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“Return to Tuna Bay” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Perhentian Tuna Bay Island Resort

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Perhentian Tuna Bay Island Resort
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level Contributor
188 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
“Return to Tuna Bay”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 4, 2012

Second time to Tuna Bay and noted some improvements since last July. Fabric covered cushions on the chairs in the restaurant have been replaced with faux leather ones, makes much more sense. A few more bushes have been planted in the resort. Wi fi is now free but can stop working at peak times like breakfast.Staff as friendly as before. Breakfast is the same as last year, but additional bonus of fresh rambutans and mangosteens if you get there early enough. Yum. One day there were fresh waffles but they went in a heartbeat and were not replaced. Negatives, price of the 'lassi' shakes have gone up. Sometimes you get a threadbare towel with holes in it, but they are clean. The beds are still rock hard, consider bringing your own mattress topper! Still no foam on the loungers, but buy a blow up 'floatie' and lounge on that instead. Staff should inform guests that fins are BANNED on the reef, even though people I spoke to swore they were not stepping on the coral. Still, wake up people fins are unecessary, the water is hardly choppy. Unfortunately shops are still selling fins, plus, snorkelling trips provide guests with fins. Still having said all this, Tuna Bay is the most professional of all operations on the island and apart from Bubu's on Kecil, the food is the best here too. Yes, more expensive than Abdul's Chalet or Cocohut but better flavours and more thought put into presentation. By the way try the kingfish fillet with mango salsa and the fresh mushroom soup, delicious! Clearly I recommend this place as I am a second time customer.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank colourfulcloud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 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 (130)
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Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
422 reviews
138 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 202 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 3, 2012

Fantastic! We booked 4 nights at Tuna Bay and after visiting Kecil and walking around Besar we came back and stayed another 4 nights – this was the best all round option on both islands as far as we were concerned. Definitely pre-book. We had a standard room for NZ$110 the first stay and a Hillside for NZ$150 which at first glance seemed overpriced but after staying at other places and reading reviews – the rooms were great plus you are not just paying for the room but all of the following which we could not find anywhere else on these islands:

• Located on a beautiful beach with silky white sand
• All day snorkelling a few feet into the water with beautiful coloured coral and fish right in front of the resort
• An efficient beachfront restaurant with friendly staff
• A beachfront bar with beer, wine and cocktails
• Daily room servicing
• Tropical fish swimming around your ankles when padding in the water
• Beach Loungers (pick the plastic ones, the wooden ones have no padding)

Room - The standard room which had twin beds, plenty of storage space, AC, fan and deck, serviced daily was fine. Our only complaint was the shower had very low pressure and sometimes the pump did not kick in (not that it made much difference) and the toilet cistern made a filling sound continually. The Hillside room was new, larger, queen and single bed, shower pump worked well, fridge, fan, AC and deck where you could sit and spot the squirrels and monkeys in the trees.

Restaurant - The restaurant prices were not as cheap as Malaysian food normally, but cheaper than at home and they had a bar. It was busy and efficiently run as people came from other resorts to eat here. The restaurant served good food (best deal was 12 chicken satay sticks, roti and salad for 19rm, their crumbed fish and chips, the fish melted in your mouth it was so fresh). Main meals are around 25rm (you can get as cheap as 13 for a salad, 17 a wrap and as expensive as 42 for a t-bone steak). They have a delicious large banana split for only 10rm. Free wifi in the restaurant. The staff were efficient and professional – very unusual on these islands. We went for breakfast early around 7.30 as later on they struggled to keep up and you could wait 20 minutes for a refill. I thought it was a good selection.

Bar – Alcohol is not available at many places or in shops (that we could find). Beer is 10rm same price as a juice, wine is 19rm and a cocktail at 25rm. Cheaper than we expected as alcohol is very expensive in Malaysia.

