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Perhentian Paradise Resort
Reviewed August 27, 2012

We just came back from a week in Watercolours resort. I had bought an all inclusive package consisting of diving, accomodation and food (80 MYR per person per day of food credit).
The bungallows themselves were clean enough but the feelings we got was that the management did not want to offer anything more than 4 walls and a bed. They could not even be bothered to put a nail in the bathroom to hang a towel. The bungallow consisted of the cheapest plywood you could find, 2 cheap metal frame beds and not much else. I would not have minded so much except that they charged 150 MYR a night for that which is insane!

They had only 4 very unconfortable lounge chairs for the whole resort and nothing else. No hammocks, no flower, nothing... The feeling again was that they could not care less what the place looked like.

The dive center was good enough and the dive masters and dive instructors were quite nice. We dove in small groups of maximum 4 divers and a dive master. The organisation was good. The only complaints I have is that the toilet was really dirty and they did not empty the garbage can for at least 3 days. But again, that part of the service was probably taken care of by the resort instead of the dive center.

Before I speak about the restaurant and food, I should say that we arrived to the island on the day after the end of Ramadan. The island was packed, the resort was full and the restaurant was overflowing every nights of our stay.
The food was actually quite good! The problem we had is that the service was atrocious and the menu kept shrinking every day. We had access to their barbecue the first night only, Pizzas ran out on the second day, fish, french fries, youghourt, coffee, everything ran out over the course of a few days. Being on a food included package made it difficult for us to go elsewhere. They of course had not told us that it would be very difficult to spend this whole amount. As a matter of fact, we had some credit left at the end of our stay despite eating there 3 times a day the whole week. They never offered to give us back the credit and even told us we could not use it to buy treats for the dive center staffs. They also forgot to tell us in advance that alcool was not available at the resort (that would have made it easier to spend the whole amount of our food credit).

The service took a turn for the worst on the second day with about 3 staffs for a restaurant packed with 200 guests! Some of the staffs told us some workers did not come back from holidays. It took about 2 hours to get our food, they were forgetting orders, giving food from one table to another, etc...

We did not see anyone from the management during our stay there. What we saw were dozen of customers complaining and getting angry after waiting for their foods for hours.

Some of the staffs were quite nice and apologetic. Unfortunatly, that just is not enough in the tourism industry.

These people really should not sell an all inclusive package unless they can deliver. They obviously can not!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Thierry C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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13 - 19 of 57 reviews

Reviewed August 6, 2012

My 2 cents:
- The restaurant/accomodation and the dive center are 2 seperate operations, however, e-mails are answered for both by the native english speakers working in the dive center (english skills of the reception staff are poor).

- The accomodation is just terrible, no other adjectives come to mind. I booked a "basic" room with fan for 90RM/night, I got a room in a hot, damp shack, holes is the floor and in the cealing (latter ones elegantly stuffed with TP). The bathroom is _really_small, smelly (and stinks up the whole room), toilet didn't work correctly (bucket for hand-flushing is provided, lol), sink empties to the floor. I had plenty of moskitos (sleeping drenched in DEET can't be healty) and some jungle sized cockroaches in my room, every morning the resort chickens woke me up, seems like they live on the huge mountain (like 3-4m height, 4-5m diameter) of garbage which is stacked right behind my bungalow.
Also: the fan didn't work properly (when set to "3" it just stops), no electrical outlets in the bungalow.

I complained at the reception, the answer of the girl (seriously, half of the staff in high season are students working there) behind the counter was that they are fully booked, if I didn't like it I should move to another resort (also full).
Also: no room service the whole 5 days I stayed, couldn't exchange towels at the reception ("sorry, we no have dry ones").

The restaurant is relatively pricey compared to the neighbourhood, also no alcohol sold there (at the neighbouring restaurant: 9RM/0,33l Carlsberg), be prepared that you'll hear "beef is finished" or "no prawn today, maybe tomorrow" quite often. Service is poor (had to wait 45min for my food to arrive quite often), quality is ok, portions can vary depending on the cook. BBQ in the evenings, slight changes on the dinner menu every day.

Last but not least: the diving center on the premises is well staffed (lots of experienced instructors from all over the world working there), diving is cheap (about 80-90RM/dive) and their equipment good, most is relatively new and well maintained.

Room Tip: Don't stay there, seriously, you'll regret it! Mama's Chalets, Coral View or Paradise re...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank Franz F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2012

