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“No where near the hype”

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Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa, Langkawi
Ranked #2 of 16 Hotels in Pantai Cenang
Certificate of Excellence
Kuala Lumpur
Level 3 Contributor
1 review
“No where near the hype”
Reviewed 2 April 2010

Dirty over priced less than 3 star hotel, staff not ferndly, takes 30 minutes to get eggs for breakfast there was only 1 cook, many of the beach and pool chairs were broken, in the mornings there was leftover garbage and ash trays aaround the pool no one had cleaned up from the day before, I will not be going there again, the drinks were very expensive compared to the local priced, even the water was 10 times the local price, outside the water was 1 RM per bottle and 10RM in the room. to use the internet they wanted 50 RM per hour compared with 3 RM at the internet cafe.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank David S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Melksham, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 1 April 2010

We decided to go to Langkawi after reading about it in the Times travel magazine. The hotel was nice & the grounds well kept. When we arrived we were allocated a second floor pool view but we asked in advance for a ground floor which they changed without a problem. The weather was great but very very hot & one the day it rained it rained for about 15mins a total downpour. The beach bar was great for happy hour we spent many an afternoon supping wine watching the sunset. wish i was still there

Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank LisaK30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lincoln
Level 5 Contributor
65 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2010

We booked a twin centre holiday with Holiday Collection Group. Arrangements went smoothly, but they didn't mention that they do not provide you with a transfer from the Air Asia terminal to Kuala Lumpur International on your return home. We were advised of this by their representative at Langkawi after several other people had complained that they were left high and dry at the airport. The journey between airports is an 18km taxi ride. The other thing they don't tell you is that their customer service lines are shut all week-end. Now this would be fine if the other local numbers they provide travellers with are answered when you call them. But in our case, they weren't. I raised these issues with Holiday Collection Group when we returned, and expected a simple apology and a refund of our taxi fare and phone calls. At their request, I also mentioned our issues we had endured at the Pelangi. Nothing doing! The impression we got is that they take your money and you are on your own from then on.

As regards the Pelangi, I judge a hotel on several criteria, one of which is how quickly they resolve any issues.
We stayed at the resort for 10 days in March after 3 days in Kuala Lumpur. First impressions were good, lots of attractive and well maintained garden areas. The resort is a little faded, and bathrooms could do with updating, but we found it very pleasant and most of the staff were excellent. I think it was built in about 1989, but unfortunately, little appears to have been done since. There was a lack of cleanliness in the Pools, with dirt and mould on the tiles. Several other reviewers have mentioned this, why haven't the management acted on it?

The resort is conveniently close to the airport, which is handy if you are an aircraft spotting enthusiast. There are several flights every hour, so there will never be Maldivian levels of peace under the palm trees.

Our trip was to celebrate our wedding anniversary and I e-mailed the Pelangi in advance to request a quiet room. We were allocated a room (612) backing on to the main road and staff quarters. After a virtually sleepless night due to the constant traffic, we asked to be moved. We got the run-around from a receptionist who seemed to delight in offering us some of the most tatty and remote rooms on their books, so we wasted about half a day before we were given a suitable replacement. It seemed to us as if it was all a little too much trouble for her!

The air conditioning failed in the new room (812). This is no joke when the day temperature reaches 35C. I reported it to reception each day for three days. Each evening I had to ask reception if it had been attended to, as it was clearly not working but we were given no information or updates. On the third night it became unbearable, and when I called reception, they told me the Aircon unit required changing and we would have to move rooms again. There was no response when I asked why I hadn't been given this information earlier. Guess what? They tried to give us a room backing on to the road again!

We ended up with a remote, but pleasant sea view room for the remaining three nights, but only because I had made it clear to them that we would move out if they didn't sort it out. Packing up all the luggage at 10 p.m. for the second time in a week and having three sweltering days and nights is not conducive to a restful holiday.

Ismail, who has worked there since it opened is an excellent ambassador for the Pelangi resort. He helped us with both of our room moves and always had a smile. Some of the Reception staff should study and emulate his attitude to guests!

We were less than impressed with their customer service. No apologies and no follow up calls to see if all was satisfactory. We subsequently discovered that they allocate the "road rooms" to people who have booked with a travel agent and thus have paid in advance. There was a constant stream of people being juggled around the site.

