I am sure that for most of you the company Berjaya Hotels & Resorts needs no introduction, owners of a number of exotic island resorts and city hotels in Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Seychelles, United Kingdom and Japan.
We were delighted when Berjaya Tioman Island Resort asked us to review their resort and thoroughly enjoyed our 2 day stay. This magnificent tropical paradise is just a 2 hour ferry ride from Mersing, Johor, approximately 55 KM from the south east coast, the state of Pahang, mainland Malaysia. Berjaya Tioman Resort itself is situated on the west coast of Tioman island and just a couple of kilometres from Tekek, which is the nearest village and harbour.
Tekek, as well as being the closest village to Berjaya Tioman Resort, it’s also the largest village on Tioman island and has basic modern infrastructure, including a bank, clinic, air strip, marina, duty free shopping and jetty complex. This is where your ferry will arrive and depart, the hotel has a free transfer service from the jetty at Tekek so you will be picked up by Berjaya Tioman staff who will transport you just a couple of kilometres to begin your stay at this tranquil, dreamy island resort.
Berjaya Tioman Resort is the largest hotel on the island, and the only premier resort, situated on beautiful, idyllic 200-acre grounds with breath taking palm-fringed, golden, sandy beach fronts, crystal clear waters, lush green surrounding areas and mountain sides. A modern, clean, very well equipped four star resort. There are large facilities and amenities provided, including a ballroom, function halls, dive centre, spa, 18-hole golf course, outdoor team building circuit, swimming pools, various restaurants and more!
They also have their own fantastic, easy to use website packed with information about the resort including details about accommodation and room types, facilities, dining, recreational activities, on line booking and more! Take a look for yourself, with so many activities available you won’t be bored! You can book on line on their website, but do check ferry availability and timetable beforehand.
Transfer & Ferry Booking
Assuming you are already in Malaysia, the trip to Berjaya Tioman Resort involves a 5 hour road trip from Kuala Lumpur to Mersing, Johor. You can of course choose to travel to the Mersing Harbour Centre either by bus or your own car. There is a number of reasonably priced, long stay, secure car parks. We pre-booked on line here without any issues and parked at the Rawa car park facility for only RM15 per day. However, if this parking is full then there is plenty of other secure parking nearby. Booking your parking space is not essential but advisable.
We booked our ferry on line with Bluewater ferries. However, once we arrived in the resort we were told by some other guests that Cataferry is slightly more comfortable since it’s a larger, catamaran style ferry which you can also book on line here. You can also find the timetables for Bluewater and Cataferry on their websites. The ferry journey takes between 1.5 and 2 hours. However, this is only a guide as the actual journey time is dependent on weather conditions.
Accommodation & Related Facilities
Accommodation consists of quaint wooden chalets and duplex structures inspired by traditional village architecture, perched on stilts along the beachfront or gardens. Suitable, and large enough for a complete family vacation. There are a total of 268 rooms and suites in the resort. You can find more about the room types here on their website.
We had a large, fully air conditioned, first floor Beach View Chalet, individual balcony with outdoor seating and fantastic beach and sea views. From this type of chalet, just a 20 second walk takes you to the beach where you will find comfortable sun loungers and shaded areas. Perfect if you just want a quiet, lazy day on the beach, feel the grains of white, sun-soaked sand under foot and take a dip in the crystal clear warm waters of the South China Sea.
Or if you prefer to venture where there is a bit more action at any time you can dial reception from your chalet and asked to be picked up, and a friendly electric buggy driver will arrive within 2 or 3 minutes to take you on a short, yet fascinating trip to your desired location. The buggies and their drivers can be called upon in person at reception or from your chalet at anytime during your stay to get you around the various facilities within the resort or transport you to any activities you might have booked.
You also have the option of walking if your chalet is nearby, or hiring one of their bicycles or tandem bicycles if you prefer to get around the resort under your own steam. The huge open air reception and lobby area is really the hub of the entire resort where you can find the starting point and booking area for all activities and excursions, including transport to them.
All 3 of their restaurants are here, aswell as a Beach Bar, swimming pools, games room, souvenir shop, spa etc, and of course, all right next to the beach! There is free WiFi throughout the resort, computers with internet access, foreign currency exchange and all major credit cards are accepted.
Restaurants & Dining
There are 3 superb restaurants to choose from, and a beach bar which also serves food. All of which are very nearby each other and close to the beach, pools, reception and lobby area. You can find more details of each of them including their opening hours in the dining section of their website.
A wide variety of local delicacies and international cuisine is available, from Malaysian, Indian, Thai, Western and Chinese dishes. Guests really are spoilt for choice when dining in the resort, not only for the wide variety of dishes available but also for choice of setting; choose to sit on the beach, in air conditioning (Xuan Restaurant), by the pools or on the large fan cooled terraces. A wide variety of interesting cocktails and other delicious snacks and beverages are available at all the restaurants and Beach Bar which is open later so you can enjoy a relaxing pre-dinner drink in the sun or an after dinner drink under the moonlight.
