JapaMala Resort - A Samadhi Retreats Property

Address: Tioman Island, Pulau Tioman, Pahang, 26800, Malaysia | 3 star hotel
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This 3 star hotel, located on Tioman Island, Pulau Tioman, is near Panuba Beach.
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      Historical Traveler Reviews JapaMala Resort - A Samadhi Retreats Property Pulau Tioman

      Japamala Resort Tioman


      Wir haben im Japamala Resort vom 4-8 Juni gewohnt und im Tree Top Chalet übernachtet. Generell können wir sagen, dass wir einen schönen und erholsamen Aufenthalt hatten. Dort fanden gerade Bauarbeiten für weiter 10 Chalets statt, die uns aber nicht weiter gestört haben. Aber basierend auf der Internetseite des Resorts und den Trip Advisor Kritiken, hatte ich mir mehr versprochen. Japamala behauptet ein exclusives, kleines Ressort zu sein, aber in Wirklichkeit ist dies (noch) nicht der Fall. Auch wenn das Restaurant erstklassiges, thailändisches Essen anbietet, die Hütten regelmäßig gründlich gereinigt werden, frische Handtücher am Pool und am Strand ausgegeben werden, fehlt es an exzellentem, persönlichen Service, der nur durch Liebe zum Detail entstehen kann. Hier einige Beispiele: Wir hatten jeden Tag Orangesaft ohne Eis bestellt. Jeden Tag bekamen wir unseren Saft aber mit Eis. Einige Standardfrüchte wie Äpfel waren nicht erhältlich, wenn man nach ihnen fragte. Als ich meine Kaution mit meiner Kreditkarte bezahlen wollte, behauptete man dort, sie sei gesperrt. Als ich daraufhin meine Bank kontaktierte, stellte sich heraus, dass dies ein Fehler war. Am Strand stehen lediglich 4 Liegen zur Verfügung. Nicht viel für insg. 20 Gäste. Also kann man diese nur an einigen Tagen genießen. Der Strand ist schön, Schnorcheln ist allerdings nicht allzu spannend dort. Vergessen Sie bitte nicht, dass die meisten Gäste (Pärchen) hier sind, um zusammen auszuspannen. Viele sind nicht an Bekanntschaften interessiert. Gespräche mit anderen sind hier also eher selten.

      Tolles, exklusives ressort!


      Das JapaMala Resort ist recht neu und hat erst im April 2004 eröffnet. Es liegt auf der Tioman Insel in Malaysia. Es liegt an einem einsamen Strand, ungefähr 20 Minuten per Speedboot vom Tioman Flughafen entfernt. Es besteht aus 9 Hütten. Alle sind wunderschön aus dunklem Holz im asiatischen Stil errichtet. Einige liegen etwas weiter oben am Hang, von wo aus haben Sie einen ausgezeichneten Ausblick auf das Meer haben. Das Resort besteht aus einem kleinen Süßwasserpool und einem hervorragenden Tamarind Restaurant (indochinesische Küche, hauptsächlich Thai aber auch vietnamesische und kambodschanische Küche - gut und kreativ). Das Hotel eignet sich am besten für Pärchen, die einen romantischen Urlaub suchen. Falls Sie Single sind und nach einer Party ausschau halten, sollten Sie sich etwas anderes suchen (bei Nacht ist es fasst unmöglich, woanders hinzugehen). Ich glaube auch, dass man hier nach 4-5 Tagen gelangweilt ist. Ungefähr 300 Meter vom Resort entfernt gibt es einen sehr schönen Strand. Schöner Sand und natürlicher Schatten durch die Bäume. Der Strand liegt direkt vor dem Resort und ist bei Ebbe nicht gut zum Schwimmen. Zusammenfassend würde ich dem Ressort 4 Sterne plus geben. Und da das Ressort sehr klein ist, gibt es auch nur wenige Anlagen (nur ein Restaurant, eine Loungebar, kleiner Pool, DVDs und DVD-Spieler auf dem Zimmer. Ein Spa wird gerade gebaut. Ich würde wieder hier wohnen, für mich ist dies der beste Platz in ganz Tioman.

