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Arwana Perhentian Eco Resort & Beach Chalet
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Reviewed August 7, 2011

We chose Arwana, since we were under the impression of the resort and food being the best on Perhentian Island - which would justify the higher prices.
...but we were wrong!

First of all there is no service at all on this resort. The staff can't really speak English, and they did nothing to make our stay pleasent. You don't receive any information at your arrival - everything you want to know, you have to ask for.

The food is very mediocre and it takes forever to receive - plus you need to find a waiter on your own and find them when you want to pay.

The beach was under a huge influence of the daily tide, which meant that during the day the water would fall, which made it almost impossible to use - it would get really nasty and the water level simply too low.
From the pictures the beach looks white with soft sand. It is not. There are stones and other stuff everywhere, which makes the experience worse than expected.

Their sewage system was bad. It was located in the hotel area with a stream of the sewage water leading straight out into the sea with no proper filtering or sanitation system whatsoever. Due to this condition the hotel constantly smells like rotten eggs.

The beach chalets are spacious and located right on the beach with a great view. The bathroom on the other hand is very bad. There are no shower curtain, which makes the room almost flood every time you take a shower. The sink only has cold water.
The power turns off two times a day at 7am and 7pm, which makes the A/C turn off when you sleep.
At 05:00am the recorded Immam woke us up every dat from the Pray Hall speakers, which are located in the middle of the resort. Pretty annoying!!!
The beds are very hard, so it feels like lying on the ground.

It cost 320 ringgit a day for a beach chalet and it was certainly not worth it!
We would NOT recommend this place after our 11 days stay.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
2  Thank Jens-Birgitte
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2011

First off, their sewage system was bad. It was located right beside the hotel with a stream of the sewage water leading straight out into the sea with no proper filtering or sanitation system whatsoever. Most other hotels had a much better system with their sewage waste.

I came to the hotel with a sound dread after reading all the negative reviews on the internet. But being it was the only place available then, we didn't really have a choice on accommodation. The boat ride to the hotel was rather fun as we got to enjoy the strong winds and the high speed of the boat. It was almost like we were on a roller coaster with the bumps of the waves, but it may not be good for those with back problems though.

On first impression, the hotel didn't seem so bad as the entrance was rather well built and the staff were really friendly upon our arrival. They even served us drinks. My only complaint upon check in was the long wait we had. We were due to arrive at 10am and were only able to check into our rooms at 12pm.

The rooms were relatively clean but not well maintained. The toilet and the sink were clogged, causing it to flood up every time someone took a shower. The heater didn't work as well either as at times it gets really hot, while at times it doesn't get warm enough. The air-conditioning also seemed to be set on a timer and would turn off in the middle of the night, which get rather annoying at times as I had to get out of bed to turn it back on again. The bed sheets were not big enough and would come off if you're one to move in your sleep. On a positive note, room service was consistent daily and fresh towels were provided everyday along with bottles of soap, a water boiler, and 2 glass cups. There was even a tv in the room. Free wi-fi is only available in the main lobby.

2 snorkeling trips were included in our package which was a pretty good deal to me. But the sites they brought us were not as impressive as my trip to Redang Island. Most corals and fishes were the same in most sites. My only complaint of the snorkeling trip was this: the man that brought us to the trip was kind enough to offer us a sight of some sea turtles. He managed to spot a huge one in the middle of the ocean (not one of the designated snorkeling sites) and asked us all to jump out of take a look at it. While in the water, I was swimming behind the group trying to keep up with the man. At one point, I turned to my right and found a jellyfish the size of my hand. I panicked and swam faster to keep up with the group. Suddenly, I felt a stinging sensation. As it turned out, it was just sea lice. When we got back up the boat, I told on my discovery of the jellyfish. The man scolded me and told me off saying that it is impossible for there to be a jellyfish, that he knows the place better than I do. I was mad as I am sure a veterinary student like me would recognize what a jellyfish is.

The food was normal. Nothing really special. But I wouldn't recommend the BBQ dinner as the grill they used was dirty and filled with old remnants of past grilled food that has already turned black. Most of the BBQ food were also either overcooked or undercooked. They also left a good number of dishes out in the open uncovered, leaving it open for the flies to settle. But the price was affordable as the meals were all buffet meals. It costs less than RM10 per meal.

