So you’re doing it! You’re going to the beautiful Perhentian Islands. Great choice! But now it’s time to find the best resort in Perhentian Island for you and your budget.
In this guide, I will help you decide where to stay in Perhentian Islands. I’ll first give you a run down of the different islands and the pros and cons of each area so you can work out which is best for you. Then I’ll compare each of the Perhentian Islands accommodation options including their prices before giving you a Pulau Perhentian hotel review of each one.
So don’t worry! By the end of this article, you ‘ll be able to book your best place to stay in Perhentian Islands!
Table of Contents
Where to Stay Perhentian Islands
The Perhentian Islands consist of two islands:
- Pulau Perhentian Besar
- Pulau Perhentian Kecil
Besar means big in Malay and kecil means small and this is what you are getting – a bigger island and a smaller island. They are close together and you can take boat taxis between the islands so you can see them both. Pulau means island.
However, you are likely to spend most of your time on the island where you choose to stay so it’s important to pick the right one for you.
Perhentian Besar is more developed (this is just relative to Kecil). There’s a bigger range of resorts and it’s quieter. This is the better choice for families. I think it is better value as well. For example, all the best hotels in Perhentian Besar listed below are much cheaper on average than the ones on Perhentian Kecil.
Pehentian Kecil is known as a backpacker island and there is more opportunity to party. The Perhentian Kecil accommodation is not necessarily cheaper, but there are a lot more budget options. However, they do tend to be lower quality than on Besar. Alcohol is more readily available on this island and there are places that open late – compared to just about everything shutting on Besar by 11pm.
Backpackers do tend to make up most tourists on Kecil, but actually the best resort in Pulau Perhentian is here so if you want the absolute best place to stay in Pulau Perhentian, you may want to pick this island.
I prefer to stay on Perhentian Besar because the Perhentian Besar hotels offer better value. If you want to party though, I definitely recommend Perhentian Kecil as it’s not ideal to be getting boats between the islands once it is dark. But either island is beautiful so you can’t make a mistake!
Note: Keep scrolling to see a map of the islands and where each recommended resort is located.
Where To Stay In Perhentian Besar
The main areas for Perhentian Besar accommodation are the western coastal parts of the island near Perhentian Kecil and the southern big bay area along Teluk Dalam.
Perhentian Island Resort Beach
This is my favourite beach of those on Perhentians and perhaps in all of Malaysia. It’s a beautiful spot and is home to only one resort, the Perhentian Island Resort, a top Perhentian Besar resort option, but you can walk here quickly from the West Beach area.
Boat traffic is restricted here so you can snorkel which is highly recommended since this bay is home to turtles.
This beach is just around the corner from the beach above and may be the worst one with the beach having been mostly washed away.
There are some beach parts where you can swim but, if you stay in this area, you’re better off walking to the Perhentian Island Resort Beach. Still, there are some restaurants and good Pulau Perhentian Besar hotel options here.
Tuna Bay is also sometimes called Main or Government beach and is home to some mid-range resorts. It’s a pleasant beach in a very scenic spot especially for swimmers with a reef offshore and some pontoons to play on. There is a fair bit of boat traffic though.
The beach has some palm trees and deck chairs making it a nice place to hang out.
Teluk Dalam is on the south of the island and the place to go for a cheaper Perhentian Besar hotel. It’s a long beach with fine sand. There is a busier patch with many Perhentian Island Besar accommodation options, and then there is the eastern side of the beach which is undeveloped.
You can walk here with a jungle trail stretching to the Perhentian Island Resort beach.
The downside is that there is also a rubbish problem here and it’s not as pretty as some of the other beaches on the island but it does have a nice, relaxed vibe in this area. The beach is also not ideal for swimming with much dead coral and boats. It’s my least preferred Perhentian Besar option.
Where To Stay In Perhentian Kecil
There are two main areas to stay in Perhentian Kecil and then a scattering of Perhentian Islands Kecil accommodation around the rest of the island.
The most popular area is Long Beach. This has a mixture of Perhentian Island Kecil hotels from cheap shacks through to the best hotel in Perhentian Island at Bubu Villas.
The beach is beautiful with white sand and clear, calm water. It’s a great place to swim. The only problem is that there is a trash problem especially in the central and southern sections of the beach.
This is the place to be to party, and there are many Long Beach Perhentian hotel options.
Coral Bay is on the opposite side of the island to Long Beach but this is only a ten minute walk from Long Beach on a trail.
It isn’t the most attractive area on the islands as it is relatively built up with resorts, bungalows and restaurants and a long pier but there is still a nice beach and, if you walk over the rocks at the north end of the beach, you can find some patches of sand you may be able to have to yourself.
There is some nice snorkelling here off the beach, but the amount of boat traffic can make that tricky. Head to either end of the beach to be safer.
Where Coral Bay really wins is with gorgeous sunsets. Even if you don’t stay in a Pulau Perhentian Kecil resort here, try to watch one!
