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Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa
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Reviewed 29 April 2011

We stayed at the Rasa Ria hotel for Easter this year. The hotel was quite busy because of the holiday period and there were many families with children. However, given the hotel size and architecture, people were quite spread and it did not feel too crowded.
We stayed in the Garden Wing and paid 1009 Ringgit / night. We believe this price does not match the value of the room level. The room is outdated and not 'perfect', or at least not to the level of the price paid.
We had brought some movies and intended to watch them but there was no DVD player in the room. We had to rent it to the hotel for 45 Ringgit / day, which is nearly the price of a dvd player when you buy it!
The hotel is located far form the 'city' and is quite secluded. it has a long beach (quite dirty during the period we stayed there though...) but fit for long walks. The hotel is adapted to travelers who want to have a quiet holiday, rest and just stay in the hotel. It has a good range of activities for adults and also children so it is clearly for people who intend to 'go there and stay there'.
It also has a convenience shop in case you have forgotten anything or want to buy anything. It has about 4 restaurants (Teppanyaki, Buffet, Indian, Western food). Most of them are casual, one of them is more elegant.
The breakfast is good. It is served in a buffet style; both the location and the choice of food are quite good.
If you intend to visit the Orang Utan, bring your insect repellent!

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank CricHongKong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2011

We were recommended this resort by a friend who stayed in an Ocean Wing room; we stayed in the Executive Suite in the Garden Wing. After booking the room a number of months prior I became aware that the resort was undertaking renovations to the Garden Wing and that some noise may be experienced. As this holiday was to celebrate 2 special occasions being my wife’s 40th and our 14th wedding Anniversary I was concerned that our time would be spoilt by the renovations. I emailed the General Manager with my concerns and received a prompt reply which was very comforting in detail and explanation. We were also traveling with our 2 young daughters (3 & 8) so wanted this to be a perfect family holiday; we were not disappointed. Everything is done with the client in mind from the moment you arrive to the moment you leave. The food was superb, the room although a little tired (hence the renovations) was large enough for the 4 of us and well appointed. Our children loved the kids club, pools, water sports on offer and even the elephant rides. My wife and I experienced an incredible massage at the spa and I thoroughly recommend you try this. The wild life sanctuary was a great experience and to be so close to the young apes was a fantastic experience for us all. It is very hard to make special mention of particular staff as every one of them was very good. That said, I would like to say a special thank you to Jimmy, our Teppanyaki chef who entertained us and cooked the most beautiful food, Andrew the Executive Sous Chef who, through a great conversation at the Coast restaurant, we found out once lived a few Km's away from us and attended the school where my wife once taught - thank you! All of the restaurants provided great food and Naan is the best Indian food I have had outside of India. The guys who attended to our every whim at the gazebo we booked on the beach were excellent (highly recommend you do this) and Citherine and Felicia at the Coffee Terrace who genuinely welcomed us every day and doated on our children. This place is amazing and worth every cent. I have traveled extensively throughout the world and stayed at numerous 5 star hotels, including other SGL's, this is the best for a family holiday in my opinion. We will be returning, hopefully as soon as November. Timothy Wright has created something special here, well done and thank you!

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank HallMC69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2011

Really enjoyed our stay, Rasa Ria is a lovely hotel in a beautiful spot. We stayed in a Deluxe Seaview room on the 5th floor which gave us fabulous views - it was fantastic waking up to see such stunning scenery and the sunsets were among the best we have seen anywhere in the world! Many tips have been posted before so just a few from us:-

Breakfasts lovely and great value at 50 RM (10 pounds)

Make sure you visit the golf course at least to try the driving range and for a good cheap lunch
ALL the restaurants were good to great and represent great value, Coast was our favourite (the set menu there at 130 RM is fantastic value) but Nann and the Japanese great too as were the buffet restaurants (which I do not usually enjoy)

Taxi return (60 RM) to Gayang Restaurant (seafood) is worth the trip for a different evening meal
Hotel lays on great trips and activities, we enjoyed the obvious such as the Orang Utans but also the fire flies and a 6.30am bird watching walk (did not see as much as we hoped) and a crabbing trip
Happy hour great value and the one at Coast is on until 8pm and is very relaxing
Internet is fast, efficient and free! A big plus!
Lots of water in the rooms - left us at least 6 bottles a day which was much appreciated
Hotel eneretainment really good and we do not normally go a bundle on hotel enertainment (it was not in the same league in Tanjung Aru).

