Guesthouses, hotels and resorts
Long Beach, Perhentian Kecil
This is Kecil's best known beach and hosts a mix of backpacker shacks through to midrange resorts. The sand is a squeaky near-white and the water very clear and calm. The central and southern sections of the beach have a serious trash problem and can be quite unsightly. In the evening, beach bars get going towards the southern end of the beach. An easy-to-follow trail leads from Long Beach over the hill to Coral Bay -- beach to beach it takes about 10 minutes.
Upmarket hotel lodgingsNorthern end of Long Beach, next to the jetty/pier, Perhentian Kecil
T: (09) 691 1333; F: (09) 691 1234
Set second to last at the northern end of Long Beach, Bubu Long Beach has smart hotel-style rooms in a three-storey, L-shaped building looking onto the beach and Long Beach's pier beyond. For Long ... Read the full review of Bubu Long Beach Resort.
Our Long Beach backpacker pickBehind Matahari Chalet, Long Beach
T: (010) 793 4069;
A short walk back off the beach, up the hill behind Matahari, Bintang Chalet offers solid and very clean wooden bungalows scattered across the hillside on both sides of the restaurant. The huts are ... Read the full review of Bintang View Chalet.
Extremely pricey and noisy at nightSouthern end of Long Beach, behind the beach bars, Perhentian Kecil
T: (09) 691 1999;
Set behind the popular World Cafe at the southern end of Long Beach, they were busy building more villas at Bubu Villa (previously Villa @ World Cafe) in a walled off enclave when we visited in April ... Read the full review of Bubu Villa.Over 500 ringgit 1 vote Luxury
Plenty of options across a few budgetsCentre of Long Beach, between Sunrise Guesthouse and Oh Lala Restaurant, Perhentian Kecil
T: (09) 691 1590;
Panorama Chalets is a backpacker haven on Malaysia's Perhentian Kecil, with several room and chalet options. What Panorama lacks in amenities they make up for in conveniences and location. Lots of ... Read the full review of Panorama Chalet .
View far better than roomsSouthern end of Long Beach, on the headland, Perhentian Kecil
T: (012) 325 2162;
Wrapped around the headland at the far southern end of Long Beach, D'Rock Garden Resort offers some of the best elevated views over the ocean on Long Beach from a mix of basic and more slightly ... Read the full review of D'Rock Garden Resort.
A mix of offerings, but a lot of trashBetween Sunrise Guesthouse and Panorama, centre of Long Beach, Perhentian Kecil
T: (019) 914 2883 ;
Very long-running Matahari is, like much of Long Beach, slowly making a transition from cheap and rustic to more mid-market, best represented by a two-storey concrete building full of air-con and hot ... Read the full review of Matahari Chalet.
Basic beachside digsSouthern end of Long Beach, Perhentian Kecil
Set at the base of the stairs that lead up to D'Rock Garden, Lemon Grass has two rows of uber-basic wooden freestanding bungalows facing one another, running back from the beach. You'd have great ... Read the full review of Lemon Grass Chalet.
Coral Bay, Perhentian Kecil
Coral Bay is the largest beach along the west coast of Perhentian Kecil and while it is quite built up with bungalows, resorts and restaurants running more or less from one end to the other, and has an unsightly pier running along about a third of its length, it still delivers on the sunset front. Snorkelling and swimming are best done elsewhere thanks to the volume of boat traffic in and out of here, but if you want to just bake on the sand, in front of Maya is pretty good. Snorkelling is better down to the south or north of Shari-la Resort.
Backpacker favouriteBehind Ombak Resort on the trail to Long Beach, Perhentian Kecil
Set just behind Ombak at the start of the pavement through to Long Beach, Ewan's has cut a slice out of the woods and has started building simple, backpacker orientated bungalows. They're attached to ... Read the full review of Ewan's Place.
Fab views, friendly staff, mixed qualityFar southern end of Coral Bay, Perhentian Kecil
T: (09) 691 1799; F: (09) 691 1790
Sprawling Senja Bay is kind of a mirror image of Mohsin Chalet on Long Beach, with a collection of duplex bungalows running back from the beach and up the hillside behind. Standards though are ... Read the full review of Senja Bay Resort .
Coral Bay budget pickSouth of Ombak, on the beach, Coral Bay, Perhentian Kecil
Fatimah Chalets has sturdy little wooden bungalows as their staple and we found it to have a very friendly, welcoming vibe -- or maybe it was just the guitar-strumming attendant who showed us around. ... Read the full review of Fatimah Chalet .
Hotel styleNext door to Amynf Chalet, Coral Bay, Perhentian Kecil
T: (016) 900 1228;
Along with Bubu on Long Beach, Ombak is about as close to international standard as Perhentian Kecil gets, which is to say, if you're after a well-sized and well-equipped room and are not fussed ... Read the full review of Ombak Resort .
Shabby chic or just shabby?South of Angel Divers, beachfront with a large truck tire with Maya painted on it out front, Perhentian Kecil
T: (019) 927 7683;
With their spacious palm tree dotted grounds, this laidback option gets a qualified yes from us. Located more or less at the centre of Coral Beach you can't miss the skyscraper tall palm trees or ... Read the full review of Maya Bay Chalet .
