Island Reef Resort
I came to spend a weekend with my girlfriend and in spite of the steps you need to take up the hill to get to the rooms, we were happy we'd picked Island Reef Resort. Value for money, eye-popping location, breathtaking beach, superb snorkeling, decent room, yummie meals. What more could you want?
To be honest, Island Reef Resort isn't quite the Waldorf Astoria. But when all is said and done, you realize that it does have its own kind of Tioman-style charm. Oh sure, some parts of the resort are a bit worse for wear. But these little flaws are more than made up for by the way the Island Reef Resort chalets are nestled into the hillside jungle, the stunning view of the azure bay below and the serene mood that envelopes the resort. Now, these may be Island Reef Resort intangibles, but that doesn't make them any less enjoyable.
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Apart from the steps, Island Reef Resort is actually just a couple of minutes' stroll off the Genting Jetty. And the other Island Reef Resort upside was that the room we had was surprisingly complete, considering its affordable room rate. Our Island Reef Resort room had aircon, an attached bathroom that included a water heater that worked, as well as a TV and a water heater to make coffee or tea. We had two double beds at our disposal; both mattresses were firm and good for a long and uninterrupted night's sleep.
If you're interested in staying in touch with back home, or keeping your Facebook up to date, then fret not, because Island Reef Resort offers Wi-fi. Mind you, it's not everywhere and it's not the fastest Wi-fi. But so long as you're in the Island Reef Resort restaurant, it's all doable, although Skyping is probably stretching it.
Speaking of the restaurant, we had local dishes, mostly buffet-style, that were quite a treat. But the private BBQ we had at the Island Reef Resort garden area clearly was the best evening we spent there, both food-wise and sheer fun-wise. I recommend you try the BBQ, since all facilities are there for the taking.
Should you get a bit restless from all the stoning around the soporific Island Reef Resort grounds, then you can go on all kinds of tours. We actually tried them all, because we really wanted to maximize our stay in this little paradise corner of Tioman.
We started off with the jungle-trek. This was interesting, because the jungle here is still quite untouched. You really get a feel of how a rainforest buzzes with life. You ton't necessarily see all the creatures that live here, but you can sure hear them. Later that day, we went for a snorkeling and island hopping excursion. These really completed our stay at Island Reef Resort. It's pretty safe to say that we'll be back here one fine day.
Tip: If you're going to do the jungle hike and the snorkeling outing, make sure you do the trek first. Resting your heavy limbs and tired body, floating suspended in the crystal-clear water, is simply awesome. The countless colorful fishes all around you are the icing on the cake. Incidentally, you can go scuba diving here as well, because there are a few dive outfits in Genting. By the way, Island Reef Resort is popular amongst the backpacking crowd, so best make your booking early.