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“Villa on the sea in Kota Kinabalu”
Review of Gayana Eco Resort

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Gayana Eco Resort
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Pulau Gaya
Certificate of Excellence
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
29 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Villa on the sea in Kota Kinabalu”
Reviewed 31 July 2014

It's my first time spending so much on accommodation.
Check-in took a while because it was crowded, but the experience was alright.
Then we were brought to the island by boat, and been hold on in the restaurant with a lovely welcoming drink.

When we get into our room, we realised we got the room facing the rain forest, while the opposite room is facing the sea, so we called the receptionist to ask for a change. She told us to wait for 10 mins, however we waited for 20 mins, and called back, and been asked to wait for 10 mins again. And, nothing happened.. oh well, we just leave our room to walk around.

Room was alright, bed was comfy.
We spent sometime on the small jetty which is close to the ECO center.
Pool wasn't that fantastic, but it's a good place to snap lots of photos.

Dinner was great (over pricey as it's on an island)
We had great time anyway, but i won't want to come back to this resort again, but will try another resort which is nearby.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AdelineChu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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452 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (111)
Date | Rating
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English first
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 24 July 2014

This is by far one of the best resorts I ve been to in Malaysia. The staff are extremely welcoming, warm and sincere . If you are looking for some peace and tranquillity, then I strongly suggest this as an option. Another amazing point about this resort is the fact that it just an apprximately 20-30 mins boat ride to the city , which makes it even more interesting. As for the issue regarding the cleaniness of the water, well, during my 3 night stay there, I was absolutely satisfied and had no complaints on that. I guess it all depends on the season. I strongly recommend everyone to try the Chinese restaurant cause the food there is realllyyyy good. Whats nice ? EVERYTHING ! The breakfast menu however on the other hand was not soo impressive. I would give it about a 6/10 . Finally , i think the most impressive part about this resort is, their promptness in addressing thier client's problems . A special thanks to Mr Tomas for your courtesy and help.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Vee_Narain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 July 2014 via mobile

I stayed the most exclusive room named palm villa in Gayana Eco for my family journey. Hotel facility and service itself could not meet with other similiar resort, but I may grade as above average as considering natural environment of resort itself. Kota Kinabalu is second time coming, and now I found that Kota has very fantastic under ocean environment. It is excelent for snokling. Last time when I visit Sapi island, it was very disappointed so i actually consider other countru before finding gayana. Gayana Eco was great as expected for snokling. For snokling, it is great to do in the morning at least lunch time. It is the timing of tide goes up and many fish coming. I also tried in ocean view villa area but palm villa area was much more excelent to do snokling. Maybe it is slightly deep than ocean view villa area and that makes different I guess. Anyone can come to palm villa ocean therefore I suggust to go palm villa area for excelent snokling. Furthermore, there was no monkey and moskito kind of bug in the room. You can also see quite big fish in night time through floor glass in the room. Bad thing is that ocean stair was not enough specially when tide was low in afternoon. I cannot climb to ocean stair so I call staff to assist to go up. Also got many scratch in my body during climbing stairs.
I may summary my experience limit to palm villa.
Good- excelent snokling, floor glass view, good view in jakuzi, personal outdoor swimming pool, almost free mini bar, good bed, good surround system for music,always smiling attitude of staff
Bad- shortage of ocean stair, lack of restaurant menu (no korean or japanese food available), guest may have to dig information to get any service(staff only smile and gental response, mostly I request and maybe 8times more called to operator to discuss even to use my music in mobile to run in the room surround system) no beach sand. Beach sand is fully covered by ocean in morning when tide is high. Only small sand coming out after tide goes out. Room price is quite high considering outdoor swimming pool facility and food and other resort facility.

General recommends for except palm villa is below average. The public swimming pool is too small and not so fancy than other like Sutra Harbor or tangjungalru shang grila kind. Restaurant menu is short.

Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Min Joo K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 29 June 2014

All staff was EXTREMELY friendly and helpful. Premises was VERY clean. We loved visiting the sister resort. Spa was amazing. Bar was fun-- free happy hour drinks. it had stormed the nite before we arrived and staff was "cleaning" the ocean! Breakfast was really good.

Room Tip: I'd get the ocean view. We had the Mangrove view--wish we had upgraded.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PeteT44881
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong
Level Contributor
118 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 June 2014

I chose this hotel rather than the SLH hotel on the same island (which I always picked SLH hotels) was because my sis wants to experience water villas. I booked on hotel website and the price was not cheap. Lagoon villa is the entry level and we booked the Mangrove villa, the next level up. But upon check-in, with the price we were paying, Mangrove villa is outdated and way below our expectation. To fully experience the resort or water-villa to be precise, we have requested upgrade to Ocean Villa and Ocean villa is fantastic. The stay includes private breakfast on balcony and food was delivered by boat and it was a nice experience. In general, the food is good at the property. We also did Bamboo Journey at Solace Spa, pricy and nothing really different. Though snorkelling at South China Sea right from the Ocean Villa, mangrove kayaking can make our stay memorable.

