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“A well presented resort in a good location”

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Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa
Ranked #4 of 91 Hotels in Kota Kinabalu
Certificate of Excellence
Wangaratta, Australia
Level Contributor
141 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 178 helpful votes
“A well presented resort in a good location”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 June 2012

I stayed at the Shangri-la Tanjung Aru for 4 nights at the beginning of June in a Tanjung Wing Room.
The room was large with a king bed, comfortable lounge area, large flat panel TV, plenty of wardrobe etc space.
All the expected facilities were provided in the bathroom with excellent towels, hand towels, face towels, shampoo, good soaps, bath gel, cotton buds, tooth brushes and tooth paste etc. There was a large shower recess.
As I was on the Ground floor I had a large, very well set up balcony, which was given some privacy by surrounding gardens. It overlooked the pitch and putt golf area to the sea and aq view to the islands of TAR park. All the gardens, lawns and grounds were very well maintained.
The pool area is huge with and excellent kid’s area with water slides, a water balloon play area, and a huge bucket of water that periodically creates a huge shower.
The main pool is has an infinity design. There did not appear to be enough pool lounges. There is staff walking around at regular intervals to assist with drinks and food. There is a lack of shade from either trees or beach umbrellas.
There a two towel kiosks in the pool area.
Adjacent to the pool is Co Co Joes bar and restaurant, and an ice cream kiosk.
The view from the pool area to the islands of TAR Park is spectacular.
There is also a small beach. It is worth noting that beach bums boats to the islands have temporally gone as the resort is in the process of building a marina in that area. It is expected to be completed by the end of 2012.
The Sunset Bar is on a point a short walk from the pool and the beach area and is very popular “at sunset” with happy hour which offer 2 for 1 drinks. There is also and earlier happy hour at Co Co Joes bar.
There is small shopping arcade, at ground level, between the Tanjung Wing and the pool area. It has a Boutique, Tour shop with Exotic Borneo, Sabah Holidays and Borneo trails present. There is a resort shop which sells the usual selection of wine, bee, chocolate, nibbles, sunscreen, insect repellents, soft drinks, artifacts and clothing. It also sells a selection of sandwiches and snacks suitable for a light lunch. This is a very good idea as you often only want a very light snack at lunch time.
Borneo Heritage shop also specializes in pearls and there is a nail bar for manicures and pedicures.
The resort has a number of restaurants. The only ones I used were the main restaurant Tatu Tatu, for buffet breakfast and buffet evening meal, both with an excellent selection of European and Asian food.
I also had an excellent evening meal, with people I met, from the UK, at the Shangri-la Palace Chinese restaurant, The food was excellent and there was a god wine list. We enjoyed an excellent Clare Valley (Australian) Petaluma Riesling. As usual wine is expensive at about twice Australian restaurant prices.
As general comments, I found check in to be a little formal and in general all staff were very efficient but seemed to be a little stand offish but as there were, what appeared to be, a large number of Asian Tour Groups perhaps this was more tailored to those groups.
In general I found Shangri-la Tanjung Aru to be a well presented, efficient resort that was lacking a bit of holiday atmosphere.

Room Tip: Go for a Tanjung Wing Room
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled solo
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2 Thank bigw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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 (777)
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France
Level Contributor
56 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 June 2012

My son and I wanted to pampher my mum with a nice holiday. She loves Kota Kinabalu for the dried fish. I know it is not everyone's cup of tea, but she is a simple woman who appreciates simple things in life so we thought what the heck let's go Kota Kinabalu. Shangri-la Tanjung Aru is impressive. The view is as beautiful as its brochure. The resort is huge. There are two sections of the hotel. One is called the Tanjung side and another the Kinabalu side. We wanted the Tanjung side but it was exhorbitantly expensive for us. ( Tanjung side is much more closer to the amenities such as the water park, but I would imagine it is also noisy - I know how I screamed down the slides. however for my mum, an old lady with very bad knees, that section would have been much better for her) A standard room at the time of our booking did cost RM1500/night. So we opted for Kinabalu club room at RM1000/night. even then, it did require a lot of research on different web sites, as they all have different rates- we found ours on a malaysian-based web site, marimari.com which by far gave the best rate, of a very expensive hotel!

