Tioman Trip Part I: Review of Discovery Tours & Travel and Paya Beach Resort
Last weekend, we headed to Tioman for our final holiday of 2014 before our hectic work starts during festive peak! The next holiday will only happen after Chinese New Year in 2015, and that’s in March onwards. Boo!
Anyway, back to our short 4 Days 3 Nights holiday to Tioman. Here is the first part on the review of Paya Beach Resort, Tioman! You can read more on our snorkeling experience in Tioman over here!
Review of Discovery Tours & Travel
We booked our holiday online through Discovery Tours & Travel and it was hassle free. The website allowed us to make payment, upgrade our package to full board and extend 1 day all at the same time. After making the booking and payment online, the sent us our receipt, 3 booking vouchers for land transport, ferry and hotel booking. A week before the booking, as there are some changes for our ferry timing, they also resend the vouchers to our email. A day before, they even texted us to remind us of the location, time and contact person to board our coach! When we returned, our ferry got delayed, but their tour guide waited patiently at the ferry terminal for everyone and ensured everyone has arrived before departing from the ferry terminal back to Singapore! The only down side? The coach provided was uncomfortable as it was a 40 seater coach. The pick up location was at DFS Galleria Scotts road at 6.30am and the drop off location was either at Woodlands Checkpoint or Newton Circles Hawker Centre at around 9pm where we had our late dinner.
Review of Paya Beach Resort, Tioman
We opted for the most expensive room in Paya Beach Resort and am happy with the space in our Deluxe Suite. Here is an honest review of the place. When we opened our door, this ugly and dirty looking couch greeted us. It is a sofa bed which opens up to a single bed. But gosh, it is one hideous and dirty looking thing. So if you are thinking of booking the Deluxe Suite for a group of 4, think again.
We were then terrorized by this ugly, dirty looking sofa which can sleep another 2 in the living room. In the living room, there was also a TV, a balcony facing the beach, and a toilet with shower facility. This was the worst of the so call suite. In the end, we used this space to put our luggage, and it did serve us well!
It did get better when we get to the bedroom.
The king size bed is huge, clean and comfortable and that is all that matters.
In the bedroom, there is another toilet. A semi outdoor area facing the beach. The jacuzzi tub was spoiled when we were there, but their technician promptly fixed it with a new pump. Their rain shower is great and the idea of showering in a semi open space with the sound of waves is liberating.
There is another balcony facing the swimming pool in the bedroom.
Overall, it is a comfortable stay. But, there were a few annoying traits for this resort.
- Crazy Towel Control: They have a strict control on towels. There were only two bath towels given to us and if we need new towels, we need to bring them to the reception, go back to our room, and wait for the housekeeping team to bring us the towel. Yes, what’s wrong with them right?! When we check out of the room, we also need to show them the two towels, before we get our deposit back! This has brought us lots of inconvenience as it’s a beach resort, and we really need more than one. If we don’t ask for a change of towel, their housekeeping team do not change our towel. Is there some sort of towel thief lurking around?
- No Phone: To make things worst, there is no phone in the room. Yes you heard me, no phone. So whenever we need a change of towel, or when our jacuzzi tub is spoiled, we had to walk to the reception to get help and go back to our room to wait.
- Mozzies in the room: We brought our our electric insect repellent but after days of smelling that, our throat became dry. Once we switch of the repellent, we saw mosquitos in the room and was bitten too! Even though they claimed to conduct fogging every Thursday, mosquito is inevitable as they have a huge forest behind their resort filled with mosquitos!
- No Wifi: YES! Isn’t it a nightmare? There is no Wifi in the room and not just that, the Wifi in the common area is extremely weak. It took me a long time to connect to Whatsapp and I could only upload 2 photos onto Instagram. Boo! But in the end, it was a great time to disconnect from work and the Internet world. So if you ideal holiday is to be unreachable, this resort is great!
- 4 TV Channels: There were only 4 TV channels in there, HBO, CNN, sports channel and one other which I can’t remember. I’m glad I brought a book there and finish reading it on the trip.
The resort is pretty old as well and I won’t call our room a suite, it is probably just a huge chalet room. The only resort why we upgraded to Deluxe suite was because, only Deluxe room comes with a fridge and my traveling companion needs to have a daily intake of cold water. Don’t ask me why.
So how much does all these cost? It wasn’t expensive, in fact, if you can make do with cheaper rooms, it costs very little! We each paid SGD 407 (approx US$ 321) for our 4 days 3 nights package tour and it included the following.
- 3 nights stay in Deluxe Suite (ahem chalet like), we extended 1 day to make the trip more relaxing
- Daily buffet breakfast. If you are not picky, it is actually decent with fruits, veg, bread, cereal, eggs station and some cooked food
- 1 lunch and 2 dinner. If you go during the peak period e.g school holidays or weekends, it will be buffet, otherwise it will be set meal. Don’t expect too much, the food was alright and it keeps you full.
- 1 session of half day snorkeling trip to Renggis Island and Marine Park (will be sharing more in the other post)
- 1 session of Guided Rock Fall walk. We tried to trek at the forest behind with vague instruction from the activity centre but couldn’t find the rock fall. Ended up getting bitten by mosquitos even though I was armed with many repellent accessories to prevent it. You name it, I tried it. Ranging from repellent bands, spray, the latest Off personnel protection battery operated gadget and Sonic phone apps and yes, all these doesn’t work. They have some commandoes mosquitos in the forest.
- Return Coach transport between Singapore and Ferry Terminal
- Return Ferry transport between Ferry Terminal and Tioman
A RM5 fee for Marine Park was not included and the rental of snorkeling gear was also not included. There were also a few meals not included were we didn’t have much food options.
Other than these, there weren’t much activity. The activity is to just laze by the beach, snorkeling and relax. We went for an hour full body massage and it was about SGD 50 if you do it between 10 am to 3pm, it wasn’t mind blowing or cheap but was definitely relaxing.
We wanted to join their other paid activities like going to the Asah Waterfall at their Mukut Village, but they required a minimum of 6 person to join the tour.
Would I visit Paya Beach Resort again? Maybe as it was a cheap holiday with great snorkeling spots. But perhaps only with a big group of friends where we can play some board games or talk during the down time and go on their other paid activities!