You only have to go to Tanjung Rhu once to see those beach huts just steps from where you’re currently sunbathing and think, why aren’t I staying there? That was us back in 2018. Finally, the perpetually booked De Balqis Beach Resort was available and matched our vacation plans.
The De Balqis Chalets are the first ones after the public Tanjung Rhu beach area. On this short stretch of Jalan Tanjung Rhu, the road is very close to the shoreline so the resort is much closer to the water compared to other resorts in the area. The chalets are made of dark wood in the style of traditional kampung homes. The smaller huts are One Bedroom Chalets meant for couples. There is a large, two-storied hut at the end with Double Chalet (2 double beds) and Triple Chalet (1 double bed and 1 single bed) rooms meant for families. It’s hard to get proper luxury on the beach outside of a 5-star resort, so don’t expect any frills if you stay here. This is a resort that is primarily focused on location, location, location.
This is a non-sponsored review. De Balqis Resorts did not give me a free room or compensate me anything in exchange for this post. We had to pay for a room just like everyone else, and my opinions are based on my own unbiased experience.
De Balqis Beach Resort Amenities
One of the best things about staying at the De Balqis Beach Chalets is the resort’s common area. In front of the one-bedroom chalets is a colourful, cheery space complete with hammocks, deck chairs, and picnic tables. There is a lot of shade here if you need a break from the sunny beach. This area is raised by almost 1.5 metres from the shoreline so guests will never get an unwelcome surprise by those little sand crabs or a sudden high tide. The hammocks are comfortable and not worn out or saggy. They were even long enough to accommodate Mark’s tall frame.
Guests in the family chalets will have a patio equipped with a barbeque and a picnic table. Any guest can use the barbeque, but it might be a bit awkward to be grilling in front of a stranger’s chalet.
Even though every person staying at De Balqis is less than thirty seconds away from their private bathroom, De Balqis has built public showers and foot washing taps next to the common area. This was useful not just for rinsing after the beach, but also when we ate any food at the picnic tables and needed a quick washing up.
There is free parking for guests at the De Balqis Chalets. However, the parking lot is little more than an open space between the buildings. The area laid with brick is the resort’s parking lot, but there are no parking lines, barriers and it’s overall a tight space. If the resort is fully booked up, you might get double-parked.
Aside from these few outdoor niceties, this resort has nothing else in the way of amenities. De Balqis Resort does not have a restaurant and they don’t even have a real lobby. That means there is nowhere inside and sheltered where you can hang out when it’s raining. You can stay in your chalet, but the rooms are dark, small and not pleasant to spend an entire day in, in my opinion. If the weather is looking grim, the only place that will be dry and somewhat pleasurable will be on your patio. I would suggest having some rainy day activities as a backup, such as heading to the Langkawi Wildlife Park or getting a massage at the nearby Maya Seri Spa (8, Jalan Ulu Melaka, south of the roundabout). It’s a small place but with very friendly service and prices that are a bargain compared to KL (RM79 for a one hour massage when we went. You can Facebook message them for their current price list).
Room Review: One-Bedroom Chalet
We were placed in the chalet at the very end next to the Spice Indian restaurant. The official measurements of the room are 20 m² or 215 ft². It’s bigger on the inside than it looks from the outside. Even in a rustic cabin such as this, De Balqis employs the usual power system of inserting a plastic card in a holder to get electricity flowing.
One bedroom chalets will have a king bed. Despite how old everything else in the hut looked, there was nothing wrong with the mattress and it felt comfortable. The pillows were a bit dense for my liking but I didn’t lose any sleep over it. The outlets next to the bed are hidden, but they’re located behind the night tables.
Cleverly, there is a hanging rack by the back window, presumably for your bathing suit. The wardrobe had about six hangers in it. The upper cabinets were incredibly dusty, but the bottom shelves were fine.
The room had a TV with an Astro box and a mini-fridge, perfect to store your cheap duty-free beer. The shelf in between the desks had the usual kettle, two mugs and spoons. There were sachets of Nescafe but no tea. Expect to be washing and reusing the mugs if you drink coffee in the mornings. Also in the room was a takeaway menu for the nearby Dawan Thai Kitchen restaurant. Since there’s no restaurant on-site, this is the closest you’ll get to room service as you can order via GrabFood.
