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“Nice Hotel”
Review of Gaya Island Resort

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Gaya Island Resort
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Pulau Gaya
Certificate of Excellence
Stafa, Switzerland
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Nice Hotel”
Reviewed 17 May 2014

The hotel is nice located in the slope of the island. Our room was nice located on the top of the hotel area. Food was ok for a self-service restaurant. @ the pool-bar the service was very slow but on the other hand fresh water was served during stay on the pool several times. If you need a quiet place we can give a special recommendation for the private beach.
In summary it was a nice stay but nothing special.

Room Tip: If you are not trained ask for rooms in the tropical garden next to the small beach. Otherwise you h...
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JustynaN07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James_YTL, Manager at Gaya Island Resort, responded to this review, 10 December 2015
Greetings from Borneo!

Thank you for this lovely review from your visit to Gaya Island Resort.

I am glad you had a wonderful experience and that you thoroughly enjoyed everything from the views through to our perfect and convenient location in Kota Kinabalu.

I have shared your comments with the team for them to enjoy also.

Thank you again, we look forward to seeing you back for another relaxing visit on your next trip to Kota Kinabalu

Warm Regards
James
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (299)
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Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
30 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 May 2014

This hotel was expensive but very nice. Our room was a fair walk from the main pool but the exercise and scenery were nice. Food was expensive from the hotel so a good idea to bring snacks from a mini mart beforehand because once on the island there isn't anything else to choose from. We tried the snorkelling and thought it was amazing, definitely a must do and we enjoyed the weather.

Room Tip: Recommend close to the pool area
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Shannon R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James_YTL, Manager at Gaya Island Resort, responded to this review, 10 December 2015
Greetings from Borneo!

Thank you for this lovely review from your visit to Gaya Island Resort.

I am glad you had a wonderful experience and that you thoroughly enjoyed everything from the views through to our perfect and convenient location in Kota Kinabalu.

I have shared your comments with the team for them to enjoy also.

Thank you again, we look forward to seeing you back for another relaxing visit on your next trip to Kota Kinabalu

Warm Regards
James
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Madrid, Spain
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 May 2014

The island itself is beautiful.Bear in mind the 20mr fee per day for park fees.
Went for the turtle feeding experience so disappointing!it consisted of a solitary turtle in a tank and you hand fed it with shrimp.The beach you go to see the turtle on is very pretty though.

The most disappointing thing about the island is the food.The food is over priced and not very varied.The menu never changes.you get charged tax and a service charge on food and drink.Quite a cheek really as the service is slow unless they are whipping your empty plate away from you.

Rooms are lovely we had a bayu villa which was great.

The beach is pretty but very small.there were not many guests when we were here I can't imagine how you would get a spot on the beach if the hotel is running at full occupancy.

Went on the mangrove kayaking Greta experience no wildlife but the mangroves spoke for themselves.

Nature walk was good but try not to get at the back as you can't hear and they rush you through

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Dellie81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James_YTL, General Manager at Gaya Island Resort, responded to this review, 7 January 2016
Thank you for your feedback on your stay at Gaya Island. I can see from your review that your stay was far from your expectations and apologize for the various shortcomings and inconveniences which you experienced.

These are far from common occurrences and certainly not representative of our usual high standard of service, facilities and upkeep of the property.

Rest assured I have been through your feedback with our team and analyzed where opportunities for improvement lie, how we best achieve that task and will be acting swiftly to see it through

I understand your disappointment but sincerely hope we will have the opportunity to welcome you for a return stay in the future to rebuild your confidence in our brand and resort.

Warm regards,
James
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 May 2014

Amazingly relaxing. Rooms are built to fit the topography of the island, so you feel like you're surrounded by beautiful forest yet with easy access to the beach and water activities! The only downside is you do need to eat every meal at the resort which really isn't cheap...

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BC-Travel-Bugg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James_YTL, Manager at Gaya Island Resort, responded to this review, 10 December 2015
Greetings from Borneo!

Thank you for this lovely review from your visit to Gaya Island Resort.

I am glad you had a wonderful experience and that you thoroughly enjoyed everything from the views through to our perfect and convenient location in Kota Kinabalu.

I have shared your comments with the team for them to enjoy also.

Thank you again, we look forward to seeing you back for another relaxing visit on your next trip to Kota Kinabalu

Warm Regards
James
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Level Contributor
63 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 May 2014

We have been to a few of YTL resorts i.e. PLR, TJR, CHR and Majestic Malacca and Majestic KL. So, our 4 days 3 nites trip to GIR was something we really looked forward to plus we have a set of expectations.

We spent most of our time by the pool, by the beach or at the library. The weather was hot and some how not as windy as expected. Whenever we are in the Feast Village, we will be looking for a table under a fan but still not much help ;).

We went for the coral garden snorkelling trip which was so much fun and got to see lovely lively coral reefs. I have seen most of the fish before but was pleasantly surprised to get to see a blacktip shark...a very shy one. We walked to the jetty one nite, enroute to our villa, and we saw a squid...that was another first. Bobo, our 'house pet' wild boar always 'waited' for us in front of our villa and one morning, we were greeted by monkeys...distinctively Borneo indeed.

Things we love about GIR:
i. Do check out the library. We love to lepak (hang out) there after dinner.
ii. Our villas were quite high up on the hill. We were on the resident package but we welcome the daily exercise - 4 times a day ;)
(iii) Set lunch in Tavajun Bay on 5 May...yummy and if only we can get more of the tom yum soup
(iv) We enjoyed the signature ytl resorts Friday afternoon activity for guests. In GIR, it was called singgah sanggang, I think. Lovely local food, teh tarik soooo sedap and interesting activities and local crafts. It was fun mingling with the staff and guests too.

