Island hopping along the eastern coast of Malaysia is no easy feat. Unlike Thailand or Indonesia, there aren’t public ferries that connect the islands as they’re quite far apart. Instead, to get from one island to the next you have to take a speedboat back to the mainland and then a taxi to the next jetty, and another speedboat to your island destination. All the hassle is worth it as you’ll be greeted by virtually untouched beaches, stay in beautiful remote resorts, and feel as if you have your own private island. This is even true in the tourist hotspot of Tioman Island. Tioman was our next stop after Redang Island and we were so thrilled to stay on the western coast at the gorgeous eco-resort Melina Beach.
Melina Beach is a bohemian paradise nestled in between a private beach and lush jungles. Just far enough away from the towns of Genting and Paya to remain isolated and serene, but close enough to trek through the jungle, or along the coast, to either town in less than an hour. There are no other resorts in sight at the cove sprinkled with boulders and a thriving house reef.
Sadly during our stay I was recovering from sunstroke and a bad reaction to jellyfish stings so I didn’t snorkel much while we were at Melina Beach. The one day we went out the waters were quite rough so we didn’t have a great vantage but we did come across this darling heart-shaped coral which we immediately declared must be a lucky moment for our love story. Pulau Tioman is a protected marine park and feeding or touching fish, and taking seashells or coral, is strictly prohibited. Melina Beach does an incredible job of educating guests about how they can protect marine life. They even have a sweet collection of drawings from local children about why sea turtles need to be saved.
We spent hours lazing around the wild beach and taking advantage of the shade provided by the beach bungalow that was just a stone’s throw from our room. We stayed in the clownfish chalet, which was a great coincidence as they’ve been one of our favorite fishes to encounter in the South China Sea. The rooms at Melina Beach are spacious and comfortable–guests have the choice between oceanfront chalets or chalets surrounded by the jungle. Throughout the property, there are markers that show guests the names of the surrounding plants or point out the trails to trek into the nearby towns or the route to find try your luck at finding a Rafflesia. Above all what impressed me most was a large section of waste bins clearly labeled to encourage guests to sort their own trash by tin, plastic, paper, cardboard, glass, and other. The trash is then sent off the island. As you can imagine, the beach here was spotless!
Melina Beach Resort has been operating since all the way back in 1999. They’ve always had an ethos to make an effort to “minimize environmental impact and embrace nature rather than replace it.” This commitment is the reason why there is no pier at the resort which would disturb the reef, instead, boats have specific areas where they are allowed to pull up near the shore. This is a mindset I can seriously get behind and wish other hoteliers would adopt. They’ve established themselves as a holiday haven and with good reason.
As Melina Beach Resort is in a secluded area and I was quite sick we opted to have all of our meals at the in-house restaurant that served both western inspired and traditional Malay dishes. The dining establishment is set right on the ocean and had an incredible ambiance and a steady stream of awesome throwback tunes. By having our meals at the resort we were able to be mindless about the time and enjoy lazy hours on the beach. My favorite time of day was dusk when the tide pulled far out to sea exposing the ocean rocks. The cool weather made it the perfect time to cuddle and watch the moody sunsets and play with the sweet guard dog, which as you can see, she’s ultra tough.
Thank you for hosting us at Melina Beach Resort, we had a lovely time! All opinions and photos are my own. This post contains affiliate links, please read the Miss Filatelista disclosure policy for more information.