Imagine The Beach, but the Perhentian editionSouthern headland, Coral Bay, Perhentian Kecil
Last off the rank on Coral Bay, this is an unusual find. According to their signage, Butterfly is a DIY guesthouse: you check yourself in, pick your own bungalow and, well, figure it all out ... Read the full review of Butterfly.
About a 30-45 minute walk south of Coral Bay along a well tended pathway, Keranji beach delivers an idyllic setting, with yellow to white-ish sand, clear water and, we were told, good snorkelling to the north and south. This is an isolated spot though, so bear in mind any alternative eating options are quite a walk away.
Chilled out hideaway30-45 minutes walk south of Coral Bay
T: (016) 647 6406;
Previously known as Mira Beach, we really liked Keranji Beach Resort and if you don't mind simple accommodation and the isolation (it is a good 30-45 minutes walk from Coral Beach) then this is our ... Read the full review of Keranji Beach Resort .
D'Lagoon Beach, Perhentian Kecil
This is the northernmost beach on Perhentian Kecil and it's really just a small sliver of sand -- the great beaches here are a short walk through to the west coast of the island -- and they are glorious. D'Lagoon beach is home to the same-named, very long-running resort.
Remote but near some great beachesD'Lagoon
T: (019) 985 7089;
The northernmost of Perhentian Kecil's developed beaches, the very long-running (20+ years) family-run d'Lagoon offers a range of options from dormitories to duplex bungalows to fancier deluxe ... Read the full review of D'Lagoon.
PIR Beach, Perhentian Besar
Despite a large pier being added to the western end of this bay, this remains the most beautiful developed beach on Perhentian Besar and is home to a single resort, the eponymous Perhentian Island Resort. The gorgeous bay is home to turtles (you'll find them easily snorkelling) and boat traffic is restricted to the area near the pier, leaving most of the beach undisturbed. If you're into just laying on the beach, you'll love it here.
Upmarket with prices to matchPIR Beach
T: (09) 691 1111; F: (09) 691 1110
Arguably Besar's fanciest resort, what is beyond debate is that it's set on the island's most beautiful beach, a stunning eclipse of brilliantly white sand with turquoise water lapping at its edge. ... Read the full review of Perhentian Island Resort.
West Beach, Perhentian Besar
This beach stretches from Coral View Island Resort south past The Reef and Watercolours, finishing off in front of Mama's. Of the developed beaches on Perhentian Besar, this is just about the worst and the beach is pretty much entirely gone in front of Mama's, with the sea kept at bay by a retaining wall. Ask Aziz or Jimie to show you the photo of the beach at Mama's before it all washed away -- such a shame. Coral View has a beach both to the west and north, both of which are okay for swimming, but you're really better off walking over to PIR for your swimming needs.
Flashpacker favouriteSouthern end of West Beach, Perhentian Besar
T: (019) 984 0232;
Last off the rank between Watercolours and the southern bushwhacking trail to Tuna Bay sits Mama's Chalet, a slightly more modern-looking version of the 'typical' A-framed Perhentian budget chalet. ... Read the full review of Mama's Chalet .
Quaint and well positionedJust to the south of Coral View, West Beach, Perhentian Besar
T: (09) 691 1762;
The Reef has a crescent moon of bungalows running back from the beach between Coral View Resort and Watercolours and a two-storey building set towards the rear of the grounds. The bungalows are by ... Read the full review of The Reef Chalet.
All about the views, not so much about the roomsNorthern end of Tuna Bay, Perhentian Besar
T: (09) 691 1810; F: (09) 691 1812
Most of the bungalows here commence at the northern reach of the beach, tumbling down the hill where the walking track from the north comes through, and some have spectacular views and are priced ... Read the full review of New CocoHut Chalet & Cozy Chalet .
A large midrange optionNorthern end of West Beach, Perhentian Besar
T: (09) 691 1700; F: (09) 691 1701
Coral View Island Resort straddles the headland that separates what is known as Main Beach (to the left when looking at the sea) and Turtle Bay (to the right) and has a tonne of bungalows running in ... Read the full review of Coral View Island Resort .
A handy backup if Mama's is fullMiddle of West Beach, just north of Mama's, Perhentian Besar
T: (09) 691 1852;
You'll find Watercolours between The Reef and Mamas, where the sprawling resort does budgetish rooms (by Perhentian Besar standards) spread across a large lawn property. Rooms are a bit rundown and ... Read the full review of Watercolours.
Tuna Bay, Perhentian Besar
Also referred to as Main beach and Government beach, Tuna Bay hosts a selection of predominantly midrange resorts spread across a couple of pleasant strips of sand. It is a very scenic area, with some coral reef offshore and a couple of pontoons to bake on or jump off. There is quite a bit of boat traffic at these beaches though, so it isn't all peaceful and serene -- the beach areas though, dotted with palm trees, deckchairs and the occasional hammock, are quite pleasant.
