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Perhentian Tuna Bay Island Resort
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Reviewed August 8, 2011

The logistic went fine. We were picked up at the right times with taxis, boats, etc.. This was working perfect with no delays or misunderstandings.

The Tuna Bay Resort is located with a lovely beach where you have a lot of fish and corals 10 meter out in the water - superb!
The resort is a little compact in terms of the beach, accomodation and restaurant. Everything is a little squeezed together which makes it a little claustrophobic during peak season. The rooms are basic but we were surprised that there wan no fridge in the room.

The really problem with the resort is the personnel in the restaurant. Each time we eat there we experienced a very low servicelevel and no knowledge whatsoever in how to organize and run a restaurant. Some points which was annoying:

- Food never arrives at the same time. Often one person was finish eating before the rest of the food arrived.
- Depending on where you are sitting it's really difficult to get the attention of the waiters. Often we had to go the bar and call them which is a little rude (but necessary)
- There are no organization. In the evenings there are 5 waiters serving 20-30 tables. They should split up the tables in zones.
- One evening we tried to just wait and see how long time it will take to be served. After 30 minutes the waiter finally arrived and asked if we wanted dessert or coffee!!??
- Some of the waiters are really slow and never smiles. I would like to see a little more motivation and interaction with the guests.

But enough moaning about the personel! The quality of the food was very good!! But you should order the local dishes which is way better and fresh compared to the western food which is never really the same as back home (ofcourse)

We were a little disappointed with the snorkling trip. It's basically just a water taxi that brings you to 3-4 spots where you can snorkle. The taxi guy don't know anything about the marine life and different kinds of fish and he only know a few words in english. When we booked these tours in Thailand it was normally a guide which had knowledge about fishes and gave advise.

The snorkling trips on Perhentian is overpriced. They charge you per person even though how many you are which could end costing 200 RM for a short ride.

We rented the canoes instead which was lovely. A good way to experience the other locations on the island on your own.

Next time we come to Perhentian we would definately book Perhentian Island Resort instaed. It was way better located with a much larger beach (more natural beach) - better sand to bath/swim if you don't want to snorkle - however snorkling was a bit further out. The rooms at Perhentians looked better as well with more space around and a fridge as well.

Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
1  Thank mowgly33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2011

The transfer from Khota Bharu to Kuala Besut by taxi went smoothly as did the boat ride on Tuna Bay’s (enclosed) speed boat to the resort. We were allocated room 18 - a standard bungalow just behind the restaurant. At first we thought it would be noisy and asked to change, but were told this was not possible as the resort was full. In fact, there was little noise from the restaurant (in the morning), and we actually had a lovely beach view from our terrace! The room was clean and modern with good air conditioning.

The restaurant provides a good spread for breakfast, including an egg station. We did not eat there every night as there are other restaurants along the beach (Cocohuts and Abduls for example), however we did sample the Satay which was very good.

The bar is a feature of Tuna Bay (as many nearby resorts do not serve alcohol) and was popular from around sunset onwards for cold beer and cocktails served by the friendly barman.

The beach in front of the resort is lovely with clean white sand (though as some have said, there are not enough sunbeds) and the snorkelling is good for something so easy to access (though it does not compare to a good house reef in the Maldives for instance – and the water was not very clear when we were there).

We took the snorkelling trip (booked through hotel reception). Eight of us in total in a small boat visited 4 snorkelling spots. It was very good value. Visibility varied at the different spots, with some being clearer than others. We also visited the Perhentian Island Resort (by water taxi) one day, which was on a lovely beach.

Overall the Tuna Bay was a good choice for Perhentian Besar, but we were surprised to find it really was not as remote as we had expected, bearing in mind that it is fairly difficult to get to. There were lots of families with toddlers and even small babies – who had managed to transport all their prams/ pushchairs etc with them.

The resort is run very efficiently. The transfer back to the airport was smooth. On thing to note though – although we had requested a taxi to take us from Kuala Besut to the airport, they put us in a shared minibus (for the same price). However, it turned out to be a quick journey and the driver was good.

Tuna Bay resort would seem to be a world away – but when you arrive you will find the world is already there!

