Extra: [Room Photo Gallery]
The resort is located on Pulau Gemia, some 20 minutes by boat from Marang jetty (not Merang). It is the only resort on this small and idyllic island of Gemia, which is separated from the more popular resort island of Kapas by a shallow water channel.
The resort was previously known as Gem Isles Resort. After a thorough refurbishment project, it is now known as Gem Wellness Spa & Island Resort.
To me, this resort is one of the best kept secrets for island frequenters. Its overall "floating village" design a la the world-renown Pangkor Laut Resort with private beaches to call your own and pretty darn good spa offering at the Tunsita Wellness Spa.
There are 40 water villas (or known as Superior Terrace) units, 10 Hideaway Villas fronting the white sandy area, and 2 Premier Villas. All rooms come with air-conditioner, hot shower and cable TV with limited channel selections.
What do I think of the room? Shockingly fabulous! I had my initial reservation whether or not the room will look like anything as advertised on the brochures. That feeling died away as soon as I stepped into my room. Timber strip floors, heaven-sent bed with fancy mosquito net, sea-facing private balcony with lazy chair hung from the roof, elaborate yet minimalist finishing especially in the bathroom, etc. Enough said, I'll let my photos do the talking [Room Photo Gallery]
Other than that, you can pamper yourself with the spa treatment at one of the water villas which is converted into a massage parlour, complete with traditional outdoor flower bath. There is also a water-based activity centre where you can rent a kayak to circle the small island. Snorkels and life jackets are also available for rental.
Nothing much here, except peace and tranquility. You can also see a turtle breeding pool right in front of the main restaurant. Apparently these turtles are hatched within the resort's compound and are put into this temporary water enclosure until they grow a bit bigger before they are naturally released into the ocean.
The beaches of the island are also very nice for sunbathing, swimming and snorkeling.
The 2D1N fullboard package starts at RM288 per person based on twin-sharing basis. That will include all meals, one-night stay in a superior water villa and roundtrip boat transfer If you opt for room-only package like I did, the resort currently runs a special offer of RM239 per night in a superior water villa, inclusive of breakfast at Samudra Restaurant. You may need to think about forking some extra money for lunch or dinner at the resort's only restaurant because I felt that the prices were very expensive.