The Fortune Courtyard is the largest of the 3 restaurants and considered to be the main restaurant of the resort open 7am to 11pm daily, here is where the buffet breakfast is served daily, a themed buffet dinner and all day dining menu with a delightful selection of international cuisine all of which can be enjoyed on their huge open air, fan cooled terrace. A poolside BBQ is also available at certain times during the evening. The buffet food here at all times of day is both very fresh and of high quality all served with a smile by an abundance of friendly chefs and waiting staff.
The Xuan Restaurant is inside and all enclosed so here you can enjoy the comfort of air conditioning if you wish. Although the theme of the restaurant is Chinese, all menus are available here as well as their own delightful selection of Chinese food. Eye catching high quality furnishings, Chinese themed decor and the colour red immediately hits you as soon as you enter! When we dined here we didn’t try the Chinese cuisine we chose Western food from the other menus.
The Matahari Restaurant was definitely our personal favourite not least because it’s the closest restaurant to the beach! The theme is Thai here but all of the menus are also available as well as their own Thai menu. Here you can choose to sit on their fan cooled, open air terrace with stunning beach and sea views or you can actually sit on the beach itself! They have plenty of shaded seating on the beach with comfortable seating and large tables, so even large groups can dine comfortably.
I have to admit that this was my favourite spot and once seated it was difficult to drag myself away from those absolutely fabulous sea views, along with excellent service and food, thoroughly enjoyable at any time of day or night!
The Beach Bar which is open from 4pm to 12am, also serves food and snacks as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and cocktails. Goes without saying that there is fantastic views here too! Sitting on the fan cooled terrace at high tide you can hear the calm waves splashing up and out only 1 or 2 metres away from the terrace itself! They have a Happy Hour from 5pm to 8pm. There is a stage opposite where seasonal live entertainment is performed.
Recreation & Activities
One thing is for sure, you definitely won’t be bored here at Berjaya Tioman Resort with their fantastic array of sports and recreational activities. Remember, you can book all your activities at reception and if required, free transport is available to them. The list is endless, from an 18 hole golf course to scuba diving, snorkeling, ATV Adventure and much more….
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- Sports & Recreation, Sea activities
During our 2 day stay we tried the ATV Adventure Ride and Renggis Island Snorkeling.
The one hour ATV Adventure ride was the first (Saturday). We met our guide in the reception area who took us to our ATV’s which are parked right outside reception and he explained how they work and how to ride them. Our guide also explained that we should follow him throughout the trip and if ever we want to stop to take any photos we should just stop and he will see us in his rear view mirror and stop himself, which was excellent news as we just knew there was going to be plenty of photo opportunities! We hired 2 ATV’s for the 3 of us (one riding double).
This was quite an experience not least because none of us had ridden an ATV ever before! Cautiously starting out at reception on smooth, level ground, at least for the moment! First past the golf course and Marine Dive Centre and then into the lush green mountains and so onto much rougher, steep terrain, luckily our guide kept us at a nice pace, not too fast and not too slow, picking up the pace on occasions on less bumpy terrain.
Riding past some breath taking sights we ended up stopping quite a few times. We were totally taken aback when we finally arrived at what we now know was our final destination and this was most certainly yet another photo opportunity!
A stunning, secluded, untouched beach cove with beautiful white sands and crystal clear water. After spending around 10 minutes here taking in the wonderful scenery we started our return journey on the same route.
The next day (Sunday) we went on the Renggis Island Snorkeling one hour trip. Renggis island is a very small island, so small in fact that you could also describe it as a huge green rock just a few dozen metres off the coast of the resort, teeming with stunning marine and coral life.
In fact, all of Tioman Island is home to a myriad of marine life and is also regarded as one of the finest dive destinations in Malaysia. So much so in fact that Berjaya Tioman Resort employ an “environment officer”, a marine biologist whose sole responsibility along with his team is to ensure the resorts’ most important treasure remains exactly that, and maintain it in pristine condition.
We went out from the dive centre jetty on a small glass bottomed motor boat equipped with our life jackets and snorkeling equipment. It takes only a few minutes to reach Renggis Island. The sea was quite rough today and it was raining lightly due to the time of year, which I guess is why the water was not quite as clear as it might have been.
Even so it was still quite clear, clear enough for us to see this amazing home of marine life. There were a number of other boats in the area with other scuba divers and snorkelers on board. The view from Renggis island of Tioman Island shore line is stunning. All snorkeling equipment and life jackets are supplied by the Marine Dive Centre.
We had such a magical time on this secluded paradise island during the two full days we were there. So much to see and do that in fact we really needed more time to bring you some of the other amazing activities available.
It was clear that the entire resort including the rooms and chalets are kept super clean and lovingly maintained. All the facilities and services were of an excellent standard with very friendly, helpful staff from the waiters and buggy drivers right up to head chefs and management.
In our opinion, the only little downside was not with our stay at the resort in any way whatsoever but the traveling time and ferry transfer situation from Mersing to Tioman. Including the road trip it is quite a long journey and whilst the ferry is acceptable it is not the most comfortable of places, especially just after a 5 hour road trip, and if the weather is not so good. But as the saying goes… “no pain, no gain!” in other words…. it was well worth just a little discomfort because this place was well worth the wait. So a longer stay next time would be better.
Berjaya Tioman Island Resort
26800 Tioman Island, Pahang