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“Over estimate”

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Japamala Resort by Samadhi
Ranked #1 of 19 Hotels in Pulau Tioman
Certificate of Excellence
Helsinki
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Over estimate”
Reviewed 16 August 2013 via mobile

I was there with my family.
They are coming to fletch you at the airport by boat.
It take 20 mn to be at Japamala.
They offer you a cocktail in the boat and when you arrived in this resort.
The room where we were has her private swimming pool and jacuzzi.
The place was nice and clean, you have to close doors because of monkeys.
The sea is nice, sharks are moving very close from the beach and you have to swim far to see something interesting.

The only bad things I see is the food:

Italian restaurant: beautiful place to be, the food is nice but the service is very slow. It took 1h30 to have our orders, bolognese and the fish of the day.
Vietnamese restaurant: very spicy, be careful, ans slow, but nice.

Rooms made before 10:30AM

There is no privacy, people are coming to see our private swimming pool without asking.
Electrical cables between us and the beach, not very nice.
3 swimming pools ?? What for? To increase the price ?
They are empty most of the time ....
The house, Pengolini need to be refresh.
The beach need to be clean, it is a pity to see bottles, bags etc ... on this beach.
Please make an effort.
Something funny happen, when we are leaving the Japamala by boat, and when they drop us where we have asking, we can see that we are not any more customers ......
This resort is in the average. For this price we should have a perfect service. It is not the case. Will not come back.
Thx

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ThierryIT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (108)
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English first
Province of Brindisi, Italy
Level 5 Contributor
46 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 August 2013

We stayed at Japamala for 2 nights during our honeymoon and fell in love with it.
The place is incredible - the rooms are hidden in the forest on the hillside. We had a room at the top, with a breathtaking view of the sea and a shower overlooking the sea. The first day we were woken by monkeys :-) the wildlife is everywhere (had a few ants in our room but we didn't mind).

ROOMS:
Our room had a minibar, evening turn down with candles and chocolates, there is cold water provided and refilled during the day. It would have been nice to have a little more storage space for clothes.

THE SEA:
The beach is lovely and the sea very clean - you can borrow free snorkeling equipment. While on the beach the staff bring you cold water bottles and snacks. We felt really relaxed and looked after.

Breakfast is excellent - there is a buffet and it's possible to order some other food and drink a la carte.

The SPA:
We had a massage and it was really nice and relaxing!
Don't bother with the manicure. Not good - metal nail file used broke my nails; also was uncomfortable as you have to sit on a hard wooden chair - not relaxing at all. Please get yourself a nice chair so people can relax.

There are little touches that make your stay really nice: the happy hour at the Mandi Mandi restaurant, you can borrow a selection of dvds and books, we were given gifts when we left. Internet connection works well - no mobile phone reception but we didn't mind.

Negative notes:
However, I hope the management read my review, as there are a few things they should work on to make the place TOP quality.
We had 2 meals at the Mandi Mandi restaurant - the food is excellent, but the first evening was painful. We waited 1 hour and 45 minutes before we got our starters after we ordered....and there really are very few tables. We were hungry, and annoyed and complained to the waiter several times. Other people were unhappy too and complained about the waiting time. They are disorganized.
The second night the service was better, but I think the waiter remembered us from the first night and had other tables wait, rather than us. They really need more help in the kitchen...the dishes come out too slowly and they can't deal even with the few tables they have, but I repeat THE FOOD IS EXCELLENT!

I would love to go back sometime - it's a very special place and it was one of our best honeymoon memories, but please do something about the serving times at the restaurant. We also stayed in another place on the island that I would not recommend.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank fatam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2013

We stayed here for 7 nights at the beginning of our honeymoon and could not have been more delighted with our choice. This resort on this island is so unspoilt and the perfect place to relax and unwind. We were staying in a treetop chalet and were often woken to the sounds of monkeys outside the room which was a great way to start the day! We certainly did feel at home with nature spotting a python sleeping in a tree and some rather large lizards! The food was fantastic and the 'happy hour' each evening between 6 and 7pm was always a delight (free cocktails is always a positive)! The staff were fantastic and nothing was too much trouble- Aruni made us feel very welcome and has an excellent team behind her. All in all, we couldn't recommend the Japamala more highly.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Sarah C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 August 2013

If you are after luxury and relaxation then this is your place! I stayed here for 4 nights in July. The service is outstanding and nothing is too much of a problem. The staff are friendly and happy and make an extra effort to ensure your stay is memorable. We did get a package that included our flights and accommodation at Japamala so it made it very reasonable cost wise for the quality of the accommodation and service. It's seduced, it's quiet and it's peaceful. You don't need to share the beach/pool/bar/restaurant with many people so you feel as if you are on your own holiday. The prices of food and drinks is cheaper than I would find in Australia but more expensive than other Asian destinations I have been to (cocktails were about $8 AUD and food between $15-25 AUD) but you are eating quality food and the servings are generous. All in all quality resort and I highly recommend.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mia_jane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2013

We can only endorse all the positive comments already written. From beginning to end, our 4 night stay was fantastic. Aruni and her staff delivered attentive service with genuine enthusiasm and friendliness. Complimentary sun-downer cocktails, candle-lit beach dining with a bonfire, candles lit every night in the room - Japamala offered 5 star elegance delivered in a wonderfully relaxed environment. Our Hillside Sarang was luxuriously furnished with lots of extras and a private pool. Yes, Japamala isn't the cheapest place to stay but we genuinely felt the prices were fair in view of the quality of service. We will definitely be returning!

Room Tip: Hillside Sarang 4 - enough said, it was luxury
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Claire3382
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vienna, Austria
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2013

This review is going to be short - it was just perfect.
Staff was great, rooms were nice, clean and stylish, the setting in the rain forest was astonishing, the food in the restaurants amazing,.... so just perfect and no single tiny complaint needs to be made.

