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“Perfect snorkeling for beginners.”

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Gem Island Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Marang
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 4 August 2013

Beautiful Island with nice staff. The food is more expensive than the mainland but considering the work required to get it to the island it was definitely worth it. The hotel was clean and had excellent views from the rooms and the dinning room. The beaches are small but perfect for snorkeling from with the corals beginning 1-2 meters from the beach. There are also kayaks and boats for rent so you can explore the coasts of the nearby island of Kapas. They are also included in a turtle breeding project. We were lucky enough to see turtles being born and digging themselves out of the sand and we were also there when they released some of the turtles in the evenings. They were great with the kids allowing them to help with everything and teaching them about the turtles. We definetly recommend the resort to anyone who will be traveling in Malaysia

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank Steven H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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71 - 77 of 192 reviews

Reviewed 24 July 2013

Tripadvisor reviews seemed to give this one the thumbs up and so we booked 3 nights at Gem Island Resort & Spa - two couples in two separate rooms. Initially everything went to plan from booking to taxi pickup at the airport to boat ride across to the island. When we checked in we were told that there was a "water problem"...hmmm...we found out later that the pump was broken and in typical Malay fashion no-one seemed to know when it would be repaired. No problem - we were offered apologies and a bucket with a scoop to use. The water problem turned out to be no flushing toilet, no running shower and no water in the hand basin. Fortunately the shower did start working the next day however during our stay (in room number 12) we never had running water in the hand basin and had to "flush" the toilet with the bucket. Also the resort's website states that the spa is currently undergoing renovation - I don't think so! It is basically a disused collection of rooms, open to the elements full of abandoned equipment and definitely does not look like any renovation has or is taking place. Note to the owner: remove the word spa from the title and pull down the signs that still direct guests to the spa and update the website to state that the spa is no longer in use. Be aware only a few kayaks are seaworthy. Yes the electricity does stop between 2.30-5.30pm but with the doors open for a breeze we never found this to be a problem. On a positive - the food is excellent, the staff are wonderfully friendly and helpful and the rooms are reasonably decorated and comfortable. It is a pity that the resort owner does not believe in maintenance as the place looks tired and rundown in places. Big plus for the work and care put into protecting the turtles.

Room Tip: Although we didn't stay in one, there looks to be double storey units down at the end of the bea...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank JazBaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2013

During our stay we did not have running water for 3 days. Ok - you are on an island and things can break but there has been lack of care/information and nobody seemed to know what was going on. We spent a few hours being shunted from room to room to try and have a shower only to find out that there was no water in any room. The island touts itself as a luxury resort and prices accordingly but does not offer the service that you would expect. That is kind of the point - if you can`t offer a high standard then you should not charge for it.

It is a real shame because the island itself is lovely although I would agreed with a previous comment that the snorkeling is ok but not "wow"

I also think the turtle sanctuary is a little questionable as the hatchlings are kept in a smallish tank and have large amounts of algae growing over them?

Unfortunately the last leg of our holiday turned into a disappointing hassle.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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Thank MYZoTo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2013

I have booked this hotel online as I saw the photos and the trip adviser reviews, however, when I reached there I noticed there was no electricity in the entire hotel, when I asked the reception they said the electricity shut off every day from 2:30 till 5:30 pm. I did not know about that fact and I argued with them why you did not state that in your website!! the girl who works in the reception did not know the answer, however, as you compare with the price that you pay, you should expect a full service but in that hotel is NOT!!! , the rooms is just basic apart from the amazing view which is the beauty of the nature.. Another horrible issue is the BREAKFAST, it is extremely poor, and basically worthless.. so there is no any difference between that hotel and the basic rooms on the Kapas Island which much more cheaper.. The conclusion, this hotel is not valued of the money you pay...