Beach – white silky sand and the underwater life was so fantastic; fish as well as coral. You could snorkel just a few feet from the waters edge. Goggles hire only 5rm each per day. Only improvement we believe they could make is to put some cushions on those loungers.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank lynneandcarl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chelmsford, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 2, 2012

The Perhentian Islands are as close to (slightly inhabited) paradise as you will find these days. The scenery both above and under the water is stunning, and the laid back atmosphere of he resort fits perfectly.

Travelled with my boyfriend and two friends on the full board package which included more food than it was possible to eat. This package also included all pick ups and transfers to the resort and two free snorkelling trips (that due to the fantastic reef in front of the resort and diving trips with Universal Diver next door we did not make use of). There is a bar within the resort called the Tuna Club that makes some amazing cocktails from fruit juiced freshly at the bar, all for less than you pay at a Wetherspoons for a rubbish drink in the UK.

Rooms were basic but clean, with a small veranda with chairs and table. Two bottles of water are provided each day in the room.

Amazing place to relax away from it all with limited mobile phone signal and wifi..... wish I was back there now!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SaziJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barcelona, Spain
Level Contributor
53 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 28, 2012

We have been 4 nights at TBIR. It's been a wonderful stay. I endorse most of the positive comments about this place. Food is pricey, yes, but the important thing is there are good alternatives nearby such as Nia's Cafe or the funny Cocohut Restaurant. Here goes my criticism. TBIR should make an urgent and necessary investment in bed linen and towels. TBIR is by no means a backpackers place, and its rates show it. Whatever the price, it is unacceptable for a hotel to offer bath towels and bed linen with stains and holes (looks like we were honoured with the "gran reserve" ones day after day...) In overall, a very satisfying experience. I encourage everyone to ever pay a visit to the (Big)Perhentian Island, a small piece of paradise on earth.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Francesc A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
25 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 26, 2012

Dont bother the negative reviews.
Offcourse this resort is more pricy than other places in Malaysia, but come on, you're in freekin paradise!
You pay for the location.

We had a hillview chalet and nothing to
complain.
The staff was very friendly and helpfull, the food was good, everynight bbq for reasonable price.
this resort has the best part of the beach.
The room was clean and spaceous.

You dont need to try Perhentian Kecil, it has nothing that Besar doesnt have and the accomodation there is crappy.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Moos1983
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
monza
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 17, 2012

Perhentian
We staid at Tuna Bay 7 nights in August 2012. Staff is very nice and satisfies all clients' requests. Room was comfortable, very clean and spacious. We chose the sea view room, that seems to be the newest, with a nice private deck outside. But also the beach front chalets and garden ones seemed nice too. Considering the difference of price the garden chalets seem a good choice, specially if you plan to stay outside and enjoy water activities. Be aware that Tuna Bay is not isolated but has several hotels and the Navy nearby. The beach is small but has coral sand and a wonderful reef right in the front. The only problem is the noise due to the jetties in the front of the restaurant, with traffic of boats all day long. The restaurant is one of the best along with Abdul and Bubu's ones; the last ones have a better atmosphere for dinner. Anyway you can reach the restaurants and the beaches of Abdul and Cocohut in few steps. Tuna Bay provides for cocktails, beer and wine, also in late hours at the Tuna club, that is a corner of the restaurant where you can enjoy a cocktail listening to music; it is not a disco, but it is the only place of the beach where you can hang out after dinner.

Tips for Perhentian
Enjoy snorkeling activities
Beach boys are nice, a bit crazy but helpful. You can trust them. They only provide for taxi services, so they are not INVADENTI.
For the youngs: long beach in Kecil is your place. Cheap, alcohol, shisha, music, banana boat. Other locations are quiet and more for couples.
Be aware that in Perenthian you will not find the high quality of hotels: even the best ones (Tuna and Bubu) are not "five stars".
Be also aware that unfortunately the environment of the islands is not safeguarded by local people: it is easy to see garbage in water as on beaches between the hotels.
If you search for privacy, evaluate those places (that we saw only from distance): Bubbles in Besar; Mira, Impiani, D'Lagoon in Kecil. Impiani seems of high quality, but was closed for refurbishment.

