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Pangkor Laut Resort
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Reviewed 13 November 2013

As a working mum, I dreamed of a relaxing holiday for so long. I was greatly disappointed with my recent trip to PLR. What I remembered about the resort is no longer true....I was greatly impressed with the resort during my last visit and decided to take my family there again. What a BIG mistake. The staff there now are all young and seems very "careful" and will only do anything only after checking with their bosses - so do expect the response.... "let me check my manager first", from them pretty often. Managers are really Kings and Queens there and compared to the team spirit of doing their best for their customers, the staff there are now very territorial - they will only do their part of responsibility, out of their "KPI" it is none of their concern. An example would be at the main lobby of the hotel - there were some strewn newspapers with a left over apple core eaten by a guest left on top of the papers on the main lobby's coffee table for ages. (pls see photo attached).There were 3 staff at the counter and 2 bored looking staff on each left and right corner of the room - for dining and spa services. But they all stuck at their places as it was not their "job" to clean up.... this should be done by the cleaners only, so its ok to have other guest subjected to this view at their main lobby. The rest of the service followed this culture.

We took the resident package which includes all meals. We had our kids with us, who are not young enough to be with their parents all the time but not old enough to be on their own. They are 10 and 13. We offered to pay for all extras such as food or an extra bed. We preferred to be together and the room was huge and we would be more comfortable to have them with us. But we were rudely declined. We were "forced" to take an additional room and package for our 2 kids but what I could not stand was the way we were made to feel very small in the process. We felt that since we are not "foreigners" we don't understand "policies". In fact, most of the staff there are like robots - no heart and responses were always - "Sorry, but this is our policy." - in their eyes reflected what is not said - "so, take it or leave it". So, we spent most of the time running back and forth and up and down the steep stairs of the hillside to our kids' room to check on them.

The part that I really don't agree is that, although our kids were made to take full adults package, all the "adult" places were off limits to them as they had to be 16 to enter. So they were not able to attend the yoga session with me because it is within the spa area or go to the pool at the spa side and go to at least 2 of the restaurants. This resulted in my husband having to forgo his spa as we did not want to leave our kids for 3 or more hours watching tv in the room while we go to the spa for the bath ritual and massage session at the spa. In fact, as part of the full adult package that we paid for our kids, 2 spa RM50 vouchers were included... what in the world would they do with it since they cannot even enter the spa area. Clearly this was not thought through.

On the evening of our last night, we were surprised to get a call to tell us to check out by 11am... "we have other guests arriving", the hotel staff said. I was livid, as my son wanted to go to the beach again that last morning and it will be a rush for us if we had to get out of the room by 11am. I always thought hotels' check out time is usually at 12pm. Anyway, we followed this "policy" and rushed to take my son to the beach, get everything packed and took our lunch in a haste to meet the 1pm boat to the shore. Needless to say, we only managed to take a few bites of the lunch as by the time the food came it was 10 mins to 1 pm and we still had to rush to the jetty.

I feel that the change at PLR is so apparent - instead of the charming service as what my family and remembers, the last time we were there about 4 years ago, to the current treatment that we received. To me, PLR now is all about how to squeeze the most from the guests and their workers. It's all about profits and cash. No longer about the pride of giving the best to the guests and to suit their needs. Everything is according to their new revised "policy". I guess for foreigners who would like to spend money to go there for a quiet time and older people who are happy just to be left alone and get their meals on time, it would still be Ok. But if you have slightly different needs - then be prepared to get the standard response - "Sorry, but this is our policy."

My last note that I would like to share - we are also sorry to see the room condition for the lower level PLR staff (Not the Management level.) we passed by their quarters on the grounds on the way to our dinner and saw their doors made of plywood that are tattered at the corners and of course, they are made to squeeze in a space probably smaller than our room's toilet.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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31  Thank Robitahani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dorrothy K, Manager at Pangkor Laut Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 21 November 2013

Dear Guest,

Greetings from Pangkor Laut Resort !

