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“If you want to relax, don't go”

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Perhentian Tuna Bay Island Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 August 2014

Its not a hotel to relax, beds in the room are very hard, wooden beds on the beach without matrasses, so you can't even sit on them for 10 minutes without heaving a huge back pain. No chairs on the beach, if you like to sit near the sea ( because there is where the wind is).
My telephone and perfume were taken from my purse on the last day, its almost sure that the lady of the housekeeping took it. We did everything to get it back but were in a hurry, because we had to leave with the boat. Restaurant is very good beach is good to snorkel but not to swim.
I would choose a better resort as coral beach f.e. ( much better beach and beds!!!)

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank yolandehoogesteger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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209 - 215 of 1,010 reviews

Reviewed 10 August 2014 via mobile

The resort is very well organised! The booking service and transfers to the airport were spot on. The resort itself isn't luxury but you do not pay luxury prices. The restaurant is very good for evening meals and all the activities were well priced and small scale (which was a bonus as we were only snorkelling with small groups. My advice would be to spend a bit more and get a beach front bungalow (there were none available when we stayed) but it's worth the extra and the view is stunning.

  • Stayed: July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank 000023
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2014

We stayed for 6 nights at The Tuna Bay Resort with our family with 3 kids. It is a perfect place to relax and the island group has wonderful snorkelspots. It is like swimming in an aquarium.
About Tuna Bay itself. The restaurant is big and not very cosy. I should suggest them to create dining possibilities with some tables and chairs just on the beach, next to the restaurant. This gives more atmosphere than the big restaurant full with tables.
The food is very western. The spicy Asian dishes are not spicy at all. If you don't like Asian food it is ok, but for Asian food you better go to the neighbours, Coconut resorts. This restaurant has better food and lower prices. The wine at Tuna is very expensive. Too expensive, double the price of Coconut resort.
If you stay 6 days at Tuna it is a bit boring to have 3 meals per day at Tuna. We had lunch mostly at the beach, at the side of Tuna. There is a small cookinghouse with terrace where you can order nice fresh fruitjuices and nice simple lunchmeals. Also we took once the watertaxi to the village in the opposite island where we had lunch in a simple small restaurant which was very delicious and low price.
The rooms are simple but ok. You have all you need, but nothing extra. You cannot make tea, and there is no minifridge.
We could get beer at Tuna and Coconut.
At the beach there are enough wooden beds. After a while these wooden beds are very hard and it is wise to arrange a airmatress or something soft to lay on. It should be a recommendation to Tuna Bay to arrange matresses for these beds theirselves for all beds.
The Wifi at Tuna is very bad. Sometimes it took days before I could connect again. Everybody complained about this.
You van walk through the jungle to Mama's beach. If you walk further you reach Turtle watching bay. Beautiful to go there to watch the turtles swim.
Service: in general the service is at the level, they do what they have to do, but not one step more. I missed the smiles on the faces. If I asked for clean towels they looked annoyed.
Breakfast was very simple. Bread, eggs, fruit, fried rice, some cereals with milknand daily some other dish, like banana bread, waffles or pancakes. But very often it was finished and you had to ask few times before they did a refill. Breakfast is untill 10 am. If you ask a refill at 9.45 they say it is not possible anymore because it is almost time. Very bad service.
Conclusion: we had a very relaxed stay, recommend this place.
With only a few ammendments at Tuna Bay the place can become a real paradise!

Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
2  Thank KristineS-vdK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2014 via mobile

Allthough we are Dutch ourselves, we were unpleasantly surprised by the sheer number of Dutch people that seemed to have taken over this resort.

A huge group (25+) from most probably one of the larger Dutch tour operators was actually 'managing' the estate with their loud behaviour. It was a relief to see them leave for daytrips .... Then there was some peace and quiet in the resort. A resort should never give up such a big % of their estate to one group, it is extremely disturbing to the other guests.

The resort itself is nicely located (make sure you have beach side rooms as otherwise you might be disturbed by the noisy generators) on a small beach with sufficient wooden beds.