It was magnificent, serene and quiet, just maginificent. Service was excellent although it was a bit funny to see the staff at the club looking at us puzzled - one very old malay woman and another hmm me, turning up for American breakfast at the club. Err she said, you may want to have breakfast at the restaurant it has all asian stuff there... It was lovely of her to want to offer us what she thought would suit us better. So the next day we went to the restaurant- it was a lavish buffet breakfast.
However, I am sorry to sound a bit ungrateful, I do find the food in Kota Kinabalu is not as good as the rest of Malaysia. It is a tad softer/gentler, The flavours are not as strong as Malaysian food. So we opted for western food, which is good.

They have a big pearl boutique as well there, but sorry cant afford nothing, so off we went to Jamilah's in the city. ohhh my God, a shop full of different quality pearls in all price range- but that will require a review on its on! Suffice to say I came back draped in pearls !

Coming back to the resort- their staff is so gentle and lovely- it seems to me the sabahans are softer/gentler than their other malaysians cousins- may be I was misty eyed on my holidays, not sure but still their staff were truly lovely and well-trained. so we had lots and lots of fun. If only mum's knees were better.

There were a lot of things to do in Kota Kinabalu- we went para sailing and did the snorkling and island hoping and shopping.....

And mum went shopping at the markets and bought kilos of kilos of dried fish... we had a magnificent holiday!

Room Tip: KInabalu rooms if you want to escape the hussle and bustle and magnificent view of the sea and teh r...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
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1 Thank Nenekebayan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Greenock (UK Nr Glasgow)
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 June 2012

5 STAR (Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort)
Took us best part of a week to understand why the locals kept telling us we were staying at the STAR hotel!

Just returned from this holiday to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah region, Borneo, and well it was fantastic.
Malaysian people are among the most friendly of all people we have met on our travels and this just added to a great holiday.

Hotel – 10 mins from airport which is ideal. The hotel resort is well layed out with excellent actvities for all the family - 2 pool areas – main pool and also childrens pool area with slides, showers etc. Gardens are well kept and there is plenty of areas to get away from it all. There is also a small private beach. There are plenty of different areas to eat and drink as well as the sunset bar and SPA areas which are excellent.
There is also a good sized fitness centre with all the equipment needed (we seen this through the window!) Note; There seem to be a lot of weddings, functions etc but this didnt impose on our stay.

Room – typical room layout (but a bit bigger) – room 9405 overlooking garden/sea; room has everything you need, cleaned and stocked daily – mini bar is left empty so you can fill it with what you like. You get 2 bottles of drinking water when rooms are cleaned and also more when rooms are turned down at night. Towels and toiletories aplenty.

Food – we were half board, so didn’t eat at any of the other resort restuarants – but the quality was such that you wouldnt need to unless you are looking for a burger! Food at the main resturant is buffet style; breakfast caters for all nationalities and is at a very high standard as is dinner which has a lot of choices available and also very fresh – you can have food cooked to order if you wish at the grill stations.
We found the food here to be at a very good compared to typical hotel offerings and although it is buffet, it is inspected and replaced regularly.

Papas river – white water rafting– full day trip, tiring! but worth the effort – you get there via car and train – the train ride (on one of the oldest trains) is a good expereinece and you get to see the jungle and river on route. And the rafting itself is a great experience and very exhilerating!

Orangutan sanctuary – nearest is at Shangri-La (an hour or so away and hotel runs a shuttle bus) – they had 3 young Orangutans at the sanctuary next to the hotel at the time we were there – the other sanctuarys are bigger but a bit of a trek and full day to get to.

Island Hopping – you can organise whatever trip you want (half or full day, 1,2,3, 4, 5 islands etc) at the jetty at the nearby fishermans village – cheaper than through the tour operators and cheaper still if you are good at bargaining! ideal for a day away and some of the islands are excellent with great swimming and all the usual water activities.

Kota Kinabalu town – 10 mins in a taxi – but unless you are desperate to get out and about, or looking for restaurants I wouldn’t bother.

Also, we went to the Shangri-La Rasa Ria resort but to be honest it’s a bit to far out of the way and I just preferred the feel of the Tanjung Aru; unless you prefer Golf that is, as this resort has a fantastic golf course.

