Alunan Boutique Resort, Perhentian Islands
*Includes an offer
You may remember us complaining about the sorry state of the beautiful Malaysian islands from a tourists’ point of view (here and here) before. Hearing the news of a new resort, and a boutique one at that, we got very excited. When we got invited over we were jumping in the air. And here it is: Alunan Boutique Resort.
The white, modern resort is a stark contrast to the usual traditional, dark wooden look. The rooms are the biggest wow of the hotel: you can lie in your wide, comfy bed and stare out to the sea through the huge windows. The steep stairs lead to a rooftop terrace covered in fake grass and equipped with a hammock and a sun lounger. For your afternoon nap you can retire to the coolness of you room and choose a film from a USB attached to the TV. Our quad room with two generous beds ensured a good night’s sleep for all four of us.
We were on the full board meal plan (offered when the resort is full) and can’t complain anymore: a buffet of fresh, Asian-style dishes with lots of seafood with a home cooked feel to it was on offer for lunch and dinner. A Nespresso saved this coffee addict’s afternoons. Breakfast spread included a good range of Western and Asian options (“Pancakes!” I can still hear them screaming).
Our 4- and 6-year-olds loved racing up the steep hill but with stairs and railings (or sometimes not) all over, the place is not suitable for toddlers or those not comfortable with steep inclines.
If one needs something to do, there are kayaks for rent, and snorkeling or boat trips are easily arranged, as is diving through the resort’s sister company, Universal Diver.
The resort has only been open for three months and is still a work in progress. The young team is friendly and happy to assist, but be prepared for minor hicks like some construction happening around the resort and the restaurant and bar being not yet fully stocked. The rooms have a fridge, so maybe bring something that suits your holiday mood to enjoy on your balcony.
The beach in front of the hotel is wide and the sand soft, further along there are some rocks for the kids to explore. The water is clear but the bottom is rocky, so thread carefully. The resort’s generator can be heard on the beach in front of the deck, but take five steps away and you have plenty of peace and quiet.
The old, abandoned hotel next door (the red roofs on the picture above) is a bit of an eyesore but hey, why would you not face the ocean anyway. A boat trip to the Perhentian Island Resort’s amazing beach and the resident turtles is quick and cost the four of us 100 RM/return.
Further on at the quiet Petani beach there are two other small hotels with restaurants – we were constantly full from stuffing our faces at the buffet but Tripadvisor tells me that they have decent food and drink.
Alunan Boutique Resort is a great option for those who appreciate a cool and crisp bed to collapse in after a day in the sun. Family, quad and triple rooms make it also a great options for bigger families. On island resorts food tends to be the stumbling block but not here – while no fine dining, it is fresh and tasty and there was always something non-spicy for the kids to eat in the buffet.
This time we decided to drive to Kuala Besut using the newly opened stretch of the East Coast Expressway. It took us about 6 hours – with a bit of traffic and one stop – not bad, we think! By the way, this is how you leave the hotel to catch your boat back to the real world:
The kind folks at Alunan have extended an offer for Happy Go KL readers. With this discount code you’ll get an extra 10% off the already “Sizzling hot” opening prices. This offer is only applicable when booking via their online booking system at www.alunanresort.com and is valid from June 15 till Oct 31, 2015 (subject to availability).