The rooms are old, as are the towels, the chairs etc and not really in good condition. All basics are there and this is island life. But hey, we come here for laying on the beach and snorkeling. And that is good fun here.

Try to skip the restaurant if you can, there are much better and cheaper alternatives on the island, all within walking distance. Breakfast closes sharply at 10.00. And it is quit poor. So not worth the rush.

Service is so so .... Staff is ok, but not taking the extra step to make you feel really comfortable and at home.

The resort itself lacks the small luxuries one should expect at this price level. No matresses on the beach beds, no comfortable towels, plastic chairs in the restaurant, next door in the better and cheaper restaurant they have proper chairs and tables ! Etc.

This is a nice place to be but badly managed for the guests. But surely a cash machine for the owner. In the land of the blind the one eyed is king... There are not really similar alternatives on the island.

We have now travelled several parts of Malaysia and it is nice but I would recommend other neighboring countries. Actually if you are also considering Thailand then choose Thailand, the resorts there are better and give much more value and much nicer service.

Stayed: August 2014
3  Thank MvdK01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2014

Based on, amongst other things, the attractive and appealing Tuna Bay Resort website, we booked seven nights at this resort and weren't disappointed.
The beach: is fantastic with it's own small coral reef and designated swimming area. The downside is that the reef is frequently visited by other resorts so it can get a bit crowded with snorkellers. Beach towels are supplied, and there are umbrellas and wooden beach loungers, which is a nice touch, but unfortunately they didn't come with cushions which made for very uncomfortable lazing around. We're sure it wouldn't cost much to provide cushions which would make a big difference to guest comfort!
Accommodation: All the rooms are just metres away from the beach. We had two rooms: one at the back under the hill (No. 44) and the other (No. 11) which faced onto the "garden" (a scrappy square with a few bushes and no grass). We were glad not to have a beach-front room which has the public footpath right in front. However, the room at the back (No. 44) was dark with little sunlight, and right next to the staff quarters and near the generator so it was noisy. The rooms are basic, but very clean and serviced daily if requested. The bathroom is small with a shower, toilet and handbasin. At some point there must have been a small fridge in the room, but now these only appear to be available in the pricier "super deluxe" chalets. The restaurant is breezy and open, with fans to stir the sticky humid air, and a bar to one side where we could have sundowners.
Food: The complimentary breakfasts were adequate and offered something for everyone. For lunch, we usually had "blanded" (sic) juices and banana pancakes at a delightful stall located between Tuna Bay and Abdul's Chalets (just along the beach). Prices at Tuna Bay are slightly more expensive, but the menu was varied and the food tasty and of good quality, so we ended up having dinner there every night. Otherwise, it would have meant a jungle walk in the dark to get to the other resorts/stalls, or a water taxi ride with a surcharge after 6pm (after 12pm the fare doubled).
Out and about: we made the short jungle walk around to Mama's Place and then snorkelled along the beach in front of Perhentian Island Resort, which boasts a long stretch of beach and the best place to see turtles. We spent a day over on the "small" island's Long Beach (Perhentian Kecil). We could only snorkel near the pier because the main part of the beach is like Picadilly Station with all the boats coming and going and no designated swimming area. Long Beach is backpacker-ville with only one high-end Bubu Resort at the west end, but it does have a few basic stores where you can buy snacks, T-shirts and sunscreen.
Activities: Tuna Bay is a great if you have older children who are able to swim, snorkel and entertain themselves. However, there are no activities or facilities for smaller children so bring toys etc. to keep them occupied. Activities revolve around snorkelling (RM5 per item/per day for snorkel and life jacket; snorkelling trips RM40-60 per adult/RM20-30 per child for 2-3 hours), fishing trips (RM350-650 per boat for 2-3 or 6 hours respectively) or island hopping. There is a short jungle walk between Tuna Bay and Mama's Place which leads to a few restaurants and further on to Perhentian Island Resort. There is a 40-minute jungle walk in the other direction from Tuna Bay to Flora Resort, and then another 40-minute jungle walk from Flora Resort through to Perhentian Island Resort. We did the 3-hour Rawa Island Trip (RM60 per adult, minimum of four adults) which stops off at four fantastic snorkelling spots. Kayaks are available to hire from a small store next to Abdul's Chalets. There are a few dive shops nearby, but apparently the biggest one is around at Flora Bay (where we were able to hire a "power" snorkelling mask as one of our group wears spectacles).
Disappointing: While the resort urges guests to use its ferry service between the island and the mainland due to their "concern for guest safety", we were not made to use life jackets which were visible on the ferry. In hindsight, we should have insisted on this not only because the island is a 40-minute ferry ride out to sea, but on the return trip it was very windy and the sea was quite choppy. We make this point because later at another resort, we were made to wear lifejackets for a quick 5-minute trip from pier to boat.
Negatives: the resort accepts credit card payments but with a 3% surcharge, or you pay in cash. We felt the activities and water taxi fares are pricey, but you are left with little option but to cough up and pay if you want to do anything or go anywhere. Bring cash to pay for the water taxis (RM15-20 per person, one way) and if you want to purchase food from the "local" food stalls (there was a safe in the room to store valuables). Expect to pay a bit more for pretty much anything on the islands (captive market, and all that!). The free wi-fi is dismal, with a very poor signal and you have to be sitting right in front of the main Reception desk to get a connection.
Positives: we had a birthday while at the resort, and after much persuading the chef agreed to bake a cake using the "Betty Crocker" cake mix we had brought from the mainland! The resort's ferry boat is larger and sturdier than the other ferry operators, even if it is slower. There are no TVs in the room (only one near the bar) so you can really get-away-from-it-all and enjoy the sun, sand and sea!
All in all, we loved our time at the resort and would have no hesitation in staying there again.

