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“Perfect beach front location”

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Perhentian Tuna Bay Island Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Glasgow
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Perfect beach front location”
Reviewed June 16, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here for four nights, as part of our honeymoon. The hotel sits on the beach where you can snorkel from and see coral. The rooms are clean but basic. We had a room facing the jungle which turned out to be great as there was a family of monkeys which would come down to snack on the fruit from the trees!
The service was good once we chatted to the staff and got to know them. If you are going diving then is recommend Sea Horse Divers who are located next door - they were great! Also, hire a water taxi and head to Shark Point, Turtle Bay and Fish Garden - the names say it all!

  • Stayed June 2013
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Thank VesperLynd007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 14, 2013

My hubby and I booked at Tuna Bay as it was my birthday and I wanted to spend it on an Island. We went in February so the place was needless to say very nice and quiet. Since it was not peak season it was as if we almost had the place and beach to ourselves with an exception to a few other couples. The room was basic no TV (though clean) and there was not much to do during the evening but thats why we chose to go there to just chill out and be away from the city life. Theres a little store nearby owned by a very friendly Chinese lady and we bought some cards and would play cards during the evenings. One our second last day we took a boat tour to the other islands during the day. Th other days we spent relaxing on the Tuna Bay beach. We had a very friendly waiter called Jimmy. He really made our stay there extra special! Since we went when it was off peak season and they had just opened after the monsoon they did not have any desserts available. My hubby asked Jimmy if he could esp make creme brule for me as a surprise and Jimmy was more than happy to request this from the chef. After dinner i was presented with the dessert. Needless to say i loved the gesture that both my hubby and Jimmy put into it. Anyways, long story short we loved Tuna Bay.

Room Tip: The chalets on the beach are the best !
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank Ameena46664
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arnhem, The Netherlands
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 14, 2013

We stayed here in May 2013 and had a deluxe standard chalet just off the beach. The chalet is pretty simple but clean and free (beach)towels are provided daily. The restaurant is quite expensive for Malaysian standards but the food was excellent, we really enjoyed it. Although we valued the Asian dishes higher than the Western food. We were especially fond of the fried squid, try it!! A BBQ at the neighbours (Cocohut) is a good alternative. The staff if friendly and helpful. Wifi is a bit unstable however. The Island is beautiful and we would recommend the Rawa snorkelling trip which was beautiful. The Coral in front of the resort is nice as well. We have seen some other resorts at both Besar and Kecil but we really think Tuna Bay is the best place to go to.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank hansman01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
moscow
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed June 12, 2013

my parents and I stayed at this hotel for 2 weeks.
Positive points are: beach (clean water, good coral reef - we saw where even Napoleon fish), clean rooms (but not really spacious and a bit outdated), clean hotel territory, good reception work, well-organized and cheap transport to/from Kota Bharu airport.
Negative points are: breakfast was just the same every day, staff in restaurant is not attentive (we waited menu for 30 minutes! that happened several times. i would also say that older guy in restaurant is really strange).
As a result we visited nearby Abdul's Chalet cafe every day.
Overall i would recommend this hotel for quiet holidays or snorkeling for the beginners.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Ekaterina n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bristol
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed June 11, 2013

perhentian besar has some lovely bays but 'tuna bay' is not a bay & certainly not the best area to book in to. l agree with the guy saying the quality/cost ratio is poor. we saw many more lovely beach-side chalets in much quieter spots, (try flora bay hotel, or fauna resort for instance). tuna bay is the biggest outfit, with good publicity machine & the priciest on the island. we paid more there than anywhere in malaysia & l think we'd've done better to just get the boat out to island, then look for best site to book in to, (but that may depend on being lower season). the chalets were fine tho', had a good safe & nice beds but v.few have a view & some are noisy (nr generator). we'd have liked use of a fridge & tea-making for the price we paid. ditto the trips they fix for you, over-priced. food good but dining rm. huge & busy/noisy.

Room Tip: sea-view chalets are nicest but 350/nt which is massive for malaysia..!
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank naomiBristol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Level 6 Contributor
107 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 166 helpful votes
Reviewed June 11, 2013

As others have clearly stated, this is not a luxury resort. This is an above average, basic hotel. But it does the job. 100%.

The one point deducted for the booking process is due to the fact it took us about a week to actually secure a room here, which caused quite a lot of anxiety for us as we were booking quite late as it was, and like another TA reviewer below, found accommodation at other locations disappeared as time wore on. The booking centre is based in Kota Bahru, where the transfers to the island leave from. Each email I sent them took a day to respond to. I tried calling them, twice, but was told to email instead. At first they said only 'Superior view hillside chalet was available' at 350 ringgit per night. OK, I said. Then three days later I was told only a 'Deluxe Standard Chalet' was available, but this was 250 ringgit a night - a silver lining I suppose. The whole process was absolutely infuriating. I almost didn't even want to go in the end, but three days before our departure date, with our flights to KL already booked, we succeeded in securing a room, as well as a boat transfer back and forth. Thank god.

We arrived on the island around 5pm and were greeted by cold juice and a quick check in service, as well as a rather friendly and shy smiling receptionist, who over the next seven days we discovered to be extremely sweet (along with all the wait staff!)

They carried our heavy bags to our room (10), where we stayed for seven nights, which turned out to probably be at one of the best locations - right next to the beach. The room was basic, but homely. It was the back of a sea facing bungalow, with a raised patio area featuring sliding doors which opened into our reasonably sized room. The room had a fan, as well as an air con (though this did take hours to make the room cold - but once it did it felt like the arctic). The water pressure wasn't fanastic but we weren't expecting luxury. If you're expecting luxury I suggest you go to Redang instead, which has better quality hotels and what not. If you're expecting decent basic accommodation in paradise...well this is the place for you.

