We were a party of 10 people - 4 adults and 6 kids. Kid ages were 8, 7, 5, 5, 4 and 2.5 years old. We booked three rooms - one Laguna Suite (room 107), and two Premier Seas (rooms 102 and 105). We were there for three nights. We arrived Oct 16, 2017. This review is written with respect to parents with kids, and what to expect.
We took a Firefly flight from Subang airport to Kuala Terengganu (KT) airport, found the Laguna Redang counter, and pushed all our bags to the parking lot (about 150m away) in the parking lot and loaded our bags underneath the waiting coach bus, which brought us to the ferry area. At the ferry area, we disembarked into the busy street and walked into the waiting area - to find out which ferry we needed to get onto (there are only two ferries per day, in the morning). We had to buy our marine park conservation fee tickets beforehand however, before getting on the ferry.
The walk from the ferry waiting area to the actual ferry itself was about 200m, and you push your own bags. Once you get to the ferry, they handled your bags from there, until your rooms, so that was nice. The ferry ride itself took about 90 minutes -- and there are no snacks or drinks for purchase on board, so be mindful of that if your kids start getting cranky.
You disembark at the back of the resort, where the water is not as nice, so don't be shocked by that on first arrival (it gets better at the front!). You are then ushered to a hall where a presentation is shown regarding rules and what to expect (20,000 RM fine for each violation of taking back shells/corals!). After that we were ushered to the waiting transports pulled by John Deere tractors (2 of them, that come every 3 mins) that brought us to the lobby building where a cool drink awaits us while we register -- you won't actually check in since check in time is officially 2 pm. They suggest you go for lunch first and come back after to see if your rooms are ready. You will have about a half hour to kill before lunch starts at noon, so the kids could look at the koi in the pond and exhibits at the far end of the lobby. You present your meal vouchers and go up to the restaurant upstairs for lunch. Area 'A' for dining is the coveted spot where the dining area juts out so you can have a good view of the sea -- however note that for breakfast because of the sunrise this area will be super hot (no blinds).
I'll just comment on the restaurant choices one time here -- if your kids are used to Western fare for food, there is a good mix of both Asian and Western fare, eggs (can customize), sausage and pancakes for breakfast, to nasi lemak, amongst the varied choices. Besides the basic coffee and tea for hot beverages, you can order other beverages for a fee. For cold drinks there is the usual cold water, and one special flavored cold beverage. Lots and lots of cut fruit. Everything is buffet style. There are baby chairs available too. After the lunch we checked in with reception and got our key cards, and checked with the porters to bring our bags up to our rooms.
The Laguna Suite is very nice, it has a king bed in a separate bedroom, with ensuite bathroom (which is a separate room in itself - one shower room, one toilet room, one room with bathtub, and main area with vanity mirror and stool). This separate bedroom has its own short balcony with two chairs, small table, and drying rack. The main living area has two couches -- one three seater, and one two seater. Both are sofa-beds. There are also two additional single beds in this space. The balcony for the main area is quite long - about double the space of the main area -- it has two rattan lounge chairs, and two drying racks. This suite could easily sleep 10 if needed. Both balconies overlook the beach and sea. The Premier Sea rooms are of course smaller, with a king bed and a single bed. The balcony is the same size as the balcony of the Suite (107) above it. The room (102) has a door for the adjoining room beside it (which we didn't book, we would have if we knew). Note that the hot water kettles warn that you should use bottled water, not tap water for boiling -- which shows you why you shouldn't drink the tap water I suppose.
The next day, we got our life-jackets and snorkels for those that wanted to swim/snorkel, for MYR$16 each, which appears to be a "yearly"(?) fee (so next time if you visit, you don't pay, according to them). Note that kid-sized snorkels were in limited supply, but we brought some of our own. We also got half loaves of bread for MYR$2 each, to feed the fish at the marine park. Note that they didn't have a life-jacket small enough for the 2.5 year old -- we anticipated that and brought our own, which was a good thing for the kid to float around in on his own. At 9am we were back at the jetty getting a briefing for the marine park, before boarding boats. Note that you will have to cross over several bows of boats to get to your boat, but there are people to assist with kids crossing. If you are disabled or have trouble walking, that could be a problem.
The marine park was the highlight of our trip, we went twice (since our package is +1 day). You arrive around 9:30am from the boat ride of half an hour, then you get about two hours to play on shore or on the beach, with crystal clear waters. There are plenty of fish right in the shallows, and even tiny moon jellyfish (they don't sting). If you have hairy legs however, don't be surprised if you get a few nips. Coral is about 20 feet or so away from shore.
You would bring plastic empty water bottles (from the bottled water in your hotel room), fill them with sea water, then stuff them with bread, then dip them underwater and press the bottle to push bread out incrementally -- watch the fish swarm! 2 hours fly so fast! We wish that we could stay longer each time, for a minimum of 4 hours then lunch, then back to the resort. I'm not sure if you could book a private visit (maybe next time). There is a place for underwater photos to be taken at the marine park (claimed and paid for later at the resort), but we didn't need to do that since we took pictures and video with our own Olympus Tough TG-4 waterproof camera.
The rest of the time was taken up with the resort beach, or the swimming pool. The beach has white sand and crystal clear waters as well -- although at low tide (late afternoon), you should wear footwear that either has a heel strap or aquasocks. This is if you wanted to go in the water, since if you didn't have appropriate footwear you couldn't walk into the water from the beach since the beach is covered with broken dead white coral, which is really hard to walk on. We also took on some archery - 20 arrows for MYR$20 (if I recall).
On our last night we opted for the special steamboat dinner (BBQ was the other option) -- which was great although it was curious that our request for a "jug of water" (remember there are 10 of us, mostly kids - always thirsty in this heat) was met with a "no, we would have to charge you for it". We were incredulous as why it was so -- but then I think both us and the servers eventually figured out that yes, we were not out to "top up" the soup (and cheat them), but we just wanted water to quench our thirst.
We really enjoyed our stay here, and would come again! Our visit here this time was limited to activities that all the adults and kids could enjoy at the same time, perhaps next time when the kids are older we could partake in the other activities.
Oh, there is no free Wi-Fi ;) You could get Internet (either in room or the lobby), but it is charged per hour. You won't need it -- although there is a cell-tower on the resort, and you could get 4G/LTE data through your cell-phone :)
Family - Oct 24, 2017