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Reviewed 7 January 2006

OUR STAY
We went to Pangkor laut for our honeymoon in December 2005. We stayed for 14 nights, flying in and out of KL transferring by road and ferry to Pangkor Laut. A very long trip from the UK - about 30 hours all in all.
We had a very relaxing fortnight, and this is DESPITE the efforts of the management and vast majority of the serving staff (not housekeeping) to ensure that this wasnt the case. If you have already booked, and can just live with poor service and are after doing nothing but reading then you will have a nice time... but if you havent booked yet then I would recommend spending your hard earned money and valuable time elsewhere in South East Asia.

THE SEA VILLA
There had been some heavy rain early in November we are told, which caused a hillslide, and as we had been booked into a hill villa (some of which had collapsed, some of which were not structurally sound) we were upgraded to a sea villa - one of the ones on stilts over the sea.

The room itself was lovely, a large double room and a very large bathroom (hairdryer, safe, minibar) with stone bath (fits 2) with shutters you can open up onto the sea. The room also had a private sun deck which was lovely.

Do note though that the bath with shutters open isnt totally private, and unless you are a real exhibitionist you certainly couldnt naked sunbathe on the deck if that is your thing, not just because other decks and public areas overlook the decks but because of the frequent speed boat trips from the 3* hotel across the water who seem to want to take trips to come and look at the sea villas (and the people on them).

THE HOUSEKEEPING
We couldnt fault the housekeeping service - we were supplied with more clean towels and dressing gowns than you could use, and the room was always cleaned or turned down (about 8pm every day) / cleaned again to very high standards.

THE RESORT ITSELF
The island is blessed with a beautiful location, and the infinity pools, bars and restaurants all very attractive, and all accomodation is low rise - and blends into the rainforest (if not standing on the sea).

ISLAND ANIMALS
There are monitor lizards, jellyfish, monkeys and peacocks on the island. The monitor lizards keep themselves to themselves and sit on rocks by the sea villas. We did see large jellyfish in the sea and washed up on the beach - which kind of put us off swimming in the sea. Peacocks are a real pain unless you like birds (I dont), and the local weekender guests and their children do tend to feed them from the table, (they are free to wonder though the RBBC and the breakfast restaurant) which inevitably leads to them scouring lunchtimes and breakfast table for food offerings, and a couple of times as plates werent cleared - them climbing on the tables and eating off the plates.

A TOP TIP
We took a top tip from another trip advisor review and took a bottle of gin with us from duty free for post midnight nightcaps - as the bars do shut at midnight and if you want spirits in your mini bar then you have to buy a normal sized bottle (no minis) at about £50. Highly recommend doing this for those who like a nightime tipple.

SERVICE
RBBC - Service in the Royal Bay beach club (main lunch restaurant) was so bad that it was comical. Bring it on faulty towers Malaysia. We often had to ask after our order, which more often than not had either been forgotten, or brought wrong (very wrong often - often just a bit wrong so you could eat it e.g. burger with mushrooms instead of burger with cheese and onions). Nearly every meal did not end up being eaten as ordered.

Service in the other restaurants was also pretty bad - although not quite as bad as RBBC. The "premium" restaurant - fishermans cove, will set you back more than a conran restaurant in London for a meal. The food is very tasty - but they dont do side dishes with the main courses and they dont come with more than decorative vegetables - which means a hunk of meat or fish tends to constitute your meal. Starters are excellent, and desserts are variable. Chapmans bar (lunch) by emerald cove gets no peacocks for lunch, and lunch is generally better than RBBC, although as the staff seem to rotate around the restaurants the food ordered is not always what you end up eating either.

They closed the Malaysian restaurant after our first week - which was a shame... no warning, no alternative. only 2 evening restaurants available for the last 7 nights of a 14 night stay was very dissapointing (especially as it had been advertised to us as a 5 restaurant resort).