Room Tip: Ocean Villa further out from the restaurant to the ocean
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sheepo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 June 2014 via mobile

Stay only at the beach villas.
That's the resort's key differentiator. For the price tho, the little things were annoying- the garbage on the beach, a broken step on the villa, algae on the step.

On the flipside, the staff were really attentive and nice, and the breakfasts were fab. Lunch and dinner were pricey so you might want to eat on the mainland.

Terrific to be able to jump into the water from your deck. Cool that you can also use the facilities at the nearby Bunga Raya- so you get rainforest and ocean.

Really lovely kayaking and swimming right outside your own door.

Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Liulang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TomasAndersen, General Manager at Gayana Eco Resort, responded to this review, 22 June 2014
Dear Liulang,

Thank you for your comments on TripAdvisor. I am pleased that you enjoyed your oceanview room (not beach villa). You are right it is wonderful to be able to jump in to the sea directly from the deck of your room. Thank you for pointing out that one of the steps leading into the sea was missing, this needs to be fixed. As for the rubbish in the sea, we now have a team who collect any floating debris during daylight hours.
Thankfully most days we enjoy clear blue water but when the tide changes or during the North East Monsoon (Dec-Mar) it might bring in some debris and seaweed.
We hope to see you back in Gayana again.

Thanks

Tomas
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shenzhen, China
Level Contributor
87 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 June 2014

Stayed here for just two nights, but felt fully recharged upon departure. Main advantage of resort is that it's build in harmony with wild nature around, which makes you a part of this nature. I find those precious moments in sync with mother-nature to be priceless.

Transfer and check-in were flawless - we found transfer station on Jesselton ferry terminal without any problem (located near the pier) and it took the boat around 20 minutes to arrive to Gaya island. We were kindly upgraded to an ocean-view villa upon our check-in (#38). Villa interiors were well-designed and thought out and view from villa's terrace was simply stunning - especially, during sunsets. The only minor issue, which we had with our room - there were a lot of ants, which would appear everywhere, including bed - insect repellent, which was in room, helped only temporarily - we had had to re-apply it every few hours. I believe, there should be a better solution to this problem.

As for the hotel grounds, they are well-maintained. As for the sea - and it was mentioned by other reviewers - there's some litter, which can be found in water, on the other hand, it was seen very infrequently, mostly, after the rains - there are nets, protecting hotel harbor from trash coming from mainland, which works rather efficiently (you can easily compare with trashed shores of the mainland).

As for the dining options - there are just few - Chinese/seafood restaurant and Macac restaurant, serving local/Asian/European dishes. All the dishes tasted rather good, prices were reasonable (keeping in mind, that it's a resort restaurant). My personal favorite - young mango salad (tastes much better, compared to traditional Thai) and curry laksa. Be sure to take advantage of sundown hours @ Latitude bar (6 -7 pm) - first drink is on house, the rest - with 50% off.

Hickups, which are mentioned by other reviewers - monkeys, insects, rats, problems with water, electricity, etc. are mainly due to hotel location (surrounded by rainforest, located on the island) and due to hoteliers policy to be non-harmful to nature around; if you can't tolerate those expected hick-ups and more of a traditional resort (concrete grounds, marble floors) person - there's plenty of choice in Kota Kinabalu. If you can tolerate those little surprises by mother-nature - I would definitely suggest to give Gayana Eco Resort a try.

Room Tip: Would suggest to go for an ocean view by all means - it's worth every extra penny paid.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Alexeich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Gayana Eco Resort

Property: Gayana Eco Resort
Address: Malohom Bay | Gaya Island, Pulau Gaya 88778, Malaysia
Phone Number:
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > West Coast Division > Kota Kinabalu District > Pulau Gaya
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Pulau Gaya
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:5 star — Gayana Eco Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 44
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Gayana Eco Resort rests serenely at the edges of Gaya Island off the coast of Borneo. 52 over water villas designed to enhance the soothing sounds of the surf, while capturing the enduring vistas of Mt. Kinabalu on the distant horizon. At its heart is about protecting and re-generating our precious Marine Ecology, and the only property to feature its own Marine Ecology Research Centre propagating Giant Clams and restoring damaged coral reefs. Striking the perfect balance of forward thinking ecology and indulgent luxury which pampers both the body and the enlightened soul. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gayana Eco Hotel Kota Kinabalu
Gayana Resort

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