Stayed in PIR (that's what they call themselves) 5-8th june 2012 with a family in tow.
As the resort handles big groups and has possibly the largest number of rooms on the island, the front desk may understandably be overwhelmed by sheer numbers. If you arrive on an early boat like we did, then you should be prepared to wait for your room to be ready, as the official check-in time is only 3pm.
Also, when it comes to excursions and snorkelling trips, big batches of people (especially since many have signed up a package vacation which includes a snorkelling trip) and several boats are involved for the twice daily trips. A lot of time is incurred making the booking, issuing the life-vests and equipment, calling the boatmen and sorting out which guests are allocated to which boat. Compare this to any adjacent (smaller) resort who can arrange boat trips as long as there is a minimum of two in the party, and you are good to go!
We spent 4 days there, and the waves were unseasonably high. The resort cancelled several trips citing safety issues, and we were left playing by the beach most of the time. On the final day where the sea was calm, we eagerly joined the snorkeling trip, but instead of the interesting places like Shark Point and Turtle Bay (which were advertised on their notices), we were taken to sheltered lagoons which had mainly dead coral.
Disappointed, we had to leave the next day, mentioning our missed opportunities to the boatman. He was shocked, because all other resorts still continued their snorkeling trips during those few days of apparent high seas! He seemed to think that PIR took the easy ("lazy") way out, just to fulfill an obligation to the guests who had prepaid for snorkeling.
Anyway, he immediately offered to arrange for us to have an instant 2 hour snorkeling trip where we saw sharks, turtles and a heavenly coral garden at a place called the Lighthouse, off Pulau Perhentian Kecil.
We saw what we came to see at last, but we nearly missed it, all because PIR chose to play the numbers game.
Advice? Stay there if you want - the hot water is good, the chalets are in fair shape - but eat just a few minutes' walk away at Coral view or Watercolours (the fried rice portions are plentiful!), and when it comes to snorkeling trips, you may want to hire your own private boatman via the other resorts which will take you where you want to go, without any undue excuses and delays.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Perhentian Island Resort is an ideal beach resort for a leisurely family vacation in Malaysia. Surrounded by lush greenery, facing white sandy beaches and a warm blue sea, Perhentian Island is a holiday paradise not to be missed. Perhentian Island, or Pulau Perhentian as the locals call it, is well known as a marine paradise and forms a parts of the National Marine Park of Malaysia. In the surrounding areas of Perhentian Island Resort, you will find many things to see and do. Take a jungle trek up the hills under a canopy of large trees, and you might see wild magpies, giant fruit bats or the Nicobar pigeon. Perhentian Island lies along the flight path of this migratory bird. You might also see the harmless monitor lizard or even the unique lutong monkey species. The nearest jungle trail is less than 100 metres away from our resort. Or gather your family and head to the inviting sea for a swim. For those who enjoy snorkelling or scuba diving, the Resort is strategically located, fronting a coral-rich bay. The marine ecosystem of this area is well documented and held in high regards by snorkellers and scuba divers. If you come between June and September, you might get lucky and see giant green turtles laying eggs along the beach. Enjoy your next family holiday at this paradise beach resort, where reality is like a dream. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Perhentian Island Hotel Pulau Perhentian Besar
- Perhentian Island Pulau Besar