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“Great place for beach, snorkel and family vacation”

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Perhentian Tuna Bay Island Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 8, 2013

Being back to the island after 10 years of course you can see the change. The island and of course the resort is still a dream by the beach. Simple but clean rooms with aircon. Good food and nice people. Cristal clear water and snorkel from the beach is the best. Taking a boot and going to see sea turtles just adds to it. Wonderful place to relax for some days. The island is still a great place with only limited number of visitors due to the resorts are not big.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank HKZH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 8, 2013

We booked directly through the hotel website for a 4-night stay in March in a Deluxe cabin facing the jungle and also booked water transfers at the same time from Kuala Besut. The check-in was very efficient at the office in Kuala Besut - we just took our luggage to jetty and checked in for the resort, although the hour long crossing was quite choppy so I was glad I had taken travel sickness tablets - children on the same transfer were quite green.

On arrival after a welcome drink we were allocated cabin 11A. This is in a good position - away from the restaurant and set just back from beach so we did not have other guests constantly passing by. Our room had a double and large single bed, there was no TV or hairdryer, shampoo and soap only, with 2 bath towels and 2 beach towels supplied. There was a fridge but no tea/coffee facilities. The room was a bit spartan but had a welcomed efficient air-con system. The shower had plenty of hot water but was a bit intermittent.

Breakfast is served in the main restaurant area and there is plenty of fresh fruit, some cooked options (cooked fresh to order) and some lovely pastries and breads. Lunch and dinner is served in the same place and is good quality with a varied menu of both Malaysian specialities and Western style options if you prefer. We tried both and the quality was very good and quantities generous. Yes, as previous reviewers have commented, the prices are higher than on the mainland but remember you are staying in an island resort and all food has to be brought in by boat. There are other restaurants fairly close by along the beach but we noticed a number of guests staying at these places came to eat at the Tuna Bay restaurant as the food is the best on this side of the island. There is complimentary WiFi accessible in the restaurant/reception area although this can get slow or stop altogether at busy times such as evenings.

The best thing about the hotel has to be its location - on a great beach, calm sea (on our visit) and with a good house reef about 20 meters off shore with floating pontoons. No fins are allowed or rented to protect the reef and although we brought our masks and snorkels, these can be hired by the day. The beach has lovely soft white sand and plenty of beach chairs so there is no need to rush to grab them. However, they are very hard as mentioned in other reviews so the best advice is to buy or use discarded lilos as mattresses. It is also possible to walk inland through the jungle and were lucky enough to see a family of leaf eating monkeys (Dusky Langhurs) who turned up later in the resort to feed on the trees nearby!

To summarise, I think the Tuna Bay Resort is the best accommodation on this side of the island both for facilities and the quality of food. The staff working in both the restaurant and in house-keeping are really friendly and helpful. The chalets are somewhat basic but then with such beautiful scenery and fantastic snorkelling this is not a big problem. A beautiful and relaxing place.

Room Tip: Cabin 11A faces the jungle but is seconds from the beach without the constant stream of people walki...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank EmmaDurnford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 8, 2013

This was the 5th consecutive year that we visited Tuna Bay Resort. What we like is that the Perhentian Islands do not change much from year to year unlike other places in Asia where changes go so rapidly that you are disappointed when returning.
Also Tuna Bay does not change much although small refurbishments take place every year, keeping the rooms up to date. This year WiFi internet was free of charge but the connection was terribly slow and often interupted so nearly useless for business purposes. The food in the restaurant is still very good and the staff very friendly. We stayed 13 nights and it felt again like paradise. We had 2 connecting bungalows with garden view. Rooms are spacious enough and have good beds. Sea view bungalows are more expensive but as we were at the beach most of the day we did not find it necessary to book that type. As the number of beach chairs became insufficient, new chairs were added during our stay. It is a pity that the resort does not have its own massage facility for I am sure that it would be a success. Now one has to go to Long Beach for massage which is not convenient. So if you like to relax on a beautiful beach and enjoy good facilities and food, this is your address.The hotel has 2 big motorboats for transportation from and to Kuala Besut. This is much more comfortable than the speedboats other resorts are using.
Universal divers next door is the best place for divers as it has good facilities and equipment and its own motor yacht.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank runner123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2013

We booked this trip based on previous trip advisor reviews and found this resort to be exactly as described. Besar is a very quiet island but Tuna Bay and the beach it is located on is definitely the pick of resorts. The rooms were spacious, clean and basic as you would expect for a island that is run on generator power. The beach out the front of the resort is very clean and crowds are minimal. I can highly recommend using the adjoining Universal Diver for any diving courses or fun dives. Food is not great compared to other parts of Malaysia and Thailand - it is very westernised and is not cheap. We found this to be the case across all resorts and restaurants on the island and also on Kecil. But if diving or snorkelling or just relaxing is what you are after then this place is perfect. Overall, we highly recommend Tuna Bay.

