I was told that Pulau Tioman is a beautiful travel destination and perhaps the most underrated island in Malaysia. I of course wanted to find that out myself as I was in search for a beach in MY with crystal blue waters. Since my trip in Langkawi, I had the impression that there’s no such place in Malaysia but Minang Cove proved me wrong.
I had an opportunity to stay at one of the top resorts in Pulau Tioman. Minang Cove Resort & Spa was rewarded 2016 Certificate of Excellence by Trip Advisor and has been consistently in Trip Advisor’s top list of resorts in Tioman.
To get to Tioman Island then to Minang Cove Resort, one has to take a bus to Mersing, a walk or cab to the ferry terminal, then a ferry ride to Genting ferry terminal plus a boat ride to the resort itself.
The bus ride from TBS to Mersing (Johor) was approximately 6 hours (it would probably take 4-5 hours drive by car) due to the stop overs (bus ride costs 32-35 RM depending on the bus line). Upon arrival at the Mersing bus station we took a cab to R&R Plaza (you can walk going there but since we were still not familiar with just got a taxi) for 8-10 RM.
Here’s one thing you should know when going to Tioman Island, the ferry ride schedule is not constant, schedule depends on the low tide and high tide. On the day of our trip the only available Ferry schedule was 3pm and 5pm (normal ferry ride costs 35 RM). Since we left KL at 11am and arrived in Mersing at quarter to 5, we were not able to catch the last ferry (I know we should’ve taken the earlier bus). We were going to be stuck in Mersing but thankfully the British owner of Minang Cove Resort, Tony Lammond, was in Mersing with their speed boat, so we got to ride with them directly to the resort. We also got a chance to chat with Tony before we left Mersing and he was absolutely charming and friendly.
By speed boat it took us an hour or so to get there. It was a rather bumpy yet exciting ride. To be honest, I prefer riding the speed boat to Tioman than the ferry because it was loads of fun! But to get to the island you really have to ride the ferry (an hour and half ride), that’s the only option, we were just lucky that day!
As we approached Minang Cove Resort my partner and I were in awe as we marveled at the beauty of the beachfront and the view ahead of us.
Upon arrival at the jetty, I breathed in the sight: clear blue waters, so clear I can see the fishies and corals below us and the green luscious jungle plus the “Dragon Horn” mountain set at the background of the resort.
Friendly staff welcomed us by the jetty. Actually, one thing I observed during our stay is that every single time new guests arrive Tony, the owner, would welcome them from the jetty, which for me is a very nice gesture. It feels like they are welcoming their visitors to their home.
The assistant manager lead us to the bar area for our welcome drinks as one of the staff took our bags to our room. Again that for me is a huge plus!
After chillaxing for a while, we were taken to our room, the “Sea View Deluxe” Chalet (695 RM). Ours was directly in front of the jetty and it was for me “the best” room they have.
The fabulous air conditioned Deluxe chalets is equipped with mini bar, tea, coffee making facility. A large verandah provides breathtaking views.
– Mini bar
– King size bed
– built in walldrobe
– safety deposit
– Coffee facility
I love that they kept the Malaysian heritage feel in the architectural and interior design of their rooms. From the bed, to the wall displays and wooden ceiling.
But my favorite part was the balcony overlooking the beach and jetty. What was in front of us was a sight to behold. It gave us the best view of the sunset and sunrise in Tioman Island.
At 8pm, we heard a bell. Apparently, it was to alert guests that it was dinner time. Since we were so hungry from the trip we beelined our way to the restaurant area. And one thing I loved about it is the chill vibe of the place.
Soft acoustic and jazz music played in the background as we were enjoying our meal. The package includes dinner, which is comprised of a simple yet filling buffet but with limited choices (probably with 3-4 choices of viand, rice, an appetizer and 1-2 dessert). We were informed that every night there’s a different theme in the menu to cater of every person’s taste buds. That night we enjoyed Seafood Night comprised of a huge fish, prawns and squids.
The dinner offerings were delicious. Totally worth it. Tony told us that they decided to include dinner in the package so as to take away the hassle and worries of choosing what food to eat for the night. So when the bell rings just simply walk over to the restaurant and dinner’s taken care of.
Later after dinner, we walked to the jetty to watch the fish feeding session and was absolutely surprised to see what seems like nurse sharks feeding with the little fishies. But do not worry, they are safe and they only come at night during feeding time, you won’t see them in the morning while you’re snorkeling or swimming by the beach (‘coz they are asleep by day).
Before hitting the sack, I laid back at one of the reclining rattan lounge chairs in the balcony and listened to the sound of the beach waters while staring up the starry sky. It was pure bliss.
The next day, we woke up early to capture the sunrise. It was already low tide and we can see Minang Cove’s beach better.
Another sound of the bell rang at 7am in the morning, which meant it was time for breakfast. Apart from the coffee, tea, cereal and bread selections, we also got to select additional breakfast from their breakfast menu. Breakfast is included in the package.
As we were enjoying our cup of joe, Tony approached us and asked us how was our stay so far. Then he talked about the history of the resort and what activities we can do around the area (I shall be making a video feature of the resort soon). I appreciate how approachable the owner is and I would often find him chatting with the resort visitors, this for me is very rare to see in any hotel or resort. Plus I love how all his staff entertain the guests. They are all accommodating and friendly. So if you have any issues or concerns they are always there to assist anytime. The warm welcoming and homey feel, of not only the ambience but also the people around, is what I truly like about our stay at Minang Cove. That factor is what a lot of establishments these days take for granted. But apart from the impeccable service, I really love the ambivalence.
Afterwards, we decided to trek the jungle towards Mukut Village. It was a 45 minute walk. We got to see a lot of interesting things like a huge monitor lizard, monkeys, squirrels and big bees (don’t worry they won’t sting you unless you bother them). We also chanced upon 4 beautiful beaches along the way. We didn’t stay long at the village since there was nothing much to see and do there. Plus I was already longing for a relaxing afternoon at the balcony, so we headed back.
Though lunch is not included in the package, we still get to enjoy a great variety of food available in their menu. The prices are quite similar to hotel or resorts in KL but slightly cheaper.
The afternoon was spent frolicking by the beach, reading a book at the balcony…
… until the bell rang for our Afternoon tea, which is comprised of teh tarik, simple drinks and banana-cue. Afternoon Tea is also included in the package. Then I went back to the beach to watch the sunset.
If you think there’s nothing much to do apart from relaxing and swimming, Minang Cove actually offers a variety of activities. They also offer snorkeling, diving, massage therapies, etc. plus they also have a small library with a couch you hang out in to do some reading.
Here’s the price list of their activities:
That night after dinner, we enjoyed drinks at the bar. There were cocktails and mocktails as well as beer selections. I ordered a bottle of Strongbow and Pina Colada. The drinks are reasonably priced, I’d say prices are similar to the prices from any regular bar in KL, perhaps cheaper.
During our last day, we were made to sign in their guest book then we took a few more photos of the place as we breathed in the view from Minang Cove one last time.
And when it was time for us to leave the staff took us to the jetty and waved us farewell as we sailed away, which I found a kind gesture.
Their speed boat took us to Genting ferry at 2pm (one-way ride going there is 100 RM). Thankfully Minang Cove helped us get the ferry tickets back to Mersing so we had nothing to worry about (35 RM one way ferry ticket to Mersing).
Our 3 days and 2 nights stay at Minang Cove Resort was one of the most magical and relaxing vacation I ever had and perhaps one of the best resort I will ever feature in my review. I will definitely come back, not only for the vibe and experience but also for the people in Minang Cove who welcomed us and treated us as part of their family for a few days. That for me is essential when going in on vacation, the feeling that you are being pampered and treated special by the staff of the accommodation.
For more Information about Minang Cove, check out their:
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