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“Uncooperative and unhelpful when trying to book”
Review of The Reef Chalets

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The Reef Chalets
Johannesburg
Level 5 Contributor
38 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“Uncooperative and unhelpful when trying to book”
Reviewed 20 February 2014

Unfortunately, I recently had a terrible time trying to make a booking with The Reef Chalets. After waiting for over 2 months for their booking office to open, I managed to make a booking via e-mail. Like many travelers to the Perhentians, we are not Malaysian. We were asked to make a cash transfer into their account, which was not possible for us from our home country without incurring very hefty fees. I kindly asked if it would be possible for us to give our credit card details, and was told no. I then asked if I could make a PayPal payment (which is possible to do even without the resort having a PayPal account, they just need to advise PayPal of their banking details when they get the mail), again I was told no. I even send a very nice e-mail explaining how to use PayPal without an account, which honestly, couldn't be easier. My e-mails were just ignored and never responded to. I then offered to make payment to one of the neighbouring resorts and they could perhaps arrange to get the payment from them, surprise surprise, the answer was no. I then even managed to find a travel agent that is specifically appointed by The Reef Chalets and thought that my worries were over. I told the agent that our rooms were booked but that I needed to make payment. They contacted The Reef Chalets and advised them that we had contacted them and would be making payment to them....and believe it or not, Reef said no, they would not allow that. We must cancel our booking with them and then book afresh through the travel agent but we must bear in mind that as soon as we cancel our rooms, they will give them to someone else, and there won't be any rooms for us. I couldn't believe the disgusting service. Seriously, I found the whole process shocking, uncooperative and not worthy of support. I really do believe that when you are in the hospitality industry you need to try and make a little bit of effort with people, especially like in our case where we went out of our way to make it easy for the resort. It is clear that The Reef Chalets is not interested in the business of foreigners. I would take my money elsewhere. Unfortunately for us, because we spent so much time trying to work something out with The Reef we lost the ability to book at our second and third choice! Lesson learnt I guess, but seriously, if you are not Malaysian, think twice before giving this place your business!

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Kim E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
thereefpp, Owner at The Reef Chalets, responded to this review, 26 February 2014
Dear Kim,
We are very sorry to see how very upset you are about the booking process .I checked all the emails from your first on 23rd Dec & my staff also had briefed me when the Reef opened end January.[ the Reef closes end of October however emails are checked and the hand phone is answered]. The root problem I saw for you was accepting the fees that you would have to pay for a bank deposit transfer. Unfortunately this is our system at the moment & most guests accept it and are pleased that they have a secure booking. We don't use pay pal as it is expensive for small businesses like ours. We are trying to make booking payments easier now for guests as we want it to be easier and cheaper. We cannot have bookings with no deposit as you requested as it is high season & it is also not fair for only some people as all pay bank fees. The agent you later contacted is not our agent as you said but an independent one who gets a commission. Bookings thru agents are fine but they have to be direct by the guest not asking us to be the go between as you suggested especially as the agent takes a commission so it is confusing. I am sorry there was no reply to your last email. The staff did not know what else to say. Next time if I am aware that there is a difficulty to explain like this I will write directly to guests. I will also ensure that all mails are answered. We love having international guests staying with us and 80% of our guests are such. Our number 1 aim is for guests to have a wonderful time. I am sorry you don't have this chance as I can see you really tried hard to stay with us. best wishes. Rashidah Abdullah THE REEF CHALETS
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 January 2014 via mobile

If you looking for place to stay in perhentian island, you must try this motel. It is really great value motel facing the beach. I stayed here somewhere in November and bery satisfied with the services. There are wifi and the beach is quite at night. No party people around when you stay on the beach. Nice to come with family.

Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank Tom H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Torquay, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 December 2013

At the Reef Chalets, the comfort level was just right for us, basic but clean and comfortable. the beach is nice, but not suitable for swimming on all but the highest of tides. Never mind, the most beautiful beach on the perhenthians is a pleasant 5 min stroll away. Beer is available next door, and there are several restaurants nearby, none brilliant, but all adequate. We planned for 2 nights, and stayed for 4. We also stayed at 2 other places on the P.I. this was the best of them.
There doesn't appear to a facility to book ahead electroniclly, before travel.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank wendycraig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Witton, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 October 2013

