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Which Shangri-La to choose?

Guam, USA
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Which Shangri-La to choose?


Planning a vacation to Kota Kinabalu very soon and I don't know which Shangri-La to book out of the two. I'm not familiar with the area at all - just going for a fun, leisurely weekend!

Can anyone help me understand the difference between the two and which is better?

Are there any other luxurious resorts in the rainforest somewhere?

Thanks so much!

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for Kota Kinabalu, Wangaratta, Sandakan
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1. Re: Which Shangri-La to choose?

Have a look at TA Travellers reviews on both hotel at


The beach at Rasa Ria is much larger than at Tajung Aru (4 km long) and some would say, much cleaner.

Rasa Ria is about 40 - 45 minutes by road from the city and the reort runs a shuttle bus several times a day which stops at 1Borneo hyper mall, City Shopping malls and on to Tanjung Aru.

The Nature Education Centre at Rasa Ria is known for its young Orang U Tans but has lots of other local wildlife and nature walks. Facilities are around the same at both hotels but Rasa Ria has the new, very luxurious Ocean Wing.

There is a local town about 10 minutes in a Taxi where you can stock up.


There is also a resort shop where you can buy bits and pieces.

Tanjung Aru is about 10 - 15 minutes from the city by road but there are lots of off resort eating facilities nearby. It is also much closer to the off shore islands ot TAR Park. There is direct access by sea. It is much closer to the airport than Rasa Ria. It is only about 5 minutes to the Low Cost Carrier Terminal and about 15 minutes to the International Terminal. The Rasa Ria is about 50 minutes from both.

Both resorts have tour shops or tour desks where you can book off resort trips.

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2. Re: Which Shangri-La to choose?

i am at the rasa -ria now if you are on your own or just a couple you may find it a little quite (a lot) on the other hand if you travell with kids it,s great .as the wife said by the pool,we would not have come here before we had kid,s

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3. Re: Which Shangri-La to choose?

Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort is more to business class while Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort is more to nature. Borneo Rainforest Lodge at Lahad Datu would be the answer for luxurious rainforest resort. Flight takes about 1 hour from Kota Kinabalu to Lahad Datu and another 1 1/2 hour by land from Lahad Datu airport to the resort.

Maidstone, United...
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4. Re: Which Shangri-La to choose?

I have stayed at 6 Shangri-La hotels, including the TA and Rasa Ria and they have all been equally as good from a quality, service and facility point of view. Obviously, they do not all look the same and the biggest difference are the type of restaurants at each one.

The beach at TA is small and man made but with stunning views of the islands. The beach at the Rasa Ria is very wide and massively long, but with only a view of the sea. The grounds at both hotels are very attractive and you are able to have a lounger pretty much anywhere you like, so I think sitting on a beach with such a choice of tropical surroundings is slightly overated. However, from the TA, you can take a short boat ride to the islands, where some of the best beaches and snorkling in the locality are.

For the Rasa Ria sanctuary, they run a shuttle bus and you can enjoy a full day within the hotel grounds as well, just for a change.

It really comes down to personal choice;- central location for trips, town and a huge choice of eating (Tanjung Aru) or quieter location with nature walks and Orang sanctuary nearby (Rasa Ria).

5. Re: Which Shangri-La to choose?

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