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Perhentian Tuna Bay Island Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 March 2014

I have just come back from a two week holiday in Malaysia, where we travelled the country and spent 3 nights at Tuna Bay Resort.

The boat transfer from Kuala Besut was easy, the hotel has an office (with WIFI) and they will arrange for your bags to be put on the boat and also to walk you to the ferry port. All very easy and staff were extremely pleasant. We had tried to get a beach front chalet to start with but this was not avaliable. The check in was easy and all the booking information was on a table ready for our arrival. The room was fairly basic and quite small, little bathroom and it had an adjoining door to the next chalet. There was no fridge. There was a balcony but the view was pretty poor and therefore we enquiried as to whether they had any deluxe villas on the beachfront. Luckily for us they did and we stayed at 1A. Although it is more expensive, it was definately worth it as the accomodation was bigger, generally nicer, fridge and lovely views of the beach and sea. I would definaltey recomend the upgrade and I feel that it was worth the money.

The hotel restaurant has good bbq food and breakfast was a buffet style each morning. There is also a little beach side cafe (independent from Tuna Bay) which serves excellent and cheap food during the day. There are other accomodation and food options along the beach, but from what I saw didn't look as good as Tuna Bay.

Beach was lovely, white sand and lovely blue seas. We organised a snorkeling trip with the resort for a couple of hours, again well organised and we swam with sea tutles which was amazing.

Staff were all pleasant, chatty and helpful.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank 153Beth2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 14 March 2014

Enjoyed a four night stay at Tuna Bay - very organized from arrival at airport despite our booking the day before at 4:30pm.

We spent our first night in beach chalet number one which is adjacent to the restaurant. We could hear guests in the restaurant/bar but it didn't prevent us from sleeping. On day two chalet#2 opened up so we asked to move and the front desk said no problem. Chalet two has the same view just not next to the restaurant. During the day the deck in chalet #2 is shaded but around 3:30 it gets hot. At 6:45pm daily the BBQ is lit and you're instantly hungry! Beautiful sunsets as well.

Food: Tuna Bay recently lured a Malaysian Chinese chef from a popular mainland hotel. The food was great! We had fresh seafood every night. The manager Jimmy and his entire staff were great, including one evening when I returned late from a night dive when the staff made sure my wife got the fish she wanted grilled before the kitchen closed. Fresh satay daily too...finally, the food was very reasonably priced for the quality in spite of some reviews claiming its expensive. If you want cheap food of lower quality and long wait times there are two venues within 100 meters...more fish for the rest of us!

While I'm not sure what capacity the resort was at, the dining area gets full early...we ate later 8:45-9:00pm to avoid the crowd which thinned out at 9:15ish each night.

Staff: super friendly and helpful. The friendliest staff we've encountered in all of our travels - sipadan, redang, langkawi, Penang, Maldives, etc etc...

Rooms: basic but air condition and fan are good. We didn't spend much time in it anyway. True there are no refrigerators; however my wife and I chilled beer and wine in the sink using ice 5RM per bag from the front desk so we didn't need a fridge.

The house reef is quite nice and safe to swim and snorkel. There are several trigger fish around so you have to remain aware in the deeper sandy areas where trigger fish may nest. If in doubt go to universal diving next door and ask for Ali or Steve. Theyll set you on the right path. Strongly recommend diving with Ali.

The bar: small but nice area overlooking the water. Perfect for before or after dinner drinks. True there is only a TV or two and its usually carrying a football match but who goes to perhentian to watch tv?

The only negative we noted was one day for 20-25 minutes a water taxi loaded with Chinese (from china NOT Malaysian Chinese) arrived and invaded the beach. Fortunately it was only for a short period of time bc they were loud, obnoxious and took over the snorkeling area. It's quite common though for guests of one resort to visit other resorts bc water taxis are quite affordable.

Tuna Bay was exactly what we hoped it would be and more - a short notice trip to tropical paradise on a budget...the great food was an added bonus.

Room Tip: Beach chalet #2 or higher. Beach chalet #1 is right next to the restaurant. If you stay up late (af...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank G0wandering
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 March 2014

We've stayed here for a couple of days last September, doing all the way from Singapore over KL up north to the Perhentian Islands by plane, car and boat. It was quite a journey, but much better than if you come from overseas.

The Tuna Bay seems to be the first stop of the boats coming from the coast. The welcome was warm and the staff friendly (which was, actually, the case during the whole stay). We loved the room, which was big and clean. The bathroom, especially the shower, could need an upgrade, but otherwise, we were happy. Dinner at Tuna Bay was always excellent, breakfast rather average, though. The beach is not bad, but since Tuna Bay is the first stop of the boats and the major destination for marine park tourists, it can get crowded and you may have plenty of boats arriving and leaving. Furthermore, be aware that at low tide, swiming is more difficult since the water level goes down until it nearly reaches the reef. Hence, you'd have to go around the reef to swim. Finally, even though there are beach chairs (loungers), there are no mats. Accordingly, hanging around at the beach for the whole day is not too comfortable (if you're lucky you can get one of the hotels air matresses).