Spotlight Perenthian
Abdul's chalets: easy, nice chalets from outside, very nice and quiet beach, good and cheap restaurant, even if the service is a bit long and there is no alcohol.

Cocohut: beach front chalets seem nice from outside. The beach is nice. They manage also the Cozy chalets, that are not comfortable to access because they are located on a hill. We spent one night in August 2012 at Cozy chalets: the room is spacious, but basic and not very clean. the view is nice. Restaurant at Cocohut is cheap but quite good. Cocohut is always a chaotic place.

Coral View: the new chalets seem very nice from outside, not the old ones. So be careful. We had lunch there one time, it was awful and extremely long service. Plus no alcohol.

Perenthian Island Resort: the beach is very nice, right in the front of turtle point. The resort is huge. The chalets seem nice from outside. Although the resort is alone on the beach, it is not isolated considering its size.

Teluk Dalam: the beach is not as nice as described in guides. Right behind the beach there is a stinky and awful STAGNO that seems a dump. The hotels there appear of a low standard.

Bubu: this resort is located at Long Beach in Kecil. The rooms are in a building and not chalets. The restaurant is very good but the most expensive of the islands. They have alcohol. Bubu manages also nice chalets in another part of Long Beach. Bubu is a good option for those who seek for good quality and fun.

Senja: nice from outside, but it is an old structure. Definitively it seems a low standard place.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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?
5 Thank Puschock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 15, 2012

I would like to write a better review about this hotel but their service was just not good enough.

Lets start with the good points. The room was simple but offered all the necessary features like hot shower, air-con, fan and safe deposit box. The location is very good, the beach in front of the hotel is amazing with pristine water and good coral for snorkelling. The breakfast was simple but had a fair choice.of options.

Now some disappointing points that compromised the overall experience. The towels looked dirty. Anything on the hotel is more expensive than any other part of the island. The restaurant was good but we just had dinner during 1 day in our 5 nigh stay because it was the most expensive place in the island. Snorkelling trips were also overpriced, you can ask water taxis or the island shop and get similar snorkelling trips for a cheaper price. I brought a mix of USD and MYR for Perhentian and tried to pay part of the bill in USD. However their exchange rate was horrible, something like 10% worse than the money exchange from the airport.
When we were leaving the hotel I asked the reception for a small bottle of water to take on the way back. They usually leave a complementary 300ml bottle of water in the rooms daily but we had used ours on the day. They told me they didnt have any complementary bottles left and tried to sell me a 1,5L bottle of water. I explained that I had spent all my MYR to settle the bill and had no cash left which didnt help so I gave up, it was silly to use my credit card just to pay a bottle of water.

To sum up, the island is a paradise and you dont have many reasonable options to stay in Perhentian. Tuna Bay is well located and possibly offer a better accommodation than most of the other hotels. However as I mentioned above it was extremely overpriced. If they made a bit of an effort to make the guests stay a bit nicer and comfortable it could improve a lot on the overall experience.

Room Tip: Try to get a beach front room. The beach is amazing and you can watch the sunset from the room balco...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Igao Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Perhentian Tuna Bay Island Resort

Property: Perhentian Tuna Bay Island Resort
Address: | Perhentian Island, Pulau Perhentian Besar 22300, Malaysia
Phone Number:
Location: Malaysia > Terengganu > Pulau Perhentian Besar
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Spa
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Pulau Perhentian Besar
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Pulau Perhentian Besar
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Perhentian Tuna Bay Island Resort 2*
Number of rooms: 46
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Perhentian Tuna Bay Island Resort is located on the south west coast of Pulau Perhentian Besar (Big Island), a quiet, untouched part of the island surrounded by tropical jungle, on a broad expanse of powdery white sand. The resort commands a breathtaking view of Pulau Perhentian Kecil (Small Island) and the South China Sea, right on your doorstep. All chalets are just a minute's walk from the beach and are tastefully built with wooden furnish. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Perhentian Tuna Bay Island Hotel Pulau Perhentian Besar

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