A lot of potential but highly overpriced and needs updating - not the luxury you'd expect
I've gone back and forth on what rating I was going to give BuBu Resort and think unfortunately, for the price and how the hotel markets itself, I'm going to have to go with the lower score (poor as opposed to average) I have travelled to many countries in South East Asia and this is the most expensive hotel I've stayed at in Malaysia. I decided to stay at BuBu for a treat as it prides itself on luxury, but I'd say this hotel is more mid-range and the price should reflect this. Having read the reviews I decided to give it a shot and had the cost of this hotel been lower, I'd likely have given it a better rating as it would have changed my expectations.
My guess at the reason the price is so high is because they can charge a premium due to the very poor other accommodation at Long Beach, but I expect this might change with the new hotel being built next door.
I'm writing this review in a lot of detail with the hopes that it helps the owner and resort staff improve their offering because after spending a lot of time researching where to stay at Long Beach and shelling out for a little bit of luxury, it just wasn't up to what you expect. I would also say that this review is based on judging the hotel as being luxury (not mid-range) and comments are in relation this expectation.
- Two free cocktails per person a day from 5-6pm from an extensive menu
- Free taxi boat twice daily to nearby Turtle Bay due to construction next door, including a bottle of water per person and snorkel kit
- Nice restaurant area with good selection of food (Santai Restaurant)
- Arguably the best location on Long Beach on the north side away from the loud bars at night
- Use of private sun loungers with cushions and umbrellas outside the hotel for guests only
- Fantastic view across the bay from the rooms
- Very informative welcome from the resort manager and welcome drink on arrival
- Robes provided in the room are a nice touch
- Good coffee with a proper espresso machine
- Reasonable breakfast - fresh croissants and egg station are good
- Help with bags to and from room for check-in/check-out
- Water taxi service with competitive prices
- Private balcony for each room
To be improved
- General hotel improvements. The resort looks like it needs refurbishment in parts considering the steep price to stay here. From the rooms, to the roof and decking (see photos). It feels as though things aren't updated unless absolutely necessary
- My main gripe is the rooms. The rooms are dated and really need updating. Everything is worn and there is no attention to detail in the finish (paint splattered on the bedside tables and balcony, dirty fan, very scuffed walls etc)
- Our bathroom was small and had mouldy seals between tiles, the shower didn't drain water properly and the ceiling was dirty and moulding. The water that comes out of the shower also isn't very warm, despite having water heaters. The while bathroom also gets wet when you shower due to the size
- There are very few basic amenities in the room that you'd expect for this cost - no tea/coffee, iron, phone, room service, hotel information booklet, minibar, pen and pad etc. The only things were a safe, robes and daily toiletries (though we didn't get another shower gel on our second day)
- Cocktail hour is very hectic for the staff and I'd suggest having this over two hours to ease the service or adding more staff. We really appreciated that the drinks were complimentary, however, we waited 40mins to be brought a menu on one night and 30 on another, not including actually having the drink served to us, despite arriving at 5-5.15pm
- The charge is 20RM per day for a snorkel because they classify the mask and the tube as separate items. This really should be free, especially as you can have them for free if you go to Turtle Bay (as mentioned above) Considering this is an additional £8 per day for two people, it seems extremely expensive
- The construction next door is a problem. I understand the hotel can't do anything about this, but the work goes on longer than the suggest working hours (9am-5pm) and starts at about 8 in the morning until dark. I'd suggest offering a better price during this time or maybe even the snorkels for free. It's great that they offer the boat to Turtle Bay as mentioned
- The service in the restaurant is chaotic and slow. There is no attention to who ordered or sat down first and the staff seem to not be able to keep up with the demand, which I don't and think is their fault. We also shelled out 90RM for king prawns after being told they were a must have on arrival, only to be brought 6 small prawns instead with no explanation on why, just a casual remark that we would have 6 small instead of 2 big which just wasn't acceptable considering the cost. After raising this with the waitress she sent it back and the king prawns arrived (I've written a separate review on Santai, which is this restaurant)
- No service on the beach for drinks/snacks other than at cocktail hour (or at least no one came over to us, so I apologise if this is incorrect)
- Breakfast is pretty basic and there is no table service for tea/coffee which I'd expect for the price
- The level of service could be improved and it would be great if the staff could be a little more attentive. I think a few more hands could help this
I think the points mentioned could be easily addressed by either making these improvements or lowering the standard of the hotel to mid-range.
Couples - 25 Sep 2017