We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Bunga Raya, great escape with some problems with payment”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 8 more sites!
Bunga Raya Island Resort & Spa
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Pulau Gaya
Certificate of Excellence
Indonesia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Bunga Raya, great escape with some problems with payment”
Reviewed 20 August 2013

We stayed at Bunga Raya on 10-12th August 2013, chose 2 bedroom Villas from the website.
The check in at Jesselton was swift, despite the problem they charged us twice (details below)
The boat ride was about 20 minutes. As soon as we arrived at the Bunga Raya jetty, the view was awesome.
The room that we stayed in awesome! Despite the bugs and mosquitoes which is natural, the layout was impressive, not to mention the BOSE radio really keeping the mood up despite we were having a thunderstorm during the first and 2nd evening. Free mini bar (soft drinks and beer) and mineral water was great.
Our first lunch at Koi restaurant was poor, the tom yam soup is far from great, fortunately the “average” satay saved us.
We headed to Pantai Grill for dinner, the food was great, being an Indonesian we asked for spicy chilli padi which the chef literally picked fresh from a little garden near the restaurant. The price was high which is understandable. We had a 2nd dinner here on the following day.
The next day we headed for Gayana Island for lunch, which is more reasonably priced and the seafood was extremely good, the view was also fantastic!
We swam at the beach which is awesome, and the swimming pool was awesome too!
Overall the whole experience was great, except for the cons which I will be describing below
1. They charged me twice on 2 different credit cards, I’m still waiting for their response to this problem.

First I made a reservation ONLINE under my Master Card
Then I was notified that it didn't get through so I gave my other Visa Card
It didn't get through either so again I gave another "C" Visa Card and it got through.
On 10th August, when I arrived at Jesselton terminal, they asked and swipe my Master Card
On 12th August when I checked out, again they swipe my Master Card
But they said it was a mistake and they didn't get any fund from my Mastercard and they needed "C" Visa Card , so they swiped that too.

Today I checked my BOTH my Master Card and my C VISA Card and it turns out that they charged me ON BOTH CARDS.

2. The food was below average at the Koi Restaurant, the Pantai Grill was okay but the menu is very limited, head to Gayana for much better seafood/chinese food.

3. There is a “manager” if I’m not mistaken “Benny”, which shows unpleasant attitude and being grumpy during our stay. There was also a “manager” who we saw on the second day, on the contrary was very polite and friendly, too bad he didn’t stay on the island instead.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank theslip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

472 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    257
    139
    41
    24
    11
See reviews for
115
272
8
5
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (119)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
1 review
Reviewed 15 August 2013

After an extensive international career in the hospitality industry, I now own and operate a company in a totally unrelated area of business. For this reason, limited precious holiday time is vital to ensure that I am rested and well, for the long hours necessary to ensure the success of my business.
 
This week, I was delighted to discover a resort which provided me with total rest and relaxation for six days. The wonderful Bunga Raya Resort and Spa is an island retreat off the coast of Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. It must surely be one of the most magical places on earth. It’s the most amazing setting, literally in a jungle environment and other than the jetty, very little of the resort can be seen by passing boats.
My beach front villa was perfect for me as it provided not only the peace and quiet I was looking for, but a view over the pristine waters around the hotel.
 
The food at the resort was fantastic. Not only the gorgeous fish, but they even had banana bread on the breakfast menu...I can only assume that the chef has visited Australia, as it’s a favourite here. Whatever I requested was superbly presented and truly delicious.
 
The team at Solace Spa were fantastic...I had four treatments in six days, so I clearly loved their fantastic facials, not to mention a great back massage ...the therapists are so keen to look after you well; it was simply heavenly. 
 
There are hundreds of high end big city quality hotels around the world, doing a great job at offering efficient, formal service. When I stay at a resort, I’m looking for a beautiful location, in comfortable surroundings, with staff especially interested in caring for me. The delightful people at Bunga Raya have this approach to service in spades. It’s a very special place.
 
Many thanks to Manager Tomas and Chef Lung for allowing me uninterrupted peace and quiet, whilst accommodating all my needs.
 