Do short trips to other beaches, especially to the main beach of the other sister island where you have a good choice of restaurants, beach bars and a relaxed vibe. By the way, the diving center right next to the resort is excellent (but visibility, in my case, was rather poor unfortunately - which is, of course, not the center's fault :-)).

To sum up, tops: Room, food, diving center, beach (sand).

Flops: Beach chairs, boats, swiming.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank AndreasB_SG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 March 2014 via mobile

Very nice bungalows, even garden-view. Clean beach with chairs. Swimming area marked so that any boat wouldnt bother. Pieceful, no other people on the beach just guests, not crowded. Clean rooms, cleaned every day if needed. Wifi in lobby. Extremely polite, friendly and helpful staff.
Only food might be abit better, its nothing special. And restaurant prices abit expensive compared to other country.

Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank Orange7777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2014 via mobile

Palm trees? Check! White sand beach? Check! Clear blue sea? Check! Lots and lots of little fish that nibble on your legs? Check and double check!

Every possible ingredient is accounted for and still is neither of those things that made our stay at Tuna Bay so enjoyable. That honor goes to the staff and Tony and Elias in particular. Our kids had a blast with them.

We stayed in cabin 24 (second row no ocean view) which was good enough. But if you prefer not having to walk three steps and an oceanic panorama than the ocean view cabind are a good (pricey) option.
The room was good, with a safe, air con etc. The only thing that could have been better was the shower. It was hot enough but somewhat the amount of water was somewhat measly.

The beach has some nice trees for shade which comes in handy keeping kids out of the Sun and midday heat.

Food at the restaurant is good but not exceptional. We''re vegetarian so your mileage may vary if you eat fish or meat. Breakfast is served in buffet form with plenty of options.

Last but not least... Tuna Bay has their own boat transfer with a solid big boat with life vests.

Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
1  Thank Riotzone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2014

I having been trying to make reservation by calling subsequent follow by emails correspondence from them. Due to some communication issue regarding the number of pax I imnmediately reply to them my confirmation and inform should be 1 more adults but the room required still remain the same. After communicating for 3 days, they told me there is no more rooms available. So disppointed and flustrated. Please remember to sort another alternative while waiting for their confirmation if not most of the rooms will be fully book during June to August period.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank aeline
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2014

The entire staff was very helpful. They speak good english and are always there to help out with anything you want, like activites and stuff.

The food at their cafe was pretty standard, there is a Malay restaurant next door that has better food.

Best thing about the place is its so quiet and its never too crowded, most people there are foreigners. In the lobby/cafe/reception area (pretty much all the same place) there is a bookshelf with books you can just read. They had a pretty good range and I thought it was cute, I didn't read any for myself but I saw a few people reading books by the beach.

Room has a safe (which i didn't use), only problem I had with the room is that there was no TV :( I brought my own HDMI cable to play movies from my laptop at night with my friends but alas the plan was a fail hehe.

The 'bar' is open until 12am but it's pretty much connected to the 'cafe/restaurant' (which closes at 11pm i think) this really works because everything is just there within walking distance. I never realised how awesome this would be. Oh and there's a tap in front of every chalet to wash your feet. I also like the rule of taking off your slippers/shoes before entering anywhere, even the restaurant, not used to doing that in hotels/resorts so it adds to the homely feel to me.

Overall pretty good experience, but keep in mind there is a 'small' and 'big' island and this resort is located on the 'big' island which seems to be less busy, because i went to the 'small' island too and there were more people and restaurants there, but didn't feel so homey.

I would come back again :)

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Spitefully
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Perhentian Tuna Bay Island Resort

Address: | Perhentian Island, Pulau Perhentian Besar 22300, Malaysia
Phone Number:
Region: Malaysia > Terengganu > Pulau Perhentian Besar
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Spa
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Pulau Perhentian Besar
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Pulau Perhentian Besar
Price Range: £56 - £76 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Perhentian Tuna Bay Island Resort 2*
Number of rooms: 46
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Perhentian Tuna Bay Island Resort is located on the south west coast of Pulau Perhentian Besar (Big Island), a quiet, untouched part of the island surrounded by tropical jungle, on a broad expanse of powdery white sand. The resort commands a breathtaking view of Pulau Perhentian Kecil (Small Island) and the South China Sea, right on your doorstep. All chalets are just a minute's walk from the beach and are tastefully built with wooden furnish. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Perhentian Tuna Bay Island Hotel Pulau Perhentian Besar

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