Jul 12, 2019

The Taaras Resort & Spa @ Redang Island, Malaysia

In July, I will be blogging about travel related posts. I have so many things to share on this blog that sometimes I get confused about which topic to talk about first. To solve this dilemma, I will be focusing on one topic each month, that way, you can also expect what to discover here throughout the month. This month, it's all about travel.

View at the pontoon




In this post, it's all about my Redang trip. I stayed at The Taaras Resort & Spa, the most luxurious resort on the island. Although it might sound like a promising place to be, it's not entirely paradise. It is good to know that Berjaya (owner of the resort) has a lot of sponsored blog posts, videos, and social media features. Here I am, giving you the unedited review and totally not sponsored.

View at Turtle Bay about 6.45am in the morning

Pros:

  1. The best thing about the resort is the beach. There is no doubt on the powdery white beach and pristine clear water. It is as good as what you can see on videos and social media posts. 
  2. Security is really tight in the premise. Only resort guests are allowed to enter, which means you have total privacy. 
  3. The resort is located in a lagoon. You will have filtered waves at the beach, that means you can enjoy the ocean without having to fear strong tide or waves. Kids will be safe within the vicinity of the beachfront, but be mindful when they're in the water.
  4. The facility in the resort covers all that you need for an island getaway. There is a spa, game room, kids nursery, bar, restaurant, gym, pool, yoga room, water sports center, and even a turtle rehabilitation. 
  5. The Taaras takes their CSR effort to the next level by keeping a turtle rehab inside the resort. All the guests are able to learn about the turtle life cycle, the danger that the turtles are facing, and what effort we can do as an individual to save the turtle. I learn a lot within a half hour visit to the turtle rehab. 

Cons:
  1. The stay is expensive. Expect to pay about RM800+ per night. 
  2. Although the resort is secluded, they don't provide full meal package. Breakfast is complimentary for 2 person per room, but you are expected to pay for your lunch and dinner separately. The food is expensive (the average of RM59 per plate of nasi goreng and RM130 per person for barbecue dinner). Albeit the spouse willing to pay for the price, since it is a holiday anyway, I couldn't eat any of the food. Most of the ingredients are from canned food, it is pretty obvious from the taste of it. This is something which is unforgiven.
  3. Customer service isn't that good. A simple request such as asking for bottled water to send to my room took an hour to fulfill. From my experience at Alunan Resort, bottled water, fresh towel, and toiletries are sent to the room daily. 
  4. The activities managed by the resort are also expensive compared to making your own arrangement. The price is triple higher. 

How I save money when staying at The Taaras Resort & Spa


The resort itself hands-down the prettiest in Redang Island. However, to make your trip worth and saving some money, I think you should go for the cheapest room available. You will get to enjoy the facilities and access to the private beach which you can't get elsewhere. Here are some of the money saving tips that I can offer if you're not loaded (like me) but still want to stay in the resort.

Boat transfer

We saved tonnes of money by mistake. We were supposed to go to the Merang Waterfront Jetty, but ended up in Merang Jetty (I didn't know it's a different place).  Initially, we booked the boat transfer via the resort, so it costs RM235 per person per trip. Which means, we would have to pay RM940 for two persons for the boat transfer. Fortunately, the guy who operates boat transfer at the Merang Jetty told us that he will be sending some guys to the Redang Island and we could tag along. The fee was RM250 (if I'm not mistaken) for two person, two ways and parking fee. That's RM690 saving. At the Redang Island, the Taaras Resort staff were waiting for us at the jetty with their van to get us to the resort.

Take note that you will need to pay the marine conservation fee of RM5 (for local) and RM10 (for international visitor).

The wrong jetty - Merang Jetty

Food


As I've mentioned, the food isn't that good. In fact it's bad. I've prepared some sandwiches, biscuits, cheese, fruits, and crackers. On the first night, we just munched on the stuff we brought. There are also village restaurants along the road before the resort, so you can definitely get a good meal within walking distance. We got to know a local guide who happens to own a restaurant & guest house. Just call the Asmadi Guesthouse and they can send a pick-up from The Taaras to their restaurant free of charge any time of the day. We had a good and satisfying dinner at their restaurant.

Asmadi - 09 630 7082

Snorkeling


We booked our snorkelling package from Asmadi too. The resort charges RM200 per person for 4 stops snorkelling (minimum 4 persons, if you have 2 in a trip, you'll have to pay the 4 person price as well). We paid our trip for RM200 for 2 persons with a private boat. It is for 4 stops as well, but we managed to go 3 spots only due to strong current. The stops are - Pasir Mak Kepit, Marine Park and Turtle Point. The one we missed was Shark Point.



Despite so many complains, I still recommend The Taaras Resort. Forget about the price, just focus on the clear water and powdery white sand. That's all worth it. Swimming with the turtle in the wild is one experience I can't forget. Where else can you do that? I'm all in for the experience. And if you ask me would I go back there again. It's a definite YES. The entire time I was there, I was just focusing on making more money to come back here. There's no remorse feeling that we've spent so much for the trip. Like I said, go for the cheapest room and spend your time at the beach more. 

Compulsory shot at the entrance

View from the room


The scene at 6am in the morning


 The roadway to the lobby

Happy face end of the trip 

I am working on the video for the trip. For more information of my trip, do wait for it. I will be uploading it on my YouTube channel
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