I loved my visit to Bunga Raya.  In my view, this resort is absolutely divine and a perfect get away spot from “the real world”.

Room Tip: The beach frot villa was perfect for me. Only 10 metres from the gorgeous white sand beach.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Denise M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Haywards Heath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 August 2013

Bunga Raya is a truly beautiful resort which blends seamlessly into the rainforest as it tumbles down to the sea.

We were attracted by the beautiful white sandy beach and the snorkelling, and neither disappointed. The snorkelling to the left of the pier was fabulous and we saw a wide range of things. The beach was picture perfect and we loved being able to walk along it. The pool was also stunning, although I echo thoughts that they need more loungers by the pool.

The room was stunning. We stayed in a deluxe villa and got a 2 floor villa with a big sitting room and and huge bedroom upstairs. We also had a small kitchenette. The complimentary soft drinks and beers in the fridge were a nice touch.

We also took advantage of a trip to Gayana resort to feed the grouper. This was a great trip, well organised and we enjoyed seeing the sister resort. It made up feel glad to have chosen Bunga Raya as it had a beach, a bigger pool and better facilities.

I had read a lot of negative reviews about the food before we went. Much of the food was good. We mostly had Malaysian dishes, however, after 4 nights the options were limited if you didn't want to have the same thing twice. It would be good if they had a daily menu of specials for local food. This would make it all fresher and ensure that people staying for a longer spell could not get bored of the menu. The noodle dishes I did have were very good. Faizu was very attentive and ensured that he did whatever he could to make our mealtimes excellent.

The cocktail hour is a nice idea. However, the service was so slow that we only had 1 cocktail in that time. With lots of other staff stood in the restaurants, it would make sense for some of them to assist behind the bar at this predictably busy time.

We stayed 4 nights in August. We feared the resort would be very busy but it was quite quiet for much of the time we were there.

Room Tip: Room 8 is a 2 floor deluxe with a small kitchen - good for families.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank travelmonkey2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Liverpool
Level Contributor
21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 August 2013 via mobile

A true paradise island complete with stilted huts, white sands, blue waters and wildlife ( look out for Bob the wild boar and his family). I would strongly recommend the Koi Asian restaurant rather than the western Pantai, as you would expect the Asian food was far better and we had some lovely meals there.

Staff are very friendly and we received some exceptional service from Jonathan and Dantes. The manager, Tomas, is very visible, attentive and constantly checking the wellbeing of guests. Nice touches include free soft drinks and beer in the room, happy hour daily with free cocktails and 50% cocktails, free watersports of varying kinds.

To really be five star and justify the cost, there are a few areas to be improved: bar service is very slow, drinks service around the pool also; 20 sun loungers are not enough to serve customers at a busy time, you don't expect to have to sit on the floor at a 5 star resort; insect repellants should be readily available for free or to buy but when we asked they had run out and there was no promise of any coming.

Finally - beware the sandflies - they aren't always present and wont bother some people but we were covered in bites from head to toe. It might be an idea to mention this problem to guests on arrival so they can exercise their own caution unlike us who sat amongst them for hours without repellent not realising. ( I tried a host of relief strategies to try to sleep with the itch including afterbite, tiger balm , brandy but the one that worked was vinegar from the kitchen - just in case you need it).

Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank LadyALiverpool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
34 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2013

If you are looking for an idyllic luxury getaway on a tropical island that is totally relaxing and where you can be pampered to the highest standards then look elsewhere. If you are happy to pay high end 5 star prices for an idyllic location with service levels that are almost comical and eat french fries all day then this will be just what you are looking for.

On the positive side as I like to always see the positive the location is great, easy to get to trouble free airport and boat transfer but this is where the service stopped. Beautiful beach crystal clear waters clear blue skies tropical rainforest as a backdrop and beautiful gardens.

We stayed in a plunge pool villa which was a little disappointing compared to other similar resorts we have stayed in across Asia The pool was nice but the deck was a little small and there was a lack of lounge area you either had to sit on the bed or the double sun lounge area outside which is not practical in the evening due to the mozzies.