Anway, in conclusion the STAR resort is a STAR resort and well worth considering.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank keem2112
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 June 2012

The best thing about this resort is the staff. They are all incredibly friendly and helpful. Can't do enough for you. The rooms are clean and spacious. They offered a room switch when we checked in as they were concerned that the original room that we were given might have been too noisy. The pool area is nice, not as much shade as we would have liked though. My husband had a massage at Chi Spa and said it was lovely. The treatments there were a bit too expensive for my tastes. There were lots of kids staying at the same time as us - we had been told that this was the Shangri-La with the least children - not too sure about that. On a whole, the resort was a lovely place to stay - a good distance from town and the airport (you don't hear the planes) and you get thoroughly spoilt by the staff.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Sparkette1970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
71 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 June 2012

I stayed here for 2 nights for a friend's wedding (held at the hotel) during what was otherwise a backpacking tour of South East Asia.

The old adage 'you get what you pay for' stands true. The hotel is expensive. But the rooms and facilities are excellent. The setting is beautiful and I couldn't fault any of the services. The pool was pleasant, the beach was well maintained, and any food and drink I ordered were served efficiently and were delicious.

My one negative would be that with this sort of break you really want some sort of sense of exclusivity. Unfortunately, the Tanjung Aru is quite a large complex, and therefore there are always other people around, there's always a few people in front of you at reception or at the bar, and it perhaps makes some of the service feel not quite as personal. Occasionally you did feel like part of the crowd rather than a valued customer. However, that's a very minor quibble - and you can't have everything. For two nights as a treat during an otherwise 'roughing-it' trip this was a delight.

(I'm writing this review very late - I was here in Sept 2009, although the earliest I could go back on the TripAdvisor system is July 2011).

Room Tip: Avoid rainy seasons so that you can make the most of outside facilities. Have backup plans for thin...
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank richp670
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong, null, Hong Kong
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 June 2012

Overall a very bad experience and make us will not stay in any shangri-la property any more. The property is nice itself, but our vacation ruined by its bad customer service. Never stay in a start hotel that concierge has no umbrella. English barrier in concierge staff. Inflexibility in check out system which is convenience to staff, not guest. Bad food too!!!

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Clive H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 June 2012

Travelling as a family of seven, we were warmly received as we arrived. It's a beautiful hotel and the staff were ever willing to help in every way. We spent most of the time at the pool-side to soak up the sun. We just loved it there. We even had reflexology there for a reasonable charge.
The room was comfortable and clean, and the spare sofa-bed was a bit old which broke when used.
There was a good spread for the breakfast, which was included in the price, and the evening meal at the hotel was good but pricey by Malaysian standard.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank S0uC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa

Property: Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa
Address: 20 Jalan Aru, Tanjung Aru, Kota Kinabalu 88100, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > West Coast Division > Kota Kinabalu District > Kota Kinabalu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#1 Romantic Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#2 Business Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#2 Luxury Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#2 Spa Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#3 Family Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 495
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A paradise for the senses surrounded by natural beautyA gentle breeze caresses your face as you wake to the sound of waves lapping the beach. The balcony opens up to an inspiring vista of sparkling coral islands and swaying of palm trees. Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, bordered by crystal clear waters and lush vegetation Sophistication surrounds you in a lavishly decorated suite inspired by Borneo’s rich cultural heritage. Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa, Kota Kinabalu, is a perfect tropical getaway, a luxurious tranquil retreat just a short drive from the city.Yet, excitement beckons as you set out to discover all Kota Kinabalu’s delights. Making your way to Kinabalu National Park, you are thrust into a jungle paradise of natural wonders, rugged landscapes and scenic beauty. From the Rafflesia, the largest flower in the world, to the famous Orangutans in their natural habitat, it only gets more breathtaking every step of the way.The afternoon is spent exploring the picturesque town of Kota Belud. As Sabah’s largest and most popular open market, you find gems of all sorts, ranging from handmade handicrafts to mouth-watering local delights like natural honey.Back at the resort, you look forward to a sunset cruise, which departs from STAR Marina, to catch Borneo's famous sunset. Not long after, you wind down at Coco-Joe’s Bar & Grill. Lounging atop one of the beach-dining platforms, over cocktails and a delectable seafood tower, you continue to enjoy the sound of overlapping waves on the shores of Sunset Beach. A pampering session at CHI, The Spa rounds off the day. With treatments based on traditional Asian healing philosophies, you lose yourself in an enchanted and indulgent journey, all on the resort’s private spa island.For every experience here, you are surrounded by natural beauty. And it all begins at Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa, Kota Kinabalu ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Shangri-La`s Tanjung Aru Hotel Kota Kinabalu
Shangri-La`s Tanjung Aru Resort And Spa
Shangri Las Tanjung Aru Resort
Shangri Las Tanjung Aru Hotel
Shangri La Kota Kinabalu

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