We had a fabulous and very relaxing stay here at the end of our Borneo adventure. The resort seemed quiet and calm – it felt like we had the beach to ourselves a lot of the time – and we loved having a villa on the beach, particularly enjoying the refreshing plunge pool. The overall experience of being on the island, being on the beach, and having some lovely sunny days to just zone out before going back to the real world was really wonderful and each member of staff we interacted with was friendly and warm, which made us feel like valued guests.
Our villa was very comfortable and nicely spacious although housekeeping was a little patchy at times, e.g. broken coffee machine, cups not washed/replaced, marks on bedlinen, no turndown one evening. The resort facilities are generally good and well maintained. We used the little gym by the beach, which was fine to keep us ticking over (although it was extremely hot!) and the spa was charming – we enjoyed some lovely treatments. It would however be appreciated if they could make some effort to repel insects in the spa waiting area though – the approach to appointment times and buggy service is quite relaxed and it seemed to be in those moments of waiting that I unfortunately picked up a lot of bites.
The food was of a good quality at breakfast and in both restaurants and we enjoyed the selection of cocktails and drinks at the bar. It was great that drinking water was freely available for topping up your reusable bottle. We ended up being quite amused / disappointed by the wine list – we don’t necessarily expect to be drinking fine wines on these kinds of holidays but as there was a lot of fanfare about the resort’s amazing wine cellar, our expectations of having some nice bottles of wine were very high! However, when it came to wines we actually wanted to try, most of the bottles on the shortlist/specials list were just simply unavailable and when we ordered from the treasured “master list”, the wine we got was either off or unchilled (so undrinkable). We soon discovered that the only reliable choice was the house wine, which seemed a bit silly given the hype about the cellar!
The main thing that we felt could be improved was the arrival and departure experience. The office where we caught the boat transfer was quite basic and unwelcoming (purely procedural transaction, no info was given about how long we would have to wait, no refreshments were offered, etc.) – it didn’t feel like we were on our way to a luxury resort. Once we got to the island, things improved a lot! Sadly the departure was worse though – there seemed to be some uncertainty about transfer timings and then, very unluckily, a huge storm hit just as we needed to leave. Clearly the storm was outside the hotel's control but it surely can’t have been the first time they needed to get guests to the airport during a storm. The boat transfer was frankly quite scary - not only because it was rough and wet but we weren’t filled with confidence when we saw that the guys were navigating using an iphone! I also sustained a bit of an injury when a metal rod meant to hold the plastic sides of the boat down detached and whipped inside the boat, whacking me on the arm. It clearly hadn't been attached properly and I can only be thankful it didn't hit me on the head! It was such a relief to get off the boat although then disappointing there were no towels or any other way to dry off in the jetty office - we had to wait until we got to the airport to get dry (we actually had to completely change our clothes) ahead of our 15 hour journey back to London. It was quite a dramatic end to our trip but didn’t detract too much from what was a delightful stay. We would consider returning one day and will just have to hope that the weather gods are kinder for our transfers next time!