The bathroom was pretty ghastly at first sight, and it only got worse as our stay went on. That mark on our toilet seat would not come off. Thankfully, it wasn’t a shit stain. Rather, the seat was so old that the plastic coating was beginning to deteriorate and slough off. There is a bidet, but it looks like the holder for it fell off and was not replaced, so we had to hang it off of the shelf above the sink.
The sink was short, even for me, and only spewed cold water. In the mornings, I washed my face in the bathtub just to get some warm water. The shelf above the sink is not enough for two people’s toiletries, even if your partner only uses a toothbrush at night. I had to keep all of my lotions and toners in my bag and leave it on the desk outside the bathroom, and just continually go back and forth during my skincare routine.
The water pressure from the showerhead was able to reach strong powerful levels, and the temperature stayed hot despite my long showers. The downside of these lengthy bath times was that the tub drained incredibly slowly. By the end of my shower, I was ankle-deep in my own gross used water. I felt the need to wash my feet right before stepping out – precariously standing on one leg while soaping the other foot and trying to keep it out of the nasty reservoir of bilge – a very risky manoeuvre in a slippery bathtub.
In the dispenser is some nice-smelling pink shampoo and some yellow body wash. This body wash is also supposed to act as your hand wash. After using the toilet, you have to walk over to the tub with your dripping hands and awkwardly reach over to get a pump of soap. If you have any of those travel-sized bar soaps, you should consider bringing them so you can keep that at the sink to use as your hand soap instead. The same goes for hair conditioner, of which the resort does not provide any.
Being inside the chalet feels a bit oppressive and I did not find it enjoyable to be inside for any purpose other than sleeping. There are only two windows, one looking out onto the road and the other onto the common area and the beach. It’s dark inside the hut, and the old fashioned wood furnishings do not help to brighten the room. There are two desks but no chairs, so we couldn’t even eat a proper meal in here. We spent a lot of time on cloudy days chilling in the common space, eating food, drinking beer and reading. Eating snacks and takeaway food is much more enjoyable out there than in the room.
Even though the huts are detached, it can get very noisy at night. I’m not talking about your neighbours’ private conversation in their rooms, but other guests partying in the common area, commotion from the restaurant next door, or cars whizzing by on the road. Even the whoosh of the crashing waves can’t be kept out. If you need absolute silence to sleep, you will need to bring earplugs.
Every one-bedroom hut will have two plastic chairs set up on the patio and a foot-washing station where you can rinse the sand off of your feet before going inside. This is so handy and you don’t realise how essential it is until you’re using it like ten times a day.
Service at De Balqis Beach Resorts
When we arrived at the resort, it was like a ghost town. There was nobody around, not even any guests, and it was not clear where you were supposed to check-in. The building with all the junk around it (ladders, motorcycles, hanging laundry) is the reception and administrative building. Only after we knocked skeptically did someone emerge from another door to welcome us.
Even though it was an hour past check-in time, our room was still not ready. We were invited to sit and wait in the reception area chairs, which were absolutely filthy from being outside for years. We waited instead on a cleanish picnic bench next to the fence, where the resort’s resident flock of pretty lovebirds live in a large birdcage. A rather surly, vocal cat prowls the property too. If you stay for at least a couple of days, it might warm up to you enough to sit on your patio and let you touch it.
It turns out that the bathroom door in our chalet had fallen off (what the hell?), and the resort needed to repair it before we moved in. This should give you a sense of the level of dilapidation at the De Balqis Resort. What was most annoying was that it seemed like the staff only began to fix the problem once we arrived. The person who greeted us seemed like they had just finished eating, folding laundry or doing something else not urgent. We had to wait close to an hour before we could get into our room. They were apologetic and offered us bottles of water while we waited, but it was not a good start to our stay.
Once you’re settled in, that’s the last you’ll see of the resort staff until you check out. There is no daily housekeeping service at the De Balqis Beach Resort. I never even saw any cleaners until the chalet next to ours was getting new guests. With the amount of time we spent lounging around the common area, I can tell that none of the other chalets got housekeeping service either. The resort can refresh the essentials, but only if you ask them for it. You can visit the reception building for more toilet paper, replacement towels, and bottles of water when you need them and they will gladly give you more. Any general cleaning that you need after checking in, be prepared to do it yourself.
