Alunan Resort Perhentian Islands – How to Get There & What to Expect

Thanks to the money I made on this blog & YouTube channel, my wife & I decided to go on a holiday & she picked the Alunan resort in Perhentian Islands.

The Alunan resort is a boutique (semi-luxury) resort located on the southernmost tip of the Pulau Perhentian Kecil.

We paid RM660 a night during mid-October, which was reaching the end of the peak season.

So before we dive a little deeper into Alunan resort itself, let’s briefly cover what you can do in Perhentian islands:

What to Do in Perhentian & Around Alunan Resort?

View from Alunan Resort - Perhentian Islands
View from Alunan Resort – Perhentian Islands

If you are a party animal, Perhentian islands are not the best place for you. The general theme of Perhentian & the Alunan resort specifically to relax & take it easy in privacy

Here’s what you can expect to do around Alunan:

  • Enjoy a more private part of Perhentian, away from other tourists.
  • Enjoy amazing views from your room, balcony & private rooftop terrace.
  • Enjoy water activities like snorkeling & scuba diving.

Unfortunately, Perhentian Islands are not open to tourists year-round because of the monsoon season. Let’s look at when you can and can’t plan your next vacation to Perhentian:

CAUTION: When to Visit Perhentian?

MonthTourist Season
JanuaryIsland closed – Monsoon season
February to MarchOpen – Low season
April to SeptemberOpen – Peak season
OctoberOpen – Low season
November to January next yearIsland closed – Monsoon season
Source from Perhentian Island’s website.

If you have the choice, always travel during the low season to avoid being frustrated with the crowds.

How to Get to Perhentian Islands & Alunan Resort?

Alunan resort
Alunan resort at night

If you’re coming in from Kuala Lumpur, the best & least stressful way to get to Perhentian is to:

  1. Fly into Kota Bharu airport
  2. Take the taxi from Kota Bharu Airport to Kuala Besut Jetty
  3. Purchase a boat ticket to Perhentian islands

Prices for tickets will vary based on season, but here’s what we paid:

StepJourneyPrice (RM)
1GrabCar from KL city center to the airport~RM 80
2If you’re driving, KLIA2 Parking rateRM 46 a day
3Fly from KL into Kota BharuRM 350 roundtrip during peak season
4Taxi from Kota Bharu Airport to Kuala Besut JettyRM 78 one way
RM 110 the other way back
5Conservation feeRM 5 per adult
6The boat ride from Kuala Besut to Alunan ResortRM 65 roundtrip per person
Cost of getting to Perhentian Island

Flying into Kota Bharu Airport

Taking AirAsia flights to Kota Bharu
Taking AirAsia flights to Kota Bharu

3 airlines fly into Kota Bharu, AirAsia, Firefly & Malaysian Airlines. We paid RM350 roundtrip per person (peak season) with AirAsia. 

I hope your luck is better than mine. You can check out flight tickets on AirAsia’s website here.

Taxi from Kota Bharu Airport to Kuala Besut Jetty

From the Kota Bharu airport, there are plenty of taxis to Kuala Besut jetty. The price is fixed at RM78.

Surprisingly, the airport taxi was cheaper than GrabCar that quoted us at RM100.

The taxi ride without any stops will take you roughly 45 minutes.

Boat Ride to Alunan Resort

Once you arrive at the Kuala Besut jetty, you’d have to pay RM5 per person conversation fee:

Prior to flying in, I contacted Alunan Resort, and they arranged a boat ride for us. We paid RM65 roundtrip per person that was billed to our room.

The boat ride took 45 minutes. In October, the waves were starting to get pretty choppy.

Checking Into Alunan Resort – My Review

Alunna resort jetty - Perhentian
Alunna resort jetty – Perhentian

You’ll arrive at a private jetty specifically for Alunan resort guests.

Alunan staff will greet you & take your luggage up to the newly renovated lobby. Here’s what the lobby looks like and the view:

We arrived at noon, where the check-in time was at 2 pm. So we had a solid 2 hours to kill. We quickly changed to our beach attires and hung around at the private beach.

Luckily I got my camera & Kindle to keep me entertained for 2 hours:

Alunan Staff

Everyone greeted us with a smile on their faces with the hospitality hand gesture.

