We last visited Coral Redang in 1999 for our honeymoon. Back then, we had the beach to ourselves, enjoyed amazing snorkelling on the house reef, and stayed in very tired wooden huts. We loved it and have always wanted to return.
This year we took the kids with us on our second honeymoon. The area has certainly changed, mainly because of the Hong Kong movie 'Summer Holiday' which was filmed there, and brings in twice daily herds of lifejacket-clad tourists hoping to visit their favourite film locations. There are numerous new resorts, and the beach has a pontoon jetty with numerous boats coming and going. The house reef still has plenty of life, but has been pretty trashed by the changes. The beach has plenty of tractors and diggers coming and going.
But it's not all bad. I didn't recognise other reviewers' claims that the beach is filthy - it's not groomed in the way one would expect of a private 5-star resort, but it's far from dirty. The tractors are certainly around, but I rather enjoyed watching the comings and goings. We came here from the Danna in Langkawi, and their beach is so quiet that the kids got bored there. The Coral Redang dive instructors are immensely efficient, friendly and professional, and run twice daily snorkelling trips to reefs that are very much alive and well.
Coral Redang's new rooms were basic but clean and comfortable. The bed could have been a little bigger (4'6" feels a little small for westerners) and the toilet could only be accessed by a skilled contortionist, but the A/C worked very well, and the rooms were quiet. The bar and restaurant are the same as they always were, with basic but tasty food, and a friendly welcome from the bar team.
The best bit was the diving. My 11 year old son qualified as an open water diver, and I felt he was completely safe under Phill's expert tuition. We dived together, seeing turtles, sharks, rays and eels, and loved it.
Coral Redang isn't a 5-star resort, and doesn't charge 5-star fees: comparing like for like, it was just over a quarter the price of the Danna. It's fantastic value for money, and we had a wonderful time there, much more fun than the 5-star venue. We're hoping to be back in less than 13 years this time...
- Also Known As:
- Coral Redang Island Hotel Kuala Terengganu
- Hotel Coral Redang Island