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Mutiara Taman Negara
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Kuala Tahan
Reviewed 24 January 2012

Dont believe the negative nonsense here!

This is a quite fantastic place - right on the edge of the jungle. Rustic but charming and clean chalets, excellent breakfast and pleasant staff. For those who want to save a few bucks you can take the boat over the river for cheap food and drinks.

The resort directly borders the jungle - with many trails linking straight to the hotel. The national park office is also in the grounds of the hotel and the rangers there are very informative on what is happening.. The hotel also provide guided simple guided tours on nearby treks. I personaly didnt take these tours and rather used the hotel as a base for the more extreme trekking, which is exceptional (ask the national park rangers on where it is best to go in the vast expanse of jungle to possibly see tiger, elephant, the more testing treks etc). The extra benefit of this hotel is that in the evening, the wildlife comes to you - we saw Tapirs, barking deer, Samber deer, wild boar, civet cats, monkeys, monitor lizards and a spectacular array of bird and insect life in the resort itself...

If you are coming to Taman Negara and want to actually experience the jungle, then stay here. It is fantastic. I would urge that all to read this to come to Taman Negara - governments will only protect wild areas if they can get a return and eco tourism is the best way to do this.. Teman Negara is unforgettable and I will certainly be back soon.

Room Tip: Shop around online for the best price. I stayed in the chalets and were well worth it.
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  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank DRM99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 4 January 2012

The hotel is located in the Taman Negara jungle close to a small village. In order to reach the village (some restaurants, very small shop) you have to cross the river by boat (Fee 1 Ringit).
The hotel consists of a variety of buildings (small houses, guesthouses for groups) and has obviously seen better times. Some of the buidlings are not longer in use. Our room was in a small house. It was clean but very much outdated. Furniture etc. showed signs of long use. The bathroom was quite poor. There is no TV or phone - but we did not miss it. The bed was ok and the room was quiet. However this is a very simple hotel and by no means a luxury place.

Breakfeast buffet was ok (western and asian food) and the food in the restaurant was ok too. In fact it was much better then the food we had in one of the floating restaurants on the river opposite of the hotel.

There are some excursions (jungle trek) but I agree with my predecessors that this is not very special. The jungle trek consisted of climbing up a 400 m high hill but the view was not worth the climb. You have to be quite fit do do this trek because you will climb quite steep.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank MMa08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 December 2011

We booked this hotel through a travel agent, so I did not get to check the tripadvisor ratings until a day before we went...and i was freaking out after all the negative comments. Thankfully, we were pleasantly surprised when we got there. It is true, it is not the cleanest of places, the bathrooms are really tired, there are no TV's or phones in the rooms, but it is in the middle of the jungle, so I didn't let those things bother me.
Unlike other reviews, we (a family of six) found the food really good. Lunch was better than dinner though... even if the same item was ordered. They also ran out of certain things... like apple pie. We went on a jungle trek, a night walk, and rapid shooting... and we were not too excited about any of them. We saw more animals at the resort than we did in the jungle. We stayed for 2 nights and i wouldn't recommend staying for more.

Room Tip: I would choose cottages that overlook the river.
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  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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Thank salampeace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 November 2011

We booked for 3 nights and stayed only 2. The whole experience was a disappointment. This hotel is not cheap by any measure, but the standards of accommodation, food and service were not in any way reflective of the cost.
1. On arriving at the hotel, there is a step stairway leading from the river up to the hotel. There is a pulley contraption to transport luggage, but no-one available either to explain the process or to load the luggage. When some guests started struggling up the VERY steep staircase with their bags, my husband and several other guests formed a chain to load the pulley - a process which involved leaping over a stretch of water. This is an accident waiting to happen and not the welcome I would expect of a 5 star resort.
2. Our rooms - we had booked the most expensive rooms in the resort and they were just awful. The fridge in the room did not work; There was one socket ( shared by the lamp) to plug in the kettle, which meant putting the kettle on the floor in order to boil it; there were damp patches all over the ceiling; the couch in our friends' room was ripped and the bathroom was frankly disgusting - dirty and ill-kempt with grubby fixtures and fittings
3. The service - on the first night we were there, it rained heavily, so we decided not to go for the night walk. There was a knock at our door and a member of staff asked if we were going. My husband answered that since it was raining, we had decided against it and the staff member spoke to him very rudely saying ' Why you not inform us?' My husband reminded her that she was speaking to a guest and she went off without an apology.
4. The food - I was ashamed to bring friends from overseas here. Malaysia is renowned for its food and this was utterly appalling. Flies buzzed around uncovered fruit, bread was left to go stale and the cooked food was nothing more than fodder. A previous reviewer has described it as prison food and I would agree absolutely with that

I have lived in Malaysia for 10 years and this was by a long chalk one of the most expensive hotels and one of the worst experiences I have had. I was ashamed to bring my friends here and I feel that which such a wonderful natural resource in the National Park, with visitors coming from all over the planet, Malaysia should really make sure that they have a showcase hotel. The Mutiara is a long, long way from that. I thoroughly recommend Taman Negara, but if you go, don't stay here.

Room Tip: Save yourself the cost and choose another hotel
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  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank HelenLanghammer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 November 2011

We were at Taman Negara for two days. The location is awesome, on the edge of the jungle you are really one with nature. And the experience of getting to the resort by boat itself was unique. 2 hours in a largish motorized canoe going up the Temling River and on both sides is forest.
The resort is not a luxury resort in that sense. The rooms are clean, a bit dark and the bathroom is very basic. But the idea here at the resort is to be outside not inside the room! This is a place to go if you love nature. We saw a wild boar and a tapir walking in the resort premises.
The restaurant food was good - ofcourse being in Malaysia we had agreed to eat the local fare. Great tasting beef rendang.
Very helpful service.
The guides were OK and had trouble with explaining the more complicated questions.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank kool_anil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 October 2011

We had booked two night but we canceled the second night and took a taxi back to KL, you can do lot of things in one day. We took 3 tours, the first was very touristy, that´s the one you go for a visit to the local people. The night walk was very nice and interesting but poorly organized by the hotel, the tour was supposed to start at certain time but there was always someone missing and they let 8 people wait for 30 min for 2 people with kids that showed up late and delayed the trip the whole time because the kids couldnt keep up with the adults. Then in the morning we went on the canopy walk and we had a great guide with us. After our experience with how poorly the hotel organized their trips/tours I would not recommend that you buy any tours at the hotel. Fex. at the night walk you need flash light, we were family of 5 and we didnt know that and they offered us 1 flashlight with batteries that burn our after 5 min walking. The restaurant at the hotel was quite a experience if you like fruit with flies, this is the place to eat. There were flies all over the place and the food was not covered like all other places you visit in Malaysia. After having a feast everywhere in Malaysia, this was like prison food. The restaurants across the river have much better food and much better service. Taman Negara is a great place to visit but this hotel and their service and the Attitude of the staff is something i wish I had not experience in Malaysia.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank Astridur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 October 2011

We stayed for 3 nights at the Mutiara as the homestay we had originally intended to stay in wasn't available. Given the mixed reviews of the Mutiara on TA, we were not expecting much - but were pleasantly surprised.

Sure, the Mutiara isn't a luxury resort: the rooms look a bit tired, cleanliness could be a bit better, and you'll encounter some ants etc in the rooms. There's no swimming pool either. But hey - you're right in the national park, and given that, the Mutiara is probably the best and most comfortable option for staying in Kuala Tahan.

We stayed in a Chalet and thought it was pretty good: spacious, air conditioned, mosquito nets on the windows, a separate shower. On the way to reception, you would frequently encounter local wildlife like deer, wild pigs, monkeys or monitor lizards crossing the resort grounds. As said, the rooms look a bit tired, but are certainly clean and not smelly.

The restaurant was frequently remarked as being expensive and the food bland - we thought it was ok actually. While the service at breakfast could be better (how many times was the juice empty?), it offered the usual buffet selection you would expect. We ate dinner in the restaurant once (heavy rain that night, so no crossing over to the swimming restaurants) and liked it. The food is more expensive than in the swimming restaurants (mains for about 20 RM, steak / burgers etc more expensive), but portions were huge and the quality of the food was good too. It could have been a bit more spicy though.

Speaking of the swimming restaurants on the other side - don't expect great things. While the food was cheap (mains for 8-10 RM) and ok, the service in two of the restaurants was really bad (and not comparable to other cheap restaurants / hawker stalls we ate before and after in Malaysia). In one of the restaurants, I waited for over an hour for my food and left after still not getting it. In the other, we again waited close to 45 minutes for our food. So you might actually spare yourself the trip over the river and eat at the Mutiara.

Now regarding the jungle trips... There are various options how and where you can book your trips. The Mutiara, the guesthouses on the other side of the river, the swimming restaurants and the national park headquarter in the resort (where you get your permit for the park) all offer a similar selection of trips: a half day jungle trekking, which is mostly a visit to the Canopy walk; a night walk around the national park (usually 1-1.5 hours); a half day boat trip up the river to the Lata Berkoh cascades, where you can swim. Prices in the Mutiara are often 50-100% more expensive than the other offers, so compare the available options (e.g. night walk between 35 and 50 RM per person).

We ended up doing the Canopy walk ourselves, as the trail starts just at the end of the resort, is easy to follow, and you won't see much wildlife anyway because of the many tourists on the trail.

For the night walk, we booked directly with the national park headquarters (35 RM per person), which was a good decision: we had a guide of our own for less than what we would have paid at the resort or the swimming restaurants. Our guide was a very pleasant and knowledgeable local and we thought the night walk a great experience - we saw frogs, sleeping birds, scorpions, lots of other insects and learned a lot about the rainforest and wildlife. The highlight was our visit to the Tahan hide just behind the resort: we saw a herd of deer and two tapirs, which was certainly unusual this close to the resort. We were able to see the tapirs for close to 10 minutes as it was just the 3 of us in the hide. They left when a larger (and noisy!) night walk group approached.

We were so happy with our guide that we booked him for the next day again, for a full day jungle trip to the Lata Berkoh cascades. It was expensive (200 RM for the guide, 160 RM for the boat), but definitely worth the money. It's a 4-5 hour walk through the jungle up to the cascades, but the experience was great - very few people on the trail (but many leeches!), lots of interesting wildlife (we saw 5 hornbills sitting in the canopy) and at the end great swimming in the natural pool at the cascades. Again, it was just the 3 of us, which is so much better than going in a large group. The way back was by boat, and we saw 25 boats going up the river to the cascades - which was the afternoon tours that many of the operators offer around 2-2:30pm. That's 100 people all trying to crowd into the small natural pool!!! We were so glad we had booked our individual jungle trip and not gone on one of the normal trips to the cascades (but it has to be said that this was on a Friday and public holiday - so there were lots of Malaysian tourists - not sure if this is the same on other weekends).

So in a nutshell: definitely consider booking your trips directly from the national park headquarters; and if you're up for it, go for one of the individual trips instead of going with a group. It is worth the money, and we thought the 4 hour jungle hike to the cascades one of the highlights of our vacation in Malaysia!

Room Tip: As the resort is large, we had to walk 10 minutes to the reception and restaurant, so you might want...
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  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank bjoernski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mutiara Taman Negara

Address: Kuala Tahan, Kuala Tahan 27000, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Pahang > Jerantut District > Kuala Tahan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Kuala Tahan
Price Range: £17 - £100 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Mutiara Taman Negara 3*
Number of rooms: 103
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mutiara Taman Negara Resort, PahangDiscover the wonders of an ancient forest at Mutiara Taman Negara. Pitch tent or check-into this forest reserve and bask in the natural surroundings of the Taman Negara park. Mutiara Taman Negara, an eco-tourism Resort that offers a variety of accommodation types promises guests this unique experience with basic amenities and sufficient modern comforts. A virgin jungle expanse covering 4,343 square kilometres, Taman Negara was established in 1939 and is the largest park in peninsular Malaysia reputed to be The Best Kept Tropical Rainforest, thanks to its protected status. With minimal damage to this special ecosystem, Mutiara Taman Negara is dimly lit to avoid scaring off wildlife and conserves energy. Everything used is biodegradable and all the wooden chalet interiors are made of natural produce. Guests at Mutiara Taman Negara will wake to the drone of cicadas, the chirping of bird species new to them and a myriad of other unfamiliar sounds that form a consistent cacophony unique to rainforests. You will begin their adventure at your door step or veranda which makes a perfect perch especially for nocturnal sightings. Sighting wildlife outside the chalet is a norm and the fruit season attracts the most number of wildlife, from the mischievous long tailed macaques, the beautiful chestnut-breasted malkoha and the thorny porcupine to the gentle slow loris. The ancient life forms that blanket Taman Negara are impressive and during each visit, Mutiara Taman Negara gives its visitors the opportunity to glimpse at the flora and fauna species estimated at 10,000 plants, 150,000 insects, 25,000 invertebrates, 675 birds, 270 reptiles, 250 freshwater fish and 200 mammals. Some of the flora and fauna found in Taman Negara are rare or indigenous to this country. If you are not travelling with a group, you can plan your trip to Mutiara Taman Negara well before you arrive or enlist the help of guides at the Park Centre. Things to do at Mutiara Taman Negara include river cruises, guided walks, bird watching, fishing, swimming by waterfalls and night safaris. The world’s longest suspended canopy walk is the most popular activity in this rainforest and you have to be prepared to queue for a while. Secured 40 metres above the forest floor, visitors have a good vantage point from here and if lucky, you can sight some curious animals. The only people who are allowed to hunt and forage are its original inhabitants, the Orang Asli people who still live a nomadic lifestyle. They farm, fish and hunt in the park and nowadays play host to curious visitors armed with flashy cameras. The women may shy away but the men folk can put on a show with some advance notice. Travelling to Mutiara Taman Negara, guests can either do the four hour scenic drive down or board a coach from a designated location in Kuala Lumpur for a 3 hour drive down followed by a 3 hour boat trip down river ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mutiara Taman Negara Hotel Kuala Tahan
Mutiara Taman Negara Jerantut
Mutiara Taman Negara Hotel Jerantut

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