The same could be said of the bar when we arrived there was no lounge furniture only restaurant tables or high tables and bar stools. admittedly during our stay new furniture was arriving but we felt it was a bit weird that a relaxing resort that had been operating for 4 years had no lounge furniture.

We arrived just in time for lunch and headed to the main restaurant. Meal 1 - I ordered a tropical peach salad it consisted of lettuce and tinned peaches the ingredients and dressing on the menu were absent so it got sent back they corrected this but really tinned peaches on a 5 star tropical island? My partner ordered noodles with seafood veg and tofu the wrong noodles arrived with only seafood arrived when he complained they brought him noodles with veg and tofu no seafood. We ordered a bottle of Pinot Gris only for the waiter to discover it was Pinot noir a red wine instead of white but he only realised after he poured it. He couldn't find the wine we ordered.

The dinner experience was no less chaotic and confused with several things being sent back. I am vegetarian and there was nothing on the menu for me and instead of the chef suggesting what they could do for me I had to go through the menu and figure out what they could cook for me. when it came half the veg were cold half warm.

When we returned to our room after dinner to put our sleeping baby to bed we discovered we had been locked out. We had never been given a room key but we assumed on a remote island you didn't need one but even though we left our room open house keeping saw fit to lock it. When my partner went back to reception they couldn't give him a key they said they had to investigate so we had to wait to be let in.

The next morning the breakfast was pretty poor the croissants and pastries were weird tasted like they had been deep fried and were certainly not made with butter.

The comedy service continued at every meal, trying to pass off tomato soup as minestrone soup and hoping i wouldn't notice, Tom yam soup with no chilli or spice, vegetarian pizza that tastes of pepperoni, fried smoked salmon for breakfast. There wasn't a single meal without incident and calamity. it made having a meal feel like really hard work.

On our final night we completely ran out of patience and asked to speak to the manager. He was very apologetic and offered us 50% off all our food as compensation. But is there really any compensation when a relaxing holiday turns out to be really hard work? it also had to be noticed that there was no sign of improvement the morning after we complained.

This place needs a lot of work to justify the prices they are charging, they need to start by hiring a chef, a restaurant manager and a somalier. I am all in favour of employing locals but if they don't have the skills it doesn't work and the price point and marketing need to reflect the service level. If you hire unqualified locals they are significantly cheaper than qualified professionals so don't charge guests for 5 star service that can't be delivered. Unfortunately far too many people are willing to overlook incompetence if its served with a smile under the sun.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank larissamurphy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TomasAndersen, General Manager at Bunga Raya Island Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 22 August 2013
Dear Trip Advisor contributor,

You are right we fell below our normally high standard on this occasion. This has already been explained by Rainer, our Executive Assistant Manager in your previous blog dated 28 July. We do appreciate feedback it will allow us to get better.

Thank you very much

Tomas
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paris, France
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2013

Great hotel manager, lovely staff, cute villas, luxurious pool, good food, pristine water, flowers everywhere, beautiful spa... What else do you need? We loved it for our honeymoon. We were there in May, no trash problem. We stayed 7 nights.

Room Tip: Les plunge pools sont un vrai +
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Djoulli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TomasAndersen, General Manager at Bunga Raya Island Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 10 August 2013
Thank you so much for your contribution on Trip Advisor, we enjoyed looking after you and hope to see you back in our part of the world in the not too distant future.

Best wishes

Tomas
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
281 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 181 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 July 2013

I had such high hopes for this resort but they were shattered by shambolic service and appalling food. For the prices they charge and the image they project I expected a whole lot more.

Just some of the incidents of note that were typical:

- we had 9 meals as you have to eat in the resort and every meal had some calamity attached it it, Basil Fawlty would be right at home at this place....

- our first meal at the resort we asked for Pinot Gris (white) wine and were given Pinot Noir (red) wine and only when the wine was being poured did the staff notice it was the wrong one..

- at the same meal my partner asked for peach and cheese salad which came without the cheese and with tinned peaches...

- at the same meal i asked for yellow noodles with seafood/tofu/veg and tomatoes...the first attempt came with noodles and seafood and no chilis, veg or tomatoes..the second attempt came with no seafood!

