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.
- 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