They spend a lot of time on the gardens, but never cleared any litter from the sunbed area on the palm fringed beach all the time we were there. They don't provide ashtrays and lots of their customers smoke, so the sunbeds are surrounded by hundreds of cigarette ends. Nor do they bother to rake the sand on the beach to remove litter (which the next door establishment ,which I note is number 1 on Trip Adviser ,does with an old Land Rover and only takes 10 minutes) so they are really missing a trick by not making the most of one of their best assets. Similarly, the Lake areas don't appear to be well looked after and many guests in the lakeside rooms complained of insect bites.

There are several restaurants and the food is OK, but mainly bland and expensive compared to elswhere. Outside the Pelangi are numerous restaurants. The best we went to was "Orkid", a Chinese, turn right out of the gate and it's the first big establishment you come to. Always busy, and good food. They specialise in seafood, but the Chinese/Thai menu is really good value. The Lighthouse at the far end of Langkawi is also very good. Taxis are cheap. The only problem with Lankawi (outside the Pelangi) in general is the constant smell of sewage from the drains. it takes some getting used to!

Finally, on the last room move, I noticed items missing from the minibar. I called reception and they said they would note the missing items. They still tried to bill me for them at the end of the stay. During my ten minutes at the cashier's station, two other customers came up to resolve alleged significant overcharging issues. Poor administration, or something to do with the culture?


Overall, we had a good holiday, but it could have been memorable if they had any notion of customer service. We will not be using Holiday Collection Group or the Pelangi again.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CandSLincoln
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 March 2010

I read the reviews for this hotel before we went and again when I came back. I don.t think we stayed in the same place as some people!!!!! If you are looking for a butler service and 5* plus treatment don't go there go to Dubai. We wanted a relaxing holiday and not to be ripped off by hotel bar charges, that is what we had. The rooms were fine, the bed perfect, ok maybe the bathroom door needed a revarnish - no big deal. The rooms were cleaned daily, the gardeners constantly at work. All the staff were extremely friendly and none ever passed you without passing the time of day.

The breakfast was adequate, always freshly cooked croissants, danish pastries, muffins and doughnuts. There was somebody there to cook you eggs whichever way you wished and plenty of cereal (even porridge!) fruit, yoghurt etc.

We had a Cascade pool villa, this was excellent, two steps down and we were around the pool. The pool area was pleasant and very clean, some of the beds need to be refurbished as do the umbrellas but again this was not a problem you could have as many fresh towels as required. The overall condition of the pool was very good and we did not see any algae.

In one of the reviews it said that the buildings shook when the planes went over!! Yes it is very close to the airport and you do see the planes flying out to sea but this does not cause a problem. We spoke to other people round the pool and nobody had any complaints about the planes or felt the buildings shook!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes you do see insects and bugs around and the occasional geese and chickens but your are in Malaysia!

I would definitely not hesitate to go back to the hotel, it is well located and has plenty of nice restaurants within close proximity especially Jimmy's in the Phadi fielda opposite the hotel.

It is ideal for all ages, we met people with babies, elderly people on their third visit and there were plenty of younger couples the only people I think would probably not enjoy it so much are teenagers as there are no clubs and not many bars etc for them.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank valaur2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lincolnshire
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 March 2010

A lovely hotel but don't bother with breakfasts (which deteriorated during our stay) and there are some fabulous restaurants around that offer value for money and better quality- Padi Cuisine/Jimmy's is fantastic (abot 100 m away), the people are wonderful and would love to go again to meet Jimmy and his very hospitable family as well as the great cooking. Don't believe the brochures if they offer a room upgrade for honeymoons- they told us the hotel was full but other guests said their blocks were half empty. The Kuoni rep did not put in appearance until 8 guests insisted she turn up, she launched herself into a welcome meeting but we all were there to find out our leaving details as we were getting our flight that night (this was 16.30 hrs)- most unimpressed as she failed to turn up for any meeting scheduled by her throughout the holiday. we were in a superior room and I wouldn't recommend anything less- the others were grotty. Would we go again to Pelangi Beach- I'd have to think that one out carefully.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sappho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wigan, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 March 2010

My wife and I have very recently returned from a ten night stay at Pelangi. Last year we went to Centara Grand Beach resort in Koh Samui for our honeymoon, which was excellent. Whilst a very good hotel, Pelangi failed to live up to this high standard and found ourselves comparing the two.