We did mention both our dissapointment with the closure and the service to the representatives of the mgmt (mgmt nowhere to be seen for the entire stay), and we were offered a free BBQ on the deck, and told we could order from the Malaysian restaurant menu at lunchtime (missed the point a bit). The first lunch after we complained, we asked for our order after 45 mins of waiting and were offered the menus again. Waited another 30 minutes while the staff argued with each other and pointed at us (they knew something was up), but still no food materialised. 1hr 30 after ordering we were brough chips as some kind of compensation (?), and 1hr 45 after ordering our meal - but not as ordered. Again. We booked the free BBQ for our last night, it rained so we ended up in fishermans cove. We were charged for this, and decided to sign for it rather than try and engage in debate with the restaurant staff (who would definately not have been able to cope with the discussion) and sort it out on check out in the morning. In the morning when we explained that the last nights dinner had been on the house, we were argued with and made to feel as if we were in the wrong. Eventually this was taken off the bill - but at no point was any apology made for any of the service we had complained about.

All in all we did have a lovely time - but this was more because it was our honeymoon, wanted to do nothing, didnt allow ourselves to get too bothered about the service, or lack of variety. We were also there on a discount price (my husband is travel industry). I would have been far lass calm about it if we had paid full price.

  • Stayed: December 2005
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank Travel8561
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2006

We were scheduled to stay at Pangkor Laut for Christmas, hoping for six nights of peace and relaxation. Having requested in April a sea villa away from the main resort, we were amazed to be given one not 20 steps from the main beach. With obvious reluctance, the staff moved us, but it wasn't far away enough. With music until 2am (the hotel claims it was not them), followed by noisy motor boats at 6.45am, we had a sleepness night. We found our sea villa dingy and not at all luxurious (the owners of PL should visit India to see how luxury is really done). We decided to cut our losses and checked out. The staff were totally unconcerned - why were we surprised? Incidentally, the main restaurant was closed for refurbishment (at peak season??!!), and we've eaten better pan-Asian food in London.

  • Stayed: December 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank Londona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 December 2005

Just stayed in the Pangkor Laut Resort for a few days. We had high expectations after reading all the great discriptions in traveller magazines and all the awards they got. But we were disappointed. Rooms (we had a beach villa) certainly need maintenance. The airconditioning in our room made such a noice that it was impossible to have it on at night although we desperately needed it. We complained about it, were told that they would fix it but offcourse nothing happened. That illustrates the rest of the service. Staff is not as service minded as you would expect from a 5* resort. Food is OK although I agree with earlier reviewers about breakfast. That is poor.
I think they got all the great reviews an awards due to the fact that the location is amazing, the sight of the villas on stelts looks very exotic and that their Spa is absolutely georgeous. Which is all true, especially the Spa, but the rest is strongly overrated.

  • Stayed: December 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank Anouk0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 December 2005

Stayed 3 nights in November. Got upgraded to a sea room which was really excellent. The service was outstanding, the food excellent and the whole ambience was truly lovely. Our only criticism would be that for the money, they should not allow children under 16. If I want children running around in a restaurant, I can go to MacDonalds for that, I do not expect it in an expensive restaurant. In fairness, some other resorts state a no children policy, so maybe we should have checked, but frankly we were surpirsed that poeple would want to take young children to such a resort. I felt sorry for the honeymooners who just wanted a quiet time. That apart, the resort is highly recommended but don't expect it to be other than expensive.

  • Stayed: November 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Mark W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 December 2005

We paid our second visited Pankor Laut in July 2005 and from the minute we were welcomed at the jetty until we left, 12 days later we had a wonderful time. It is the most relaxing place I have ever been. The staff are so friendly and could not be more helpful. The accommodation is gorgeous, so different from boring hotel rooms. We stayed in a hill villa this time but have previosly stayed in a Spa Villa both were lovely. You must visit the Spa for a treatment, I had a facial and a massage and felt wonderful after both. The surroundings in the Spa Village and treatments rooms are beautiful.
The food is fantastic in all the restaurants but the soft shell crab at Uncle Lims are to die for and another must is sea bass in spicey coconut milk with lemongrass. Dinner on the Rocks at Emerald Bay is a wonderful romantic experience, make sure you book it the day you arrive as they only do it a few nights a week. The band that play in the bars in the evening is great, they knew every single song that I ever heard being requested. We also enjoyed the Sunset Cruise but I think one of my favourite places is Chapmans Bar at Emerald Bay. We had lunch there everyday and it really is a stunning setting. I am counting the days till we can go back.

10  Thank Relax36938
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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