Room Tip: All rooms are less than 50m to the beach!
  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank pier21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2011

I think this place may be okay for families. There's a lot of noisy kids everywhere - the beach, the dining area, everywhere! Not very relaxing. Couples expecting a romantic and relaxing time should really stay somewhere else.

Very expensive, but basic rooms. They are small, somewhat clean, and everything works. Extremely hard bed! They cleaned the room very late. Some days at 5 in the afternoon, which was annoying.

The restaurant was shockingly bad. At one point I decided to order a spaghetti bolognese, thinking they couldn't possibly mess that up, but think again: I found a huge chunk of old beef in it and several thick, black hairs. It was vile. When we said we weren't paying for it, they told us they were sorry, and that's it. Never eat there! The Cocohut restaurant, the Cosy restaurant and Abduls are very close, and much better. But generally, service and food on this island is not that great! Our food never arrived at the same time.

Speaking of Abduls chalets, they're right down the beach (2 minutes) and look so much better. The beach there is perfect too. They don't serve alcohol, but Tuna Bay does.

Perhenthian Island resort also looked very nice! Much better service, great food and the best beach on the island. But no alcohol...

Tuna Bay had a nice bar in the evening with a friendly bartender. I didn't find that anywhere else on the island. Still, I'd advice couples to stay somewhere else, and go to Tuna bay in the evening for their drinks.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank nilledk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 2, 2011

We came to Tuna Bay in a group of 8, 4 adults and 4 teenagers. We all had an incredible holiday at this great, low key resort with everything you need to have a relaxing and adventurous holiday. We took our shoes off when we arrived and didn't put them on again until we left. 5 days was good but we could have stayed another 5. Crystal clear water and a coral reef just metres from the beach, many wonderful diving and snorkelling spots within 10 minutes on a boat, off for a snorkel on the other side of the island, back in time for lunch! All staff were pleasant, our favourite was Jimmy in the restaurant . His level of service would fare well in any top 5 star resort (5 star could learn a thing or two) was exemplary, you felt personally looked after by him and spoiled by such friendly staff. The food at the resort was excellent. A combination of Western, Malysian, Chinese with wonderful seafood opportunities. We had huge lobsters one night for 80 ringgitt. By Malaysian standards the prices were high for food and drinks (especially wine) but nothing compared to Australia..... we lashed out. The cocktail bar was fantastic (still no shoes) the barman, top notch.

The rooms are simple but spotlessly clean with aircon and bottled water supplied at no cost each day. The beds were comfortable and there was a safe in the room too. We had a seaview room interconnecting with the one behind. King size bed in the seaview, and a queen and a single in the rear room. Not much space for matresses beyond this though. Our friends had 3 in a seaview room and it was a bit squeezy. Bathrooms basic but clean.

There are taxi boats moored at the front of the resort that you can take to other islands and snorkelling trips. We loved Georgi, a lovely young guy who went out of is way to take us on some great boat trips, just a couple of hours for hardly any money. He would snorkel with us to show us the underwater life. We all experienced deep sea diving with Universal Divers just next door, a very professional outfit with fun people. One of us did their PADI certificate while we were there.

Don't go if you like pools and internet but it is a beautiful tropical island. The small island across the bay has more low key accommodation and a younger party crowd, so if you're backpacking or cruising around it may be more for you. Tuna Bay had a slightly older/family crowd with many Europeans.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
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Thank pebarnard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2011

We stayed at Tuna Bay for a week in July. We are a family with 2 teenagers. We spent the week diving with Universal Divers who were great. The resort was nice, clean and comfortable. We ate at Tuna Bay every day except one when we tried another place but the food was not as good. You may pay a bit more in the restaurant at Tuna Bay but it is worth it. The staff are very helpful and friendly. We broke the key in the lock one day and the power also tripped and both were attended to within minutes and sorted out. I would come here again. My only complaint is that people put towels on the loungers first thing in the morning and then don't sit on them. Perhaps the management could make a rule that if you leave your lounger for more than 20 minutes other people can use it.

Room Tip: We had a beachfront family room but the I would quite happily stay in one of the garden rooms.
  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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Thank Laspig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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