No one ever came by to turn down our hut for the five days that we stayed here. We used the same towels, slept in the same unmade bed, and walked around our eternally sandy chalet. A communal broom is lying around for guests to sweep the sand out of their huts during their stay. The floor mat at the entrance of our chalet felt grubby, so I cleaned it. Judging from how black the water turned when doing so, it had not been cleaned in ages. I’m not sure if housekeeping will visit if you specifically ask them to come, but we didn’t bother. We didn’t expect much from a resort like this, so we just dealt with it.
It almost feels like there’s no one working here. The staff hide in the reception building until absolutely necessary, emerging only to do the bare minimum of cleaning the chalets in between guests. There are a lot of other duties that could be done on the property, but the staff never seem to be in any particular hurry. There are deck chairs that are in dire need of a sweeping, covered with cobwebs and fallen leaves to the point that they’re unusable.
On several occasions, the other sloppy, inconsiderate guests at the resort left garbage and half-eaten food lying around. It got cleaned up by the staff too long after the fact, sometimes not until the next day. There is literally a garbage bin next to every chalet, so the real trash was apparently our neighbours. There was even one point where there was a nasty masticated chicken wing lying on one of the chairs. When we returned to the resort hours later, it was still there, so we just cleaned it up ourselves.
Price of One-Bedroom Chalet at De Balqis Beach Resorts
RM797.96 for five days & four nights, Sunday to Thursday, in November 2021.
A begrudging yes, only because of the lack of better options in the area.
In terms of affordable hotels in Tanjung Rhu, this place does the job of providing a bed less than thirty seconds from the beach. Housekeeping is non-existent and the room is pretty ramshackle, but the De Balqis Beach Chalets are one of the scarce few accommodations in this prime part of Tanjung Rhu.
At De Balqis Beach Resorts, you have a nice short walk to a quiet stretch of sand and you’re far enough away from the public beach area. With the new eateries popping up, this resort is ideally situated within walking distance of several restaurants in Tanjung Rhu, including the Indian place next door, Spider Sports Bar and the hawkers on the public beach. It was so nice to be able to walk home barefoot along the beach after a meal at Scarborough Fish & Chips.
Even though I haven’t stayed in any of them, the alternatives just don’t look as good. The other resorts further south along Tanjung Rhu beach have a rockier coastline, the view isn’t as nice, or they’re too far from the shoreline. There’s the insanely priced Four Seasons, which is too steep for us and will be for a very long time. The Primrose Seaview Resorts next door to De Balqis Resort looks like the best option at first glance. When we were last in Langkawi, I gazed longingly at the quaint, New England style homes and wished to stay there. Comparatively, the De Balqis Beach Chalets look very old fashioned and uninviting.
Having experienced this resort, staying at De Balqis seems a hell of a lot better than at Primrose. After walking by a bunch of times and doing a cursory check of their page on Agoda, half of the rooms at Primrose look out onto the ugly road and you have to share a wall with your neighbour. Yes, the rooms look nicer and cleaner, but I didn’t see any beach loungers and I don’t even think the balconies had chairs on them. At least at De Balqis Beach Resort, the majority of the huts have an oceanview room (there might be some family rooms that face the road), seating on the patios, and there’s that sweet common area equipped with everything you would want.
I wouldn’t stay at De Balqis Beach Resort again, but that’s mainly because I prefer Cenang Beach. I don’t think it would be a good idea to stay here for more than three or four days with the lackadaisical housekeeping. The small selection of good restaurants in the immediate vicinity also gets repetitive quickly. We ate at the same five places (including Zaomi Fresh Donut and a roadside nasi lemak vendor) during our five-day trip.
Despite the romantic setting, there’s nothing romantic about staying in a De Balqis Resort chalet. If you want to be comfortable and have a clean room, there are plenty of five-star resorts that will fill that need. De Balqis is the sort of place you stay at because you crave the peace of Tanjung Rhu and the convenience of being so close to the beach.