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  • Sarah Voon

Paya Beach Spa & Dive Resort, Tioman Island

Undoubtedly, 2020 has been an unprecedented year for all. We could not have anticipated such a drastic change. For many, it will be the first time they cannot travel overseas for a long time. Many were stuck at home for months. So when the government announced that domestic travel was open again, the citizens flocked to local destinations.

Paya Beach Spa & Dive Resort in Tioman Island has always been on our radar. We love islands in Malaysia and we love it even more when there is a dive centre at the resort.

Not only that, Paya Beach Spa & Dive resort boasts a wide range of activities for its guests and it surely didn't disappoint when we paid them a visit this September.

After a bout of rainy days in Kuala Lumpur, it was really great to get away to the island where sunny skies and clear waters welcomed us. Paya Beach Spa & Dive Resort is a perfect, tranquil resort that caters to every type of traveller.

Whether you're going as a family or as a couple on honeymoon or even as friends, the resort has many room types to offer. There are beach villas, deluxe sea-facing chalets, standard chalets built quaintly around a pond and also standard rooms for budget visitors.

We stayed at the standard chalet, facing the pond, where we were greeted by wildlife every morning. From cheeky monkeys to chirping birds and even their resident monitor lizards, the area was teeming with nature's goodness.

Since the resort also has a spa, it is incredibly convenient for guests to kick back with a massage at their convenience. The spa is strategically located in the middle of the resort's compound, so it's accessible by all.

Since we were visiting Tioman Island for the first time with a baby(!), we sought out features in a resort we typically wouldn't - like a swimming pool, for instance. And a playground (though it was shut for maintenance during our stay). The pool is a popular spot for families with kids to hang out in, leaving the pristine beach clear for other travellers to enjoy.

The beach, though not as long a stretch as the one found along Tekek (another side of Tioman Island), it is equally stunning. At Paya Beach Spa & Dive Resort, the beach is as romantic as it is beautiful. They have specially set up a romantic beachside dining experience for couples who are looking for a private little nook away from the other guests.

For those who are looking to socialise and knock back a drink or two (after all, Tioman is a duty-free island), the Beach Club is the perfect spot for that.

With an expansive deck overlooking the ocean, guests can enjoy their freshly barbequed meals with a bottle of beer or wine. There's nothing more relaxing than that.

The resort also comes with a full board package, so you never have to leave the compound. We opted to take the full board for 4D3N as we knew it would be hard for us to explore the whole Kampung Paya with a baby stroller in tow. We were VERY glad that we chose the full board package because the breakfast, lunch and dinner meals were delicious and there was always an abundance of food.

When I say abundance, it truly was a feast for us at every meal. What we absolutely appreciated about dining at the resort was the STRICT SOP adhered by the staff. The staff wore gloves and masks AT ALL TIMES, which is super important for travellers at a time like this. Most guests also followed this SOP with only a few outliers.

Some meals were buffet style while others were served to us at our table. During one lunch service, due to low occupancy, the kitchen decided to cook us a la carte dishes instead and served it to us at our table. The portions were always very generous and the meats were always cooked to perfection.

One of the biggest plus points about staying in the standard chalets at Paya Beach Spa & Dive Resort is that it comes with 3 beds. 2 singles and a queen bed. This is a standard set up for the chalets and it is great if you're travelling with the family. They even provided us with a baby cot FOC!

Overall, our stay at Paya Beach Spa & Dive Resort was amazing. We enjoyed the food. The service and the hospitality at the resort was top notch. Most importantly, SOP is taken seriously here.

When we were checking in, everyone was practicing social distancing, the staff took everyone's temperature and the check-in process was done very quickly and efficiently.

We would not hesitate to book Paya Beach Spa & Dive Resort again in the future but for an even longer stay! 4D3N isn't enough for us, considering there are so many dive sites in the area, snorkelling and more to do.

Rates for Paya Beach Spa & Dive Resort start from RM413/pax for 3D2N full board package. For more information, visit their website at

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