      Lovely place to chill


      Japamala resort is a little hidden gem. I stayed for four days with my boyfriend and we both enjoyed the traquil surroundings and lovely food.

      I have to warn couples who are planning to visit the resort, that it is very, very quiet. It is the perfect place to relax and rewind - but there isn't much to do. So, for those looking for an adventure this is not the place for you.

      There is only one restaurant which serves delicious food ( a lot of it is spicy) and cocktails and wine. There is a vast choice, so you won't be bored and the staff are lovely and friendly - and very eager to help.

      The sea cliff chalet we stayed in had beautiful views of the South China seas, and it was a lovely touch in which the staff turned down your room after dinner with candles and scents before you came to bed. The only complaint I had was that the room attracted quite a few bugs, and the toilet in our chalet was over run with ants at night - but you are situated in a tropical jungle - so there isn't a lot you can do about nature!

      There are buliding works currently going on, but it was hardly noticed - in fact it was interesting to see the devlopment in the resort. Once the resort is finished it will be a notch above the way it is now with a new jetty, bar, and spa.

      We had a lovely time there and would recommend it to anyone thinking of visiting Tioman Island. We felt that four days was adequate enough for us - a week may have been a bit too long.

      Japamala resort Tioman


      We stayed at Japamala Resort from 4 until 8 june 2006 within the Tree top chalet. In general we can conclude that we had a few nice and relaxing days. As there was construction to build another 10 chalets, we haven't been disturbed by that at all.

      However based on the Japamala website and some trip advisor stories we expected a little more than we actually experienced. Japamala claims to be an exclusive boutique resort, but in general this is not (yet) the case.

      Although the restaurant offers great Thai food, the chalets are thoroughly cleaned on a daily basis and clean towels are offered at the pool and beach side it lacks for excellent and personal service, which lies in the details.

      Some examples: each day we ordered orange jus without ice. Each day we received it with ice. Some basic fruits (e.g.. apples) were not always available when you wanted to order it. When I wanted to pay the deposit with my credit card they claimed that it was blocked, while when I contacted my bank directly it turned out to be a mistake. On the beach there are only four beds available. Not much when there are 20 guests.

      In conclusion you can have a few good days. The beach is ok while snorkeling in front of the resort is poor. Please keep in mind that most people (mostly couples) are only there to spend their time together. Many are not interested in others. So don't expect conversations.

      Truly a slice of heaven


      Firstly, please disregard any negative comments about this beautiful resort. I wasn't going to write a review as I wanted this place to stay one of those places that stays special and unspoilt, and only to be visited by those who could appreciate how wonderful it is. However, I also decided it needed defending from the awful comments it recieved from DLW.

      My boyfriend and I visited last year in June 2005 on a long needed break from the hecticness, and hustle and bustle of London life. We wanted somewhere that would be a true haven for some R and R! And we found it.....

      From the moment we arrived at Japamala we only ever experienced the friendliest of service. They are attentive but without being intrusive, polite and humourous. I can only sing the praises of the manager, Andy, who made it a real pleasure to stay there.

      At the time we had booked a Sea Cliff chalet, but as there was still building going on up on the cliffs (it was very new), we were given an upgrade to one of their Sarang villas for the same price. The villa had full length double doors that opened up into the lower canopies of the forest allowing you a feeling of being at one with nature, a private hot tub out back, a gorgeous pebbled wetroom style shower with the most amazing smelling soaps and shower gels!

