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“Great family getaway destination”
Review of Rawa Island Resort

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Rawa Island Resort
Ranked #3 of 12 Hotels in Mersing
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 6 June 2008

I was uncertain before booking with Rawa Safaris, as there has not been many reviews written and the photos on their old website (they just updated it!) were not very appealing. When we arrived however, the first impression of Rawa exceeded my expectations, as did the resort. We were greeted cheerily by the staff, and served welcome cocktails while we were checking in. We arrived late Friday morning, and the resort was peaceful. I couldn’t stop grinning when I arrived… the resort and beach looked so lovely!

Rooms: We stayed in the cheapest chalets on the resort (which was still quite pricey by Msian standards); the standard and deluxe rooms but fortunately we were very satisfied with the clean and simply furnished rooms. Each hillside chalet has one “standard” unit on the first floor and a “deluxe” unit on the upper floor that comes with a nice porch looking out to the garden. The deluxe rooms had one queen and one single bed, and the standard rooms one queen bed. The rooms were spacious enough, and perfect for a family like us, cos we could all stay within shouting distance of each other. The resort had beautiful landscaping too, which gave each chalet the feeling that you were on your own… we really appreciated the privacy. If you have a bigger budget, during our stay we also walked pass the uber-expensive overwater chalets as well (taken up mostly by expats) and they looked worth the money for big families… very private, spacious and well furnished. I can think of only three complaints… and I am not easy to please! (1) The rooms only had a flimsy sheet as a blanket, not good for cold island nights, (2) shampoo and conditioner not provided, so bring your own and (3) water pressure in the shower wasn’t so good.

Activities: Snorkelling at Rawa was fantastic. Maybe not as varied as some of the snorkelling spots around Tioman but the advantage is that their reef is right off the beach. We tried the island hopping half day trip while we were there but found that the snorkelling on Rawa itself is so much better. Snorkelling equipment rental rates on the board looks exorbitant but in truth they are not very calculative and let you take what you need at a minimal rental price. The nice guy manning the sports shop also gave us a great tip: walk to the end of the island (extreme right of the resort) and hop off an old abandoned jetty there and snorkel all the way back to the resort. That area had some of the nicest corals and marine life.

Food: One of the pleasant surprise of the resort was the good food. My family was very contented with the buffet spread, with its good mix of local dishes and western flavour. They kept my pasta-loving hubby happy and my asam pedas and sambal belacan-lover father satisfied. Good food is important on an island where you are forced to be on full-board! I was personally disappointed with the breakfast spread though (not hotel standard, but I guess you can’t have that expectation), but all in all the food was great.

Last bits: Was it worth the money? I would say that Rawa is abit pricey compared to most resorts on the more commercialised Tioman island but I think the experience was comparable to Berjaya Tioman (the 2nd most expensive resort on Tioman after Japamala) and the service standards on Rawa is very high. I would recommend it for young families who want peace and quiet, or couples. Perfect for families with small children too (seem a popular place for French expat families) cos the beach is pristine white and safe for the young ones. The resort also had afternoon children activities like movie screenings. Oh I must mention that nice blue slide too, an ultimate favourite with the kids!

See more photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nurhidayati/sets/72157605431911547/

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled with family
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2  Thank ummumar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 24 May 2008

Resorts in Malaysia can be a tricky affair - generally promisng more than they deliver. This one though delivered more than expected though perhaps a tad over priced for what it is. Its a lovely location, great for kids and adults alike, clean beach, ok snorkeling and quite decent food - in fact pretty good food - something that again is often/always touted in resorts in Malaysia and often a dissappointment. Room we had was over the water - nice, simple but bathroom was tired to say the least but it worked. Nice big deck with broken sun umbrella but we didn't use it so no biggy. We are pretty spoiled travellers so generally quite tough on expectations and normally seek 5 star solutions but this one was a pleasant surprise given the general lack of quality choice in the region - the overall mixture of location, facilities, food, friendly staff in a way more than acceptable 3star+ resort in an area that is short on quality standards was a very pleasant surprise and we would/will go back. If you are looking for Bora Bora 5 star quality this isn't it but if you can appreciate a laid back, pretty beach, better than decent food (try the little neighbouring beach shack bistro next door - fun and good food too), nice "crowd" hanging out on a little island then you wont be disappointed.