As they only have about 10 rooms, it was not crowded at any time although fully booked. There was always enough space at the restaurants, at the pool(s), at the beach. And having not much people around was very relaxing.

During booking we found the prices to be quite high and above average, nevertheless we gave it a try. We now have to say, that it is worth it, as we had a really good and relaxing time :)

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mr_maier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2013

A few words come to mind regarding my stay with Japamala – beautiful, heaven, secluded, gem, etc. As a solo traveller, I found this hotel very accommodating and lovely for a relaxing, do nothing but sit and read on the beach trip. I highly recommend!

I wanted to stay in this hotel since last year and it did not disappoint. It only has 13 rooms so it fills up quickly. I emailed the hotel to find out available dates in July for the Seaside Cliff Chalet (the room I wanted). Supply was limited, but was able to find something suitable for my schedule – email correspondence with the hotel was a great experience and they replied within 24 hours each time.

From arrival at the airport, they take you to the hotel’s boat for transfer, where you get a cold towel and refreshing juice. The boat was in tip-top shape. It’s a 10-15 minute ride to the hotel. They give you another juice when checking in before leading you up to your room.
I stayed in the Seaside Cliff Chalet. It had a breathtaking view and the walk to the room itself was beautiful on the stairs through the foliage. The décor in the room was rustic, all wood and everything was in excellent condition. Air Conditioning and fan worked well. The outside bathroom was a bonus and actually cooler than the room upon first entering when the AC was off. They offer free fresh fruit, refill your water often and some Hennessey in a decanter. You heard me right, free Hennessy for your stay.

The staff were super friendly. They knew my name and were very attentive, always with a smile.

The beach was fantastic. I had been told by friends not to have high expectations about beaches in Tioman, however, it is clear they had not yet been to Japamala. The pictures do not do it justice. The water was various shades of blue and green and crystal clear. Juxtaposing the clear blue waters against the lush greens of the jungle made for a breathtaking view when you were on the pier and first arriving at the hotel. The beach was clean and maintained. Bungalows and beach mats are available. Both are first come, first serve. They have two sides to the beach. One side, the bungalows have direct access to the beach, while the other side has the bungalows on stilts due to the tides and availability of the beach during the day. Both sides are lovely and I used both bungalows to read and enjoy the view. The staff offers you cold towels, water & a snack in the afternoon.

They have a pool and were doing some construction around the pool, however, you couldn’t notice because everything was covered with palm tree leaves – it was actually quite charming. I also couldn’t hear any noise when I was sitting near it. The pool wasn’t particularly nice and seemed out of place – white bottom made it seem old (should have done a black bottom pool to fit in more with the surroundings), but who cares when you have a beautiful beach that awaits you.

I was actually surprised by the food – it was quite yummy. In remote hotels, I tend to have low expectations for food because it must be hard to bring to the hotel. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. I ate at both the Thai restaurant on land, as well as the Italian/Western restaurant on the water.

Every night, the hotel offers a complementary Happy Hour from 6-7p on the restaurant on the pier. All you can drink with some light appetizers. Make sure you arrive at 6p to ensure a spot in one if their comfy tables over the sea. Otherwise, you will be left standing as there are only 6 over-water, bungalow tables. Since I occupied only one side, I offered the other side to a Mother and Daughter. They chatted while I read and it was quite comfortable.

I enjoyed their complementary breakfast – while their buffet lacked in variety, their fresh fruit and warm plates to order made up the difference. They offered fresh, homemade juices & different coffee types as well.

Wildlife is all around you, since you are in the jungle. You will see lizards, small snakes and bugs. They are all non-threatening and contribute to the environment. If you aren’t comfortable with this, than definitely don’t travel around Southeast Asia. Even Singapore has lizards roaming around….

From the water pools at each bungalow to clean your sandy feet before getting back onto your lounge chair to the cookies they gave you for your plane ride home, it was clear every aspect of the hotel and your stay is thought out. All in all, it was a lovely two nights and 3 days trip. If you live in Singapore, I recommend taking the 45-minute flight on Berjaya Air and spending a few days in this paradise.

Room Tip: -->Bring your own conditioner. There wasn’t any in the room. If you have curly, frizzy hair lik...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Christina M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Japamala Resort by Samadhi

Property: Japamala Resort by Samadhi
Address: Kampung Lanting, Tioman Island, Pulau Tioman 86800, Malaysia
Phone Number:
Region: Malaysia > Pahang > Rompin District > Pulau Tioman
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Pulau Tioman
#1 Spa Hotel in Pulau Tioman
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Japamala Resort by Samadhi 4.5*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
JapaMala is Tioman Island’s only boutique resort, and one-of-a-kind in Malaysia. This small and exclusive resort of 13 rooms is hidden amidst 11 acres of lush tropical rainforest. A one-village-one-resort property, JapaMala has its own private and quiet beach. While some charming Malay village-style villas and chalets dot the jungle and beachfront, others nestle in the most breath-taking spots.Best described as an ‘eco-luxe’ resort, JapaMala transcends the experience of living close to nature by redefining it with a touch of luxury. Designed by natural streams, steep cliffs, towering boulders and where no trees are felled, the entire resort borrows from nature its elements to offer an exceptional sense of paradise, freedom from the real world. While serious relaxation is an elusive commodity for many, one can truly succumb to the healing effects JapaMala imparts through its holistic blend of sumptuous gourmet treats, intimacy between man and nature, unique spa experiences and truly unprecedented hospitality. Many say JapaMala is not just a place, but a state of mind. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Japamala Hotel Pulau Tioman
Japamala Resort
Japamala Pulau Tioman

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