      The restaurant serves the most gorgeous, scrummy food. They do have some Western food if you get bored of the Malay/Thai offering (on one occasion I had a hankering for a burger and chips, but otherwise I was more than happy with the rest of the menu). Regarding the negative comments of certain reviewer's regarding the lack of Western food I would have to say if that's what you're looking for you probably chose the wrong country! (with regard to corkage I personally wouldn't expect anything less if I intended to bring my own bottle of wine. That's how it works in pretty much every restaurant in London that allow you to bring your own)

      As for the setting.... beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. (Just look at the photo's I've attached!)

      The only reasons you should not visit here is if you don't want to eat regional food and want a more extensive western menu, if you are looking for an activity filled holiday or you don't want to spoil yourself!

      10/10 - would definitely go again!

      JapaMala: The serene, the relaxing the.... well... the best


      Having had the pleasure to stay at JapaMala Resort 4 times over the past 2 years I was rather confused when I read the previous review, posted on January 9, 2006... - Did we stay at the same place? I really wonder...

      The address is the same, but the experience completely different!

      For over 15 years I have worked in the hospitality industry around the globe, and throughout this time I have made it my personal quest to find the right place - my slice of heaven to escape to once in a while. - I found that at JapaMala 2 years ago.

      Over my past 4 visits, my love for Tioman Island, JapaMala Resort and most importantly their exceptional service has been enforced.

      Using the "rating system" the previous review suggested I would have to comment as follows:

      The good:

      The mere fact that JapaMala is located on Tioman Island - away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the World.

      The Bad:

      Having to leave again, after being pampered by the excellent staff, snorkling in the crystal clear waters on the live corral reef just steps off the beach, diving with turtles and "finding Nemo" fishes, and finishing the days with exquisite BBQ dinners on the beach or gourmet meals in the restaurant.

      The Ugly:

      Reading reviews written by persons, who were not able to release their frustrations and stress before entering this magical place.

      In conclusion:

      JapaMala is not only a 5 Star boutique resort with exceptional culinary offerings and a staff and service to match. - It is a state of mind - a release of stress, a visit back to nature and a celebration of the beauty of life itself.

      Japamala: The good, the bad & the ugly


      We were at japamala for new years to get away from the bustle of the city.

      A rather disappointing experience at a resort presented as a 5-star resort, but only offering a 3-star quality service.

      The good:

      a. Japamala has the potential to be a great getaway resort. Its located in an insolated part of Tioman just beyond the commercial berjaya resort.

      b. Food was good. If you enjoy Tamarind Hill or Tamarind Springs, then you'll enjoy the food here immensely.

      c. The room i stayed at, called a seacliff villa, albeit being a long walk away from the main resort, had a rustic and tree-dweller charm about it.

      The bad:

      a. The beach during low tide is an eye sore due to the twiny grey mass of dead corals spiraling up from the shore in a destitute attempt to recollect its glory days.

      b. Towels were not changed when the room was made.

      c. Beverage amenities were not refilled.

      d. there were absolutely no basic toiletires such as the obligatory toothbrush, tooth paste or hair dryer.

      e. A lack of basic facilities and amenities. We could not decide whether the main poolwas installed as a decorative piece or if it was actually a swimming pool meant for people to swim in. It was just too small to be an inviting, enjoyable pool and too big to be an interior design piece meant merely for creating an ambience of a resort getaway.

      f. There is a fountain on the balcony of some of the chalets. But this again is a failed attempt at interior design. Far from achieving that quaint ambience of nature, it merely drowned out the already natural sounds of the sea gently lapping the shore as well as the already quaint sounds of the jungle behind us. I even searched high and low, but to no avail, for a switch to turn off the fountain as the artificial cascading of water just made me think there was a storm drain nearby. This did take a lot away from the whole retreat experience and i am at a loss why anyone would pollute the natural sounds of nature with such an artificial, loud and disruptive feature such as the fountain. The furthest i got to eliminating this annoyance was to do some rock gardening of my own and to place the stones in such a way the harsh splashing of water on the pool of rocks was minimised to be a subtle splitter splatter. I dont see why the resort could not have done this themselves.

      f. If you go on any of the packages where food is provided, then be wary that absolutely NO beverages are included under this package. So, on a hot day by the beach, as you get dehydrated, the resort will only provide you with their own litre bottle of water at RM 7-8 each. You can end up paying a lot just for water, which by the way is not even provided complimentary in your rooms. Paying as much as you are made to, i expect basic amenities to be provided and catered for to make the stay an altogether pleasurable and relaxing one.

      g. As i mentioned, the food was good. However, if you are staying for more than 2 days, the limited thai infused menu will probably leave you craving for anything but thai-infused cuisine. There is an alternate western menu, but this is limited to say the least.

