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The Aryani Terengganu
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Reviewed June 5, 2012

It is actually a century-old artifact rescued from a dilapidated Malay house somewhere in Terengganu.
To me, a visit to The Aryani was truly a visit to our very own "origin" as its name intended.
In short, The Aryani is not just a resort, it is a wholesome cultural experience not to be missed by anyone.
The resort also offers traditional body treatments at the Heritage Spa. The spa centre is placed inside a timber house in a secluded section of the resort which was acclaimed to be at least a century old.

First thing first: the word "Aryani" means "the origin" in Sanskrit. Therefore, the resort aims to portray the classical (or "original") Malay settlement from the days of yore. The main feature of the old settlement is the Grand Central Courtyard resembling an ancient village centre square. Around the square are water pools and pavilions (or "wakaf") which function as the main activity centre for the community. Each of these features bear some meaning, either practically or spiritually. I strongly recommend the guests to read the comprehensive narration of the resort from a booklet called Hikayat Aryani which is available at the reception counter in the lobby.

The last but not least, an important feature of The Aryani is the Heritage Village (or Kampung Warisan). Inside the village complex, there a showcase of preserved Malay houses that mark Raja Bahrin's relentless efforts to (re)-introduce the century-old traditional homes of Terengganu. There are a lot of unique characteristics attached to the art of constructing these old houses. For example, no nails were used for their construction. How is that possible, one might ask? The answer lies in the grooves at both ends of the supporting beams which can be fitted onto each others which eventually form the skeletal structure of the houses. Just think of it as Lego tiles that were invented hundreds of years ago. Additionally, most if not all of the buildings in the resort utilised a unique type of roof tiles which cannot be found anywhere else

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank TorinoGalla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2012

The Aryani was the final destination resort of a group of 30+ bikers (some with pillions) who were touring the East Coast of Peninsula Malaysia. We stayed 3 days 2 nights. In fact we took over all the rooms and villas except for one. I was impressed with the setting; rustic Malay Kampung architecture with modern amenities. The toilets were clean. Fresh towels. Air-conditioning and working fans. Our check-in was handled very well, smooth and prompt, no hassle. The pool was clean and inviting; in fact too inviting that a couple of the riders jumped in with their riding pants! The meals were very good, the service excellent but maybe that was because we had taken over the resort. The resort provided in-house traditional local masseuse which was much needed relief for massaging away the tensed muscles after a few days of riding.

On the negative side: The resort was suffering from some neglect. The lawn was brown from lack of water. The plants decorating the paths and villas was dying from neglect (They should fire their gardener and get a new one). Their light fixtures needed maintenance. The beach cafe looked abandoned. The shower areas in the chalet were badly designed, too close to the wooden windows causing the windows to rot over time. The private dipping pool beside each chalet were drained & empty. The Aryani must have been a top-notch 5-star 5-10 years ago but the management and owners have left it to neglect.

That being said, our group had a fantastic time at the resort. The pool became the hub of fun and activity. The beach was also relatively clean and safe as long as you don't wander too far in the water. The lighting at night made the resort look magical. Our final night dinner was a poolside affair and the food was out of this world! Service by the staff was very, very good. They do the best with what they have. So because of the company I was in, we made Aryani look and feel like a fun retreat. I tend to agree with some of the previous reviewers that the Aryani have seen better days and it is a shame to see such a fine place "rot" away. If I were to arrive there with my wife and kids, we would have been disappointed especially for the price we paid. But if you are a couple or a family looking for solitude and quiet and a unique Malaysian experience, then Aryani could be the place.

Room Tip: We took Chalet #13 as advised in one of the reviews and we were not disappointed. Chalet #13 faced the beach. The chalets facing the pool were also good. One of the riders and his wife stayed in the "main house" which was reputed to be 150 years old. They said it creaked a lot but provided for a unique experience. There was a modern block of 5-6 rooms. No one in our entourage complained about any of the accommodations as far as sleep quality was concerned.
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
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6  Thank zzmelayu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2011

Excellent service on arrival and prompt check-in. Lemon grass drink was cool and refreshing. Keropok Lekor - a speciality of the area was hot and crispy served with a spicy dip. The deco of the room was tastefully done in Malay Kampung style. The toilet was clean with fresh white large towels. In front of the villa you have the beach all to yourself. Desert is served in your room at tea time. Day trips can be made from the jetty nearby which takes about 1/2 hour by boat. We had a very pleasant 2 night stay and a good getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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9  Thank rukaiyah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2011

Although we called ahead to announce our arrival ( a group of 7) we had to wait in the rain until 1 (one) person came to take care of us.The monsoon rains did not faze us but the condition of the resort shocked us. Used and threadbare would be the description. Hard to believe that they won the best resort award in 2007!!! The location is ideal!!! A shame to see such a resort practically "rot" away. The beach cafe is closed and the walls and roof covered with fungus/mushrooms... Lightings on the path were broken down (dangerous at night during a downfall) The spa and shop were closed. The menu lacked most of the items on them, even the local dishes eg. "roti canai" !! The chalets and amenities...threadbare and with spots!!
The staff were VERY friendly and did their best but were left on their own by the management. We found out that the manger had quit recently!! We felt very sad as we had quite a high expectation of the resort. It should have been the highlight of our first time visit to Malaysia. By the way we had a fantastic trip to KL, Taman Negara and Kuantan in two cars.. We left a couple of days earlier than planned from the Aryani back to KL....

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with family
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8  Thank maelclaude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jeeya, Guest Relations Manager at The Aryani Terengganu, responded to this reviewResponded April 23, 2011

The Aryani Management

Dear reviewer,

Thank you for your feedback and we do appreciate your sincere sharing. To ensure that The Aryani remains the charming heritage resort it will soon go through transformation and upgrading work in phases.
we look forward to welcoming you back to The Aryani for you to experience and improved offering and service.

Kind regards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2011

The Aryani was a major disapoointment. After having read the reviews on Tripadvisor I was expecting to arrive at a great little retreat.

However, we were really surprised when we arrived and were encountered by a resort which probably has not had any maintenance in the last 15 to 20 years. Every thing looks old, greenish (from the amounts of rain and humidity in the area) and even dirty. We did not even get in the pool because of the bad water conditions.

The bar at the beach seems to have been closed for years, many installations were broken, and, on top of all of that, our room was not even clean. We arrived too late to be complaining and changing rooms as we were just staying for one night (luckily!!) on our way to the Perhentians.

All in all, the feeling we had was of a decadent, badly managed place, in which only the personnel (who was very friendly and helpful) would make up for all the inconveniences.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled with friends
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5  Thank CanarioViajero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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