Room Tip: Definitely pay the extra for a deluxe sea view chalet. Well worth the extra $10-$20 AUD per night.
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Dane N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 3, 2013

We just returned from Malaysia where we spent over a week on the island of Perhentian Besar in Tuna Bay Island Resort. We consider our stay to be fully successful. It was a good decision to spend this time in Tuna Bay. We also visited all the other beaches on the island as well as Long Beach on Perhentian Kecil and came to the conclusion that Tuna Bay is the coolest place for a long stay. All beaches on both islands can be reached by taxi boat or on foot but it is quite difficult because the path through the jungle requires a little climbing. Our bungalow in TBIR was located in the first row on the beach and it is definitely the best option though, in principle, all bungalows are the same. The quality of houses in relation to price level could be a little better but still the place is very nice, the service friendly and helpful, the restaurant serves great food, the beach is beautiful and just go into the water with your mask and snorkel and you will be in the middle of a wonderful aquatic ecosystem full of colorful coral and fish. I highly recommend diving with Universal Diver - thanks to them we visited a lot of interesting dive sites and have gained a lot of skills. I also recommend bbq dinner in Coco Hut, Abdul's Chalets also have nice restaurant with tables right on the beach but no alcohol is served. The only complaint that I can have for Tuna Bay is that their deckchairs are not veru comfortable - If they coud add a mattress on it it would be much better ;-)

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Michal_C_Poland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 2, 2013 via mobile

Went there 4 years ago and decided to go back again this year. Booked two rooms in garden (family room), food is great (barbecue fish is fantastic), breakfast (included in the price) not so varied... Staff is fantastic ! Got land transfer to avoid mad taxi drivers there - way in was fine but way back was like racing...only disappointment. Cost of stay is a bit high by Malaysian standard but worth it . Universal divers next door is great - pro and sooo friendly ! Will definitely come back !

  • Stayed: April 2013
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Thank d0m2001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 26, 2013

This is not a 5 star resort and it does not pretend to be. Rooms are 3 star in size, layout and decor, but everything works ! And that includes enough lighting to read at night, while many so called 5 star hotels don't do this properly. Black out curtains also work well and you can sleep during the day. There is No TV in the room, but if you have spent the whole day out, you will sleep early anyway ! All in all room is adequate.
Restaurant is Ok and food is generally good, plentiful and not overpriced. Loved the seafood BBQ at night, fresh eggs and fresh waffles in the morning. They have beer available and will charge you RM 20 for corkage if you bring your own wine. Off course, you can also drink it on the beach while watching sunset ! Much better than other Perhentian resorts that ban alcohollic drinks outright.
Airport pick up was on time, boat transfer was on time and seamless. So yes, a good experience on the hotel side.
The beach at Tuna Bay is good and partially shaded by mature coconut trees - nice after a few hours of sun. The house reef is also very good for snorkelers and safe enough for kids and toddlers playing in the sand. You can walk from Tuna Bay to Coral View and Perhentian Island Resort (15 min forest & beach walk), and find some small restaurants on the way. From Perhentian Island resort you can trek across the island to Pantai Dalam and back to Tuna Bay in about 1 hour; which makes for a nice morning or late afternoon walk.
So all in all a very good experience. Had a package for 2 days and a la carte for 2 days. Package includes some snorkeling trips which were excellent. A la carte gives you more freedom in meals. But both are good.

Room Tip: only a few beach view rooms available, so book early. But rooms in the back are not bad either.
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank topkapitan
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

Address: | Perhentian Island, Pulau Perhentian Besar 22300, Malaysia
Phone Number:
Location: Malaysia > Terengganu > Pulau Perhentian Besar
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Spa
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Pulau Perhentian Besar
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Pulau Perhentian Besar
Price Range: $75 - $102 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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