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“One of the best hotels I've stayed in.”

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Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa
Ranked #4 of 92 Hotels in Kota Kinabalu
Certificate of Excellence
Kuala Lumpur
Level 4 Contributor
21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“One of the best hotels I've stayed in.”
Reviewed 30 December 2013

I read various reviews at Trip Advisor about Shangri-La Tanjung Aru. There were some fabulous reviews and there were also some very bad ones too. That got me worried but I after communicating with the hotel about my concerns and some specific needs we had during our stay, we decided to chance it. And it was the best decision made!

We received a warm welcome at the hotel and check in was done in the comfort of our room. I had informed the hotel prior to our arrival that we would be there with the family to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We had adjoining rooms just as I requested. And there were rose petals on the bed for our wedding anniversary and a cake too! For my 3 year old, there was a welcome bag of colouring paper and crayons. And there was even a little potty! For my baby, there was a cot, a mini Johnson's Baby bath, shampoo, lotion & powder. And also a bottle warmer and sterilizer and baby bath. The hotel staff went above and beyond in making our room absolutely perfect.

This is an excellent hotel for kids. The kids' pool has slides and fountains and all sorts of water activities. My kid especially enjoyed the Angry Birds water war where you catapult water balloons at least other. There's also Cool Zone which is the kids' club, where there are activities throughout the day to keep the kids busy. There's also a baby's area which is padded and has all sorts of toys to entertain a baby.

There is fruit flavoured ice cold water available around the pool whenever you need a drink. There are even mascots who walk around the pool to delight the kids (god bless the mascot wearers who must be sweltering in those suits in the hot sun)!

There's also a deeper infinity pool where adults can chill, away from the excited children.

The beach is clean but small. The start attraction here is the pool. For a long white sandy beach, Shangri-La Rasa Ria would be better.

You may have read that breakfast at Cafe Tatu can be a bit crazy and that part is true. But to give them credit, the staff really do their best to seat everyone and ensure the guests' needs are met whenever possible. When there are too many people, the overflow of guests are channeled to the Chinese restaurants. It's much quieter there so this may be an option for you. But Cafe Tatu will be better if you have kids as there's a small buffet line for kids and there's always a mascot to greet and play with the kids.

Many guests at this hotel also go to the orang utan sanctuary at Shangri-La Rasa Ria. That is about 1 hour drive away, one way. For those who have seen monkeys and orang utans before, this is not too exciting as the baby orang utans are quite far away from where you will be standing. But for those who haven't seen orang utans before, it may be quite interesting.

Out of the blue one night, there was a knock on the door. Room service sent us a cake as it was our domestic helper's birthday. That made her day and we were very appreciative of the gesture.

One of the most memorable scenes from our trip is the sunset. It was absolutely breathtaking every single evening and we went to watch it every single day. This is a MUST see. And ensure you have your cameras with you.

Overall, it was a great stay. A big thank you to the GM, Craig Powell and his wonderful team. We will certainly be back.

Room Tip: Choose the sea view room as you won't see Mount Kinabalu with the mountain view as it's too...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank BubblesAmanda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shangrila_TAH, General Manager at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 12 January 2014
Dear BubblesAmanda, thank you so much for taking time to share your stay experience with us. I am pleased to hear that you and your family enjoyed your stay at the resort. Our resort team is dedicated to making all our guest experience a truly memorable and enjoyable stay. Thank you again for choosing to celebrate your special day with us and we look forward to welcoming you and your family back again soon!
Sincerely,
Craig Powell
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,684 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (791)
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
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English first
Singapore, Singapore
1 review
Reviewed 28 December 2013

disappointed by the room, looks old and carpet smell, partial sea view only.
worst was breakfast, far away from what you expect in a shangri-la and for paying that much per night, food was awful, canteen type experience.
on the positive side, the pool was nice, great for kids, garden is nice, great location for sunset watching, good location in KK. One advise, don't go during holiday period.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
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Review collected in partnership with shangri-la.com

Helpful?
Thank HLL84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shangrila_TAH, General Manager at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 12 January 2014
Dear HLL84, thank you for your feedback. I am sorry to hear that you did not enjoy our guestroom and breakfast during your stay. Please accept our sincere apologies for failing to provide you with a complete Shangri-La experience during your stay. We value your constructive comments for our continuous improvement and look forward to your next visit.
Sincerely,
Craig Powell
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shah Alam
1 review
Reviewed 28 December 2013

Overall good stay glitched by bad and disconnected Hotel billing system. Also bad experience with loud crazy schizophrenic guest. However, situation was very well handled Hotel Staff. Overall good value for money despite paying the X'mas season premium for stay.


Room Tip: Ask for full list of complimentary items for your room when checking in so that you don't get sh...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with shangri-la.com

Helpful?
Thank Nik Aziz Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth
Level 5 Contributor
40 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 December 2013

We were very, very fortunate to stay at this outstanding hotel in November 2013. Unfortunately our father in law needed to be ambulanced to hospital on our fourth day (the "Code Five" - not a practice run!). The staff were absolutely amazing and we have written a detailed letter to Shangrila hotel management praising so many staff for their support and assistance over the remaining days of our holiday. Duty managers, concierge and hotel bus drivers, chefs, restaurants, cleaners, wait staff - so many people to thank for their assistance during this anxious time. We truely loved this hotel, its facilities and its restaurants, but most of all, its exceptional, outstanding and friendly staff. Thank you. We will be back.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank LAS59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shangrila_TAH, General Manager at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 12 January 2014
DearLAS59, thank you for sharing your experience with us on Trip Advisor and recognizing the efforts made by our colleagues. We hope all is well at home and look forward to welcoming you again in the near future.
Sincerely,
Craig Powell
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Beijing, China
1 review
Reviewed 27 December 2013

High quality resort in a great location for relaxation and ocean sports. Staff was really friendly and efficient. Rooms were well maintained and in great shape. Every room had its own balcony that you could relax on. Depending on room, some had great views of the sunset or sunrise.