Thank you for taking the trouble to write to us about your stay at our resort. We appreciate your feedback and noted the details in your review.

1. Although there are always new staff added to a resort, it is not true that "all" our staff are
young. We do have a lot of experienced staff; at times new staff will naturally seem to be a bit
more "careful", nonetheless.

We, on this resort, have religiously stressed in our regular training with our staff to go beyond
their call of duty and stressed on team work. It is true that staff members have specific duties
but are generally willing to take on extra responsibilities. However, when it comes to policy
matters, it is at times necessary to check with managers.

2. Regarding rooming, we do have specific stipulations and the staff was merely trying to abide
by these.

3. Also, different resorts have different times for check out; and ours in this sprawling resort is
11 am. We do allow our guests to stay on and enjoy the facilities, nevertheless.

4. As for the comment on living quarters for our staff, the management views this as an unfair
and unnecesary comment as we care well for our staff.

Regards
Dorrothy Kam
Resident Manager

On behalf of Mohamed Elsayeh, General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 November 2013

Fellow travelers: these are my very first impressions of Pangkot Laut Resort (PLR)....and, remember there is no second chance to cause a first impression...I have just arrived at the jetty at the resort marina at 4.33.PM LT, just to find out that I could not get on the boat scheduled to leave at 4.30 PM... the boat was still at the jetty and there was resort guests boarding the boat, but I was told we could not board it. When I enquired why, a resort employee told me I had to be at the marina 15 mins before scheduled time to register. I asked to call the resort for an "exception", since the boat had not left, but the manager confirmed the "no".. This caused some frustration, because, after all, it is a resort and not the army barracks. Or so I thought. Next I ask what time is the next scheduled boat: 8.00 PM! Wow, 3.30 hours waiting! Next, Q1 'any other alternatives to the resort's transport ? A1 'Nope'. .Q2 "is it possible to have an unscheduled boat?" A2 'Yes sir, that will cost you 110 Euros/way'; Q3 'Can we get something to eat here or around , since we have been traveling for 31/2hours?' A3 "Sir There is nothing around here"., Q4 "May I speak with the manager?", A4 "Sir, they are all in meetings right now" and finally Q5 "May I speak with someone at the reception?" A5 "They are all busy receiving the new guests". At this point my frustration reaches the pinnacle.This is all even made more serious as I phoned the resort prior to leaving KL in the morning, and the person who talked with me at the resort, sounded like she was in a rush. I enquired about the boat arrangements for PLR and I was told: "the office at the marina jetty will take care of everything, and like that she was gone". So let's get this right: so far we have paid a small fortune to stay here for a week and this is what I have seen: incompetence, inflexibility, lack of will to serve customers and, may I add, I even felt some arrogance.
Fellow travelers, I travel quite a lot. I have been positively surprised a few times, but this is NOT one of them. I expected much more, but I just did not get it.
JP

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank luisviena
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dorrothy K, Manager at Pangkor Laut Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 21 November 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the trouble to write this feedback. We appreciate your efforts for the evaluation.

We have always advised our guests about the boat schedules and the importance of arriving at least 15 minutes earlier at Marina Island Pangkor to check-in and to register so that the other side, at Pangkor Laut Resort, they are ready with the right personnel to welcome our guests once they reach the resort.

We believe in giving a personalised welcome and briefing to our hotel guests; and that perhaps explains why we have to keep to our what seems rigid schedules and stipulations.

I took serious note of the details mentioned in your review and will use those details and examples for our training purposes and see what can be done.