Map Of Best Resort In Perhentian Islands
Perhentian Islands Accommodation
People have been coming to the Perhentian Islands for years for the paradise to be found here and there is a wide range of accommodation available. However, don’t expect the flash resorts that you can find in places like Langkawi. In fact, I don’t consider there to be any true Perhentian Islands luxury hotels – just hotels that are relatively luxurious compared to what is in offer on the islands.
On the upside, this is part of the appeal of this part of the world. Everything is low level and there is a lack of mass construction. You definitely feel like you are away from it all in the Perhentians.
On weekends, holiday periods and public holidays, the Perhentian Islands can be very busy so make sure you book in advance! There is a handy booking link so you don’t miss out in each of the Pulau Perhentian accommodation reviews below.
Peak season is July and August when you can expect prices to be at their highest. The surrounding months, April, May, June and September are also high with March and October generally being cheaper. November to February much of the Perhentian Islands shuts down during the monsoon.
In these reviews and best places to stay in Perhentian Islands recommendations, we have chosen the best hotels with a wide variety of price points so you can pick according to your budget.
Comparison Chart Of The Best Hotels In Perhentian Islands
You can chose your best hotel in Pulau Perhentian by simply picking the area that most appeals to you from those above and your price point from the following table. Easy!
If you still aren’t sure, the individual reviews follow.
|Bubu Villas||Kecil – Long Beach||$$$||Click here|
|Alunan Boutique Resort||Kecil – Petani Beach||$$$||Click here|
|Bubu Long Beach Resort||Kecil – Long Beach||$$$||Click here|
|Ombak Resort Perhentian Island||Kecil – Coral Bay||$$||Click here|
|Seahorse Diver Guesthouse||Kecil – Long Beach||$||Click here|
|Perhentian Island Resort||Besar – Own Beach||$$$||Click here|
|Tuna Bay Island Resort||Besar – Tuna Bay||$$||Click here|
|The Barat Perhentian||Besar – West Beach||$$||Click here|
|Samudra Beach Chalet||Besar – Teluk Dalam||$||Click here|
|Resort Flora Bay 1||Besar – Teluk Dalam||$||Click here|
Perhentian Islands Malaysia hotels are not particularly good value. In fact, they are relatively expensive compared to most of the rest of Malaysia.
The price ranges here are relative with the cheap accommodation Perhentian Islands listed above around the RM90 mark, mid-range from RM210 and higher-end from RM380. Generally the earlier you book, the better deal you will get.
In the lists below, the best places to stay in Perhentian Islands are more or less in price order from most expensive to cheapest for each island.
Perhentian Kecil Accommodation
This Perhentian Kecil hotel offers beautiful spacious villas, that are somewhat removed from the rest of the Pulau Perhentian Kecil accommodation. They have thatched roofs and are well presented with air conditioning, bathrobes, personal safe and tea and coffee making facilities. Some villas feature an outdoor bathroom and there are also family villas options.
While you won’t find a ton of facilities here, there is an outdoor restaurant and some lounge chairs by the beach. The breakfast is great and there is a complimentary cocktail later in the day.
As this is one of the Perhentian Island Long Beach hotels, this hotel is in a good spot if you want to party. However, if quiet luxury is what you are after, this place does not have it. While some villas are quiet, others can be quite loud thanks to surrounding bars.
There is also a fair bit of trash on the beach at times around here. This is a good swimming spot – but the area can be overrun with boats making that difficult.
This Perhentian beach resort is the most expensive on this list and while it does have the nicest rooms, the lack of facilities and the fact that there are nicer spots elsewhere makes it overpriced. However, if you have cash to burn, want the nicest rooms and don’t mind the position then this is a great choice of where to stay in Pulau Perhentian.
Alunan Boutique Resort
Set between the jungle and a beautiful beach, you can see coral and snorkel right in front of the hotel although the beach can disappear at low tide and it’s not really the best place for swimming.
The downside of the location is that you do need to travel by water taxi to visit other parts of the island which can add up. The resort is also built into the hill which can mean a lot of steps to your room.
The Alunan has its own restaurant and bar. There is also a library, day spa and multi-level sundeck.
Rooms are of a high standard and this is one of the best hotels in Perhentian Kecil. You can stay in a double, twin, quad or family room. All rooms are spacious and come with sundecks with seaviews, air conditioning, tea and coffee making facilities, bathrobes and TVs with satellite channels. The sundecks are awesome and feature furniture to relax on.
There is a construction site next door and, while it doesn’t tend to cause problems, it is an eyesore.
This resort is my top pick of the hotels on Perhentian Kecil – as long as you are happy to take water taxis to get around. The rooms are great and the location is more chill than being at Long Beach or Coral Bay.
Bubu Long Beach Resort
There are two restaurants on site and, like its little brother, there is a great breakfast and a complimentary evening cocktail on offer. Tours and activities can be arranged as well as massages.
There are two main room types – one for doubles and a twin room with two double beds. Rooms come with air conditioning, bathrobes, lovely balconies and safes and are on the small and simple side. Some have sea views.