Hotel restaurants are decent, particularly Cafe Tatu (buffet style) or Coco's Bar and Grill.

Gym is fairly large and well maintained with new equipment. Pool is also fairly large, but due to number of users and shape, may not be ideal for exercise. Great for relaxing/playing in though.

Ten minutes boat ride from national marine preserve. Great for diving, snorkelling or just a day trip. Went diving there 6 times and really enjoyed the abundant sea life. Best time for diving is April-Oct though. Avoid the Nov-Mar rainy season as visibility drops.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Review collected in partnership with shangri-la.com

Helpful?
Thank Ken W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 December 2013

Staying for the second time in this hotel recently. How can i forget this place. Its so peaceful with a view to remember forever. very nice for those who is on honeymoon. I even felt it eventhough been married for 20 years.
From the moment we stepped in the hotel lobby it was so relaxing and welcoming.
I booked for mountain view but was upgrade to sea view--Thanks.
Room big with balcony,located on ground floor and near to the fish pond.But room provided seems not ready for the guest interms of cleanliness-bit dusty.But all are forgiven due to the nice view from the room.
Swimming pools are great and enjoyable for kids but no where you can rent inflatable swim rings for kids. I suggest the hotel will provide a rental service for the inflatable swim rings/tube for kids.
Beach very clean.
Food during breakfast alot of choices and tasty.
Dinner at one of the restaurants by the beach was most memorable for my family.
Hospitality of the staffs especially the checkin counter makes you felt very wellcome.

Nice..nice..nice..and will definitely will come back again..you wont regret...

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank MRSZZ_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Midlands, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
26 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 December 2013

We were lucky enough to stay here last December and that stay was pretty awesome,so we didnt think that this visit could top that.......wrong!.It was fabulous.......
We were met at the airport which we werent expecting.We were met on the steps of the hotel by 2 lovely ladies,one was Grace Zhang and i am sorry i cannot recall the other ladies name.But i was given a bouquet of roses(which i later learned hubby had arrranged for our silver wedding anniversary).We were taken to guest relations so bypassed the queue.....and booked in.Our room wasnt ready so we were taken to the club lounge for drinks whilst our room was prepared...
Later we found out why the room wasnt ready,the bed was adorned with rose petals spelling out"Happy 25th anniversary",i was choked,it must have took the housekeepers ages to arrange the petals...
Later there was a knock at the door and champagne arrived!
We stayed in the same room as last time,it has a nice view of the sea and you can see the sunsets from the balcony,also it is at the end of the corridor so no noisy neighbours to the right of you.The room was spotless and the maids came in twice a day,in the evening the bed was turned down and lovely book marks and a flower arranged on the bed,bottled water arranged by the side of the bed and flip flops placed either side of the bed to wear to go in the bathroom.
We stayed in the club lounge this time and it definately is quieter than cafe tatu downstairs.There were only a few guests staying during our 2 week stay,mainly English,Australian,Dutch and the odd Chinese guest....The food is ok but more i would say caters for chinese tastes and is more canapes than substantial food,but you can graze to your hearts content and drink flows freely because the hostesses keep giving you refills.The staff in the club lounge are fantastic and deserve a mention here,Wati,Elizabeth,Helivia,Johnny,Jester,Ezzah,Sakinah to name a few.They are a credit to the hotel.
The Borneo bar is excellent too,ambience here is fantastic and the staff have become good friends of ours.The cocktails are to die for and the view from the open aspect is stunning.Special mentions here go to Erfenna,Rashid,Harry Joe,Fiffi,Velinda,Shen,Kelly......all the staff are excellent.
The pools are excellent,it is marvellous to lie in the infinity pool and gaze across at the islands.Bag your sun lounger early cause they fill up quickly.
We couldnt walk through the reception without anyone aknowledging us and asking how we were and what we had done that day,everyone is so friendly and if you attempt to speak Malay they will love you forever.
In summary this hotel is fabulous,everytihing you need on site,close to airport and a short taxi trip to town,there are plenty of different dining places to eat and bars,the pools are fab.....but what makes this hotel is its staff,they are a credit to the Shangri la chain....
We will return most definately,KK is an awesome place.
see you next year.

Room Tip: 323 good view of the sea and sunsets,quiet as end of corridor so nobody to the right of the room....
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank HelenN1966
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shangrila_TAH, General Manager at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 30 December 2013
Dear HelenN1966, many thanks for sharing your feedback and stunning pictures with us on Trip Advisor. I’m veryhappy to hear that you and your partner liked our special arrangement and enjoyed your stay overall. Thank you again for your compliments on our colleagues and we look forward to welcoming you back for another memorable stay in near future!
Sincerely,
Craig Powell
General Manager
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 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 Spa Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#1 Romantic Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#2 Business Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#2 Luxury 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 Resort And Spa
Shangri-La`s Tanjung Aru Hotel Kota Kinabalu
Shangri Las Tanjung Aru Resort
Shangri Las Tanjung Aru Hotel
Shangri La Kota Kinabalu

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