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“What a great combination of experiences!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Gaya Island Resort

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Gaya Island Resort
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Pulau Gaya
Certificate of Excellence
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
25 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“What a great combination of experiences!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 October 2013

What a place! Literally immerse in the jungle on the edge of the ocean with all the rooms overlooking the water. The hotel is brand new (which is of course positive as the rooms are pristine and everyone is so keen to make it a success) and will be even more beautiful in a couple of years when the vegetation has recovered all the structures.
Food is excellent and i recommend the Borneo cuisine cooking classes with chef Vivian: amazing experience.
Generally speaking the level of service was truly outstanding (and we are not easy clients!): we had a lady called Bowie taking care of us like we were family from check in to check out but in general the staff is all very polite efficient and speaks good english.
The spa is beautiful, very scenic and the treatment and very good.
The highlight for us was however Justin the resort Naturalist: we went 3 times with him in the surrounding jungle and we saw all sort of animals and plants but the way Justin introduces people to the jungle sharing all his knowledge and passion is unique: our kids have not stop speaking of him since and they quote him like the highest authority!

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank CdeSanctis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kirinjit, General Manager at Gaya Island Resort, responded to this review, 17 November 2013
Dear Guest,

Greetings from Gaya Island Resort - A walking resort.

Me, Bowie, Vivian, Justin and the team would like to take this opportunity to thank your kind self very much on your stay and we are happy to read that you enjoyed your stay with us very much as much we enjoyed serving you.

Again, we thank you for your support and we look forward to welcome you back to Gaya Island Resort in time to come.

Kind regards,
Kirinjit Singh.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,009 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (283)
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English first
Manchester, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 October 2013 via mobile

When we first arrived we requested a room change due to being close to an air con unit which the staff quickly and helpfully obliged and we received a complimentary bottle of wine for the inconvenience.

We stayed for 5 nights and wish we could have stayed longer. The food was exquisite and the staff went out of there way to make sure we had an exceptional dining experience.

The hotel has a private beech with a separate diner which was absolutely amazing. I have never eaten so well! The bar men and staff were also really helpful and couldn't do enough to make our stay extra special by inventing cocktails and waiting on us hand and foot

The terrain is slightly hilly and so be prepared to walk a bit. This hotel really couldn't done enough for us and We would recommend the sunset cruise and the snorkelling. Would definitely recommend to friends

Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Sean T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kirinjit, General Manager at Gaya Island Resort, responded to this review, 17 November 2013
Dear Guest,

Greetings from Gaya Island Resort - A walking resort.

Thank you very much on your review and we are happy to read that your with us was a relaxing and memorable one.

We look forward to welcome you back to Gaya Island Resort in future.

Kind regards,
Kirinjit Singh
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maidenhead, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 October 2013

We were here at the recommendation of the travel agent for a wind-down after a hectic 11 days touring the wildlife areas of Malaysian Borneo. What a treat to find the beach deserted (everyone was by the pool) and getting hot satay on a brick delivered to you with a couple of beers for lunch on the beach really takes the biscuit (we did it three days on the trot!) The Staff were brilliant, involved and interested. I particularly liked the traditional native "party" where lots of the catering and grounds staff joined in with the guests. The snorkling was also brilliant! What more can I say? Loved it

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Botanybay1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kirinjit, General Manager at Gaya Island Resort, responded to this review, 17 November 2013
Dear Guest,

Greetings from Borneo.

Thank you for your stay and review. Me and team is happy to read on your memorable stay and we all look forward to welcome you back to Gaya Island Resort in future.

Best wishes from all of us here.

Regards,
Kirinjit Singh.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Launceston, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 October 2013

We were only here for 3 nights as a relax after a busy week on Mainland Sabah.
Sure the prices may be expensive compared to some other places in Asia but it's a resort people. If you don't do your homework on where you are going these days then I can't understand why people complain about
1. The prices. If you're that upset about the prices don't go. So it's in Asia, and you think it should be cheap. It's a resort on an island prices go up.
2. The lack of eating options. If you're that fussy don't go
3. The walk up the hill. Take your time, there's no reason to be in a hurry

When you've done your homework, as we had, and were prepared for all the above, the place is a paradise.
The staff, just fantastic, the rooms large and exceptionally clean, the pool and beach, oh those hammocks (I still dream about the afternoon spent reading, snoozing and yes, drinking in them)
The private bay/beach and yes the lunchtime BBQ may be expensive to some at Aud $25 we considered it a bargain. If I could I'd live on that beach.
Thank you Gaya Island Resort. If we ever return to wonderful Sabah, we'll definitely spend more time with you.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank gotheblues
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kirinjit, General Manager at Gaya Island Resort, responded to this review, 17 November 2013
Dear Guest,

Greetings from Gaya Island Resort - A walking resort.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you very much for choosing Gaya Island Resort as your holiday destination and I look forward to welcome you back in future.

Again, thank you for you support and kind regards.