Prior to booking our holiday, we looked on Trip Advisor and found the comments to be mixed, some travellers commenting negatively on the cleanliness of the resort, the traditional/dated feel and overall service/value for money. Unperturbed we sought advice from friends and colleagues that had recently stayed there for their additional reviews and in the end decided to go with the positive comments and booked a Superior Pool View Room for ten nights.

First impressions were that the hotel is traditional and vast. Built in the style of a Malay village, the rooms are wooden chalets and the resort itself stretches over a huge corner of Cenang Beach.

Travel time from airport
Langkawi International Airport is only 10-15 minutes away from the resort. In fact you can see planes landing from the poolside though there are very few per day so this is not a problem

Check In
We arrived shortly after midday and whilst we appreciated that check in wasn't until two, the lady behind the desk was unable to confirm whether we would be able to check into our room at two. Instead we were advised to perhaps go for lunch and then come back to check on the status of the room. To be fair to the staff, in the end there was no issue as our room was ready at 2pm, though a little more assurance would have been appreciated

Our Room
We stayed in Room 1404. This was a single level chalet so from the balcony you overlooked the main pool area and you could actually see the beach so bonus in terms of the view from our room. The room itself was as per the resort, traditional, not opulent. Kitted out with a fan and air conditioning to help deal with the heat, the room had a large bed, with a separate dressing area, attached to the bathroom, which was small and functional rather than large and luxurious. We found it to be very tidy and clean, and overall a very nice room for our ten night stay. In the room were the usual mini bar, tea/coffee making facilities, ironing board etc. The TV had limited channels generally, with 3 English speaking channels; Hallmark, ESPN and Vision Four which were adequate as we weren't actually in the room that much. There was also a box so you could access in room movies but at RM40 (£8) they were expensive so we didn't use this option. There was also Internet, through a wireless keyboard though again was expensive.


The Restaurants
We only actually ate in the Spice Market restaurant on a few occasions, as it was the closest to the pool during the day and didn't require a great deal of walking in the heat to get a bite to eat. The prices were steep, compared with the quality and choice you could find outside of the resort. For instance, a tuna sandwich with fries was RM41, (£8) and wasn't worth the expense. The pizzas were far better value, especially the Mexicana, very nice. There is also a Thai Restaurant, two Poolbars, a Beach Bar (good for happy hour 4.40 – 6.30) and a Fun Pub (though this was being renovated for most of our stay and in any event didn’t live up to it’s name)

Breakfast is also served in Spice Market every morning. We found this to be a bit of a cattle market. Very little variation in what was being served and all too often the restaurant running out of basic items, i.e. bread for toast. There was also no set process for getting a table. Often we had to find any table and ask the staff to set it for the two of us, either clearing plates away of setting an empty table.
Service generally was adequate, and often at lunch food we had ordered arrived late or not at all and had to be chased.

We ate in this restaurant for lunch until we found much better food at far better prices, along the beach at the Beach Garden Resort, which then became our lunch destination. The other restaurants were never busy and whilst I have no doubt the food would have been very good, it is far more advisable to explore what is available outside of the resort, i.e. turn right out of the main entrance/head left along the beach. Try L'Osteria (Italian), Champor Champor (Western/Asian), Tulsi Garden (Indian) and Beach Garden Resort (Western/Asian), so of which we visited more than once due to the excellent food and value for money.

The resort
The pool and general areas are well cared for and are constantly being attended to, so we could not fault the look and feel of the place. There are two pools, the main pool area and the Cascade Pool. Sunbeds seem to be reserved by the age old custom of putting towels on the beds (towels are available from the towel kiosks), though we never found a problem finding a couple of beds and an umbrella.

The location
The beach is spectacular, lovely white sand and the sea is as warm as any you will have swam in. There was a warning about the possibility of jellyfishes, however I swam in the sea everyday and did not see any sign of them. There is a designated area where you can swim safely if you are worried, but I did not feel this necessary.
Cenang Beach is by far the busiest of the beaches in terms of bars/restaurants, though Langkawi generally is still a very chilled/relaxed place. There are places to go, though it you are expecting anywhere with a great deal of nightlife, Langkawi would not be for you. The bars are very relaxed beach bars, music played at a low volume with a real laid back feel. Try Babylon's, Little Lylia and our favourite, Yellow Cafe (behind Langkapuri Resort)


Overall impressions

We had a fantastic holiday and would certainly recommend Pelangi, as with major resorts though it has it’s failings - that could easily be amended - but they did in no way affect our holiday. I just wanted to give anyone reading this report an honest representation of our stay there.