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled with family
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Thank johntravellersydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 April 2008

Rawa looked idyllic as we motored in on the boat. It’s quite a small island with a tropical interior and a golden sandy beach. We were given a welcome drink and only had to wait a short while for a room even though we arrived at 10:30am. Our room was quite basic with hardly any storage and the double bed was pushed up again one wall. The bathroom was adequate with a good (sometime cold) shower and at least the room had air conditioning. 3 nights was about right given the layout of the room. I did find out that some of the rooms were larger and had more storage, even though they were the same price.

The main restaurant did an excellent job. All 3 meals a day were buffet style but there was a good choice and the quality was exellent. The dishes also varied over the time we were there. Well done to the chef(s) – we were impressed with what they did.

The beach and the sea were both very clean. There were some jelly fish or small nipping things which put a lot of people off going in the sea on our first day. However there had been a big storm the night before which was probably responsible. Once the jelly fish had gone, the snorkelling was reasonable.

The hotel offers 3 night packages and for me, this was just the right amount of time.

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled with family
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Thank English_Al
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 December 2007

I love Rawa Island. Clear water...powder white sand...you can't take a crap picture there.

I remember the first time I visited the island...my jaw dropped...never did I expect the beach to be that beautiful. I thought that sort of water can only be found in places like maldives, hawaii, fiji etc.

Very reasonably priced....great staff...we have become friends with them. Great island getaway.

Will post some pictures and maybe the video i made of us doing jetty jumpes etc.

  • Stayed: October 2007, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank VanessaF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 August 2007

This is a great place for young families who enjoy island retreats. Nice accomodation on a fantastic beach stretch, crystal clear water, great food - buffet spread that caters for kids too, in addition to generous variety of food for adults, i.e prawns, squid for lunch and dinner. Friendly staff, attentive service, i.e.butter prawns at the buffet line ran out, and when they replenished it, the waiter brought some for us, without us having to say a thing.

There are many things to do at the resort too. The best is a water slide that is built on the jetty and runs directly into the sea. Also the jetty is home to many fishes, can see and feed the fish just there. Can snorkel too, as there's a huge bed of corals just at the resort. The resort houses some peacocks too, my kids loved the novelty of the peacocks walking into the restaurants.

My experience of beach retreats have been in Perhentian and Redang, and accomodation wise, this is the best. I'll definately go back. It takes 4-5 hours driving from KL, shorter from Singapore and the boat ride is 25 mins. That's even better than going to Penang for the beach from KL.

3  Thank snowmot99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rawa Island Resort

Address: Tourist Centre, Mersing 86800, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Johor > Mersing District > Mersing
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Suites
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Mersing
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Mersing
Number of rooms: 77
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Rawa Island Resort, an idyllic tropical island for guests to unwind from the stress and strain of modern life. Feel the grains of white, sun-baked sand between your toes as you stroll along the beach. Take a dip in the warm waters of the South China Sea. Enjoy the green scenery. Snorkel along the natural coral reef just metres from the shore. Or simply relax as you watch the sun disappear lazily over the orange horizon. Situated within the archipelago of the Sultan Iskandar Marine Park, Rawa Island is accessible by a twenty-minute boat ride from Mersing, Johor. This beachfront resort features 77 rooms, each individually designed to blend in with the natural landscape. Modern furnishings provide guests with the comforts of home. We invite you to take a break from the monotony of daily routine. Experience the island's natural beauty and our Malaysian hospitality. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Rawa Island Safaris Hotel Mersing
Rawa Island Safaris Mersing
Rawa Island Resort Mersing, Johor, Malaysia

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