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Looking for some advice on Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Sligo, Ireland
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Looking for some advice on Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

My fiancée and I have booked (provisionally) 14 nights in the Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort Kota Kinabalu, Borneo for our honeymoon in December. I am kind of having second thoughts about the hotel. From the review sites I have seen it is lovely but my main concern is its remoteness. I was hoping that people that might know the hotel might be able to give me some advice. My concern is its location, how remote is it? We don't have the money to be paying lunch and dinner every day in the resort (we are supposed to stay 14 nights), are there little places/restaurants/towns nearby? I have holidayed a lot in SE Asia in the last 10 years but not this part.

Also, is malaria a concern it this region? My previous experience with anti-malaria drugs was larium 10 years ago in north Thailand, they drove me nuts.

I appreciate any advice people can offer.

U.K.
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1. Re: Looking for some advice on Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Your right it is a lovely hotel but is a bit isolated apart from a couple seafood restaurants which you would need take a taxi to get there your pretty much restricted to the hotel.

If I might suggest another alternative why not have a few days there and then go to the sister hotel The Tanjung Aru Resort in KK.

Although it does not have a large beach area like Rasa Ria it's a lovely hotel and just outside the hotel there is I nice long beach and about 10mins walk there are plenty of cheap food outlets at 1st beach and bars with evening entertainment and it's only a short taxi ride to the city.

Another really nice hotel is the The Magellan Sutera it's close to the city got lots of facilities so if you wanted to eat out in the city you would be spoilt for choice.

You can also take a boat trip either from the harbour in front of the hotel or from jesselton point (cheaper from here) and have the day on one of the islands snorkelling swimming and sunbathing.

I hope this is helpful but I am sure you will love Sabah.

U.K.
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2. Re: Looking for some advice on Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Forgot to say Malaria is very low risk in Sabah unless your going into the inner jungle area and even then it's not as big a risk as some other tropical areas.

We will also be in Sabah in December and January I go twice a year and have never had any problems with Mosquitos just be sure to use some repellant in the evenings as they are more a nuisance than a risk.

Sligo, Ireland
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3. Re: Looking for some advice on Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Thanks for that Ken. I feel we should re-think the hotel. We love to wander when are away and go to whatever restaurant/bar takes our fancy, thats not possible from the Rasa Ria. As for the malaria tablets, we definitely want to see some orang-utans, that was the major appeal of the Rasa Ria hotel so I don't know if that will dictate our need to have malaria protection. Could you also tell me is KK generally overcast in Dec/Jan or are there blue skies to be had?

Wangaratta...
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4. Re: Looking for some advice on Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

You can arrange a trip to the Orang U Tan at Rasa Ria from Tanjung Aru. There is a shuttle bus between the two resorts. When at Rasa Ria you can charge back for food and/or drinks to Tanjung Aru . For the walk up to the Orangs just use plenty of repellent and you should be OK.

The weather will be warm (around 30C) and humid with a shower most afternoons. Use plenty of sun protection even if overcast or you WILL get sunburnt.

If you go to the Kota Kinabalu Forum tripadvisor.com.au/ShowForum-g298307-i9429-K…

you will find a lot of information under top questions on the right of the page about booking the Orangs, Rasa Ria and KK in general.

Sligo, Ireland
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5. Re: Looking for some advice on Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

We are still considering the Rasa Ria but what is putting me off is the price of the hotel shuttle bus. I works out at almost 30 euros for a return trip for two to KK. Are there cheaper local transport options? Is there much difference in quality between the Rasa Ria and Tanjung Aru? This will be our honeymoon so we would like to be in a quieter less busy type of resort.

U.K.
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6. Re: Looking for some advice on Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Hi your only option would probably be taxi or car rental which would work about Rm150 a day for a small car.

My own personal view is I still think maybe you would be better doing a 2 centre holiday a week maybe in Tanjung Aru and a week in Rasa Ria.

You won't be disappointed in either resort and it would give you a chance to expore the local markets and islands and also you could have a week relaxing by the pool or on the beach.

Both resorts are unique and excellent choices it's all depends on what you want from your holiday Tanjung Aru is not a noisy hotel it's perfect for a honeymoon as is Rasa Ria only you can decide this one I envy you having to make such a choice of 2 lovely hotels. But I would be interested to know you finally decide :)

Wangaratta...
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7. Re: Looking for some advice on Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Tanjung Aru

FOR Closer to town, Resort style atmosphere, off resort restaurants close by, close to islands of TAR park, marina on site, Great bar at Sunset bar. good staff, nearby reasonable golf course, great views.

AGAINST no real beach as the resort is on reclaimed land, nearby beach is not good for swimming as water can be polluted, shortage of sunbeds, breakfast can be bedlam due to large amounts of Chinese tourists. Limited variety of restaurants. Management conspicuous by the invisibility, check in can be very slow.

Rasa Ria

FOR wonderful rural atmosphere and resort feel, great beach, great bar at Sampan Bar, excellent variety of restaurants, nature reserve, great golf course, Amazing staff and management, plenty of sunbeds, recently renovated, service beyond the normal. Excellent recreation facilities. Shuttle bus to the city and to and from Tanjung Aru. a short taxi ride to local town (Tuaran), adjoining jungle area, local wildlife. wonderful arrival welcome and very easy check-in.

AGAINST breakfast at Coffee Terrace can be bedlam due to large amounts of Chinese tourists, A fair way to the city but there are several restaurants within a short taxi ride, charge for shuttle bus.

Hope all that helps.

west australia perth
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8. Re: Looking for some advice on Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

G,DAY.

BIGW has got it spot on, we are frequent travellers to KK and we always stay at Tanjung Aru as we spend a lot of our time in the city. Unfortunately both hotels are offering very cheap packages for the Chinese tourists and the hotels can not cope and as bigw mentions the management turns a blind eye and do not seem to care.

Sligo, Ireland
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9. Re: Looking for some advice on Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Ok, we have taken everyone's advice into consideration and are gonna go with 6 nights in Tanjung Aru and 8 nights in the Rasa Ria. One more thing I would like to ask, I read on other KK related threads that there was/is a rat issue in the area, is this a major problem? Thanks everyone for the helpful advice.

Sligo, Ireland
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10. Re: Looking for some advice on Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Can I also ask about the weather in KK in late December/early January? Is it mainly cloud cover all the time or are there blue skies to be had?

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