Kapas Turtle Valley Resort on Kapas Island is the perfect place if you’re looking for a simple beach getaway.
I wrote earlier about Kapas Island, a tiny spot of land just off the East Coast of Malaysia. As with its more famous neighbours, Perhentian and Redang Islands, Pulau Kapas is also your typical tropical paradise island. The selection for accommodation on the island is pretty basic and those looking for five-star luxuries should stay clear. However, if you are after some simple seaside fun, snorkelling and delicious home cooked food, keep on reading.
We stayed at Kapas Turtle Valley Resort, tucked away behind a steep hill at the end of the main beach. The small resort is run by a lovely Dutch couple who have made the island their home.
Rooms at Kapas Turtle Valley Resort
We stayed in the Hornbill bungalow with two adjoining rooms. The other room had a bunk bed as well as two singles, so could have fitted a larger group too. The simple rooms and bathrooms were clean and there is a spacious balcony outside facing the sea. Although the room is on top of the restaurant, we had no issues with noise. The rooms have no air conditioning.
The thing that makes Kapas Turtle Valley stand out is the food. Sylvia whips up dishes in her kitchen that are better than in many city restaurants and light years beyond your typical island food. Lunch menu is easy-going beach fare, dinner options are more ambitious and every main course we had was lovely. You choose your dinner in advance, and it is served roughly at the same time every night. While waiting for it, people linger having appetisers and sun downers on the bean bags on the deck with the hosts making everyone comfortable.
There was always something for the kids (all home-made and yummy) and the home-made ice cream was a treat for all ages. Sylvia had a few other aces in her sleeve for the kids too, like the traditional Dutch way of eating your breakfast bread with chocolate sprinkles.
The beach is quite rocky so reef shoes come in handy – there some available for the guests to use, as is snorkelling gear. The snorkelling just off the beach is decent, and some fellow guests had spotted sharks. Turtles are also apparently often seen, as the name suggests. We spotted quiet a few giant pink jellyfish that somewhat dampened our snorkelling mood…
We rented Peter’s catamaran and took a few spins out to sea. Kids were not too impressed with our sailing skills but we all had a good laugh. We also took advantage of the double kayaks for rent, and paddled over to Gem Island and a few beautiful sandy beaches along the way.
The resident cats provided endless entertainment for our cat-obsessed youngsters.
The resort is closed for the monsoon season every year, but will open soon for a new season! We had a lovely long weekend and are looking forward to returning for another quick island getaway.
Getting there was simple: 4.5 half hours drive to Marang (not Merang!) Jetty and a short 15 minutes boat ride. We used the boat operator recommended by the resort, and called ahead to double-check timings (always recommended). There was ample parking directly in front of the jetty. Do note that during low tide you’ll be dropped at the main jetty, a sweaty walk away along the beach and up-and-down stairs.