Regards
Dorrothy Kam
Resident Manager

On behalf of Mohamed Elsayeh, General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 November 2013

Don't confuse this place with anything on Pangkor Island. This is a top-end resort on a private island just of the coast of Pangkor Island which in turn is just off the north-western coast of peninsular Malaysia. It's circa 90 min drive from Ipoh airport or 3.5 hours from Kula Lumpur.
It's not cheap so expectations were high. It's a very well maintained property with decent facilities. Numerous restaurants though bear in mind that they're not always open so your choice may be more limited in practice. The Straits restaurant was closed for "renovations" during our visit but there was no evidence of such. Uncle Lim's Chinese restaurant food was a bit on the deep fried/oily side for me liking but Fisherman's Cove was outstanding. The Japanese food at Julma was also very good. A private dinner on the beach was an absolute winner but they had stopped offering the in-villa dining which was still advertised on their website. You should book for dinner since the seating is pretty limited.
The sunset cruise on their junk was very enjoyable and the captain gave some interesting, supporting commentary. Staff are patently very well trained and go the extra mile whenever they can. The villa was pretty much as we expected though the hot water supply wasn't sufficient to fill the stone bath (the plug of which leaked anyway and wasn't fixed after being reported) and so showers were easier. Hornbills, other birds and bats abound around the resort, as do mosquitos so be prepared. Good gym and swimming pools, kayaks and tennis courts and if you're up for it and have a large can of insect repellent, you can do up to a 2.4km trek through the surrounding jungle which I enjoyed.
You can't swim on the villa side of the island owing to stingers in the water so you need to go over to the other side where there's Chapman's bar & restaurant (food's average there). You can walk over in 15-20 mins (35 mins according to the guide) but the hill's quite steep or you can take one of the shuttle cars/vans which are readily available - which is just as well since the resort is spread along the coast over some distance and you could otherwise be in for a hike to get your breakfast.
It's supposed to be eco-friendly but they run a lot of diesel/petrol-powered cars, vans, lorries, motorbikes and mopeds around the limited roadways which isn't ideal.
Be careful what time you arrive at their private jetty for the boat trip over from the mainland to the resort. Owing to the schedule, you may have to sit there for up to 2 hours which is actually pretty irritating when you realise that the trip only takes 12-15 mins.
We did the day trip to Pangor Island under our own steam (resort boat took us there and back). It's only about 8km x 8km and plenty of pink taxi vans (two hour tour is about RM70-80) or you can walk a large part of it but there's little to see. The Dutch Fort or nearby "graffiti boulders" ain't going to knock your socks off and whilst there's one or two decent beaches on the coast where the boat will drop you, there's also some very polluted, smelly streams/drains running into some of them. There's a lot of rubbish around and why the locals can't pick the litter up that piles up around many of their properties beats me. Difficult to get a half decent meal anywhere so maybe take a picnic and have a decent meal when you get back to the resort.
Overall, I would go back to this resort which is certainly close to an excellent rating but definitely not to Pangkor Island.

Room Tip: The sound proofing I the semi-detached garden villa could have been a bit better. Some of the water villas are quite a distance from reception/breakfast. I think that some villas on the water don't have TV.
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank BazSingapore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mohamed E, General Manager at Pangkor Laut Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 22 November 2013

Dear Guest
Greetings from Pangkor Laut Resort.
Thank you for your recent stay at Pangkor Laut Resort and writing this review. We do appreciate your kind rating to us as close to excellent and please accept our sincere apologies as we did not meet your expectations on some services and products. We do admit that we are using cars (due to the distance) and started to merge utility service car and we will reduce the number starting December 2013 We are looking forward to welcome you back at Pangkor Laut Resort.
Regards
Mohamed Elsayeh
General Manager.

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Reviewed 7 November 2013

This is a truly special place in every way. We were in the hill villas and had the most amazing view from our balcony.

We started every day with the yoga session (my husband) or a swim (me). There is something quite magical about swimming in the beautiful infinity pool looking over the sea. Then it was a sumptuous breakfast with fabulous fresh fruits and an amazing array of juices. The scrambled eggs were cooked to perfection! All the members of staff were friendly and helpful.

We were on a full board package which I would thoroughly recommend, except we could never do justice to the food! Lunch was by the pool (great pitta and hummus) with the same impeccable service. Jeremy was always unfailingly polite and always so cheerful. The alternative venue was at Emerald Bay, where the food was equally good in the most fantastic setting. Benz gave great service there too.