We were disappointed with:
(i) buffet breakfast and dinner : Same kind of food everyday although they have a different breakfast specials / dinner specials e.g mee hailam (breakfast) satay (dinner). Our resident package offer meals in feast village / pool.
(ii) very very very limited range of desserts. I suggest to offer desserts such as banana split (which I think this is the most basic dessert) to local favourites like cendol or ais kacang. On a hot hot day, these will help to cool down.

We didn't try any of the spa treatments but we went to check out the village; lovelyyyy. We thought the treatments are a bit more expensive than the other spa villages (this is the first time we decided not to try). However, one guest said she really enjoyed her massage (she was like us too, a fan of YTL resorts and spas)

Overall, we had a great time. However, unlike PLR and TJR where we keep going back, GIR will not be at the top of our list.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank zuraida89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James_YTL, Manager at Gaya Island Resort, responded to this review, 10 December 2015
Greetings from Borneo!

Thank you for this lovely review from your visit to Gaya Island Resort.

I am glad you had a wonderful experience and that you thoroughly enjoyed everything from the views through to our perfect and convenient location in Kota Kinabalu.

I have shared your comments with the team for them to enjoy also.

Thank you again, we look forward to seeing you back for another relaxing visit on your next trip to Kota Kinabalu

Warm Regards
James
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
20 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 May 2014 via mobile

The only detraction from our week at this resort was the view of the ugly high rise on the mainland and container ships and tankers at anchor in the strait, responsible, no doubt, for the amount of rubbish and poor clarity of the sea. Had this been under the control of the hotel, no doubt it would quickly have been remedied, as they got pretty much everything else right. They took great effort to keep the fine, gently sloping sandy beach immaculately raked, and removed flotsam several times a day. Our suite was well designed and appointed, and kept perfectly clean and tidy. Water was complimentary, and also provided at the beach and pool. It was refreshing to experience genuine service and not to feel vulnerable to every opportunity to be relieved of your cash, as with other isolated places we've stayed. Another nice touch in this regard was that dessert was included in the price of the main course. There was always a wide selection of sweets,fruits and puddings to finish the meal. A la carte was available in addition to the open buffets, all very reasonably priced. The setting was delightful, grounds kept neat and tidy. All staff throughout the resort were friendly and helpful. Goodness, I actually couldn't find anything to complain about. We'll done, Gaya Island Resort!

Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Linda J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James_YTL, Manager at Gaya Island Resort, responded to this review, 10 December 2015
Greetings from Borneo!

Thank you for this lovely review from your visit to Gaya Island Resort.

I am glad you had a wonderful experience and that you thoroughly enjoyed everything from the views through to our perfect and convenient location in Kota Kinabalu.

I have shared your comments with the team for them to enjoy also.

Thank you again, we look forward to seeing you back for another relaxing visit on your next trip to Kota Kinabalu

Warm Regards
James
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 May 2014 via mobile

Was quite disappointed with this hotel as have been to quite a few others similar in SE Asia and expected a lot more.

The villas are really spacious and luxurious and the people generally smiley and friendly. However given how much it costs to stay, there a few things to be aware of:

Food is ridiculously expensive. Like 10x what I'm sure the nicest restaurant just 15 minutes away at Kota Kinabalu would cost. The menus don't change, so 99% of breakfast is exactly the same every morning and the restaurant a la carte menu is the same daily too. Quality average despite the price.

Staff seemed to be in a hurry a lot of the time. They would watch you like a hawk and as soon as you'd have a bowl / plate / glass that was the tiniest bit close to empty they'd interrupt you to try and take it away. Also when we went to the 'craftwork' session (essentially stringing beads onto nylon) a guest was late and the girl running it wouldn't let her join. It felt unnecessary to do that, it's not like we were painting the Mona Lisa.

Free activities very limited and where organised did not meet description given at all (see beads comment above)

Small thing but the pool music plays the same 3 songs on loop the entire day, which almost drove me insane

In summary great for relaxing by the beach and in the villa but am sure can get better value elsewhere (another couple suggested the Shangri La in Kota K, for instance)

Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Mn3ikp1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James_YTL, General Manager at Gaya Island Resort, responded to this review, 7 January 2016
Thank you for your feedback on your stay at Gaya Island. I can see from your review that your stay was far from your expectations and apologize for the various shortcomings and inconveniences which you experienced.

These are far from common occurrences and certainly not representative of our usual high standard of service, facilities and upkeep of the property.

Rest assured I have been through your feedback with our team and analyzed where opportunities for improvement lie, how we best achieve that task and will be acting swiftly to see it through

I understand your disappointment but sincerely hope we will have the opportunity to welcome you for a return stay in the future to rebuild your confidence in our brand and resort.

Warm regards,
James
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 | 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
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Gaya Island Resort is located on Pulau Gaya, the largest of a cluster of five islands that form the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, a natural conservation area off the coast of Borneo, close to Kota Kinabalu. Gaya Island Resort has a unique setting: the land is fringed with a golden sandy beach, rocky coastal outcrops, and surrounded by coral reefs. The hilly island landscape is covered with lush tropical rainforest and an abundance of flora and fauna. And to complete this perfect setting, visible in the distance, is the stunning outline of Mount Kinabalu. The guest villa exterior respects Sabahan architecture uses local materials and blends harmoniously with the natural environment. The interior living space is designed with contemporary elegance to create warmth, comfort and a serene indoor setting. Gaya Island Resort is committed to ecologically sustainable practices to minimise the carbon footprint within its environment. Therefore the resort is a walking resort and only minimal motorised vehicles are used for operational purposes. ... more   less 
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