      The ugly:

      a. The biggest gripe about the stay was the service. Upon arrival at the airport, the staff waiting for us was extremely indifferent and in no way made us feel welcomed. It felt like we were being picked up by coach in a rural stop and awaiting transfer to our 'muddy flats'.

      b. We were there on new years day and not once were we even greeted a happy new year by the staff we passed by.

      c. I decided to bring my bottle of wine down for dinner. Upon seeing the bottle, a junior staff told me i would be charged a corkage for the bottle. Under normal circumstances, i would not even have flinched at this and would have gladly paid the corkage dues and enjoyed the tranquil meal without a fuss. However:

      -seeing that the resort was not even finished and were charging rates that other resorts would be ashamed to when their staff and their resort were so evidently not up to mark, i did not see it as accomodating of them to turn around and insist i pay them an additional fee, especially as their shortcomings were so evident.

      -upon calling over the senior waiter, who it turns out was also the manager as well as the staff who received us at the airport, in a very un-customer friendly manner simply said rather non-chalantly, curtly and bluntly that its a restaurant and there will be corkage. i was displeased and the feeling of being cheated for the amount i paid crept into my mind. But in order not to make a scene and in trying to make the best of things, I simply continued with my meal, disgruntled, but knowing i would not let this spoil my much needed retreat.


      a. For the price you are paying, you do not get the equivalent amount of returns in terms of service, facilities and ambience. The resort is upfront about the resort currently being under renovations/construction, but really, their prices should also reflect this.

      b. The resort flouts the basic montage of 'you get what you pay for'. For the amount charged, any person would expect that certain basic amenities and especially a focus on quality service that delights a traveller is in place.

      c. It felt more like we were staying at a first class restaurant that decided to let its patrons stay a night or two in its mediocre accomodations, rather than a first class boutique resort offering exquisite food.

      d. Overall, it felt like i was doing the resort a favour and the staff a disservice in staying with them rather than it being their collective pleasure to have us there.

      e. My recommendation: Japamala really needs to buck up and its management team should first spend some time visiting some first class retreat getaways such as Pangkor Laut Resort or Poppies Samui. There is much they need to learn venturing out of the dining business and into the holiday retreat industry.

      Service is not something you get off a brochure but something you experience.

      Feeling welcomed is not something you get from a ginger-infused tea upon arrival, but the gesture and look of staff whenever you pass one by.

      DLK, Seacliff Villa, 31 Dec 05 - 1 Jan 06

      Paradise found


      Japa Mala is a boutique resort that opened in april 2004 and is located on the less developed south-west coast of Tioman Island. It has only 9 beautiflully furnished chalets with aircon, hot shower, DVD-player... When fully booked, the resort hosts 20 guests... Since it comes with a very nice stretch of beach, a very good restaurant and an excellent service, it's the perfect place to hide away from the crowded beaches and resorts. It offers very good value. Prices : 450-720 RM/night/2 pers. You can get there with the Bluewater Express speedboat from Mersing.

      Nice boutique resort!


      The JapaMala Resort is quite a new resort opened in April 2004

      located on Tioman Island, Malaysia (-----).

      The Japa Mala Resort is located on a secluded beach about

      20 minutes by speedboad from Tioman airport.

      The resort consists of 9 cottages. All of them are very nicely done

      with dark wood in Asian style design. Some of the cottages are build

      up the hill and so you have an excellent view down to the sea.

