days we stay at the resort
- people is very unfair, opposite vs. all Malysia place we have been before
- service is terrible and food even worst!


Don't go!!!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank maxolino76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
malaysia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2010

the best way to get the most of the hotel is to pre book it during the MATTA fair ( local malaysian travel fair - held in march and sept)
you can arrange everything with the travel agent. othersiwe book it with the locals travel agents - a good one will be ping anchorage ( just google)
perhentian island resort is located at the most beautiful and serene waters of perhentian island. the entire place is secluded from other hotels.
the rooms are also very spacious and clean. we took the room facing the pool.it was merely a 3 min walk out the the beach . I founf it to be a better location as we could cool off in the pool anytime. Don't expect much from the pool though - it's a beach resort so it's actually a plus they even have a pool cause the other hotels don't. i found all the staff friendly except the ones at the reception are were slow on their service. the beach is the best thing which is the whole point of the resort anyway. it's the best beach in the entire island.it would be better if they had more beach chairs as i loved it that it wasn't plastic but comfy wood.i spent most of the day lounging on the beach,taking naps and having a dip every now and then while people watching.if you want a variey of food you could take a walk over a little bridge up to the next resort and there are more restaurant and massage services . be warned that you should make the trip back to the hotel while there's still sunlight as there are no lights along the bridge part and it's dangerous as you really need to watch your step. most foreigners find it expensive but the hotel has amazing prices and packages during the local travel fairs.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank krayzie_blaze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berlin, Germany
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 13, 2010

Dirty,unfrendly and not worth the money.
We went there in 2000 and nothing has changed , except that it has gotten worse.
The food is terrible we had Diorea from day two.
Sorry to say we stayed for 7 nights but we will never go back

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank scuba1_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Perhentian Island Resort

Property: Perhentian Island Resort
Address: | Daerah Besut, Pulau Perhentian Besar 22200, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Terengganu > Pulau Perhentian Besar
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Pulau Perhentian Besar
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Pulau Perhentian Besar
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Perhentian Island Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 106
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Perhentian Island Resort is an ideal beach resort for a leisurely family vacation in Malaysia. Surrounded by lush greenery, facing white sandy beaches and a warm blue sea, Perhentian Island is a holiday paradise not to be missed. Perhentian Island, or Pulau Perhentian as the locals call it, is well known as a marine paradise and forms a parts of the National Marine Park of Malaysia. In the surrounding areas of Perhentian Island Resort, you will find many things to see and do. Take a jungle trek up the hills under a canopy of large trees, and you might see wild magpies, giant fruit bats or the Nicobar pigeon. Perhentian Island lies along the flight path of this migratory bird. You might also see the harmless monitor lizard or even the unique lutong monkey species. The nearest jungle trail is less than 100 metres away from our resort. Or gather your family and head to the inviting sea for a swim. For those who enjoy snorkelling or scuba diving, the Resort is strategically located, fronting a coral-rich bay. The marine ecosystem of this area is well documented and held in high regards by snorkellers and scuba divers. If you come between June and September, you might get lucky and see giant green turtles laying eggs along the beach. Enjoy your next family holiday at this paradise beach resort, where reality is like a dream. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Perhentian Island Hotel Pulau Perhentian Besar
Perhentian Island Pulau Besar

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