What do i recall about this place? In summary, thumbs up for the location, diving and conservation efforts, neutral for the level of service rendered and for the room. For food served, its pathetic. If you can't sleep, read on for my long winded elaboration.
Bubbles stands out for what I feel is their genuine care for the environment, nature and of course their sea turtle projects which they are pretty serious in. I applaud them for what i can tell are noble efforts in recycling and keeping the place in general sustainable, clean and being of less impact to the environment. For efforts in keeping their beach clean, for saving the turtles etc, they deserve a 6 star if i could give them such a rating.
Of the rooms, they are pretty spartan, no frills though not uncomfortable either. I believe there are much worse in Perhentian, though one is pretty much held ransom by the popularity of the islands and doesn't have much to choose from as they are all packed during peak season. In another place, i would have expected more for my buck. I give 3 stars for a very average room and a shower area perpetually filled with fallen leaves and twigs. Very good sized though. Couldn't say the same for the curtains.
For the food standards, I'd hate to say this, but my girlfriend honestly does better and for much less. Good thing I had a full board package, otherwise I'd be cursing to pay ala carte for such food standards. 1 star.
For the location, its perfect. A back drop of an awe inspiring jungle and a quaint fresh waterstream (yes, I tasted the water when nobody was looking =D) running down to the sea with little fishes in there. The beach was perfectly clean and the water sparkling and teeming with marine life. You couldn't fault the beach at Bubbles even if you wanted to and the green turtles definitely agree by coming to lay eggs here by the 2s and 3s per night, guarded by the military like turtle volunteers.
5 stars for the conservation efforts and for trying to educate guests and getting them involved in turtle conservation.
For the diving experience, its the first time I dived without a dedicated guide/DM/instructor tagged to me.
It's quite a system, first come first served on your preferred dive location by writing your name on a white board under the site you'd like to go and the guides are rotated just as the dive sites are changed every now and then. (Basically, once in the morning, after lunch and finally like 2pm) Come late when they refresh the board and you're left with the nearby reef dives with the larger groups filling the "more interesting sites" at a go. Not that the outlying reefs are not nice though.
Took me and gf a good while to figure this white board and rotating instructor system out. Not much personal touch here, just good dive guides whom do the necessary but not much more than that. Lacking that lil something that really makes one remember with fond memories. The gear provided is perfectly functional, though old and somewhat grubby looking with rusty Coke cans in the BC side pockets. Yes, cans with an S.
3 stars for the dive centre, 5 stars for the dive sites. Especially loved Tanjong Basi but unfortunately didn't get a chance to visit the famous Tokong Laut and Sugar Wreck.
Lastly, the service of the resort staff..they interact with guests with largely varying levels of friendliness and professionalism.
Overall, I thought the staff were quite cold and lacking in personal touch in this supposedly warm resort with raving reviews. Perhaps they are a victim of their own publicity and of the numerous 5 star reviews. I had very high expectations when I hopped off the boat. For such a highly rated resort, service was pretty much non-existent and one pretty much had to figure out how things work here by themselves or had to ask numerous questions at various stages.
This is good if you're someone whom prefers not to be disturbed and left to your own and care not for customer service or interaction. I'm quite ok with being left to my own accord but couldn't give a good rating as I don't see efforts to try to make guests comfortable or at home. As mentioned, the efforts probably went to the turtles more. So 3 starts for service.
Will I come back to Bubbles? Perhaps I'll decide after comparing with other resorts or if I'd want to be part of their turtle conservation project. I'll try something at Perhentian Kechil first.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A eco-friendly, family friendly resort location on it's own beach. Running an Turtle and Reef conservation project on site to spread awareness about the sea turtles and their environment ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Bubbles Dive Centre Hotel Pulau Perhentian Besar