Kirinjit Singh
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Copenhagen
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 October 2013

We stayed at the Gaya Island Resort for 2 nights booked via Hotels.com and were suitably impressed with the stay. The island is only a short speed boat trip away from the mainland Kota Kinabalu (however, the cost for this is way overpriced, RM70 per way). The rooms on the island lived up to all our expectations, with a beautiful view of the beach and the rainforest just below. The facilities in the room are very good. Everything is nice and new incl. a big bath tub and lovely outdoor decking where one can enjoy a drink etc. On arrival you get a very comprehensive introduction to the island, the facilities, and your room. Each day we had cleaners come in the morning as well as in the evenings to turn down your bed. leaving a small gift on the bed for each of us.
The restaurant was okay, however, when in Malaysia, I would not expect to pay European prices, not even at a 5***** star resort. The food was okay, but we were not overwhelmed by the dinners, we had. The breakfast is, however, extremely good. The pool is really nice, and we spent most of our day time relaxing by the pool, enjoying the view of Mt Kinabalu. Again, the drinks were way too expensive. We almost felt like we had gone out for a drink in Copenhagen.
Also, we only stayed on the island for a couple of days so we did not need to go back to the mainland whilst here, however, we heard from others that the charges going back (15 min by boat) were outrageous. Basically, some people felt a bit stranded at the resort.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank KHPuli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kirinjit, General Manager at Gaya Island Resort, responded to this review, 31 October 2013
Dear Guest,

Greetings from Gaya Island Resort- A walking resort.

I would like to thank you very much on your visit and I note, overall your stay with us was a relaxing one. I have shared your comments with the team and congratulated them on their dailies, ensuring your stay was nothing less then a memorable break.

Again, thank you very much on your support and we look forward to welcome you back to Gaya Island Resort in future.

Kind regards,
Kirinjit Singh.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 October 2013

My husband and I have just returned from 8 nights at Gaya Island. This hotel has only been open since 2012 so there are definately things that need attention and improving on. The walk to some of the rooms (like ours) was not particularly fun as it was all up hill and in the heat not great and for an older couple could be a problem, I believe this is something they are looking into. There are only two restaurants although they consider the pool bar a '3rd one' but this consists of the same menu as the buffet restaurant but again believe that they are now adding another one which I would say is in need of. The fine dinning is meant to be fish only but as I dont like fish they were more than happy to accommodate me and it was excellent whilst my husband enjoyed the fish. The staff are brilliant and couldnt be more helpful. The Spa again is a 'nice walk up a hill' but is beautiful once there, the treatments are amazing and would definately recommend the various types of massages and facials on offer.

Room Tip: All of the rooms are exactly the same at this resort but in order to avoid a long walk ask for one o...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Eve B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kirinjit, General Manager at Gaya Island Resort, responded to this review, 31 October 2013
Dear Guest,

Greetings from Gaya Island Resort - A walking tropical resort!

I would like to apologize on the inconveniences that your self experienced on regards to hilly walk to your villa. Being a nature resort, guest villas are located on the higher and lower hill.

The villas on the higher hill are Kinabalu villas(ocean and mountain view) and on the lower hill are the Bayu and Canopy villas(jungle view). Kinabalu villas are the highest category villas and due to the location, it does come with some level of up-hill walking.

I also note, overall you had a memorable stay with us. Me and Team look forward to welcome you back to Gaya Island Resort in future.

Kind regards,
Kirinjit Singh.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
37 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 September 2013

Honeymoon stay. Beautiful location, amazing rooms, very relaxing until the bill arrives, two tins of Pepsi approx 6 British pounds. Staff are very friendly and helpful, however once the wow factor has worn off, (like the other trip advisor said). The cracks really show. Not worthy of a 5 star. One restaurant and one communal eatery, wasn't sure if a la carte or buffet. A la carte prices but help yourself canteen. One set of knife and fork to be re used for starter, main and dessert. Once you are on the island, which is stunning, you are captive for a rip off hotel. We expected higher prices before arrival, but the hotel does not justify them. If you fancy a cosy drink in the eve with friends, the only bar starts to shut down approx 10.40. Lights out by 11. The real beauty here is the wildlife and forest, the hotel would struggle in any other location. Could be amazing with a bit of tweaking.

Room Tip: All rooms are equal quality. No need to upgrade.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank debbi12328
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kirinjit, General Manager at Gaya Island Resort, responded to this review, 31 October 2013
Dear Guest,

I would like to unreservedly apologize on the overall disappointments that your self experienced, as shared, mainly on regards to the price. I would like to share that our prices are align with other 5 Star establishments around the areas and I am sorry that this was not your opinion and I offer my apology again.

I am very sorry on the disappointments and I would like to assure your self that your comments are now in our record for our future improvements.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for choosing Gaya Island Resort for your recent break and we look forward to welcome you back in future.

Kind regards,
Kirinjit Singh.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Gaya Island Resort

Property: Gaya Island Resort
Address: | Malohom Bay, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, Pulau Gaya 88000, Malaysia
Phone Number:
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > West Coast Division > Kota Kinabalu District > Pulau Gaya
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Pulau Gaya
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Gaya Island Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 121
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