The food is great. We tried other locations throughout our stay: Abduls next door has an outdoor, on the beach style restaurant, and Cocohut - which gave my partner a terrible stomach, as well as another couple of restaurants on Long Beach. And yes, Tuna Bay was the most expensive of them all. But the quality of food was far superior to that elsewhere. For example... at Cocohut, you can get a beef burger with cheese for 12 ringgit. When it arrives, it's in a plastic type bun, with plastic cheese and the patty is one of those frozen patties that are just... rather disappointing. On the other hand, Tuna Bay's 21 ringgit burger is made from cuts of steak, with a home made garlic sauce and nice fat chips. I could go on and on with comparisons on the menus... I realised I'd rather pay 12 ringgit NOT to eat the burger next door.

The beach out the front of the resort is stunning. Blue water with corals directly in front, so you can snorkel (or your kids can) and stay on the beach, all day long. There's enough shade as well, making the heat rather bearable. The only issue with the water.. is that if you're as pale as my partner and I.. the fish think you're bread, and bite you. It happened to quite a few people while we lay on the beach, where I discovered, is only funny when it's not you. Lots of people feed the fish around the area bread, so they seem pretty accustomed to taking bites out of peoples legs. The bites ranged from little nibbles to a 4 pointed cut on my partners leg in the shape of a little fishes mouth! My advice... get a lilo.

Moving on to my biggest piece of advice on how to enjoy this tropical paradise as much as you can. Saiful. Saiful is a man who works next door at Abduls, and will take you snorkelling to the best places. Book with Tuna Bay or Cocohut, and you'll find yourself paying 30-40 ringgit each, sat on a boat like a sardine and snorkelling around thirty orange lifejacketed people. Snorkel with Saiful and get the boat to yourselves. We paid 120 ringgit for 3 hours, for 2 people, for the closer places, and more for Rawa Island. This guy is an absolute legend. He made our trip. He's been in the Perhentian's for 20 years and knows all about its history, where all the fish are, what they are and is a respectful boat captain who drives slowly and carefully OUTSIDE of the outlined areas of bays, unlike many of the other boat drivers we saw who acted like lunatics. The first snorkel trip we booked was through the place behind Tuna Bay, and we were told it was just the two of us. Wrong! It turned out to be about 18 of us. We were thrown onto the front of the boat last minute and he drove off with his anchor in front of us and the chain in the water, which started to tug excessively at the anchor and made it look as if we were about to get impaled. We looked at him and he didn't seem to care, and it wasn't until the entire boat shouted 'Anchor, Anchor!' that he stopped the boat to move it. Terrifying. We then arrived at our location with no life jacket or snorkel, and everyone else on the boat started jumping in. When we looked for the driver to pass us the equipment, it turned out he was actually in the water snorkelling already. Great. Moral of the story? Saiful. Book through Saiful. Can't emphasise this enough. Oh, and please tell him Karen from Hong Kong says hello.

Last piece of advice is to walk beyond Tuna Bay, past Abduls, and you'll find a deserted old resort where monkey's play at night. Further, you'll find another stretch of deserted, beautiful white sand beach and even further another stretch of beach, until you reach a place the snorkeller's call 'Fish Point'. You can see the sun setting here, which unfortunately you can't from Tuna Bay as Kecil blocks the sunsetting, and the mountains block the sunrise. It's well worth the walk.

My only complaint about the island itself, is that while we were at the beach we witnessed some tourists taking coral straight out the water and putting it into tubs to take home. We told them to put it back, but I realised that this should really be the responsibility of the hotel. The hotel MUST educate people on how to allow this island to continue thriving. Coral must not be taken out of the water. Rubbish should not be thrown on the beach. It's basic, but it's necessary. The hotel's livelihood even depends on it. If the hotel could educate each of the guests as they arrive, that would be ideal. Even better, threaten each family that steals coral with eviction. This is so important, not just with the coral but with things like the sea turtles, where we have been told people harass turtles on a daily basis (touching them, poking at them, trying to ride them... god only knows what else). People need to stand up and unify to keep underwater life unharmed and undisturbed. Keep your distance while snorkelling, and even though the turtles seem pretty unphased by hoards of 20-30 tourists per turtle... you don't need to touch the things!

To summarise - go to Redang if you want luxury in paradise, and come to the Perhentian's if you want paradise itself. We left three days ago and have not stopped thinking about it.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
9 Thank karen852
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Petaling Jaya, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 7, 2013

Was there with my family of five 30May 2013 for 3 nights. Took the snorkelling package of 2nights and added another night. Had a garden chalet with interconnecting room ,3 and 2 persons in two chalets, very convenient. The rooms are clean, with a ceiling fan and air conditioning. Bathrooms are clean too. My package comes with full board for two days. Breakfast ,lunch and dinner are of quality. They even add in ,tea time with cakes. (I was looking forward to some local "kueh" unfortunately they offered normal cakes, like banana cake.) . The water are clean right in front of their resort..rented canoe from neighbour resort called Abdul Challet and had wonderful time in the evening. The two snorkelling trip was a bit dissapointing, as the first spot they offered at seabell was not suitable on that day becoz of strong current,thus we went to KK point and Shark point, and finally in front of Pulau Perhentian resort where we saw a huge turtle feeding. ,,,overall good. We wanted to go to Pulau Rawa, but this is not included in their snorkelling trip,unless we pay more. It rain the next day after snorkelling halfway at KK point . The staff at booking office and resort are friendly and efficient. Will return again for sure, but will take the free and easy package and will pay for an individual snorkelling trip to Pulau Rawa.

Room Tip: Choose a room away from generator and restaurant. Garden are fine as they are all located very near...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Richard19592013
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:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Pulau Perhentian Besar
#2 Top resorts 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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