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Alang's Rawa
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Reviews (210)
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Reviewed 21 June 2011

I spent three days here during the week, just to get away from Singapore. The sand is white powder, the water clear. And our end of the island was quiet, quiet, quiet. I was looking forward to meeting Lorraine, who was wonderful in our email exchanges, but she wasn't there. However, I was in good hands with the guys, who quickly learned my name and what I liked.

The restaurant food was basic, but good. They made a special breakfast for me one morning. The fresh lime freeze was as good as they get. The room was also basic. No reading light, meager water pressure. The porch on the beach was perfect.

I did have to wait a while at the Port Cafe in Mersing for the boat to be ready to go. But, hey, I was there to relax. The staff at the cafe is also wonderful, so have a couple beers, make some jokes and watch the passing scene.

I hear on the weekend it's a constant party of young professionals from Singapore. If that's your idea of hell (it's mine), go during the week.

Oh, and I saw the most spectacular sunset of my life here. In the west was a symphony of reds undulating like psychedelic northern lights. And in the east a double rainbow which was almost a complete circle.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled solo
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4  Thank NancyLee_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 June 2011

The island is absolutely beautiful and we did not mind the very basic and plain accommodation, but the price is definitely too high compared to similar settings in that part of the world. We were also surprised to see that the owner or manager of the place did not show any interest in her guests, no welcome in the beginning or goodbye at the end. Her intern had to do all of that.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank vista-methode
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2011

It was my third times going to Alang's Rawa since 2008 and I was actually looking forward to be again on what I remembered being a dream island ...

1) The "Rawa" experience started a few weeks before we actually begun our journey with quite "aggressive" emails from the women in charge of the bookings, threatening us to give away our rooms if 50% was not paid via paypal. I usually book my hotels on line, so dont have any problem doing so, but the tone used in the mail exchanges were just not giving me the impression she cared having us as clients, although we were a group of 10!
2) Boat Transfer from Mersing: I remembered from the last years having to wait for a boat to pick us up in Mersing but it was already starting to add up to the list of pleasant surprises. Indeed, after a 4 hours bus ride coming from Singapore, our group had to wait another 2 hours for the boat to show up ( knowing that its only 25 min away and we called 20 times, we kinda found it somehow dis-respectful too..).
Once you reach there, it is obviously a (very) nice beach that welcomes you, but not a word of excuse for the hours waiting on a parking lot, nor a welcome drink...

"Well. It's ok. The week end is only starting", was I telling myself....

This was before we had to engage in a fight with the showers (which were breaking apart and had no pressure), the toilet flushes (not working), the dirty mattresses and bedsheets, the dogs PEEING ON MY BAG (SIC) and the young students who had booked a few rooms and insisted on testing how loud they could push the speakers, playing their tasteless music until 5 am...

I will not mention the overpriced drinks ( USD 10 for a gin tonic! - more than in Singapore!), but the best of all was yet to come..... Only when then final bill came at the end of the week end, we spotted the ridiculous & imposed corkage fee (~ SGD 40) for a bottle of Vodka we were drinking on the beach & on the rooms' terraces !!

Needless to say this was the first time in my entire life I was charged a corkage fee for a bottle I was drinking in an hotel room.....Twice the price we paid ours in duty free, which I now understand looking at how much they sell the alcohol bought locally in Malaysia. You just don't have a choice, so you would better get on with it.

What a change from the previous "local" management which was so relaxed, cool, and friendly with their guests. I remembered some of the guys from 2008, which are still working there. They actually are the only reason why some guest will come back. All of them are nice, helpful and obviously a bit lost with the "new rules, pricing packages, and the way guests are being "taken care of " by the new caucasian manager.

Be prepared to bring enough cash (at least twice the amount your budgeted), or alternatively, just book a room on next door "Safari resort". It ends up being USD 30 extra/day/pax, but the rooms are air-conditioned/ spotless/ buffet has a much wider choice, there is no corkage, and the beach is the same!!

