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/
- 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