As everyone mentions the staff are very friendly and helpful - it really does make the place special! Despite it being a big hotel staff really do care about you and there is a relaxed, friendly vibe.

We had a week in this resort them moved to KK for a second week - this gave a really useful contrast. The Tanjung Aru hotel in KK is lovely and there are some aspects we prefered but in general we preferred Rasa Ria and a lot of that was down to the beautiful staff and service.

Room Tip: Make sure you get an upper floor for the views
  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Bob+Diane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 April 2011

Hi we just came back from our trip to Borneo, had one night at the Rasa Ria to finish the holiday off in style. We really liked the place, we got picked up by the hotels limo from the airport, the driver was really friendly gave us some cold towels and some water and drove us to the hotel. It is a fair distance out of KK so I think arranging for the hotel to get you in the limo is not that much more expensive than getting a taxi. I liked the check in process, they sat you down and brought you a drink while you filled in the forms etc.

We arrived just in time to see the fabulous sun set from the balcony of our sea view room. The rooms was really nice, huge bed, small living area and balcony over looking the sea. One minor fault we did find a couple of stray hairs in the bathroom.

We showered and then headed down off to dinner, my girlfriend was excited as she wanted to pick a resturant (I think they have 5). This is where the strange information from the staff came in, I asked a member of staff on one of the information desks where the resturants were located. I was told that the resturants require advance reservation so our only choice would be the Coffee shop which had a buffet dinner. This disappointed my girlfriend , luckily I decided to go for a walk and find the resturants myself because we found the Indian, Japanese and Coast were all half empty and we had our pick. Settled on the indian and the food and service were great. I Just cant understand why the staff tried to direct us to the buffet option.

We did a night walk at the nature reserve which was good, saw some spiders, insects, a snake and a bear cat. Next day we went back to see the stars of the show the Orangutans, which was really good. Went Jet Sking , went in the beautiful sea (until we saw a Jelly fish after half hour) and spent a lot of time at the pool.

Overall we loved the place and wished we were staying longer than the one night.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank wolvesaussie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 April 2011

This is an amazing place/hotel and we had an absolutley brilliant 10 days here. As another reviewer has said this is "a resort hotel" with all facilities you will need from mulitple restaurants, golfing, gym and watersports activities as well as the modest sized nature/orang utan reserve. This means that if you want to experience the locality of Sabah and Kota Kinabalu you have to get off your sun-lounger and make the effort. If you don't you will regret it and it seems pointless to fly 8000 miles to Borneo and not leave the (admittedly expansive) confines of the hotel. And this is my only gripe with the hotel really - the location is not given to intergrating with Malaysian culture. You can't just spill out into local shops/bars/restaurants. it's a 30-45 min ride into town. We did make the effort and were rewarded with some fantastic experiences - white-water rafting, market-shopping, eating out at Sepco Market (pick out all your seafood live from the tanks and they'll cook it however you want), snorkelling and scuba diving off the beautiful islands a sppedboat ride away from KK etc. I think you appreciate the hotel even more once you make the effort to explore the surronding areas.

The staff are genuinely kind and courteous and really committed to making your stay special. The Garden Wing was more crowded We stayed in the Ocean Wing which was different class and would recommend the upgrade for the standard of the rooms and also if you are looking for a more sedate "pool-scene". The nature reserve is great and the orang utans are breath-taking. The rangers are passionate and knowledgable.

Value for money is actually pretty good. Kids under 12 eat free on most of the buffet menus. Given the geographical grip the hotel has on you, they are very fair in their pricing. No problems on that front.

Fantastic place staffed by great people. Will go back. Tempting though it is to stay put make sure you get some insight into this incredible part of the world.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank mattyw70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RRR-GM, General Manager at Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 10 May 2011

Thank you very much for your feedback. I was pleased to learn you enjoyed the Resort as well as an excursion to the City which gives interesting in-sights to the local culture. We do try to encourage our guests to at least visit Tuaran town which is a 10 minute taxi ride & which has the closest market to the Resort. Tuaran, although much smaller than Kota Kinabalu, does offer some interesting sights to those who are keen to venture outside the Resort. Thank you again for your comments, regards Timothy Wright

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