“Gorgeous beach, clear waters, clean lovely rooms, but do not go during peak season!”
I have been to Laguna a couple of times. All times with family (older teens and adults) and have always taken the full board packages including meals and snorkelling trips for convenience n money's worth. I have always loved it till last year in August when we decided to grab last minute bookings to go during the 31st August Merdeka break for 4D3N. I am sending this review 8 months down the line, so excuse me if there isn't detailed information.
It was a bad idea on our part to go during the August holidays (it was also school holidays) - we had the impression that it was toward the end of peak season (in the east coast - although the laguna adverts seem to suggest that peak season goes on for longer!) The resort was too crowded! Most of the guests were Chinese - particularly from China. Now, I do not have problem with Chinese people, only ill mannered chinese people.
All our meals were buffet style and as there was a tremendous volume of people - families with children etc, naturally we had to queue and wait our turn. But these Chinese do not follow a queue system and shamelessly cut the queue time and again. It was too crowded and by our 3rd meal, we just got tired with the 'fight for food' and just satisfied ourselves with a plate or two. Further, a lot of food goes to waste as guests were loading their plates as if there is no tomorrow and most of the food goes to waste. The management should ensure that these people are charged for wastage!
Our snorkelling trips were equally hampered terribly due to these Chinese tourists - entire families including grandmothers with walking sticks (who weren't intending to snorkel) flocked the boats and we travelled in four boats in the hundreds! Again, no queue system was adhered to. Some of them even sat on the stairs of the boat and the edges of the boat without entering the sea and those behind could not get off the boat !! I was told by the boatman to jump off from a corner of the boat althought there were people sat blocking the edge of boat !! Local boatmen could not contain the chinese crowd or get them to move off the edge and even said "Kalau orang Cina datang, habis lah kita. Ikan pun dah takut" . He was right. The fish definitely were scared off - there were barely any compared to my previous trips! To top that other resorts were taking their guests to the same locations to snorkel at the SAME time!. Bit stupid that the resorts don't cross check the times. We had one snorkel trip in the morning, one in the afternoon.
I was lucky as I got to know my boatman who guided me away from the crowds and the boats across to the other side of the island - we saw some amazing corals and sea life a little far away from the crowds.
Note: the resort charges for lifejacket - bit ridiculous really given the fact that all boats should have lifejackets in order to go out to sea. But it wasn't much RM15-RM20 (if I'm not mistaken). So keep your lifejackets till end of trip. otherwise u could be asked to pay again! Snorkel gear also for hire (we always take ours along , so that didn't matter).
Due to these tourists, we even had to go through an elongated briefing each time we went out for the snorkel trips. Part in Mandarin / Cantonese and part in bad English. Almost did my head in! I don't know if the briefing was a new thing set up recently, but they need to do away with it!
Now, cons aside, let me get down to the best bits about Laguna.
BEACH: In one word, the sea/beach is GORGEOUS !! One of the best in east coast of peninsular (with Perhentian Bubu Long being only rival). And I would suggest if one goes during peak season (or when crazy chinese tourists are around), stick to snorkelling by the shore. Blue green waters, black yellow fish, lots of anchovies right by the shore - really beautiful.
Tip: Take bread with you, the fish will come in droves! One early morning , I went out when it was quiet, and spotted so many different types of fish by the shore and some were real big too - of course, I had my bait with me - bread! (presume the fish are starved in the morning cos I saw more than I did late in the evenings).
POOL: The pool at Laguna is really big and clean and real nice as well, but I'm more of a sea person. Lots of sun beds, real comfy for lounging about.
Rooms: Clean, spacious, very comfy! Definitely 4 star quality. White sheets, towels, all basic amenities provided.
Bathrooms: Separated shower, loo, sink, a little tight in terms of space - there was 3 of us to a room so one can imagine the toiletries we had! But still very clean and nice with pebbled stones.
Food: Widespread of western and asian food at buffet, but average, after awhile can become repetitive with similar food being served, so don't stay more than a week!
Staff: Friendly, housekeeping very accomodating, generally had no issues as rooms were top notch most of the time. Staff smiling - so important at resorts. Accomodating at buffet (esp given crowd) when we requested for extra teabags as tea served was weak.
If it wasn't for the rubbish Chinese crowd, I'd say we had a good stay. it is a good hotel with average food and a gorgeous beach. Unfortunately, these uncultured, ill mannered people messed up our stay and our snorkelling trips.
Suggestion: The resort should put a cap on the number of people they take out to sea for snorkel/dive trips at a time (like they do in Sabah). The poor corals!
Sea view/pool view rooms are good!
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC