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Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa
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Reviews (6,521)
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3,105 - 3,110 of 6,521 reviews
Reviewed 15 March 2014

From the moment we arrived and were greeted by Rasa Ria employees to the time we left at the airport at the baggage carousel, the service of the people was outstanding.

The room we stayed in had a fantastic view and was great to awake to every morning.

Even though the hotel was located a long distance from town we never felt the need to leave the resort in the 10 days we stayed. There was a great variety of good food at the various restaurants and plenty to do in and around the resort for the whole family.

Definitely great value for money spent and hope to visit again soon.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Review collected in partnership with shangri-la.com
2  Thank Aaron S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 March 2014

There is no doubt that Rasa Ria is a lovely hotel set on its own in a bay with its own nature reserve. We enjoyed seeing the orang utans, beautiful macaws, hornbills and lizards as well as the well kept gardens.
The restaurants in the hotel offered varied menus and our favourite was Coast which offered fresh cooked fish and steaks. The staff are lovely, friendly and welcoming with nothing being too much trouble. I was particularly impressed that on a few occasions the chefs came out of their kitchens to ask for feedback and one even gave me the recipe for their delicious macaroons.
We had a great room in the garden wing on the top floor with far reaching seas views. On the negative side it wasn't as clean as as it should have been. There was black hair under the bottom sheet and on the sofa, the drain filter for the shower was blocked causing the shower not to drain away and we found a live cockroach in one of the drawers. On leaving we checked under the bed and there was debris of some kind. This is such a shame as in every other way I would say the hotel was very clean especially the gym.
I was surprised by the number of Chinese guests who took their mobile phones to dinner and constantly played games or took photos of their food or each other. It seemed rude to us.
The staff were fabulous and regularly provided ice water and water melon to keep you cool round the pool. There plenty of beach towels and free Wi Fi every where.
I thoroughly recommend the massage and reflexology.
All in all a beautiful hotel, charming staff and interesting country.

Room Tip: Higher floors have great views
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Jackie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shangri-LaRasaRia, General Manager at Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 26 March 2014

Dear Jackie, thank you for sharing your feedback with us. Glad to know that you and your partner had a relaxing stay at Rasa Ria, however note that the room was not as clean as it should have been - we will address these shortcomings with our Housekeeping team. Thank you again for staying with us and we look forward to your next visit!
Sincerely,
Bruno Cristol
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 March 2014

If you arrive early in the morning you will find 3 buses unloading dozens of package travellers.
No more to say. You are expecting/paying for a 5* resort, and you will get a budget resort service.
Commodities and environment is really good, but service and atmosphere in poor.
At 8:00am you will find lots of guests running to the garden chairs to put a towel and reserve the seat....
Food is average., but ok if you are staying for 2 nights maximum.
Still, it is quite clean, and quiet.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with shangri-la.com
2  Thank CharlesM421
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 March 2014

This was our 5th stay at the Rasa Ria Resort and we stayed 10 nights. My husband and I have stayed twice by ourselves and 3 times with family, ages ranging from 76 (my mother) to 5 our grandaughter. My mother has been twice and my daughter, her husband and their 4 daughters have been twice. On this visit we were "welcomed home" by the staff. We have always stayed in the Garden Wing and have a ground floor with ocean views across the lawns and gardens. The rooms are beautifully furnished and are serviced twice a day.
The food served at the numerous dining locations is beautifully presented offering a wide variety to satisfy the most fussy eater. The staff are excellent, Eddie at the poolside restaurant, Fardianie at The Terrace restaurant, Ayyu, a member of the Recreation staff, Fitri at the Recreation bookings desk, to name a few.
We arrived at the resort after a five and a half hour direct flight from Perth at around 8.00am. The airport is approximately a 1 hour drive as it is the other side of Kota Kinabulu and we were driving in peak hour traffic. Our return trip to the airport only took forty five minutes. Even though the hotel is a distance away, you get to see a lot on the drive out and the hotel has a shuttle bus if you want to visit the shopping centre at OneBorneo or the city shops and sites.
On arrival we were welcomed and quickly checked in. We were escorted to the Terrace Restaurant and given a complimentary buffet breakfast and told our room would be available as soon as possible ( check in not until 2.00pm). Our room was available before we finished our breakfast. We always pack our bathers in our hand luggage as this is not always the case. Depends on the occupancy of the hotel.
It was my husbands birthday while we were there and we had a delicious cake delivered to our room in the evening along with candles and a birthday card from the Rasa Ria resort. I had not arranged it, this is the extra thought and care you receive during your stay. I booked a 3 hour Golf Lesson for my husband with Aaron the golf pro as a birthday present. He is a non player and he said the lesson was fantastic.
This visit was purely R&R as we have taken part in the River Cruise, the Orang-Utans, visited Mt Kinabulu, the morning bike ride to the local village on our other visits.
The pool side service, the availability of sun lounges, the lady and men carry out massages at the pool was as usual outstanding.
My husband and I did discuss if we would return during our flight over. Friends have said there are other places to visit. Yes there are, but for us it is not about the places it is about the people and the experience. When we walked into reception and familiar faces welcome you with a "welcome home" greeting, we knew we would be back.

Room Tip: Garden View, ground floor 120 to 148.
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank Linrol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shangri-LaRasaRia, General Manager at Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 26 March 2014

Dear Linrol, thank you for staying with us again on your recent holiday. I am very happy to hear that you had a great experience at Rasa Ria and my dedicated team members took good care of you and your family during your stay – I will be sure to share your positive comments with them. We look forward to welcoming you and your family back again soon!
Sincerely,
Bruno Cristol
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 March 2014

...I have a feeling this may well turn out to be one of my longer reviews as, despite staying at Shangri-la hotels before, I am a total fan of the Rasa Ria and want you to be too!

The Shangri-la hotels are usually a definite cut above usual hotels but the RR really does go that extra mile. From the moment we arrived to the staff ready and waiting to greet us, the welcome gong, cold drink and refreshing face towel, to leaving 10 days later they wowed us.

It did seem that lots of guests arrived and left after a few days as part of a tour so maybe we had time to really get into the rhythm of the place and really appreciate it.

There wasn't any of the usual standing around at reception, we were taken directly to comfy sofas and the check in came to us which was wonderful after a long journey from the Uk, a hectic stay in Hong Kong and another long journey. We were soon on our way to our Garden Wing deluxe sea view room (561) which we thought seemed an awfully long way away at that moment. Lovely walk along open plan walkways at the rear of the property, so along the jungle side which was always interesting although we never got to see monkeys flying through the trees there!

The room itself was great. A short corridor from the entrance with a triple wardrobe - there aren't ever enough hangars but a call to housekeeping had lots more arriving very quickly- with a large shelf above. the opposite side had drawers and the safe. then into the very large room itself. A large drawer had cutlery, crockery, glassware, tea/coffee facilities, above that was the kettle, full fruit bowl and below the room fridge which was empty for you to use it for whatever you wanted and a note telling you where to get any drinks etc you needed and where to find the ice machine. lots more drawer space, a huge king size plus bed - very comfy, great pillows-more bedside drawers and then another large built in wardrobe that actually wasn't when we opened it up. It was a third shelving and the rest was a pull down bed if needed.

Then - yes, theres more! - you went down a couple of steps to the sunken sitting area with a huge comfy daybed and lots of cushions where I ended up each morning with tea and a biscuit just looking at the fabulous view.

There really wasn't anything they had missed - embarrasingly I told Khai, Customer Services Executive, the only thing they were missing was a beach bag and on my last day I found that there was one......................there were mosquito coils for when you were on the (large) balcony with table, chairs and lounger, plug in anti mozzie thing for the room, iron and ironing board (I'm not going to use these on my hols but I know plenty of people who do), ice bucket, cloth napkins ,robes, slippers, umbrella, a new set of beach flip flops each etc etc.

The huge bathroom had a large walk in shower, a bath tub with another shower, large vanity unit and all the toiletries etc-including a razor and cream for men- you could possibly need plus plenty of space for your own items. Another note asked that you let them know if you needed anything else.

Because we arrived late we didn't take this all in at first - we wanted food! The International buffet area was open as was the Malaysian Steet area, where we went. basically there were 5 or 6 different 'shop fronts' where all types of Malaysian food was being freshly cooked for you. Another area had all the salads, prawns etc, pasta type items, desserts - all kinds of things. I'm never a fan of real buffets but I do like this idea where stations are ready to prepare food for you as required. Had a very enjoyable meal here .

The other restaurants are the Naan which has 2 awards for Indian food - not a big fan of curries but I loved their starters and the citrus prawns were wonderful. The tempanyaki restaurant which I had only come across for the first time in Hong Kong and loved. The seafood menu for this was amazing and loved the theatre of it all with a very interesting chef.

The coffee terrace/international buffet was where all garden wing guests had breakfast and there was absolutely everything available here. Agnes was a star on the egg station but everyone else obviously works so hard here and you only have to ask for something for it to appear. we also had some evening meals here for themed evenings and loved it all although perhaps the Sunday Roast should be called a roasted meat evening to stop any disappontment when - stupidly I know - we hadn't got yorkshire puds or roast potatoes.

Coast is a more upmarket restaurant with a lovely a la carte or chefs menu in a very beautiful setting looking over the beach and we had some very enjoyable and delicious meals here. Coast is where the Ocean Wing guests have breakfast. The only thing I would stay about the work going on there is that people we met who were there weren't happy as piling work had just started but we barely noticed it in the Garden Wing.

You have to book for Coast, Naan and the Tempanyaki but there is a dedicated desk for this in reception and we never had a problem even though part of our stay was school half term and the restaurants were only crowded one morning (weekend) over the entire stay.

We also enjoyed finding our spot in the gardens by the pool - thinking we would avoid children by not being on top of the pool (we've already done our years of this!) but in fact there was never a time when it was too noisy. Guests were even coming over from the sister hotel as there were lots of children there, mostly Chinese I believe. Before we picked our spot we got towels from near the pool entrance, sprayed ourselves with the complimentary mozzi and fly spray and we could also have used one of many sun creams in various sun factors if we had wanted to. There are lots of sunbeds available, plenty of umbrellas and we were offered iced towels, iced melon and ice creams on a regular basis. Staff are constantly around these areas to take drinks orders - iced water is free- and there is also a small menu for food for you to have at your lounger if you are too tired to stagger to the nearby 2 bars for food and drinks. We were very well looked after.

The beach is very wide and very soft sand, we only saw one jellyfish so paddled quite happily - I'd rather go in the pool. There were always flags up advising what the conditions were and there were lots of activities to join in here, especially later in the afternoon.

The Sampan Bar has happy hour and a sunset ceremony each evening with music too so its a nice place for a drink before going for a shower (and a sleep) before your evening meal.

We had 2 large bottles of water left for us each day which were very welcome, little treats left on a regular basis.

We got into the habit of a cocktail in the lounge bar with one of 2 groups each night before we went to eat and then another later before we went to bed! Very easy listening music and just nice to have something to listen to. One night we were treated to a group of chefs rocking it - still in uniforms- which we loved despite their lack of musical talents - the enthusiasm was very infectious!

There is a nice shop for souvenirs, limited range of swimwear, postcards, some jewellery etc plus a little street of another 3 or 4 shops including one dealing with tours etc.

There is an internet cafe with a great coffee shop where you can use the computers for free, have a cake or use the library. The coffee here is the nicest in the hotel. The Doctor is also in a little hidden room off here and the gym is opposite. We thought it was well worth having the 11am mini tour of the facilities with Khai the absolutely fabulous Customer Experience Executive so you know exactly what is available to you. This lady is a fantastic ambassador for the hotel and loves her job and meeting the guests and it shows. Her husband is in charge of the Orangutang Sanctuary which is a major reason also to stay at the hotel. We were so interested to hear of all the work involved in getting the orphans back into the wild and learnt so much from our trip to see the orangutans - who knew they would spend 4/5 years with their Mum in the wild before they could manage on their own. The sanctuary is doing so much to help these beautiful animals - we were lucky enough to see 2 very close up and really enjoyed this experience but I don't think it would have been anywhere near as good without all the interesting information we also received on them.

The hotel has a coach which works a shuttle service between them and the sister hotel with 3 stops in Kota Kinabalu on the way. You book this at the front desk, probably a good idea for the Sunday market as it gets quite busy then. The coach arrives on time is then checked over for any left behind items and you are checked onto the coach and your stop is confirmed and the return you'll be on. They go to the trouble of explaining where to go at 1-Borneo (over the bridge), the first stop and where the bus will pick up on your return and its all very efficient and easy.

1-Borneo is a lovely modern shopping mall. The next stop is Wasa Madaku - not as modern but a nice mix of shops etc and from here - if you are a serious shopper- you can go to Suriah Sabah - less than 5 mins walk away-which is absolute heaven and you can tell yourself that you personally are helping the local economy! I can't remember the name of the 3rd stop-another mall- but didn't like this one as much and although the Sunday Market was interesting for a short while my tolerance of hot, stuffy places with lots of people isn't too good I'm afraid so we walked along the front to the fish and veg markets and looked about the harbour. The handicaraft market is almost souk like and has lots and lots of clothes etc etc but not really what we expect when we say handicrafts. We were amused by the row of men outside it on sewing machines making clothes - the Far East seems a haven for all the old singers! Incidentally I took 2 watches that had stopped working with me as I have had previous experience of the can do attitudes of Malaysian traders. One I didn't know what was the problem at all and hadn't really tried anything with it, the other was a dress watch with great sentimental value that I had been told by a very good jeweller in the UK could not be fixed. Not only did they both get fixed within an hour but it only cost me just under £5 for them both!! The watch maker who sorted them out was on the bottom level of 1-Borneo and had a counter cum work station in the middle of the shop - please go and use them if you have anything that needs rescuing. The 2 watches can now be added to the strung pearls that were going to cost £400 to restring in the UK and were done many years ago for less than £40 and the glasses that had new arms added to them - totally matching-for £1 in Bali a couple of years ago!!( Why are we such a throw away society when these items can be repaired with just a little time and knowledge - plus of course the effort). We didn't go as far as the sister hotel - why would we when we had our own paradise? but if you want a more lively base I suppose that is the one for you as its so close to town.

On our return we were always greeted by name as if we'd been on a long trip, in fact we were very quickly known everywhere by name - should we be worried about this??! Staff - whether hotel, garden, cleaning or maintenance - always greet you with a smile, hello and a hand on their chest - don't laugh, after a week you may find yourself doing the same- and this is heart warming as is the obvious happiness from all the staff that you have chosen their hotel for your holiday and that they can help you to enjoy everything that is on offer. What is on offer is far, far more than I have listed here - I haven't even mentioned the Spa yet (wonderful!) and all the many more things you can enjoy but what I can tell you is that unless you are totally jaded, cynical and spoilt you will come away from the RR feeling that you have made friends, helped a country that is in the early stages of much needed tourism and had the time of your life as you are waved off by a little group of some of the staff who have worked so hard to make your holiday memorable.

Thank you everyone at the Shangri-La Rasa Ria from a much travelled couple who truly appreciated you all xxx

Room Tip: 564 is at the far end of the garden wing - quiet, tranquil and a lovely stroll each night along the walkways looking into jungle. Great views of the sea, beach and gardens.
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank lovesusa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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