- that night we had dinner in the main restaurant and on coming back to the room found it locked.....as we had a baby with us we wanted to put him to sleep but couldn't....i had to go back to the reception and ask why when we had not locked the doors they had and how they expected us to get into the room without a key! Instead of actually giving us a key they got housekeeping to unlock it....we only got the key half way through the 2nd day!

- we had lunch at the grill and regretted it...my partner ordered minestrone soup which came without pasta/veg...anything bar tomato...when this was pointed out to them they came back and said they had run out of minestrone soup.....they had tried to pass off tomato soup as being minestrone and thought she wouldn't notice...

- pastries are not their strong point: the morning pastries are stody, oily and salty and poor imitations of any kind of French breakfast...their breads are all the same whether you order panini or ciabatta all you get is a 6 inch wedge of a white sandwich! This despite that panini for example is supposed to be slim and ciabatta made of olive oil....neither factors seemed to matter as they mislabeled their offerings

- we had a special evening in the wine cellar for my birthday which was more like Fawlty Towers than a fine dining special experience....we asked for champagne and perrier for two....the waiter came down with firstly one small perrier, one glass and one champagne glass, then he came down with our wine and two more still empty champagne glasses that were chilled but had no champagne to go in them then finally came down with two filled champagne glasses! My partner then had to show him how to uncork an expensive bottle of wine.....in their wine cellar! I hate to think what people who were buying really expensive wine from their list of 4,000 would think of this kind of wine service...

- my partner asked for Tom Yam soup which when it came had no chilis in is so in effect it was not Tom Yam soup....

- at lunch my partner asked for a grilled vegetable sandwich as there were two sandwiches which could be converted into a vegetarian sandwich but both had meat in...when it came it was the steak and onion option on the menu but without the steak...an onion sandwich!!! It was sent back and eventually after a great length of time it came back with grilled vegetables in....

- they fundamentally have a problem with anyone who doesn't want fish or meat...there is nothing on the menu as a main course for vegetarians at the main restaurant...not one dish...every dish has to be converted from other dishes...

- the cot they gave us for a 6 month old baby had a mattress 3/4 the size of the cot....a deathtrap....we had to find cushions to fill in the gaps so that our baby didn't roll around and get stuck down the side and smother!

- for a resort that wants people to go out and enjoy romantic experiences at various locations they have a weird babysitting service...you have to pay the babysitter yourself in Malaysian currency...even though there is no way of getting any on the island and as its resort that you just pay for at the end with a credit card no reason to have any currency...after refusing to pay directly and the front of house making three phone calls eventually they agreed to pay the babysitter directly and charge us on the bill....surely logical but why did i have to demand this?

- on our final night we decided to have dinner in our room which isn't a great idea because although they advertise it they give you no lights in which to see your meal! The meal then was a disaster...my partner asked for a vegetarian curry....this came but was cold and cabbage only....it was sent back and she asked for a margherita pizza...simple you might think...it came tasting and smelling of pepperoni...we had to go into the light of our room to check that it wasn't and it wasn't it just tasted and smelt like it did....it was at this point we called the manager who listened and apologised and gave us a free bottle of wine and a discount on the food but explained the difficulties he faced and we empathised but ultimately we were paying good money for this experience and it was not 5 star, it was bearly 2 star...
- my final meal, breakfast, summed up the entire place. I thought by this stage that I would make it really simple. I asked for smoked salmon, poached egg and toast....their first attempt came back with hollandaise all over it......i sent it back, repeated the order.....it came back with spinach and mushrooms and worse the cold smoked smoked salmon i was expecting had been cooked! I had never heard of smoked salmon being cooked! I asked to see the manage and instead of getting him the staff ran into the kitchen and had a good laugh with the kitchen staff at what they had delivered. Luckily the manager was in the breakfast room so i showed him what they had done....cooked the smoked salmon.....he was appalled. At the third attempt i got my dish. That gives you a clue as to the level of competence in the kitchen, 3 attempts to get the simplest of dishes right.

The bright sparks....the spa experience was exceptional, the beach was sandy and gorgeous and the atmosphere was relaxed and fun.

I have to excuse the new management team and new GM Raina who clearly knows his stuff but can't get the staff. They let him down, let themselves down and let their colleagues down. Only a few of them seemed to even care. For some reason the male staff especially Dantes and another gentlemen in white shirt who served us knew what they were doing but the female staff just didn't get it, didnt listen, couldnt take simple instructions, thought they were above certain tasks especially those in the restaurant wearing purple who would rather take our menu away than take our dirty dishes....

They may have bought new furniture for the outdoors area but it will take a whole lot more than this to mask the frankly laughable, atrocious and 2 star food and service.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ChrisJR2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TomasAndersen, Manager at Bunga Raya Island Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 9 August 2013
Dear ChrisJR2013,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback after your recent stay at Bunga Raya Island Resort & Spa. I have taken note of the comments you also shared with us when departing from the Resort and will follow up as promised.
It is always disappointing to hear from a guest that their stay was not flawless. While compliments are nice to receive, it is constructive criticism, such as yours, that help us pinpoint areas where corrective measures are necessary to bring us closer to our goal. I appreciate the frankness of your comments as it will help us to continually work on our product for the mutual benefit of our guests. After reviewing the events that have transpired, it is clear that we failed to deliver on our promise. Please be assured that all of your comments have been shared with the team and management as it will benefit us in our strive to provide a unique and memorable experience equal to our guests expectations.
On a more positive note I was glad to hear how much you enjoyed the natural beauty and surroundings of the resort as well as the overall friendliness and hospitality of our team which is our biggest asset.
Again, I would like to apologize on the overall disappointments that you have experienced during your stay and assuring you that your valuable comments are now on my list and further corrective measures are already being taken on the areas mentioned. I hope you will give us an opportunity to redeem ourselves as Bunga Raya Island Resort & Spa is a wonderful destination and we will do whatever it takes to restore your confidence. We hope that you will take the opportunity to stay with us again when your plans bring you back to Sabah.

Rainer
Executive Assistant Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Pulau Gaya
2.3 mi away
Gayana Eco Resort
Gayana Eco Resort
#3 of 3 in Pulau Gaya
4.0 of 5 bubbles 444 reviews
12.4 mi away
Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa
5.0 mi away
Sutera Harbour Resort (The Pacific Sutera & The Magellan Sutera)
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
8.6 mi away
Nexus Resort & Spa Karambunai
Nexus Resort & Spa Karambunai
#14 of 91 in Kota Kinabalu
3.5 of 5 bubbles 1,304 reviews
4.8 mi away
Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu
Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu
#6 of 91 in Kota Kinabalu
4.0 of 5 bubbles 2,022 reviews
4.8 mi away
Hyatt Regency Kinabalu
Hyatt Regency Kinabalu
#4 of 91 in Kota Kinabalu
4.0 of 5 bubbles 1,373 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Bunga Raya Island Resort & Spa? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Bunga Raya Island Resort & Spa

Property: Bunga Raya Island Resort & Spa
Address: Polish Bay | Gaya Island, Pulau Gaya 88778, Malaysia
Phone Number:
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > West Coast Division > Kota Kinabalu District > Pulau Gaya
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Pulau Gaya
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:5 star — Bunga Raya Island Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 48
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
As sensual and exotic as the hibiscus flower that bears its name, Bunga Raya Island Resort is a luxurious jewel set on a coral reef island just off the coast of Borneo. A secluded island hideaway of 47 timbered villas, the resort is framed by white sand beach and virgin jungle. Hillside villas reflect the simplicity of the Borneo architectural style. A hilltop spa blends the finest Traditional Asian and Western treatments using restorative powers of indigenous plants and oils. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Preferred Hotels, Booking.com, Expedia, Southall Travel, Ebookers, Agoda, Odigeo, Hotels.com, Priceline, TravelUp, TripOnline SA, Traveltool, S.L.U., Cancelon, Evoline ltd and HotelQuickly so you can book your Bunga Raya Island Resort & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Bunga Raya Island Hotel Kota Kinabalu
Bunga Raya Island Resort And Spa

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing