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“Warm service (chalet and dive center), price compatible with quality”
Review of Matahari Chalet

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Matahari Chalet
Reviewed October 5, 2009

I arrived at perhentian on the first boat (7:15am) and headed directly to Matahari. I had called the manager, Jeng, up ahead of time to let him know of my arrival. While they don't typically take reservations, the fact that I'd be doing scuba diving at their dive center might have given the right of first refusal to a room. While a RM60/night fan chalet w/ attached bathroom was being cleaned, I walked over to the other chalets, Symphony and Moonlight to check out their rooms and rates. The RM50-60/night rooms are pretty consistent with what I saw at Matahari so i was happy to just settle with Matahari because I wouldn't have to wait any longer for a room.

The room I had was much better than I had expected -- I imagined bug infestation, clogged toilets and mold growth all over. I saw none of that, thankfully. Though far from what I would call luxurious, it is comfortable for the few hours that I spent in the room each day. Electricity is available from 6:30pm-8:30am and 12noon-4pm everyday. I did have trouble sleeping well on the warmest nights with just the fan, but the nights typically cool down quite a bit, especially if there's rain showers (obviously the weather varies by the season and I can imagine that it might be get really warm during the dry months). And thank the sweet lord for mosquito nets!

Matahari chalet is located at the heart of Long Beach. Panorama restaurant (probably the most popular on Long Beach), Shisha cafe, a couple other bars and convenience stores are right next to Matahari. The location is perfect as far as meeting people and enjoying the nightlife.

The dive center's dive masters are just incredibly congenial and provided excellent customer service. They were sufficiently knowledgeable of the marine life that I was curious about. The dive center was also a fun place to be -- most divers just ended up hanging out there before, after dives and even in the evenings.

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled solo
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1  Thank scubadiver14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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162 - 168 of 224 reviews

Reviewed September 27, 2009

As read everywhere this chalet is really nice & clean. I wanted to have my bookings done for dis 1 but unfortunately on Perhentian Island - Kecil (Long Beach) you cant make ne reservation in advance as they only entertain walk-in guest which is good in a way :) But i just found out a place where you can do booking for Mathari or Panorama Chalet before stepping onto the island. Its a travel agency naming "Golden Tropical Holidays Sdn Bhd" in Kuala Besut (Dembarkation point to Puala Perhentian). So i was preety relaxed whn i stepped on the island as my booking was confirmed. The travel agency charge around 10 RHM more on per room than the usual rate. But i think its worth paying it :)

About Mathari hmmm well amazing place to stay. I stayed in a A-Frame which was big, clean & nice. There are other chalets too wid some less price but i found them bit swanky & unsafe. I met Mr. D who is working in Mathari Chalet. Nice & helpful guy. Will help u out wid all your doubts & queries. I also went on Snorkeling with the Mathari pplz. It was good too..

So i would recommend this place to everyone.. I really had a good stay here :)

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled solo
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Thank Zoddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2009

We simply turned up at the Matahari Chalets after hearing about their problems with bookings.
The speedboat drops you off at Long Beach and the Matahari chalets are just behind the beach. You walk along a concrete path, past a foul smelling 'swamp' to where the chalets are. I felt really sorry for the people who were in one of the chalets closest to the beach. These not only lack any sea view (there are a row of cafes between the Matahari and the beach), but are close to the foul swamp.

When we arrived, we were told that the chalets were all gone and that they only had (the more expensive) air conditioned rooms left. We werent too upset by this as we would rather have had a/c anyway. The charge for the a/c rooms was 130MYR per night (as shown on a board at 'reception'), but we haggled him down to 320MYR for the 3 nights paying cash upfront.
I wasnt expecting luxury. I knew it would be basic and we asked to see the room before we went in. BUT..... it was just a horrible, dirty, dark experience.
I am not one to moan at all (see my other reviews), but this place left me feeling a bit 'shuddery' and unclean. We didnt want to be in the room all the time when on holiday I know, but this place made me not want to even get undressed or sleep in it.

Its probably quicker to list the problems:

* i woke up in the middle of the night and could smell a horrible sweaty smell, like a used football kit! I was about to blame my poor boyfriend, before realising that it was coming from the pillow I was sleeping on!!! God, it was awful, it made me gag. For the next 2 nights, we had to cover our pillowcases with our T-shirts.

* the air con that we paid extra for, would only work periodically when their generator was on. It was also a complete waste of time. It didnt seem to work at all- the fan cooled the room more efficiently.

* the bathroom was a wet floor design where the shower runs directly onto the floor. This is pretty standard in beach hut style accommodation I know. What isnt standard though is the drain not being at the low point in the floor, so the water didnt properly drain and there was always a puddle on the floor- really annoying when you need the loo in the night!

*the sink leaked onto the 'wet floor' in the bathroom, so you couldnt spit into the sink when brushing your teeth or you would get toothpaste spit all over the floor.

*the electric shower didnt heat the water. Luckily, the water wasnt cold anyway, so that didnt matter too much.

* The room was very dark and just generally dirty. Ive stayed in lots of places (and maybe this is a sign of reaching 30 and appreciating nicer things in life), but I just felt uncomfortable and grubby at this place.

After we left Matahari chalets and went over to Perhentian besar to stay at Abduls Chalets, we realised a) that we had been completely ripped off with the price we paid at matahari (Abduls was 60MYR/night for a lovely clean standard garden room)
b) that you dont have to have gross rooms when on the islands (Abduls was absolute bliss compared to matahari)
and c) that we should have spent no longer than 1 night, 2 MAX on Long beach and got ourselves over to the clean, cheap beauty of Abduls instead.

I know that when looking at the reviews for Perhentian Kecil, that there is not really anywhere decent to stay (we pored over TripAdvisor for hours and chose the Matahari on the basis of reviews on here as the best of a bad bunch). If we were to stay on kecil again (which we probably wouldnt), we would (if money were no object), stay at Bubu Resort. Although, this is really expensive and Long beach just isnt worth it. And to be honest, Im only making this judgement on the basis of their restaurant (which we LOVED) and the fact that it looked a lovely plush place (from the outside).
Alternatively, we would stay at Maya Beach Resort/Maya Guesthouse. A friend we made was staying there and she said that the rooms were basic but clean and much cheaper than on Long Beach. She would make the 5-10 minute walk through the jungle to come over to Long Beach for dinner/drinks or to sunbathe during the day.

A tip: there is a place called Panorama at Long Beach. They have a great restaurant and seafood BBQ that is very cheap, but you cant see it from the front and have to walk through to find it. We were recommended it by one of the girls working at one of the beach bars.

Lastly, it might have been because it was out of season (we stayed there 8/9/10 Sept), but there is no amazing nightlife on Kecil. There are a couple of beach bars playing music, but these didnt get very busy at all and there was certainly no dancing. So dont imagine it will be like some of the island beaches in Thailand with big parties til dawn!

ps. expect to get eaten alive by mozzies. we slept with a mosquito net, wore 50% DEET spray and I even wore pyjama bottoms and socks at night to stay protected and we still got bitten loads. i cant help but think that the proximity to the swamp doesnt help with the mozzies.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank doublechoc-chip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2009

We were travelling with 4 small kids, so we confirmed with the owner of the place a COUPLE OF TIMES through the phone, to make sure we have a place to sleep. HE GAVE OUR room away anyway, so we had to put up in a horrible challet for a night before we could move to matahari. After the same person "organized" a snorkelling trip for us. When it was time to leave, there was no boat, and no gear for children (he promised us all). At the end he charged the fee for the 2 year old (against his promise again) and he charged full kids price for the rest of the children, eventhough we were forced to buy their gear (Normally snorkelling is a bit cheaper if you bring your own gear). Beside all this bad experiences, we enjoyed the holiday, but next time we won't stay there for sure.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank genikebest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2009

We stayed at Matahari in July 2009. I woudl recommend it as the best place to stay on Long Beach. The location is perfect. Just dont be put off by the concrete walkway to the chalets as it goes over quite a smelly small swamp. The A huts are pretty basic but the air con rooms are really good. I would definitely advise booking in advance if you go in peak season as there were people each day waiting for rooms to become available. I woudl also recommend the Matahari Diving School next door. Very laid back and helpful people. I dont think it's the cheapest place on Long Beach but it's worth the little extra.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with friends
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1  Thank rakrikdw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 11, 2009

I went to Perhentian Kecil on 1st May 2009 - 05 May 2009 with 12 of my friends. My trip plan was: 1st, 2nd May stay at Matahari Chalet. 3rd 4th at another beach. As it was Labour Day i.e. super peak weekend, I've booked Matahari Chalet 2 months in advanced, with their firm confirmation on the room reservation has been made for us. Constantly I keep in touch with them via phone calls. The day before the trip I called to double confirm for the rooms and Matahari reassured us. Hence we thought everything were fine until on that day itself when we're on the way to the Jetty, Matahari called me and informed that they didn't keep any rooms for us!

I felt very disappointed and angry as they made us to believe we're guaranteed a place to stay. I felt very sorry to my friends as I'm the organizer. Because it was a long weekend with Labour Day holiday, all other places are flooded with people hence we're not able to get a place to stay. Until we contacted our second host who's willing to let us slept on his cafe.

Although Matahari gave good impression to the travellers who stayed in their place before, it's undeniable they're irresponsible on the room reservation and commitment made to us, especially, without any apologize to us.

I will not recommend this place for those travellers who need to confirm a place to stay in advanced.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled with friends
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4  Thank meifeng
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 8, 2009

Before going to the Perhentian Islands I scoured the internet looking for reviews on where to stay. As most of the accomodation caters to the budget traveller on Long Beach, you know you will only get what you pay for. Anyway I decided on Matahari Chalets, and I personally think it was the best of all the chalets on Long beach in the budget options, and a fantastic location.
The room cost us MYR60 per night and was a big size wooden chalet, mozzie net over the bed, roomy bathroom...(cold water but not icy). The best thing was that the fan was strong and kept us cool in the night, unlike another I have stayed in where they might as well not have bothered.
We did turn up without a reservation as it was early April, and were lucky enough to get a room but we did have problems when we left and went to Besar, so if you can, do make a reservation or get the early boat. Most people who fly from Kota Bahru back to K.L. will get the 12pm boat to the mainland, so if you do turn up without anything prebooked, you may have to wait til check out time (11am....boats arrive on the island appx 1030am), to see if there are any rooms.
We didnt eat in the restaurant as there were 3 just outside on the beach which were FANTASTIC. I had read reports that the service was shocking on Long Beach and nobody could be bothered to get off their seat to serve you ...this is definatley NOT the case on Long Beach. The boys in those restaurants never sit down and the food does not take long to get to you at all.
Anyway this is supposed to be about Matahari Chalets so I wont waffle on. The gardens are lovley with Frangapani Trees dotted around and they are well looked after. To get to the Chalets you must walk up a concrete walkway over a waterway(which could do with someone cleaning the bottles etc out of it)...and into the lovley gardens. We stayed 4 nights and were provided with a towel each, which was changed after the 2nd day..(but I did ask for it myself).
Hopefully my photos will help you decide on where to stay.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank gippa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Matahari Chalet

Address: Long Beach, Pulau Perhentian Kecil, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Terengganu > Pulau Perhentian Kecil
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 7 Hotels in Pulau Perhentian Kecil
Price Range: $10 - $19 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 124
Also Known As:
Matahari Chalet Hotel Pulau Perhentian Kecil

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