We ate in all the dinner outlets but Fisherman's Cove was our favourite. The food equalled the best food we have eaten anywhere in the world and the service was amazing. Thanks especially to Din for being so kind and welcoming. The dessert we had on our last night was such a lovely touch.

Yes, the alcohol prices are a little high, but that is to be expected on an island and in a resort of this quality. Actually 20 ringgits for a beer is not too much at all and the bottles of wine in the minibar were pretty good value (much cheaper than in the restaurants).

We loved the sunset cruise and once again would like to commend the staff for such wonderful service. It was especially memorable. Also we enjoyed the drinks reception and meeting other members of staff.

The beach at Emerald bay is stunning. It is a wonderful experience swimming in azure waters warm enough for a bath! We took the shuttle bus every time and would like to thank all the drivers for their courtesy.

The spa experience was to die for. Three hours of pampering, including two types of baths, steam inhalation and wonderful massage.

We also loved to see the wildlife, including the huge monitor lizards which gathered around Uncle Lims.

Our room was great and very well looked after by Ruby, who did the most amazing towel origami! We took full advantage of the outdoor bathtub as well. Although there were many midges on the balcony in the late afternoon, we had none in our room which was quite a surprise given the proximity to the rainforest.

The pool is lovely and was always quiet whilst we were there. Once again we received wonderful service with constant supplies of chilled water.

If I had to give any negative comments they would be very few and very minor. I personally dislike piped music and felt that it was a little irritating to hear the same music over and over again in the pool bar. Something soothing or nothing at all would be better. Also, there was a degree of rubbish on the beach at times, and in the sea, which we felt should have been cleared. I picked up litter on occasions and put it in the bin. Lastly, we would have welcomed the option of a boat trip along the lines of the sunset cruise, but during the day. As this is such an idyllic location, the possibility of boat trips would seem to be obvious. We did, however, hire a kayak, which was great fun.

Overall, a wonderful and very relaxing holiday which is what we both needed. Thank you so much to everyone on Pangkor Laut for a truly memorable holiday.

Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
2  Thank saraWiltshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mohamed E, General Manager at Pangkor Laut Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 8 November 2013

Dear Guest,
Greetings from Pangkor Laut Resort.
Thank you for your recent stay during October and sharing your review. Ruby, Jermey, Din, Benz and the rest of the team are delighted with your warm, yet detailed recognition. We are delighted learn that you had spent a wonderful holiday while we will increase our efforts to provide clean water and providing various music listening throughout the day and the week.
We are looking forward to welcome you back soon at Pangkor Laut Resort.
Regards
Mohamed Elsayeh
General Manager.

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Reviewed 5 November 2013 via mobile

We took our honeymoon here on the recommendation of a friend from Malaysia who said it was "the ultimate". She was not wrong. A really beautiful island with lots of stunning flora and great wildlife to become fascinated by. Most of all the staff were incredible, couldn't do enough for you, and just so smiley and pleasant but never overbearing.
We honeymooned during the last 2 weeks Sept & 1st week Oct (spending our last 10 nights at Pangkor Laut) and had been warned of rain from some agents until we met Kuoni who had been at this time of year advising it was hot & sunny with the odd chance of a downpour. This is exactly what we found, only the downpour happened just 3 times during the whole trip and every time overnight, meaning it was already hot & sunny by breakfast. It was also relatively quiet at this time so we were able to make full use of facilities & restaurants alike.
We also took advantage of the spa - wow!!
We just had a fabulous time and would love to extend our thanks to the wonderful staff whose collective service was impeccable.

  • Stayed: September 2013
    • Value
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4  Thank CLL_75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mohamed E, General Manager at Pangkor Laut Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 7 November 2013

Dear Guest,
Greetings from Pangkor Laut Resort.
We would like to thank you for choosing Pangkor Laut Resort as part of Honeymoon during October and writing this review. We are delighted that you have enjoyed your stay with us and taking this opportunity to thank your friend as well for recommending Pangkor Laut Resort.
We are looking forward to welcome you back celebrating the anniversary
Regards,
Mohamed Elsayeh.
General Manager..

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