Great beachside setting, good with kidsSouthern end of Tuna Bay, Perhentian Besar
T: (019) 912 7303;
Abdul's used to be a budget hanger-on in this area, but their old fan-cooled rooms are now ancient history and it's firmly moved up into the mid-priced bracket. Of the offerings along this strip, ... Read the full review of Abdul's Chalets .
Simple air-con rooms with a viewNear Tuna Bay Island Resort, Tuna Bay, Perhentian Besar
T: (013) 968 3119;
Set behind a small shop that doubles as reception, Suhaila's isn't quite a palace but it offers reasonably modern rooms in a concrete two-floor building overlooking the water. The downstairs rooms ... Read the full review of Suhaila's Palace.
Flashpacker hideawayBehind Seahorse Divers, Tuna Bay, Perhentian Besar
T: (09) 691 1680;
Friendly Ayumni House is tucked away down a walkway that leads behind Seahorse Divers. There's no beachfront here, but the rooms are quite reasonable for the standard and the dorm is one of the ... Read the full review of Ayumni House.
Smart beach side, midrange roomsCentre of Tuna Bay, Perhentian Besar
T: (09) 690 2909 ; F: (09) 690 2906
Tuna Bay Island Resort doesn't have much of a beach directly in front of the restaurant and it's a busy coming and going spot for taxi boats and so on. Behind the boat landing the frontage is ... Read the full review of Tuna Bay Island Resort.
Teluk KK, Perhentian Besar
Located a short walk to the south of Tuna Bay along a series of easy to follow walkways, Teluk KK has a western stretch (the length with the pier), but then, after the very photogenic rocky point, it sweeps east, creating a lovely southward facing, totally undeveloped beach. This is a lovely part of the island and well worth visiting on a lazy day trip. The only place to stay here is the campground.
Rough it and enjoy!South of the pier, Teluk KK
Teluk KK is one of the more southernmost developed spots on Perhentian Besar -- two beautiful stretches of beach which collide at a rock outcrop ideally situated for sunset. There is a little-used ... Read the full review of Teluk KK Campground.
Teluk Dalam, Perhentian Besar
Teluk Dalam is a long, southward facing beach with very fine off-white sands. There are quite a few places to stay along the beach, but the eastern stretch of the beach is undeveloped. As with Long beach on Perhentian Kecil, rubbish and refuse can be a bit of a problem here. You miss out on both sunrises and sunsets, but the beach does have an attractive, relaxed vibe to it. There is an easy to follow jungle trail from here to PIR beach to the north and another to Teluk KK to the west.
Comfortable flashpacker fareMiddle of Teluk Dalam, Perhentian Besar
T: (09) 691 1650;
We skipped this on our first run through due to a sign out front declaring exclusively for divers, but it turns out non-divers are welcome here and the rooms, especially the fan-cooled ones in the ... Read the full review of Bayu Dive Lodge.
Solid backpacker optionWest of Bayu Dive Lodge, middle of Teluk Dalam, Perhentian Besar
T: (014) 534 2114; F: https://www.facebook.com/bfirstchalet.perhentian
From the beach, this looks more like a restaurant and bar (yes, they have beer) than a guesthouse, but running back behind the restaurant building are a string of coloured bungalows that are fairly ... Read the full review of B'first Chalets.
Summer camp vibeWestern end of Teluk Dalam, Perhentian Besar
T: (09) 691 1666; F: (09) 691 1662
Flora Bay is towards the western end of Teluk Dalam -- there is one resort after it, but it appeared to be abandoned when we visited (and Flora shouldn't be confused with the similarly named and ... Read the full review of Flora Bay Resort.
Resort style living with a poolResort style living with a poolEastern end of development on Teluk Dalam, Perhentian Besar
T: (09) 778 0888; F: (09) 778 2288
The largest and most prominent resort on Teluk Dalam beachfront, and one of only two places on either island with a swimming pool, the Arwana is the most typically resort-style hotel we saw other ... Read the full review of Arwana Perhentian Eco Resort and Beach Chalet.
Cheap beachfront roomsEast of Flora Resort, Teluk Dalam, Perhentian Besar
T: (09) 691 1607; F: (09) 691 1600
If you're looking for a pure beach frontage bungalow and are umming and ahhing between Flora and Fauna, go with Fauna. The rooms may not be in as good a condition (interiors are pretty rundown and ... Read the full review of Fauna Beach Chalet.
Bubbles Beach, Perhentian Besar
This is the most remote developed beach on Perhentian Besar and can only be reached by boat. Home to a single dive-orientated resort, the beach is quite lovely and very quiet -- thankfully it lacks the boat traffic you get on many of Perhentian Besar's beaches. There is good snorkelling here and there is an active turtle hatchery on the beach.
Good for families looking to getaway from it allBubbles Beach
T: (012) 983 8038;
We really wanted to love here. Although badged as a diving resort, what they should really be trumpeting is their work as a turtle hatchery. You can't miss the hatchery -- it is on your left as you ... Read the full review of Bubbles Dive Resort.
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