Japamala Resort is the latest boutique establishment introduced into the shores of Tioman. It is located in the village of Lanting, fronting the beautiful beach of the same name, with occasional view of the spectacular twin tower peaks of Gunung Nenek Semukut.
The best way to get to this resort is probably by boat from Mersing, but you need to tell the boatman well in advance because passenger boats do not frequently stop at the resort jetty. Alternatively, you can travel in style by flying with Berjaya Air from Subang Airport (SZB) for RM458 round trip inclusive of tax and surcharges. Upon arrival at Tekek Airport, you will need to charter a local boat to the resort for about RM80 per boat. For Singaporean travelers, Berjaya Air departs from Seletar Airport (XSP) daily for SGD284 round trip. Quite an expensive way to travel but if you can afford the rooms in Japamala, you certainly can afford to fly.
There are basically two types of room offered at Japamala Resort - chalets and villas. The Treetop Chalet is the cheapest one, set amongst the rainforest canopy. The Seacliff Chalet basically offers the same type of lodging as the Treetop one, except that the former provides a commanding view of the beautiful beach and the South China Sea. For villa-type units, you can opt for Sarang Villa or Jacuzzi Sarang Villa, with the latter presents a jacuzzi area built high above the ground amidst the jungle and the ocean view.
Each room is equipped with all the necessary modernity such as air conditioner, ceiling fan, hot shower, coffee maker, private lanai (just a fancy word for "balcony"), etc.
There are plenty of beach huts by the beautiful beach for relaxing, and right before the sunset (the beach is facing west), the resort staff will turn on soft music to create a soothing ambient while watching the sun goes down.
Interestingly, the main F&B outlet here is operated by Tamarind Restaurant, a KL-based award-winning restaurateur offering delectable Thai and Indo-Chinese specialties.
The Lanting beach fronting the resort is good enough to be enjoyed for the whole day, but if you wish to venture further, you can hire a boat to get to other beaches in Tioman. My personal recommendation would be the beaches in Salang, Pulau Tulai and Air Batang.
If you would like to venture underwater, the best diving spots that I have experienced in Tioman are Pulau Chebeh and Malang Rock.
The general pricing for Japamala Resort is rather peculiar because it is differentiated by Low, High, Peak and Super Peak seasons. With the Low season being from Jan to mid-Feb and Nov to end-Dec, I do not recommended coming at all. I've visited Tioman on December, and honestly, it was forgettable, with the rains and the huge sea swells due to the monsoon season. Anyway, if you are still interested, the cheapest rate during the Low season is about RM335 per night with breakfast.
You are better off patronising the resort during the high season between Apr to May and end-Sep to end-Oct because the weather is more favourable and the room rate will not skyrocket as it would be the case for Peak and Super Peak season (a Treetop Chalet goes for about RM400 per night in High season).
Overall, it is an expensive resort, but honestly, you will get what you paid for.