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Muayad82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2013

After reading all the reviews, I was expecting something really amazing and to be honest I was a little bit disappointed - more so on the upkeep of the resort than anything else. When we got into the room, there were bugs in the sink and it was quite dirty. For me, a clean bathroom / sink can really make or break my trip, so I already felt a bit 'urghh' when it came to there. Also, some of the towels had some yellowish stains on them. The room was quite nice, but the mosquito netting surrounding the bed had holes in it. I think this resort really just purely needs to upkeep and maintain itself and it would be great. Right now, it's looking a little lacklustre.
Food i would say is average and lacks a little bit of variety - and for those taking the full board package, you don't get a drink, only water, which I find quite stingy!
What i liked most was when we kayaked out to Pulau Kapas which is just opposite this island, the sand there is much softer and the beach is very quiet and the water very pretty! Snorkeling was ok, but not great, I didn't see anything particularly wow.
It was a nice holiday but I was expecting much more out of it given the rave reviews. Also, a few people mention that it is not too much worth the money you're paying - I'm inclined to agree to this since the upkeep of the place is really not there. Other than that, it's a nice place to get away and relax from the hustle and bustle of the city.
There is really nothing to do at all, and the turtle conservation bit is a total con job - just a sandy patch in the garden. I was quite disappointed with this.
Oh, but it's very nice to lie on the hammocks provided overlooking the sea - and there are actually two beaches here, not one (one beach is right by the entrance where you will see, but the second beach is at the very other end). A lot of people don't know about the other beach, all you need to do is walk all the way to the other end and that beach is very quiet with nice sand.

Room Tip: I was in villa 19, and I honestly think there is a ghost in there! I woke up in the middle of the ni...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Lacey2926
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2013 via mobile

We love it here. Everything is done efficiently and with a great warm smile. The room is clean and airy. Love the view of the island in front of our balcony and watch the fishes swimming just outside at high tide. The service is excellent and everything we are asked for is answered within 10 mins. A special thanks to arjun who serve all our food with a warm smile. Definitely going back again for a longer stay. 3 days 2 nights is not enough for me. Love the sea and friendly ppl there !

  • Stayed: July 2013
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1  Thank susanyong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 July 2013

My family booked a water villa (given room 12) and had a good time at the resort for 2 nights. The trip to the island via the speed boat was no hassle and done within 10 minutes. Check in was simple and fast. The room is spacious with king sized bed, day bed and a balcony (from which we could look at fishes which swam by). Only thing to take note is that the water pressure is low and the air-conditioner is not that strong (luckily there is a ceiling fan). There is power cut off from 2.30 to 5.30 pm., the best thing to do is to venture out to the porch outside the restaurant area which is quite breezy or sit at the balcony of the room to look at the scenery and fishes that swim by. Food served at the restaurant is nice except that there are lots of houseflies once the food are served.

The most memorable part of the stay is getting close to the sea creatures. The water is clear and we need not wade too far into the sea to experience the wonder of the underwater world - we saw clown fish, rainbow fish, corals, sea cucumbers and even sea urchin. There is a turtle nursery where guest can learn more about the conservation effort done by the resort.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank BusymummyJR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Gem Island Resort & Spa

Address: Lot 2804 Jalan Rusila | Daerah Marang Terengganu, Marang 21600, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Terengganu > Marang
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Marang
Price Range: £57 - £83 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Gem Island Resort & Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 45
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The resort have 45 sea frontage villas, comprising of 2 suites, 4 hideaway Villas, 4 Premier Villas and 35 water villas. All villas are equipped with air conditioning and king sized beds with aside lounger. All villas have a balcony with a swing chair for your convenience. Villas are all ensuite with a toilet and shower room. The resort is built on the ridges of the coastline, thus preserving the hills and its natural physical formation. There is a main beach and 2 other smaller beach for your private use. There is a restaurant where all meals are served there. Seaport facilities like kayaking and snorkelling are also available. Guided snorkelling is also available upon request with minimum of 4 pax. Airport transfer can be arrange upon request with some charges. Rates are available on our official website. Thank you and hope to see you in Gem Island soon. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gem Island Resort And Spa
Gem Island Hotel Marang
Gem Island Resort & Spa Malaysia/Terengganu - Marang

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