This Pulau Perhentian Kecil hotel is the one to pick if you want a nicer room standard than the average on Long Beach in a quieter spot than the Babu Villas. However, it is overpriced for what it is and the rooms could do with a renovation.
Ombak Resort Perhentian Island
The on-site restaurant is the perfect place to be to watch a beautiful sunset. The Ombak also alternates movie nights with fire dancing shows and live acoustic. This is a fun place to be.
You have a choice of room types with the budget fan-only room to more expensive, air conditioned rooms with fridges, TV (although they don’t always work) and kettles.
This is a certified PADI dive resort so a great choice if you are a diver. They also run snorkeling and kayaking tours.
The Ombak Resort is a great option if you are looking for a good location on Kecil with a bit more comfort where you won’t break the bank. The hotel is on the basic side but it is relatively good value for Perhentian Kecil.
Seahorse Diver Guesthouse
This guesthouse right on the beach has a range or rooms including dorm beds all with shared bathroom and fans. Rooms are simple but clean. There is also the choice of a deluxe room with sea views and a balcony.
There is a shared kitchen and lounge and the chance to go diving and snorkeling but otherwise this guesthouse is lacking other facilities which isn’t a problem as there are plenty of restaurants and bars around.
It can be loud here and there can be a trash problem on the beach. Electricity is only available in the evenings so rooms do get hot during the day.
If you want to a budget guesthouse in Long Beach and plan to do a lot during the days then this is a great choice and it’s great value relative to the location. If you are a diver, they have great prices for in-house guests. Just be mindful that there is no electricity during the day so you will want to be out and about. This is normal for accommodation in this price range.
Perhentian Besar Accommodation
Perhentian Island Resort
The resort itself has maybe the best set of facilities of any on the islands – including a swimming pool! There are also water activities, kayaking, tennis courts, beach volleyball and soccer facilities and massages. You can sing your heart out in the karaoke room.
On-site, there is also a restaurant and cafe although food isn’t the best. Note that no alcohol is available in this resort.
The rooms are all doubles or twins and come at three different comfort levels. All rooms have fridge, kettle, air conditioning and balconies. At the top, premier level you also get a sofa. I recommend paying extra to be beachfront.
The resort is aging and could do with a renovation of some of its facilities and rooms.
If you want access to the best beach and a range of resort facilities then you can’t beat the Perhentian Island Resort. The rooms aren’t as flash as the most expensive options on Kecil but they also aren’t as expensive and I think this resort is relatively good value for the Perhentians. It’s where we like to stay.
Tuna Bay Island Resort
It has a great restaurant, bar and snorkeling right off the beach. There is a diving centre nearby and they have great sunloungers on the beach. This is definitely a good spot to watch the sunset.
Rooms are air conditioned wooden chalets right on the beach or in a garden area. There are interconnecting chalets especially made for families. The chalets are basic but comfortable with balconies complete with two chairs.
This Perhentian Island beach resort is in a great spot on a great beach and, with booking ahead and getting a great deal, is great value for the Perhentians. I definitely recommend a beachfront chalet. This is my second top choice on the Perhentian Islands.
The Barat Perhentian
The Barat has a tasty restaurant and diving centre on site. They serve alcohol and there are great sunsets here.
The air conditioned rooms are chalets which are small, cute and on the basic side but they do come with extras like TV, safe, minibar, kettles and balconies.
The deluxe chalets come with big balconies complete with good outdoor furniture. I recommend a sea view one of these. They are also more spacious.
Dorm beds are also available in 4 bed rooms with private bathrooms and air conditioning. However, they are expensive for a dorm bed and the chalets are only slightly more.
This is a great value option as long as you don’t mind not having a beach to swim at right outside the front door.
Samudra Beach Chalet
All rooms have their own bathrooms and you have a choice of fan or air conditioned rooms depending on how much you want to pay. For a little bit more, you can also have a wooden chalet room with sea view and your own balcony. Rooms are basic.
For private bathrooms and air conditioning, this resort is very good value on the Perhentians.
If you are looking for a bargain, this is it! The prices are very reasonable for air conditioning and sea views right by the beach but don’t expect much else. It’s not a good spot for swimming.
Resort Flora Bay 1
There is a dive centre on-site as well as a restaurant and a souvenir shop. No alcohol is available here.
To fit into the budget price point, you need to be happy with a fan cooled room but it does come with an ensuite bathroom and breakfast as well.
There are air conditioned rooms available too which cost a fair bit more. They are compact but more nicely presented. They also come with a small fridge. For more money, you can stay in a premier room with single and double bed and a TV as well as a sea view. Basic quad rooms are also available.
If you are looking for a cheap, fan-cooled room this is a choice worth considering. The air conditioned rooms can be more expensive than the nicer, better located resorts on the rest of the island, however.
Joshua is an Australian who has fallen in love with Malaysia! He explores Malaysia at least a few times a year and has previously lived in Penang.