I noticed little things like when we ate at the restaurant, the server refilled our drinking water on our left side to not cross over our dinner plates.

From my observations, the Alunan staff had proper hospitality training. Good work to the owner 👍🏻

Next, check-in time is finally here:

Alunan Rooms & View

The room was OK, nothing to shout about, we got the Queen bed with a private balcony & roof terrace.

Our room was at the very top of the hill, which is quite far to walk, but the view from our room made it all worth it.

The rooms are spacious and clean, with a private balcony. Unfortunately,
our room was facing the beautiful sea, but we couldn’t see any of it with untrimmed trees blocking our view:

Private balcony, but I can't see anything thanks to untrimmed trees
Private balcony, but I can’t see anything thanks to untrimmed trees

Despite the terrible view from our balcony, the view from our terrace rooftop was superb. Luckily our room was located at the very top of the hill, so in my opinion, we had one of the best views there.

We were very happy with our room, minus the view from our balcony. Here’s my objective view of our room:

What I Like

  • Superb view
  • Great privacy
  • Private balcony
  • Private rooftop terrace
  • Decent WiFi for Digital Nomads

What Could Be Better

  • Trim trees at the balcony
  • Casting to TV does not work with iPhones

Later during the first night, we had our first dinner at Alunan Resort’s in house restaurant called the Bayu:

Alunan Bayu Restaurant & Food

Bayu, Alunan Restaurant at night

Once you are at the Alunan resort, you have no other dining choices except at the Bayu restaurant. Expect to pay a min of RM35 per meal:

Alunan restaurant menu
Bayu restaurant menu

The food presentation was good, but the food quality was average in my opinion:

There was a special seafood platter for RM120. Which I think is a pretty OK deal to share with a party of 4.

Outside the restaurant & next to the jetty, there’s a platform for special candle-lit dinners. I don’t know how much this would cost, but you can ask the restaurant to set this up for you:

Special platform for candle-lit dinners - optional extra
A special platform for candle-lit dinners – optional extra

Fellas, if your lady likes these kind of stuff, you’re not going to hear the end of it until you cave in.

Here’s my Bayu Restuarant review:

Bayu Restaurant Review

  • Price affordability: 3 out of 5
  • Food quality: 3 out of 5
  • Food choice: 3 out of 5
  • Staff service: 5 out of 5
  • View: 5 out of 5

What to Do Around the Alunan Resort

You can get cheap excursions if you book outside of the resort, like from Long Beach.

But for convenience, we paid the resort RM99 per person for a 3 point snorkeling trip which in our opinion, it was just enough activity without being too tiring or seasick.

My favorite snorkeling spot was Serengeh. The biodiversity in that one area was just magical. I highly recommend you bring a waterproof camera or GoPro to show off to your online friends.

One of the days, we hired a boat taxi to Long Beach. It’ll cost you RM10 per person per trip.

At Long Beach, there are plenty of restaurant choices and cheaper hotels. Expect more crowds compared to the Alunan resort area.

But surprisingly, the water was clearer in Long Beach compared to Alunan resort. There were so many fishes around the jetty & rocky formations that I highly recommend you snorkel in this area:

We then ate at one of Long Beach’s restaurants and bought a few other things.

Giving you some ideas for the cost of goods at Long Beach

Below are some of the prices that I paid compared to its pricing on peninsular Malaysia to give you an idea of how much to spend at Perhentian:

ItemEstimated Normal Price (RM)Long Beach Price (RM)
Fried riceRM 6RM10
Tiger biscuitsRM 3.50RM6
Waterproof phone caseRM 5RM 20
Marlboro LightRM 17RM 22
Price differences between Long Beach & regular Malaysia

Compare Prices & Book Now

There you have it. That’s our nice and relaxing 4D, 3N vacation with my wife. I think Alunan resort is perfect for honeymooners & families with small children who value privacy & convenience.

Unfortunately, a blog can only tell so much. If you haven’t seen my video review, I highly recommend you watch my video review here.

If you find this blog helpful, consider supporting this blog by booking your next stay through these links:


Helmi Hasan

Content Marketer for Balkoni Hijau. I share practical money tips & review value for money products & experiences in Malaysia. 200,000 views on YouTube & blog readers.

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