      The boutique resort consists of a small freshwater pool and the

      excellent Tamarind restaurant (Indochine cuisine, mainly Thai but also some Vietnames, Laos and Cambodian dishes - good and creative).

      The resort is mainly suited for couples who want to have a romantic getaway. If you are single or if you look for some party action - stay somewhere else (at night its almost impossible to leave the place in order to go somewhere else. I also think that after 4-5 days you will get bored at the resort.

      There is a very nice beach section about 300 meters from the resort. Nice sand and some natural shade from trees. The beach right in front of the resort looks nice but is not ideal for swimming at low tide.

      In conclusion I would rate the resort a 4* boutique design resort but at the same time be aware that due to the very small size (9 rooms) it has only limited facilities (one restaurant, loungebar, small pool, dvd library + dvd players in room). A spa is in construction.

      I would stay there again, I guess its the best place to stay in Tioman.

      TripAdvisor Reviews JapaMala Resort - A Samadhi Retreats Property Pulau Tioman

      4.50 of 5 stars Outstanding

      Travel Blogs from Pulau Tioman

      Just Chillin in paradise

      A travel blog entry by fayerowe on Jul 14, 2014

      ... Robyn who I ended up sharing a room with for 2 of the 4 nights I stayed there. I cant seem to get away from Australians!

      The first day I spent soaking up the rays on the beach (perhaps a few too many as I now resemble a lobster), and i also lazed on the hammocks. It was like paradise, so relaxing. Until a mango fell on my head from the tree above and gave me mild concussion.

      The second day we booked onto a boat trip that took ...

      A far cry from 26 years ago!

      A travel blog entry by richierich33 on Apr 15, 2014

      18 photos

      Last time i was on Tioman island was 26 years ago when travelling in SE Asia together with my sister. I remember very little of our visit apart from the super exciting and eventful boat transfer when we got caught in a massive storm with waves crashing over the side of the boat and people freaking out because they thought they were going to die! Back then the crossing was made on a basic slow wooden passenger/fishing boat but ...

      Pulau Tioman

      A travel blog entry by terryandlauren on Sep 30, 2013

      18 photos

      ... we pack and walk to the northern end of the strip - we plan to stay a few nights at Panuba Bay but it involves
      a 20 minute jungle trek to get there. We pause by a bridge and compose ourselves as this will be our first trek....we pop the back straps out of our Osprey bags and load them on our backs, backpacks on our fronts. It's time! We begin the accent up a slippery route of steps, rocks and tree roots....it's baking hot carry the 20kg bag and the sweat is already ...

      A long hike down

      A travel blog entry by tiggerbird on Aug 14, 2013

      5 photos

      ... down through much of the same. The downward part is ********* the knee's, but even with a knee injury I managed ok. Another half hour or so and the jungle becomes more open and there are beaches scattered close by. Most of these are deserted, but surprisingly clean and remote enough that you could pretend to be Robinson Crusoe on a desert island. If you get too hot and want to head to the coolness of Panuba Bay which ...

      Life in a hammock

      A travel blog entry by danarol on Jul 01, 2013

      19 photos

      ... weekend fun, sea, sand, snorkelling, and Belgian beers! It is odd for a predominantly Muslim country, but the Malays sure do know how to have a drink and a party. We stayed at Ella's place which was a cute little bungalow right at the end of the beach. It had a chill out place with loads of hammocks and was only 10 steps to the beach so it suited our needs perfectly! Plus with it being on the west side of the island, we were blessed with mesmerising ...

      Traveler Photos JapaMala Resort - A Samadhi Retreats Property Pulau Tioman

      Our little table on the beach
      Tioman, Malaysia
      Flower petals the hotel staff put on our bed
      Tioman, Malaysia
      Our beautiful hotel room!
      Tioman, Malaysia
      Tioman Island
      Peninsular Malaysia, Malaysia