A long time ago, Alangs Rawa was a hidden gem - cool tiny island - for groups of working locals/expats, now transformed into a cash machine suited for students and back packers who will probably have to clean the dishes as the club will dry them out their last dollars.

A very shy "thank you" when we left, and a feeling the women in charge was telling us " please dont come back if you were not happy!"

Shame they became so cocky. Goodbye Alang's Rawa.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with friends
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9  Thank Mileslover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 June 2011

My friends from Europe visited me in S'pore, so I brought them to Rawa for a short visit. The accommodation at Alang's Rawa turned out to be a big mistake!

Let's start from the beginning of this nightmare:
1. We had to wait 2 hours for the boat transfer at the jetty in Mersing! The man who worked for Alang's Rawa told us to wait 45 min. for other guests and then to wait half hour more, and finally the boat departed 2 hours later. There were two girl who have been waiting for 5 hours! Really radiculous how they treated the guests!

2. No life vests for guests on the boat! I said to my friend that's weird that they did not give us the life vests. Then we saw the boat was followed by a water police boat. A blond guy in our boat (who seemed to work for Alang's Rawa) quarreled with the policemen loudly. Later we found out that's exactly why water policed followed us, because no life vests for hotel guests. Next day when we were back to Mersing, the guy brought life vests to the boat, but still did not distribute to the guests...It's a joke how they handle the security of their guests!

3. We were warmly welcomed by a Dutch intern. She's friendly and helpful. But the owner (an Australian or british woman?) showed no interests in her guests during our stay. We had rooms which are the simplest in all, I guess even worse than a simple room in a motel or YMCA? the bathroom is in a miserable condition, that I had to put myself together to take shower. But the price is the same as a 4 or 5 star hotel in KL, 510RM a room for 2 persons, O.K. in KL the hotels did not include the lunch and dinner in the prices.

4. The resort has 3 dogs, they kept peeing on the beach everywhere. That's horrible to see that they digged holes and peed somewhere, and afterwards the guests who did not know it were lying there for their sunbath. So a nice beach full with dog's urine....

5. They said we need to tell them when we need the boat to back to Mersing next day, we said 2pm, right that day, the owner said not possible, we have to wait for other guests who leave at 4pm. We did not accept that anymore and requested a solution via the intern...finally we could leave at 3pm.

We were happy we don't have to stay on that beach with dogs' urine, uninterested owner who takes the service and customer satisfiction as nothing. I absolutely don't have problems with cold water and ventilator (no hot water and aircon), I think it's even a natural way to stay on an island like this. But a resort need to be managed, you can't just let it be.

The only pro is that they have decent food.

Pulau Rawa is a beautiful island, it's such a shame that it's ruined by such a resort.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with friends
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16  Thank Ashley_vM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 June 2011

Stayed here recently, during the Malaysian/Singaporean half-term break, Sunday to Wednesday.

We have four kids (10, 5, 4 and 2.5 years) and originally wanted to stay here over the weekend, but management was kind enough to inform us about weekend activities and how loud things can get, so we listened to their advice and stayed here during the week, and it was just pure bliss! By the time the last weekend group had left that Sunday, there were only 3 groups left, us and two other couples. We pretty much had the beach all to ourselves.

The island is really small, with the beach on one side, and cliffs on the other. There's a reef just in front of the beach, so you can do snorkelling here (the guys at Alang's Rawa have snorkelling gear that you can use FOC). There's a jetty that splits the beach to two parts; it's used mainly by the other resort located on the other side of the beach (not as nice as Alang's Rawa; even the guests from the other resort would try their luck and chill out on this side) and you can do fishing on the jetty as well. You can also hike up the two relatively low hills on this island and enjoy the scenic views from up there.

Yes the rooms are basic, but who cares if you're gonna be out on the beach chilling out and relaxing most of the day anyway?

A lot of good things have been said about this place in the other reviews, so I won't waste time adding more as they are all spot on.

We will definitely return to this place!

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with family
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Thank rinezry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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