Overall I would not recommend this place unless you are under a budget and would not mind a cheap stay.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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1  Thank novanna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2011

I have never reviewed a hotel in my life and even though my wife and I have been travelling for three months through Vietnam,Cambodia, Thailand and now Malaysia I can't believe this place. Our room reaks of mould and having been lying in the room for an hour we had to sit outside. I notifid the staf and they showed us to two other rooms. Both just as bad!! They did tell me that I could upgrade for the full price of triple my current price; which was nice of them indeed. Being at the end of our trip we don;t have those funds but one expects a room that isn't detrimental to their health. Do not stay here what ever you do. I'd stay at bayu dive lodge if I wanted to stay on this bay. At least there isn't an exposed sewage pipe infront of it like here!!!

Room Tip: If yoou are mental and want to stay here don't stay in a ground floor one.
  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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2  Thank oakley1979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2011

Still on Perhentian let me take the chance to write this guest comment as long having the impressions still in mind as this is the reason why my girlfriend and I changed the resort. Frankly speaking there are much nicer resorts around with a much nicer service/stuff and much much much nicer restaurant service at all.
The only benefit of this resort is the pool for those who like a very unwelcome looking pool without any chairs or sunloungers around. The water was at the time during our stay very poor as well.
About all the reasons why people shouldn't stay there I can write a bit more. ;-) Let me keep it short and just report about the facts itself:
1. Very lousy room cleaness, sand of the last 15 years everywhere. Same age of the mattress and surprise there bed linen and covers are not big enough to cover mattress and blanket ... means you sleep half on the mattress as probably hundreds before you already ... yummy! ;-(
Bathroom extremly stinky, guess from the sink, towels very stinky, too.
2. Breakfast has defeniteley a huge room for improvemenr of quality and choice ... and trust me, we are not fussy.
3. For those who like praying at 5 am in the morning, the place is right as there is the mosque right behind the back of the chalets and provides speakers. Feel welcome to pray at 5 am, for me I would prefer to sleep on a bit ... as it is called
holiday. And you can't overhear it!
4. Aircon didn't work ... but as mentioned ... poor maintenance over all of the resort.
5. Very thin walls, you will hear each step from upstairs.

Finally we changed after two nights.

But to be fair, the dive center stuff is very nice and flexible and the rates fair. Beach is nice as everywhere at this beach.

Enjoy your stay there ... or even better not.

  • Stayed: June 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank Ghoony
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 5, 2011

I'm not sure why this is called an eco lodge, there is nothing 'eco' about it and as others have said there is a sewage pipe very close by going straight into the sea.

I spent more money on this room than anywhere else in my 3 weeks in Malaysia and it was by far the worst hotel.

The room was musty and smelt like it hadn't been opened up for a long time. When I was taken to my room I wasn't shown how anything worked. The bed linen was stained and had what looked like drops of blood on it. I asked for the sheets to be changed, which they were but the replacement sheets weren't much better. The cleanliness in generall was not good; my bathroom wasn't cleaned once in the 4 days. I also saw a rat go into the ceiling/roof near the reception.

The hotel has a loud speaker directly behind where my room was which has 'call to pray' chants throughout the day and early in the morning (5am). I would have preferred to have known about this in advance as my sleep was disturbed for the whole stay.

The food at the restaurant is overpriced, I ate much better at cafes futher down the beach or on different parts of the island.

The staff seemed ill informed and couldn't answer questiosn about the island or services that they provide, for example they couldn't tell me where the jungle track was saying 'you should get a boat', they didn't know whether the dive shop was open one day (it wasn't) but suggested I wait around to find out, they didn't run a boat trip because only a couple of people wanted to go and when I asked about the buffet dinner (on my first night when I was very tired) a member of staff said 'are you sure? Do you want to try somewhere else?'

I had a massage and facial at the spa; both were good in themselves but when I had the massage I was aware of other people being around and the masseuse stopped to talk to them at various points. I also didn't feel that there was very good privacy. The massage was like a sports massage, very painful which I quite like but many people might find a bit hard going.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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4  Thank ask000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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