Suggestions would be for Pelangi;

•Open a small café/offer more choice in the Spice restaurant for those guests that want a light lunch/sandwich for lunch, not everyone wants a full meal. Offer a range of wraps, sandwiches and salads for lunch
•Lower prices in the restaurants and bars within the resort to compete with those outside the main entrance. Consider this for the Spa as well, which compared with those outside the resort (try Alun Alun Spa on the main road) it is expensive.
•More entertainment at night within the resort. Make greater use of the Fun Pub on site to bring in guests for a great night, offering reduced rates on drinks and food
•Implement changes within the waiting staff particular at breakfast so it is a bit more of a pleasant experience. Have staff constantly circulating with tea and coffee and also staff constantly clearing tables and resetting for diners
•Think about the little touches that make a holiday special. For instance it was my birthday whilst over there. Not that I was expecting anything at all, though in Thailand a cake was left as a surprise in our room. I’m a 34 year old guy so wasn’t particularly bothered when nothing on this occasion, but these are the things that some people like and Pelangi should be conscious of this.
•Staff need to be a bit more friendly and have that ‘nothing is too much trouble’ attitude

Would we go back again? Probably not, only because we have so much more of the world to explore. There was a couple we met that had been to Pelangi every year for the past nine years

As I said at the start of this review, we did compare Malaysia to Thailand. If you are dead set on Malaysia as a beach holiday then Pelangi is a very good hotel, though if you are undecided for South East Asia, particularly Thailand vs. Malaysia, then my recommendation would be Thailand, especially Koi Samui.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank chrisgriff6191
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Armagh
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 March 2010

We stayed here for 12 nights in February. As some people have said it is a bit dated and having come from a 5 star in Kuala Lumpar it was a bit of a surprise... However once you're there a couple of days it really is magical.
It is beautifully laid out and landscaped. The room we were in could have done with a lick of paint to cover up marks on the wall, but it really didn't matter that much. We had a ground floor pool view room, the doors opened onto our veranda and 2 steps down to the Cascade Pool terrace. Perfect. We were on honeymoon so we had a complimentary bottle of champagne on ice waiting for us on arrival and a fruit basket. Every day they replenished our fridge with complimentary bottles of water and the room was cleaned daily. You do get some "wildlife" in your room but a call to housekeeping and its quickly gone. I do agree the pool does need to be cleaned of algae but otherwise it was amazing, it was so hot while we were there it was great to have a big fairly quiet pool to dip in.
The 2 poolside bars/ restaurants were very good but the horizon pool had the better menu of the 2. We also ate at the Boat House BBQ on our 2nd night which was a nice experience we were seated in a bamboo structure on the beach and the sunset was amazing. They surprised my husband with a complimentary birthday cake even though it had been his b'day a few days before we arrived, very nice touch. We ate at the Niyom Thai restaurant another night, amazing food. The rest of the time we ate along the strip at Pentai Cenang. There are so many excellent restaurants & all very reasonable. We were there over Chinese New Year so it was fairly busy but the service everywhere we went was excellent.
As for breakfast, yes it was the same everyday, but there was SO much choice you could easily have ate something different every morning for a 2 week holiday, I've never seen such a range of options.
The spa was expensive so we used the Thai Spa on the strip, same with internet access and laundry, a fraction of the price outside of the hotel.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Wee-Bear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa, Langkawi

Property: Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa, Langkawi
Address: Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa, Langkawi, Pantai Cenang, Langkawi 07000, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Kedah > Langkawi District > Langkawi > Pantai Cenang
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 16 Hotels in Pantai Cenang
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa, Langkawi 5*
Number of rooms: 355
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Designed in the style of a traditional Malay village, Meritus Pelangi's 355 guestrooms and suites are housed in wooden chalets that are spread across 35 acres of lush landscaped gardens along a stretch of white sandy shores. Be ushered into a world of ethnic charm and tropical tranquility at this award-winning resort! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort And Spa, Langkawi
Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa, Langkawi Hotel Pantai Cenang
Meritus Pelangi Beach Langkawi
Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort Langkawi
Pelangi Beach Resort Langkawi
Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa, Langkawi Pantai Cenang

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