I'm actually still on the island and sitting in the restaurant of the Paradise Resort. What a waste of money. I don't really know where to start but the accommodation was well below what I even expected as a backpacker. Our room had outside (but private) bathrooms and this was not the problem at all. We were informed by this beforehand. Anyway, after our arrival to a dirty room we had to beg for towels and certainly did not beg for a window in the room. This would have involved major construction work so we accepted a 'windowless' room. After all we were here for diving and the diving was great. I will rate the dive shop separately since Watercolors Divers is a different story (they are very good). Ok after we got used to a rather terrible room and also found that other divers already checked out of the resort, we were faced with the Paradise Resort Restaurant. Oh my god. We were on a dive package where food was included so we were literally forced to eat in this 'canteen' and I have seen much better canteens during my student time. I allow myself to such a harsh critic because this is our fourth (4) time here but it seems that ever since Anke left a while back, the resort and restaurant was crashing down like a plane without fuel. I'm now sitting in the restaurant and we ordered a juice about 40 minutes ago. We also already reminded the ladies two times so let's hope for the best. I don't even get angry anymore, it became more like a game in which we stop the time until the food comes and bet on how many time they forget the order or totally mix/mess it up. (I have to say that there is one lady from the Philippines which is great but she can't make up for the rest). When it comes to food, they have a different BBQ menu for every night of the week. I tried the Lobster 4 times and the NZ beef stake (275 grams) 5 times. No have, no have, no have. And many other items on the menu receive the same comments. oh...our juice just came with 45 minutes delay but at least it was the right one :-) I know it's our fault since we should have checked out Tripadvisor as we always do but since we have been here 3 times before, we know what to expect...What an error....So stay away as far as you can ! (We eat one night at Coral Bay Resort and it was beautiful. From the service to the food to the view, everything perfect !)
And again, don't mix this up with Watercolors Dive Center. Andrew and his crew are great and we had a super time with all the instructors and everything. We are experienced divers with more than 200 dives and Watercolors is really a place to go but you MUST go for a different resort and definitely restaurant. This is my harshest comment so far on Tripadvisor and I comment a lot ! Good luck Paradise Resort !

Room Tip: Don't bother...Stay somewhere else !
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Cape068
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2012

I had a fun 5 days at Watercolours Paradise Resort. I mainly went for the diving but the wildlife around the resort was a bonus. (Dusky Leaf Monkeys, Flying Lemurs & Monitor Lizard). It meet my expectations as THIS IS AN ISLAND accommodation with bungalows & huts not a luxury resort. I noticed peoples reviews about low standards of facilities eg. Bathroom but after travelling around Thailand & SEA this is normal. At least this resort has A/C & fans in the rooms, reception has storage/lockers for valuables and also facility to charge electronics. The restaurant is amazing, has great food, friendly staff, power plugs and wi-fi. Diving is FANTASTIC, good small friendly team with a great shop & well run. Would love to return!

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank aimee1812
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2011

I checked ou of this 'resort' without staying a night. Your room is a shed with a bed, there's no electric plug sockets, mould on the ceiling and you have to virtually sit on the loo to take a shower. The water from the basin drains onto your feet and the place is in need of maintenance. You can get a better standard of accommodation at the resorts either side of this one.

The food was good in the restaurant though and there's free wifi there.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with friends
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3  Thank mandaland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2011

We didn't stay at this resort, but the reviews don't look good.
Nonetheless, the food at the Watercolours pub is both tasty and varied. Given the challenges of operating on an island they seemed to do a great job. Prawns in creamy garlic curry sauce were great and the pizza's were prefectly fine too. Beef in szechuan sauce and chicken in creamy garlic curry sauce were good also. We ate here 3 nights in a row as hotel food on the island is pretty awful, so this represented a real find for us. It is crowded, lively and fun, with free wi-fi too. The range of beverages on offer was very wide indeed. Service wasn't flawless, but all done with a smile and genuineness, and after all is said and done its a beach bar, so expectations shouldn't be too high anyway. It also represented good value for money, too.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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Thank PaulD-UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2011

We have just returned from the WATERCOLOURS resort aka Paradise resort on Perhentian Besar (Big island). If I had have known that this was the same place and read the reviews I would have thought twice about staying here. However this place took bookings over the phone and as it had only one room available left over the weekend, it was a bit of a rush decision.
We paid RM90/night for a basic room and stayed for 5 nights. We would have stayed for a shorter time but everywhere else was booked up. The room was very basic but a reasonable size. Basic meant fan only, cold shower and no electricity points. These 2 last points weren't mentioned on the website or at the time of booking. However we have been to Fiji previously so were quite used to this standard.
The staff were mostly very nice happy people who seemed happy to help. We were welcomed with a fruit drink also.
After getting to our room, we realised that there was a very strong musty smell. We think this comes from the old mattresses used. Ours was almost black but they do use a clean mattresses protector though. However I went to the front desk and asked to get the mattress changed. They did this straight away and it was replaced with a slightly better looking old mattress. So we made do for the 5 nights.
The restaurant was pretty good, very busy and quite slow. Especially when it rained every night and organisation seemed to go out of the window.
The island itself was a lot quieter than the smaller backpacker island and could have done with more nighttime entertainment especially as it was the peak season.
In summary, PLEASE, PLEASE replace all of the MATTRESSES with NEW ONES!!!! Then freshen up ALL rooms so that it is livable. We may be backpackers on a small budget but that doesn't mean we expect FILTH!
If we were on a bigger budget we wouldn't stay here again!

Room Tip: Probably the cheapest AC rooms on the island at 120RM/night and Book early especially during peak se...
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  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Ricky600
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Perhentian Paradise Resort

Address: Pulau Perhentian Besar, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Terengganu > Pulau Perhentian Besar
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 11 Hotels in Pulau Perhentian Besar
Price Range: $10 - $20 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 146
Also Known As:
Perhentian Paradise Hotel Pulau Perhentian Besar

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