I left the Reef Chalets a few days ago, after a brief stay, which I shall assuredly take more time over when I DO go back. I have given this beach resort an 'excellent' score, as it is exactly what my view of a beach-side resort ought to be (and it literally IS beach-side). If you like sumptuous luxury, this isn't for you; if you like clean, practical, laid-back functionality with a perfectly fine degree of modern comfort, then this IS for you!
Malaysians tend to be a very pleasant people, I find (as with most of the SE Asian peoples), but I saw nothing but smiles from everyone I met, and my own experience of the 'service' was perfectly fine. The welcome from the Reef Chalets' owner, Rashidah, was superb. If you meet her, you'll be reassured by her calm voice and unassuming air of 'Wise Old Owl'. She is one of those people who seems to command a presence, without seeming to do anything.
As with some of the other reviewers, I felt that The Reef Chalets had pretty well the best spot on that stretch. The chalets are few, so you feel kind of special anyway, and they all have water-facing verandahs, from which you can listen to the marvellous sound of the sea, without any straining of the ear (you really are a mere few paces away from the beach and the South China Sea). The swimming is better for adults a little further on, as the beach at the The Reef is shallow for a long way out, but this would be reassuring for parents with young children, as they can paddle quite safely without any sudden shelving. Boats do beach on to the resort area, but they are small boats and the owners take great care of their tourists.
If you like wildlife, you are in for a treat. There are troupes of spectacled monkeys plucking fruits from the trees right by your chalet and the beach. They are joined by lots of squirrels and exotic birds. You might catch a monitor lizard sauntering by -either to take in the sun's rays, or to escape them to the relative cool beneath a chalet. You will see bats of an evening -both the 'flying fox' fruit bats, and glimpses of more traditionally-sized varieties hunting on the wing for insects around dusk. You're glad of the bats, as there is no shortage of mosquitoes at certain times, so take some repellant and some of those slow-burning spiral mozzy-deterents, which seem to work really well. (There are mozzy nets to sleep under at night, which felt very 'colonial' to me, and a bit like 'playing tents', as a child -I liked it!) In the sea, of course, there are endless varieties of tropical marine fish. Though I like being in the sea, I'm not a great swimmer. My tip is to find a spot in the shallows, preferably near some rocks, and just keep relatively still for a while. You'll find that loads of fish actually just come to you! If you like to go diving, there are a few dive schools to choose, though my visit was end-of-season, so not everything was open. A little effort will bring you into contact with the local sea turtles, and the local boatmen are adept at knowing just when and where to go to see whatever you wish to see.
End of season or no, I'm glad to say that there were still great places to eat, and in full season the choice would have been even greater. The menus cater for just about all styles, so you'd have to be extremely fussy not to find several things to eat, during your vist.
THERE ARE NO CARS. I honestly can't think of many places on Earth anymore where you can say that. The way in and out is exclusively by boat, and that alone is so refreshing. While I was there, several locals of all social levels kept apologising for the fact it wasn't constantly sunny. I have to say that there was quite enough sun (and you still get tanned through light cloud -really), the sea is like a luke-warm bath regardless, and I LOVED the spectacular thunderstorms.
GO, enjoy a bit of paradise, and forget the rat-race just for a little bit. You'll soon forget what day it is, but don't worry, your hosts won't have lost all grip on reality, and will gently help you remember when you need to prepare to rejoin that nasty reality.
Andrew Hirst, Wenselydale, Yorkshire (UK)

Room Tip: If you really cannot do without air con, they have a few rooms with it (they all have fans). Other t...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Jabatan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Thessaloniki, Greece
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 October 2013

The Reef Chalets are located in the best part of Pulau Besar. They are built in a semi-cycle so they all have sea-view, plus there is a small garden in the center that gives some nice aesthetic. The rooms are cozy, simple and traditional decorated, the bathroom is dignified and the chalets are respectively new and clean. It's just what you need in a tropical paradise like that.
View from the balcony is post-card !! Everything is a few seconds away - several local restaurants, the best beach in the island is next at the P.I.R.

The service though could be better. They dont accept credit cards and the booking has to be done via bank deposit which is quit costly overseas. Plus the staff, although quit friendly, I reckon they should be more professional and helpful with every client -- (ex. we asked for new towels and they responded that they only change towels every 3 days)

Nevertheless, this is a minor issue, our experience was more than positive and we feel very happy we booked with Reef Chalets.

Room Tip: I dont think that the A/C is needed, the fan is doing the job well
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Marios G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
penang
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 October 2013

The chalets are located on a beautiful beach, with some green nature nearby. The beach is well maintained, and do not have much dead coral and stone on it. Quiet, peaceful, and close to nature. Accommodation reservation, speed boat arrangement, and check in are all arranged and done smoothly. A tropical paradise for those who seek for quiet, peaceful, and relax gateway.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank linpenang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Welwyn
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 October 2013

You have to realise that you are on a small tropical island and will not get a 5 star hotel, but (in the sea view chalets) you have a clean comfortable room with air-con, a fan and hot water. The beach directly before you is the picture-postcard tropical island beach. It is a bit rocky underfoot and the best beach to swim is round in the next bay over a walkway in front of the Perhentian Island Resort. The far side of this bay has coral and good snorkelling as well. Snorkelling trips to other bays can easily be arranged. The beach in front of the hotel is nicely shaded and better I think than Long Beach on Perhentian Kechil where we have stayed before which is very hot. It could do with some sun loungers though.
Unlike apparently some others, we arranged the booking very efficiently with Amiera by email although we did have to make a bank transfer to confirm the booking. Amiera and the rest of the staff are very friendly and helpful too. They have a room with books and games to borrow.
The Reef Chalets does not provide food but there is a Chinese/Thai restaurant just next door that does good Chinese/Malaysian food and is one of the few places on the island where you can buy beer. Just a bit further along the bay Mamas does a good breakfast and barbecued fish in the evening.

Room Tip: Sea view air con rooms are probably the best
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank GrahamWelwyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Reef Chalets

Property: The Reef Chalets
Address: Pulau Besar | Perhentian Islands, Pulau Perhentian Besar, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Terengganu > Pulau Perhentian Besar
Amenities:
Beach
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 10 Speciality Lodging in Pulau Perhentian Besar
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Reef Chalets is a cosy small place with 12 Chalets arranged in a half moon shape in a lush tropical garden with big trees and grass area. ... more   less 

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