Room Tip: Beach-facing rooms are No. 1-8. We think the best rooms are garden view No. 9-15, 30-34 and 24-28 w...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
5  Thank ZimKiwiTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2014

Our second stay at this place and it hadn't changed much. Wifi in the restaurant (not strong, so bring lots of reading material), a little more expensive than other places but it ticks all the boxes for cleanliness, friendliness, accessibility etc. This time we had a beach front chalet (2A) and it was a little larger than the garden room we had a few years ago. Having a bar fridge is good to keep water and mixers cold but probably not essential, since there are a couple of stores nearby. The reef, only metres from the beach, isn't as wonderful as it was (to be expected, since it was a while ago) but there's still lots of fish and it's pretty clean. Breakfast choices at the buffet were good, and the few dinners we had there were nice. Nia's Place next door is way better value for lunch.

Room Tip: Beachfront is literally on the beach, with nice but small verandahs. 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A have large v...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank jdeandrew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2014

My girlfriend and I stayed here for 5 nights. We thought it was SO GOOD, that we actually tried to come back the night after we checked out - so poor was our stay at another hotel (Sharila) on the other island. I would definitely come back, but it was fully booked the second time around.

The set up here is great, pretty much a private beach of its own, with lots of available seating. The beach is clean and sand is good. There is a lovely live coral reef full of marine wildlife right in front of the hotel. I was also very pleased that the resort has a charge card system to charge all your spending to the room - rather than having to use cash on an island that has no banks or ATMs.

The staff are great, friendly and helpful. The restaurant is fantastic with fresh and delicious food - a good variety is available. Can get very busy though (as its the best place we tried on this island) so come before getting too hungry!

Breakfast is simple and decent - changes on a daily basis so you dont get too bored. Rooms, air conditioned, clean, new, simple, hot water.

We were pleased that the food (and room) was very very good value for money.

We also organised snorkelling with the hotels Seasports desk. Good value, saw turtles, sharks etcetc. I went to the dive school next door (universal divers) - that was great too.

All in all, I have only positive things to say about Tuna Bay.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank alanng27483
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
Amenities:
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: £57 - £77 (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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